Research Summary: Requirements and Design of the PROSPER Protocol for Implementation of Information Infrastructures Supporting Pandemic Response: A Nominal Group Study



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


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


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 28-March-2011

Author(s): Timpka T., Eriksson H., Gursky E., Strömgren M., Holm E., Ekberg J., Eriksson O., Grimvall A., Valter L., Nyce J.


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