Vol 63, No 3 (2012)
Original article
Published online: 2012-11-06

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Communications strategies for on-ship CDPC systems

Carlos Jerome
IMH 2012;63(3):125-132.


Background: Individual countries and international organisations have worked on standardising methods for on-ship prevention and control of communicable disease (CDPC). A number of voices have called for integrating the various aspects of maritime CDPC.
Aim: The purpose of this article is to further conceptualise the totality of on-ship CDPC activity as an integrated system and to suggest a few strategies for communications in such systems.
Materials and methods: The methods used to summarise standardisation and integration of ship-board CDPC procedures included a scientific literature review and a web search. The fields of the review were maritime, health, and technology sources. Special attention was paid to material dealing with communications methods and issues related to ship-board systems and methods to manage communicable diseases.
Results and conclusions: Effective communications strategies are vital for the success of CDPC systems. I suggest some specific viewpoints and strategies to improve communications: (i) It is sometimes helpful to view the Constituent Relations Management (CRM) team as a system component. This view highlights the fact that an on-ship CDPC system will be well designed and maintained only if constituent relations are well designed and maintained. (ii) For rapid communications with appropriate groups of constituents, it is important to structure groups of constituents, with the ability to rapidly apply set-theoretic operations to those groups. (iii) Optimistic concurrency control is generally the appropriate general strategy for synchronisation of on-ship CDPC data locations and data storage types. This may be modified in special situations, in particular with a latest-update-wins policy for disease contraction data in an epidemic. (iv) To encourage traveller cooperation with CDPC efforts, cultural activities may be helpful.

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