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Grand River Hospital Chooses BlackBerry Secure Texting, EMM

June 04, 2015

BlackBerry is synonymous with its line of smartphones that go against the grain. They have a reputation for being secure and for having physical keyboards—features which others may lack, yet can provide many benefits for parties bold enough to use them.

For those and other reasons, it has a strong presence in the healthcare market. Most recently, BlackBerry announced that it will provide smartphones equipped with the BlackBerry 10 operating system to Grand River Hospital clinicians and staff that serve more than 700,000 residents in Ontario. The phones will come with the BBM Protected service that encrypts message sent between users and that BES12 enterprise mobility management system that will help IT control the entire network of hospital mobile devices.

Hospitals contain some of the most sensitive patient data around, so it was necessary for Grand River to choose a platform that would help keep patient data safe and still be flexible enough to meet the needs of its clinicians. Gary Higgs, the chief information officer at Grand River, spoke about this point regarding adoption of the BlackBerry line.

“We needed to give our physicians and staff a secure mobile communications tool for real-time collaboration about patient status,” said Higgs said. “We considered multiple options, but BBM Protected was the ideal fit for our requirements, as it's secure, easy to use, and platform agnostic, allowing us to deploy it across the range of mobile devices in our environment.”

Not every staff member in the hospital will receive a BlackBerry. Management will being to implement a mixed model where management and a select group of staff members will receive BlackBerry devices while physicians and other staff will work under a bring-your-own-device model. This is where the BES12 software will become important because it will need to manage all manner of smartphones that could include Android and iOS devices in the mix.

The hope for BBM Protected is that clinicians will have the option of sharing information about patients through a secure mobile portal. They will not have to worry about violating any laws regarding patient privacy and can send messages from anywhere and at any time of day. This should help staff improve the standard of care they deliver to their patients by being more informed about patient situations and better able to seek second opinions when needed.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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