WorldWideScience

Sample records for cost enhance quality

  1. Methods Reduce Cost, Enhance Quality of Nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    For all the challenges posed by the microgravity conditions of space, weight is actually one of the more significant problems NASA faces in the development of the next generation of U.S. space vehicles. For the Agency s Constellation Program, engineers at NASA centers are designing and testing new vessels as safe, practical, and cost-effective means of space travel following the eventual retirement of the space shuttle. Program components like the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, intended to carry astronauts to the International Space Station and the Moon, must be designed to specific weight requirements to manage fuel consumption and match launch rocket capabilities; Orion s gross liftoff weight target is about 63,789 pounds. Future space vehicles will require even greater attention to lightweight construction to help conserve fuel for long-range missions to Mars and beyond. In order to reduce spacecraft weight without sacrificing structural integrity, NASA is pursuing the development of materials that promise to revolutionize not only spacecraft construction, but also a host of potential applications on Earth. Single-walled carbon nanotubes are one material of particular interest. These tubular, single-layer carbon molecules - 100,000 of them braided together would be no thicker than a human hair - display a range of remarkable characteristics. Possessing greater tensile strength than steel at a fraction of the weight, the nanotubes are efficient heat conductors with metallic or semiconductor electrical properties depending on their diameter and chirality (the pattern of each nanotube s hexagonal lattice structure). All of these properties make the nanotubes an appealing material for spacecraft construction, with the potential for nanotube composites to reduce spacecraft weight by 50 percent or more. The nanotubes may also feature in a number of other space exploration applications, including life support, energy storage, and sensor technologies. NASA s various

  2. The Quality Costs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arsenie Constantin PAULICĂ

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Quality has a cost and this fact cannot be denied. In the same time, it is true that non-quality is more expensive. Quality is considered asbeing expensive because no one tries to calculate non-quality costs. Out of the final cost of a product, non-quality stands for 20% up to 35%.According to this idea all the economic sectors contain error costs caused by the mistakes made during the production process. To have a realconsummation situation, it is necessary to know the cost quantum. The final quality cost is the result of the following costs: prevention costs,necessary to preclude errors; evaluation costs, as results of a final product evaluation, and failure costs, generated by the non – attainment ofproduct’s purpose. The gross of these costs stand for the total quality costs. Nowadays, the problem inheres in how much this quality cost representsout of the final cost.

  3. Control costs, enhance quality, and increase revenue in three top general public hospitals in Beijing, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lue-Ping Zhao

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: With market-oriented economic and health-care reform, public hospitals in China have received unprecedented pressures from governmental regulations, public opinions, and financial demands. To adapt the changing environment and keep pace of modernizing healthcare delivery system, public hospitals in China are expanding clinical services and improving delivery efficiency, while controlling costs. Recent experiences are valuable lessons for guiding future healthcare reform. Here we carefully study three teaching hospitals, to exemplify their experiences during this period. METHODS: We performed a systematic analysis on hospitalization costs, health-care quality and delivery efficiencies from 2006 to 2010 in three teaching hospitals in Beijing, China. The analysis measured temporal changes of inpatient cost per stay (CPS, cost per day (CPD, inpatient mortality rate (IMR, and length of stay (LOS, using a generalized additive model. FINDINGS: There were 651,559 hospitalizations during the period analyzed. Averaged CPS was stable over time, while averaged CPD steadily increased by 41.7% (P<0.001, from CNY 1,531 in 2006 to CNY 2,169 in 2010. The increasing CPD seemed synchronous with the steady rising of the national annual income per capita. Surgical cost was the main contributor to the temporal change of CPD, while medicine and examination costs tended to be stable over time. From 2006 and 2010, IMR decreased by 36%, while LOS reduced by 25%. Increasing hospitalizations with higher costs, along with an overall stable CPS, reduced IMR, and shorter LOS, appear to be the major characteristics of these three hospitals at present. INTERPRETATIONS: These three teaching hospitals have gained some success in controlling costs, improving cares, adopting modern medical technologies, and increasing hospital revenues. Effective hospital governance and physicians' professional capacity plus government regulations and supervisions may have played a role

  4. Quality of Context Enhancements and Cost Effective Radio over Fiber Network Planning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shawky, Ahmed Sherif Mahmoud; Schwefel, Hans-Peter; Olsen, Rasmus Løvenstein;

    In Communication networks today there is an endless quest for increased capacity and improved quality. With wireless systems being now popular worldwide for allowing users and devices to communicate and share information with each other irrespective of their location, the development of sustainab...

  5. Quality, Sunk Costs and Competition

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    This paper explores the link between quality, cost and concentration. Using concentration and cost data and product quality indicators for 2,244 products in over eighty industries in 1997 and 2002 in the US, a two-stage, ordered probit, random effects estimation explores the impact of concentration and cost on quality. The results demonstrate that overall market concentration and high fixed costs are both positively correlated with product quality across most industries. Generally, when eithe...

  6. Process Approach to Cost of Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarzyna Szczepańska

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary understanding comprehending cost of quality is connected both with the sphere of the management, as well as the operational activity. Borders of considering the category of quality costs moved beyond the technical – technological area. Trial including costs let the quality for classifying them with reference to all action carried out in the modern enterprise. Standard models of quality costs and the activity – based costing appointed new prospects of economics of the quality in the business administration.

  7. Cost of Quality Evaluation Methodologies Handbook

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-07-28

    manu- 2-7 ... . ., I I facturing inefficiency, and foster quality and productivity improvement." MIL-STD-1520C Paragraph 5.7.4 Nonconformance costs...1979 ALFORD REX E 126. QALITX COSTO - WNZR T STT PhR III QUALITY 40-42 1979 ALFORD REX E 127.QUALITY COST8 - WHZE _W START, PART QUALITY 36-37 1979

  8. Optimizing quality, service, and cost through innovation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Kathleen; Allen, Jennifer; Andrews, Richard

    2011-01-01

    With dramatic increases in health care costs and growing concerns about the quality of health care services, nurse executives are seeking ways to transform their organizations to improve operational and financial performance while enhancing quality care and patient safety. Nurse leaders are challenged to meet new cost, quality and service imperatives, and change cannot be achieved by traditional approaches, it must occur through innovation. Imagine an organization that can mitigate a $56 million loss in revenue and claim the following successes: Increase admissions by a 8 day and a $5.5 million annualized increase by repurposing existing space. Decrease emergency department holding hours by an average of 174 hours a day, with a labor savings of $502,000 annually. Reduce overall inpatient length of stay by 0.5 day with total compensation running $4.2 million less than the budget for first quarter of 2010. Grow emergency department volume 272 visits greater than budgeted for first quarter of 2010. Complete admission assessments and diagnostics in 90 minutes. This article will address how these outcomes were achieved by transforming care delivery, creating a patient transition center, enhancing outreach referrals, and revising admission processes through collaboration and innovation.

  9. Bike Infrastructures and Design Qualities: Enhancing Cycling

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Decisions on transportation projects are typically – alongside the project costs – based on the potential for the project to contribute to broad public policy goals. Information on how specific design qualities enhance cycling will help decision makers to develop better and more cost-effective bike infrastructures. This article aims to present findings of the research project titled Bikeability – funded by the Danish Research Council. The overall purpose of the Bikeability project is to inves...

  10. Health Provider Networks, Quality and Costs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boone, J.; Schottmuller, C.

    2015-01-01

    We provide a modeling framework to think about selective contracting in the health care sector. Two health care providers differ in quality and costs. When buying health insurance, consumers observe neither provider quality nor costs. We derive an equilibrium where health insurers signal provider

  11. Total Quality Management and Cost of Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadjicostas, Evsevios

    Before we start analysing the philosophy of Total Quality Management it is worthwhile going back to the early days of quality and the quality movement. In fact, the quality concept dates back to the creation of Adam and Eve: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good”. (Genesis A 31). It is remarkable that at the end of each day, looking at his creations God was saying, “This is good”. However, at the end of the sixth day, after he finished the creation of human beings, he said, “This is very good”. It is amazing that he did not say, “This is excellent”. This is because excellence is something that we gain after tireless effort. God left room for improvement in order to challenge us and make our life more attractive, which has really happened!

  12. Developing methods of controlling quality costs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gorbunova A. V.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The article examines issues of managing quality costs, problems of applying economic methods of quality control, implementation of progressive methods of quality costs management in enterprises with the view of improving the efficiency of their evaluation and analysis. With the aim of increasing the effectiveness of the cost management mechanism, authors introduce controlling as a tool of deviation analysis from the standpoint of the process approach. A list of processes and corresponding evaluation criteria in the quality management system of enterprises is introduced. Authors also introduce the method of controlling quality costs and propose it for the practical application, which allows them to determine useful and unnecessary costs at the existing operating plant. Implementing the proposed recommendations in the system of cost management at an enterprise will allow to improve productivity of processes operating and reduce wasted expense on the quality of the process on the basis of determining values of useful and useless costs of quality according to criteria of processes functioning in the system of quality management.

  13. Costs and Clinical Quality Among Medicare Beneficiaries..

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Authors of Costs and Clinical Quality Among Medicare Beneficiaries - Associations with Health Center Penetration of Low-Income Residents, published in Volume 4,...

  14. Costs and Clinical Quality Among Medicare Beneficiaries..

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Authors of Costs and Clinical Quality Among Medicare Beneficiaries - Associations with Health Center Penetration of Low-Income Residents, published in Volume 4,...

  15. Linking quality of care and training costs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tolsgaard, Martin G; Tabor, Ann; Madsen, Mette E

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To provide a model for conducting cost-effectiveness analyses in medical education. The model was based on a randomised trial examining the effects of training midwives to perform cervical length measurement (CLM) as compared with obstetricians on patients' waiting times. (CLM......-performed CLM was the most cost-effective strategy, whereas midwife-performed CLM was cost-effective for WTP values above EUR 0.73 minute(-1) . CONCLUSION: Cost-effectiveness models can be used to link quality of care to training costs. The example used in the present study demonstrated that different training......), as compared with obstetricians. METHODS: The model included four steps: (i) gathering data on training outcomes, (ii) assessing total costs and effects, (iii) calculating the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) and (iv) estimating cost-effectiveness probability for different willingness to pay (WTP...

  16. Multiview video quality enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jovanov, Ljubomir; Luong, Hiêp; Philips, Wilfried

    2016-01-01

    Realistic visualization is crucial for a more intuitive representation of complex data, medical imaging, simulation, and entertainment systems. In this respect, multiview autostereoscopic displays are a great step toward achieving the complete immersive user experience, although providing high-quality content for these types of displays is still a great challenge. Due to the different characteristics/settings of the cameras in the multiview setup and varying photometric characteristics of the objects in the scene, the same object may have a different appearance in the sequences acquired by the different cameras. Images representing views recorded using different cameras, in practice, have different local noise, color, and sharpness characteristics. View synthesis algorithms introduce artifacts due to errors in disparity estimation/bad occlusion handling or due to an erroneous warping function estimation. If the input multiview images are not of sufficient quality and have mismatching color and sharpness characteristics, these artifacts may become even more disturbing. Accordingly, the main goal of our method is to simultaneously perform multiview image sequence denoising, color correction, and the improvement of sharpness in slightly defocused regions. Results show that the proposed method significantly reduces the amount of the artifacts in multiview video sequences, resulting in a better visual experience.

  17. QUALITY ENHANCEMENT IN MEDICAL EDUCATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa Nejati Ajibisheh

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Since ancient time, education has been evaluated in terms of its practical value among the Chinese; however, despite its long history, performance evaluation is the most complex and controversial of human resource management techniques (Roberts, 2003, and a little understood function of organizational life.Performance appraisal in both the private and the public sectors have become an integral part of work life. Of course, there is a growing interest to use performance management techniques in educational institutes in order to increase the competitiveness and quality of university education in a globalized environment .Accordingly, medical education requires special performance management and excellence models to improve the quality of course materials and provided services.The aim of this article is to develop a model of academic excellence based on a combination of SERVQUAL technique, Balanced Scorecard model, and EFQM Excellence Model. The SERVQUAL technique can be used to identify the gap between medical students\\' expectations and perceived experience as indicators of service quality, to measure quality of services offered by medical universities.In this article, with the use of Balanced Scorecard and EFQM, a comprehensive model will be introduced to enhance the quality of medical education. The model will recommend a process within different academic quality dimensions. In addition, the paper will introduce approaches to use available resources effectively to improve educational development.

  18. [Costs and benefits of quality management].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder-Printzen, I

    2014-01-01

    The establishment of quality management (QM) has been mandatory for health care providers of the national health insurance since 2004; however, certification is so far only compulsory for rehabilitation clinics. The costs have so far only been quantified in a few medical studies, while they are widely known in business administration with a basic distinction made between planning, steering, auditing, and declaration costs. Another business economics approach differentiates between prevention, appraisal, and non-conformance costs. The benefits of QM relates to customers, employees, external service providers, and health insurance providers. Also important in our consideration of the patient as a customer is that they should not be considered a customer in the usual business sense because the patient is in an emergency situation and can not freely decide. Improvements in treatment quality and in reducing the rate of adverse events make up the largest portion of the benefits of QM. Furthermore, QM can have a positive influence on motivation and employee recruitment. In addition, the cost savings that result despite costs for QM must not be forgotten.

  19. Analysis of quality costs - A critical element in CIM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unal, Resit; Dean, Edwin B.

    1990-01-01

    Computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) is a cohesive database of manufacturing information, providing an opportunity to track quality costs and measure progress toward their reduction. This paper presents the quality cost concept as an approach to identify, measure and reduce quality costs while improving quality within CIM. The effect of advanced failure prevention methodologies, such as continuous process improvement and the quality engineering methods of Taguchi, on quality and cost, is discussed.

  20. Evaluating water quality investments using cost utility analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajkowicz, Stefan; Spencer, Rachel; Higgins, Andrew; Marinoni, Oswald

    2008-09-01

    This study borrows concepts from healthcare economics and uses cost utility analysis (CUA) to select an optimum portfolio of water quality enhancement projects in Perth, Western Australia. In CUA, costs are handled via standard discounted cash flow analysis, but the benefits, being intangible, are measured with a utility score. Our novel methodology combines CUA with a binary combinatorial optimisation solver, known as a 'knapsack algorithm', to identify the optimum portfolio of projects. We show how water quality projects can be selected to maximise an aggregate utility score while not exceeding a budget constraint. Our CUA model applies compromise programming (CP) to measure utility over multiple attributes in different units. CUA is shown to provide a transparent and analytically robust method to maximise benefits from water quality remediation investments under a constrained budget.

  1. Directing a Quality Enhancement Plan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald A. Styron, Jr.

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper is drawn from a project aimed at enhancing the quality of instructional practice and improving studentlearning outcomes in classes across an urban university located in the southern region of the United States. The strategies, employed by the project leader, are discussed in detail as framed by a new problem-solving leadership design called the Alloy Improvement Model (AIM. Data collected at the end of the second full year and reported in this paper indicated all project goals were met and that the utilization of the AIM was central to project success.

  2. Cost-effective forensic image enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalrymple, Brian E.

    1998-12-01

    In 1977, a paper was presented at the SPIE conference in Reston, Virginia, detailing the computer enhancement of the Zapruder film. The forensic value of this examination in a major homicide investigation was apparent to the viewer. Equally clear was the potential for extracting evidence which is beyond the reach of conventional detection techniques. The cost of this technology in 1976, however, was prohibitive, and well beyond the means of most police agencies. Twenty-two years later, a highly efficient means of image enhancement is easily within the grasp of most police agencies, not only for homicides but for any case application. A PC workstation combined with an enhancement software package allows a forensic investigator to fully exploit digital technology. The goal of this approach is the optimization of the signal to noise ratio in images. Obstructive backgrounds may be diminished or eliminated while weak signals are optimized by the use of algorithms including Fast Fourier Transform, Histogram Equalization and Image Subtraction. An added benefit is the speed with which these processes are completed and the results known. The efficacy of forensic image enhancement is illustrated through case applications.

  3. A multiobjective module-order model for software quality enhancement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Khoshgoftaar, TM; Liu, Y; Seliya, N

    2004-01-01

    The knowledge, prior to system operations, of which program modules are problematic is valuable to a software quality assurance team, especially when there is a constraint on software quality enhancement resources. A cost-effective approach for allocating such resources is to obtain a prediction in

  4. Identifying Contractors’ Planned Quality Costs in Indonesian Construction Projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Puti F. Marzuki

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In a very competitive construction industry, quality costs have to be measured to be able to identify potential quality problem areas and to focus attention on work output improvement opportunities. The awareness of contractors on the importance of quality costs could be reflected in the extent of their quality costs planning. This paper presents an identification of planned quality costs in three construction projects executed by two large Indonesian contractors, a state-owned company and a private company in Jakarta. The objective is to enable the contractors to elaborate their quality costs planning and thereby improve their work output based on the findi ngs. Quality costs are first grouped into three categories: prevention, appraisal, and failure costs. Based on the works of previous researchers, a list of quality management activities that should be covered in each quality costs category is then created. The contractors’ planned quality costs data for each category are identified and collected through interviews and questionnaire surveys that refer to the list. Quality costs are expressed as a percentage of contract value. It is revealed that although large contractors already have certain knowledge on quality costs in construction projects, these costs are not planned in a structured way through an analysis of systematic quality costs records. Through cost categorization it is also shown that higher prevention and appraisal costs lead to lower failure costs. It is then concluded that a lot of work is still to be done by the contractors to set up a quality costs recording system which can serve as a basis for their quality improvement planning.

  5. Reconciling quality and cost: A case study in interventional radiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Li; Domröse, Sascha; Mahnken, Andreas

    2015-10-01

    To provide a method to calculate delay cost and examine the relationship between quality and total cost. The total cost including capacity, supply and delay cost for running an interventional radiology suite was calculated. The capacity cost, consisting of labour, lease and overhead costs, was derived based on expenses per unit time. The supply cost was calculated according to actual procedural material use. The delay cost and marginal delay cost derived from queueing models was calculated based on waiting times of inpatients for their procedures. Quality improvement increased patient safety and maintained the outcome. The average daily delay costs were reduced from 1275 € to 294 €, and marginal delay costs from approximately 2000 € to 500 €, respectively. The one-time annual cost saved from the transfer of surgical to radiological procedures was approximately 130,500 €. The yearly delay cost saved was approximately 150,000 €. With increased revenue of 10,000 € in project phase 2, the yearly total cost saved was approximately 290,000 €. Optimal daily capacity of 4.2 procedures was determined. An approach for calculating delay cost toward optimal capacity allocation was presented. An overall quality improvement was achieved at reduced costs. • Improving quality in terms of safety, outcome, efficiency and timeliness reduces cost. • Mismatch of demand and capacity is detrimental to quality and cost. • Full system utilization with random demand results in long waiting periods and increased cost.

  6. COST OF QUALITY MODELS AND THEIR IMPLEMENTATION IN MANUFACTURING FIRMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.M. Vaxevanidis

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available In order to improve quality, an organization must take into account the costs associated with achieving quality since the objective of continuous improvement programs is not only to meet customer requirements, but also to do it at the lowest, possible, cost. This can only obtained by reducing the costs needed to achieve quality, and the reduction of these costs is only possible if they are identified and measured. Therefore, measuring and reporting the cost of quality (CoQ should be considered an important issue for achieving quality excellence. To collect quality costs an organization needs to adopt a framework to classify costs; however, there is no general agreement on a single broad definition of quality costs. CoQ is usually understood as the sum of conformance plus non-conformance costs, where cost of conformance is the price paid for prevention of poor quality (for example, inspection and quality appraisal and cost of non-conformance is the cost of poor quality caused by product and service failure (for example, rework and returns. The objective of this paper is to give a survey of research articles on the topic of CoQ; it opens with a literature review focused on existing CoQ models; then, it briefly presents the most common CoQ parameters and the metrics (indices used for monitoring CoQ. Finally, the use of CoQ models in practice, i.e., the implementation of a quality costing system and cost of quality reporting in companies is discussed, with emphasis in cases concerning manufacturing firms.

  7. Quality, cost efficiency, the new quality-cost imperative: systemwide improvements can yield financial gains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birk, Susan

    2010-01-01

    The need to focus internally on cost management has largely replaced the revenue growth model of the past two decades and the external pursuit of opportunities for market and service expansion, according to Stephen R Mayfield, DHA, senior vice president of quality and performance improvement for the American Hospital Association. Outside financial pressure from primarily uncontrollable forces--the potential bundling of Medicare reimbursements to hospitals and nonpayments for readmissions and adverse events, to name a few--have compelled healthcare organizations to spend more time looking inward to finetune existing capabilities. As a result, quality improvement is evolving into a strategy for fiscal stability as well as a critical priority in itself.

  8. Uncertainty in air quality observations using low-cost sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castell, Nuria; Dauge, Franck R.; Dongol, Rozina; Vogt, Matthias; Schneider, Philipp

    2016-04-01

    Air pollution poses a threat to human health, and the WHO has classified air pollution as the world's largest single environmental health risk. In Europe, the majority of the population lives in areas where air quality levels frequently exceed WHO's ambient air quality guidelines. The emergence of low-cost, user-friendly and very compact air pollution platforms allowing observations at high spatial resolution in near real-time, provides us with new opportunities to simultaneously enhance existing monitoring systems as well as enable citizens to engage in more active environmental monitoring (citizen science). However the data sets generated by low-cost sensors show often questionable data quality. For many sensors, neither their error characteristics nor how their measurement capability holds up over time or through a range of environmental conditions, have been evaluated. We have conducted an exhaustive evaluation of the commercial low-cost platform AQMesh (measuring NO, NO2, CO, O3, PM10 and PM2.5) in laboratory and in real-world conditions in the city of Oslo (Norway). Co-locations in field of 24 platforms were conducted over a 6 month period (April to September 2015) allowing to characterize the temporal variability in the performance. Additionally, the field performance included the characterization on different monitoring urban monitoring sites characteristic of both traffic and background conditions. All the evaluations have been conducted against CEN reference method analyzers maintained according to the Norwegian National Reference Laboratory quality system. The results show clearly that a good performance in laboratory does not imply similar performance in real-world outdoor conditions. Moreover, laboratory calibration is not suitable for subsequent measurements in urban environments. In order to reduce the errors, sensors require on-site field calibration. Even after such field calibration, the platforms show a significant variability in the performance

  9. Components of the costs of controlling quality: a transaction cost economics approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiles, R A; Mick, S S

    1997-01-01

    This article identifies the components that contribute to a healthcare organization's costs in controlling quality. A central tenet of our argument is that at its core, quality is the result of a series of transactions among members of a diverse network. Transaction cost economics is applied internally to analyze intraorganizational transactions that contribute to quality control, and questions for future research are posed.

  10. Quality and Cost in Early Childhood Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Irene; Cosgrove, James

    1992-01-01

    Flexible-form cost functions estimated from survey data (205 responses from 265 day care centers) found that decreasing child/staff ratio by 1 child increases costs 3.4 percent. Staff turnover, educational level, and experience also had significant effects on cost. (SK)

  11. Reconciling quality and cost: A case study in interventional radiology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Li; Mahnken, Andreas [University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Philipps University of Marburg, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Baldinger Strasse, Marburg (Germany); Domroese, Sascha [University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Philipps University of Marburg, Division of Controlling, Baldinger Strasse, Marburg (Germany)

    2015-10-15

    To provide a method to calculate delay cost and examine the relationship between quality and total cost. The total cost including capacity, supply and delay cost for running an interventional radiology suite was calculated. The capacity cost, consisting of labour, lease and overhead costs, was derived based on expenses per unit time. The supply cost was calculated according to actual procedural material use. The delay cost and marginal delay cost derived from queueing models was calculated based on waiting times of inpatients for their procedures. Quality improvement increased patient safety and maintained the outcome. The average daily delay costs were reduced from 1275 EUR to 294 EUR, and marginal delay costs from approximately 2000 EUR to 500 EUR, respectively. The one-time annual cost saved from the transfer of surgical to radiological procedures was approximately 130,500 EUR. The yearly delay cost saved was approximately 150,000 EUR. With increased revenue of 10,000 EUR in project phase 2, the yearly total cost saved was approximately 290,000 EUR. Optimal daily capacity of 4.2 procedures was determined. An approach for calculating delay cost toward optimal capacity allocation was presented. An overall quality improvement was achieved at reduced costs. (orig.)

  12. Cost Analysis of Poor Quality Using a Software Simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Fabianová

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The issues of quality, cost of poor quality and factors affecting quality are crucial to maintaining a competitiveness regarding to business activities. Use of software applications and computer simulation enables more effective quality management. Simulation tools offer incorporating the variability of more variables in experiments and evaluating their common impact on the final output. The article presents a case study focused on the possibility of using computer simulation Monte Carlo in the field of quality management. Two approaches for determining the cost of poor quality are introduced here. One from retrospective scope of view, where the cost of poor quality and production process are calculated based on historical data. The second approach uses the probabilistic characteristics of the input variables by means of simulation, and reflects as a perspective view of the costs of poor quality. Simulation output in the form of a tornado and sensitivity charts complement the risk analysis.

  13. Quality Cost in the Construction Industry ' Preliminary Findings in Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mukhtar Che Ali

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available One of the key areas being emphasis in ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS is performance measurement towards continual improvement. Among the primary measuring tools is quality cost approach. Quality cost has been well practice in manufacturing sector but slowly gain its importance in construction industry. In fact Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK has reckoned quality cost as one of the tool and technique in few of its management processes. In view of such circumstances that has prompted an effort to undertake a study to ascertain the level of knowledge and practice on quality cost in Malaysian construction landscape. The targeted group of respondents was the personnel in the project management team. Capitalizing Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB National Electronic Tendering Initiatives (NETI road shows which were held in year 2007 throughout the country, the author was able to garner 263 respondents representing the project management team. Subsequently the data gathered from the completed forms were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS software. General findings indicated that the level of knowledge and practice on quality cost among the project management team were relatively low. One of the main contributing factors was poor knowledge in the area related to quality cost. Despite of such scenario most of the respondents showed their interest in acquiring knowledge in the field of quality cost. Hence quality cost approach is at the infancy stage in Malaysian construction industry.

  14. Quality Enhancement and Educational Professional Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Peter

    2006-01-01

    There is a strong international interest in the enhancement of teaching quality. Enhancement is a big job because teaching is an extensive activity. It is a complex job because learning to teach is not, mainly, a formal process: non-formal, practice-based learning is more significant. These two points, extensiveness and practice-based learning,…

  15. Case mix, quality and high-cost kidney transplant patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Englesbe, M J; Dimick, J B; Fan, Z; Baser, O; Birkmeyer, J D

    2009-05-01

    A better understanding of high-cost kidney transplant patients would be useful for informing value-based purchasing strategies by payers. This retrospective cohort study was based on the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) files from 2003 to 2006. The focus of this analysis was high-cost kidney transplant patients (patients that qualified for Medicare outlier payments and 30-day readmission payments). Using regression techniques, we explored relationships between high-cost kidney transplant patients, center-specific case mix, and center quality. Among 43 393 kidney transplants in Medicare recipients, 35.2% were categorized as high-cost patients. These payments represented 20% of total Medicare payments for kidney transplantation and exceeded $200 million over the study period. Case mix was associated with these payments and was an important factor underlying variation in hospital payments high-cost patients. Hospital quality was also a strong determinant of future Medicare payments for high-cost patients. Compared to high-quality centers, low-quality centers cost Medicare an additional $1185 per kidney transplant. Payments for high-cost patients represent a significant proportion of the total costs of kidney transplant surgical care. Quality improvement may be an important strategy for reducing the costs of kidney transplantation.

  16. Accounting for the costs of quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suver, J D; Neumann, B R; Boles, K E

    1992-09-01

    Total quality management (TQM) represents a paradigm shift in the organizational values that shape every aspect of a healthcare provider's activities. The TQM approach to quality management subscribes to the theory that it is not the work of employees of an organization that leads to poor quality; rather, it is the poor design of systems and procedures. In a book recently published by HFMA, Management Accounting for Healthcare Organizations, third edition, authors Suver, Neumann and Boles point out that the changes in behavioral focus and organizational climate brought about by TQM will have a major impact on management accounting function in healthcare organizations. TQM will require new methods of accounting that will enable the effects of declining quality to be recognized and evaluated. It also will require new types of management accounting reports that will identify opportunities for quality improvement and will monitor the effectiveness of quality management endeavors. The following article has been adapted from the book cited above.

  17. Entry costs and quality of business environment: a critical analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Decio Zylbersztajn

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Transaction costs are the costs to protect property rights. Institutions are shaped in order to control transaction costs in society. Studies have been developed to measure transaction costs both at the macro and microeconomic levels. Entry costs, i.e., the cost to start up a new business are considered a proxy for business environment quality, being also interpreted as a proxy to transaction cost measurement. This paper presents new elements in order to amplify the potential of research in business environment, particularly business entry costs. It stresses the limitation related to two theoretical points: first, the near decomposability of one complex transaction, and second, the complementarity between ex-ante and ex-post transaction costs, both related to the methodology adopted to measure business entrance costs.

  18. Cost-effective alternatives for mitigating Cryptosporidium risk in drinking water and enhancing ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, B. A.; Kandulu, J. M.

    2009-08-01

    Under the multibarrier paradigm, water quality management barriers that mitigate risk to consumers are required at multiple points from the catchment to the tap. We present a cost-effectiveness analysis of 13 catchment- and treatment-based management alternatives for mitigating Cryptosporidium risk in the Myponga water supply catchment, South Australia. A broad range of costs and benefits are identified and valued, including setup, operation and maintenance, and opportunity costs, and benefits for ecosystem services including water quality, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and farm production services. The results suggest that the cost-effectiveness of investment in water quality management can be substantially enhanced by considering the costs of management and the benefits for ecosystem services, in addition to Cryptosporidium removal effectiveness. Cost-effectiveness of investment in management alternatives is dependent upon the desired level of Cryptosporidium removal effectiveness by both the catchment and treatment barriers. The combination of a spatially targeted 25% restriction in water course access of nondairy cattle and treatment by enhanced coagulation provides the most (net) cost-effective Cryptosporidium risk mitigation strategy. This combination may achieve 0.614 log removal at a net cost of A0.7 million and (net) cost-effectiveness of A1.14 million per log removal. Additional risk mitigation can be achieved through the addition of ultraviolet irradiation treatment, higher levels of water course access restriction for cattle, and the adoption of dung beetles in the catchment. Economic valuation of a range of costs and benefits of management priorities can support cost-effective water quality management investment decisions and inform elements of policy design such as cost-sharing arrangements and spatial targeting.

  19. ECONOMIC IMPACT OF NON-QUALITY COSTS IN ORGANIZATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrei DIAMANDESCU

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper the authors aim to analyze the impact of the implementation of the quality system based on ISO 9001:2008, on the overall efficiency of the organizations. For this purpose non-quality costs will be defined, classified and evaluated and there will be made relevant proposals for highlighting and quantifying them. The approach is focused on studying the effects of the failures in quality and the cost of these failures, but also on non-quality and its assessment methodology and benchmarks to monitor the progress in improving quality. At the end of the paper some methods are proposed to improve the control of non-quality costs.

  20. Controlling for quality in the hospital cost function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, Kathleen; Stefos, Theodore

    2011-06-01

    This paper explores the relationship between the cost and quality of hospital care from the perspective of applied microeconomics. It addresses both theoretical and practical complexities entailed in incorporating hospital quality into the estimation of hospital cost functions. That literature is extended with an empirical analysis that examines the use of 15 Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) as measures of hospital quality. A total operating cost function is estimated on 2,848 observations from five states drawn from the period 2001 to 2007. In general, findings indicate that the PSIs are successful in capturing variation in hospital cost due to adverse patient safety events. Measures that rely on the aggregate number of adverse events summed over PSIs are found to be superior to risk-adjusted rates for individual PSIs. The marginal cost of an adverse event is estimated to be $22,413. The results contribute to a growing business case for inpatient safety in hospital services.

  1. Cost and quality of fuels for electric plants 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-07-01

    The Cost and Quality of Fuels for Electric Utility Plants (C&Q) presents an annual summary of statistics at the national, Census division, State, electric utility, and plant levels regarding the quantity, quality, and cost of fossil fuels used to produce electricity. The purpose of this publication is to provide energy decision-makers with accurate and timely information that may be used in forming various perspectives on issues regarding electric power.

  2. A Cost-of-Quality Model at El Camino College.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Timothy D.

    1994-01-01

    This article describes the cost-of-quality model used at El Camino College (California), which formally measures the costs associated with process improvement activities. A case study illustrates use of the model in evaluating a new process for reimbursing faculty and staff attending conferences. (DB)

  3. VPLS Based Quality and Cost Control for Tennessee Eastman Process

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋凯; 王海清; 李平

    2005-01-01

    Product quality and operation cost control obtain increasing emphases in modern chemical system engineering. To improve the fault detection power of the partial least square (PLS) method for quality control, a new QRPV statistic is proposed in terms of the VP (variable importance in projection) indices of monitored process variables, which is significantly advanced over and different from the conventional Q statistic. QRPV is calculated only by the residuals of the remarkable process variables (RPVs). Therefore, it is the dominant relation between quality and RPV not all process variables (as in the case of the conventional PLS) that is monitored by this new VP-PLS (VPLS) method. The combination of QRPV and T2 statistics is applied to the quality and cost control of the Tennessee Eastman (TE) process, and weak faults can be detected as quickly as possible. Consequently, the product quality of TE process is guaranteed and operation costs are reduced.

  4. Enhancing Gesture Quality in Young Singers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Mei-Ying; Davidson, Jane W.

    2016-01-01

    Studies have shown positive results for the use of gesture as a successful technique in aiding children's singing. The main purpose of this study was to examine the effects of movement training for children with regard to enhancing gesture quality. Thirty-six fifth-grade students participated in the empirical investigation. They were randomly…

  5. QUALITY IN TERMS OF COST EFFICIENCY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasile Alecsandru STRAT

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The studies based on using selective research are one of the maininstruments in the strategy building process at the managing level of academic facilities and collecting the data in the most effective way possible is one of the main problems that this kind of studies can arise.A way of solving this problem could be collecting the necessary dataonline, which implies human and financial resources a lot reduced compared to the classical way. Based on selective research, conducted among students, it has been tested the quality of the data collected online, by comparing them to the ones collected by face-to-face interviews.The studies that use selective research, conducted in the academicenvironment, in student collectivities, alumni, future possible students, the employers that might need the university’s graduates etc., are quite suitable for using the online collecting method of the data, due to the characteristics of the analyzed collectivities.

