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CareGroup’s Healthcare Information Technology Outage Case Study

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Updated: Sep 11th, 2021

Causes of System Outage at CareGroup

The disruption of the IT system at CareGroup was caused by redundancy, complexity, and Ethernet protocols. For instance, with the expansion of the system, new smaller networks were added, which caused its inability to meet the given specifications; the network was considered “out of spec.” Redundant parts of the system that had to work as primary and back-up options became confused and started working as primary through duplicating messages and sending them back and forth between network segments. The network’s Ethernet protocol contributed to the disruption of the system because of the confusion associated with additional queries coming continuously, leading to confusions.

Company’s Strategy of Handling the Crisis

In general, the company handled the crisis situation well. Twenty-four hours after the manually designed application caused a major disruption in the system, Cisco was contacted, which enabled the setting of the customer support SWAT team in motion. With the help of experts from Cisco along with network equipment, CareGroup received an adequate core network to ensure that the company’s systems are working again. In the case study, it was mentioned that Cisco specialists “did a month of work in one night.” Overall, despite the occurrence of the system’s disruption, the management of CareGroup was effective in calling help and eliminating the problem within a reasonable timeframe.

Future Recommendations for IT Managers

To avoid IT system disruptions in the future, CareGroup’s managers should enhance their understanding and knowledge policy statements use when it comes to outlining the responsibilities and roles associated with security needs. When personnel do not meet their expectations in terms of performance, the management should be proactive in either removing them from positions or investing in training to improve workers’ knowledge. Learning is another crucial recommendation to consider because of the need to ensure that the entire team of the IT department is knowledgeable in the inner workings of the established system.

Ten Lessons Learned from System Outage

The ten lessons learned by CIO John Halamka from the IT system outage are in general correct. For example, the lesson of ensuring that the working knowledge remains up-to-date is an important lesson in the case because without having relevant data, it is impossible to predict potential system disruptions. This means that the IT department of the organization should invest in training on the use of the latest network technologies as well as seek the assistance of experts to attain the necessary level of knowledge. In addition, educating all users in the organization on the basic principles of the IT system’s work will help to enhance the overall knowledge.

Additional Lessons that Should Be Considered

While the ten lessons represent a comprehensive look at the system’s improvement and the elimination of potential disruptions, it is also important to mention other lessons of which the management did not think initially. For example, it is essential to reconfigure the main network in the future to make it more resistant to disruption. Another possible recommendation that can be implemented is to schedule appropriate downtimes to ensure the stability of the network. Other possible solutions targeted at the enhancement of the system include the introduction of redundancy in all links and hardware, the integrated of the latest topologies and hardware, as well as various software improvements in network management.

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IvyPanda. "CareGroup's Healthcare Information Technology Outage." September 11, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/caregroups-healthcare-information-technology-outage/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "CareGroup's Healthcare Information Technology Outage." September 11, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/caregroups-healthcare-information-technology-outage/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'CareGroup's Healthcare Information Technology Outage'. 11 September.

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