The S-HELP Decision Support System (DSS)

The S-HELP Decision Support
System (DSS) is an emergency management software application to reduce the impact of major emergency incidents on public health by providing a faster, more efficient approach to decision-making through coordination, collaboration and interoperation between agencies, in line with current best practice. The benefits of the DSS include the coordination of a multi-agency response by using interoperability standards to ensure effective communication across sectors and international borders. The S-HELP approach involves the interaction of people, processes and technology to facilitate enhanced decision-making in a disaster situation. All aspects of this approach are integrated and interdependent, with the emphasis on an improved and valuable experience for the end-user.

The S-HELP DSS is structured to comprise 3 key support areas as follows:


Context: This provides an overview of all current and historical situations in the S-HELP system.


Selected feature: Situation Control Panel

The Situation Control Panel provides the user with a list that includes the name, type, latitude and longitude, and number of incidents in a situation, which it displays in the Incident Table. The Incident Map displays all active situations and their associated incidents.




Boards: The S-HELP DSS has four boards:
Situation Log (see below description), Recognised Current Situation (RC), Strategic Aims and Key Issues, and an Actions board. These information management boards guide the decision-making process and provide users with a common operational picture.  Implementations will be based on servers in UCC-BIS and on mobile command units, as well on portable devices for use by deployed teams or liaison officers.


Selected feature: Situation Log

The situation log allows data to be prioritised and filtered. Only information that is relevant to an emergency event appears on the board. All available information is accounted for but the log facilitates the process of prioritising only what is needed. The log is an entry point for highly granular data about the situation, which is then filtered and prioritised before being pushed to the user, thereby helping to avoid cognitive overload.


Tools: This feature contains a toolset of S-HELP modules to provide additional emergency management and decision
support capabilities based on the current active situation. The tools contained in this section are: Casualty, Decision Support, Crisis Communication Tool, data and Reporting, Geographical Information System (GIS), Knowledge Management System (KMS), Learning Management System (LMS), Twitter and Weather.


Selected feature: Decision Support Module

The Decision Support Module features queries aggregated by disaster phase, responder, resources and tasks which are all based on the S-HELP emergency management taxonomy. The user selects an Emergency Management Phase (1) to begin building a query, then chooses an Intervention (2) and clicks 'Get Tasks' to select a component of it.
The user achieves an intervention by choosing and completing multiple tasks (3). The module allows the user to 'Filter by Responder' to choose the appropriate resources responder to achieve a particular task. By selecting 'Get Resources' in a specific task the user can access



For a
detailed description of all support modules and tools available on the S-HELP
DSS, please refer to the S-HELP book ‘S-HELP DSS – Modules, Functions and
Benefits’ available
or to request access credentials to log onto the S-HELP DSS, please contact Dr. Karen Neville, S-HELP PI, Email: