Two recent reports authored by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) demonstrate how technologies such as video conferencing can help organizations dramatically reduce emissions related to employee travel, which in some non-manufacturing firms can amount to more than half a business’ carbon footprint.
Increased use of telework by 2030, for example, could cut carbon dioxide emissions by about one billion tons -- as much as are produced today by the UK and Italy combined.
Gartner, the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, has predicted that the financial crisis will drive a shift from physical travel to video calls, echoing the expectations of many commentators in the video communications market. “The challenge of the current economic conditions demands that every organisation revisit the need for face-to-face meetings,” said Gartner fellow Steve Prentice.
“Telepresence is not the answer in every circumstance… but not every meeting needs to be face to face.”
“There is no doubt that telepresence and other approaches to virtual collaboration…. will provide a real alternative for many businesses. Companies should put aside previous prejudices and bad memories of older video-conferencing services and seriously investigate these new technologies.”
Whether managing a large urban hospital or a small rural facility, healthcare IT managers report that video conferencing has successfully addressed a host of educational, managerial, and patient challenges.
After conducting lengthy interviews with seven healthcare IT managers across the U.S., researchers report that video conferencing helps solve at least 10 key challenges which have impacted their organization positively.
Specifically, video conferencing has helped healthcare facilities to:
1. Increase patient access to specialists and improve level of care.
2. Improve delivery of treatment.
3. Reduce the need to transfer patients and thus retain revenues.
4. Recruit top doctors.
5. Achieve acquisitions strategies below budget.
6. Recruit and train more nurses.
7. Improve ongoing staff training.
8. Reduce meeting overload.
9. Satisfy C.M.E. requirements.
10. Meet green initiatives.
Classrooms around the country are adopting video conferencing despite recent cuts in funding because it provides unique opportunities and experiences that can enhance the quality of education.
For example, Physics students at Southampton Intermediate School recently had an opportunity to observe the Brookhaven National Laboratory via video conferencing. During the session they were able to follow scientists from the National Synchrotron Light Source lab while they checked oysters from Southampton waters for toxic metals.
“It’s a very valuable program,” Brittany Tusa, a Southampton High School senior who helped to organize the event. “Beyond getting your feet wet in the scientific community, you also make a lot of connections with local researchers.”
Students at Tropical Elementary in Florida recently got to experience the Iditarod, the 1,100-mile sled dog race in Alaska, without ever leaving their warm classroom.
“It’s really neat because we’re far away, but they’re right there and you can see and hear them,” said Abbey Sims, 12.