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Improving telemedicine onboard Norwegian ships and drilling platforms.: A study of intersectoral co-operation in Maritime Medicine
Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic School of Public Health NHV.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Using telemedicine to provide health services for seafarers represents a special case of intersectoral co-operation.Since 2006, several North Sea drilling platforms and internationally operating Norwegian merchant ships have usedonboard telemedicine equipment continuously. Experience gained through this new technology has improvedintersectoral co-operation regarding seafarers’ health care.

Aim: This study aimed to analyze the need for intersectoral co-operation and networking in maritime medicine by usingtelemedicine equipment at sea. Various Norwegian maritime organizations and institutions participated in the study.

Methods: I conducted a qualitative descriptive survey using a Web-organized interactive interview technique, a new mode ofinteraction based on a semi-structured interview guide for data collection. After conducting exploratory personalinterviews in October 2006, I developed a Web-based questionnaire comprising 53 questions. Participants receivedan e-mail invitation containing an online link to an Internet-based questionnaire. Individuals unable to use the Webbasedlink could return the completed questionnaire as an e-mail attachment. I collected data between April and June2007 and evaluated some questions according to the principles of content analysis and others with simple quantitative analysis, e.g., frequency and distribution.

Results: Among 33 persons contacted, 31 (94%) agreed to participate in the study. Respondents represented 11 variousmaritime organizations and companies. Fourteen worked as maritime officers, nine as maritime managers, and eightas medical professionals. Importantly, fourteen respondents (45%) had demonstrated practical working experiencewith telemedicine at sea. According to content analysis, the following categories were developed: communicationandevidence-based telemedicine; maritime e-health standardization and knowledge management; improvingtelemedicine quality management; organizational, technical, and medical competences and intersectoral approach;technical standardization and networking; and communication and information. Four main categories illuminated theparticipants’ demands, i.e., information, communication, standardization, and centralization, and led to thedevelopment of national e-health policy and strategy to support the Norwegian maritime e-health society vianetworking and intersectoral co-operation.

Conclusions: Intersectoral co-operation in maritime telemedicine requires interorganizational networking in order to introduceeffective and compatible international maritime e-health standards for seafarers’ healthcare. The Norwegian Centrefor Maritime Medicine (NCMM), a Centre of Excellence in maritime medical research, will participate importantlyin this process. The study also showed that a Web-based survey in maritime research offers an easily managedresearch tool that quickly yields a very good overview of a special situation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. , 66 p.
Master of Public Health, MPH, ISSN 1104-5701 ; MPH 2008:13
Keyword [en]
Maritime Telemedicine, Intersectoral Co-Operation, Web-Based Survey, Norway
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3186OAI: diva2:724605
2008-06-05, Nordic School of Public Health NHV, Box 12133, 402 42 Göteborg, Sweden, 13:00 (Swedish)

ISBN 978-91-85721-50-4

Available from: 2014-06-13 Created: 2014-06-13 Last updated: 2015-01-29Bibliographically approved

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