Vol 71, No 4 (2020)
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Published online: 2020-12-30

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TelePharmaSea: proposing a novel approach to automate, organize and simplify management of medical chest on board commercial vessels

Giulio Nittari1, Graziano Pallotta1, Ravjyot Singh Khuman1, Francesco Amenta12
Pubmed: 33394495
IMH 2020;71(4):291-295.


Background: The on-board pharmacy is the kit that allows the implementation healthcare on board ships, since it should contain everything that may be needed to guarantee proper and efficient health care interventions for seafarers. There are several problems that can lead to a difficult and non-optimal management of the on-board pharmacy. This work illustrates the “TelePharmaSea” software, specifically developed to optimise the management of the on-board pharmacy of commercial vessels without medical personnel. Materials and methods: We collected the Medical Scales of the various Flag States and brought them all into a standardised format which could be used. The Active Ingredients and Pharmaceutical form of each medicine is linked with the ATC Codes. Active Ingredients having similar effect are linked by ATC codes. Items that did not have an ATC code were given a unique system-generated code. Due to the proprietary nature of the software of which the database structure and functioning is unique, we cannot share the exact structure; however, the approach regarding the same has been highlighted. Results and Conclusions: The proposal of the TelePharmaSea software can be an effective tool capable of a significant improvement of the overall quality of medical and pharmacological assistance provided on ships without a doctor on board. The system can guarantee a better management of the on-board pharmacy’s inventory, and it may also reduce the risks of mistakes in drugs administration.

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