Simulation studies of a wide area health care network.

  • James G. McDaniel
  • Published 1994 in
    Proceedings. Symposium on Computer Applications…


There is an increasing number of efforts to install wide area health care networks. Some of these networks are being built to support several applications over a wide user base consisting primarily of medical practices, hospitals, pharmacies, medical laboratories, payors, and suppliers. Although on-line, multi-media telecommunication is desirable for some purposes such as cardiac monitoring, store-and-forward messaging is adequate for many common, high-volume applications. Laboratory test results and payment claims, for example, can be distributed using electronic messaging networks. Several network prototypes have been constructed to determine the technical problems and to assess the effectiveness of electronic messaging in wide area health care networks. Our project, Health Link, developed prototype software that was able to use the public switched telephone network to exchange messages automatically, reliably and securely. The network could be configured to accommodate the many different traffic patterns and cost constraints of its users. Discrete event simulations were performed on several network models. Canonical star and mesh networks, that were composed of nodes operating at steady state under equal loads, were modeled. Both topologies were found to support the throughput of a generic wide area health care network. The mean message delivery time of the mesh network was found to be less than that of the star network. Further simulations were conducted for a realistic large-scale health care network consisting of 1,553 doctors, 26 hospitals, four medical labs, one provincial lab and one insurer. Two network topologies were investigated: one using predominantly peer-to-peer communication, the other using client-server communication.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Cite this paper

@article{McDaniel1994SimulationSO, title={Simulation studies of a wide area health care network.}, author={James G. McDaniel}, journal={Proceedings. Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care}, year={1994}, pages={438-44} }