How Much Sensitive Data is in Your Records?

When making a business case for automated redaction software it's important to look at how much sensitive data needs to be redacted. Using a hunt-and-redact approach might appear workable in a low volume setting, but understanding how much sensitive data actually exists could reveal a significant cost savings for your organization. There are two key factors to understanding how much sensitive data you are dealing with: the percentage of documents that contain sensitive information and the amount of sensitive information in those documents. Knowing the percentage of documents that need to be processed with redaction software is the first step in understanding whether or not an automated redaction solution is right for you.

Obviously volume is a piece of the puzzle but even a low number of documents can be a daunting task if every document has sensitive information. Conversely, a very low percentage can cost a lot of time if a user needs to be scanning through every document for sensitive information that may or may not exist. Using a rules- based automated redaction solution with verification eases the workload of the users in either of the above situations (and everything in-between). A solution like ID Shield does all the heavy lifting. By processing through all the documents and running a custom ruleset the user is presented only with the pages of documents that actually contain sensitive information. Once presented with those documents, the amount of sensitive information also makes an impact on time spent in a redaction workflow.

The amount of sensitive information in a given document can make a massive impact on the amount of time a user spends redacting. For example, redacting Private Health Information (PHI) from an electronic medical record takes more time to redact than a death certification from the office of a County Clerk. In a hunt-and-redact workflow a user would need to draw redactions boxes over every piece of sensitive data, and like above they would also need to be scanning the document for the information. Done manually this work could take hours to accomplish. Even a single document could take hours if it is dense with sensitive information. ID Shield allows the user to move from sensitive item to sensitive item with a single button press. Each press takes the user to the next sensitive item, over multiple pages. No hunting through the documents, no drawing redactions. The redactions have already been proposed and the user only needs to verify they are correct. 

Any organization dealing with the need to redact information from documents should consider looking into an automated workflow. From organizations with a small volume of highly sensitive documents to those with a large amount of low-sensitivity documents, almost every situation implementing automation will save valuable time. Implementing a system that allows your users to only visit those pages with sensitive information saves them the time it takes to scan the documents, and the time it takes to draw redaction boxes. That’s time that your FTEs could be dedicating to other vital tasks, and that time is valuable.


About the Author: Kevin Tschopik

Kevin Tschopik, Professional Services Project Manager, has over 10 years of experience deploying and supporting IT systems. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science and is currently pursuing certification in Project Management. He currently resides in Madison WI where he enjoys the vibrant restaurant and craft brewing scene.