Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - CONCORDE (Development of Coordination Mechanisms During Different Kinds of Emergencies)

Project Context and Objectives:
The overall task of the project is to provide improved coordination mechanisms and decision support tools to health services involved in emergency situations by smart integration of existing or emerging tools, solutions and approaches. The specific context that is addressed by the COncORDE system are the In-Action and After-Action needs of the emergency medical services in relation to the needs of the patients. This patient-centred context enables generalisability and validity across all member states and beyond, as well as in all hazard situations.
The specific objectives are formulated as follows:
A) Improve PREPAREDNESS and interoperability of medical services during emergencies and mass disaster events, which affect the health and wellbeing of large parts of the population at local, regional or cross-border level
B) Optimise the coordination and quality of RESPONSE of an open ecosystem of users, to allow different constellation of crisis response participants according to the demands of the situation
C) Facilitate ongoing monitoring, EVALUATION and improvement of response and integration of all results into an intelligent training system, that allows ongoing enrichment by users

COncORDE will achieve its objectives by the development of an innovative comprehensive set of tools integrated into a knowledge-enabled DSS with social networking facilities (as a means of an additional data source) at a level not seen before. It will allow measurement of outcomes of training and response.

There are two themes, which converge in the context of the project.
One is the use of incident command principles by emergency responders, be it medical, fire, police, military or any other responder unit that may act in emergency situations. The starting point is that in order to improve inter-agency coordination, one should first improve in-agency coordination. For this reason COncORDE aims at the medical responder coordination and proposes to use the Incident Command System / ICS as a frame to create a system for information sharing and decision support. The basic ideas are to create ground visibility in order to enable informed decisions in the higher centres and to obtain reliable ground information and meaningful external data interpretation in order to create trustworthy decision support. The vision is that given a successful validation, the same approach could be adapted to other responder units, such as fire brigades for example. Linking the systems that are based on the same principle will enable improved interagency coordination.
The other theme that converges is the widening of the existing response systems to allow inclusion of the additional resource provided by the resilient public and thus leverage the use of available resource.

Beyond operational (In-Action) visibility, it is the ambition of the COncORDE project to enable the logging and evaluation of operational information for a proper evaluation of incident response, targeted learning and improved preparedness.

To validate the attainment of the objectives two large scale scenarios are foreseen for testing of the platform. The creation of the large scale scenarios is preceded by testing and validation of smaller scale scenarios in controlled settings.

The project concept is strongly user-driven in that the entire development depends on the output of an extensive user requirements analysis and process analysis, which centres on the EMS tasks related to the patient(s) in emergency situations. It builds on commonalities between systems in order to provide an EU wide approach and on the ability to adapt / customise functional specifics to local rules and plans.

Project Results:
An overview of stakeholder groups and current practices revealed the commonalities across Europe and supported the process analysis. An innovative patient-centred approach to process analysis linked user requirements for patient safety with a generic set of rules for incident management. The modeling of workspaces and roles has enabled the creation of clear user requirements in complex distributed emergency medical settings outside hospitals where there are fragments of information in different places. The five interlinked themes for use cases are:
1. Incident management with logging of incident data and information sharing
2. Patient journey documentation and monitoring
3. Resource visibility in-boundary and access across boundary
4. Decision support for resource allocation according to needs and priorities
5. Evaluation of logged information after action for event reconstruction and learning

