This year, we have witnessed some of the most inspiring stories about how vide teleconferencing has been used across the public sector. Video is changing the way federal agencies do business and saving lives with telemedicine. We’ve also seen stories about how video conferencing is connecting students across the world and creating a more efficient legal system at the state and local level. Today, we’ll take a look back at some of our defining stories of 2016 and how they were covered on Public Sector View.

Could Video Teleconferencing Speed up Guantanamo Bay Shutdown?

In the federal space, we covered many stories about how video is being used in the United States and abroad at organizations like NATO to disseminate information and training globally. The most talked about story though, was how VTC may be used to speed up the Guantanamo Bay shutdown process. This year, as Obama began nearing the end of his presidential term, he faced the challenge of a complete shutdown of Guantanamo Bay. When this article was written, there were still 80 prisoners remaining in the prison and up for debate was a bill in the Senate which included a provision that would allow detainees to enter guilty pleas – via video teleconference – in federal civilian courts. You can read the full story here.

Miscommunication: One of the Costliest Problems in Healthcare Today

This year we also highlighted the many ways that telehealth has saved countless dollars and lives around the world.  In a study published earlier this year by CRICO Strategies, it was found that miscommunication in healthcare may cost up to $1.7 billion and as many as 2,000 lives. The study looked at 30% of malpractice cases in the U.S. between 2009 and 2013 and found that the most common forms of miscommunication include information around a patient’s condition, inadequate informed consent, poor documentation, and unsympathetic response to patient’s complaints. Our story on Public Sector View focused on how telemedicine  could greatly improve access and quality of care, while maintaining patient safety. You can read the full story here.

RUS DLT Grant Brings Incredible Access to the Kenai Peninsula

In distance learning, we captured some of the most innovative programs from Kenai Peninsula, as educators connected students to around the world from anywhere on any device, offered virtual field trips to the Great Barrier Reef, and even spearheaded an internship  program, allowing students to work toward a Polycom Video Coordinator Certification. All of this was made possible by Kenai’s success in securing a RUS-DLT grant. The editorial staff reached out to John O’Brien- Assistant Superintendent of Instruction- and Casey Olson- IT Programmer, Information Services- for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District to hear more about the Distance Learning program and how they planned to utilize the grant funds. You can read the full story here.

Illinois Judge Eases the Pain of Divorce for Local Inmates

In 2016, we saw many stories at the state and local level about how video was being used for arraignments and other court proceedings across the country. One of the biggest stories was out of Illinois, where Judge Dickler holds “incarcerated litigants court calls” via VTC to help those who are incarcerated in divorce proceedings and in attaining visitation with their children. Ultimately, Judge Dickler offers a level of humanity that many prisoners need to enable a healthy return to society. You can read the full story here.

As 2016 comes to a close, we hope these success stories about how video has changed the public sector stay with you. On behalf of the editorial staff at Public Sector View, we thank you for your readership and look forward to bringing you more of the latest news and insights into video conferencing in the new year.