The Wood County Veterans Assistance Center offer services to over 10,000 veterans in the county. Since the veterans may find traveling to be a chore, the office located in Bowling Green plans on launching video conferencing and assistance services in the first quarter of 2015.
The Isabella County Jail in Michigan has also implemented a video teleconferencing system in which inmates can attend a court hearing without leaving jail.
These are just some of the organizations and institutions that have finally embraced teleconference services as a powerful tool that allows them to streamline their processes and cut costs across all boards.
Ease and comfort
Mary Hanna, executive director of the Wood County Veterans Assistance Center and Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War, understands the difficulty for veterans to travel from home to the Center and back.
“A lot of these veterans, number one, don’t like to go to Toledo, even though it’s not so far away,” says Hanna.
Being one of the first adopters of teleconferencing in the Ohio area, Hanna is fully aware of its benefits, in particular the ease for veterans, most of whom have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorders during their time in the service, of accessing the Center’s wealth of services.
“I believe that we have somewhere around 2,300 to 2,500 who are active recipients in the VA health care system,” she says. “My focus is remote access and easy access to all veterans services that are available.”
To serve veterans with PTSD, the Veterans Assistance Center will be offering the telemental health conferencing to screen those who have come back from serving time in Iraq and Afghanistan. This will save them time from the 35-mile travel to Toledo from where they are.
Sgt. Lori Cooper of the Isabella County Jail sees the same benefits telecommuting offers to their line of work.
“We aren’t taking the risk of transporting from the jail to the courthouse for every appearance,” Sgt. Cooper says. “And it’s a lot less manpower, and it takes less time.”
Isabella County Chief Judge Paul H. Chamberlain supports teleconferencing as a way to proceed with court ruling. He cites an instance where a man already serving time in prison was asked to attend a sentence hearing. Despite the security present in the court, there’s always this risk for something to go wrong by having the man out in the open. Teleconferencing adds that extra layer of security to further lower the chances of something happening that puts the public’s safety at risk.
Referring to the same example, Chamberlain also believes that teleconferencing cuts down the time of transporting inmates from jail to a courtroom and back and, ultimately, lowered costs.
“There was a lot to get through in the sentencing, so to be able to get some of that out of the way in advance, without transporting him and keeping him in the courtroom for hours lessened that,” says Chamberlain.
While installing the telecommuting system for each courtroom costs between $6,000 to $10,000, the system has nonetheless paved way for long-term savings.
“In the 2014 fiscal year, the Michigan Department of Corrections saved more than $2.6 million by conducting video transports,” says communications director for the Michigan Supreme Court John Nevin. “We estimate that locally, across the state, those savings are three times that amount.”
Should you use teleconferencing?
Teleconferencing is a great way to keep in touch with co-workers working on the same project without having to be in the same room together. As mentioned by the parties involved with Wood County Veterans Assistance Center and Isabella County Jail, teleconferencing can also do the following:
- Help save travel time of people. All they need to do is just log in using their computers to attend their virtual conference and get the same amount of job done in less time!
- Minimize costs. Say goodbye to travel costs and upkeep for a conferencing space in the office.
If you wish to enjoy the benefits that telecommuting offers to its users, then let this powerful way of conducting your business with others help you innovate your management and collaboration processes!