Health Information Networking

I.     Course Prefix/Number: CNS 146

       Course Name: Health Information Networking

       Credits: 3 (2 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

CNS 141 and CNS 142; CNS 143 or consent of instructor, coordinator or program chair. Recommended: General attitude or disposition toward a program of study and career in internetworking in a healthcare setting.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course equips students with knowledge and skills that can be applied toward entry level specialist careers in healthcare networking. Topics include: basic information on healthcare settings; principles of security and privacy in healthcare; fundamentals of information technology in healthcare; fundamentals of electronic health record (EHR) systems; basic information on medical practice workflows and how to adjust workflows for electronic medical record implementations; designing a network to support a medical group; securing a network for a medical group; and troubleshooting a network for a medical group.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the role of information technology in the delivery of healthcare in the United States.
  2. Explain the protocols, safety procedures, and privacy considerations for working in a healthcare environment
  3. Describe the relationships between the workflow of a medical practice and the healthcare IT applications network design.
  4. Describe the purpose, function, main components, and requirements for implementing an EHR.
  5. Identify the benefits and requirements for supporting nationwide HIT interoperability and the Nationwide Heath Information Network
  6. Implement security requirements for medical data at the access layer, incorporating the benefits of a hierarchical design and the basic functions of the core, distribution, and access layers.
  7. Implement wireless security and design considerations, including those necessary to connecting to a data center, into the medical group network.
  8. Prototype a network design prior to implementation
  9. Implement WAN services for an EHR system, integrating remote access.
  10. Secure the network edge for an EHR system.
  11. Troubleshoot, remotely monitor, and manage a medical group network incorporating levels of support and processes.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Using Health Information Technology
    1. Working in the Healthcare Environment
    2. Protecting Patient Information
  2. Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
    1. Understanding EHRs
    2. HIT Interoperability
    3. EHR System Selection
    4. Impact of Applications on Workflow
    5. Preparing for Implementation of EHR Systems
  3. Designing Healthcare Networks
    1. Understanding Various Health Information Technology Environments
    2. Network Considerations for New Technologies
    3. Understanding Effects of HIT on Network Design
  4. Designing the Medical Group LAN
    1. Designing the Network
    2. Designing the Access Layer
    3. Designing the Distribution Layer
    4. Designing the Core Layer
    5. Designing a Server Farm for Healthcare Applications
  5. Designing and Implementing WAN Services
    1. Integrating Remote Access and WAN Services
    2. Implementing Leased Lines
    3. Implementing Frame Relay
    4. Understanding VPN Services
    5. Implementing VPN Solutions
  6. Securing a Healthcare Information Network
    1. Security in the Healthcare Environment
    2. Securing the LAN
    3. Using ACLs
    4. Securing the Network Perimeter
    5. Securing End-User Desktops
  7. Supporting the Medical Group Network
    1. Understanding Support Models
    2. Troubleshooting Remotely
    3. Troubleshooting Complex Networks
  8. Putting It All Together
    1. A hands-on case study for practicing the concepts discussed in this course.
    2. A set of simulation labs designed to be a culminating course activity.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods of presentation can include lectures, discussions, demonstrations, experimentation, audio-visual aids and regularly assigned homework.  Computers will be used.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course practices include attending class, completing homework assignments, participating in discussions and taking quizzes and exams.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Health Information Networking Course Booklet by Cisco Press

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Evaluation methods can include grading homework, chapter or major tests, quizzes, individual or small group projects and a final exam.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.