Skip Navigation
BlackBerry Blog

Dear Health IT Execs: Here’s Why Modernizing Communications is Essential

04.20.16 / Sara Jost RN

surgeon-pagerAs the old saying goes, it’s better to repair the roof when the sun is shining instead of waiting for a leak. The same premise applies to hospital communications systems: it’s better to modernize your crisis communication plan before a crisis happens and you really need it.

This is the takeaway message from an article I wrote for Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review, “It’s Time to Modernize Emergency Communications at Hospitals.” Becker’s is a leading news outlet for healthcare IT executives, and I’m honored they elected to publish my call-to-action for the healthcare system to drop its antiquated telephone tree and pager communication methods in favor of secured emergency communications technology like BlackBerry’s AtHoc.

AtHoc uses social networking principles to enable hospital leadership to share urgent information broadly with staff members. Its two-way communications features also help healthcare practitioners collaborate faster and more reliably. Hospitals are using AtHoc for anything from managing everyday operations, like shift and scheduling changes or IT downtime notifications, to sharing information and instructions to protect personnel during life-threatening situations like an active shooter attack.

In healthcare, communications can mean the difference between life and death, and having the right communications systems in place before you need them can reduce the impact of crises. It can also help foster job satisfaction among staff members who may feel they are out of the loop with other emergency communications methods.

For more about mobile healthcare and why hospitals need to modernize their emergency communications, please read my article in Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review. And for more about AtHoc, see Inside BlackBerry’s previous posts, webcasts on BlackBerry Enterprise Webcast Central and the AtHoc blog.

Security standards around connected medical devices are woefully lacking, but that’s about to change. Don’t miss the unveiling of DTSec, the first consensus cybersecurity standard for medical devices with security and assurance requirements, by BlackBerry Chief Security Officer David Kleidermacher. It’ll happen May 23-24 at MEDSec 2016, the first international conference covering security and privacy for the Internet of Medical Things. Learn more and register today at

Sara Jost RN

About Sara Jost RN

Sara Joined BlackBerry in 2010 and is the Global Healthcare Industry Lead responsible for healthcare strategy, business development, marketing and sales programs. She has over 14 years of healthcare experience, including Neuroscience Researcher specializing in stroke and migraine at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON. She was also a High Risk Labour and Delivery Registered Nurse at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, ON. Sara worked for Healthanywhere, a mHealth start-up, starting and managing 13 mHealth programs across North America and in the UK. Sara has a BScH in Life Sciences from Queen’s University and a BS in Nursing from University of Toronto.