VA secretary speaks about paperless switch

One of the main reasons some organizations are rolling out a paperless approach is because of the speed at which many processes can be handled when information is digital. This makes perfect sense, as electronic data is easier to organize and maintain, especially if you are dealing with official forms.

This has been the reason that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been pushing for a paperless process. According to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki – who spoke with CNN's "State of the Union" over the weekend – there are currently 600,000 claims, or 70 percent of all claims, that are considered backlogged. Since Shinseki took over when Barack Obama was elected president, the number of claims pending for more than 125 days has nearly quadrupled.

"This has been decades in the making, 10 years of war. We're in paper, we need to get out of paper," Shinseki said. "We have commitments that in 2014 we will be electronically processing our data and sharing it."

He added that no veteran should have to wait around for claims.

Florida Rep. Jeff Miller spoke during a hearing last week on the subject and said that there are many veterans that are losing patience as they continue to hear the same excuses about increased workloads and complexity of claims.

The VA has started to evolve. A new computer system is in place in 20 regional offices around the country and all regional offices will be updated by the end of the year.

Streamlining the claims process is a prime example of a way that a paperless approach can help a business. By partnering with a document scanning and management service, any company can start to get rid of the paper and thrive in the digital realm.


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