Care Group It Case Study: The Network Collapse

1931 words - 8 pages

The CareGroup Case Study was comprised of various components. The core concepts were broken down into the history of CareGroup itself, CareGroup’s IT, the collapse of the network, dealing with the collapse of the network, and the lessons learned from the entire situation (McFarlan, F. Warren, and Robert D. Austin, pg.1).
CareGroup was formed on the basis of three major Massachusetts hospitals; Beth Israel, Deaconess, and Mount Auburn (McFarlan, F. Warren, and Robert D. Austin, pg.1). After a surprising merger of Mass General and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, all three hospitals in CareGroup suffered great financial losses (McFarlan, F. Warren, and Robert D. Austin, pg.2). Due to the ...view middle of the document...

Warren, and Robert D. Austin, pg.5); this new application would contribute to the network collapse. The collapse of the network began as, “The new software was left running in a basic mode not yet tested or tuned for the environment in which it was operating…The rogue software program was moving terabytes of data across the network.” (McFarlan, F. Warren, and Robert D. Austin, pg.5) Due to the software being unattended, we can clearly comprehend what initiated the collapse. Subsequently, there was an additional underlying cause to the failure; “The old router had a problem in its ‘firmware’” (McFarlan, F. Warren, and Robert D. Austin, pg.10). It is essential to keep hardware and software up to date, especially in a health care environment where the integrity of patient information is at risk. As a result of the network collapse, the CareGroup team made some major changes to the system. A few of these changes were those focused on upgrading hardware and software, as well as the reconfiguration of the core network (McFarlan, F. Warren, and Robert D. Austin, pg.22).
Throughout the challenges that CareGroup faced, there were clear strengths and weaknesses which were made prevalent. The strengths that we can see depicted through this case study, were fundamentally, teamwork. Without the teamwork which has been exemplified, there would have clearly been disarray. Halamka outlines this for us be explaining, “It was amazing what people were able to do. The teamwork and problem-solving sprit was just awesome” (McFarlan, F. Warren, and Robert D. Austin, pg.9). Although there was an initial sense of disarray when the paper-based system was implemented as a backup, the team came together; this helped in the recovery of the system.
Although teamwork helped the team get through the network collapse, one of the main flaws which haunted CareGroup was the lack of preparation. The lack of preparation added to a sense of chaos which can clearly be represented by the initial confusion of having to convert to a paper-based system. This can be depicted through disorganization such as, “No one knew where paper forms were” (McFarlan, F. Warren, and Robert D. Austin, pg.9). Clearly, a better contingency plan could have been set in place, which Halamka details for us in his “lessons learned”. A well though out contingency plan may have included a certain protocol, dictating immediate calls for backup. While CareGroup did call Cisco “at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, about 24 hours after the first difficulties” (McFarlan, F. Warren, and Robert D. Austin, pg.7), if they were called in sooner, the problem could have been solved earlier as well.
An additional weakness CareGroup faced was poor management of IT. If the IT department of CareGroup was managed properly, added incidents would not have occurred. Problems with IT management can be seen through the statement that, “Across the CareGroup wide-area network, mapping revealed problems from changes to the network that...

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