Zeus Leads the Way in Vital Records’ Multi-Year Digitization Project

August 14, 2015
Zeus has come to rescue Vital Records.  
Appropriately named after the Greek king of gods, the BancTec IntelliScan® eXtreme Document Solutions (XDS) scanner is taking the Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Vital Records team from paper-driven to the electronic realm in a big way. 
The machine’s capabilities include high volume scanning rates of 250 to 500 sheets per minute, making it possible to scan an entire box of birth or death records in half an hour. 

With Zeus on board, Vital Records will be able to digitize more than 14 million vital records over the next five years.  
“Digitization is the technology companies are moving toward to enable greater access to documents,” said Gwen Duffin, DPH deputy director of Records Management. “Faster and more efficient retrieval of records will help us better fulfill constituent requests.” 
State Registrar and Director of DPH’s Office of Vital Records, Donna Moore, first proposed the idea of digitization to Duffin six month ago. Duffin was hooked on the idea and vowed to find a way to meet their lofty and expensive goal.
“In the beginning, we were mainly researching ways to accomplish this task through outsourcing,” Duffin said. “One vendor quoted us $12 million; another quote came in at $6 million! We knew we had to find a way to manage the project internally and economically.” 
“We were disappointed with the external proposals, but wouldn’t give up our dream of digitization,” she continued. “We realized we didn’t have the funds to do Plan A, but I was determined to find a way to make lemonade with our lemons and started thinking about Plan B. We have the talent in-house and we know our documents better than anyone else. Why couldn’t we in-source this project and do it ourselves?”  
After months of research, Duffin came across BancTec’s XDS scanner that enables Vital Records to protect historical records electronically, create a faster records retrieval process, reduce the cost of paper records and eliminate its existing paper system. Through on-demand scanning, staff can also view and print scanned documents within minutes. 
Currently, when a request is made for a vital record on the front counter, the staff walks down the hall to the Records Management area, pulls the documents from the vault, copies the document onto secure paper and then delivers it to the requestor.
“With digitization, when a request for a document is made, the document will be scanned and made available to view within minutes. The time to process a document will be cut down drastically,” Duffin said. 
Vital Records’ new XDS scanner is more than a new piece of equipment; it’s a technological advancement that will save millions of dollars and further improve its operations – a benefit the Vital Records team and their customers will enjoy. 
Visit Vital Records online at www.dph.georgia.gov/VitalRecords to view a helpful FAQ and learn more about its document requesting process. 

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