  6. Analyses of Blood Bank Efficiency, Cost-Effectiveness and Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Hwai-Tai Chen

    In view of the increasing costs of hospital care, it is essential to investigate methods to improve the labor efficiency and the cost-effectiveness of the hospital technical core in order to control costs while maintaining the quality of care. This study was conducted to develop indices to measure efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and the quality of blood banks; to identify factors associated with efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and quality; and to generate strategies to improve blood bank labor efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Indices developed in this study for labor efficiency and cost-effectiveness were not affected by patient case mix and illness severity. Factors that were associated with labor efficiency were identified as managerial styles, and organizational designs that balance workload and labor resources. Medical directors' managerial involvement was not associated with labor efficiency, but their continuing education and specialty in blood bank were found to reduce the performance of unnecessary tests. Surprisingly, performing unnecessary tests had no association with labor efficiency. This suggested the existence of labor slack in blood banks. Cost -effectiveness was associated with workers' benefits, wages, and the production of high-end transfusion products by hospital-based donor rooms. Quality indices used in this study included autologous transfusion rates, platelet transfusion rates, and the check points available in an error-control system. Because the autologous transfusion rate was related to patient case mix, severity of illness, and possible inappropriate transfusion, it was not recommended to be used for quality index. Platelet-pheresis transfusion rates were associated with the transfusion preferences of the blood bank medical directors. The total number of check points in an error -control system was negatively associated with government ownership and workers' experience. Recommendations for improving labor efficiency and cost

  7. Modelling the Cost and Quality of Preservation Imaging and Archiving

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kejser, Ulla Bøgvad

    2009-01-01

    materials held by national cultural heritage institutions in Denmark, a study was undertaken to provide a generic cost model for digital preservation. The outcome of the study is an activity based cost model, which accounts for full economic costs. It is structured around the functional descriptions...... investigated and specifications based on best practice and testing established. Also, the image quality parameters, which influence the long term preservation costs, were identified. In addition, the suitability for preservation of different image file formats and compression algorithms was evaluated...... in the OAIS Reference Model. The cost model divides the OAIS functions in a hierarchy of cost critical activities and measurable components, which are implemented as formulas in a spreadsheet. So far the model has only been completed for activities relating to preservation planning and digital migrations...

  8. Enhancing mathematics teachers' quality through Lesson Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomibao, Laila S

    2016-01-01

    The efficiency and effectivity of the learning experience is dependent on the teacher quality, thus, enhancing teacher's quality is vital in improving the students learning outcome. Since, the usual top-down one-shot cascading model practice for teachers' professional development in Philippines has been observed to have much information dilution, and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization demanded the need to develop mathematics teachers' quality standards through the Southeast Asia Regional Standards for Mathematics Teachers (SEARS-MT), thus, an intensive, ongoing professional development model should be provided to teachers. This study was undertaken to determine the impact of Lesson Study on Bulua National High School mathematics teachers' quality level in terms of SEARS-MT dimensions. A mixed method of quantitative-qualitative research design was employed. Results of the analysis revealed that Lesson Study effectively enhanced mathematics teachers' quality and promoted teachers professional development. Teachers positively perceived Lesson Study to be beneficial for them to become a better mathematics teacher.

  9. COSTING OF QUALITY IN BUSINESS BASE UNIT SEVERAL PRODUCTIONS, CIENFUEGOS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gómez Alfonso, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The calculation of quality costs as a component of the System of Quality Management, is a must for Cuban business managers, to provide a technique identified as an advanced instrument of management, which will lead to improved competitiveness and serve as an informative source. Identify and calculate the costs of quality, as well as propose measured plans, to promote a decrease in operating expenses, which can be used as a tool to improve processes. The Business Unit of Several Base Productions of Cienfuegos presents the fault to give way to Business Improvement and certification of its Quality Management System, according to the norm ISO 9001:2008 and the decree law 281, so that the objective research was to estimate the costs of quality processes in the company. To achieve this level were used empirical methods and techniques such as direct observation, document review and work in groups, which allowed to calculate the costs of quality in all processes. The results obtained are applicable to companies that operate in the Cuban economy and according to the Cuban economic model implemented from the year 2011.

  10. Design optimization for cost and quality: The robust design approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unal, Resit

    1990-01-01

    Designing reliable, low cost, and operable space systems has become the key to future space operations. Designing high quality space systems at low cost is an economic and technological challenge to the designer. A systematic and efficient way to meet this challenge is a new method of design optimization for performance, quality, and cost, called Robust Design. Robust Design is an approach for design optimization. It consists of: making system performance insensitive to material and subsystem variation, thus allowing the use of less costly materials and components; making designs less sensitive to the variations in the operating environment, thus improving reliability and reducing operating costs; and using a new structured development process so that engineering time is used most productively. The objective in Robust Design is to select the best combination of controllable design parameters so that the system is most robust to uncontrollable noise factors. The robust design methodology uses a mathematical tool called an orthogonal array, from design of experiments theory, to study a large number of decision variables with a significantly small number of experiments. Robust design also uses a statistical measure of performance, called a signal-to-noise ratio, from electrical control theory, to evaluate the level of performance and the effect of noise factors. The purpose is to investigate the Robust Design methodology for improving quality and cost, demonstrate its application by the use of an example, and suggest its use as an integral part of space system design process.

  11. Activity cost analysis: a tool to cost medical services and improve quality of care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udpa, S

    2001-01-01

    This paper suggests an activity-based cost (ABC) system as the appropriate cost accounting system to measure and control costs under the microstatistical episode of care (EOC) paradigm suggested by D. W. Emery (1999). ABC systems work well in such an environment because they focus on activities performed to provide services in the delivery of care. Thus, under an ABC system it is not only possible to accurately cost episodes of care but also to more effectively monitor and improve the quality of care. Under the ABC system, costs are first traced to activities and then traced from the activities to units of episodic care using cost drivers based on the consumption of activity resources.

  12. INTERDEPENDENCE OF COST AND QUALITY OF ITEMS OF REAL ESTATE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukmanova Inessa Galeevna

    2012-10-01

    Calculation of reduction of the overall cost of the real estate item that has improved quality indicators in comparison with the overall cost of the real estate item of satisfactory quality, taken as a benchmark, is made. The nature of interrelation between the quality of building works and maintenance expenses is provided. The overall cost of the item increases alongside with the increase of its quality, therefore the pre-set quality indicator should be defined by taking account of the market conditions, rates charged for building works and payable by buyers, and the amount of building works that sell at a higher price. The indicator of the overall cost of the item of real estate, if forthcoming operational expenses are taken into account, i.e. calculated for the course of the overall life cycle of the item, is essential if the investor is going to maintain the building. Investors often act as sellers of completed buildings; therefore, the product price set at the time when it is offered for sale is of particular importance.

  13. Exploring the relationship between costs and quality. Does the joint evaluation of costs and quality alter the rankings of Danish hospital departments?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvenegaard, Anne; Nielsen Arendt, Jacob; Street, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    vascular departments, we estimate fixed effect models for costs (linear) and quality (logistic). We consider two quality measures; mortality and wound complications. To assess whether the joint evaluation of costs and quality affects the ranking of departments, we construct joint confidence regions......OBJECTIVE: The purpose is to evaluate the relationship between costs and quality and to assess whether the joint evaluation of costs and quality affects the ranking of hospital departments relative to comparison based on costs alone. METHODS: Using patient level data for 3,754 patients in six...... for each pair of departmental effects for costs and quality using a bootstrap method and rank departments according to their cost-effectiveness ratio. The findings are used to evaluate a theory of a U-shaped cost/quality relationship. RESULTS: The association between cost and quality differs depending...

  14. Quality Improvement ? The Key to Reducing Costs in Pancreatoduodenectomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Savio George Barreto

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Background With the looming fear of costs for cancer care escalating over the next decade, the general aim of policy makers the world over is directing efforts towards “bending the cost curve”. Pancreatic cancer is on the rise and pancreatoduodenectomy is the only curative option available. The aim of the current report is to analyze the published literature on data addressing the issue of costs in pancreatic cancer surgery (with a focus on pancreatoduodenectomy in an effort to determine how disparate are the lines of investigation of health economics and quality indicators of surgery. Methods A systematic and comprehensive search of major reference databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed, and the Cochrane Library was undertaken using a combination of text words “cost”, “pancreatoduodenectomy”, “pancreaticoduodenectomy”, “health care”, “surgery”. The search was restricted to human studies published in literature but was not language restricted. Results The initial search yielded 116 studies of which 25 manuscripts were retrieved for further evaluation. Of the 25 studies retrieved, 7 manuscripts were excluded from the final analysis as the variables analyzed did not significantly influence the costs of pancreatoduodenectomy. The factors most frequently noted (≥2 studies to influence costs of pancreatoduodenectomy were hospital and surgeon volume the occurrence of complications and the implementation of clinical pathways. Conclusions Using pancreatoduodenectomy, as an example, it is evident that the key to ‘bending the cancer cost curve’ is designing strategies to improve quality of the not only the procedure, but the process. Costs and quality cannot be separated. Reduction in costs can, and must only, be achieved by targeting excellence.

  15. A Complex Systems Science Approach to Healthcare Costs and Quality

    CERN Document Server

    Bar-Yam, Yaneer Bar-Yam with Shlomiya; Cohen, Nancy; Gard-Murray, Alexander S; Harte, Helen P; Leykum, Luci

    2012-01-01

    There is a mounting crisis in delivering affordable healthcare in the US. For decades, key decision makers in the public and private sectors have considered cost-effectiveness in healthcare a top priority. Their actions have focused on putting a limit on fees, services, or care options. However, they have met with limited success as costs have increased rapidly while the quality isn't commensurate with the high costs. A new approach is needed. Here we provide eight scientifically-based steps for improving the healthcare system. The core of the approach is promoting the best use of resources by matching the people and organization to the tasks they are good at, and providing the right incentive structure. Harnessing costs need not mean sacrificing quality. Quality service and low costs can be achieved by making sure the right people and the right organizations deliver services. As an example, the frequent use of emergency rooms for non-emergency care demonstrates the waste of resources of highly capable indivi...

  16. The oxidative costs of territory quality and offspring provisioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guindre-Parker, S; Baldo, S; Gilchrist, H G; Macdonald, C A; Harris, C M; Love, O P

    2013-12-01

    The costs of reproduction are an important constraint that shapes the evolution of life histories, yet our understanding of the proximate mechanism(s) leading to such life-history trade-offs is not well understood. Oxidative stress is a strong candidate measure thought to mediate the costs of reproduction, yet empirical evidence supporting that increased reproductive investment leads to oxidative stress is equivocal. We investigated whether territory quality and offspring provisioning increase oxidative stress in male snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis) using a repeated sampling design. We show that arrival oxidative stress is not a constraint on territory quality or the number of offspring fledged. Nevertheless, owners of higher-quality territories experienced an oxidative cost, with this cost increasing more rapidly in younger males. Males that provisioned offspring at a high rate also experienced increased oxidative stress. Together, these findings support the potential role of oxidative stress in mediating life-history trade-offs. Future work should consider that reproductive workload is not limited to offspring care, and other activities - including territory defence - may contribute significantly to the costs of reproduction.

  17. Cost and quality of fuels for electric utility plants, 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-07-14

    This document presents an annual summary of statistics at the national, Census division, State, electric utility, and plant levels regarding the quantity, quality, and cost of fossil fuels used to produce electricity. Purpose of this publication is to provide energy decision-makers with accurate, timely information that may be used in forming various perspectives on issues regarding electric power.

  18. Cost and quality of fuels for electric utility plants, 1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-08-02

    This publication presents an annual summary of statistics at the national, Census division, State, electric utility, and plant levels regarding the quantity, quality, and cost of fossil fuels used to produce electricity. The purpose of this publication is to provide energy decision-makers with accurate and timely information that may be used in forming various perspectives on issues regarding electric power.

  19. Cost-effective management of type 2 diabetes: providing quality care in a cost-constrained environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffens, B

    2000-08-01

    John Deere Health Care provides health coverage to 20,000 diabetic members in 5 states. Medical costs for those members are approximately 3 times higher than costs for nondiabetic members. Last year, John Deere Health Care introduced an integrated diabetes disease management program that includes telephone and mail reminders (managed by a vendor) for asymptomatic diabetic individuals, case management (managed by the plan) for diabetic members with complications or risks, and quarterly patient-specific mailings that are sent to providers. After 1 year of operation, testing rates increased 19% for hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), 20% for lipids, and 78% for microalbumin. The actual mean HbA1c level decreased 0.5%, hospital admission rates decreased 22%, and hospital days were reduced 34%. Overall, the total medical costs per diabetic patient were reduced approximately 12%. Despite system cost increases for pharmacy costs, vendor contracting, case management administration, and patient and physician education, the potential for long-term quality improvement and considerable hospital cost reduction is high when such a plan is instituted. The program at John Deere Health Care is expanding and coverage has been enhanced.

  20. Lowest cost due to highest productivity and highest quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenk, Daniel

    2003-03-01

    Since global purchasing in the automotive industry has been taken up all around the world there is one main key factor that makes a TB-supplier today successful: Producing highest quality at lowest cost. The fact that Tailored Blanks, which today may reach up to 1/3 of a car body weight, are purchased on the free market but from different steel suppliers, especially in Europe and NAFTA, the philosophy on OEM side has been changing gradually towards tough evaluation criteria. "No risk at the stamping side" calls for top quality Tailored- or Tubular Blank products. Outsourcing Tailored Blanks has been starting in Japan but up to now without any quality request from the OEM side like ISO 13919-1B (welding quality standard in Europe and USA). Increased competition will automatically push the quality level and the ongoing approach to combine high strength steel with Tailored- and Tubular Blanks will ask for even more reliable system concepts which enables to weld narrow seams at highest speed. Beside producing quality, which is the key to reduce one of the most important cost driver "material scrap," in-line quality systems with true and reliable evaluation is going to be a "must" on all weld systems. Traceability of all process related data submitted to interfaces according to customer request in combination with ghost-shift-operation of TB systems are tomorrow's state-of-the-art solutions of Tailored Blank-facilities.

  1. Cost studies of thermally enhanced in situ soil remediation technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bremser, J.; Booth, S.R.

    1996-05-01

    This report describes five thermally enhanced technologies that may be used to remediate contaminated soil and water resources. The standard methods of treating these contaminated areas are Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE), Excavate & Treat (E&T), and Pump & Treat (P&T). Depending on the conditions at a given site, one or more of these conventional alternatives may be employed; however, several new thermally enhanced technologies for soil decontamination are emerging. These technologies are still in demonstration programs which generally are showing great success at achieving the expected remediation results. The cost savings reported in this work assume that the technologies will ultimately perform as anticipated by their developers in a normal environmental restoration work environment. The five technologies analyzed in this report are Low Frequency Heating (LF or Ohmic, both 3 and 6 phase AC), Dynamic Underground Stripping (DUS), Radio Frequency Heating (RF), Radio Frequency Heating using Dipole Antennae (RFD), and Thermally Enhanced Vapor Extraction System (TEVES). In all of these technologies the introduction of heat to the formation raises vapor pressures accelerating contaminant evaporation rates and increases soil permeability raising diffusion rates of contaminants. The physical process enhancements resulting from temperature elevations permit a greater percentage of volatile organic compound (VOC) or semi- volatile organic compound (SVOC) contaminants to be driven out of the soils for treatment or capture in a much shorter time period. This report presents the results of cost-comparative studies between these new thermally enhanced technologies and the conventional technologies, as applied to five specific scenarios.

  2. Modelling the Cost and Quality of Preservation Imaging and Archiving

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kejser, Ulla Bøgvad

    2009-01-01

    in the OAIS Reference Model. The cost model divides the OAIS functions in a hierarchy of cost critical activities and measurable components, which are implemented as formulas in a spreadsheet. So far the model has only been completed for activities relating to preservation planning and digital migrations......, fire and other risks. In this PhD thesis it is examined how one may evaluate the long‐term costs and benefits to cultural heritage institutions of different preservation strategies for digital copies. The investigated alternatives are preserving the copies in a digital repository, and printing...... the files out on microfilm and preserving them in a non‐digital repository. In order to obtain empirical data and to understand the decisive cost factors in preservation copying, a case study was set up in which degrading sheet‐film negatives were digitised. Requirements for image quality and metadata were...

  3. Power quality enhancements for IEC 61850

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cumming, D. [Schneider Electric Canada, Toronto, ON (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standard 61850 has emerged as the dominant global utility substation protocol standard because it is based on solid engineering principles and technology. It can provide valuable information in power quality analysis, compliance reporting and other similar functions. This paper presented IEC 61850 as a valuable tool for providing power quality solutions to the industry while examining concepts for enhancing power quality aspects for improved functionality. IEC 61850 originally focused on automation and protection aspects inside high voltage substations, but has been extended to many electrical infrastructure through the use of its logical node support, time synchronization accuracy, and event sequencing with quality reporting for end users. The standard continues to be extended into substation to substation communications, wind-farms, hydro plants, and device security. IEC 61850 seeks a unified approach, presenting a suite of protocols that are designed to multitask efficiently and provide support for modern engineering workflows in the design, deployment, and operation of electrical utility systems. 6 refs., 2 figs.

  4. Commercially viable strategies for enhancing coal quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A. Patwardhan; Y.P. Chugh [Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL (United States). Department of Mining and Mineral Resources Engineering

    2005-12-01

    The focus of this research is on coal quality enhancement, which includes reduction in the sulfur content and increase in heating value through simple, innovative, and commercially viable coal cleaning strategies. These strategies involve fine coal cleaning, plant optimization, partial coarse coal liberation, and multiple product generation. Evaluations on five mines in Illinois have indicated a potential to reduce the sulfur dioxide emission potential of these coals by up to 20%, while increasing the product heating value by up to 250 kcal/kg (450 BTU/lb). In addition, increases in coal yield by 2-6% are predicted depending on the specific conditions at the evaluated mine.

  5. Quantification of the effects of quality investment on the Cost of Poor Quality: A quasi-experimental study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamimi, Abdallah Ibrahim

    Quality management is a fundamental challenge facing businesses. This research attempted to quantify the effect of quality investment on the Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) in an aerospace company utilizing 3 years of quality data at United Launch Alliance, a Boeing -- Lockheed Martin Joint Venture Company. Statistical analysis tools, like multiple regressions, were used to quantify the relationship between quality investments and COPQ. Strong correlations were evident by the high correlation coefficient R2 and very small p-values in multiple regression analysis. The models in the study helped produce an Excel macro that based on preset constraints, optimized the level of quality spending to minimize COPQ. The study confirmed that as quality investments were increased, the COPQ decreased steadily until a point of diminishing return was reached. The findings may be used to develop an approach to reduce the COPQ and enhance product performance. Achieving superior quality in rocket launching enhances the accuracy, reliability, and mission success of delivering satellites to their precise orbits in pursuit of knowledge, peace, and freedom while assuring safety for the end user.

  6. Cost, staffing and quality impact of bedside electronic medical record (EMR) in nursing homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rantz, Marilyn J; Hicks, Lanis; Petroski, Gregory F; Madsen, Richard W; Alexander, Greg; Galambos, Colleen; Conn, Vicki; Scott-Cawiezell, Jill; Zwygart-Stauffacher, Mary; Greenwald, Leslie

    2010-09-01

    There is growing political pressure for nursing homes to implement the electronic medical record (EMR) but there is little evidence of its impact on resident care. The purpose of this study was to test the unique and combined contributions of EMR at the bedside and on-site clinical consultation by gerontological expert nurses on cost, staffing, and quality of care in nursing homes. Eighteen nursing facilities in 3 states participated in a 4-group 24-month comparison: Group 1 implemented bedside EMR, used nurse consultation; Group 2 implemented bedside EMR only; Group 3 used nurse consultation only; Group 4 neither. Intervention sites (Groups 1 and 2) received substantial, partial financial support from CMS to implement EMR. Costs and staffing were measured from Medicaid cost reports, and staff retention from primary data collection; resident outcomes were measured by MDS-based quality indicators and quality measures. Total costs increased in both intervention groups that implemented technology; staffing and staff retention remained constant. Improvement trends were detected in resident outcomes of ADLs, range of motion, and high-risk pressure sores for both intervention groups but not in comparison groups. Implementation of bedside EMR is not cost neutral. There were increased total costs for all intervention facilities. These costs were not a result of increased direct care staffing or increased staff turnover. Nursing home leaders and policy makers need to be aware of on-going hardware and software costs as well as costs of continual technical support for the EMR and constant staff orientation to use the system. EMR can contribute to the quality of nursing home care and can be enhanced by on-site consultation by nurses with graduate education in nursing and expertise in gerontology. Copyright 2010 American Medical Directors Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Cost effectiveness of adopted quality requirements in hospital laboratories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamza, Alneil; Ahmed-Abakur, Eltayib; Abugroun, Elsir; Bakhit, Siham; Holi, Mohamed

    2013-01-01

    The present study was designed in quasi-experiment to assess adoption of the essential clauses of particular clinical laboratory quality management requirements based on international organization for standardization (ISO 15189) in hospital laboratories and to evaluate the cost effectiveness of compliance to ISO 15189. The quality management intervention based on ISO 15189 was conceded through three phases; pre - intervention phase, Intervention phase and Post-intervention phase. In pre-intervention phase the compliance to ISO 15189 was 49% for study group vs. 47% for control group with P value 0.48, while the post intervention results displayed 54% vs. 79% for study group and control group respectively in compliance to ISO 15189 and statistically significant difference (P value 0.00) with effect size (Cohen's d) of (0.00) in pre-intervention phase and (0.99) in post - intervention phase. The annual average cost per-test for the study group and control group was 1.80 ± 0.25 vs. 1.97 ± 0.39, respectively with P value 0.39 whereas the post-intervention results showed that the annual average total costs per-test for study group and control group was 1.57 ± 0.23 vs 2.08 ± 0.38, P value 0.019 respectively, with cost-effectiveness ratio of (0.88) in pre -intervention phase and (0.52) in post-intervention phase. The planned adoption of quality management requirements (QMS) in clinical laboratories had great effect to increase the compliance percent with quality management system requirement, raise the average total cost effectiveness, and improve the analytical process capability of the testing procedure.

  8. A Technology Enhanced Learning Model for Quality Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherly, Elizabeth; Uddin, Md. Meraj

    Technology Enhanced Learning and Teaching (TELT) Model provides learning through collaborations and interactions with a framework for content development and collaborative knowledge sharing system as a supplementary for learning to improve the quality of education system. TELT deals with a unique pedagogy model for Technology Enhanced Learning System which includes course management system, digital library, multimedia enriched contents and video lectures, open content management system and collaboration and knowledge sharing systems. Open sources like Moodle and Wiki for content development, video on demand solution with a low cost mid range system, an exhaustive digital library are provided in a portal system. The paper depicts a case study of e-learning initiatives with TELT model at IIITM-K and how effectively implemented.

  9. AIRQino, a low-cost air quality mobile platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaldei, Alessandro; Vagnoli, Carolina; Di Lonardo, Sara; Gioli, Beniamino; Gualtieri, Giovanni; Toscano, Piero; Martelli, Francesca; Matese, Alessandro

    2015-04-01

    Recent air quality regulations (Directive 2008/50/EC) enforce the transition from point-based monitoring networks to new tools that must be capable of mapping and forecasting air quality on the totality of land area, and therefore the totality of citizens. This implies new technologies such as models and additional indicative measurements, are needed in addition to accurate fixed air quality monitoring stations, that until now have been taken as reference by local administrators for the enforcement of various mitigation strategies. However, due to their sporadic spatial distribution, they cannot describe the highly resolved spatial pollutant variations within cities. Integrating additional indicative measurements may provide adequate information on the spatial distribution of the ambient air quality, also allowing for a reduction of the required minimum number of fixed sampling points, whose high cost and complex maintenance still remain a crucial concern for local administrators. New low-cost and small size sensors are becoming available, that could be employed in air quality monitoring including mobile applications. However, accurate assessment of their accuracy and performance both in controlled and real monitoring conditions is crucially needed. Quantifying sensor response is a significant challenge due to the sensitivity to ambient temperature and humidity and the cross-sensitivity to others pollutant species. This study reports the development of an Arduino compatible electronic board (AIRQino) which integrates a series of low-cost metal oxide and NDIR sensors for air quality monitoring, with sensors to measure air temperature, relative humidity, noise, solar radiation and vertical acceleration. A comparative assessment was made for CO2, CO, NO2, CH4, O3, VOCs concentrations, temperature and relative humidity. A controlled climatic chamber study (-80°C / +80°C) was performed to verify temperature and humidity interference using reference gas cylinders and

  10. Quality of life and cost factors in panic disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, J R

    1996-01-01

    Quality of life encompasses domains of personal happiness, role fulfillment, and health status. Increasing attention has been paid to the relationship between quality of life and panic disorder, with accumulating evidence now available to suggest impairment in several domains among subjects with panic disorder. This review summarizes the results of community-based and treatment-seeking populations of subjects with panic disorder. Impaired personal happiness, restricted role functioning, and increased use of health services are all described. Evidence suggests that accurate diagnosis and effective treatment can significantly lessen health service utilization, resulting in substantial cost offset and also leading to increased work productivity and personal effectiveness.

  11. FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO PUBLIC EDUCATION QUALITY: EFFECTIVENESS ACCORDING TO THE PARAMETERS OF STUDENT COST INITIAL QUALITY

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    The right to education, despite being present in the Brazilian legislation, still suffers on being applied. This article deals with the dimensions of the education quality, which are at the same time understandable to the population and judicially enforceable.  It analyzes the relevant legislation, and based on different authors, discusses the fundamental right to education and the pattern of the quality in Student Cost Initial Quality (CAQi) in Portuguese acronym). It also discusses the righ...

  12. Care fragmentation, quality, and costs among chronically ill patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frandsen, Brigham R; Joynt, Karen E; Rebitzer, James B; Jha, Ashish K

    2015-05-01

    To assess the relationship between care fragmentation and both quality and costs of care for commercially insured, chronically ill patients. We used claims data from 2004 to 2008 for 506,376 chronically ill, privately insured enrollees of a large commercial insurance company to construct measures of fragmentation. We included patients in the sample if they had chronic conditions in any of the following categories: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, or migraine. We assigned each patient a fragmentation index based on the patterns of care of their primary care provider (PCP), with care patterns spread across a higher number of providers considered to be more fragmented. We used regression analysis to examine the relationship between fragmentation and both quality and cost outcomes. Patients of PCPs in the highest quartile of fragmentation had a higher chance of having a departure from clinical best practice (32.8%, vs 25.9% among patients of PCPs in the lowest quartile of fragmentation; P fragmentation had higher rates of preventable hospitalizations (9.1% in highest quartile vs 7.1% in lowest quartile; P fragmentation was associated with $4542 higher healthcare spending ($10,396 in the highest quartile vs $5854 in the lowest quartile; P fragmented care more often experience lapses in care quality and incur greater healthcare costs.

  13. An Alternative View of Quality Assurance and Enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Viola Yuk-Yue

    2012-01-01

    This paper attempts to deal with the elusive nature of quality in quality management, using a case study to examine quality control measures implemented in an academic context and to show an emergent framework for quality enhancement. This paper introduces the concept of the ecology of quality assurance and examines efforts to maintain and advance…

  14. An Application of Six Sigma to Reduce Supplier Quality Cost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaikwad, Lokpriya Mohanrao; Teli, Shivagond Nagappa; Majali, Vijay Shashikant; Bhushi, Umesh Mahadevappa

    2016-01-01

    This article presents an application of Six Sigma to reduce supplier quality cost in manufacturing industry. Although there is a wider acceptance of Six Sigma in many organizations today, there is still a lack of in-depth case study of Six Sigma. For the present research the case study methodology was used. The company decided to reduce quality cost and improve selected processes using Six Sigma methodologies. Regarding the fact that there is a lack of case studies dealing with Six Sigma especially in individual manufacturing organization this article could be of great importance also for the practitioners. This paper discusses the quality and productivity improvement in a supplier enterprise through a case study. The paper deals with an application of Six Sigma define-measure-analyze-improve-control methodology in an industry which provides a framework to identify, quantify and eliminate sources of variation in an operational process in question, to optimize the operation variables, improve and sustain performance viz. process yield with well-executed control plans. Six Sigma improves the process performance (process yield) of the critical operational process, leading to better utilization of resources, decreases variations and maintains consistent quality of the process output.

  15. Course Evaluation Systems for Open-ended Quality Enhancement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Piihl, Jesper; Rasmussen, Jens Smed

    2013-01-01

    Quality in higher education is widely controlled through surveys asking students to evaluate teaching. However, control of quality does not necessarily lead to enhancement of quality. Drawing on accounting research and a case study, a measurement-based and open-ended quality control system....... The chapter suggests that open-ended measurement systems enabling stakeholders to take responsibility for quality enhancement is not so much a matter of technical design as a matter of an enabling style of use....

  16. Course Evaluation Systems for Open-ended Quality Enhancement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Piihl, Jesper; Rasmussen, Jens Smed

    2013-01-01

    Quality in higher education is widely controlled through surveys asking students to evaluate teaching. However, control of quality does not necessarily lead to enhancement of quality. Drawing on accounting research and a case study, a measurement-based and open-ended quality control system....... The chapter suggests that open-ended measurement systems enabling stakeholders to take responsibility for quality enhancement is not so much a matter of technical design as a matter of an enabling style of use....

  17. Enhancing lean supply chain through traffic light quality management system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md. Mazharul Islam

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Lean is a continuous journey to grow and excel the company. Any company want to develop and cope with the world pace must adopt lean. However, in most of the organizations the management culture or people’s mentality is not so good to embrace change. They have predestined mind set where no change is normally allowed. Lean is a cooperative way of working that involves all departments and all personnel to work together in a team for the betterment of the entire company. Without providing fixed solution of any problem it suggests the best way that people willingly accept to do. Lean normally deals with highest quality, shorter lead time and lowest cost. In Bangladesh, most of the garment manufacturing companies are experiencing a massive quality problem. We describe a case where traffic light, a tool of lean quality system was adopted to a garment manufacturing company in Bangladesh. We also provide the charts to contrast the before and after scenario in detail, in order to illustrate the company benefits. After the traffic light system being implemented, the quality status was improved, production capacity was increased; significant days were saved that enhanced the lead time and thus strengthen the supply chain.

  18. Rising hospital employment of physicians: better quality, higher costs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley, Ann S; Bond, Amelia M; Berenson, Robert A

    2011-08-01

    In a quest to gain market share, hospital employment of physicians has accelerated in recent years to shore up referral bases and capture admissions, according to the Center for Studying Health System Change's (HSC) 2010 site visits to 12 nationally representative metropolitan communities. Stagnant reimbursement rates, coupled with the rising costs of private practice, and a desire for a better work-life balance have contributed to physician interest in hospital employment. While greater physician alignment with hospitals may improve quality through better clinical integration and care coordination, hospital employment of physicians does not guarantee clinical integration. The trend of hospital-employed physicians also may increase costs through higher hospital and physician commercial insurance payment rates and hospital pressure on employed physicians to order more expensive care. To date, hospitals' primary motivation for employing physicians has been to gain market share, typically through lucrative service-line strategies encouraged by a fee-for-service payment system that rewards volume. More recently, hospitals view physician employment as a way to prepare for payment reforms that shift from fee for service to methods that make providers more accountable for the cost and quality of patient care.

  19. Evaluation of APACHE II for cost containment and quality assurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Civetta, J M; Hudson-Civetta, J A; Nelson, L D

    1990-01-01

    APACHE II (an acronym formed from acute physiology score and chronic health evaluation) has been proposed to limit intensive care unit (ICU) admissions ('cost containment') and to judge outcome ('quality assurance') of surgical patients. To judge its performance, a 6-month study of 372 surgical ICU patients was performed. When patients were divided by mean duration of stay, mortality rates rose from 1% (short stay) to 19% (long stay) (p less than 0.001) for patients with APACHE II scores less than 10, but decreased from 94% (short stay) to 60% (long stay) (p less than 0.01) for patients with APACHE II scores more than 24. Exclusion of patients by high or low APACHE scores would 'save' 6% of ICU days but risk increasing morbidity, hospital costs, and deaths. Grouped APACHE II scores did not correlate with total hospital charges (r = 0.05, p = 0.89) or ICU days used (r = 0.42, p = 0.17). Grouping by APACHE II score and duration of ICU stay showed neither symmetry nor uniformity of mortality rates. Surgical patients would not be well served by APACHE II for quality assurance or cost containment. PMID:2396881

  20. Quality Enhancement on E-Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ossiannilsson, E. S. I.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Benchmarking, a method for quality assurance has not been very commonly used in higher education with regard to e-learning. Today, e-learning is an integral part of higher education, and so should also be an integral part of quality assurance systems. However, quality indicators, benchmarks and critical success factors on e-learning have…

  1. Low-Cost Sensor Units for Measuring Urban Air Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popoola, O. A.; Mead, M.; Stewart, G.; Hodgson, T.; McLoed, M.; Baldovi, J.; Landshoff, P.; Hayes, M.; Calleja, M.; Jones, R.

    2010-12-01

    Measurements of selected key air quality gases (CO, NO & NO2) have been made with a range of miniature low-cost sensors based on electrochemical gas sensing technology incorporating GPS and GPRS for position and communication respectively. Two types of simple to operate sensors units have been designed to be deployed in relatively large numbers. Mobile handheld sensor units designed for operation by members of the public have been deployed on numerous occasions including in Cambridge, London and Valencia. Static sensor units have also been designed for long-term autonomous deployment on existing street furniture. A study was recently completed in which 45 sensor units were deployed in the Cambridge area for a period of 3 months. Results from these studies indicate that air quality varies widely both spatially and temporally. The widely varying concentrations found suggest that the urban environment cannot be fully understood using limited static site (AURN) networks and that a higher resolution, more dispersed network is required to better define air quality in the urban environment. The results also suggest that higher spatial and temporal resolution measurements could improve knowledge of the levels of individual exposure in the urban environment.

  2. Costs and quality of life of multiple sclerosis in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobelt, Gisela; Berg, J; Lindgren, P; Izquierdo, G; Sánchez-Soliño, O; Pérez-Miranda, J; Casado, M A

    2006-09-01

    This cost-of-illness analysis is based on information from 1.848 patients in Spain and is part of a Europe-wide study on the costs of multiple sclerosis. The objective was to analyze the costs and quality of life (QOL) related to the level of disease severity and progression. Patients were identified by the Asociación Española de Esclerosis Múltiple (AEDEM) and participated in the survey by answering a mail questionnaire (response rate 31.8%). In addition to details on the disease (type of disease, relapses, level of functional disability), the questionnaire asked for information on all resource consumption, medical, non-medical, work absence and informal care, as well as utility (QOL). The mean age of the cohort was 45 years, and only 5.5% of patients were 65 years of age or more. Approximately 36% of patients had mild disease (Expanded Disability Status Scale [EDSS] score of 0-3), 44.8% had moderate disease (EDSS score of 4-6.5) and 17.7% had severe disease (EDSS score > or =7). The mean EDSS score in the sample was 4.5 (median 5.0), with a utility of 0.554. Costs and utility are highly correlated with disease severity. Workforce participation decreases from around 70% in early disease to less than 5% in the very late stages. Hospitalization is very infrequent in early disease, representing less than euro 1.300 per patient per year for patients at EDSS scores or =7. Ambulatory care increases fivefold between early and late disease, while investments and services increase from basically no cost to just over euro 6.000 at EDSS scores > or =7. Productivity losses increase more than eightfold, and informal care increases from euro 593 at EDSS scores of 0-1 to nearly euro 34.228 at scores of 8-9. Hence, total mean costs per patient are driven by the distribution of the severity levels in the sample, increasing from euro 10.425 at EDSS scores of 0-1 to euro 45.264 at a score of 7, and euro 65.693 at scores of 8-9. The same is true for utility, which decreases from 0

  3. Internet pharmacy: issues of access, quality, costs, and regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Stephanie Y

    2003-02-01

    Internet pharmacy has been the focus of heightened interest over the past 3 years since the first major Web site was introduced in the United States. This paper addresses issues pertaining to Internet pharmacies that sell prescriptions and other products to consumers at the retail level. The Internet pharmacy industry has shifted rapidly in the short time span. This paper begins with a summary of historical considerations and the shifting organization of Internet pharmacy. The advantages and disadvantages of online pharmacy practice are listed. Issues of access, quality, and cost are described. The challenges in regulation at the state and federal levels are presented. Advice to consumers is offered regarding the use of Internet pharmacy sites for purchasing prescription drug products.

