WIT Press

Dynamics Of Complex Coordination During Disease Outbreak


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

429 - 440




422 kb


F. Bdeir, L. Hossain, J. Crawford, C. Kewely & J. Carter


When multiple agencies respond to a disease outbreak (i.e., H1N1 and SARS), the coordination of actions is complex and evolves over time. We know little about this because there has been no systematic empirical study of the dynamics of coordination during a disease outbreak. In this paper, we introduce an approach to the analysis of multi-agency intervention during a disease outbreak using methods previously applied to the study of social networks. The discussion is supported by a qualitative study of the implementation of the results of the analysis. We reveal that profound understanding of social network behaviour and emerging coordination concepts are corner stones for successful outbreak intervention. We look qualitatively at how Hunter New England Area Health Services applied these concepts to lead a successful coordination plan during an H1N109 endemic. Keywords: disease outbreak coordination, complex coordination, network analysis, disaster management, coordination. 1 Introduction Disaster management is inherently complex due to the interdependent nature of the responses from multiple organizations that have responsibility for dealing with the situation collectively (Comfort et al. [1]). It has long been advocated that standard hierarchal management structures may not necessarily be the most efficient ones in such situations (Neal and Phillips [2]). This is due to the


disease outbreak coordination, complex coordination, networkanalysis, disaster management, coordination