Are international Standards for Offshore Medicines Necessary?

Standardisation is a term that is currently finding use in nearly all areas of human life. Globalisation is a key factor in the modern operational environment and it has led to the development of operations that do not recognise political boundaries. Though the role played by globalisation in the modern operational environment has been acknowledged by all entities, the natures of strategies developed by nations in some cases do not relay any relevance to the effects of globalism. Development of international standards for offshore medicine is a good example of the extent of the challenge.

Is it possible for nations and entities to develop and adopt international standards and if so what would be the tread offs? Literature Review Standardisation is a process that is used to bring operations and products towards some predefined specifications. Standardisation is important in operations or service provision industry where uncontrolled heterogeneity could be harmful . Computer systems have successfully implemented standardisation in their protocols and many are of the view that this has been central to information explosion currently being experienced.

Standardisation if well implemented could lead to the development of a global definition for development and provision of healthcare and health services. Standardisation further requires the development of a body that will be charged with enforcing the standards. To implement a standard globally, all governments should understand the importance of the standard and endorse its use within their boundaries. On the contrary, standardisation is seen by many as an inhibitor to the levels of diversity that can be attained in the development of product and services.

If each and every one has to stick to predefined measures the multiplicity of platforms for development of services and products will surely be reduced. In fact, innovation and creativity which are central to the development of any industry and therefore improvement of a service or product is largely dependent on the allowed levels of diversity. Recent development in healthcare should be considered in any decision regarding healthcare. Since the turn of the twenty first century there have been outbreaks of epidemics ranging from bird flu to SARS .

A look at the modern world shows that the human person is far from the desired levels with regards to management of diseases and health conditions; this calls for high levels of innovation and creativity in the development and provision of services and products that relate to human health. On the other hand, no one can deny the fact that products are services are moving towards a global stature. Convergence of humankind which is being propagated by development in technology and liberalisation of trade could make it impossible for any industry or service sector to survive without adopting global approaches to business .

Research Approach There is need to investigate if an international standard is really necessary and if it is workable. Findings from the research can be used as a platform for further research regarding the plausibility and need for standardisation of offshore medicine. a) Research Objectives The research will be guided by the following objectives: • To gauge if standardisation of offshore medicine is possible • To determine the need for standardisation with respect to the trends and nature of health in the current society. b) Research Questions To achieve the research objective the following questions will be used:

• What are the current certifications required to practice? • What are the levels of convergence of the standards currently required to practice? • What are the pros and cons of international standardisation? • Should an international standard be implemented? c) Research Design The research will employ a review of literature and a survey to meet its objectives. A random sampling approach where 25 people will be chosen randomly from the population which is all professional in the medical fraternity will be used. Questionnaires will be administered to the chosen people and data collected by use of data sheets.

Analysis of the data will use analysis of variance (ANOVA) which will also help determine the error bound at a significance level of 5%. Findings from the sample will infer the population thus professionals in the field of medicine. It is worth noting that a key assumption in the research is that professionals are in a better position to provide insight on standardisation of offshore medicine. Bibliography Timmermans, S and Berg, M, The Gold Standard: The Challenge of Evidence-based Medicine and Standardization in Health Care (Temple University Press, London 2003)