Patton-Fuller Community Hospital Networking Project
Patton-Fuller Community Hospital is an industry leader in delivering high quality healthcare. The company has implemented many clinical systems like a radiology information system (RIS), an Operating Room system, and the hospital’s HIS system. Many of these systems are critical to the organizational and if impacted by performance or an outage, patient safety would be at stake. Based on the information provided by the scenario, the business is in need of evaluating their current network infrastructure. Implementing a high available and reliable network will help the business ensure clinicians focus on patients and not IT. Data Transmission
Patton-Fuller Community Hospital’s critical systems utilize the seven different layers of the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) model standard for transmitting and receiving data. Communication between end nodes on a network is accomplished through OSI layers 4 through 7. The lower layers, 3 – 1, handle communicating within the nodes on the Internetwork. When dealing with an application such as the hospital’s RIS or HIS, OSI layers 5 – 7 are specifically designed for managing data flow. As data is moved across the local area network, OSI layers 1-4 takes place, moving the data across the wires and wireless network.
The entire OSI model layers are used while sending the data packets, utilizing the header until reaching the physical layer. When an MRI is processed on the modality, the packet header leaves the application layer 7 then travels down to the physical layer (1-3), where it travels through the network until it reaches its destination, the PACS server. Once it arrives at the PACS server, physical layer, it travels back through the entire OSI layer until it reaches layer 7. An acknowledgement packet is sent from the PACS server down the OSI layer and across the network to the original modality fromeach layerthat the destination is crucial in the continued operations during a disaster.
Heibutzki (2013) stated that 25% of businesses that experience a disaster never recover, hence close down for good. In a recent article, Hoboken Charter School experienced a major disaster which consumed the private school and their information systems. Luckily, the school implemented a business continuity system prior to the major disaster which greatly helped the private school continue to run after the event until normal operations were restored (Business continuity systems, 2012). Additionally, while working at CHRISTUS Health, implementing and constantly testing the service continuity management system ensured the businesses continued success during such major disasters as Hurricane Ike and Gustav. No monetary loss was experienced during those two disasters. OSI Model
The first aspect of developing a service continuity management system (SCMS) is identifying the stakeholders. O’Hara Manufacturing has many stakeholders like suppliers and customers which would need to be analyzed and ensure all players are part of the design in the development of the SCMS (Zawila-Niedzwiecki, 2010). Internal customers are identified as CEO, CFO, CIO, Business Development, Marketing and Sales, Design and Engineering, and Human Resources. The System Analysis team would need to identify and evaluate the business risks while providing a mechanism to improve system, identify opportunities, and interventions (Fernandez, 2007). The team must look to minimize response and recovery cost and disruption to operations while showing how the SCMS system will interact with O’Hara’s environment (Fernandez, 2007). Network Protocols
The risk to the business is very high without the implementation of a disaster recovery system to protect OHara’s major critical information systems and to ensure business continuity interruption during a disaster is minimal. The risk to O’Hara could be as minimal as a single application being down for 24 hours up to a complete data center outage for days or even months. The Database team must ensure high availability (HA) is built-in to the design and deployment of the mission critical databases. Microsoft recommends establishing a multi-cluster database environment (Description of disaster recovery, 2013). Additional recommendations on databases from Microsoft are implementing “database mirroring” or “SQL Always-on” (Description of disaster recovery, 2013). Implementing such HA techniques will help O’Hara continue business operations when a disaster affects their mission critical database environment.
The risks could be great to O’Hara if they employ programmers to develop and update their mission critical applications. If a disaster strikes and O’Hara restores the application from a previous backup that is 12 hours old, changes made after the last good backup will need to be implemented before being released to the users. If a user cannot use a module in an application or in-depth training is identified due to application functionality then a disaster exists (Ganssle, 1998). Staffed or contracted programmers would need to begin rewriting code or implement a restoration of code from previously saved files. Once implemented the updated code and tested, the application can be released to the end users.
O’Hara Manufacturing cannot continue their operations without their corporate network. Network is vital during a disaster and can bring the company to its knees. O’Hara’s network failure during a disaster could result in their demise, as 25% of businesses that experience a disaster never return (Heibutzki, 2013). Network staff must design the network to support possible failures by implementing redundant network gear, alternate network paths, and dual network circuit providers (Skertich, 2008). Once implemented and tested for failover, O’Hara can evaluate network high availability during disaster tests.
Websites can be crucial to many companies, and O’Hara Manufacturing is no different. If a disaster strikes that affects O’Hara’s website(s), this would be crucial to business operations. Web administrators need to ensure that high availability is built in O’Hara’s web sites. Web admins should look into using a web hosting company to reduce risks. Web hosting is a great avenue to ensure the virtual business continues during a disaster (Stewart, 2007). Web admins would ensure the latest content is loaded on
the hosted site. The hosted site would be responsible for the 5- 9’s of availability while providing agreed Service Level Agreement. Conclusion
O’Hara Manufacturing has been successful in the past but a change in organizational strategy by implementing a service continuity management system will enable the company to have continued success. This change cannot be possible without pulling in their stakeholders to help build and test their system. O’Hara must establish a business impact analysis to establish potential financial risks and critical system availability. The success or failure of the program cannot be known without measuring performance, reviewing results, and making changes to improve. The implementation of an effective service continuity management information system will help O’Hara Manufacturing to continue to be a leader in the pre-engineered metal building systems.
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- Description of disaster recovery options for Microsoft SQL Server (2013). Retrieved from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822400
- Fernandez, L. S. (2007). Volunteer management system design and analysis for disaster response and recovery. (Order No. 3297450, The George Washington University). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 181. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304875080?accountid=458. (304875080).
- Heibutzki, R. (2013). Performance of Business Continuity Metrics. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/performance-business-continuity-metrics-34429.html
- Ganssle, J. G. (1998). Disaster! Embedded Systems Programming, 11(5), 113-117. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/218575165?accountid=458
- Skertich, R. L. (2008). Action and information networks in disaster management. (Order No. 3335831, University of Pittsburgh). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 433-n/a. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304505300?accountid=458. (304505300).