Decision Support Systems for Public Health Services

Date and Time: June 11 or 12, 2016, Full-Day Event, Room(TBA)


Dr Karen Neville,, University College Cork, Ireland
Dr Sheila O'Riordan,, University College Cork, Ireland
Dr Ciara Heavin,, University College Cork, Ireland
Dr Yvonne O'Connor,, University College Cork, Ireland

Workshop Description

Decision making is central to health policy and medical practice. In the past, healthcare practitioners delivered using the traditional pen and paper approach. Nowadays, the introduction of Decision Support Systems (DSS) and Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) has revolutionised the delivery of healthcare services offering profound opportunities to healthcare practitioners. However, a dearth of research exists which focuses on the design, implementation and evaluation of DSS and CDSS in public health services, especially in the field of Emergency Management and in a Developing World context. The workshop covers a range of themes focusing on decision support and decision support systems for public health services. Initially, the workshop will focus on the foundations of decision making and decision support systems (DSS). Using the lens of design, implementation and evaluation, this seminar will focus on the application of decision support and DSS within the context of two different public health service domains 1) Emergency Management and 2) IT for Developing countries. Emerging trends within the domain of DSS for public health services will conclude the workshop programme. There will also be a special interest panel discussion on european funded research projects developing and using decision support tools and mechanisms. We welcome complete research, work in progress, practitioner focused papers and early research ideas. The possible topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Understanding Decision Support for Public Health Services (common decision making; interoperability of medical resources and services; etc.)
  • The Unique Challenges of Emergency Management and the Public Health Services (designing, implementing, and evaluating decision support systems for emergency management; the role of public health services in emergency management; decision support tools for threat analysis and scenario evaluation; decision support tools for intelligence gathering and analysis; etc.)
  • Clinical Decision Support Systems for Public Health Servicesin Developing Countries (designing, implementing, and evaluating clinical decision support systems; the process of informed consent for paediatric services; conducting feasibility studies; etc.)
  • Emerging Trends in Decision Support Systems for Public Health Services (the use of social media for health services and/or emergency events; integrating decision support systems and new technologies; new trends in technology in the public health services; etc.)
  • EU Projects (EU Projects developing and using decision support tools including: S-HELP, Supporting LIFE, COBACORE, RESILENS, and HARMONISE; how to apply decision support research and obtain research funding in this area)

 Submission Guidelines

  • Please follow the ECIS 2016 paper submission guidelines and templates.
  • Papers can be submitted by emailing your paper to workshop coordinator Dr Sheila O'Riordan at

Workshop Format

  • Guest speaker presentations distributed throughout the day on DSS, Health IT, and EM (keynote speaker Prof. Frada Burstein, guest speakers Dr Gloria Philips-Wren and Prof. Sven Carlsson).
  • Presentation of posters, practitioner papers, position papers, research in progress and completed research.
  • Round-table and panel discussions based on the themes of the workshop to help mature research ideas and provide constructive and high quality feedback.
  • Special interest panel discussion on EU projects that apply Decision Support tools and mechanisms with recommendations on how to obtain funding.
  • Reverse writing paper exercise on how to publish research in this area, with an emphasis on the Journal of Decision Systems
  • The best papers from this workshop will be considered for a fast track, special edition of the Journal of Decision Systems ISSN 1246-125 (print) 2116-7052 (online).

