open access

Vol 68, No 2 (2017)
MARITIME MEDICINE Review articles
Published online: 2017-06-27
Submitted: 2016-12-05
Accepted: 2017-03-13
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Standards for quality assurance of pre-employment medical examinations of seafarers: the IMHA Quality experience

Tim Carter, Sally Bell, Alf Magne Horneland, Suresh Idnani
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2017.0018
·
International Maritime Health 2017;68(2):99-101.

open access

Vol 68, No 2 (2017)
MARITIME MEDICINE Review articles
Published online: 2017-06-27
Submitted: 2016-12-05
Accepted: 2017-03-13

Abstract

Standards to assess the quality of doctors and clinics performing pre-employment medical examinations (PEMEs) were developed for International Maritime Health Association (IMHA) Quality, a not for profit organisation, created to provide an ethically sound and professional accepted accreditation system that would benefit seafarers having PEMEs and employers, insurers and national maritime authorities seeking valid assessments of seafarers’ fitness for duty. These standards followed a format widely used in other healthcare settings, where assessment of clinical performance is desirable. Uptake of these standards by doctors and clinics was not as expected, as they did not see sufficient business benefits coming from accreditation to justify the costs. This was, at least in part, because there was some antagonism to a professionally based accreditation system from commercial interest groups such as insurers, while national maritime authorities did not come forward to use the system as a recommendation or requirement for approval of doctors. The IMHA Quality accreditation system has now been closed and for this reason we are making the standards publicly available. Those who helped to develop them hope that doctors and clinics will now use them as a means of improving the quality of their practice when performing PEME.

Abstract

Standards to assess the quality of doctors and clinics performing pre-employment medical examinations (PEMEs) were developed for International Maritime Health Association (IMHA) Quality, a not for profit organisation, created to provide an ethically sound and professional accepted accreditation system that would benefit seafarers having PEMEs and employers, insurers and national maritime authorities seeking valid assessments of seafarers’ fitness for duty. These standards followed a format widely used in other healthcare settings, where assessment of clinical performance is desirable. Uptake of these standards by doctors and clinics was not as expected, as they did not see sufficient business benefits coming from accreditation to justify the costs. This was, at least in part, because there was some antagonism to a professionally based accreditation system from commercial interest groups such as insurers, while national maritime authorities did not come forward to use the system as a recommendation or requirement for approval of doctors. The IMHA Quality accreditation system has now been closed and for this reason we are making the standards publicly available. Those who helped to develop them hope that doctors and clinics will now use them as a means of improving the quality of their practice when performing PEME.

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Keywords

pre-employment medical examinations, seafarers, quality assurance, accreditation

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About this article
Title

Standards for quality assurance of pre-employment medical examinations of seafarers: the IMHA Quality experience

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 68, No 2 (2017)

Pages

99-101

Published online

2017-06-27

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2017.0018

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2017;68(2):99-101.

Keywords

pre-employment medical examinations
seafarers
quality assurance
accreditation

Authors

Tim Carter
Sally Bell
Alf Magne Horneland
Suresh Idnani

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