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Patton-Fuller Community Hospital – Network Architecture

As the increasing volume of information in hospitals is being stored and transmitted electronically, it becomes essential that security is given due importance in every segment of network design and maintenance. Although, security has been attributed much importance in wireless networks and remote access, it is very important to give the same level of importance to the middle layer in the network architecture (Briere, 2005). If the wired network in today’s hospital environment is compromised and becomes unreliable, most of the features of hospital operations are exposed to danger and may result in risking the patient lives.

From the architectural point of view, the hospital network consists of a set of software module (servers), which operate by the individual application (client) during communication amongst the interfaces. It should be emphasized that the services provide by the hospitals are exclusively oriented to the functional domain of the hospital, and do not have any relation with the basic technological aspect used to implement the scheme. A number of components are part of this Information architecture, which are installed and used in the existing environment of various hospitals.

One of the major components, as can be seen in the diagram, is the working center. The purpose of this working center is to have a better and open spread information system, capable of addressing the fundamental functionality requirements of any common hospital. All modules work in a spread environment, base on local region networks, with servers connected to workstations, consisting of MS-Windows Computer. Several types of network protocols are already supported and are totally transparent to the applications. Diagram 1: Top view of the Hospital IT System Hospital Management deals with various departments.

Such as: • OPD • PATHOLOGY • PHARMACY • RADIOLOGY • ACCOUNT • PATIENT REGISTRATION • HR • MRD • IPD Infrastructures are generally the structural elements, providing the framework for the IT structure of any hospital system. In some other parlance, infrastructure may refer to IT, informal and formal channels of communication, software development tools, political and network beliefs held by members of particular groups. Good Infrastructure provides better communication. All the structure must be verified on regular basis for any fault and rectified as soon as possible.

In addition to this, following factors must be taken into consideration for ensuring privacy of patients and their records: • Software used in hospitals for networking should be handled • Software must be up to date and synchronized. • There should be qualified person to handle all the software and data • There should be a secured maintenance of the database. Use current instances of cyber attacks to describe the types of risks that are involved with use of the hospital systems and what must be done to reduce or mitigate the risks.

In today’s world, everybody is connected to the external internet popularly called as the cyberspace. The attack form the Cyberspace is a very crucial issue to be considered in networking. It can damage all the equipments connected over the network, whether these are routers, switches controller or anything else. Hospital systems do not have any room for error as any slightest error in network design can affect the life of patients. Features, such as network segmentation and isolation are often difficult to design and implement in the hospital networking systems.

In many hospital systems, great care is taken to plan security at the interface while network entrance control on the internal network is often ignored. Cyber security has assumed the top most priority for any network which has interface to the internet. Several national Governments of the countries across the globe have imposed cyber laws for various security purposes. It may reduce the chances of cyber crime. Cyber attack risk management involves the standard process of identification, measurement and control of the risk to the networked systems.

The secret of effective risk management is the ability to qualify and quantify risk. Various cyber attacks, which have happened recently on hospital systems, have been in the area of – • Information Gathering • Content Overriding • Repudiation • Denial of service • Network problem • Routing • Software not updated Diagram 2: Detailed view IT Data Center at the Hospital Various issues identified across the information systems networking at hospitals and in general are as below: • Network design Issues • Network design impact on energy efficiency • Traffic Modeling

• Network topology • Access network technology • System parameter optimization • Service distribution Architecture • Redundancy Implementation Dimensioning and optimization There are various factors by which we can reduce the effect of cyber attacks. These are: • Using appropriate algorithm • Encryption/decryption techniques are used • Healthy network/good quality of router/switches/wire • Good protocol could be used. • Good server are used • Ethernet and intranet should be good • Data communication should be duplex • Minimum distance algorithm are used to send the data

The networking of the hospital systems need to be efficient as they represent the “nervous system” of the hospital information system. Several vendors may have supplied both hardware and software for the hospital systems. The effective networking ensures that various platforms are efficiently tied together, and serve the need of all. Identify the metrics used to determine network efficiency and effectiveness Any IT Network is a collection of computers, router, switches and various peripheral devices. It is not possible to be 100% safe and still be real functional in the networked systems.

The network can be compacted by eliminating redundancies but making it failsafe becomes difficult. Network need to be more reliable and concise. A network infrastructure is only as secure as the equipment on which it runs. In protecting a hospitals network infrastructure, tools security must not be ignored. If the apparatus that runs the infrastructure is compromised, the whole hospital and the data which it contains is left weak, so it is the main part of the security problem. Network efficiency usually depends upon: • Routing • Protocol (set of rules which governs communication)

• Communication (Exchange of data between two parties) • Bandwidth • Switches (whip or beat with a switch; change, shift) • Connection (junction; physical link; act of connecting) Following metrics are used for network efficiency: • Amount of time spent in managing the work ticket for any issue in the network • Time taken by the workstations to transfer data across the network • Uptime of the network for certain durations • Time taken to move the network peripherals • Managing the WAN connections and slowdown troubleshooting • Time taken for routine upgrades to software

• % Improvements in the process efficiency over the previous month or quarter (Friberg, 2008). A good network design and implementation makes it possible to have the desired value of metrics. Several types of network devices as Firewalls are used to keep an institutional network against virus attacks from the Internet. Network success and effectiveness depends upon various activities like security management, regular monitoring, taken up by the network administrator. Describe why metrics are necessary to obtain the most effective use of network assets.

Metrics provide the objective view of the performance of the network assets and hence management can set the standard value of the parameters and monitor them for the effectiveness and efficiency. These are two main types of network arrangement in the system- • Server to Client. In a server client based network, there are various computers which are directly connected to the servers. Communication takes place between servers to client. • Client to Client. In a client to client network, different computers on the arrangement can behave equally as clients and servers.

For example, various Microsoft Windows support computers determine permit file and create sharing. These computers are proficient to perform jointly as a client and a server and are at the same time as well referred to as client. A set of good metrics always reduces the injurious fact as these metrics provide the network efficiency increase since last checked time, the time taken to do the routine upgrades as well as keeping a check on the uptime of the WANs. It is observed that the efficiency metrics are necessary for improving the effectiveness of any network as unless you know the parameters you want to monitor, you can’t improve on it.

The objectivity provided by the measurement of network metrics is essential for the successful operations of any IT network. Reference: Briere Daniel D, Hurley Pat, Wireless Network Hacks & Mods For Dummies, illustrated 2005, For Dummies, ISBN: 0764595830, 9780764595837 Friberg Ari T, Dandliker Rene, Advances in information optics and photonics, illustrated 2008, SPIE Press, ISBN: 0819472344, 9780819472342 Briere Daniel D, Hurley Pat, Wireless Network Hacks & Mods For Dummies, illustrated 2005, For Dummies, ISBN: 0764595830, 9780764595837

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