  4. Can commercial low-cost sensor platforms contribute to air quality monitoring and exposure estimates?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castell, Nuria; Dauge, Franck R; Schneider, Philipp; Vogt, Matthias; Lerner, Uri; Fishbain, Barak; Broday, David; Bartonova, Alena

    2017-02-01

    The emergence of low-cost, user-friendly and very compact air pollution platforms enable observations at high spatial resolution in near-real-time and provide new opportunities to simultaneously enhance existing monitoring systems, as well as engage citizens in active environmental monitoring. This provides a whole new set of capabilities in the assessment of human exposure to air pollution. However, the data generated by these platforms are often of questionable quality. We have conducted an exhaustive evaluation of 24 identical units of a commercial low-cost sensor platform against CEN (European Standardization Organization) reference analyzers, evaluating their measurement capability over time and a range of environmental conditions. Our results show that their performance varies spatially and temporally, as it depends on the atmospheric composition and the meteorological conditions. Our results show that the performance varies from unit to unit, which makes it necessary to examine the data quality of each node before its use. In general, guidance is lacking on how to test such sensor nodes and ensure adequate performance prior to marketing these platforms. We have implemented and tested diverse metrics in order to assess if the sensor can be employed for applications that require high accuracy (i.e., to meet the Data Quality Objectives defined in air quality legislation, epidemiological studies) or lower accuracy (i.e., to represent the pollution level on a coarse scale, for purposes such as awareness raising). Data quality is a pertinent concern, especially in citizen science applications, where citizens are collecting and interpreting the data. In general, while low-cost platforms present low accuracy for regulatory or health purposes they can provide relative and aggregated information about the observed air quality.

  5. The Effects of Quality of Care on Costs: A Conceptual Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuckols, Teryl K; Escarce, José J; Asch, Steven M

    2013-01-01

    Context The quality of health care and the financial costs affected by receiving care represent two fundamental dimensions for judging health care performance. No existing conceptual framework appears to have described how quality influences costs. Methods We developed the Quality-Cost Framework, drawing from the work of Donabedian, the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method, reports by the Institute of Medicine, and other sources. Findings The Quality-Cost Framework describes how health-related quality of care (aspects of quality that influence health status) affects health care and other costs. Structure influences process, which, in turn, affects proximate and ultimate outcomes. Within structure, subdomains include general structural characteristics, circumstance-specific (e.g., disease-specific) structural characteristics, and quality-improvement systems. Process subdomains include appropriateness of care and medical errors. Proximate outcomes consist of disease progression, disease complications, and care complications. Each of the preceding subdomains influences health care costs. For example, quality improvement systems often create costs associated with monitoring and feedback. Providing appropriate care frequently requires additional physician visits and medications. Care complications may result in costly hospitalizations or procedures. Ultimate outcomes include functional status as well as length and quality of life; the economic value of these outcomes can be measured in terms of health utility or health-status-related costs. We illustrate our framework using examples related to glycemic control for type 2 diabetes mellitus or the appropriateness of care for low back pain. Conclusions The Quality-Cost Framework describes the mechanisms by which health-related quality of care affects health care and health status–related costs. Additional work will need to validate the framework by applying it to multiple clinical conditions. Applicability could be assessed

  6. Internal Quality Assurance--Enhancing Quality Culture. ENQA Workshop Report 16

    Science.gov (United States)

    ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education), 2010

    2010-01-01

    The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), in cooperation with the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA, UK), organised a seminar on theme "Internal Quality Assurance--Enhancing quality culture" which was held on 8-9 June, 2010 in London, United Kingdom. The seminar marked the fourth annual meeting of the ENQA…

  7. Measuring the Cost of Quality in Higher Education: A Faculty Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruhupatty, LeRoy; Maguad, Ben A.

    2015-01-01

    Most critical activities in colleges and universities are driven by financial considerations. It is thus important that revenues are found to support these activities or ways identified to streamline costs. One way to cut cost is to improve the efficiency of schools to address the issue of poor quality. In this paper, the cost of poor quality in…

  8. MANAGEMENT OF QUALITY COSTS IN TOURISM BUSINESSES AND AN INVESTIGATION ON HOTEL BUSINESSES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kezban ŞİMŞEK

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Intense competition in today business world makes offer of qualified goods and services essential in tourism businesses as it is in manifacturing businesses. To continue their existence, these profit-oriented businesses have to have an active quality costs system which follows cost of exercises to provide quality, keeps them under control besides providing quality. This study reveals managers’ opinion and present state of 3,4 and 5-star hotel businesses according to their quality costs applications. In this sense, hotel managers’ aspects of quality costs and their activities within quality costs were tired to be evalu ated, as a result of the study, it was discovered that essential part of the hotel businesses (67,2 % didn’t have quality costs system.

  9. Quality and Growth Implications of Incremental Costing Models for Distance Education Units

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, C. B.; Gould, Lawrence V.; King, Dennis; Parker, Carl

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to explore quality and growth implications emergent from various incremental costing models applied to distance education units. Prior research relative to costing models and three competing costing models useful in the current distance education environment are discussed. Specifically, the simple costing model, unit…

  10. Costs of Quality: Exploratory Analysis of Hidden Elements and Prioritization using Analytic Hierarchy Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sailaja A

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Cost of Quality analysis is emerged as an effective tool for the industrial managers for pinpointing the deficiencies in the system as well as for identifying the improvement areas by highlighting the cost reduction opportunities. However , this analysis will be fully effective only if it is further extended to identify the cost incurred in ensuring quality in all areas of the supply chain including the hidden costs and costs of missed out opportunities. Most of the hidden elements of quality costs are difficult to track and not accounted by the traditional accounting tools. An exploratory analysis is made in this research to identify the hidden elements of quality costs in manufacturing industry. Further, the identified cost elements are classified into various groups for better analysis and, finally, prioritized to identify the vital few among them. Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP technique which is one of the most popular Multi Criteria Decision Method (MCDM and Pareto analysis were used in this study for prioritizing the hidden quality cost elements based on their degree of impact on overall cost of quality. By this analysis, the key cost elements which are to be addressed to reduce the overall cost of quality are identified.

  11. Cost of Poor Quality Analysis for Automobile Industry: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teli, S. N.; Majali, V. S.; Bhushi, U. M.; Gaikwad, L. M.; Surange, V. G.

    2013-10-01

    The high competitiveness makes the quest for production cost reduction a constant in the market, but it is necessary to reduce costs without compromising quality. When a product is in the manufacturing and this has to be scraped, we have more cost than the raw material used, it is necessary to consider the manpower and operations, thus to calculate the cost added to the product. Continuous quality improvement is a key factor in the strategy for competitiveness. Quality cost is one tool, among many others, that can help in continuous quality improvement. Properly applying quality cost techniques is critical to these efforts. Initially, a complete quality cost study could provide awareness and guidance to a steering committee on what cross-discipline teams and improvement projects should be started. The cross discipline teams also can use quality cost special studies to help in focusing efforts. In this paper cost of poor quality analysis has been done using different techniques which are currently applying in automobile industry to assess quality cost.

  12. Enhancing environmental quality in agricultural systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stanghellini, C.; Kempkes, F.L.K.; Knies, P.

    2003-01-01

    Greenhouses have been extremely successful in providing abundant, cheap and high-quality produce, by using resources (water, minerals, pesticides) with a very high economic efficiency. Marginal agricultural land is being rapidly converted into protected cultivation in many (semi-arid) regions of the

  13. Quality Assurance: Enhancing or Threatening Higher Education?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taousanidis, Nikolaos I.; Antoniadou, Myrofora A.

    2010-01-01

    There is an increasing marketization of commodity services and, the authors argue, higher education is suffering heavily from this trend. Higher education institutions (HEIs) are currently subject to quality assurance and other externally imposed procedures that have been successfully applied in the private sector. This article analyses the…

  14. Enhancing forest value productivity through fiber quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Briggs

    2010-01-01

    Developing markets for carbon storage and bioenergy, shifting of the pulp and paper industry to biorefineries, and the potential of new technologies present the forest sector with exciting transformative opportunities and challenges. One of these challenges will be to understand the implications for fiber (wood) quality. This article provides a definitional context for...

  15. Air Quality Management Using Modern Remote Sensing and Spatial Technologies and Associated Societal Costs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waheed Uddin

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a study of societal costs related to public health due to the degradation of air quality and the lack of physical activity, both affected by our built environment. The paper further shows road safety as another public health concern. Traffic fatalities are the number one cause of death in the world. Traffic accidents result in huge financial loss to the people involved and the related public health cost is a significant part of the total societal cost. Motor vehicle exhausts and industrial emissions, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents as well as natural sources emit nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, which are precursors to the formation of ground-level Ozone. High concentration values of ground-level Ozone in hot summer days produce smog and lead to respiratory problems and loss in worker’s productivity. These factors and associated economic costs to society are important in establishing public policy and decision-making for sustainable transportation and development of communities in both industrialized and developing countries. This paper presents new science models for predicting ground-level Ozone and related air quality degradation. The models include predictor variables of daily climatological data, traffic volume and mix, speed, aviation data, and emission inventory of point sources. These models have been implemented in the user friendly AQMAN computer program and used for a case study in Northern Mississippi. Lifecycle benefits from reduced societal costs can be used to implement sustainable transportation policies, enhance investment decision-making, and protect public health and the environment.

  16. A variation reduction allocation model for quality improvement to minimize investment and quality costs by considering suppliers’ learning curve

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosyidi, C. N.; Jauhari, WA; Suhardi, B.; Hamada, K.

    2016-02-01

    Quality improvement must be performed in a company to maintain its product competitiveness in the market. The goal of such improvement is to increase the customer satisfaction and the profitability of the company. In current practice, a company needs several suppliers to provide the components in assembly process of a final product. Hence quality improvement of the final product must involve the suppliers. In this paper, an optimization model to allocate the variance reduction is developed. Variation reduction is an important term in quality improvement for both manufacturer and suppliers. To improve suppliers’ components quality, the manufacturer must invest an amount of their financial resources in learning process of the suppliers. The objective function of the model is to minimize the total cost consists of investment cost, and quality costs for both internal and external quality costs. The Learning curve will determine how the employee of the suppliers will respond to the learning processes in reducing the variance of the component.

  17. 40 CFR 52.995 - Enhanced ambient air quality monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Enhanced ambient air quality monitoring. 52.995 Section 52.995 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) AIR... air quality monitoring. (a) The Governor of the State of Louisiana submitted the...

  18. A Rotational Blended Learning Model: Enhancement and Quality Assurance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghoul, Said

    2013-01-01

    Research on blended learning theory and practice is growing nowadays with a focus on the development, evaluation, and quality assurance of case studies. However, the enhancement of blended learning existing models, the specification of their online parts, and the quality assurance related specifically to them have not received enough attention.…

  19. A Cost Analysis of Web-Enhanced Training to Reduce Alcohol Sales to Intoxicated Bar Patrons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Timothy F.; Nederhoff, Dawn M.; Ecklund, Alexandra M.; Horvath, Keith J.; Nelson, Toben F.; Erickson, Darin J.; Toomey, Traci L.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: The purpose of this study was to document the development and testing costs of the Enhanced Alcohol Risk Management (eARM) intervention, a web enhanced training program to prevent alcohol sales to intoxicated bar patrons and to estimate its implementation costs in a "real world", non-research setting. Methods: Data for this…

  20. IMPLICATIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES REGARDING THE ORGANIZATION OF QUALITY COST MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ION IONESCU

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Taking into considerations the obvious importance of the concept of quality, the inevitable question arises "What is the cost of quality?", clearly reaching the notion of "cost". It would seem absolutely logical and natural, that when we are referring to the total quality cost, from the professional point of view, to have an accountant that should take care of recording and supply of all the necessary data in terms of the inventory of this cost. The practical reality, however, shows that the accounting side of an economic entity does not provide comprehensive information regarding a complete definition of the quality cost. From this perspective, the present paper aims to consider a relevant discussion on the necessity and importance of the existence of the management accounting regarding the cost of quality

  1. Manufacturing High-Quality Carbon Nanotubes at Lower Cost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benavides, Jeanette M.; Lidecker, Henning

    2004-01-01

    A modified electric-arc welding process has been developed for manufacturing high-quality batches of carbon nanotubes at relatively low cost. Unlike in some other processes for making carbon nanotubes, metal catalysts are not used and, consequently, it is not necessary to perform extensive cleaning and purification. Also, unlike some other processes, this process is carried out at atmospheric pressure under a hood instead of in a closed, pressurized chamber; as a result, the present process can be implemented more easily. Although the present welding-based process includes an electric arc, it differs from a prior electric-arc nanotube-production process. The welding equipment used in this process includes an AC/DC welding power source with an integral helium-gas delivery system and circulating water for cooling an assembly that holds one of the welding electrodes (in this case, the anode). The cathode is a hollow carbon (optionally, graphite) rod having an outside diameter of 2 in. (approximately equal to 5.1 cm) and an inside diameter of 5/8 in. (approximately equal to 1.6 cm). The cathode is partly immersed in a water bath, such that it protrudes about 2 in. (about 5.1 cm) above the surface of the water. The bottom end of the cathode is held underwater by a clamp, to which is connected the grounding cable of the welding power source. The anode is a carbon rod 1/8 in. (approximately equal to 0.3 cm) in diameter. The assembly that holds the anode includes a thumbknob- driven mechanism for controlling the height of the anode. A small hood is placed over the anode to direct a flow of helium downward from the anode to the cathode during the welding process. A bell-shaped exhaust hood collects the helium and other gases from the process. During the process, as the anode is consumed, the height of the anode is adjusted to maintain an anode-to-cathode gap of 1 mm. The arc-welding process is continued until the upper end of the anode has been lowered to a specified height

  2. An innovative time-cost-quality tradeoff modeling of building construction project based on resource allocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Wenfa; He, Xinhua

    2014-01-01

    The time, quality, and cost are three important but contradictive objectives in a building construction project. It is a tough challenge for project managers to optimize them since they are different parameters. This paper presents a time-cost-quality optimization model that enables managers to optimize multiobjectives. The model is from the project breakdown structure method where task resources in a construction project are divided into a series of activities and further into construction labors, materials, equipment, and administration. The resources utilized in a construction activity would eventually determine its construction time, cost, and quality, and a complex time-cost-quality trade-off model is finally generated based on correlations between construction activities. A genetic algorithm tool is applied in the model to solve the comprehensive nonlinear time-cost-quality problems. Building of a three-storey house is an example to illustrate the implementation of the model, demonstrate its advantages in optimizing trade-off of construction time, cost, and quality, and help make a winning decision in construction practices. The computational time-cost-quality curves in visual graphics from the case study prove traditional cost-time assumptions reasonable and also prove this time-cost-quality trade-off model sophisticated.

  3. An Innovative Time-Cost-Quality Tradeoff Modeling of Building Construction Project Based on Resource Allocation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenfa Hu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The time, quality, and cost are three important but contradictive objectives in a building construction project. It is a tough challenge for project managers to optimize them since they are different parameters. This paper presents a time-cost-quality optimization model that enables managers to optimize multiobjectives. The model is from the project breakdown structure method where task resources in a construction project are divided into a series of activities and further into construction labors, materials, equipment, and administration. The resources utilized in a construction activity would eventually determine its construction time, cost, and quality, and a complex time-cost-quality trade-off model is finally generated based on correlations between construction activities. A genetic algorithm tool is applied in the model to solve the comprehensive nonlinear time-cost-quality problems. Building of a three-storey house is an example to illustrate the implementation of the model, demonstrate its advantages in optimizing trade-off of construction time, cost, and quality, and help make a winning decision in construction practices. The computational time-cost-quality curves in visual graphics from the case study prove traditional cost-time assumptions reasonable and also prove this time-cost-quality trade-off model sophisticated.

  4. AN ENHANCED MODEL TO ESTIMATE EFFORT, PERFORMANCE AND COST OF THE SOFTWARE PROJECTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Pauline

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The Authors have proposed a model that first captures the fundamentals of software metrics in the phase 1 consisting of three primitive primary software engineering metrics; they are person-months (PM, function-points (FP, and lines of code (LOC. The phase 2 consists of the proposed function point which is obtained by grouping the adjustment factors to simplify the process of adjustment and to ensure more consistency in the adjustments. In the proposed method fuzzy logic is used for quantifying the quality of requirements and is added as one of the adjustment factor, thus a fuzzy based approach for the Enhanced General System Characteristics to Estimate Effort of the Software Projects using productivity has been obtained. The phase 3 takes the calculated function point from our work and is given as input to the static single variable model (i.e. to the Intermediate COCOMO and COCOMO II for cost estimation. The Authors have tailored the cost factors in intermediate COCOMO and both; cost and scale factors are tailored in COCOMO II to suite to the individual development environment, which is very important for the accuracy of the cost estimates. The software performance indicators are project duration, schedule predictability, requirements completion ratio and post-release defect density, are also measured for the software projects in my work. A comparative study for effort, performance measurement and cost estimation of the software project is done between the existing model and the authors proposed work. Thus our work analyzes the interaction¬al process through which the estimation tasks were collectively accomplished.

  5. Process Model of Quality Cost Monitoring for Small and Medium Wood-Processing Enterprises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denis Jelačić

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Quality is not only a technical category and the system of quality management is not only focused on product quality. Quality and costs are closely interlinked. The paper deals with the quality cost monitoring in small and medium wood-processing enterprises (SMEs in Slovakia, and also presents the results of the questionnaire survey. An empirical study is aimed to determine the level of understanding and level of implementation of quality cost monitoring in wood-processing SMEs in Slovakia. The research is based on PAF model. A suitable model for quality cost monitoring is also proposed in the paper based on the research results with guidelines for using the methods of Activity Basic Costing. The empirical study is focused on SMEs, which make 99.8 % of all companies in the branch, and where the quality cost monitoring often works as a latent management subsystem. SMEs managers use indicators for monitoring the processe performance and production quality, but they usually do not develop a separate framework for measuring and evaluating quality costs.

  6. Case Mix, Quality and High-Cost Kidney Transplant Patients

    OpenAIRE

    Englesbe, M. J.; Dimick, J. B.; Fan, Z; Baser, O.; Birkmeyer, J. D.

    2009-01-01

    A better understanding of high-cost kidney transplant patients would be useful for informing value-based purchasing strategies by payers. This retrospective cohort study was based on the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) files from 2003 to 2006. The focus of this analysis was high-cost kidney transplant patients (patients that qualified for Medicare outlier payments and 30-day readmission payments). Using regression techniques, we explored relationships between high-cost kidney t...

  7. Customer Focused Product Design Using Integrated Model of Target Costing, Quality Function Deployment and Value Engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein Rezaei Dolatabadi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Target costing by integrating customer requirements, technical attributes and cost information into the product design phase and eliminating the non-value added functions, plays a vital role in different phases of the product life cycle. Quality Function Deployment (QFD and Value Engineering (VE are two techniques which can be used for applying target costing, successfully. The purpose of this paper is to propose an integrated model of target costing, QFD and VE to explore the role of target costing in managing product costs while promoting quality specifications meeting customers’ needs. F indings indicate that the integration of target costing, QFD and VE is an essential technique in managing the costs of production process. Findings also imply that integration of the three techniques provides a competitive cost advantage to companies.

  8. Cost Quality Management Assessment for the Idaho Operations Office. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-06-01

    The Office of Engineering and Cost Management (EM-24) conducted a Cost Quality Management Assessment of EM-30 and EM-40 activities at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory on Feb. 3--19, 1992 (Round I). The CQMA team assessed the cost and cost-related management activities at INEL. The Round II CQMA, conducted at INEL Sept. 19--29, 1994, reviewed EM-30, EM-40, EM-50, and EM-60 cost and cost-related management practices against performance objectives and criteria. Round II did not address indirect cost analysis. INEL has made measurable progress since Round I.

  9. Child Care in the American South: Poverty, Costs, and Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Vikki K.

    2012-01-01

    High-quality child care has been shown to improve the academic success and life adjustments of children living in poverty. During the past decade, many American states have adopted voluntary Quality Rating and Improvement (QRI) systems in an attempt to increase the level of quality in child care. Using data compiled by the National Association of…

  10. Software cost/resource modeling: Software quality tradeoff measurement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawler, R. W.

    1980-01-01

    A conceptual framework for treating software quality from a total system perspective is developed. Examples are given to show how system quality objectives may be allocated to hardware and software; to illustrate trades among quality factors, both hardware and software, to achieve system performance objectives; and to illustrate the impact of certain design choices on software functionality.

  11. QUALICOPC, a multi-country study evaluating quality, costs and equity in primary care.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schäfer, W.L.A.; Boerma, W.G.W.; Kringos, D.S.; Maeseneer, J. de; Gress, S.; Heinemann, S.; Rotar-Pavlic, D.; Seghieri, C.; Svab, I.; Berg, M.J. van den; Vainieri, M.; Westert, G.P.; Willems, S.; Groenewegen, P.P.

    2011-01-01

    Background: The QUALICOPC (Quality and Costs of Primary Care in Europe) study aims to evaluate the performance of primary care systems in Europe in terms of quality, equity and costs. The study will provide an answer to the question what strong primary care systems entail and which effects primary c

  12. QUALICOPC, a multi-country study evaluating quality, costs and equity in primary care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schafer, W.L.; Boerma, W.G.; Kringos, D.S.; Maeseneer, J. De; Gress, S.; Heinemann, S.; Rotar-Pavlic, D.; Seghieri, C.; Svab, I.; Berg, M.J. van den; Vainieri, M.; Westert, G.P.; Willems, S.; Groenewegen, P.P.

    2011-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The QUALICOPC (Quality and Costs of Primary Care in Europe) study aims to evaluate the performance of primary care systems in Europe in terms of quality, equity and costs. The study will provide an answer to the question what strong primary care systems entail and which effects

  13. Creating patient value in glaucoma care : applying quality costing and care delivery value chain approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.F. de Korne (Dirk); J.C.A. Sol (Kees); T. Custers (Thomas); E. van Sprundel (Esther); B.M. van Ineveld (Martin); H.G. Lemij (Hans); N.S. Klazinga (Niek)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractPurpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore in a specific hospital care process the applicability in practice of the theories of quality costing and value chains. Design/methodology/approach: In a retrospective case study an in-depth evaluation of the use of a quality cost model (QC

  14. Creating patient value in glaucoma care : applying quality costing and care delivery value chain approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.F. de Korne (Dirk); J.C.A. Sol (Kees); T. Custers (Thomas); E. van Sprundel (Esther); B.M. van Ineveld (Martin); H.G. Lemij (Hans); N.S. Klazinga (Niek)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractPurpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore in a specific hospital care process the applicability in practice of the theories of quality costing and value chains. Design/methodology/approach: In a retrospective case study an in-depth evaluation of the use of a quality cost model

  15. Enhancing Cost Realism through Risk-Driven Contracting: Designing Incentive Fees Based on Probabilistic Cost Estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-01

    it would award a CPFF contract to what it knew to be the lowest cost contractor to avoid the risk premium of incentive contracts ( Samuelson , 1986... Samuelson , W. (1986). Bidding for contracts. Management Science, 32(12), 1533–1550. Scherer, F. M. (1964). The theory of contractual incentives for cost

  16. [Pharmaceutical procurement by the public sector: the quality/cost relationship].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luiza, V L; Castro, C G; Nunes, J M

    1999-01-01

    The authors discuss procurement and provision of pharmaceutical products from the perspective of supply management in the public health sector, focusing on two main aspects: quality and cost. The article analyzes issues to be considered by buyers when evaluating drug quality, especially formulation stability, bioequivalence, and the role of generics. Also discussed are factors involving costs and cost management in relation to technological innovations and consumer demands. New alternatives and suggestions are examined and presented for procurement of high-quality, cost-effective drug products.

  17. Costs of water treatment due to diminished water quality: A case study in Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dearmont, David; McCarl, Bruce A.; Tolman, Deborah A.

    1998-04-01

    The cost of municipal water treatment due to diminished water quality represents an important component of the societal costs of water pollution. Here the chemical costs of municipal water treatment are expressed as a function of raw surface water quality. Data are used for a 3-year period for 12 water treatment plants in Texas. Results show that when regional raw water contamination is present, the chemical cost of water treatment is increased by 95 per million gallons (per 3785 m3) from a base of 75. A 1% increase in turbidity is shown to increase chemical costs by 0.25%.

  18. Climate change mitigation for agriculture: water quality benefits and costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcock, Robert; Elliott, Sandy; Hudson, Neale; Parkyn, Stephanie; Quinn, John

    2008-01-01

    New Zealand is unique in that half of its national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory derives from agriculture--predominantly as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), in a 2:1 ratio. The remaining GHG emissions predominantly comprise carbon dioxide (CO2) deriving from energy and industry sources. Proposed strategies to mitigate emissions of CH4 and N2O from pastoral agriculture in New Zealand are: (1) utilising extensive and riparian afforestation of pasture to achieve CO2 uptake (carbon sequestration); (2) management of nitrogen through budgeting and/or the use of nitrification inhibitors, and minimizing soil anoxia to reduce N2O emissions; and (3) utilisation of alternative waste treatment technologies to minimise emissions of CH4. These mitigation measures have associated co-benefits and co-costs (disadvantages) for rivers, streams and lakes because they affect land use, runoff loads, and receiving water and habitat quality. Extensive afforestation results in lower specific yields (exports) of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), suspended sediment (SS) and faecal matter and also has benefits for stream habitat quality by improving stream temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH regimes through greater shading, and the supply of woody debris and terrestrial food resources. Riparian afforestation does not achieve the same reductions in exports as extensive afforestation but can achieve reductions in concentrations of N, P, SS and faecal organisms. Extensive afforestation of pasture leads to reduced water yields and stream flows. Both afforestation measures produce intermittent disturbances to waterways during forestry operations (logging and thinning), resulting in sediment release from channel re-stabilisation and localised flooding, including formation of debris dams at culverts. Soil and fertiliser management benefits aquatic ecosystems by reducing N exports but the use of nitrification inhibitors, viz. dicyandiamide (DCD), to achieve this may under some circumstances

  19. Quality Costs (IRR Impact on Lot Size Considering Work in Process Inventory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Misbah Ullaha

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Economic order quantity model and production quantity model assume that production processes are error free. However, variations exist in processes which result in imperfection particularly in high machining environments. Processes variations result in nonconformities that increase quality costs in the form of rework, rejects and quality control techniques implementations to ensure quality product delivery. This paper is an attempt towards development of inventory model which incorporate inspection, rework, and rejection (IRR quality costs in optimum lot size calculation focusing work in process inventory. Mathematical model is derived for optimum lot size based on minimum average cost function using analytical approach. This new developed model (GTOQIRR assume an imperfect production environment. Numerical examples are used to visualize the significant effect of quality cost in the proposed model in comparison to the previously developed models. The proposed model is highly recommendable for quality based high machining manufacturing environments considering work in process inventories.

  20. Positive Attitude toward Healthy Eating Predicts Higher Diet Quality at All Cost Levels of Supermarkets☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggarwal, Anju; Monsivais, Pablo; Cook, Andrea J.; Drewnowski, Adam

    2014-01-01

    Shopping at low-cost supermarkets has been associated with higher obesity rates. This study examined whether attitudes toward healthy eating are independently associated with diet quality among shoppers at low-cost, medium-cost, and high-cost supermarkets. Data on socioeconomic status (SES), attitudes toward healthy eating, and supermarket choice were collected using a telephone survey of a representative sample of adult residents of King County, WA. Dietary intake data were based on a food frequency questionnaire. Thirteen supermarket chains were stratified into three categories: low, medium, and high cost, based on a market basket of 100 commonly eaten foods. Diet-quality measures were energy density, mean adequacy ratio, and total servings of fruits and vegetables. The analytical sample consisted of 963 adults. Multivariable regressions with robust standard error examined relations between diet quality, supermarket type, attitudes, and SES. Shopping at higher-cost supermarkets was associated with higher-quality diets. These associations persisted after adjusting for SES, but were eliminated after taking attitudinal measures into account. Supermarket shoppers with positive attitudes toward healthy eating had equally higher-quality diets, even if they shopped at low-, medium-, or high-cost supermarkets, independent of SES and other covariates. These findings imply that shopping at low-cost supermarkets does not prevent consumers from having high-quality diets, as long as they attach importance to good nutrition. Promoting nutrition-education strategies among supermarkets, particularly those catering to low-income groups, can help to improve diet quality. PMID:23916974

  1. A New Model for Solving Time-Cost-Quality Trade-Off Problems in Construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Fang; Zhang, Tao

    2016-01-01

    A poor quality affects project makespan and its total costs negatively, but it can be recovered by repair works during construction. We construct a new non-linear programming model based on the classic multi-mode resource constrained project scheduling problem considering repair works. In order to obtain satisfactory quality without a high increase of project cost, the objective is to minimize total quality cost which consists of the prevention cost and failure cost according to Quality-Cost Analysis. A binary dependent normal distribution function is adopted to describe the activity quality; Cumulative quality is defined to determine whether to initiate repair works, according to the different relationships among activity qualities, namely, the coordinative and precedence relationship. Furthermore, a shuffled frog-leaping algorithm is developed to solve this discrete trade-off problem based on an adaptive serial schedule generation scheme and adjusted activity list. In the program of the algorithm, the frog-leaping progress combines the crossover operator of genetic algorithm and a permutation-based local search. Finally, an example of a construction project for a framed railway overpass is provided to examine the algorithm performance, and it assist in decision making to search for the appropriate makespan and quality threshold with minimal cost.

  2. Cesarean Delivery Rates Vary 10-Fold Among US Hospitals; Reducing Variation May Address Quality, Cost Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozhimannil, Katy Backes; Law, Michael R.; Virnig, Beth A.

    2013-01-01

    Cesarean delivery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the United States, and cesarean rates are increasing. Working with 2009 data from 593 US hospitals nationwide, we found that cesarean rates varied tenfold across hospitals, from 7.1 percent to 69.9 percent. Even for women with lower-risk pregnancies, in which more limited variation might be expected, cesarean rates varied fifteen-fold, from 2.4 percent to 36.5 percent. Thus, vast differences in practice patterns are likely to be driving the costly overuse of cesarean delivery in many US hospitals. Because Medicaid pays for nearly half of US births, government efforts to decrease variation are warranted. We focus on four promising directions for reducing these variations, including better coordination of maternity care, more data collection and measurement, tying Medicaid payment to quality improvement, and enhancing patient-centered decision making through public reporting. PMID:23459732

  3. Are socioeconomic disparities in diet quality explained by diet cost?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monsivais, Pablo; Aggarwal, Anju; Drewnowski, Adam

    2014-01-01

    Background Socioeconomic disparities in nutrition are well documented. This study tested the hypothesis that socioeconomic differences in nutrient intakes can be accounted for, in part, by diet cost. Methods A representative sample of 1,295 adults in King County (WA) was surveyed in 2008–2009 and usual dietary intakes were assessed based on a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Monetary value of individual diets was estimated using local retail supermarket prices for 384 foods. Nutrients of concern as identified by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee were fiber, vitamins A, C and E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. A nutrient density score based on all seven nutrients was another dependent measure. General linear models and linear regressions were used to examine associations among education and income, nutrient density measure and diet cost. Analyses were conducted in 2009–2010. Results Controlling for energy and other covariates, higher-cost diets were significantly higher in all seven nutrients and in overall nutrient density. Higher education and income were positively and significantly associated with the nutrient density measure, but these effects were greatly attenuated with the inclusion of the cost variable in the model. Conclusions Socioeconomic differences in nutrient intake can be substantially explained by the monetary cost of the diet. The higher cost of more nutritious diets may contribute to socioeconomic disparities in health and should be taken into account in the formulation of nutrition and public health policy. PMID:21148819

  4. Positive Attitude toward Healthy Eating Predicts Higher Diet Quality at All Cost Levels of Supermarkets ☆

    OpenAIRE

    Aggarwal, Anju; Monsivais, Pablo; Cook, Andrea J.; Drewnowski, Adam

    2014-01-01

    Shopping at low-cost supermarkets has been associated with higher obesity rates. This study examined whether attitudes toward healthy eating are independently associated with diet quality among shoppers at low-cost, medium-cost, and high-cost supermarkets. Data on socioeconomic status (SES), attitudes toward healthy eating, and supermarket choice were collected using a telephone survey of a representative sample of adult residents of King County, WA. Dietary intake data were based on a food f...

  5. QUALITY ATTRIBUTES IN COST MANAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTING SUBJECTS: THE STUDENTS’ VIEWPOINT

    OpenAIRE

    Jucelia Appio Tibola; Amélia Silveira; Ilisangela Mais

    2012-01-01

    The aim in this research is to identify the quality attributes students perceive in cost management and accounting subjects. The subjects were 126 students who took the subjects Cost Applied to Administration, Cost Accounting and Cost Analysis, corresponding to all students in the semester during which the research was undertaken. Thus, a census study was adopted. The research institution is a public university that offers graduate (M.Sc. and Ph.D.) programs in Accountancy and Business Admini...

  6. Individual variation in reproductive costs of reproduction: high-quality females always do better.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamel, Sandra; Côté, Steeve D; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2009-01-01

    1. Although life-history theory predicts substantial costs of reproduction, individuals often show positive correlations among life-history traits, rather than trade-offs. The apparent absence of reproductive costs may result from heterogeneity in individual quality. 2. Using detailed longitudinal data from three contrasted ungulate populations (mountain goats, Oreamnos americanus; bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis; and roe deer, Capreolus capreolus), we assessed how individual quality affects the probability of detecting a cost of current reproduction on future reproduction for females. We used a composite measure of individual quality based on variations in longevity (all species), success in the last breeding opportunity before death (goats and sheep), adult mass (all species), and social rank (goats only). 3. In all species, high-quality females consistently had a higher probability of reproduction, irrespective of previous reproductive status. In mountain goats, we detected a cost of reproduction only after accounting for differences in individual quality. Only low-quality female goats were less likely to reproduce following years of breeding than of nonbreeding. Offspring survival was lower in bighorn ewes following years of successful breeding than after years when no lamb was produced, but only for low-quality females, suggesting that a cost of reproduction only occurred for low-quality females. 4. Because costs of reproduction differ among females, studies of life-history evolution must account for heterogeneity in individual quality.

