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Cloud computing is known for its speed and convenience. Now it’s becoming known for another advantage: the color green.
Like email and electronically generated and stored documents, cloud-computing services save on hard-copy materials and fossil fuels used in mail and shipping.
When files are sent via eMix, they’re not being burned to CD or printed out and faxed. Added up one transmission at a time, this process reduces the materials that would have been used for the hard copy versions. It also saves the energy and other materials that are expended in the manufacture of hard copy media and paper. Looking even farther down the food chain, it reduces the fuel and materials needed to extract the raw commodities from which CD’s and paper are made.
Radiology files burned to CD are usually sent by express mail or courier. Transmitting files and reports that way requires a considerable expenditure of fossil fuel per file request. It’s true that fossil fuels are also involved in producing electricity to run the computers and networks that power eMix. But the energy used per file transfer is inconsequential.
This green advantage may well continue to grow – if, that is, more of our electric energy comes from renewable sources. Countries such as Germany (where eMix already has a presence through partner company DFC Systems) have already progressed well down that path.
Consider, too, the energy consumed when a patient is re-imaged because the burned CD with her radiology files was lost in transit or the files didn't open when the CD arrived. eMix also reduces that redundant imaging.
Green business is good business because being greener can reduce energy and material costs. There's also a marketing advantage to reducing an institution's environmental impact.
By their very nature, hospitals use vast amounts of materials and energy to provide state-of-the-art patient care. Anything they can do to “green” their operation can be turned into a selling point for their facility, to attract more patients who value the facility’s environmental commitment.