Five doctors have decided to consolidate their businesses to cut costs and provide better service to their patients. In the new arrangement, each of the existing five offices will remain intact—one office is located in the city center and one each is located in the east, west, north, and south of the city. All the doctors want to be able to see their patients and access patient information at any of the offices. The time of operation of all offices will be from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., based on the schedule of the doctors.
Since 1986, the offices located in the north and the south have been using an IBM PC/XT and a dot matrix printer with custom software to manage ...view middle of the document...
The existing network printers can use TCP/IP for communication.
Billing and management will be centralized and administered from the central office. The main reason for this is that the doctors prefer the existing Medical Manager software operating on the Linux server in the central office. The server is mounted in a rack in the Telecom/IT room, which has no locks. This room is also used for storage.
The doctors expect to add four more doctors and nurses to their staff and an office manager to oversee all offices. The doctors are also planning to sponsor internships for new doctors and nurses. They are not sure about the number of interns joining per year; however, according to current estimates, they plan to limit the number of interns to one nurse and one doctor per quarter.
The doctors have concerns and need guidance regarding technology, maintenance, upgrades, and warranties for all equipment. In the future, they are considering the use of wireless personal digital assistants (PDAs) or small tablets for viewing records during a patient visit, Voice over IP phones to reduce the cost of their telephony, and dictation devices to transcribe patient visits.
A consultant representing the doctors approaches you. To the consultant, winning this project and being the doctors’ technology advisor will depend on how well you use the existing offices, equipment, and connectivity for fulfilling the networking requirements.
Security, Disaster Recovery, and Risk Analysis
The doctors are not sure about the security requirements. However, they know they must provide physical security besides complying with the current Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. They also know that good disaster recovery plans as well as good backups are essential. Currently, the only machine backed up is the Linux machine in the central office. A backup to digital tape is performed once a week. After the backup is completed, the office manager stores the tape at home. So far, a situation requiring using a backup tape has not arisen. Therefore, it is not known whether or not this method of backup works.
In addition, each office needs to be able to see patients even if there is no network connectivity between the offices. The doctors would like some redundant connectivity if the connection between a remote office and the central office fails. This connectivity can be between remote offices so that if the primary connection between the central office and a remote office fails, the remote office could communicate with another remote office and utilize its main connection to the central office. The doctors are not sure if the connection should be a T1, DSL, or cable connection.
The doctors would also like to see a plan for a standby server that is updated with the current patient information.
Network Infrastructure Scope
The scope is to create...