  7. The practice of quality-associated costing: application to transfusion manufacturing processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trenchard, P M; Dixon, R

    1997-01-01

    This article applies the new method of quality-associated costing (QAC) to the mixture of processes that create red cell and plasma products from whole blood donations. The article compares QAC with two commonly encountered but arbitrary models and illustrates the invalidity of clinical cost-benefit analysis based on these models. The first, an "isolated" cost model, seeks to allocate each whole process cost to only one product class. The other is a "shared" cost model, and it seeks to allocate an approximately equal share of all process costs to all associated products.

  8. Modelling Benefits-Oriented Costs for Technology Enhanced Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurillard, Diana

    2007-01-01

    The introduction of technology enhanced learning (TEL) methods changes the deployment of the most important resource in the education system: teachers' and learners' time. New technology promises greater personalization and greater productivity, but without careful modeling of the effects on the use of staff time, TEL methods can easily increase…

  9. Potential impact of superconductivity on power quality enhancment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnell, B. W.

    1992-02-01

    Electric power quality problems are estimated to cost U.S. industry 26 billion dollars per year in lost production. This paper provides a summary of the problem's magnitude, an overview of the underlying causes, discusses the present methods used by industry to reduce the problem's impact and the associated cost, and examines the potential for superconducting technology to effect alternative solutions. The present market for uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and power conditioners is also discussed and the benefits of applying high temperature superconductors (HTS) are summarized.

  10. Collaborative Network Management for Enhancing Quality Education of Primary Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaikoed, Wisithsak; Sirisuthi, Chaiyuth; Numnaphol, Kochaporn

    2017-01-01

    This research aims to study the network and collaborative factors that enhance quality education of primary schools. Different methods were used in this research work: (1) Related approaches, theories, and research literatures and (2) Scholars were interviewed on 871 issues in the form of questionnaire, and the collaborative network factors were…

  11. Manufacturing R&D Initiative Lowers Costs and Boosts Quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2015-06-30

    Fact sheet that provides an overview of DOE's Manufacturing R&D Initiative, which supports projects aimed at developing better-performing, lower-cost solid-state lighting while encouraging engineering and manufacturing in the United States.

  12. The financial and quality-of-life cost to patients living with a chronic wound in the community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapp, Suzanne; Santamaria, Nick

    2017-06-20

    required to reduce the financial and personal costs experienced by people who have chronic wounds. It is imperative that healthcare funding is directed to people who have chronic wounds, in particular to alleviate the out-of-pocket costs experienced by self-funders. Continued attention to the quality of life of people who have chronic wounds is required to minimise the negative effects of this condition and enhance well-being. © 2017 Medicalhelplines.com Inc and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. A cost-efficiency and health benefit approach to improve urban air quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, A I; Ferreira, J; Silveira, C; Relvas, H; Duque, L; Roebeling, P; Lopes, M; Costa, S; Monteiro, A; Gama, C; Sá, E; Borrego, C; Teixeira, J P

    2016-11-01

    When ambient air quality standards established in the EU Directive 2008/50/EC are exceeded, Member States are obliged to develop and implement Air Quality Plans (AQP) to improve air quality and health. Notwithstanding the achievements in emission reductions and air quality improvement, additional efforts need to be undertaken to improve air quality in a sustainable way - i.e. through a cost-efficiency approach. This work was developed in the scope of the recently concluded MAPLIA project "Moving from Air Pollution to Local Integrated Assessment", and focuses on the definition and assessment of emission abatement measures and their associated costs, air quality and health impacts and benefits by means of air quality modelling tools, health impact functions and cost-efficiency analysis. The MAPLIA system was applied to the Grande Porto urban area (Portugal), addressing PM10 and NOx as the most important pollutants in the region. Four different measures to reduce PM10 and NOx emissions were defined and characterized in terms of emissions and implementation costs, and combined into 15 emission scenarios, simulated by the TAPM air quality modelling tool. Air pollutant concentration fields were then used to estimate health benefits in terms of avoided costs (external costs), using dose-response health impact functions. Results revealed that, among the 15 scenarios analysed, the scenario including all 4 measures lead to a total net benefit of 0.3M€·y(-1). The largest net benefit is obtained for the scenario considering the conversion of 50% of open fire places into heat recovery wood stoves. Although the implementation costs of this measure are high, the benefits outweigh the costs. Research outcomes confirm that the MAPLIA system is useful for policy decision support on air quality improvement strategies, and could be applied to other urban areas where AQP need to be implemented and monitored. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Flying qualities - A costly lapse in flight-control design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, D. T.

    1982-01-01

    Generic problems in advanced aircraft with advanced control systems which suffer from control sensitivity, sluggish response, and pilot-induced oscillation tendencies are examined, with a view to improving techniques for eliminating the problems in the design phase. Results of two NASA and NASA/AIAA workshops reached a consensus that flying qualities criteria do not match control system development, control system designers are not relying on past experience in their field, ground-based simulation is relied on too heavily, and communications between flying qualities and control systems engineers need improvement. A summation is offered in that hardware and software have outstripped the pilot's capacity to use the capabilities which new aircraft offer. The flying qualities data base is stressed to be dynamic, and continually redefining the man/machine relationships.

  15. [Cost-effectiveness analysis and diet quality index applied to the WHO Global Strategy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Flávia Mori Sarti; Simões, Arlete Naresse

    2008-02-01

    To test the use of cost-effectiveness analysis as a decision making tool in the production of meals for the inclusion of the recommendations published in the World Health Organization's Global Strategy. Five alternative options for breakfast menu were assessed previously to their adoption in a food service at a university in the state of Sao Paulo, Southeastern Brazil, in 2006. Costs of the different options were based on market prices of food items (direct cost). Health benefits were estimated based on adaptation of the Diet Quality Index (DQI). Cost-effectiveness ratios were estimated by dividing benefits by costs and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were estimated as cost differential per unit of additional benefit. The meal choice was based on health benefit units associated to direct production cost as well as incremental effectiveness per unit of differential cost. The analysis showed the most simple option with the addition of a fruit (DQI = 64 / cost = R$ 1.58) as the best alternative. Higher effectiveness was seen in the options with a fruit portion (DQI1=64 / DQI3=58 / DQI5=72) compared to the others (DQI2=48 / DQI4=58). The estimate of cost-effectiveness ratio allowed to identifying the best breakfast option based on cost-effectiveness analysis and Diet Quality Index. These instruments allow easy application easiness and objective evaluation which are key to the process of inclusion of public or private institutions under the Global Strategy directives.

  16. Calculation of Total Cost, Tolerance Based on Taguchi’s, Asymmetric Quality Loss Function Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. S. Kumar

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: Current world market force the manufacturing sectors to develop high quality product and process design with minimum possible cost. About 80% of problems in production units may be attributed to 20% of design tolerance causes. While design typically represents the smallest actual cost elements in products (around 5%, it leverages the largest cost influence (around 70%. So design engineers continuously stumble upon problem of design for high quality performance with lower cost. Objectives of this study where to: (i simultaneous selection of design and manufacturing tolerance (ii minimization of total cost (sum of the manufacturing cost and Taguchi’s asymmetric quality cost (iii minimum cost and its machining tolerance. Approach: Rotor key base assembly was considered as case study to optimize the minimization of assembly total cost and machining tolerance. New global nonlinear optimization techniques called pattern search algorithm had been implemented to find optimal tolerance allocation and total cost. Results: In this study minimum cost arrived was 45.15 Cr and its corresponding tolerances for machining process turning, drilling, face milling, face milling and drilling where 0.063, 0.0508, 0.2127, 0.2127, 0.2540 mm respectively at worst case conditions. Conclusion: Results indicated that optimization by integer programming, sequential quadratic programming and exhaustive search, nonlinear programming, genetic algorithm, simulated annealing, fuzzy logic, number set theory and Monte Carlo simulation did not give much least total cost and also predicted that pattern search algorithm was robust method. Second the method, generally termed as concurrent tolerance synthesis was well suited for engineering environment, where high quality products with low total cost were designed and manufactured.

  17. The use of databases and registries to enhance colonoscopy quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logan, Judith R; Lieberman, David A

    2010-10-01

    Administrative databases, registries, and clinical databases are designed for different purposes and therefore have different advantages and disadvantages in providing data for enhancing quality. Administrative databases provide the advantages of size, availability, and generalizability, but are subject to constraints inherent in the coding systems used and from data collection methods optimized for billing. Registries are designed for research and quality reporting but require significant investment from participants for secondary data collection and quality control. Electronic health records contain all of the data needed for quality research and measurement, but that data is too often locked in narrative text and unavailable for analysis. National mandates for electronic health record implementation and functionality will likely change this landscape in the near future.

  18. The Psychological Costs to Quality and Equality in Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronfenbrenner, Urie

    The initial part of this paper summarizes the bases for the assertion that the most immediate, overwhelming, and stubborn obstacles to achieving quality and equality in education lie as much in the character and way of life of the American Negro as in the indifference and hostility of the white community toward blacks. A discussion of prenatal…

  19. Cost-benefit analysis of improved air quality in an office building

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Djukanovic, R.; Wargocki, Pawel; Fanger, Povl Ole

    2002-01-01

    A cost-benefit analysis of measures to improve air quality in an existing air-conditoned office building (11581 m2, 864 employees) was carried out for hot, temperate and cold climates and for two operating modes: Variable Air Volume (VAV) with economizer; and Constant Air Volume (CAV) with heat...... recovery. The annual energy cost and first cost of the HVAC system were calculat4ed using DOE 2.1E for different levels of air quality (10-50% dissatisfied). This was achieved by changing the outdoor air supply rate and the pollution loads. Previous studies have documented a 1.1% increase in office...... productivity for every 10% reduction in the proportion of occupants entering a space who are dissatisfied with the air quality. With this assumption, the annual benefit due to improved air quality was always at least 10 times higher than the increase in annual energy and maintenance costs. The payback time...

  20. Cost-benefit analysis of improved air quality in an office building

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Djukanovic, R.; Wargocki, Pawel; Fanger, Povl Ole

    2002-01-01

    productivity for every 10% reduction in the proportion of occupants entering a space who are dissatisfied with the air quality. With this assumption, the annual benefit due to improved air quality was always at least 10 times higher than the increase in annual energy and maintenance costs. The payback time......A cost-benefit analysis of measures to improve air quality in an existing air-conditoned office building (11581 m2, 864 employees) was carried out for hot, temperate and cold climates and for two operating modes: Variable Air Volume (VAV) with economizer; and Constant Air Volume (CAV) with heat...... recovery. The annual energy cost and first cost of the HVAC system were calculat4ed using DOE 2.1E for different levels of air quality (10-50% dissatisfied). This was achieved by changing the outdoor air supply rate and the pollution loads. Previous studies have documented a 1.1% increase in office...

  1. Seek and ye shall find: consumer search for objective health care cost and quality information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sick, Brian; Abraham, Jean M

    2011-01-01

    Significant investments have been made in developing and disseminating health care provider cost and quality information on the Internet with the expectation that stronger consumer engagement will lead consumers to seek providers who deliver high-quality, low-cost care. However, prior research shows that the awareness and use of such information is low. This study investigates how the information search process may contribute to explaining this result. The analysis reveals that the Web sites most likely to be found by consumers are owned by private companies and provide information based on anecdotal patient experiences. Web sites less likely to be found have government or community-based ownership, are based on administrative data, and contain a mixture of quality, cost, and patient experience information. Searches for information on hospitals reveal more cost and quality information based on administrative data, whereas searches that focus on clinics or physicians are more likely to produce information based on patient narratives.

  2. An Innovative Time-Cost-Quality Tradeoff Modeling of Building Construction Project Based on Resource Allocation

    OpenAIRE

    Wenfa Hu; Xinhua He

    2014-01-01

    The time, quality, and cost are three important but contradictive objectives in a building construction project. It is a tough challenge for project managers to optimize them since they are different parameters. This paper presents a time-cost-quality optimization model that enables managers to optimize multiobjectives. The model is from the project breakdown structure method where task resources in a construction project are divided into a series of activities and further into construction l...

  3. Monitoring Indoor Air Quality for Enhanced Occupational Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitarma, Rui; Marques, Gonçalo; Ferreira, Bárbara Roque

    2017-02-01

    Indoor environments are characterized by several pollutant sources. Because people spend more than 90% of their time in indoor environments, several studies have pointed out the impact of indoor air quality on the etiopathogenesis of a wide number of non-specific symptoms which characterizes the "Sick Building Syndrome", involving the skin, the upper and lower respiratory tract, the eyes and the nervous system, as well as many building related diseases. Thus, indoor air quality (IAQ) is recognized as an important factor to be controlled for the occupants' health and comfort. The majority of the monitoring systems presently available is very expensive and only allow to collect random samples. This work describes the system (iAQ), a low-cost indoor air quality monitoring wireless sensor network system, developed using Arduino, XBee modules and micro sensors, for storage and availability of monitoring data on a web portal in real time. Five micro sensors of environmental parameters (air temperature, humidity, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and luminosity) were used. Other sensors can be added for monitoring specific pollutants. The results reveal that the system can provide an effective indoor air quality assessment to prevent exposure risk. In fact, the indoor air quality may be extremely different compared to what is expected for a quality living environment. Systems like this would have benefit as public health interventions to reduce the burden of symptoms and diseases related to "sick buildings".

  4. Abbreviated epitaxial growth mode (AGM) method for reducing cost and improving quality of LEDs and lasers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tansu, Nelson; Chan, Helen M; Vinci, Richard P; Ee, Yik-Khoon; Biser, Jeffrey

    2013-09-24

    The use of an abbreviated GaN growth mode on nano-patterned AGOG sapphire substrates, which utilizes a process of using 15 nm low temperature GaN buffer and bypassing etch-back and recovery processes during epitaxy, enables the growth of high-quality GaN template on nano-patterned AGOG sapphire. The GaN template grown on nano-patterned AGOG sapphire by employing abbreviated growth mode has two orders of magnitude lower threading dislocation density than that of conventional GaN template grown on planar sapphire. The use of abbreviated growth mode also leads to significant reduction in cost of the epitaxy. The growths and characteristics of InGaN quantum wells (QWs) light emitting diodes (LEDs) on both templates were compared. The InGaN QWs LEDs grown on the nano-patterned AGOG sapphire demonstrated at least a 24% enhancement of output power enhancement over that of LEDs grown on conventional GaN templates.

  5. Abbreviated epitaxial growth mode (AGM) method for reducing cost and improving quality of LEDs and lasers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tansu, Nelson; Chan, Helen M; Vinci, Richard P; Ee, Yik-Khoon; Biser, Jeffrey

    2013-09-24

    The use of an abbreviated GaN growth mode on nano-patterned AGOG sapphire substrates, which utilizes a process of using 15 nm low temperature GaN buffer and bypassing etch-back and recovery processes during epitaxy, enables the growth of high-quality GaN template on nano-patterned AGOG sapphire. The GaN template grown on nano-patterned AGOG sapphire by employing abbreviated growth mode has two orders of magnitude lower threading dislocation density than that of conventional GaN template grown on planar sapphire. The use of abbreviated growth mode also leads to significant reduction in cost of the epitaxy. The growths and characteristics of InGaN quantum wells (QWs) light emitting diodes (LEDs) on both templates were compared. The InGaN QWs LEDs grown on the nano-patterned AGOG sapphire demonstrated at least a 24% enhancement of output power enhancement over that of LEDs grown on conventional GaN templates.

  6. Optimizing staffing, quality, and cost in home healthcare nursing: theory synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Claire Su-Yeon

    2017-08-01

    To propose a new theory pinpointing the optimal nurse staffing threshold delivering the maximum quality of care relative to attendant costs in home health care. Little knowledge exists on the theoretical foundation addressing the inter-relationship among quality of care, nurse staffing, and cost. Theory synthesis. Cochrane Library, PubMed, CINAHL, EBSCOhost Web and Web of Science (25 February - 26 April 2013; 20 January - 22 March 2015). Most of the existing theories/models lacked the detail necessary to explain the relationship among quality of care, nurse staffing and cost. Two notable exceptions are: 'Production Function for Staffing and Quality in Nursing Homes,' which describes an S-shaped trajectory between quality of care and nurse staffing and 'Thirty-day Survival Isoquant and Estimated Costs According to the Nurse Staff Mix,' which depicts a positive quadric relationship between nurse staffing and cost according to quality of care. A synthesis of these theories led to an innovative multi-dimensional econometric theory helping to determine the maximum quality of care for patients while simultaneously delivering nurse staffing in the most cost-effective way. The theory-driven threshold, navigated by Mathematical Programming based on the Duality Theorem in Mathematical Economics, will help nurse executives defend sufficient nurse staffing with scientific justification to ensure optimal patient care; help stakeholders set an evidence-based reasonable economical goal; and facilitate patient-centred decision-making in choosing the institution which delivers the best quality of care. A new theory to determine the optimum nurse staffing maximizing quality of care relative to cost was proposed. © 2017 The Author. Journal of Advanced Nursing © John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. A General Approach of Quality Cost Management Suitable for Effective Implementation in Software Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stelian BRAD

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Investments in quality are best quantified by implementing and managing quality cost systems. A review of various opinions coming from practitioners and researchers about the existent quality cost models reveals a set of drawbacks (e.g. too theoretical and too close to ideal cases; too academic, with less practical impact; too much personalized to particular business processes, with difficulties in extrapolating to other cases; not comprising all dimensions of a business system. Using concepts and tools in quality management theory and practice and algorithms of innovative problem solving, this paper formulates a novel approach to improve practical usability, comprehensiveness, flexibility and customizability of a quality cost management system (QCMS when implementing it in a specific software application. Conclusions arising from the implementation in real industrial cases are also highlighted.

  8. Incentives in Multi-dimensional Auctions under Information Asymmetry for Costs and Qualities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Papakonstantinou, Athanasios; Bogetoft, Peter

    2013-01-01

    This paper discusses the design of a novel multi-dimensional mechanism which allows a principal to procure a single project or an item from multiple suppliers through a two-step payment. The suppliers are capable of producing different qualities at costs which cannot exceed a certain value...... and the mechanism balances between the costs faced by the suppliers and the benefit the principal achieves from higher qualities. Iniatially, the principal implements a standard second score auction and allocates the project to a single supplier based its reported cost and quality, while then it elicits truthful...... reporting of the quality by issuing a symmetric secondary payment after observing the winner’s production. We then provide an alternate mechanism in which the principal issues an asymmetric secondary payment which rewards agents for producing higher qualities, while it penalises them for producing lower...

  9. Cost of Quality (CoQ) metrics for telescope operations and project management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radziwill, Nicole M.

    2006-06-01

    This study describes the goals, foundational work, and early returns associated with establishing a pilot quality cost program at the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). Quality costs provide a means to communicate the results of process improvement efforts in the universal language of project management: money. This scheme stratifies prevention, appraisal, internal failure and external failure costs, and seeks to quantify and compare the up-front investment in planning and risk management versus the cost of rework. An activity-based Cost of Quality (CoQ) model was blended with the Cost of Software Quality (CoSQ) model that has been successfully deployed at Raytheon Electronic Systems (RES) for this pilot program, analyzing the efforts of the GBT Software Development Division. Using this model, questions that can now be answered include: What is an appropriate length for our development cycle? Are some observing modes more reliable than others? Are we testing too much, or not enough? How good is our software quality, not in terms of defects reported and fixed, but in terms of its impact on the user? The ultimate goal is to provide a higher quality of service to customers of the telescope.

  10. Urticaria: impact on quality of life and economic cost.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    O'Donnell, Brigid F

    2014-02-01

    Patients with urticaria suffer itch, swellings, fatigue caused by sleep disturbance and the side effects of medication, and disruption of many facets of their lives. Much progress has been made in formally evaluating the degree of quality-of-life (QoL) impairment suffered by patients with urticaria. This review focuses on QoL in chronic urticaria (>6 weeks duration) and examines QoL measures, including the chronic urticaria-quality of life questionnaire (CU-Q2oL). Patients with urticaria have difficulty identifying and coping with their emotions. The psychiatric comorbidity and the financial burden on the patient and society because of chronic urticaria, is also examined.

  11. Enhanced imaging of DNA via active quality factor control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphris, A. D. L.; Round, A. N.; Miles, M. J.

    2001-10-01

    Adsorption processes at single molecule level are of fundamental importance for the understanding and development of biomaterials. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has played a critical role in this field due to its high resolution and ability to image in a liquid environment. We present a method that improves the dynamic force sensitivity and the resolution of a conventional AFM. This is achieved via a positive feedback loop that enhances the effective quality factor of the cantilever in a liquid environment to values in excess of 300, compared to a nominal value of ˜1. This active quality factor enhancement has been used to image DNA and an increase in the height of the molecule observed.

  12. The cost-effectiveness of using financial incentives to improve provider quality: a framework and application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meacock, R.; Kristensen, Søren Rud; Sutton, M.

    2014-01-01

    , and whether performance improvement is a transitory or investment activity. Our application to the Advancing Quality initiative demonstrates that the incentive payments represented less than half of the 13m pound total programme costs. By generating approximately 5200 quality-adjusted life years and 4.4m...

  13. QUALITY ATTRIBUTES IN COST MANAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTING SUBJECTS: THE STUDENTS’ VIEWPOINT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jucelia Appio Tibola

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The aim in this research is to identify the quality attributes students perceive in cost management and accounting subjects. The subjects were 126 students who took the subjects Cost Applied to Administration, Cost Accounting and Cost Analysis, corresponding to all students in the semester during which the research was undertaken. Thus, a census study was adopted. The research institution is a public university that offers graduate (M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs in Accountancy and Business Administration, particularly in the South of Brazil. An exploratory and qualitative research design was used in the first part and a descriptive and quantitative design in the second. Data were collected with the help of a structured questionnaire with open questions, applying the Critical Incident Technique. Content Analysis was used to classify and categorize the respondents’ answers into units of meaning. In the second phase, these categories were transformed into categorical variables and analyzed through statistical procedures. The results evidenced that the quality attributes constituted an Axis. In the Cost Analysis subjects, they privileged the lecturer’s quality. In Cost Accounting, the students evidenced the teacher’s commitment and the application of practical examples as a relevant attribute. In Cost Applied to Administration, the results indicated that understanding about the subject, clarification of doubts and the lecturer’s didactics served as quality attributes.

  14. Oriented diffusion filtering for enhancing low-quality fingerprint images

    KAUST Repository

    Gottschlich, C.

    2012-01-01

    To enhance low-quality fingerprint images, we present a novel method that first estimates the local orientation of the fingerprint ridge and valley flow and next performs oriented diffusion filtering, followed by a locally adaptive contrast enhancement step. By applying the authors\\' new approach to low-quality images of the FVC2004 fingerprint databases, the authors are able to show its competitiveness with other state-of-the-art enhancement methods for fingerprints like curved Gabor filtering. A major advantage of oriented diffusion filtering over those is its computational efficiency. Combining oriented diffusion filtering with curved Gabor filters led to additional improvements and, to the best of the authors\\' knowledge, the lowest equal error rates achieved so far using MINDTCT and BOZORTH3 on the FVC2004 databases. The recognition performance and the computational efficiency of the method suggest to include oriented diffusion filtering as a standard image enhancement add-on module for real-time fingerprint recognition systems. In order to facilitate the reproduction of these results, an implementation of the oriented diffusion filtering for Matlab and GNU Octave is made available for download. © 2012 The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

  15. The Relationship between Cost Leadership Strategy, Total Quality Management Applications and Financial Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali KURT

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Firms need to implement some competition strategies and total quality management applications to overcome the fierce competition among others. The purpose of this study is to show the relationship between cost leadership strategy, total quality management applications and firms’ financial performance with literature review and empirical analysis. 449 questionnaires were conducted to the managers of 142 big firms. The data gathered was assessed with AMOS. As a result, the relationship between cost leadership strategy, total quality management applications and firms’ financial performance has been gathered. In addition, the relationship between TQM applications and financial performance has also been gathered.

  16. Enhancing the Enhanced Scenario-Based Method of Cost-Risk Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-16

    providing resources , guidance, and prayers while on this research journey. Finally, I would like to thank Professor Daniel Nussbaum and Dr. William...single best resource of data on historical cost. The key assumption used in the NCCA study was that the SAR BE would be used as the program’s initial...Is weapon system acquisition cost growth increasing? A quantitative assesment of completed and ongoing programs. Santa Monica, CA: RAND

  17. Cost per QALY (quality-adjusted life year and lifetime cost of prolonged mechanical ventilation in Taiwan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mei-Chuan Hung

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Patients who require prolonged mechanical ventilation (PMV are increasing and producing financial burdens worldwide. This study determines the cost per QALY (quality-adjusted life year, out-of-pocket expenses, and lifetime costs for PMV patients stratified by underlying diseases and cognition levels. METHODS: A nationwide sample of 50,481 patients with continual mechanical ventilation for more than 21 days was collected during 1997-2007. After stratifying the patients according to specific diagnoses, a latent class analysis (LCA was performed to categorise PMV patients with multiple co-morbidities into several homogeneous groups. The survival functions were estimated for individual groups using the Kaplan-Meier method and extrapolated to 300 months through a semi-parametric method. The survival functions were adjusted using an EQ-5D utility value derived from a convenience sample of 142 PMV patients to estimate quality-adjusted life expectancies (QALE. Another convenience sample of 165 patients was used to estimate the out-of-pocket expenses. The lifetime expenditures paid by the single-payer National Health Insurance (NHI system and patients' families were estimated by multiplying average monthly expenditures by the survival probabilities and summing the values over lifetime. RESULTS: PMV therapy costs more than 100,000 U.S. dollars (USD per QALY for all patients with poor cognition. For patients with partial cognition, PMV therapy costs less than 56,000 USD per QALY for those with liver cirrhosis, intracranial or spinal cord injuries, and 57,000-69,000 USD for patients with multiple co-morbidities under age of 65. The average lifetime cost of PMV was usually below 56,000 USD. The out-of-pocket expenses were often more than one-third of the total cost of treatment. CONCLUSIONS: PMV treatment for patients with poor cognition would cost more than 5 times Taiwan's GDP (gross domestic products, or less cost-effective. The out

  18. Revised cost savings estimate with uncertainty for enhanced sludge washing of underground storage tank waste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DeMuth, S.

    1998-09-01

    Enhanced Sludge Washing (ESW) has been selected to reduce the amount of sludge-based underground storage tank (UST) high-level waste at the Hanford site. During the past several years, studies have been conducted to determine the cost savings derived from the implementation of ESW. The tank waste inventory and ESW performance continues to be revised as characterization and development efforts advance. This study provides a new cost savings estimate based upon the most recent inventory and ESW performance revisions, and includes an estimate of the associated cost uncertainty. Whereas the author`s previous cost savings estimates for ESW were compared against no sludge washing, this study assumes the baseline to be simple water washing which more accurately reflects the retrieval activity along. The revised ESW cost savings estimate for all UST waste at Hanford is $6.1 B {+-} $1.3 B within 95% confidence. This is based upon capital and operating cost savings, but does not include development costs. The development costs are assumed negligible since they should be at least an order of magnitude less than the savings. The overall cost savings uncertainty was derived from process performance uncertainties and baseline remediation cost uncertainties, as determined by the author`s engineering judgment.

  19. How Organizations Can Enhance the Quality of Life of Their Clients and Assess Their Results: The Concept of QOL Enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinders, Hans S.; Schalock, Robert L.

    2014-01-01

    This article presents the framework of a dynamic approach to quality of life (QOL) enhancement based on the conceptualization and measurement of individual-referenced quality of life. Sections of the article summarize the premises of QOL enhancement, provide the rationale for a dynamic approach to QOL enhancement, discuss six components of QOL…

  20. Enhancing Soil Quality and Plant Health Through Suppressive Organic Amendments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco M. Cazorla

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The practice of adding organic amendments to crop soils is undergoing resurgence as an efficient way to restore soil organic matter content and to improve soil quality. The quantity and quality of the organic matter inputs affect soil physicochemical properties and soil microbiota, influencing different parameters such as microbial biomass and diversity, community structure and microbial activities or functions. The influence of organic amendments on soil quality has also effects on crop production and plant health. The enhancement of soil suppressiveness using organic amendments has been widely described, especially for soil-borne diseases. However, there is great variability in the effectiveness of suppression depending on the nature of the amendment, the crop, the pathogen, and the environmental conditions. Although the effects of organic amendments on soil properties have been widely studied, relationships between these properties and soil suppressiveness are not still well understood. Changes in soil physicochemical parameters may modulate the efficacy of suppression. However, the parameters more frequently associated to disease suppression appear to be related to soil microbiota, such as microbial biomass and activity, the abundance of specific microbial groups and some hydrolytic activities. This review focuses on the effect of organic amendments on soil microbial populations, diversity and activities; their ability to enhance plant health through disease suppression; and which of the parameters affected by the organic amendments are potentially involved in soil suppressiveness.

  1. How Much Will It Cost To Monitor Microbial Drinking Water Quality in Sub-Saharan Africa?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Microbial water quality monitoring is crucial for managing water resources and protecting public health. However, institutional testing activities in sub-Saharan Africa are currently limited. Because the economics of water quality testing are poorly understood, the extent to which cost may be a barrier to monitoring in different settings is unclear. This study used cost data from 18 African monitoring institutions (piped water suppliers and health surveillance agencies in six countries) and estimates of water supply type coverage from 15 countries to assess the annual financial requirements for microbial water testing at both national and regional levels, using World Health Organization recommendations for sampling frequency. We found that a microbial water quality test costs 21.0 ± 11.3 USD, on average, including consumables, equipment, labor, and logistics, which is higher than previously calculated. Our annual cost estimates for microbial monitoring of piped supplies and improved point sources ranged between 8 000 USD for Equatorial Guinea and 1.9 million USD for Ethiopia, depending primarily on the population served but also on the distribution of piped water system sizes. A comparison with current national water and sanitation budgets showed that the cost of implementing prescribed testing levels represents a relatively modest proportion of existing budgets (cost 16.0 million USD per year, which is minimal in comparison to the projected annual capital costs of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 of safe water for all (14.8 billion USD). PMID:28459563

  2. Costs and quality of life for prehabilitation and early rehabilitation after surgery of the lumbar spine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreasen Jakob

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract During the recent years improved operation techniques and administrative procedures have been developed for early rehabilitation. At the same time preoperative lifestyle intervention (prehabilitation has revealed a large potential for additional risk reduction. The aim was to assess the quality of life and to estimate the cost-effectiveness of standard care versus an integrated programme including prehabilitation and early rehabilitation. Methods The analyses were based on the results from 60 patients undergoing lumbar fusion for degenerative lumbar disease; 28 patients were randomised to the integrated programme and 32 to the standard care programme. Data on cost and health related quality of life was collected preoperatively, during hospitalisation and postoperatively. The cost was estimated from multiplication of the resource consumption and price per unit. Results Overall there was no difference in health related quality of life scores. The patients from the integrated programme obtained their postoperative milestones sooner, returned to work and soaked less primary care after discharge. The integrated programme was 1,625€ (direct costs 494€ + indirect costs 1,131€ less costly per patient compared to the standard care programme. Conclusion The integrated programme of prehabilitation and early rehabilitation in spine surgery is more cost-effective compared to standard care programme alone.

  3. Quality Enhancement of Compressed Audio Based on Statistical Conversion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mouchtaris Athanasios

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Most audio compression formats are based on the idea of low bit rate transparent encoding. As these types of audio signals are starting to migrate from portable players with inexpensive headphones to higher quality home audio systems, it is becoming evident that higher bit rates may be required to maintain transparency. We propose a novel method that enhances low bit rate encoded audio segments by applying multiband audio resynthesis methods in a postprocessing stage. Our algorithm employs the highly flexible Generalized Gaussian mixture model which offers a more accurate representation of audio features than the Gaussian mixture model. A novel residual conversion technique is applied which proves to significantly improve the enhancement performance without excessive overhead. In addition, both cepstral and residual errors are dramatically decreased by a feature-alignment scheme that employs a sorting transformation. Some improvements regarding the quantization step are also described that enable us to further reduce the algorithm overhead. Signal enhancement examples are presented and the results show that the overhead size incurred by the algorithm is a fraction of the uncompressed signal size. Our results show that the resulting audio quality is comparable to that of a standard perceptual codec operating at approximately the same bit rate.

  4. Quality Enhancement of Compressed Audio Based on Statistical Conversion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris Kyriakakis

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Most audio compression formats are based on the idea of low bit rate transparent encoding. As these types of audio signals are starting to migrate from portable players with inexpensive headphones to higher quality home audio systems, it is becoming evident that higher bit rates may be required to maintain transparency. We propose a novel method that enhances low bit rate encoded audio segments by applying multiband audio resynthesis methods in a postprocessing stage. Our algorithm employs the highly flexible Generalized Gaussian mixture model which offers a more accurate representation of audio features than the Gaussian mixture model. A novel residual conversion technique is applied which proves to significantly improve the enhancement performance without excessive overhead. In addition, both cepstral and residual errors are dramatically decreased by a feature-alignment scheme that employs a sorting transformation. Some improvements regarding the quantization step are also described that enable us to further reduce the algorithm overhead. Signal enhancement examples are presented and the results show that the overhead size incurred by the algorithm is a fraction of the uncompressed signal size. Our results show that the resulting audio quality is comparable to that of a standard perceptual codec operating at approximately the same bit rate.

  5. Presidential address. Endoscopic surgery, cost effectiveness, and the quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasson, H M

    1995-02-01

    One measure of mitigating escalating costs of health care is to create an economic market-based system that connects value to cost. Cost-effectiveness analysis compares treatments that produce different benefits and require different costs, and ranks them by the amount of net treatment benefit divided by cost. Evaluation of the impact of illness and treatment on the medical condition, quality of life, and productivity of individual patients is essential for capturing all dimensions of treatment outcome. When performed by efficient teams, laparoscopic surgery compared with conventional open surgery, adds value through reduced operative morbidity, earlier returns to work, and improved quality of life. These advantages have to be confirmed by cost-effectiveness analysis, however. Endoscopic surgery will be consistently more cost effective than conventional surgery only when performed by a dedicated team of surgeons, nurses, and technicians. The need for a specialized team arises from the fact that endoscopic surgery requires different skills, including the ability to develop a two-dimensional concept for tissue manipulation, perform major surgery through small incisions using a different type of hand-eye coordination, and operate and maintain highly sophisticated and sensitive equipment and instrumentation. Reusable instruments will contribute to lower costs.

