Understanding a System of Systems

When planning a resilient communications system for a healthcare organization it is important to understand your communication system as a system of systems.  Your communication system is dependent upon many systems; power, cooling, data networks, and outside communications networks, but is also a key part of many of these systems.

The diagram below demonstrates how Communications and IT systems are a key part of a much larger system, but also dependent on many parts of this same super system.

Figure from “Incorporating Prioritization in Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Programs”




Incorporating Prioritization in Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Programs
By Verner, Duane, Frederic Petit, and Kibaek Kim.
Homeland Security Affairs 13, Article 7 (October 2017).


This document developed by FEMA and ASPR provides guidance and resources on improving healthcare facility resilience to power outages. Information includes:

•Healthcare facility preparedness standards and challenges;
•Ways to integrate emergency preparedness efforts throughout the whole community; and
•Methods for prioritizing assistance to hospitals, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities during power outages.

Report prepared by the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and FEMA Region X.