Availability of healthcare services in a network-based scenario
by Roberto Setola
International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations (IJNVO), Vol. 4, No. 2, 2007

Abstract: In this paper, we illustrate how the third millennium healthcare system is strongly related to many networked infrastructures. This contributes to improving its efficiency and efficacy but, at the same time, introduces new and very dangerous elements of vulnerability that should be carefully taken into account. These vulnerabilities are mainly induced by the presence of different, and many times hidden or poorly known, dependencies and interdependencies existing among the different infrastructures. These interdependencies induce an augmentation of possible threats and the occurrence that negative consequences of a failure might be largely amplified owing to the presence of the cascade and/or feedback phenomena. To better illustrate the possible catastrophic scenarios induced by this framework, the Input-output Inoperability Model (IIM) has been applied on a modern hospital to compare its behaviour, in the presence of a failure in the IP network, with that of a more classical structure.

Online publication date: Fri, 04-May-2007

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