  6. MULTILAYER MICROSTRIP ANTENNA QUALITY FACTOR OPTIMIZATION FOR BANDWIDTH ENHANCEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.C. SRIVASTAVA

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The impedance bandwidth, one of the important characteristics of microstrip patch antennas, can be significantly improved by using a multilayer dielectric configuration. In this paper the focus is on bandwidth enhancement technique of a multilayer patch antenna for X-band applications. In order to enhance the bandwidth, antenna losses are contained by controlling those quality factors which can have a significant impact on the bandwidth for a given permittivity and thickness of the substrate. This has been achieved by conformal transformation of the multidielectric microstrip antenna. For the ease of analysis Wheelers transformation is used to map the complex permittivity of a multilayer substrate to a single layer. Method of Moments and Finite Difference Time Domain approaches are used for the computation of results.

  7. Cost and quality gains from diversification and vertical integration in the electricity industry: A DEA approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arocena, Pablo [Universidad Publica de Navarra, Dpto. Gestion de Empresas, Campus de Arrosadia, 31006 Pamplona (Spain)

    2008-01-15

    This paper analyzes the degree of economies of vertical integration, diversification and scale in the electricity industry by means of Data Envelopment Analysis. We estimate the impact that alternative forms of unbundling would have on the cost and quality of supply, measured as the number and duration of supply interruptions, in a group of Spanish electric utilities. We find evidence of the existence of cost and quality gains from integrating power generation and distribution in the range of 1.1 to 4.9%, whereas diversifying the source of power generation saves between 1.3 and 4.3% of costs and quality. Finally, the scale efficiency of the largest utilities could be improved by dividing them into smaller units, provided that their current vertical scope and generation-mix are preserved. (author)

  8. Enhancing the Quality of Life through Cultural Events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2008-01-01

    . The present research recognizes the articulated aims of the festival and investigates how a cultural event influences participants' quality of life (QOL). The study adopts a twofold approach to examine organizers' expectations as well as the impacts on participants' short-term subjective well being......' sense of place and identity while also attracting visitors to the region. Furthermore, the festival is designed to create regional, national and international liaisons between artists and cultural institutions to improve the cultural attractiveness, hence fostering product and institutional innovations....... The article sets out to probe how a cultural event may enhance QOL and identifies possible drivers in the process....

  9. Association of increased monetary cost of dietary intake, diet quality and weight management in Spanish adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröder, Helmut; Serra-Majem, Luis; Subirana, Isaac; Izquierdo-Pulido, Maria; Fitó, Montserrat; Elosua, Roberto

    2016-03-14

    Higher monetary diet cost is associated with healthier food choices and better weight management. How changes in diet cost affect changes in diet quality and weight remains unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of changes in individual monetary diet cost on changes in diet quality, measured by the modified Mediterranean diet score recommendations (MDS-rec) and by energy density (ED), as well as changes in weight and BMI. We conducted a prospective, population-based study of 2181 male and female Spaniards aged between 25 and 74 years, who were followed up to the 2009-2010 academic year. We measured weight and height and recorded dietary data using a validated FFQ. Average food cost was calculated from official Spanish government data. We fitted multivariate linear and logistic regression models. The average daily diet cost increased from 3·68(SD0.0·89)€/8·36 MJ to 4·97(SD1·16)€/8·36 MJ during the study period. This increase was significantly associated with improvement in diet quality (Δ ED and Δ MDS-rec; Pmonetary diet cost per 8·36 MJ was associated with a decrease of 0·3 kg in body weight (P=0·02) and 0·1 kg/m(2) in BMI (P=0·04). These associations were attenuated after adjusting for changes in diet quality indicators. An improvement in diet quality and better weight management were both associated with an increase in diet cost; this could be considered in food policy decisions.

  10. Shared visions: Partnership of Rockwell International and NASA Cost Effectiveness Enhancements (CEE) for the space shuttle system integration program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bejmuk, Bohdan I.; Williams, Larry

    As a result of limited resources and tight fiscal constraints over the past several years, the defense and aerospace industries have experienced a downturn in business activity. The impact of fewer contracts being awarded has placed a greater emphasis for effectiveness and efficiency on industry contractors. It is clear that a reallocation of resources is required for America to continue to lead the world in space and technology. The key to technological and economic survival is the transforming of existing programs, such as the Space Shuttle Program, into more cost efficient programs so as to divert the savings to other NASA programs. The partnership between Rockwell International and NASA and their joint improvement efforts that resulted in significant streamlining and cost reduction measures to Rockwell International Space System Division's work on the Space Shuttle System Integration Contract is described. This work was a result of an established Cost Effectiveness Enhancement (CEE) Team formed initially in Fiscal Year 1991, and more recently expanded to a larger scale CEE Initiative in 1992. By working closely with the customer in agreeing to contract content, obtaining management endorsement and commitment, and involving the employees in total quality management (TQM) and continuous improvement 'teams,' the initial annual cost reduction target was exceeded significantly. The CEE Initiative helped reduce the cost of the Shuttle Systems Integration contract while establishing a stronger program based upon customer needs, teamwork, quality enhancements, and cost effectiveness. This was accomplished by systematically analyzing, challenging, and changing the established processes, practices, and systems. This examination, in nature, was work intensive due to the depth and breadth of the activity. The CEE Initiative has provided opportunities to make a difference in the way Rockwell and NASA work together - to update the methods and processes of the organizations

  11. The implementation of the Quality Costs Methodology in the Public Transport Enterprise in Macedonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeta Mitreva

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The implementation of TQM (Total Quality Management strategy in the public transport enterprises in Macedonia means improving the quality of services through examination of business processes not just in terms of defining, improvement and design of the process, but also improvement of productivity and optimization of the costs of quality. The purpose of this study is to point out the importance of determining the quality of the transport services, its methods, and techniques for measurement of the optimization of business processes in particular. The analysis of the quality costs when providing transport services can help managers to understand the impact of poor quality on the financial results and the bad image it gives to the enterprise. In this study, we proposed and applied the model for better performance and higher efficiency of the transport enterprise, through the optimization of business processes, change in the corporate culture and use of the complete business potentials. The need for this methodology was imposed as a result of the analysis made in the company in terms of whether is it doing an analysis on the costs of quality or not. The benefits from the utilization of this model will not only lead to increasing the business performance of the transport enterprise, but this model will also serve as a driving force for continuous improvements to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.

  12. Effects of physician joint ventures on health care costs, access, and quality: exploring some issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahern, M; Scott, E

    1992-01-01

    Increasingly, physicians are joint-venturing with health care businesses such as physical therapy centers, diagnostic imaging centers, ambulatory surgical centers, and other services. Simultaneously, outpatient costs have been rising. Theoretical and empirical evidence, including results of an exploratory survey of experts, indicate that these two events are linked. Specifically, joint ventures between referring physicians and health care businesses often appear to increase costs, increase utilization, reduce quality of care, and reduce access.

  13. Association between costs and quality of acute myocardial infarction care hospitals under the Korea National Health Insurance program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Hee-Chung; Hong, Jae-Seok

    2017-08-01

    If cost reductions produce a cost-quality trade-off, healthcare policy makers need to be more circumspect about the use of cost-effective initiatives. Additional empirical evidence about the relationship between cost and quality is needed to design a value-based payment system. We examined the association between cost and quality performances for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) care at the hospital level.In 2008, this cross-sectional study examined 69 hospitals with 6599 patients hospitalized under the Korea National Health Insurance (KNHI) program. We separately estimated hospital-specific effects on cost and quality using the fixed effect models adjusting for average patient risk. The analysis examined the association between the estimated hospital effects against the treatment cost and quality. All hospitals were distributed over the 4 cost × quality quadrants rather than concentrated in only the trade-off quadrants (i.e., above-average cost and above-average quality, below-average cost and below-average quality). We found no significant trade-off between cost and quality among hospitals providing AMI care in Korea.Our results further contribute to formulating a rationale for value-based hospital-level incentive programs by supporting the necessity of different approaches depending on the quality location of a hospital in these 4 quadrants.

  14. Risk Analysis of Underestimate Cost Offer to The Project Quality in Aceh Province

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rani, Hafnidar A.

    2016-11-01

    The possibility of errors in the process of offer price determination could be enormous, so it can affect the possibility of project underestimate cost which can impact and reduce the profit if being implementing. Government Equipment/Service Procurement Policy Institution (LKPP) assesses that the practices of cheaper price in the government equipment/service procurement are still highly found and can be potential to decrease the project quality. This study aimed to analyze the most dominant factors happened in underestimate cost offer practice, to analyze the relationship of underestimate cost offer risk factors to road construction project quality in Aceh Province and to analyze the most potential factors of underestimate cost offer risk affecting road construction project quality in Aceh Province. Road construction projects observed the projects which have been implemented in Aceh Province since 2013 - 2015. This study conducted by interviewing Government Budget Authority (KPA), and distributing the questionnaire to the road construction contractors with the qualification of K1, K2, K3, M1, M2 and B1. Based on the data from Construction Service Development Institution (LPJK) of Aceh Province on 2016, the populations obtained are 2,717 constructors. By using Slovin Equation, the research samples obtained are 97 contractors. The most dominant factors in underestimate cost offer risk of the road construction projects in Aceh Province is Contingency Cost Factor which the mean is 4.374.

  15. Monetary Diet Cost, Diet Quality, and Parental Socioeconomic Status in Spanish Youth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribas-Barba, Lourdes; Pérez-Rodrigo, Carmen; Bawaked, Rowaedh Ahmed; Fíto, Montserrat; Serra-Majem, Lluis

    2016-01-01

    Background Using a food-based analysis, healthy dietary patterns in adults are more expensive than less healthy ones; studies are needed in youth. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to determine relationships between monetary daily diet cost, diet quality, and parental socioeconomic status. Design and Methods Data were obtained from a representative national sample of 3534 children and young people in Spain, aged 2 to 24 years. Dietary assessment was performed with a 24-hour recall. Mediterranean diet adherence was measured by the KIDMED questionnaire. Average food cost was calculated from official Spanish government data. Monetary daily diet cost was expressed as euros per day (€/d) and euros per day standardized to a 1000kcal diet (€/1000kcal/d). Results Mean monetary daily diet cost was 3.16±1.57€/d (1.56±0.72€/1000kcal/d). Socioeconomic status was positively associated with monetary daily diet cost and diet quality measured by the KIDMED index (€/d and €/1000kcal/d, p<0.019). High Mediterranean diet adherence (KIDMED score 8–12) was 0.71 €/d (0.28€/1000kcal/d) more expensive than low compliance (KIDMED score 0–3). Analysis for nonlinear association between the KIDMED index and monetary daily diet cost per1000kcal showed no further cost increases beyond a KIDMED score of 8 (linear p<0.001; nonlinear p = 0.010). Conclusion Higher monetary daily diet cost is associated with healthy eating in Spanish youth. Higher socioeconomic status is a determinant for higher monetary daily diet cost and quality. PMID:27622518

  16. NATIONAL STORMWATER CALCULATOR: LOW IMPACT DEVELOPMENT STORMWATER CONTROL COST ESTIMATION PROGRAMMING & FUTURE ENHANCEMENTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Stormwater Calculator: Low Impact Development Stormwater Control Cost Estimation Programming & Future EnhancementsJason Berner1; Michael Tryby1; Scott Struck2, Dan Pankani2, Marion Deerhake3, Michelle Simon11. USEPA2. GeoSyntec, Inc.3. RTI, Inc.The National Stormwater Ca...

  17. Enhancing the Enhanced Scenario-Based Method of Cost Risk Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-01

    especially Ms. Karey Shaffer, and Ms. Tera Yoder, for providing resources , guidance, and prayers while on this research journey. Finally, I would...SUMMARY The NCCA database of over 100 SARs, spanning the last 4 decades, is the single best resource of data on historical cost. The key assumption...growth increasing? A quantitative assesment of completed and ongoing programs. Santa Monica, CA: RAND. 32 THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK 33

  18. Factors determining cost and quality of the electrical insulation in the VPI-process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruetsch, R.; Allison, J.; Thaler, T. [Von Roll Isola, Breitenbach (Switzerland)

    1996-12-31

    The construction of the electrical insulation and the carrying out of the VPI-process are critical steps in the production of rotating high voltage machines. On the other hand the manufacture of the insulation and the VPI-process are cost factors. It is therefore important to know the factors influencing cost and quality of the insulation in the VPI-process in order to determine the optimal production parameters and to achieve a high reliability of the resulting machine. This article gives an overview of the relevant factors and some considerations regarding costs.

  19. Costs and Quality at the Hospital Level in the Nordic Countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kittelsen, Sverre A C; Anthun, Kjartan S; Goude, Fanny

    2015-01-01

    This article develops and analyzes patient register-based measures of quality for the major Nordic countries. Previous studies show that Finnish hospitals have significantly higher average productivity than hospitals in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway and also a substantial variation within each...... country. This paper examines whether quality differences can form part of the explanation and attempts to uncover quality-cost trade-offs. Data on costs and discharges in each diagnosis-related group for 160 acute hospitals in 2008-2009 were collected. Patient register-based measures of quality...... such as readmissions, mortality (in hospital or outside), and patient safety indices were developed and case-mix adjusted. Productivity is estimated using bootstrapped data envelopment analysis. Results indicate that case-mix adjustment is important, and there are significant differences in the case-mix adjusted...

  20. Product design enhancement using apparent usability and affective quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seva, Rosemary R; Gosiaco, Katherine Grace T; Santos, Ma Crea Eurice D; Pangilinan, Denise Mae L

    2011-03-01

    In this study, apparent usability and affective quality were integrated in a design framework called the Usability Perception and Emotion Enhancement Model (UPEEM). The UPEEM was validated using structural equation modeling (SEM). The methodology consists of four phases namely product selection, attribute identification, design alternative generation, and design alternative evaluation. The first stage involved the selection of a product that highly involves the consumer. In the attribute identification stage, design elements of the product were identified. The possible values of these elements were also determined for use in the experimentation process. Design of experiments was used to identify how the attributes will be varied in the design alternative stage and which of the attributes significantly contribute to affective quality, apparent usability, and desirability in the design evaluation stage. Results suggest that product attributes related to form are relevant in eliciting intense affect and perception of usability in mobile phones especially those directly related to functionality and aesthetics. This study considered only four product attributes among so many due to the constraints of the research design employed. Attributes related to aesthetic perception of a product enhance apparent usability such as those related to dimensional ratios.

  1. The Relationship between Cost Leadership Strategy, Total Quality Management Applications and Financial Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Kurt, Ali; Cemal ZEHİR

    2016-01-01

    Firms need to implement some competition strategies and total quality management applications to overcome the fierce competition among others. The purpose of this study is to show the relationship between cost leadership strategy, total quality management applications and firms’ financial performance with literature review and empirical analysis. 449 questionnaires were conducted to the managers of 142 big firms. The data gathered was assessed with AMOS. As a result, the relationship between ...

  2. Gluten-free food database: the nutritional quality and cost of packaged gluten-free foods

    OpenAIRE

    Benjamin Missbach; Lukas Schwingshackl; Alina Billmann; Aleksandra Mystek; Melanie Hickelsberger; Gregor Bauer; Jürgen König

    2015-01-01

    Notwithstanding a growth in popularity and consumption of gluten-free (GF) food products, there is a lack of substantiated analysis of the nutritional quality compared with their gluten-containing counterparts. To put GF foods into proper perspective both for those who need it (patients with celiac disease) and for those who do not, we provide contemporary data about cost and nutritional quality of GF food products. The objective of this study is to develop a food composition database for sev...

  3. DEVELOPMENT OF A METHODOLOGY FOR EVALUATING QUALITY COST IN A SEMIMECANIZED LOGGING OPERATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laércio Antônio Gonçalves Jacovine

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The etudy made a description and use of a methodology for evaluating quality cost in a semimechanized    logging   operation   was   developed. For  description  this  goal the logging sub-operations were detailed. The effects of the non conformity of one sub-operation on the succeeding ones were listed and analysed. Those consequences on which a money value could be atributed were specified. The methodology was applied to a case study. Quality cost were divided in three categories: evaluation cost, prevention cost, and faillure cost. It was concluded that the firm is not investing enough in evaluation and prevention causing a faillure cost of R$1.541,11/ha, which is considered too high. The percent composition of this cost was: log spliting 40,96%; error in wood volume determination in the stocking yeard 37,12%; wood waste in the stand 9,52%; non separation of thin logs 8,46%; logs left in the fire control line 1,49%; miscalculation of splited wood volume 1,53%; wood volume remaining in the coppices 0,51%; presence of branches in the fire control line 0,41%. The logs spliting operation must be worked out in order to diminish its cost. Firm profit may be increased throught investiment and research in reducing evaluation and prevention costs. Every waste cost must be avoided because is not only the firm itself, but the whole society who ends up paying the bill.

  4. FLC based adjustable speed drives for power quality enhancement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukumar Darly

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This study describes a new approach based on fuzzy algorithm to suppress the current harmonic contents in the output of an inverter. Inverter system using fuzzy controllers provide ride-through capability during voltage sags, reduces harmonics, improves power factor and high reliability, less electromagnetic interference noise, low common mode noise and extends output voltage range. A feasible test is implemented by building a model of three-phase impedance source inverter, which is designed and controlled on the basis of proposed considerations. It is verified from the practical point of view that these new approaches are more effective and acceptable to minimize the harmonic distortion and improves the quality of power. Due to the complex algorithm, their realization often calls for a compromise between cost and performance. The proposed optimizing strategies may be applied in variable-frequency dc-ac inverters, UPSs, and ac drives.

  5. Wide Variability in Emergency Physician Admission Rates: A Target to Reduce Costs Without Compromising Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey J. Guterman

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Attending physician judgment is the traditional standard of care for emergency department (ED admission decisions. The extent to which variability in admission decisions affect cost and quality is not well understood. We sought to determine the impact of variability in admission decisions on cost and quality. Methods: We performed a retrospective observational study of patients presenting to a university-affiliated, urban ED from October 1, 2007, through September 30, 2008. The main outcome measures were admission rate, fiscal indicators (Medicaid-denied payment days, and quality indicators (15- and 30-day ED returns; delayed hospital admissions. We asked each Attending to estimate their inpatient admission rate and correlated their personal assessment with actual admission rates. Results: Admission rates, even after adjusting for known confounders, were highly variable (15.2%-32.0% and correlated with Medicaid denied-payment day rates (p=0.038. There was no correlation with quality outcome measures (30-day ED return or delayed hospital admission. There was no significant correlation between actual and self-described admission rate; the range of mis-estimation was 0% to 117%. Conclusion: Emergency medicine attending admission rates at this institution are highly variable, unexplained by known confounding variables, and unrelated to quality of care, as measured by 30-day ED return or delayed hospital admission. Admission optimization represents an important untapped potential for cost reduction through avoidable hospitalizations, with no apparent adverse effects on quality.

  6. [Quality management (TQM) in public health-care (PHC): principles for cost-performance calculations and cost reductions with better quality].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergholz, W

    2008-11-01

    In many high-tech industries, quality management (QM) has enabled improvements of quality by a factor of 100 or more, in combination with significant cost reductions. Compared to this, the application of QM methods in health care is in its initial stages. It is anticipated that stringent process management, embedded in an effective QM system will lead to significant improvements in health care in general and in the German public health service in particular. Process management is an ideal platform for controlling in the health care sector, and it will significantly improve the leverage of controlling to bring down costs. Best practice sharing in industry has led to quantum leap improvements. Process management will enable best practice sharing also in the public health service, in spite of the highly diverse portfolio of services that the public health service offers in different German regions. Finally, it is emphasised that "technical" QM, e.g., on the basis of the ISO 9001 standard is not sufficient to reach excellence. It is necessary to integrate soft factors, such as patient or employee satisfaction, and leadership quality into the system. The EFQM model for excellence can serve as proven tool to reach this goal.

  7. Enhancing Tomo-PIV reconstruction quality by reducing ghost particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Silva, C. M.; Baidya, R.; Marusic, I.

    2013-02-01

    A technique to enhance the reconstruction quality and consequently the accuracy of the velocity vector field obtained in Tomo-PIV experiments is presented here. The methodology involves detecting and eliminating spurious outliers in the reconstructed intensity field (ghost particles). A simulacrum matching-based reconstruction enhancement (SMRE) technique is proposed, which utilizes the characteristic shape and size of actual particles to remove ghost particles in the reconstructed intensity field. An assessment of SMRE is performed by a quantitative comparison of Tomo-PIV simulation results and DNS data, together with a comparison to Tomo-PIV experimental data measured in a turbulent channel flow at a matched Reynolds number (Reτ = 937) to the DNS study. For the simulation data, a comparative study is performed on the reconstruction quality based on an ideal reconstruction determined from known particle positions. The results suggest that a significant improvement in the reconstruction quality and flow statistics is achievable at typical seeding densities used in Tomo-PIV experiments. This improvement is further amplified at higher seeding densities, enabling the use of up to twice the typical seeding densities currently used in Tomo-PIV experiments. A reduction of spurious vectors present in the velocity field is also observed based on a median outlier detection criterion. The application of SMRE to Tomo-PIV experimental data shows an improvement in flow statistics, comparable to the improvement seen in simulations. Finally, due to the non-iterative nature of SMRE, the increase in processing time is marginal since only a single pass of the reconstruction algorithm is required.

  8. A reliable low cost integrated wireless sensor network for water quality monitoring and level control system in UAE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abou-Elnour, Ali; Khaleeq, Hyder; Abou-Elnour, Ahmad

    2016-04-01

    In the present work, wireless sensor network and real-time controlling and monitoring system are integrated for efficient water quality monitoring for environmental and domestic applications. The proposed system has three main components (i) the sensor circuits, (ii) the wireless communication system, and (iii) the monitoring and controlling unit. LabView software has been used in the implementation of the monitoring and controlling system. On the other hand, ZigBee and myRIO wireless modules have been used to implement the wireless system. The water quality parameters are accurately measured by the present computer based monitoring system and the measurement results are instantaneously transmitted and published with minimum infrastructure costs and maximum flexibility in term of distance or location. The mobility and durability of the proposed system are further enhanced by fully powering via a photovoltaic system. The reliability and effectiveness of the system are evaluated under realistic operating conditions.

  9. Computerized telephone nurse triage. An evaluation of service quality and cost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cariello, Francesca P

    2003-01-01

    The current reimbursement structure of health care in the United States motivates the providers of health care services to deliver these services with a cost-conscious mentality without compromising quality. This has led to the development of alternative methods of delivering health care services, one of which is computerized telephone nurse triage. This study investigates service quality from the perception of callers who used this system on behalf of a pediatric client. Cost was evaluated by comparing what the caller would have done if they did not speak with nurse triage with what they actually did after their interaction. A modified version of the SERVQUAL tool was administered via telephone survey to members of a managed health care plan who recently used nurse triage services for a pediatric patient. Findings were that the majority of callers--employed female parents--rated the level of service quality very highly. Education, employment status, age of the caller, child gender, birth order among siblings, and age of child did not affect the rating of service quality. Relationship to the child had an effect on the rating of service quality as men/fathers rated the level of service quality slightly lower than their female/mother counterparts. The evaluation of cost revealed that the action taken by the caller after they spoke with the nurse resulted in significant cost savings. Computerized telephone nurse triage is a well-accepted cost-saving alternative method of health care delivery that can effectively serve a variety of callers and pediatric patients.

  10. Statistical Processes Under Change: Enhancing Data Quality with Pretests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radermacher, Walter; Sattelberger, Sabine

    Statistical offices in Europe, in particular the Federal Statistical Office in Germany, are meeting users’ ever more demanding requirements with innovative and appropriate responses, such as the multiple sources mixed-mode design model. This combines various objectives: reducing survey costs and the burden on interviewees, and maximising data quality. The same improvements are also being sought by way of the systematic use of pretests to optimise survey documents. This paper provides a first impression of the many procedures available. An ideal pretest combines both quantitative and qualitative test methods. Quantitative test procedures can be used to determine how often particular input errors arise. The questionnaire is tested in the field in the corresponding survey mode. Qualitative test procedures can find the reasons for input errors. Potential interviewees are included in the questionnaire tests, and their feedback on the survey documentation is systematically analysed and used to upgrade the questionnaire. This was illustrated in our paper by an example from business statistics (“Umstellung auf die Wirtschaftszweigklassifikation 2008” - Change-over to the 2008 economic sector classification). This pretest not only gave important clues about how to improve the contents, but also helped to realistically estimate the organisational cost of the main survey.

  11. Army Pacific Pathways: Comprehensive Assessment and Planning Needed to Capture Benefits Relative to Costs and Enhance Value for Participating Units

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-11-01

    logistics and sustainment units, any training efficiencies or cost avoidance resulting from Pacific Pathways, and non-financial costs , such as...ARMY PACIFIC PATHWAYS Comprehensive Assessment and Planning Needed to Capture Benefits Relative to Costs and Enhance...the costs of Pacific Pathways. The corrected section should read: “For fiscal year 2015, the three Pathway operations cost a total of $34.5 million

  12. Costs and quality of life for prehabilitation and early rehabilitation after surgery of the lumbar spine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Per Rotbøll; Andreasen, Jakob Huus; Asmussen, Mikael;

    2008-01-01

    During the recent years improved operation techniques and administrative procedures have been developed for early rehabilitation. At the same time preoperative lifestyle intervention (prehabilitation) has revealed a large potential for additional risk reduction. The aim was to assess the quality...... of life and to estimate the cost-effectiveness of standard care versus an integrated programme including prehabilitation and early rehabilitation....

  13. Quality and cost of healthcare : A cross-national comparison of American and Dutch attitudes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lindenthal, J.J.; Lako, C.J.; van der Waal, M.A.E.; Tijmstra, T.; Andela, M.; Schneider, Mareleyn

    Objective: To compare attitudes of consumers in America and Holland toward the quality and cost of healthcare. Study Design: Data were derived from one American (n = 466) and two Dutch (n = 260, n = 1629) surveys. Patients and Methods: Questionnaires were completed by respondents. Pairwise

  14. Costs of quality management systems in long-term care organizations: an exploration.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wagner, C.; Merode, G.G. van; Oort, M. van

    2003-01-01

    The article describes a method for measuring and reporting the costs of quality management in 11 long-term care organizations (nursing homes, home health care organizations, and homes for the elderly) and a national survey in 489 organizations providing long-term care. Site visits and a questionnair

  15. Improving the Quality and Cost of Healthcare Delivery: The Potential of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilamovska, Anna-Marie

    2010-01-01

    The study investigated whether an upcoming class of health information technology (HIT) can be used to address currently outstanding issues in the quality and cost of healthcare delivery. Expert interviews and a literature review were used to describe the 2009 universe of in- and outpatient healthcare RFID applications and to identify those…

  16. Improving the Quality and Cost of Healthcare Delivery: The Potential of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilamovska, Anna-Marie

    2010-01-01

    The study investigated whether an upcoming class of health information technology (HIT) can be used to address currently outstanding issues in the quality and cost of healthcare delivery. Expert interviews and a literature review were used to describe the 2009 universe of in- and outpatient healthcare RFID applications and to identify those…

  17. Quality and cost of healthcare : A cross-national comparison of American and Dutch attitudes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lindenthal, J.J.; Lako, C.J.; van der Waal, M.A.E.; Tijmstra, T.; Andela, M.; Schneider, M.

    1999-01-01

    Objective: To compare attitudes of consumers in America and Holland toward the quality and cost of healthcare. Study Design: Data were derived from one American (n = 466) and two Dutch (n = 260, n = 1629) surveys. Patients and Methods: Questionnaires were completed by respondents. Pairwise compariso

  18. Teaching Medical Students about Quality and Cost of Care at Case Western Reserve University.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Headrick, Linda A.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    At Case Western University (Ohio), medical students critically analyze the quality and cost of asthma care in the community by studying patients in primary care practices. Each writes a case report, listing all medical charges and comparing them with guidelines for asthma care. Several recommendations for improved care have emerged. (MSE)

  19. Performance, Process, and Costs: Managing Service Quality with the Balanced Scorecard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poll, Roswitha

    2001-01-01

    Describes a cooperative project among three German libraries that used the Balanced Scorecard as a concept for an integrated quality management system. Considers performance indicators across four perspectives that will help academic libraries establish an integrated controlling system and to collect and evaluate performance as well as cost data…

  20. ARE THE TOTAL DAILY COST OF FOOD AND DIET QUALITY RELATED: A RANDOM EFFECTS PANEL DATA ANALYSIS

    OpenAIRE

    Carlson, Andrea; Dong, Diansheng; Lino, Mark

    2010-01-01

    There is a common perception that healthy food costs more than less healthy food. In this study we use a demand model for diet quality, rather than the quantity of food. Since in our data, total daily cost and diet quality are both calculated from the foods chosen, we account for the fact that cost is endogenous. We find that while total daily food cost is statistically significant in relation to diet quality, the degree of association is very small. Hence, it does not appear that cost alone ...

  1. Kaizen method for esophagectomy patients: improved quality control, outcomes, and decreased costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iannettoni, Mark D; Lynch, William R; Parekh, Kalpaj R; McLaughlin, Kelley A

    2011-04-01

    The majority of costs associated with esophagectomy are related to the initial 3 days of hospital stay requiring intensive care unit stays, ventilator support, and intraoperative time. Additional costs arise from hospital-based services. The major cost increases are related to complications associated with the procedure. We attempted to define these costs and identify expense management by streamlining care through strict adherence to patient care maps, operative standardization, and rapid discharge planning to reduce variability. Utilizing methods of Kaizen philosophy we evaluated all processes related to the entire experience of esophageal resection. This process has taken over 5 years to achieve, with quality and cost being tracked over this time period. Cost analysis included expenses related to intensive care unit, anesthesia, disposables, and hospital services. Quality improvement measures were related to intraoperative complications, in-hospital complications, and postoperative outcomes. The Institutional Review Board approved the use of anonymous data from standard clinical practice because no additional treatment was planned (observational study). Utilizing a continuous process improvement methodology, a 43% reduction in cost per case has been achieved with a significant increase in contribution margin for esophagectomy. The length of stay has been reduced from 14 days to 5. With intraoperative and postoperative standardization the leak rate has dropped from 12% to less than 3% to no leaks in our current Kaizen modification of care in our last 64 patients. Utilizing lean manufacturing techniques and continuous process evaluation we have attempted to eliminate variability, standardized the phases of care resulting in improved outcomes, decreased length of stay, and improved contribution margins. These Kaizen improvements require continuous interventions, strict adherence to care maps, and input from all levels for quality improvements. Copyright © 2011 The

  2. Impact of parenteral nutrition standardization on costs and quality in adult patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Berlana

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Parenteral nutrition (PN is a costly therapy that can also be associated with serious complications. Therefore, efforts are focusing on reducing rate of complications, and costs related to PN. Objective: The aim was to analyze the effect of the implementation of PN standardization on costs and quality criteria. Secondary aim was to assess the use of individualized PN based on patient's clinical condition. Methods: We compare the use of PN before and after the implementation of PN standardization. Demographic, clinical and PN characteristics were collected. Costs analysis was performed to study the costs associated to the two different periods. Quality criteria included were: 1 PN administration; 2 nutrition assessment (energy intake between 20-35 kcal/kg/day; protein contribution according to nitrogen balance; 3 safety and complications (hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hepatic complications, catheter-related infection; 4 global efficacy (as serum albumin increase. Chi-square test was used to compare percentages; logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the use of customized PN. Results: 296 patients were included with a total of 3,167 PN compounded. During the first period standardized PN use was 47.5% vs 85.7% within the second period (p < 0.05. No differences were found in the quality criteria tested. Use of individualized PN was related to critical care patients, hypertriglyceridemia, renal damage, and long-term PN. Mean costs of the PN decreased a 19.5%. Annual costs savings would be € 86,700. Conclusions: The use of customized or standard PN has shown to be efficient and flexible to specific demands; however customized PN was significantly more expensive.

  3. Impact of parenteral nutrition standardization on costs and quality in adult patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlana, David; Barraquer, Anna; Sabin, Pilar; Chicharro, Luisa; Pérez, Agueda; Puiggrós, Carolina; Burgos, Rosa; Martínez-Cutillas, Julio

    2014-08-01

    Parenteral nutrition (PN) is a costly therapy that can also be associated with serious complications. Therefore, efforts are focusing on reducing rate of complications, and costs related to PN. The aim was to analyze the effect of the implementation of PN standardization on costs and quality criteria. Secondary aim was to assess the use of individualized PN based on patient's clinical condition. We compare the use of PN before and after the implementation of PN standardization. Demographic, clinical and PN characteristics were collected. Costs analysis was performed to study the costs associated to the two different periods. Quality criteria included were: 1) PN administration; 2) nutrition assessment (energy intake between 20-35 kcal/kg/day; protein contribution according to nitrogen balance); 3) safety and complications (hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hepatic complications, catheter-related infection); 4) global efficacy (as serum albumin increase). Chi-square test was used to compare percentages; logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the use of customized PN. 296 patients were included with a total of 3,167 PN compounded. During the first period standardized PN use was 47.5% vs 85.7% within the second period (p < 0.05). No differences were found in the quality criteria tested. Use of individualized PN was related to critical care patients, hypertriglyceridemia, renal damage, and long-term PN. Mean costs of the PN decreased a 19.5%. Annual costs savings would be € 86,700. The use of customized or standard PN has shown to be efficient and flexible to specific demands; however customized PN was significantly more expensive. Copyright AULA MEDICA EDICIONES 2014. Published by AULA MEDICA. All rights reserved.

  4. The cost of Child Health Days: a case study of Ethiopia's Enhanced Outreach Strategy (EOS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiedler, John L; Chuko, Tesfaye

    2008-07-01

    Child Health Days (CHDs) are twice-annual campaign-style events designed to increase the coverage of vitamin A and one or more other child health services. Although more than two dozen countries have had a CHD, little has been published about them. This paper presents an activity-based costing study of Ethiopia's version of CHDs, the Enhanced Outreach Strategy (EOS). The December 2006 round reached more than 10 million beneficiaries at an average cost per beneficiary of US$0.56. When measles is added, the cost of the package doubles. Given the way the distribution day delivery system and the service package are structured, there are economies of scope. Because most of the costs are determined by the number of delivery sites and are independent of the number of beneficiaries, other things equal, increasing the beneficiaries would reduce the average cost per beneficiary. Taking into account only the mortality impact of vitamin A, EOS saved 20,200 lives and averted 230,000 DALYs of children 6-59 months. The average cost per life saved was US$228 and the cost per DALY averted was equivalent to 6% of per capita GDP (US$9), making the EOS cost-effective, according to WHO criteria. While CHDs are generally construed as a temporary strategy for improving coverage of supply-constrained systems, inadequate attention has been paid to demand-side considerations that suggest CHDs have an important role to play in changing care-seeking behaviour, in increasing community organization and participation, and in promoting district autonomy and capacity. Recognition of these effects suggests the need for decisions about where and when to introduce, and when to end, a CHD to take into account more than 'just' health sector considerations: they are more broadly about community development. UNICEF played a key role in initiating the EOS and finances 68% of costs, raising concern about the programme's long-term sustainability.

