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Requirements and design of the PROSPER protocol for implementation of information infrastructures supporting pandemic response: A nominal group study
Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, Sweden. (Department of Computer Science, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, Sweden)
Department of Computer Science, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, Sweden.
National Strategies Support Directorate, ANSER/Analytic Services Inc, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
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2011 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 6, no 3, e17941- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Advanced technical systems and analytic methods promise to provide policy makers with information to help them recognize the consequences of alternative courses of action during pandemics. Evaluations still show that response programs are insufficiently supported by information systems. This paper sets out to derive a protocol for implementation of integrated information infrastructures supporting regional and local pandemic response programs at the stage(s) when the outbreak no longer can be contained at its source.


Nominal group methods for reaching consensus on complex problems were used to transform requirements data obtained from international experts into an implementation protocol. The analysis was performed in a cyclical process in which the experts first individually provided input to working documents and then discussed them in conferences calls. Argument-based representation in design patterns was used to define the protocol at technical, system, and pandemic evidence levels.


The Protocol for a Standardized information infrastructure for Pandemic and Emerging infectious disease Response (PROSPER) outlines the implementation of information infrastructure aligned with pandemic response programs. The protocol covers analyses of the community at risk, the response processes, and response impacts. For each of these, the protocol outlines the implementation of a supporting information infrastructure in hierarchical patterns ranging from technical components and system functions to pandemic evidence production.


The PROSPER protocol provides guidelines for implementation of an information infrastructure for pandemic response programs both in settings where sophisticated health information systems already are used and in developing communities where there is limited access to financial and technical resources. The protocol is based on a generic health service model and its functions are adjusted for community-level analyses of outbreak detection and progress, and response program effectiveness. Scientifically grounded reporting principles need to be established for interpretation of information derived from outbreak detection algorithms and predictive modeling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 6, no 3, e17941- p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-41602DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017941PubMedID: PMC3065450OAI: diva2:407182
Copyright Timpka et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.Available from: 2011-03-29 Created: 2011-03-29 Last updated: 2011-05-31Bibliographically approved

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