Case 1: Hospital Networking

Case Overview:

A large urban research hospital has just built a new wing. The new wing will house an 80-bed orthopedics unit, an outpatient orthopedic surgery center, physical and occupational therapy units, and a 60-bed medium-term rehabilitation unit. The new wing has been sold to the board as "state of the art" and the technology implemented in this wing will be implemented in the coming years in other portions of the hospital.

Your job, should you choose to take it, is to design a local area network for this four-floor facility that will provide data, extremely-high resolution full-motion video, text, and voice services for the next five years and that will interoperate with the legacy systems of the hospital: specifically, two mainframe computers and a 10baseT Novell NetWare 4.1x ethernet network. The robustness of this network is mission critical: lives could be lost due to a network outage. Security of data and network redundancy will be crucial aspects of planning and implementation.

Functional Specifications:

Patient Rooms:

There are 35 double-bed patient rooms and 10 single-bed patient rooms on the third floor and 30 double-occupancy rehab rooms on the second floor. Each patient must be supplied a telephone and a data jack that provides Internet access. Each patient room must also be able to access the hospital cable television network.

Nursing Stations:

There are four nursing stations on each floor. Each station must be equipped with ten data jacks, with expandability to twenty, four telephone jacks, and connectivity to the hospital cable television network. Each nursing station will be equipped with a P200 workstation capable of displaying full motion video (e.g., video capture and playback cards). All patient-care providers will collect patient data using Apple Newton/Sharp Wizard personal digital assistants. These assistant will be used to update patient information on the server, via the desktop workstations at the nursing stations. In addition to accepting patient data, the P200 workstations will also be used to view real-time and captured/stored patient video files, including MRIs, CAT scans, radiographs, arthroscopic procedures, and videotaped rehabilitation sessions.

Laboratory Areas:

Each floor of the new wing is equipped with a laboratory/special equipment facility. Radiologic services (MRI, CAT, and X-rays) are all housed on the second floor and will require high-bandwidth, high-speed links to massive storage devices (terrabytes of information) within the hospital as well as high-speed links to national databases of visual data (e.g., the Centers for Disease Control, the United States Medical Library, etc.) for forty workstations. Each workstation in the Radiologic services unit will be a Silicon Graphics (SGI) Indigo, with 128 Mg of RAM. These workstations must be able to share files and access with a local area network operating system via some sort of UNIX-to-LAN gateway (e.g., NFS-mounted drives). All other lab areas have requirements similar to those of the nursing stations.

Waiting Areas:

Each waiting area should have four data jacks, hospital cable television network jacks, and three semi-private telephone areas installed with credit-card accepting pay phones.

Surgical and Post-Operative areas:

The surgical and post-operative areas are located on the fourth floor of the new wing. These areas require the same connectivity as the radiologic services unit, but with only twenty SGIs.


SGI Workstations 40@14,000 each $560,000
All other workstations 60@3,500 each $210,000
Newtons 200@500 each $10,000
Network infrastructure, servers, archival/storage, NICs   2,250,000