  5. [The use of benchmarking to manage the healthcare supply chain: effects on purchasing cost and quality].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naranjo-Gil, David; Ruiz-Muñoz, David

    2015-01-01

    Healthcare supply expenses consume a large part of the financial resources allocated to public health. The aim of this study was to analyze the use of a benchmarking process in the management of hospital purchases, as well as its effect on product cost reduction and quality improvement. Data were collected through a survey conducted in 29 primary healthcare districts from 2010 to 2011, and through a healthcare database on the prices, quality, delivery time and supplier characteristics of 5373 products. The use of benchmarking processes reduced or eliminated products with a low quality and high price. These processes increased the quality of products by 10.57% and reduced their purchase price by 28.97%. The use of benchmarking by healthcare centers can reduce expenditure and allow more efficient management of the healthcare supply chain. It also facilitated the acquisition of products at lower prices and higher quality. Copyright © 2014 SESPAS. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  6. The pivotal plan: a 3-step approach to decrease staffing costs and improve quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Cherri D; Spengler, Ketrina L

    2011-01-01

    This article reviews how the nurse leaders of a 136-bed medical/surgical service developed and implemented a methodical plan to fill RN vacancies, decrease labor costs, and improve quality. This simple, straight-forward approach was designed to rapidly fill core staff positions while minimizing the impact of the vacancies and ultimately eliminate the use of temporary nursing staff. The detailed components of the plan provided a way to assess vacancy data, time temporary replacements, and structure beneficial hospital partnerships, all of which were instrumental in the success of the plan. The plan was implemented throughout the facility because of proven success in the medical/surgical service. The leaders' focus on decreasing labor costs resulted in hiring a stable core staff that was able to attain established quality initiatives. The financial and quality outcomes of the service demonstrate the ability to sustain excellent results over time.

  7. Secondary Control for Voltage Quality Enhancement in Microgrids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Savaghebi, Mehdi; Jalilian, Alireza; Vasquez, Juan Carlos

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, a hierarchical control scheme is proposed for enhancement of sensitive load bus (SLB) voltage quality in microgrids. The control structure consists of primary and secondary levels. The primary control level comprises distributed generators (DGs) local controllers. Each...... of these controllers includes a selective virtual impedance loop which is considered to improve sharing of fundamental and harmonic components of load current among the DG units. The sharing improvement is provided at the expense of increasing voltage unbalance and harmonic distortion. Thus, the secondary control...... level is applied to manage the compensation of SLB voltage unbalance and harmonics by sending proper control signals to the primary level. DGs compensation efforts are controlled locally at the primary level. The system design procedure for selecting proper control parameters is discussed. Simulation...

  8. Enhancing the quality metric of protein microarray image

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王立强; 倪旭翔; 陆祖康; 郑旭峰; 李映笙

    2004-01-01

    The novel method of improving the quality metric of protein microarray image presented in this paper reduces impulse noise by using an adaptive median filter that employs the switching scheme based on local statistics characters; and achieves the impulse detection by using the difference between the standard deviation of the pixels within the filter window and the current pixel of concern. It also uses a top-hat filter to correct the background variation. In order to decrease time consumption, the top-hat filter core is cross structure. The experimental results showed that, for a protein microarray image contaminated by impulse noise and with slow background variation, the new method can significantly increase the signal-to-noise ratio, correct the trends in the background, and enhance the flatness of the background and the consistency of the signal intensity.

  9. Biochar enhances yield and quality of tomato under reduced irrigation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saleem Akhtar, Saqib; Li, Guitong; Andersen, Mathias Neumann

    2014-01-01

    tBiochar is an amendment that can be used for enhancing soil water storage which may increase cropproductivity. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of biochar on physiology, yield andquality of tomato under different irrigation regimes. From early flowering to fruit maturity...... stages, theplants were subjected to full irrigation (FI), deficit irrigation (DI) and partial root-zone drying irrigation(PRD) and two levels of biochar (0% and 5% by weight). In FI, the plants were irrigated daily to pot waterholding capacity while in DI and PRD, 70% of FI was irrigated on either...... the whole or one side of the pots,respectively. In PRD, irrigation was switched between sides when the soil water content of the dry sidedecreased to 15%. The results showed that addition of biochar increased the soil moisture contents in DIand PRD, which consequently improved physiology, yield, and quality...

  10. Quality of life and cost-effectiveness of combined therapy for reflux esophagitis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    姒健敏; 王良静; 陈淑洁; 赵岚; 戴宁

    2003-01-01

    Objective : To evaluate clinical, Quality of Life (QoL) and medical cost outcomes in patients with symptomatic reflux esophagitis (RE) receiving different "triple combination therapy". Methods: A muhicenter medical effectiveness trial conducted in 10 hospitals of 5 regions in Zhejiang Province. 248 patient-volunteers were assigned to 8 weeks of " triple combination therapy" with Lansoprazole plus Cisapride and Sucralfate or Ranitidine plus Cisapride and Sucralfate. Main outcomes assessment included symptoms scale scores, RE severity, QoL at baseline and 8 weeks. Medical cost data were collected with cost analysis questionnaire. Resuits: (1)More Lansoprazole group patients noted RE symptoms resolution than Ranitidine group(92.3 % vs 78.4%, P 0.05) . (2)RE significantly impaired QoL of patients( P 0.05 ) . Conclusion : RE significantly impaired QoL of patients. "Triple combination therapies" can significantly improve RE symptoms and QoL. Lansoprazole combination therapy was more cost-effective than Ranitidine combination group.

  11. iScout low cost UGS system: overview of enhancements and performance characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winston, Mark; Klug, Rob; Plummer, Thomas; Knobler, Ron

    2008-04-01

    McQ developed for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) a very low-cost iScout® sensor system for detecting people in buildings and caves after military clearing operations to prevent their reuse by adversaries. The mission applications have expanded to include typical field operations such as Force Protection and facility security. To meet a broader mission capability, McQ significantly enhanced the performance of the iScout® Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) system. The enhanced performance includes improvements to the seismic, acoustic, magnetic, and passive infrared sensor processing algorithms and multimodal fusion to improve target classification. Additional features are a new radio frequency (RF) network architecture, built-in global positioning system (GPS) for automatic sensor position reporting, a new rugged watertight case, and an extremely low power consumption electronics design. McQ will describe these enhancements and present data characterizing the performance of the enhanced iScout® sensors.

  12. Low-dosage epoetin in maintenance haemodialysis: costs and quality-of-life improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, D C

    1994-01-01

    performed much more cheaply. Amongst the various potential benefits of epoetin, the one with the greatest potential to save money for society is improved productivity. To date, productivity improvements with epoetin have been demonstrated only in small studies. If the acquisition costs of epoetin are reduced by low dosage therapy, these potential benefits can cover a large proportion of the total cost of epoetin. Epoetin undoubtedly improves quality of life and activity, but it is not clear which level of haematocrit gives optimum improvement.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

  13. Enhanced power quality based single phase photovoltaic distributed generation system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panda, Aurobinda; Pathak, M. K.; Srivastava, S. P.

    2016-08-01

    This article presents a novel control strategy for a 1-ϕ 2-level grid-tie photovoltaic (PV) inverter to enhance the power quality (PQ) of a PV distributed generation (PVDG) system. The objective is to obtain the maximum benefits from the grid-tie PV inverter by introducing current harmonics as well as reactive power compensation schemes in its control strategy, thereby controlling the PV inverter to achieve multiple functions in the PVDG system such as: (1) active power flow control between the PV inverter and the grid, (2) reactive power compensation, and (3) grid current harmonics compensation. A PQ enhancement controller (PQEC) has been designed to achieve the aforementioned objectives. The issue of underutilisation of the PV inverter in nighttime has also been addressed in this article and for the optimal use of the system; the PV inverter is used as a shunt active power filter in nighttime. A prototype model of the proposed system is developed in the laboratory, to validate the effectiveness of the control scheme, and is tested with the help of the dSPACE DS1104 platform.

  14. Current enhancement in crystalline silicon photovoltaic by low-cost nickel silicide back contact

    KAUST Repository

    Bahabry, R. R.

    2016-11-30

    We report short circuit current (Jsc) enhancement in crystalline silicon (C-Si) photovoltaic (PV) using low-cost Ohmic contact engineering by integration of Nickel mono-silicide (NiSi) for back contact metallization as an alternative to the status quo of using expensive screen printed silver (Ag). We show 2.6 mA/cm2 enhancement in the short circuit current (Jsc) and 1.2 % increment in the efficiency by improving the current collection due to the low specific contact resistance of the NiSi on the heavily Boron (B) doped Silicon (Si) interface.

  15. Evaluation of an educational intervention using the enhanced food safety cost-of-illness model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharff, Robert L; McDowell, Joyce; Medeiros, Lydia

    2009-01-01

    In recent years, a number of federally sponsored state-based food safety education programs have conducted economic evaluations aimed at demonstrating the efficacy of their approaches. These evaluations have typically been based on the "Virginia method," a comprehensive, but overly simplistic means of estimating benefit-cost ratios for food safety and nutrition education programs. In this article, we use the enhanced food safety cost-of-illness model, coupled with a more complete food safety education intervention model to evaluate the efficacy of the Ohio Family Nutrition Program. We find that, under most reasonable assumptions, the derived benefit-cost ratios imply that this program is socially beneficial. The model presented here is of particular use because it can be replicated to evaluate other broad-based food safety programs.

  16. A Novel Multiobjective Control of DVR to Enhance Power Quality of Sensitive Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandu, Sathish Babu; Nagappan, Kamaraj

    2015-01-01

    The Dynamic Voltage Restorer (DVR) is one of the fast, flexible, and cost effective solutions available in compensating the voltage-related power quality problems in power distribution systems. In this paper is discussed how power quality enhancement of sensitive load is achieved by applying three versions of Autonomous Group Particle Swarm Optimization like AGPSO1, AGPSO2, and AGPSO3 for tuning the Proportional-Integral DVR controller under balanced and nonlinear load conditions. A novel multiobjective function is formulated to express the control performance of the system, which is quantified using three power quality indices such as Total Harmonic Distortion (THD), voltage sag index, and RMS voltage variation. The obtained results are compared with the Proportional-Integral (PI) controller tuned by Ziegler-Nichols (ZN) method and also by Simple Particle Swarm Optimization based PI controlled DVR. The proposed methodology has improved the performance in terms of the considered power quality indices and the simulation has been carried out in MATLAB/Simulink environment. PMID:26613100

  17. Relation between quality and production cost for pure biodiesel bases on the mixes of raw materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsanaktsidis, C. G.; Spinthiropoulos, K. G.; Guliyev, Fariz; Dimitriou, D.; Euthaltsidou, K.; Tzilantonis, G. T.

    2016-08-01

    Nowadays biodiesel has become more attractive because it is made from renewable resources. The main ingredients of industrial biodiesel are rap oil, sun oil, fat acid, olive oil cooked. In this study we verify that, the proportion of these components sets the qualitative composition and energy efficiency of the final product. Essential we link the raw materials (rap oil, sun oil, fat acid, olive oil cooked) used in the manufacture of industrial biodiesel the proportion of mixes, with the variation of physicochemical properties of biodiesel produced. According to the quantitative analysis we notice that the physiochemical properties which alter the value for example humidity, acidity, while a large number of physicochemical properties do not change their value depending on the ratio of raw materials in each mixture. The analysis of these changes seems that the presence of fat acids is negative for the quality of the mixture. From the analysis of the cost of the final mixtures that lower cost is achieved in the mixture was 10 and the highest cost was in the mixture 3. Based on a study of the cost of the mixtures can determine a basic relation between the quality and the cost of the final product.

  18. Orangutan Night-Time Long Call Behavior: Sleep Quality Costs Associated with Vocalizations in Captive Pongo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David R. Samson

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Researchers have suggested that the ability of male primates to emit long-distance vocalizations is energetically costly and potentially incurring important adaptive consequences upon the calling individuals. Here, we present the first preliminary data on captive orangutan (Pongo spp. nocturnal long calls, generated at the Indianapolis Zoo. We used videography to characterize long calls with observed behavioral contexts for 48 nights (816 observed hours totaling 83 long calls. We generated somnographic data for a subset of the long calls. Overall measures of sleep quality generated by infrared videography were then compared to the somnographic, nocturnal long call data. We tested hypotheses related to the proximate mechanisms involved in the initialization of vocalization and the potential costs of emitting long calls to overall sleep quality. We found that (1 performed long calls were conscious and premeditated in nature and (2 greater number of night-time long calls shared a positive relationship with arousability and sleep fragmentation and a negative relationship with total sleep time and sleep quality. These findings strongly suggest that only several minutes of total time invested in long calls throughout the night disproportionately cost the caller by negatively impacting overall sleep quality.

  19. The Effects of Training Institution Practice Costs, Quality, and Other Characteristics on Future Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Robert L.; Petterson, Stephen M.; Bazemore, Andrew W.; Wingrove, Peter; Puffer, James C.

    2017-01-01

    PURPOSE Medicare beneficiary spending patterns reflect those of the 306 Hospital Referral Regions where physicians train, but whether this holds true for smaller areas or for quality is uncertain. This study assesses whether cost and quality imprinting can be detected within the 3,436 Hospital Service Areas (HSAs), 82.4 percent of which have only 1 teaching hospital, and whether sponsoring institution characteristics are associated. METHODS We conducted a secondary, multi-level, multivariable analysis of 2011 Medicare claims and American Medical Association Masterfile data for a random, nationally representative sample of family physicians and general internists who completed residency between 1992 and 2010 and had more than 40 Medicare patients (3,075 physicians providing care to 503,109 beneficiaries). Practice and training locations were matched with Dartmouth Atlas HSAs and categorized into low-, average-, and high-cost spending groups. Practice and training HSAs were assessed for differences in 4 diabetes quality measures. Institutional characteristics included training volume and percentage of graduates in rural practice and primary care. RESULTS The unadjusted, annual, per-beneficiary spending difference between physicians trained in high- and low-cost HSAs was $1,644 (95% CI, $1,253–$2,034), and the difference remained significant after controlling for patient and physician characteristics. No significant relationship was found for diabetes quality measures. General internists were significantly more likely than family physicians to train in high-cost HSAs. Institutions with more graduates in rural practice and primary care produced lower-spending physicians. CONCLUSIONS The “imprint” of training spending patterns on physicians is strong and enduring, without discernible quality effects, and, along with identified institutional features, supports measures and policy options for improved graduate medical education outcomes. PMID:28289113

  20. Understanding coal quality and its relationship to power plant performance and costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jennison, K.D.; Stallard, G.S. [Black & Veatch International, Overland Park, KS (United States)

    1995-12-01

    The availability of reliable, reasonably priced energy is a necessary cornerstone for established and emerging economies. In addition to addressing coal quality issues strictly at a plant level, it is now prudent to consider long-term performance and economics of particular fuel sources to be selected in the light of system economics and reliability. In order to evaluate coal quality issues in a more comprehensive manner, it is important to develop both an approach and a set of tools which can support the various phases of the planning/analysis processes. The processes must consider the following: (1) Cost/availability of other potential coal supplies, including {open_quotes}raw{close_quotes} domestic sources, {open_quotes}cleaned {close_quotes} domestic sources, and other internationally marketed coals. (2) Power plant performance issues as function of plant design and fuel properties. (3) System expansion plans, candidate technologies, and associated capital and operating costs. (4) Projected load demand, for system and for individual units within the system. (5) Legislative issues such as environmental pressures, power purchase agreements, etc. which could alter the solution. (6) Economics of potential plans/strategies based on overall cost-effectiveness of the utility system, not just individual units. (7) Anticipated unit configuration, including addition of environmental control equipment or other repowering options. The Coal Quality Impact Model (CQIM{trademark}) is a PC-based computer program capable of predicting coal-related cost and performance impacts at electric power generating sites. The CQIM was developed for EPRI by Black & Veatch and represents over a decade of effort geared toward developing an extensible state-of-the-art coal quality assessment tool. This paper will introduce CQIM, its capabilities, and its application to Eastern European coal quality assessment needs.

  1. Low-cost high-quality crystalline germanium based flexible devices

    KAUST Repository

    Nassar, Joanna M.

    2014-06-16

    High performance flexible electronics promise innovative future technology for various interactive applications for the pursuit of low-cost, light-weight, and multi-functional devices. Thus, here we show a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) compatible fabrication of flexible metal-oxide-semiconductor capacitors (MOSCAPs) with high-κ/metal gate stack, using a physical vapor deposition (PVD) cost-effective technique to obtain a high-quality Ge channel. We report outstanding bending radius ~1.25 mm and semi-transparency of 30%.

  2. Cost and quality of fuels for electric utility plants: Energy data report. 1980 annual

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1981-06-25

    In 1980 US electric utilities reported purchasng 594 million tons of coal, 408.5 million barrels of oil and 3568.7 billion ft/sup 3/ of gas. As compared with 1979 purchases, coal rose 6.7%, oil decreased 20.9%, and gas increased for the fourth year in a row. This volume presents tabulated and graphic data on the cost and quality of fossil fuel receipts to US electric utilities plants with a combined capacity of 25 MW or greater. Information is included on fuel origin and destination, fuel types, and sulfur content, plant types, capacity, and flue gas desulfurization method used, and fuel costs. (LCL)

  3. Avoiding a bad apple: Insect pollination enhances fruit quality and economic value☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garratt, M.P.D.; Breeze, T.D.; Jenner, N.; Polce, C.; Biesmeijer, J.C.; Potts, S.G.

    2014-01-01

    Insect pollination is important for food production globally and apples are one of the major fruit crops which are reliant on this ecosystem service. It is fundamentally important that the full range of benefits of insect pollination to crop production are understood, if the costs of interventions aiming to enhance pollination are to be compared against the costs of the interventions themselves. Most previous studies have simply assessed the benefits of pollination to crop yield and ignored quality benefits and how these translate through to economic values. In the present study we examine the influence of insect pollination services on farmgate output of two important UK apple varieties; Gala and Cox. Using field experiments, we quantify the influence of insect pollination on yield and importantly quality and whether either may be limited by sub-optimal insect pollination. Using an expanded bioeconomic model we value insect pollination to UK apple production and establish the potential for improvement through pollination service management. We show that insects are essential in the production of both varieties of apple in the UK and contribute a total of £36.7 million per annum, over £6 million more than the value calculated using more conventional dependence ratio methods. Insect pollination not only affects the quantity of production but can also have marked impacts on the quality of apples, influencing size, shape and effecting their classification for market. These effects are variety specific however. Due to the influence of pollination on both yield and quality in Gala, there is potential for insect pollination services to improve UK output by up to £5.7 million per annum. Our research shows that continued pollinator decline could have serious financial implications for the apple industry but there is considerable scope through management of wild pollinators or using managed pollinator augmentation, to improve the quality of production. Furthermore, we

  4. Avoiding a bad apple: Insect pollination enhances fruit quality and economic value.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garratt, M P D; Breeze, T D; Jenner, N; Polce, C; Biesmeijer, J C; Potts, S G

    2014-02-01

    Insect pollination is important for food production globally and apples are one of the major fruit crops which are reliant on this ecosystem service. It is fundamentally important that the full range of benefits of insect pollination to crop production are understood, if the costs of interventions aiming to enhance pollination are to be compared against the costs of the interventions themselves. Most previous studies have simply assessed the benefits of pollination to crop yield and ignored quality benefits and how these translate through to economic values. In the present study we examine the influence of insect pollination services on farmgate output of two important UK apple varieties; Gala and Cox. Using field experiments, we quantify the influence of insect pollination on yield and importantly quality and whether either may be limited by sub-optimal insect pollination. Using an expanded bioeconomic model we value insect pollination to UK apple production and establish the potential for improvement through pollination service management. We show that insects are essential in the production of both varieties of apple in the UK and contribute a total of £36.7 million per annum, over £6 million more than the value calculated using more conventional dependence ratio methods. Insect pollination not only affects the quantity of production but can also have marked impacts on the quality of apples, influencing size, shape and effecting their classification for market. These effects are variety specific however. Due to the influence of pollination on both yield and quality in Gala, there is potential for insect pollination services to improve UK output by up to £5.7 million per annum. Our research shows that continued pollinator decline could have serious financial implications for the apple industry but there is considerable scope through management of wild pollinators or using managed pollinator augmentation, to improve the quality of production. Furthermore, we

  5. A cost benefit analysis of an enhanced seat belt enforcement program in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, G T; Olukoga, I A

    2005-04-01

    To examine whether a program to increase the wearing of seat belts in a South African urban area would be worthwhile in societal terms. A cost benefit analysis of a one year enhanced seat belt enforcement program in eThekwini (Durban) Municipality. Data were drawn from two main sources--a 1998 study of the cost of road crashes in South Africa and, given the absence of other data, a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of various types of interventions to reduce road crash casualties in the United States--and were analyzed using cost benefit analysis. A program designed to enforce greater wearing of seat belts, estimated to cost 2 million rand in one year, could be reasonably expected to increase seat belt usage rates by 16 percentage points and reduce fatalities and injuries by 9.5%. This would result in saved social costs of 13.6 million rand in the following year or a net present value of 11.6 million rand. There would also be favorable consequences for municipal finances. Investment in a program to increase seat belt wearing rates is highly profitable in societal terms.

  6. Analysis of the costs and quality of cardiovascular care in oncological monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Élide Sbardellotto Mariano da Costa

    Full Text Available Summary Objective: To analyze the health care costs specifically related to cardiovascular diseases, which were spent by patients of a private healthcare provider in southern Brazil, after their diagnosis of cancer. Method: We developed an observational, cross-sectional, retrospective study, with a qualitative-quantitative strategy, through the activity of analytical internal audit of medical accounts. Results: 860 accounts from 2012 to 2015 were analyzed, 73% referred to female users, with average age of 62.38 years, and a total direct cost of BRL 241,103.72. There was prevalence of 37% of breast cancer, 15% of prostate cancer and 9% of colon cancer. In relation to the cardiovascular care, 44% were consultations, 44% were complementary exams, 10% were emergency care, and 3% were hospitalizations. Regarding the health care costs with cardiovascular services, higher costs were in hospitalizations (51%, followed by complementary exams (37%, consultations (8% and emergency care (4%. Conclusion: The cancer survivors commonly use health care in other specialties such as cardiology, and the main cost refers to hospitalization. It is recommended to invest in prevention (consultation and complementary exam as well as in programs of chronic disease management to reduce costs and improve the quality of health care.

  7. Low-Cost Quality Control and Nondestructive Evaluation Technologies for General Aviation Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cramer, K. Elliott; Gavinsky, Bob; Semanskee, Grant

    1998-01-01

    NASA's Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiments (AGATE) Program has as a goal to reduce the overall cost of producing private aviation aircraft while maintaining the safety of these aircraft. In order to successfully meet this goal, it is necessary to develop nondestructive inspection techniques which will facilitate the production of the materials used in these aircraft and assure the quality necessary to maintain airworthiness. This paper will discuss a particular class of general aviation materials and several nondestructive inspection techniques that have proven effective for making these inspections. Additionally, this paper will discuss the investigation and application of other commercially available quality control techniques applicable to these structures.

  8. Quality and the academic library reviewing, assessing and enhancing service provision

    CERN Document Server

    2016-01-01

    Quality and the Academic Library: Reviewing, Assessing and Enhancing Service Provision provides an in-depth review and analysis of quality management and service quality in academic libraries. All aspects of quality are considered in the book, including quality assessment, quality review, and quality enhancement. An overview of quality management and service quality concepts, principles, and methods leads to a detailed consideration of how they have been applied in universities and their libraries. A case study approach is used with different perspectives provided from the different stakeholders involved in the quality processes. All contributors adopt a critical reflection approach, reflecting on the implications, impact, and significance of the activities undertaken and the conclusions that can be drawn for future developments. The book concludes with an overall reflection on quality management and service quality in academic libraries with a final analysis of priorities for the future.

  9. Phase 2 cost quality management assessment report for the Office of Technology Development (EM-50)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-08-01

    The Office of Environmental Management (EM) Head quarters (HQ) Cost Quality Management Assessment (CQMA) evaluated the practices of the Office of Technology Development (EM-50). The CQMA reviewed EM-50 management documents and reported results in the HQ CQMA Phase 1 report (March 1993). In this Assessment Phase, EM-50 practices were determined through interviews with staff members. The interviews were conducted from the end of September through early December 1993. EM-50 management documents (Phase 1) and practices (Phase 2) were compared to the Performance Objectives and Criteria (POCs) contained in the DOE/HQ Cost Quality Management Assessment Handbook. More detail on the CQMA process is provided in section 2. Interviewees are listed in appendix A. Documents reviewed during Phase 2 are listed in appendix B. Section 3 contains detailed observations, discussions, and recommendations. A summary of observations and recommendations is presented.

  10. Offset Printing Plate Quality Sensor on a Low-Cost Processor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Tirado

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work is to develop a microprocessor-based sensor that measures the quality of the offset printing plate through the introduction of different image analysis applications. The main features of the presented system are the low cost, the low amount of power consumption, its modularity and easy integration with other industrial modules for printing plates, and its robustness against noise environments. For the sake of clarity, a viability analysis of previous software is presented through different strategies, based on dynamic histogram and Hough transform. This paper provides performance and scalability data compared with existing costly commercial devices. Furthermore, a general overview of quality control possibilities for printing plates is presented and could be useful to a system where such controls are regularly conducted.

  11. Offset printing plate quality sensor on a low-cost processor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poljak, Jelena; Botella, Guillermo; García, Carlos; Poljaček, Sanja Mahović; Matías, Manuel P; Tirado, Francisco

    2013-10-24

    The aim of this work is to develop a microprocessor-based sensor that measures the quality of the offset printing plate through the introduction of different image analysis applications. The main features of the presented system are the low cost, the low amount of power consumption, its modularity and easy integration with other industrial modules for printing plates, and its robustness against noise environments. For the sake of clarity, a viability analysis of previous software is presented through different strategies, based on dynamic histogram and Hough transform. This paper provides performance and scalability data compared with existing costly commercial devices. Furthermore, a general overview of quality control possibilities for printing plates is presented and could be useful to a system where such controls are regularly conducted.

  12. Disease activity, quality of life and indirect costs of psoriatic arthritis in Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawalec, Paweł; Malinowski, Krzysztof Piotr; Pilc, Andrzej

    2016-09-01

    The aim of the study was to assess the indirect costs, health-related quality of life and clinical characteristics of patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), measured using a PsA disease activity index in Poland. Additionally, we aimed to investigate the association between the activity, utility of PsA-affected patients and productivity loss in a Polish setting. A questionnaire survey was conducted to assess disease activity, as well as productivity loss, and a paper version of the EuroQoly-5D-3L questionnaire was used to assess productivity loss and the quality of life. Indirect costs were assessed with the human capital approach employing the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, gross value added (GVA) and gross income (GI) per worker in 2014 in Poland and were expressed in Polish zlotys (PLN) as well as in euros. The correlation was presented using the Spearman correlation coefficient. Our analysis was performed on the basis of 50 full questionnaires collected. We observed a mean utility value of 0.6567. The mean number of days off work was 2.88 days per month, and mean on-the-job productivity loss was 24.1 %. Average monthly indirect costs per patient were €206.7 (864.01 PLN) calculated using the GDP; €484.56 (2025.46 PLN) calculated using the GVA; and €209.70 (876.56 PLN) calculated using the GI. PsA reduces the patients' quality of life as well as their productivity loss associated with both absenteeism and presenteeism. Total indirect costs were negatively correlated with utility. The greater the disease activity, the lower the utility and the greater the indirect costs.

  13. Benchmarking of WWTP design by assessing costs, effluent quality and process variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benedetti, L; Bixio, D; Vanrolleghem, P A

    2006-01-01

    Process choice and dimensioning of WWTPs is a particularly sensitive step to cost-efficiently comply with regulatory standards. This step accounts only for a small fraction of the upfront costs, but it can lead to substantial savings. This paper illustrates the results of a systematic methodology to evaluate system design/upgrade options. In contrast to conventional practice, this approach allows the choice between the most appropriate trade-off between cost of measures and effluent quality, and to assess the reliability of a process layout. It is therefore a flexible instrument to cope with the flexibility and complexity of integrated water management regulations. Results show good agreement of the simulations with extensiv benchmarking studies on actual plants. For that reason, the suggested methodology can provide valuable support also to such practices.

  14. Research on goal-setting method of rock drivage based on the balance among period, cost and quality

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHAN Ren-liang; CAI Wei-ling; WANG Yu-bao; LI Dong-gang; CHEN Xiang

    2012-01-01

    On the basis of the analysis on the disadvantages of the original goal-serting about rock drivage,this paper defined the "life cycle quality".With project management theory and the Cobb-Douglas finction,"quality-cost and quality-price curve model" and the "total cost-period prediction model" were built.Then the goal-setting method of the balance among quality,cost and period of rock drivage was constructed by finding "life cycle cost" through "life cycle quality" using "quality-cost andquality-price curve model" and ensuring period through "life cycle cost" using "total cost-period prediction model" (hereinafter referred to as the "three goals balance method")."Value contribution" which is the value of the contribution to a mine because of rock drivage,was found in the process of constructing the "quality-cost and quality-price curve model".An industrial test was done in coal mine A with the research results,staff footage efficiency improved by 24.24%,the period shortened by 14.3%,the "life cycle cost" dropped by 2.09%,the "life cycle quality price" improved by 3.29%,and value contribution increased by 25.3%.The result shows that the new goal method setting on the basis of coal mine profit maximization can ensure construction period.At the same time,it can realize cost and quality objectives and the optimization and balance of relationship among them; rewarding excavation teams by "value contribution" can combine organizational goal with personal goal,it significantly raise the employee's work efficiency.

  15. C企业质量成本管理研究%Study on Quality Cost Management of C Company

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周旭; 周贤君

    2015-01-01

    高质量、低成本、高效益是每个企业都追求的,这与质量成本管理的目的一致。而进行质量成本管理又是企业实现生产管理合理化,提高竞争力的必要措施,因此,企业进行质量成本管理是与时俱进的。以C企业质量成本管理为对象,用阶段分析法、质量成本构成分析法和质量成本总额分析法对其进行分析,研究数据表明:C企业质量成本管理存在着质量成本率偏高、产品质量成本结构不合理、鉴定成本率逐月下降而内部损失成本率逐月上涨、质量成本总额波动大等问题。对此,应从以下几个方面加以解决:完善质量成本管理体系;适当加大对控制成本的投入,平衡质量成本结构;重视检测设备及工具使用维护费的投入;增强对质量成本的管理意识。%Every company pursues the goal of high quality, low cost, and high efficiency. This is also the goal of quality cost management which is the key to rationalizing the management of production and improving the competitiveness of a company. Therefore, quality cost management must keep pace with the times. This paper studies the quality cost management of C company using sequential analysis method, quality cost constituent analysis method, and quality cost calculation. According to the study, major problems facing C company include high quality cost rate, poor structure of quality and cost, declining appraisal cost rate and increasing internal loss cost rate on monthly basis, and highly fluctuating total quality cost. These problems can be solved by improving the quality cost management system, increasing controlling cost, creating a well-structured quality and cost, increasing maintenance input in inspection equipment and tools, and promoting the awareness of quality cost management.

  16. Comparison and Cost Analysis of Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Requirements versus Practice in Seven Developing Countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonny Crocker

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Drinking water quality monitoring programs aim to support provision of safe drinking water by informing water quality management. Little evidence or guidance exists on best monitoring practices for low resource settings. Lack of financial, human, and technological resources reduce a country’s ability to monitor water supply. Monitoring activities were characterized in Cambodia, Colombia, India (three states, Jordan, Peru, South Africa, and Uganda according to water sector responsibilities, monitoring approaches, and marginal cost. The seven study countries were selected to represent a range of low resource settings. The focus was on monitoring of microbiological parameters, such as E. coli, coliforms, and H2S-producing microorganisms. Data collection involved qualitative and quantitative methods. Across seven study countries, few distinct approaches to monitoring were observed, and in all but one country all monitoring relied on fixed laboratories for sample analysis. Compliance with monitoring requirements was highest for operational monitoring of large water supplies in urban areas. Sample transport and labor for sample collection and analysis together constitute approximately 75% of marginal costs, which exclude capital costs. There is potential for substantive optimization of monitoring programs by considering field-based testing and by fundamentally reconsidering monitoring approaches for non-piped supplies. This is the first study to look quantitatively at water quality monitoring practices in multiple developing countries.

  17. Comparison and cost analysis of drinking water quality monitoring requirements versus practice in seven developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crocker, Jonny; Bartram, Jamie

    2014-07-18

    Drinking water quality monitoring programs aim to support provision of safe drinking water by informing water quality management. Little evidence or guidance exists on best monitoring practices for low resource settings. Lack of financial, human, and technological resources reduce a country's ability to monitor water supply. Monitoring activities were characterized in Cambodia, Colombia, India (three states), Jordan, Peru, South Africa, and Uganda according to water sector responsibilities, monitoring approaches, and marginal cost. The seven study countries were selected to represent a range of low resource settings. The focus was on monitoring of microbiological parameters, such as E. coli, coliforms, and H2S-producing microorganisms. Data collection involved qualitative and quantitative methods. Across seven study countries, few distinct approaches to monitoring were observed, and in all but one country all monitoring relied on fixed laboratories for sample analysis. Compliance with monitoring requirements was highest for operational monitoring of large water supplies in urban areas. Sample transport and labor for sample collection and analysis together constitute approximately 75% of marginal costs, which exclude capital costs. There is potential for substantive optimization of monitoring programs by considering field-based testing and by fundamentally reconsidering monitoring approaches for non-piped supplies. This is the first study to look quantitatively at water quality monitoring practices in multiple developing countries.

  18. Analysis of early accountable care organizations defines patient, structural, cost, and quality-of-care characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Arnold M; Jha, Ashish K; Orav, E John; Liebman, Daniel L; Audet, Anne-Marie J; Zezza, Mark A; Guterman, Stuart

    2014-01-01

    Accountable care organizations (ACOs) have attracted interest from many policy makers and clinical leaders because of their potential to improve the quality of care and reduce costs. Federal ACO programs for Medicare beneficiaries are now up and running, but little information is available about the baseline characteristics of early entrants. In this descriptive study we present data on the structural and market characteristics of these early ACOs and compare ACOs' patient populations, costs, and quality with those of their non-ACO counterparts at baseline. We found that ACO patients were more likely than non-ACO patients to be older than age eighty and had higher incomes. ACO patients were less likely than non-ACO patients to be black, covered by Medicaid, or disabled. The cost of care for ACO patients was slightly lower than that for non-ACO patients. Slightly fewer than half of the ACOs had a participating hospital. Hospitals that were in ACOs were more likely than non-ACO hospitals to be large, teaching, and not-for-profit, although there was little difference in their performance on quality metrics. Our findings can be useful in interpreting the early results from the federal ACO programs and in establishing a baseline to assess the programs' development.

