When Things Go Wrong

Although we would like to be able to assume that computers, networks, and software are as trustworthy as our toasters and refrigerators, unfortunately that is not the case. One of the more dramatic examples became the cover story for the February 2003 issue of CIO Magazine, which relates in detail the occurrence and recovery from “one of the worst healthcare IT crises in history”—a catastrophic failure in the network infrastructure that supported CareGroup, one of the most prestigious healthcare organizations in the United States. The source of the problem ultimately was traced to switches that directed network traffic over a highly overburdened and fragile network that was further taxed when a researcher uploaded a multigigabyte ...

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