Program Committee Members

  • Professor Frada Burstein, Director, Knowledge Management Research Program, Director, Monash Knowledge Management Laboratory, Centre for Organisational and Social Informatics, Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University, Australia.
  • Dr Gloria Phillips-Wren, Professor of Information Systems, Information Systems/Operations Management Department Chair, Loyola University of Maryland, USA.
  • Professor Sven Carlsson, Professor (Chair) of Informatics at Lund University School of Economics and Management (LUSEM) and Head of Department, Lund University, Sweden.
  • Dr Niamh O'Riordan, Lecturer in Information Systems and Organisation, Programme Director, MSc Digital Innovation (formerly MSc iBusiness), UCD College of Business, University College Dublin, Ireland.
  • Cian O'Brien, European Projects Coordinator, Emergency Management Office, Health Service Executive (HSE) South, Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, Ireland.
  • Dr William Hynes, Future Analytics Consultancy (FAC), SME consultancy specialising in spatial planning (national, regional and local level - urban and rural planning), development and economic research, Dublin, Ireland.
  • Stephen Purcell, Future Analytics Consultancy (FAC), SME consultancy specialising in spatial planning (national, regional and local level - urban and rural planning), development and economic research, Dublin, Ireland.
  • Alexander Nussbaumer, Graz University of Technology, Austria.
  • Dr Nora McCarthy, Lecturer in Medical Education, Medical Education Unit, School of Medicine, University College Cork, Ireland.
  • Dr Andrew Pope, Lecturer in Business Information Systems, Cork University Business School, University College Cork, Ireland.

Workshop Deadlines

Submission deadline: March 18, 2016
Acceptance notification: April 24, 2016
Final version due: May 17, 2016

Workshop Organizers Bio

Dr. Karen Neville (BSc, MSc in MIS, PhD, MA and Dip in Education) is a Senior Lecturer with Business Information Systems (BIS), UCC and director of the Centre for Security & Emergency Management Research (CSEM). Karen has 15 years' experience in industry and academia researching security, learning and DSS, generating over €9 million in funding. She also co-directs the award winning MSc in Information Systems for Business Performance (ISBP), UCC's largest business postgraduate course. Karen is the coordinator of the €3.5 million S-HELP EU FP7 project. The central aim of S-HELP (Securing - Health Emergency Learning Planning) is the development of Decision Support Tools for improving preparedness and response of health services involved in emergency situations. S-HELP is a people, process and technological solution to emergency situations.


Dr Sheila O'Riordan is a post-doctoral researcher on the FP7 S-HELP (Securing - Health Emergency Learning Planning) project within the Centre for Security & Emergency Research (CSEM), Cork University Business School, University College Cork, Ireland. The central aim of S-HELP is to develop and deliver a holistic framed approach to healthcare preparedness, response and recovery for large scale disasters. Her research interests include emergency management, decision support tools, user-centred design, user-artefact interactions, technical affordances, social media, and user behaviour. Her PhD investigated user behaviour and user-artefact interactions with social media tools through the lens of affordances, specifically social network site information seeking and sharing behaviours in the context of the creative industries.


Dr Ciara Heavin, College Lecturer, Director of the Health Information Systems Research Centre (HISRC), BIS, University College Cork, Ireland. Research interests include the development of ICT industries, primarily focusing on Ireland's software industry specifically investigating knowledge management (KM) in software SMEs. More recently, she has undertaken funded research in the investigation, development and implementation of innovative technology solutions in Healthcare systems. Reviewer for a number of top journals and conferences and a member of three conference organising committees, Ciara is Managing Editor of the Journal of Decision Systems since November 2011.


Dr Yvonne O'Connor is a post-doctoral researcher on the FP7 Supporting LIFE (Low cost Intervention For disEase control) project within the Health Information Systems Research Center (HISRC), Cork University Business School at University College Cork, Ireland. The Supporting LIFE project explores the potential of mobile health use in developing countries by community health workers. In particular, her research focuses on (a) community health workers' decision making processes and (b) health-related outcomes associated with a decision support system; namely, electronic community case management. She has published in a number of national and international journals and conferences. Outside of research, Yvonne is currently lead User Interface (UI) analyst for the Supporting LIFE project. This work involves prototyping and designing graphic user interfaces (GUIs) for both the Supporting LIFE application and website. Yvonne received a first class honours B.Sc. (2008) and a PhD (2013) in Business Information Systems, both from University College Cork, Ireland.