  19. Quality management as a resource of transaction costs reduction: empirical inputs from the international fruit trade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Márcio Carvalho

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Fruit is a highly perishable product, susceptible to biological, physical and chemical hazards. All these risks are higher when fruit are transacted in international trade. In this case fruit suppliers and fruit buyers are exposed to elevated transaction costs, since both sides need to deal with questions like product specifications, post-harvest processing and logistics. Quality management can be employed in order to organize all production, processing and logistics operations. Our aim in this paper was to verify if producers, exporters and importers of fruit are making use of quality management concepts in order to reduce risks and transaction costs. As investigation method, semi-structured interviews were conducted in Brazil and the UK. The content of the semi-structured interview questions was chosen based on the literature review of TCE, the international fruit trade and quality management. The questions were carefully chosen to reveal the factors which are determinant for the configuration of transaction arrangements in the fruit trade. The topics investigated were: the technical activities performed by the organisations operating in the fruit commerce; the main types of commercial clients (partners of the firm; the nature of the market type relations maintained by the firm; the level of quality problems perceived by the firm; and the quality management strategies adopted by the firm. These topics served as the foundation for the elaboration of the main questions and the probe questions. They also gave the direction for possible follow-up questions. The results of the interviews support the idea that quality consciousness is fundamental in the fruit trade. The majority of companies approached in the research were shown not to perceive as a problem the several parameters that affect the quality of the final product. In other words, the results suggest that firms that are incapable of handling quality issues satisfactorily find little place

  20. Efficacy of flaxseed flour as bind enhancing agent on the quality of extended restructured mutton chops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Heena; Sharma, Brahma Deo; Mendiratta, S K; Talukder, Suman; Ramasamy, Giriprasad

    2014-02-01

    Consumers have become very conscious about their nutrition and well being due to changes in their socio-economic lifestyle and rapid urbanization. Therefore, development of technology for production of low cost and functional meat products is urgently required. One such approach is innovative restructuring technology in which binding of meat pieces still remains the main challenge and extension of product is generally associated with poor binding and texture. Thus, the present study was envisaged as an attempt to solve this problem by the incorporation of flaxseed flour (FF) as bind enhancing agent. The FF was used at three different levels viz., 0.5%, 1%, and 1.5% to replace lean meat in pre-standardized restructured mutton chops formulation. The products were subjected to analysis for physico-chemical, sensory and textural properties. Cooking yield, moisture percentage and fat percentage increased with increase in the level of incorporation of FF, however, protein percent and pH decreased with increase in the level of incorporation. Shear force value of product incorporated with 1.5% FF was significantly higher (pflour showed significantly higher values (pflour, however all other parameters of texture profile analysis showed a decreasing trend. On the basis of sensory scores and physico-chemical properties, the optimum incorporation level of FF was adjudged as 1%. Products incorporated with optimum level of flaxseed flour (1%) were also assessed for water activity and microbiological quality during the storage period of 15 days. It was found that the extended restructured product could be safely stored under refrigeration (4°C±1°C) in low density polyethylene (LDPE) pouches for 15 days without marked deterioration in sensory and microbiological quality. Thus, it was concluded that flaxseed flour can be used as a good bind enhancing agent in extended restructured meat products at an economic cost.

  1. A low-cost sensing system for cooperative air quality monitoring in urban areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brienza, Simone; Galli, Andrea; Anastasi, Giuseppe; Bruschi, Paolo

    2015-05-26

    Air quality in urban areas is a very important topic as it closely affects the health of citizens. Recent studies highlight that the exposure to polluted air can increase the incidence of diseases and deteriorate the quality of life. Hence, it is necessary to develop tools for real-time air quality monitoring, so as to allow appropriate and timely decisions. In this paper, we present uSense, a low-cost cooperative monitoring tool that allows knowing, in real-time, the concentrations of polluting gases in various areas of the city. Specifically, users monitor the areas of their interest by deploying low-cost and low-power sensor nodes. In addition, they can share the collected data following a social networking approach. uSense has been tested through an in-field experimentation performed in different areas of a city. The obtained results are in line with those provided by the local environmental control authority and show that uSense can be profitably used for air quality monitoring.

  2. A Low-Cost Sensing System for Cooperative Air Quality Monitoring in Urban Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Brienza

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Air quality in urban areas is a very important topic as it closely affects the health of citizens. Recent studies highlight that the exposure to polluted air can increase the incidence of diseases and deteriorate the quality of life. Hence, it is necessary to develop tools for real-time air quality monitoring, so as to allow appropriate and timely decisions. In this paper, we present uSense, a low-cost cooperative monitoring tool that allows knowing, in real-time, the concentrations of polluting gases in various areas of the city. Specifically, users monitor the areas of their interest by deploying low-cost and low-power sensor nodes. In addition, they can share the collected data following a social networking approach. uSense has been tested through an in-field experimentation performed in different areas of a city. The obtained results are in line with those provided by the local environmental control authority and show that uSense can be profitably used for air quality monitoring.

  3. Relationships between technical efficiency and the quality and costs of health care in Italy†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuti, S.; Daraio, C.; Speroni, C.; Vainieri, M.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives This paper reports the measurement of technical efficiency of Tuscan Local Health Authorities and its relationship with quality and appropriateness of care. Design First, a bias-corrected measure of technical efficiency was developed using the bootstrap technique applied to data envelopment analysis. Then, correlation analysis was used to investigate the relationships among technical efficiency, quality and appropriateness of care. Setting and Participants These analyses have been applied to the Local Health Authorities of Tuscany Region (Italy), which provide not only hospital inpatient services, but also prevention and primary care. All top managers of Tuscan Local Health Authorities were involved in selection of the inputs and outputs for calculating technical efficiency. Main Outcome Measures The main measures used in this study are volume, quality and appropriateness indicators monitored by the multidimensional performance evaluation system developed in the Tuscany Region. Results On average, Tuscan Local Health Authorities experienced 14(%) of bias-corrected inefficiency in 2007. Correlation analyses showed a significant negative correlation between per capita costs and overall performance. No correlation was found in 2007 between technical efficiency and overall performance or between technical efficiency and per capita costs. Conclusions Technical efficiency cannot be considered as an extensive measure of healthcare performance, but evidence shows that Tuscan Local Health Authorities have room for improvement in productivity levels. Indeed, correlation findings suggest that, to pursue financial sustainability, Local Health Authorities mainly have to improve their performance in terms of quality and appropriateness. PMID:21454349

  4. Builders' Perceptions of Lowest Cost Procurement and Its Impact on Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Hardie

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available to the degree to which it meets the customer’s needs andexpectations. Dissatisfaction with the quality of building projectshas been widely reported in recent times. There are indicationsthat there may be some relationship between the procurementmethod used and customer satisfaction with the delivered product.In particular, traditional competitive bid contracting may havean adverse impact on quality in some circumstances. To shedsome light on reported industry attitudes, a survey of constructionprofessionals in the Sydney metropolitan area was undertaken.The respondents demonstrate mixed views on the effectivenessof the competitive tender system on quality project outcomes. Tosome extent contractors’ attitudes may be determined by theirpreferred current mode of operation. However, some supportis expressed for the contention that quality of outcome can bereduced by an overly cost driven contractor selection process. Inparticular, when economic pressures cause bidders to reduce thetime allocated for the tender process, an inaccurate and unreliablebid may win. This makes it very diffi cult for the reliable contractorto remain profi table. A move to value-based rather than cost-basedprocurement may assist industry performance and customersatisfaction.

  5. Socioeconomic differences in the cost, availability and quality of healthy food in Sydney.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Belinda; Byun, Roy; Mitchell, Emily; Thompson, Susan; Jalaludin, Bin; Torvaldsen, Siranda

    2017-07-16

    To compare the cost of a basket of staple foods, together with the availability and quality of fresh fruit and vegetables, by supermarket store type in high and low socioeconomic suburbs of Sydney. A food basket survey was undertaken in 100 supermarkets in the 20 highest and 20 lowest socioeconomic suburbs of Sydney. We assessed the cost of 46 foods, the range of 30 fresh fruit and vegetables and the quality of ten fresh fruit and vegetables. Two major supermarket retailers, a discount supermarket chain and independent grocery stores were surveyed. The food basket was significantly cheaper in low compared to high socioeconomic suburbs ($177 vs $189, psupermarkets were at least 30% cheaper than other supermarket stores. There were fewer varieties and poorer quality fruit and vegetables in stores in low socioeconomic suburbs. Food basket prices and the availability and quality of fruit and vegetables varied significantly by store type and socioeconomic status of suburb. Implications for public health: A nationwide food and nutrition surveillance system is required to inform public health policy and practice initiatives. In addition to the food retail environment, these initiatives must address the underlying contributors to inequity and food insecurity for disadvantaged groups. © 2017 The Authors.

  6. Chemical drinking water quality in Ghana: water costs and scope for advanced treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossiter, Helfrid M A; Owusu, Peter A; Awuah, Esi; Macdonald, Alan M; Schäfer, Andrea I

    2010-05-01

    To reduce child mortality and improve health in Ghana boreholes and wells are being installed across the country by the private sector, NGO's and the Ghanaian government. Water quality is not generally monitored once a water source has been improved. Water supplies were sampled across Ghana from mostly boreholes, wells and rivers as well as some piped water from the different regions and analysed for the chemical quality. Chemical water quality was found to exceed the WHO guidelines in 38% of samples, while pH varied from 3.7 to 8.9. Excess levels of nitrate (NO(3)(-)) were found in 21% of the samples, manganese (Mn) and fluoride (F(-)) in 11% and 6.7%, respectively. Heavy metals such as lead (Pb), arsenic (As) and uranium (U) were localised to mining areas. Elements without health based guideline values such as aluminium (Al, 95%) and chloride (Cl, 5.7%) were found above the provisional guideline value. Economic information was gathered to identify water costs and ability to pay. Capital costs of wells and boreholes are about pound1200 and pound3800 respectively. The majority of installation costs are generally paid by the government or NGO's, while the maintenance is expected to be covered by the community. At least 58% of the communities had a water payment system in place, either an annual fee/one-off fee or "pay-as-you-fetch". The annual fee was between pound0.3-21, while the boreholes had a water collection fee of pound0.07-0.7/m(3), many wells were free. Interestingly, the most expensive water ( pound2.9-3.5/m(3)) was brought by truck. Many groundwater sources were not used due to poor chemical water quality. Considering the cost of unsuccessful borehole development, the potential for integrating suitable water treatment into the capital and maintenance costs of water sources is discussed. Additionally, many sources were not in use due to lack of water capacity, equipment malfunction or lack of economic resources to repair and maintain equipment. Those

  7. Schizophrenia in the Netherlands: Continuity of Care with Better Quality of Care for Less Medical Costs

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Lee, Arnold; de Haan, Lieuwe; Beekman, Aartjan

    2016-01-01

    Background Patients with schizophrenia need continuous elective medical care which includes psychiatric treatment, antipsychotic medication and somatic health care. The objective of this study is to assess whether continuous elective psychiatric is associated with less health care costs due to less inpatient treatment. Methods Data concerning antipsychotic medication and psychiatric and somatic health care of patients with schizophrenia in the claims data of Agis Health Insurance were collected over 2008–2011 in the Netherlands. Included were 7,392 patients under 70 years of age with schizophrenia in 2008, insured during the whole period. We assessed the relationship between continuous elective psychiatric care and the outcome measures: acute treatment events, psychiatric hospitalization, somatic care and health care costs. Results Continuous elective psychiatric care was accessed by 73% of the patients during the entire three year follow-up period. These patients received mostly outpatient care and accessed more somatic care, at a total cost of €36,485 in three years, than those without continuous care. In the groups accessing fewer or no years of elective care 34%-68% had inpatient care and acute treatment events, while accessing less somatic care at average total costs of medical care from €33,284 to €64,509. Conclusions Continuous elective mental and somatic care for 73% of the patients with schizophrenia showed better quality of care at lower costs. Providing continuous elective care to the remaining patients may improve health while reducing acute illness episodes. PMID:27275609

  8. Enhanced UK teletext: Experimental equipment for high-quality picture coding and other enhancements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, J. L.

    1983-07-01

    The construction of a pair of microcomputer-based units which will serve as a research tool in engineering teletext enhancements, one unit a transmitter and the other a receiver in a closed-circuit teletext transmission is described. The microcomputer system and frame store design is basically similar to that currently used by Logica in the Flair electronic graphics equipment. Considerable effort was devoted to the development of software handling. The units are equipped with a CP/M operating system, which is already widely known. This greatly simplifies the management of files and includes compiling routines and a software debugging tool. Software is being prepared in PASCAL. Routines were developed to receive, generate, edit and transmit teletext in its present form. Early attention was given to demonstrating that picture teletext is feasible through a crudely-coded slow-scan television system. An acceptable sampling structure for these pictures and optimizing the coding of data to fit in with a hierarchy of coding embracing other aspects of enhanced teletext, for example, geometric drawing, electronic painting and telesoftware are addressed. A high quality character font was incorporated to improve the display of text.

  9. Enhanced Architecture of a Web Warehouse based on Quality Evaluation Framework to Incorporate Quality Aspects in Web Warehouse Creation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Umm-e-Mariya Shah

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In the recent years, it has been observed that World Wide Web (www became a vast source of information explosion about all areas of interest. Relevant information retrieval is difficult from the web space as there is no universal configuration and organization of the web data. Taking the advantage of data warehouse functionality and integrating it with the web to retrieve relevant data is the core concept of web warehouse. It is a repository that store relevant web data for business decision making. The basic function of web warehouse is to collect and store the information for analysis of users. The quality of web warehouse data affects a lot on data analysis. To enhance the quality of decision making different quality dimensions must be incorporated in web warehouse architecture. In this paper enhanced web warehouse architecture is proposed and discussed. The enhancement in the existing architecture is based on the quality evaluation framework. The enhanced architecture adds three layers in existing architecture to insure quality at various phases of web warehouse system creation. The source assessment, query evaluation and data quality layers enhance the quality of data store in web warehouse.

  10. Service Quality in Higher Education Using an Enhanced SERVQUAL Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Kay C.; Kek, Sei W.

    2004-01-01

    Customer service and quality are driving forces in the business community. As higher educational institutions tussle for competitive advantage and high service quality, the evaluation of educational service quality is essential to provide motivation for and to give feedback on the effectiveness of educational plans and implementation. This…

  11. Research on producing high quality diffractive optical elements in volume at a low cost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daschner, Walter

    1997-11-01

    Diffractive Optical Elements (DOEs) can be utilized in a variety of possible applications in modern optical, as well as optoelectronic systems. The current roadblock for application of DOEs in consumer products is not the feasibility of the approach, as numerous applications have been successfully demonstrated. In order for the breakthrough to occur in industry, it is important to determine a convenient and cost-effective method for manufacturing DOEs. The industry will improve the design of their legacy systems and start including DOEs only when the performance improvement (which the utilization of DOEs achieves), can be purchased with a minimal amount of additional capital investment and cost-per-part. Therefore, the focus of this dissertation was to find a cost-effective method of fabricating large quantities of DOEs with currently available fabrication tools. Direct-write approaches were investigated to fabricate high-quality masters for a subsequent replication procedure based upon molding or casting. Electron-Beam Direct-Write was carried-out in a positive Novolac-based photo-resist which provides dry etch resistivity. Another focus of this development was to find a way to minimize Electron-Beam writing time for a given element. Proximity effect characterization and compensation has been carried-out in order to increase the fidelity of the pattern reproduction. A dry-etching procedure has been developed in order to transfer resist profiles into the substrate material. During this transfer step, the etch rates of resist and substrate material can be controlled; this in turn allows a choice of final feature depth in the substrate material (depending on refractive index and wavelength in use). Two Gray-Scale masking approaches were developed to allow the cost-effective mass fabrication of DOEs in a single optical exposure step. Thin film evaporation of Inconel achieves high-quality masks at a high price. High Energy Beam Sensitive Glass, the second mask material

  12. Cost-saving or Cost-enhancing Mergers: the Impact of the Distribution of Roles in Oligopoly

    OpenAIRE

    Le Pape, Nicolas; Kai ZHAO

    2010-01-01

    We consider firms perfectly symmetrical on production costs in the pre-merger game but the cost of the merged entity may be amended due to the anti-competitive effects of the merger. The lack of empirical precision concerning the effect of the merger on production costs (Scherer, 1980 or Tichy, 2002) justifies our theoretical model in which we do not specify a priori the exact production cost in the post merger game. Two firms in Stackelberg oligopoly game take part in the merger. The aim of thi...

  13. IMPROVING BIOMASS LOGISTICS COST WITHIN AGRONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY CONSTRAINTS AND BIOMASS QUALITY TARGETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Richard Hess; Kevin L. Kenney; Christopher T. Wright; David J. Muth; William Smith

    2012-10-01

    Equipment manufacturers have made rapid improvements in biomass harvesting and handling equipment. These improvements have increased transportation and handling efficiencies due to higher biomass densities and reduced losses. Improvements in grinder efficiencies and capacity have reduced biomass grinding costs. Biomass collection efficiencies (the ratio of biomass collected to the amount available in the field) as high as 75% for crop residues and greater than 90% for perennial energy crops have also been demonstrated. However, as collection rates increase, the fraction of entrained soil in the biomass increases, and high biomass residue removal rates can violate agronomic sustainability limits. Advancements in quantifying multi-factor sustainability limits to increase removal rate as guided by sustainable residue removal plans, and mitigating soil contamination through targeted removal rates based on soil type and residue type/fraction is allowing the use of new high efficiency harvesting equipment and methods. As another consideration, single pass harvesting and other technologies that improve harvesting costs cause biomass storage moisture management challenges, which challenges are further perturbed by annual variability in biomass moisture content. Monitoring, sampling, simulation, and analysis provide basis for moisture, time, and quality relationships in storage, which has allowed the development of moisture tolerant storage systems and best management processes that combine moisture content and time to accommodate baled storage of wet material based upon “shelf-life.” The key to improving biomass supply logistics costs has been developing the associated agronomic sustainability and biomass quality technologies and processes that allow the implementation of equipment engineering solutions.

  14. Evaluating Frequency, Diagnostic Quality, and Cost of Lyme Borreliosis Testing in Germany: A Retrospective Model Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Müller

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Data on the economic impact of Lyme borreliosis (LB on European health care systems is scarce. This project focused on the epidemiology and costs for laboratory testing in LB patients in Germany. Materials and Methods. We performed a sentinel analysis of epidemiological and medicoeconomic data for 2007 and 2008. Data was provided by a German statutory health insurance (DAK company covering approx. 6.04 million members. In addition, the quality of diagnostic testing for LB in Germany was studied. Results. In 2007 and 2008, the incident diagnosis LB was coded on average for 15,742 out of 6.04 million insured members (0.26%. 20,986 EIAs and 12,558 immunoblots were ordered annually for these patients. For all insured members in the outpatient sector, a total of 174,820 EIAs and 52,280 immunoblots were reimbursed annually to health care providers (cost: 2,600,850€. For Germany, the overall expected cost is estimated at 51,215,105€. However, proficiency testing data questioned test quality and standardization of diagnostic assays used. Conclusion. Findings from this study suggest ongoing issues related to care for LB and may help to improve future LB disease management.

  15. Real life cost and quality of life associated with continuous intraduodenal levodopa infusion compared with oral treatment in Parkinson patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundqvist, Christofer; Beiske, Antonie Giæver; Reiertsen, Ola; Kristiansen, Ivar Sønbø

    2014-12-01

    Advanced-stage Parkinson's disease (PD) strongly affects quality of life (QoL). Continuous intraduodenal administration of levodopa (IDL) is efficacious, but entails high costs. This study aims to estimate these costs in routine care. 10 patients with advanced-PD who switched from oral medication to IDL were assessed at baseline, and subsequently at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months follow-up. We used the Unified PD Rating Scale (UPDRS) for function and 15D for Quality of Life (QoL). Costs were assessed using quarterly structured patient questionnaires and hospital registries. Costs per quality adjusted life year (QALY) were estimated for conventional treatment prior to switch and for 1-year treatment with IDL. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis was based on bootstrapping. IDL significantly improved functional scores and was safe to use. One-year conventional oral treatment entailed 0.63 QALY while IDL entailed 0.68 (p > 0.05). The estimated total 1-year treatment cost was NOK419,160 on conventional treatment and NOK890,920 on IDL, representing a cost of NOK9.2 million (€1.18 mill) per additional QALY. The incremental cost per unit UPDRS improvement was NOK25,000 (€3,250). Medication was the dominant cost during IDL (45% of total costs), it represented only 6.4% of the total for conventional treatment. IDL improves function but is not cost effective using recommended thresholds for cost/QALY in Norway.

  16. Information from Pharmaceutical Companies and the Quality, Quantity, and Cost of Physicians' Prescribing: A Systematic Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spurling, Geoffrey K.; Mansfield, Peter R.; Montgomery, Brett D.; Lexchin, Joel; Doust, Jenny; Othman, Noordin; Vitry, Agnes I.

    2010-01-01

    Background Pharmaceutical companies spent $57.5 billion on pharmaceutical promotion in the United States in 2004. The industry claims that promotion provides scientific and educational information to physicians. While some evidence indicates that promotion may adversely influence prescribing, physicians hold a wide range of views about pharmaceutical promotion. The objective of this review is to examine the relationship between exposure to information from pharmaceutical companies and the quality, quantity, and cost of physicians' prescribing. Methods and Findings We searched for studies of physicians with prescribing rights who were exposed to information from pharmaceutical companies (promotional or otherwise). Exposures included pharmaceutical sales representative visits, journal advertisements, attendance at pharmaceutical sponsored meetings, mailed information, prescribing software, and participation in sponsored clinical trials. The outcomes measured were quality, quantity, and cost of physicians' prescribing. We searched Medline (1966 to February 2008), International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970 to February 2008), Embase (1997 to February 2008), Current Contents (2001 to 2008), and Central (The Cochrane Library Issue 3, 2007) using the search terms developed with an expert librarian. Additionally, we reviewed reference lists and contacted experts and pharmaceutical companies for information. Randomized and observational studies evaluating information from pharmaceutical companies and measures of physicians' prescribing were independently appraised for methodological quality by two authors. Studies were excluded where insufficient study information precluded appraisal. The full text of 255 articles was retrieved from electronic databases (7,185 studies) and other sources (138 studies). Articles were then excluded because they did not fulfil inclusion criteria (179) or quality appraisal criteria (18), leaving 58 included studies with 87 distinct analyses

  17. Information from pharmaceutical companies and the quality, quantity, and cost of physicians' prescribing: a systematic review.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey K Spurling

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Pharmaceutical companies spent $57.5 billion on pharmaceutical promotion in the United States in 2004. The industry claims that promotion provides scientific and educational information to physicians. While some evidence indicates that promotion may adversely influence prescribing, physicians hold a wide range of views about pharmaceutical promotion. The objective of this review is to examine the relationship between exposure to information from pharmaceutical companies and the quality, quantity, and cost of physicians' prescribing. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We searched for studies of physicians with prescribing rights who were exposed to information from pharmaceutical companies (promotional or otherwise. Exposures included pharmaceutical sales representative visits, journal advertisements, attendance at pharmaceutical sponsored meetings, mailed information, prescribing software, and participation in sponsored clinical trials. The outcomes measured were quality, quantity, and cost of physicians' prescribing. We searched Medline (1966 to February 2008, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970 to February 2008, Embase (1997 to February 2008, Current Contents (2001 to 2008, and Central (The Cochrane Library Issue 3, 2007 using the search terms developed with an expert librarian. Additionally, we reviewed reference lists and contacted experts and pharmaceutical companies for information. Randomized and observational studies evaluating information from pharmaceutical companies and measures of physicians' prescribing were independently appraised for methodological quality by two authors. Studies were excluded where insufficient study information precluded appraisal. The full text of 255 articles was retrieved from electronic databases (7,185 studies and other sources (138 studies. Articles were then excluded because they did not fulfil inclusion criteria (179 or quality appraisal criteria (18, leaving 58 included studies with 87 distinct

  18. Information from pharmaceutical companies and the quality, quantity, and cost of physicians' prescribing: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spurling, Geoffrey K; Mansfield, Peter R; Montgomery, Brett D; Lexchin, Joel; Doust, Jenny; Othman, Noordin; Vitry, Agnes I

    2010-10-19

    Pharmaceutical companies spent $57.5 billion on pharmaceutical promotion in the United States in 2004. The industry claims that promotion provides scientific and educational information to physicians. While some evidence indicates that promotion may adversely influence prescribing, physicians hold a wide range of views about pharmaceutical promotion. The objective of this review is to examine the relationship between exposure to information from pharmaceutical companies and the quality, quantity, and cost of physicians' prescribing. We searched for studies of physicians with prescribing rights who were exposed to information from pharmaceutical companies (promotional or otherwise). Exposures included pharmaceutical sales representative visits, journal advertisements, attendance at pharmaceutical sponsored meetings, mailed information, prescribing software, and participation in sponsored clinical trials. The outcomes measured were quality, quantity, and cost of physicians' prescribing. We searched Medline (1966 to February 2008), International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970 to February 2008), Embase (1997 to February 2008), Current Contents (2001 to 2008), and Central (The Cochrane Library Issue 3, 2007) using the search terms developed with an expert librarian. Additionally, we reviewed reference lists and contacted experts and pharmaceutical companies for information. Randomized and observational studies evaluating information from pharmaceutical companies and measures of physicians' prescribing were independently appraised for methodological quality by two authors. Studies were excluded where insufficient study information precluded appraisal. The full text of 255 articles was retrieved from electronic databases (7,185 studies) and other sources (138 studies). Articles were then excluded because they did not fulfil inclusion criteria (179) or quality appraisal criteria (18), leaving 58 included studies with 87 distinct analyses. Data were extracted independently

  19. Quality of life and cost-effectiveness of combined therapy for reflux esophagitis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    姒健敏; 王良静; 陈淑洁; 赵岚; 戴宁

    2003-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate clinical, Quality of Life (QoL) and medical cost outcomes in patients with symptomatic reflux esophagitis (RE) receiving different ″triple combination therapy″. Methods: A multicenter medical effectiveness trial conducted in 10 hospitals of 5 regions in Zhejiang Province. 248 patient-volunteers were assigned to 8 weeks of ″ triple combination therapy″ with Lansoprazole plus Cisapride and Sucralfate or Ranitidine plus Cisapride and Sucralfate. Main outcomes assessment included symptoms scale scores, RE severity, QoL at baseline and 8 weeks. Medical cost data were collected with cost analysis questionnaire. Results: (1)More Lansoprazole group patients noted RE symptoms resolution than Ranitidine group(92.3% vs 78.4%, P0.05). (2)RE significantly impaired QoL of patients(P0.05). Conclusion: RE significantly impaired QoL of patients. ″Triple combination therapies″ can significantly improve RE symptoms and QoL. Lansoprazole combination therapy was more cost-effective than Ranitidine combination group.

  20. CNS development of health maintenance programs: quality improvement and cost reduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullin, M H; Opperwall, B C; White, S L

    1995-01-01

    Several outpatient health maintenance programs were developed by CNSs that resulted in quality improvement and cost savings. Common implementation strategies, barriers to implementation, marketing issues and techniques, and revenue generation issues were found. An outpatient consultation model was used to expand enterostomal therapy and diabetic teaching services. Education and support programs include a cardiac support group and community education classes on aging. Preadmission programs include physical therapy consultation for patients scheduled for elective orthopedic surgery. Outpatient programs facilitate continuity of care in a managed care format, promote cost savings, and provide unique services that encourage patients to return to our hospital, thereby increasing market share. Key barriers encountered include inconsistent or ambiguous administrative support, budgetary constraints, lack of collaboration, communication problems, facility limitations, funding considerations, resource allocation, and territoriality. The programs are consistent with the change in focus of health care from treatment to prevention.

  1. Cost effectiveness of medication adherence-enhancing interventions: a systematic review of trial-based economic evaluations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oberjé, E.J.M.; de Kinderen, R.J.A.; Evers, S.M.A.A.; van Woerkum, C.M.J.; de Bruin, M.

    2013-01-01

    Background In light of the pressure to reduce unnecessary healthcare expenditure in the current economic climate, a systematic review that assesses evidence of cost effectiveness of adherence-enhancing interventions would be timely. Objective Our objective was to examine the cost effectiveness of

  2. Cost effective optical coupling for enhanced rate polymer optical fiber communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandrappan, Jayakrishnan; Zhang, Jing; Ramana, Pamidighantam V.; Lau, John Hon Shing; Kwong, Dim Lee

    2008-02-01

    Recent developments in the short distance communication have made polymer optical fibers (POF) an attractive product in the high speed data communication market. The requirement of a large bandwidth, low cost, light weight and flexibility in installation have placed them over the copper cables especially in applications like home networking and automotives. Since POFs are large core multimoded fibers, their band width is limited by intermodal dispersion. This confines POFs application to low data rate short distance communications. Restrictive mode launchers (RML) and higher order mode strippers placed in the data link helps to reduce the intermodal dispersion. The techniques used to implement these signal conditioners should be simple and cost effective to keep POFs attractive in the short distance communication. In this paper we explore the possibility of integrating the RML and mode stripping elements in the transmitter and receiver package itself. The pre-designed optical signal conditioning elements are projected to get molded in the plastic packages and are fiber plug in modules. This connector less package design, universal to any light source proposes to enhance the data rate and is widely manufacturable at an ease of installation and low cost.

  3. Gluten-free food database: the nutritional quality and cost of packaged gluten-free foods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Missbach, Benjamin; Schwingshackl, Lukas; Billmann, Alina; Mystek, Aleksandra; Hickelsberger, Melanie; Bauer, Gregor; König, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Notwithstanding a growth in popularity and consumption of gluten-free (GF) food products, there is a lack of substantiated analysis of the nutritional quality compared with their gluten-containing counterparts. To put GF foods into proper perspective both for those who need it (patients with celiac disease) and for those who do not, we provide contemporary data about cost and nutritional quality of GF food products. The objective of this study is to develop a food composition database for seven discretionary food categories of packaged GF products. Nutrient composition, nutritional information and cost of foods from 63 GF and 126 gluten-containing counterparts were systematically obtained from 12 different Austrian supermarkets. The nutrition composition (macro and micronutrients) was analyzed by using two nutrient composition databases in a stepwise approximation process. A total of 63 packaged GF foods were included in the analysis representing a broad spectrum of different GF categories (flour/bake mix, bread and bakery products, pasta and cereal-based food, cereals, cookies and cakes, snacks and convenience food). Our results show that the protein content of GF products is >2 fold lower across 57% of all food categories. In 65% of all GF foods, low sodium content was observed (defined as 6g/100 g). On average, GF foods were substantially higher in cost, ranging from +205% (cereals) to +267% (bread and bakery products) compared to similar gluten-containing products. In conclusion, our results indicate that for GF foods no predominant health benefits are indicated; in fact, some critical nutrients must be considered when being on a GF diet. For individuals with celiac disease, the GF database provides a helpful tool to identify the food composition of their medical diet. For healthy consumers, replacing gluten-containing products with GF foods is aligned with substantial cost differences but GF foods do not provide additional health benefits from a nutritional

  4. Gluten-free food database: the nutritional quality and cost of packaged gluten-free foods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Missbach

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Notwithstanding a growth in popularity and consumption of gluten-free (GF food products, there is a lack of substantiated analysis of the nutritional quality compared with their gluten-containing counterparts. To put GF foods into proper perspective both for those who need it (patients with celiac disease and for those who do not, we provide contemporary data about cost and nutritional quality of GF food products. The objective of this study is to develop a food composition database for seven discretionary food categories of packaged GF products. Nutrient composition, nutritional information and cost of foods from 63 GF and 126 gluten-containing counterparts were systematically obtained from 12 different Austrian supermarkets. The nutrition composition (macro and micronutrients was analyzed by using two nutrient composition databases in a stepwise approximation process. A total of 63 packaged GF foods were included in the analysis representing a broad spectrum of different GF categories (flour/bake mix, bread and bakery products, pasta and cereal-based food, cereals, cookies and cakes, snacks and convenience food. Our results show that the protein content of GF products is >2 fold lower across 57% of all food categories. In 65% of all GF foods, low sodium content was observed (defined as 6g/100 g. On average, GF foods were substantially higher in cost, ranging from +205% (cereals to +267% (bread and bakery products compared to similar gluten-containing products. In conclusion, our results indicate that for GF foods no predominant health benefits are indicated; in fact, some critical nutrients must be considered when being on a GF diet. For individuals with celiac disease, the GF database provides a helpful tool to identify the food composition of their medical diet. For healthy consumers, replacing gluten-containing products with GF foods is aligned with substantial cost differences but GF foods do not provide additional health benefits from a

  5. A Novel Approach To Mineral Carbonation: Enhancing Carbonation While Avoiding Mineral Pretreatment Process Cost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Michael J. McKelvy; Andrew V. G. Chizmeshya; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamdallah Bearat

    2006-06-21

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. Herein, we report our second year progress in exploring a novel approach that offers the potential to substantially enhance carbonation reactivity while bypassing pretreatment activation. As our second year progress is intimately related to our earlier work, the report is presented in that context to provide better overall understanding of the progress made. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly

  6. A Novel Approach To Mineral Carbonation: Enhancing Carbonation While Avoiding Mineral Pretreatment Process Cost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Michael J. McKelvy; Andrew V. G. Chizmeshya; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamdallah Bearat

    2006-06-21

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. Herein, we report our second year progress in exploring a novel approach that offers the potential to substantially enhance carbonation reactivity while bypassing pretreatment activation. As our second year progress is intimately related to our earlier work, the report is presented in that context to provide better overall understanding of the progress made. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly

  7. Estimation of the health impact and cost-effectiveness of influenza vaccination with enhanced effectiveness in Canada.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David N Fisman

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The propensity for influenza viruses to mutate and recombine makes them both a familiar threat and a prototype emerging infectious disease. Emerging evidence suggests that the use of MF59-adjuvanted vaccines in older adults and young children enhances protection against influenza infection and reduces adverse influenza-attributable outcomes compared to unadjuvanted vaccines. The health and economic impact of such vaccines in the Canadian population are uncertain. METHODS: We constructed an age-structured compartmental model simulating the transmission of influenza in the Canadian population over a ten-year period. We compared projected health outcomes (quality-adjusted life years (QALY lost, costs, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs for three strategies: (i current use of unadjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine; (ii use of MF59-adjuvanted influenza vaccine adults ≥65 in the Canadian population, and (iii adjuvanted vaccine used in both older adults and children aged < 6. RESULTS: In the base case analysis, use of adjuvanted vaccine in older adults was highly cost-effective (ICER = $2111/QALY gained, but such a program was "dominated" by a program that extended the use of adjuvanted vaccine to include young children (ICER = $1612/QALY. Results were similar whether or not a universal influenza immunization program was used in other age groups; projections were robust in the face of wide-ranging sensitivity analyses. INTERPRETATION: Based on the best available data, it is projected that replacement of traditional trivalent influenza vaccines with MF59-adjuvanted vaccines would confer substantial benefits to vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, and would be economically attractive relative to other widely-used preventive interventions.