WP1 also provided an in depth focused technical overview of technical solutions that are relevant to the security call and the user requirements.
The designed framework architecture in WP2 aimed at effectively integrating the existing operation practices in a virtual environment to provide seamless access to information for coordination and decision making and support them with automated tools, which aim to reduce risks of misalignment of response actors and failures. This is something that does not exist at the moment in the EU member states.
The knowledge modelling framework introduced by COncORDE in WP3 is designed with the objective to connect and link various actors involved in emergency management into a common effective patient-centred context-aware operational knowledge space supporting their actions.
The innovative aspects within WP4 relate mainly to the taxonomy presented as well as the articulation, identification and analysis of a common framework for understanding trust, security and legal issues. These provide valuable outputs for the exploitation work as well as to relevant technical WPs to ensure regulatory compliance.
WP5 output sets up the foundation for implementation of the coordination and decision support functionalities, as well as the ontologies that will contribute to the achievement of the project goals and will open the gate for further information acquisition from external systems or entities.
A specific objective of WP6 is to integrate the tools and services developed by the relevant COncORDE technical partners or utilised as third party tools. ED’s Qlack suite of tools offers integration and interoperability of services and information distributed in terms of time and space, as well as in terms of heterogeneity. The platform will also offer a sound role-based access control mechanism, accompanied by a custom operation management logic through which processes will be created in advance and tasks will be assigned and controlled. This will ensure a fault-tolerant operation during the emergency response scenario.
WP7 describes the user view of the ideal system both in the form of elementary use cases and as well as in the form of more complex use cases as test fragments. These fragments represent specific areas of interest to the users, where there is currently no or very little technology support for the responders. The fragments can be combined in various ways to build different scenarios and are applicable to all hazard situations. The innovative features of the fragments will made available as demos.
Active in dissemination work has promoted the project in all stakeholder domains. There is significant interest from industry for joint testing and development of functionalities through the platform, which offers a competitive advantage to developers who want to leverage their expertise in a system that plans to address all hazard situations across all member states and beyond.
The collaborative work on the project output of 14 partners was coordinated by CUH with support for technical management by ED.

Potential Impact:
The output of COncORDE will be a prototype system, comprising a set of tools with existing technology solutions, which will be used by Emergency Medical Responders for In-Action (operational) needs and for After-Action evaluation. The set of tools will allow participants positioned in different spaces during response to collate and share information gathered from responders, from data sources and from the public, to gain a common operational picture, to log all activities and record patient data and to evaluate the response for reflective learning and improved preparedness. It is expected that this will enable measurement of outcomes of response, which is currently not sufficiently well addressed in practice.
The system will be based on commonalities of response between member states in order to gain EU wide validity and will be aligned with business as usual operational systems in order to enable easy uptake. That means that it aims to allow flexibility and customisation of workflows. The tool will offer decision support for resource management through enabling collection and integration of reliable data.
The resulting tool is expected to be flexible enough to be applicable across the EU member states in spite of the fragmentation of emergency response mechanisms and the variations of emergency management arising from national and local specifics. Successful validation of a functioning flexible tool will attract users / stakeholders and decision-makers.
The following impact is expected:

SME exploitation potential
The two partners leading the exploitation tasks are both SMEs with strong expertise in commercialisation of technical development products and commercial transformation of research results, as well as clear interest in bringing results to the market. Their specific interest is the exploitation potential of GIS map solutions for emergency situations (ESRI Portugal) and mHealth solutions (KT).
The system has been designed so as to be based on open interfaces. Moreover, the way the different services are integrated in the system, allows built-in scalability. Therefore, SMEs, internal and external to the project, will be able to develop additional services, algorithms, etc. and integrate in the core COncORDE system as required, they may become able even to develop a market for these additional services.

Impact on EU civil protection and crisis management
• Operational
The project results and outputs will improve emergency medical operations by enabling successful information gathering practices and utilisation of communication technologies and applications for a shared operational understanding.
• Preparedness
The concept also demands preparation of sound and clear plans, which will be incorporated in the system.
It will also positively influence citizens’ preparedness by how citizens can assist the authorities and one another by communicating information
• After action
It will enable evaluation and audits and the resulting conclusions will in turn lead to better preparedness.

Impact on the design of Decision Support Systems for emergencies
Enabling reliable data gathering is the first step towards information collection and interpretation for sound decision support systems.

Pan-European and world-wide impact
The concept builds on commonalities and thus will be applicable across EU member states, in addition also world-wide. There is a potential to extend the same concept to other responder units, especially fire but also police, since their response is also following incident command principles.

Economic and societal impact
Better utilisation of resource and use of the resilient public in the response as resource.
COncORDE’s approach is to address all threats and hazards that require an emergency medical response and as such the societal impact is expected to be very high.

List of Websites:

Reported by

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
United Kingdom


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