A systematic review of the potential hurdles to interoperability to the emergency services in major incidents:recommendations for solutions and alternatives

House, Adrian and Power, Nicola and Alison, Laurence (2014) A systematic review of the potential hurdles to interoperability to the emergency services in major incidents:recommendations for solutions and alternatives. Cognition, Technology and Work, 16 (3). pp. 319-335. ISSN 1435-5558

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Abstract

This study presents a narrative synthesis of a systematic literature review relating to multi-agency interoperability and major incident decision-making in high risk, high stake environments. The review methodology includes the identification of relevant studies, a critical appraisal of the concepts inherent in the main review question and a narrative synthesis of the central themes that relate to the study as a whole. The review firstly outlines what, currently, appear to be the perceived defining features of successful interoperability by using the SAFE-T phase model of major incident decision-making. It then considers whether these defining features are realistically achievable in major incident practice. Findings suggest that the current definition of an interoperable network is too demanding for the inherent complexity and dynamic nature of the major incident task environment. Individual teams tend to focus on agency-specific behaviour, as opposed to coordinated multi-team functioning, and so collective interoperability is not achieved. Inevitably, this reduces the ability to perform collaborative behaviours, including decision-making and action implementation. The paper concludes that aiming for the current conceptualisation of interoperability along a hierarchical command structure may actually inhibit effective decision-making. Instead, multi-agency systems would do better to work towards an improved understanding of a non-hierarchical and decentralised yet interoperable major incident management network. Recommendations include the need to relate theory and practice in the development of multi-agency decision-making via simulation-based training and to deepen our understanding of interoperability to prevent inertia in high risk, high stake major incident environments.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Cognition, Technology and Work
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200/3202
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code: 78375
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 25 Feb 2016 12:00
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2020 07:58
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/78375

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