  8. A Novel Approach to Mineral Carbonation: Enhancing Carbonation While Avoiding Mineral Pretreatment Process Cost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrew V. G. Chizmeshya; Michael J. McKelvy; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamdallah Bearat

    2007-06-21

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly-stirred/circulating carbonation. We are exploring the mechanisms that govern carbonation reactivity and the impact that (1) modeling/controlling the slurry fluid-flow conditions, (2) varying the aqueous ion species/size and concentration (e.g., Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, Cl-, HCO{sub 3}{sup -}), and (3) incorporating select sonication offer to enhance exfoliation and carbonation. Thus

  9. Improving quality in population surveys of headache prevalence, burden and cost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steiner, Timothy J; Stovner, Lars Jacob; Al Jumah, Mohammed

    2013-01-01

    , methodological differences and variable quality are notable among published studies of headache prevalence, burden and cost.The purpose here was to start the process of developing standardized and better methodology in these studies. An expert consensus group was assembled to identify the key methodological...... gained from recent Global Campaign population-based studies, not all yet published. We extracted methodological themes and identified issues within them that were of key importance.We found wide variations in methodology. The themes within which methodological shortcomings had adverse impact on quality...... were the following: study design; selection and/or definition of population of interest; sampling and bias avoidance; sample size estimation; access to selected subjects (managing and reporting non-participation); case definition (including diagnosis and timeframe); case ascertainment (including...

  10. The effects of health information technology on the costs and quality of medical care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Leila

    2014-03-01

    Information technology has been linked to productivity growth in a wide variety of sectors, and health information technology (HIT) is a leading example of an innovation with the potential to transform industry-wide productivity. This paper analyzes the impact of health information technology (HIT) on the quality and intensity of medical care. Using Medicare claims data from 1998 to 2005, I estimate the effects of early investment in HIT by exploiting variation in hospitals' adoption statuses over time, analyzing 2.5 million inpatient admissions across 3900 hospitals. HIT is associated with a 1.3% increase in billed charges (p-value: 5.6%), and there is no evidence of cost savings even five years after adoption. Additionally, HIT adoption appears to have little impact on the quality of care, measured by patient mortality, adverse drug events, and readmission rates.

  11. The Academic Quality Handbook: Enhancing Higher Education in Universities and Further Education Colleges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGhee, Patrick

    This book is intended as an introduction to the management of quality assurance and enhancement in higher education, particularly in England. The text focuses on the relationship between institutional quality assurance and the auditing authority of the British Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. The chapters of part 1, "The Quality…

  12. A Portable Low-Cost High Density Sensor Network for Air Quality at London Heathrow Airport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popoola, Olalekan; Mead, Iq; Bright, Vivien; Baron, Ronan; Saffell, John; Stewart, Gregor; Kaye, Paul; Jones, Roderic

    2013-04-01

    Outdoor air quality and its impact on human health and the environment have been well studied and it has been projected that poor air quality will surpass poor sanitation as the major course of environmental premature mortality by 2050 (IGAC / IGBP, release statement, 2012). Transport-related pollution has been regulated at various levels by enactment of legislations at local, national, regional and global stages. As part of the mitigation measures, routine measurements of atmospheric pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) have to be established in areas where air quality problems are identified. In addition, emission inventories are also generated for different atmospheric environments including urban areas and airport environments required for air quality models. Whilst recognising that most of the existing sparse monitoring networks provide high temporal measurements, spatial data of these highly variable pollutants are not captured, making it difficult to adequately characterise the highly heterogeneous air quality. Spatial information is often obtained from model data which can only be constrained using measurements from the sparse monitoring networks. The work presented here shows the application of low-cost sensor networks aimed at addressing this missing spatial information. We have shown in previous studies the application of low-cost electrochemical sensor network instruments in monitoring road transport pollutants including CO, NO and NO2 in an urban environment (Mead et. al. 2012, accepted Atmospheric Environment). Modified versions of these instruments which include additional species such as O3, SO2, VOCs and CO2 are currently deployed at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) as part of the Sensor Network for Air Quality (SNAQ) project. Meteorology data such as temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction are also measured as well as size-speciated particulates (0.38 to 17.4 µm). A network of 50

  13. High-surgical-volume hospitals associated with better quality and lower cost of kidney transplantation in Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shu-Yun Tsao

    2011-01-01

    Conclusion: Seventy-seven percent of kidney transplant surgeries were concentrated at six hospitals in Taiwan. There were significant differences in quality and cost between HSVHs and LSVHs. We suggest adopting volume-based strategies for nonurgent kidney transplants.

  14. Concepts for Cost-Effective Enhanced Cryosat Continuity: Opportunity in the Iridium PRIME Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Roy, Y.; Caubet, E.; Silverstrin, P.; Legrand, C.

    2016-08-01

    The Iridium-PRIME offer, recently initiated by the Iridium company, consists in hosting payloads on customized low cost Iridium-NEXT platforms on which the main telecom mission antenna (L-band) is removed. This leaves significant resources in terms of mass, volume and power consumption to host up to three payloads on these customized platforms. The Iridium-PRIME satellites will be inserted in the Iridium-NEXT constellation to take benefit of the low cost operation service (command, control and data telemetry through the life time of the Iridium-PRIME mission). Given the synergy between schedules of the Iridium-PRIME program (launches starting around 2020) and of a possible CryoSat Follow-On (FO) mission (launch around 2022) and the adequacy of the available on-board resources for such a mission, ESA tasked Thales Alenia Space, as responsible for the SIRAL radar instrument of the currently in-orbit CryoSat mission, to study the feasibility of a concept for enhanced continuity of CryoSat on an Iridium- PRIME satellite as potential low-cost fast-track solution. The study aimed to define a cost-effective topographic payload including not only the SIRAL radar but also the necessary sub-systems to retrieve the SIRAL antenna baseline attitude (star trackers) with high accuracy and to perform a Precise Orbit Determination (POD). All these aspects are presented in this paper. In addition, possible evolutions/improvements of the Ku-band radar instrument were analysed and are presented: adding a Ka-band nadir measurement capability and a Ku-band or Ka-band wide swath mode measurement capability. The transmission issue for the SIRAL science data is also discussed in the paper.

  15. Data Verification Tools for Minimizing Management Costs of Dense Air-Quality Monitoring Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miskell, Georgia; Salmond, Jennifer; Alavi-Shoshtari, Maryam; Bart, Mark; Ainslie, Bruce; Grange, Stuart; McKendry, Ian G; Henshaw, Geoff S; Williams, David E

    2016-01-19

    Aiming at minimizing the costs, both of capital expenditure and maintenance, of an extensive air-quality measurement network, we present simple statistical methods that do not require extensive training data sets for automated real-time verification of the reliability of data delivered by a spatially dense hybrid network of both low-cost and reference ozone measurement instruments. Ozone is a pollutant that has a relatively smooth spatial spread over a large scale although there can be significant small-scale variations. We take advantage of these characteristics and demonstrate detection of instrument calibration drift within a few days using a rolling 72 h comparison of hourly averaged data from the test instrument with that from suitably defined proxies. We define the required characteristics of the proxy measurements by working from a definition of the network purpose and specification, in this case reliable determination of the proportion of hourly averaged ozone measurements that are above a threshold in any given day, and detection of calibration drift of greater than ±30% in slope or ±5 parts-per-billion in offset. By analyzing results of a study of an extensive deployment of low-cost instruments in the Lower Fraser Valley, we demonstrate that proxies can be established using land-use criteria and that simple statistical comparisons can identify low-cost instruments that are not stable and therefore need replacing. We propose that a minimal set of compliant reference instruments can be used to verify the reliability of data from a much more extensive network of low-cost devices.

  16. Treatment of patients with severe burns-costs and health-related quality of life outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koljonen, Virve; Laitila, Markku; Rissanen, Anne M; Sintonen, Harri; Roine, Risto P

    2013-01-01

    To study the effectiveness of the treatment of patients with severe burns, the authors collected health-related quality of life (HRQoL) data with the 15D instrument, 17 to 29 months after treatment had commenced at the national burns unit. The costs of each patient's secondary care treatment were followed for a mean of 66 months. During the 1-year study period, 107 patients were treated at the burns unit, eight for scar surgery, the remainder for primary treatment of a burn injury; 19 had died or could not be located during the time of the HRQoL survey. Of the remaining 88 patients, 43 (49%; mean [SD] age 45.7 [14.8] years; 70% men) returned the questionnaire. Their mean (SD) HRQoL score (0.909[0.113]) was only slightly, and not significantly, lower than that of the age- and sex- standardized general population (0.928[0.080]). The mean (SD) secondary care cost of burn treatment of for all the 107 patients, over the 60- to 72-month observation time, was 42,838 USD (73,569 USD; range 1319-34,8741 USD). The largest portion of the total cost was because of inpatient treatment (61%) followed by operations (22%), and outpatient visits. In addition to the costs of burns treatment, the patients consumed other secondary care services to a value of nearly 12,229 USD. The HRQoL in patients treated for severe burns is good, thus the observed high-treatment costs can be considered acceptable.

  17. The Empty Nest Syndrome: Ways to Enhance Quality of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Dianbing; Yang, Xinxiao; Aagard, Steve Dale

    2012-01-01

    Empty nest syndrome occurs as a result of urbanization and loosened relationships among family members. It may threaten the life quality of older adults and stability of society as a whole. This survey was designed to investigate the situation and factors that influence the life quality of a sample of older adults in a western state. Thirty-five…

  18. Investigating the Effects of Consumer Innovativeness, Service Quality and Service Switching Costs on Service Loyalty in the Mobile Phone Service Context

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farzana Quoquab

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study is to examine the effects of consumer innovativeness, service quality, service switching costs and service satisfaction on service loyalty among mobile phone service users. A cross sectional survey was employed which yielded 535 responses. Structural equation modelling using the AMOS version 2.0 was utilized to test study the hypotheses. Test results reveal that service satisfaction, service switching costs and service quality are the three antecedents that directly influence service loyalty. However, consumer innovativeness does not have any direct effect on service loyalty. Moreover, service satisfaction is found to be a partial mediator between ‘service quality’ and ‘service loyalty’. Findings from this study will develop insights to enable policy-makers, managers and marketers to better strategize and effectively implement loyalty programs and prevent their customers from switching. This will enhance value creation for both their users and for the industry.

  19. Expression of conditioned preference for low-quality food in sheep is modulated by foraging costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catanese, F; Distel, R A; Villalba, J J

    2015-06-01

    Past positive experiences can increase herbivores' motivation to eat low-quality foods. However, this is not always translated into a higher preference for low-quality foods in choice tests among foods of higher nutritional quality. Foraging behavior is also affected by properties of the feeding context because the quality and abundance of foods in nature change in time and space. We hypothesized that in a choice situation, the expression of a past positive experience with a low-quality food is modulated by the costs associated with selecting a high-quality food option. A total of 24 sheep were randomly assigned into two groups (n=12). During conditioning phase, one group (CS+; i.e., conditioned group) was fed with oat hay (a low-quality food) for 20 min and immediately after a ration of soybean meal (a nutritious food), whereas the other group was also fed with oat hay but the offer of soybean meal was delayed 5 h (CS-; i.e., control group). After conditioning, we assessed sheep motivation to eat the oat hay in an experimental arena in which accessibility to alfalfa hay (a high-quality food) was increasingly restricted. When alfalfa hay was readily accessible, CS+ and CS- sheep almost exclusively selected this food, showing a small and similar preference for oat hay. However, when accessibility to alfalfa hay decreased, intake and selection of oat hay was greater in the CS+ sheep than in the CS- sheep. The latter was a consequence of differential changes in behavior between groups; for example, sheep in CS+ spent more time foraging oat hay and were more likely to switch to oat hay if they had previously been eating alfalfa hay than sheep in CS-. Our results show that behavioral expression of the conditioned preference for a low-quality food depends on parameters of the feeding context (e.g., availability). We suggest that this can be the link between learning models and optimal foraging models of diet selection.

  20. Real life cost and quality of life associated with continuous intraduodenal levodopa infusion compared with oral treatment in Parkinson patients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundqvist, C.; Beiske, A. G.; Reiertsen, O.

    2014-01-01

    Advanced-stage Parkinson's disease (PD) strongly affects quality of life (QoL). Continuous intraduodenal administration of levodopa (IDL) is efficacious, but entails high costs. This study aims to estimate these costs in routine care. 10 patients with advanced-PD who switched from oral medication...

  1. ENHANCED ENSEMBLE PREDICTION ALGORITHMS FOR DETECTING FAULTY MODULES IN OBJECT ORIENTED SYSTEMS USING QUALITY METRICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Punithavalli

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The high usage of software system poses high quality demand from users, which results in increased software complexity. To address these complexities, software quality engineering methods should be updated accordingly and enhance their quality assuring methods. Fault prediction, a sub-task of SQE, is designed to solve this issue and provide a strategy to identify faulty parts of a program, so that the testing process can concentrate only on those regions. This will improve the testing process and indirectly help to reduce development life cycle, project risks, resource and infrastructure costs. Measuring quality using software metrics for fault identification is gaining wide interest in software industry as they help to reduce time and cost. Existing system use either traditional simple metrics or object oriented metrics during fault detection combined with single classifier prediction system. This study combines the use of simple and object oriented metrics and uses a multiple classifier prediction system to identify module faults. In this study, a total of 20 metrics combining both traditional and OO metrics are used for fault detection. To analyze the performance of these metrics on fault module detection, the study proposes the use of ensemble classifiers that uses three frequently used classifiers, Back Propagation Neural Network (BPNN, Support Vector Machine (SVM and K-Nearest Neighbour (KNN. A novel classifier aggregation method is proposed to combine the classification results. Four methods, Sequential Selection, Random Selection with No Replacement, Selection with Bagging and Selection with Boosting, are used to generate different variants of input dataset. The three classifiers were grouped together as 2-classifier and 3-classifier prediction ensemble models. A total of 16 ensemble models were proposed for fault prediction. The performance of the proposed prediciton models was analyzed using accuracy, precision, recall and F

  2. Maximum likelihood cost functions for neural network models of air quality data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorling, Stephen R.; Foxall, Robert J.; Mandic, Danilo P.; Cawley, Gavin C.

    The prediction of episodes of poor air quality using artificial neural networks is investigated, concentrating on selection of the most appropriate cost function used in training. Different cost functions correspond to different distributional assumptions regarding the data, the appropriate choice depends on whether a forecast of absolute pollutant concentration or prediction of exceedence events is of principle importance. The cost functions investigated correspond to logistic regression, homoscedastic Gaussian (i.e. conventional sum-of-squares) regression and heteroscedastic Gaussian regression. Both linear and nonlinear neural network architectures are evaluated. While the results presented relate to a dataset describing the daily time-series of the concentration of surface level ozone (O 3) in urban Berlin, the methods applied are quite general and applicable to a wide range of pollutants and locations. The heteroscedastic Gaussian regression model outperforms the other nonlinear methods investigated; however, there is little improvement resulting from the use of nonlinear rather than linear models. Of greater significance is the flexibility afforded by the nonlinear heteroscedastic Gaussian regression model for a range of potential end-users, who may all have different answers to the question: "What is more important, correctly predicting exceedences or avoiding false alarms?".

  3. Smart way to determine and guarantee mask specifications: tradeoff between cost and quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shigemitsu, Fumiaki

    2009-04-01

    Mask set price is soaring along with technology node advancement. One reason is that the number of masks per set is increasing with the geometry scaling. Another reason is that low k1 lithography with highly complex OPCs tightens dimensional mask specifications as to result in higher mask-making tool costs and lower production yield. Under these circumstances, tool cost reduction and production yield improvement are immensely required to reduce mask cost. Expensive quality-assured tools are indispensable to achieve the desired accuracy. Then, higher throughput and technical applicability of the same tool over multiple generations are definitely needed to improve total tool CoO. Meanwhile, not only such conventional basic approaches as improving field level and process performance but optimizing mask specifications efficiently is emerging as a key factor for keeping mask production yield high. Usually mask specifications are determined by the error budget allocated from the total lithography budget. In order to cope with the tighter specifications some sensible approaches have recently been proposed. Mask DFM is receiving particular attention as a new method being strongly linked to lithography and wafer fabrication technologies (1)(2)(3)(4). In this presentation, logical way to define the main mask specifications such as CD, defect and image placement accuracy is shown and sensible ways to sustain them are referred.

  4. Cost of Living Dictates what Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises Eat: The Importance of Prey Quality on Predator Foraging Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitz, Jérôme; Trites, Andrew W.; Becquet, Vanessa; Brind'Amour, Anik; Cherel, Yves; Galois, Robert; Ridoux, Vincent

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that drive prey selection is a major challenge in foraging ecology. Most studies of foraging strategies have focused on behavioural costs, and have generally failed to recognize that differences in the quality of prey may be as important to predators as the costs of acquisition. Here, we tested whether there is a relationship between the quality of diets (kJ·g−1) consumed by cetaceans in the North Atlantic and their metabolic costs of living as estimated by indicators of muscle performance (mitochondrial density, n = 60, and lipid content, n = 37). We found that the cost of living of 11 cetacean species is tightly coupled with the quality of prey they consume. This relationship between diet quality and cost of living appears to be independent of phylogeny and body size, and runs counter to predictions that stem from the well-known scaling relationships between mass and metabolic rates. Our finding suggests that the quality of prey rather than the sheer quantity of food is a major determinant of foraging strategies employed by predators to meet their specific energy requirements. This predator-specific dependence on food quality appears to reflect the evolution of ecological strategies at a species level, and has implications for risk assessment associated with the consequences of changing the quality and quantities of prey available to top predators in marine ecosystems. PMID:23185542

  5. Cost of living dictates what whales, dolphins and porpoises eat: the importance of prey quality on predator foraging strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitz, Jérôme; Trites, Andrew W; Becquet, Vanessa; Brind'Amour, Anik; Cherel, Yves; Galois, Robert; Ridoux, Vincent

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that drive prey selection is a major challenge in foraging ecology. Most studies of foraging strategies have focused on behavioural costs, and have generally failed to recognize that differences in the quality of prey may be as important to predators as the costs of acquisition. Here, we tested whether there is a relationship between the quality of diets (kJ · g(-1)) consumed by cetaceans in the North Atlantic and their metabolic costs of living as estimated by indicators of muscle performance (mitochondrial density, n = 60, and lipid content, n = 37). We found that the cost of living of 11 cetacean species is tightly coupled with the quality of prey they consume. This relationship between diet quality and cost of living appears to be independent of phylogeny and body size, and runs counter to predictions that stem from the well-known scaling relationships between mass and metabolic rates. Our finding suggests that the quality of prey rather than the sheer quantity of food is a major determinant of foraging strategies employed by predators to meet their specific energy requirements. This predator-specific dependence on food quality appears to reflect the evolution of ecological strategies at a species level, and has implications for risk assessment associated with the consequences of changing the quality and quantities of prey available to top predators in marine ecosystems.

  6. Cost of living dictates what whales, dolphins and porpoises eat: the importance of prey quality on predator foraging strategies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jérôme Spitz

    Full Text Available Understanding the mechanisms that drive prey selection is a major challenge in foraging ecology. Most studies of foraging strategies have focused on behavioural costs, and have generally failed to recognize that differences in the quality of prey may be as important to predators as the costs of acquisition. Here, we tested whether there is a relationship between the quality of diets (kJ · g(-1 consumed by cetaceans in the North Atlantic and their metabolic costs of living as estimated by indicators of muscle performance (mitochondrial density, n = 60, and lipid content, n = 37. We found that the cost of living of 11 cetacean species is tightly coupled with the quality of prey they consume. This relationship between diet quality and cost of living appears to be independent of phylogeny and body size, and runs counter to predictions that stem from the well-known scaling relationships between mass and metabolic rates. Our finding suggests that the quality of prey rather than the sheer quantity of food is a major determinant of foraging strategies employed by predators to meet their specific energy requirements. This predator-specific dependence on food quality appears to reflect the evolution of ecological strategies at a species level, and has implications for risk assessment associated with the consequences of changing the quality and quantities of prey available to top predators in marine ecosystems.

  7. Helping States enhance health care quality through technical assistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Vidal, Enrique; Gauthier, Anne K; DiVincenzo, Allison

    2010-01-01

    For the money spent on health care in the United States, far better quality of care should be expected. The Commonwealth Fund and AcademyHealth have created the State Quality Improvement Institute to assist states in implementing sustainable quality improvement strategies. Lessons have emerged about the role of states in advancing fundamental and systemic changes in the way care is delivered, as well as how providers are organized and compensated. The experiences of states participating in the institute may offer insights for other states seeking to achieve similar goals.

  8. A NEW APPROACH TO QUALITY ENHANCEMENT: A CASE STUDY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Slavko Arsovski

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available There are a number of approaches for quality improvement that start from previously defined goal and definition of activities which lead to achievement of that goal. In this deterministic approach, risk in quality improvement has constantly been reduced by improvement activities, with relatively little increase in goal function. The basic approach is presented in the paper as well as measures and activities for decease of risk and vulnerability of quality improvement. This approach is tested in large company and part of results of model testing is presented in this paper.

  9. Costs of a motivational enhancement therapy coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy versus brief advice for pregnant substance users.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao Xu

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: To determine and compare costs of a nurse-administered behavioral intervention for pregnant substance users that integrated motivational enhancement therapy with cognitive behavioral therapy (MET-CBT to brief advice (BA administered by an obstetrical provider. Both interventions were provided concurrent with prenatal care. METHODS: We conducted a micro-costing study that prospectively collected detailed resource utilization and unit cost data for each of the two intervention arms (MET-CBT and BA within the context of a randomized controlled trial. A three-step approach for identifying, measuring and valuing resource utilization was used. All cost estimates were inflation adjusted to 2011 U.S. dollars. RESULTS: A total of 82 participants received the MET-CBT intervention and 86 participants received BA. From the societal perspective, the total cost (including participants' time cost of the MET-CBT intervention was $120,483 or $1,469 per participant. In contrast, the total cost of the BA intervention was $27,199 or $316 per participant. Personnel costs (nurse therapists and obstetric providers for delivering the intervention sessions and supervising the program composed the largest share of the MET-CBT intervention costs. Program set up costs, especially intervention material design and training costs, also contributed substantially to the overall cost. CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of an MET-CBT program to promote drug abstinence in pregnant women is associated with modest costs. Future cost effectiveness and cost benefit analyses integrating costs with outcomes and benefits data will enable a more comprehensive understanding of the intervention in improving the care of substance abusing pregnant women.

  10. Artificial neural networks incorporating cost significant Items towards enhancing estimation for (life-cycle costing of construction projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayedh Alqahtani

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Industrial application of life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA is somewhat limited, with techniques deemed overly theoretical, resulting in a reluctance to realise (and pass onto the client the advantages to be gained from objective (LCCA comparison of (subcomponent material specifications. To address the need for a user-friendly structured approach to facilitate complex processing, the work described here develops a new, accessible framework for LCCA of construction projects; it acknowledges Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs to compute the whole-cost(s of construction and uses the concept of cost significant items (CSI to identify the main cost factors affecting the accuracy of estimation. ANNs is a powerful means to handle non-linear problems and subsequently map between complex input/output data, address uncertainties. A case study documenting 20 building projects was used to test the framework and estimate total running costs accurately. Two methods were used to develop a neural network model; firstly a back-propagation method was adopted (using MATLAB SOFTWARE; and secondly, spread-sheet optimisation was conducted (using Microsoft Excel Solver. The best network was established as consisting of 19 hidden nodes, with the tangent sigmoid used as a transfer function of NNs model for both methods. The results find that in both neural network models, the accuracy of the developed NNs model is 1% (via Excel-solver and 2% (via back-propagation respectively.

  11. Enhanced data validation strategy of air quality monitoring network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harkat, Mohamed-Faouzi; Mansouri, Majdi; Nounou, Mohamed; Nounou, Hazem

    2017-10-05

    Quick validation and detection of faults in measured air quality data is a crucial step towards achieving the objectives of air quality networks. Therefore, the objectives of this paper are threefold: (i) to develop a modeling technique that can be used to predict the normal behavior of air quality variables and help provide accurate reference for monitoring purposes; (ii) to develop fault detection method that can effectively and quickly detect any anomalies in measured air quality data. For this purpose, a new fault detection method that is based on the combination of generalized likelihood ratio test (GLRT) and exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA) will be developed. GLRT is a well-known statistical fault detection method that relies on maximizing the detection probability for a given false alarm rate. In this paper, we propose to develop GLRT-based EWMA fault detection method that will be able to detect the changes in the values of certain air quality variables; (iii) to develop fault isolation and identification method that allows defining the fault source(s) in order to properly apply appropriate corrective actions. In this paper, reconstruction approach that is based on Midpoint-Radii Principal Component Analysis (MRPCA) model will be developed to handle the types of data and models associated with air quality monitoring networks. All air quality modeling, fault detection, fault isolation and reconstruction methods developed in this paper will be validated using real air quality data (such as particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen and carbon oxides measurement). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. The Design and Development of an Expert System Prototype for Enhancing Exam Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Jarrod DeCarlo

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses the development of an expert system prototype for use in college institutions. Our aim is to enhance exam quality and student performance by obtaining metrics pertaining to assignments, study materials, textbooks, and lecture quality, then learning dynamically from this information to create a human-readable course evaluation. The goal is to obtain a model which can be applied to courses in which students struggle, so we can identify ways to enhance the most determining factor of their grade: the quality of the exam. This expert system will serve as a prototype for a larger, more comprehensive automated system which will be proposed to enhance curricula.

  13. Extension and Enhancement Methods for Setting Data Quality Objectives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D. Goodman

    2000-03-01

    The project developed statistical tools for the application of decision theory and operations research methods, including cost-benefit analysis, to the DQO process for environmental clean up. A pilot study was conducted, using these methods at the Hanford site, to estimate vadose zone contamination plumes under the SX tank farm, and to help plan further sampling.

  14. Quality of life and costs of Filgrastim® (G-CSF) treatment in patients with persistent chronic rhinosinusitis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. van Agthoven (Michel); J.J. van Busschbach (Jan); W.J. Fokkens (Wytske); J.P. van de Merwe (Joop)

    2000-01-01

    textabstractThis is the first report of the double blind randomized clinical trial, in which we investigated the influence of Filgrastim(r) on the quality of life and treatment costs of chronic sinusitis patients who did not respond to regular treatments. The quality of life of 56 patients was asse

  15. To Boost Quality and Cut Costs, Oregon State U. Adopts a Customer-Oriented Approach to Campus Services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMillen, Liz

    1991-01-01

    At Oregon State University, an investigation into physical plant administration in response to complaints found significant problems with customer service. Adopting an approach called Total Quality Management, the staff identified and resolved problems, improved quality, and reduced cost. Administrators feel the principles could be applied in all…

  16. Atmospheric Chemistry Measurements in Schools and Outreach Activities with Low-cost Air Quality Sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, Z.; Monks, P. S.; McKenzie, K.

    2014-12-01

    The increasing range of low cost air quality sensors entering the market-place or being developed in-house in the last couple of years has led to many possibilities for using these instruments for public outreach activities or citizen science projects. A range of instruments sent out into local schools for the children to interpret and analyse the data and put the air quality in their area into context. A teaching package with tutorials has been developed to bring the data to life and link in with curriculum.The instruments have also been positioned around the city of Leicester in the UK to help understand the spatial variations in air quality and to assess the impact of retro-fitting buses on a busy bus route. The data is easily accessible online on a near real time basis and the various instruments can be compared with others around the country or the world from classrooms around the world.We will give an overview of the instrumentation with a comparison with commercial and cutting edge research instrumentation, the type of activities that were carried out and the public outreach forums where the data can be used.

  17. Efficacy of Flaxseed Flour as Bind Enhancing Agent on the Quality of Extended Restructured Mutton Chops

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heena Sharma

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Consumers have become very conscious about their nutrition and well being due to changes in their socio-economic lifestyle and rapid urbanization. Therefore, development of technology for production of low cost and functional meat products is urgently required. One such approach is innovative restructuring technology in which binding of meat pieces still remains the main challenge and extension of product is generally associated with poor binding and texture. Thus, the present study was envisaged as an attempt to solve this problem by the incorporation of flaxseed flour (FF as bind enhancing agent. The FF was used at three different levels viz., 0.5%, 1%, and 1.5% to replace lean meat in pre-standardized restructured mutton chops formulation. The products were subjected to analysis for physico-chemical, sensory and textural properties. Cooking yield, moisture percentage and fat percentage increased with increase in the level of incorporation of FF, however, protein percent and pH decreased with increase in the level of incorporation. Shear force value of product incorporated with 1.5% FF was significantly higher (p<0.01 than control and product containing 0.5% FF level. Among the sensory attributes, product with 1% flaxseed flour showed significantly higher values (p<0.05 for general appearance, binding, texture and overall acceptability. Hardness showed significant increasing (p<0.01 values with increasing levels of incorporation of flaxseed flour, however all other parameters of texture profile analysis showed a decreasing trend. On the basis of sensory scores and physico-chemical properties, the optimum incorporation level of FF was adjudged as 1%. Products incorporated with optimum level of flaxseed flour (1% were also assessed for water activity and microbiological quality during the storage period of 15 days. It was found that the extended restructured product could be safely stored under refrigeration (4°C±1°C in low density

  18. Strategies for the enhancement of automobile shredder residues (ASRs) recycling: results and cost assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffino, Barbara; Fiore, Silvia; Zanetti, Maria Chiara

    2014-01-01

    With reference to the European regulation about the management of End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs), Directive 2000/53/EC imposes the achievement of a recycling target of 85%, and 95% of total recovery by 2015. Over the last few years many efforts have been made to find solutions to properly manage the waste coming from ELVs with the aim of complying with the targets fixed by the Directive. This paper focuses on the economical evaluation of a treatment process, that includes physical (size and density), magnetic and electrical separations, performed on the light fraction of the automobile shredder residue (ASR) with the aim of reducing the amount of waste to dispose of in a landfill and enhancing the recovery of valuable fractions as stated by the EU Directive. The afore mentioned process is able to enhance the recovery of ferrous and non-ferrous metals of an amount equal to about 1% b.w. (by weight) of the ELV weight, and to separate a high energetic-content product suitable for thermal valorization for an amount close to (but not higher than) 10% b.w. of the ELV weight. The results of the economical assessment led to annual operating costs of the treatment ranging from 300,000 €/y to 350,000 €/y. Since the considered plant treats about 13,500 metrictons of ASR per year, this would correspond to an operating cost of approximately 20-25 €/t. Taking into account the amount and the selling price of the scrap iron and of the non magnetic metal recovered by the process, thus leading to a gain of about 30 €/t per ton of light ASR treated, the cost of the recovery process is balanced by the profit from the selling of the recovered metals. On the other hand, the proposed treatment is able to achieve the fulfillment of the targets stated by Directive 2000/53/EC concerning thermal valorization and reduce the amount of waste generated from ELV shredding to landfill.

  19. Reverse-total shoulder arthroplasty cost-effectiveness: A quality-adjusted life years comparison with total hip arthroplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachman, Daniel; Nyland, John; Krupp, Ryan

    2016-02-18

    To compare reverse-total shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) cost-effectiveness with total hip arthroplasty cost-effectiveness. This study used a stochastic model and decision-making algorithm to compare the cost-effectiveness of RSA and total hip arthroplasty. Fifteen patients underwent pre-operative, and 3, 6, and 12 mo post-operative clinical examinations and Short Form-36 Health Survey completion. Short form-36 Health Survey subscale scores were converted to EuroQual Group Five Dimension Health Outcome scores and compared with historical data from age-matched patients who had undergone total hip arthroplasty. Quality-adjusted life year (QALY) improvements based on life expectancies were calculated. The cost/QALY was $3900 for total hip arthroplasty and $11100 for RSA. After adjusting the model to only include shoulder-specific physical function subscale items, the RSA QALY improved to 2.8 years, and its cost/QALY decreased to $8100. Based on industry accepted standards, cost/QALY estimates supported both RSA and total hip arthroplasty cost-effectiveness. Although total hip arthroplasty remains the quality of life improvement "gold standard" among arthroplasty procedures, cost/QALY estimates identified in this study support the growing use of RSA to improve patient quality of life.

  20. A Novel Approach to Mineral Carbonation: Enhancing Carbonation While Avoiding Mineral Pretreatment Process Cost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrew V. G. Chizmeshya; Michael J. McKelvy; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamdallah Bearat

    2007-06-21

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly-stirred/circulating carbonation. We are exploring the mechanisms that govern carbonation reactivity and the impact that (1) modeling/controlling the slurry fluid-flow conditions, (2) varying the aqueous ion species/size and concentration (e.g., Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, Cl-, HCO{sub 3}{sup -}), and (3) incorporating select sonication offer to enhance exfoliation and carbonation. Thus

  1. Printed Wide-Slot Antenna Design with Bandwidth and Gain Enhancement on Low-Cost Substrate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Samsuzzaman

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a printed wide-slot antenna design and prototyping on available low-cost polymer resin composite material fed by a microstrip line with a rotated square slot for bandwidth enhancement and defected ground structure for gain enhancement. An I-shaped microstrip line is used to excite the square slot. The rotated square slot is embedded in the middle of the ground plane, and its diagonal points are implanted in the middle of the strip line and ground plane. To increase the gain, four L-shaped slots are etched in the ground plane. The measured results show that the proposed structure retains a wide impedance bandwidth of 88.07%, which is 20% better than the reference antenna. The average gain is also increased, which is about 4.17 dBi with a stable radiation pattern in the entire operating band. Moreover, radiation efficiency, input impedance, current distribution, axial ratio, and parametric studies of S11 for different design parameters are also investigated using the finite element method-based simulation software HFSS.

  2. The next generation of low-cost personal air quality sensors for quantitative exposure monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Piedrahita

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Advances in embedded systems and low-cost gas sensors are enabling a new wave of low cost air quality monitoring tools. Our team has been engaged in the development of low-cost wearable air quality monitors (M-Pods using the Arduino platform. The M-Pods use commercially available metal oxide semiconductor (MOx sensors to measure CO, O3, NO2, and total VOCs, and NDIR sensors to measure CO2. MOx sensors are low in cost and show high sensitivity near ambient levels; however they display non-linear output signals and have cross sensitivity effects. Thus, a quantification system was developed to convert the MOx sensor signals into concentrations. Two deployments were conducted at a regulatory monitoring station in Denver, Colorado. M-Pod concentrations were determined using laboratory calibration techniques and co-location calibrations, in which we place the M-Pods near regulatory monitors to then derive calibration function coefficients using the regulatory monitors as the standard. The form of the calibration function was derived based on laboratory experiments. We discuss various techniques used to estimate measurement uncertainties. A separate user study was also conducted to assess personal exposure and M-Pod reliability. In this study, 10 M-Pods were calibrated via co-location multiple times over 4 weeks and sensor drift was analyzed with the result being a calibration function that included drift. We found that co-location calibrations perform better than laboratory calibrations. Lab calibrations suffer from bias and difficulty in covering the necessary parameter space. During co-location calibrations, median standard errors ranged between 4.0–6.1 ppb for O3, 6.4–8.4 ppb for NO2, 0.28–0.44 ppm for CO, and 16.8 ppm for CO2. Median signal to noise (S/N ratios for the M-Pod sensors were higher for M-Pods than the regulatory instruments: for NO2, 3.6 compared to 23.4; for O3, 1.4 compared to 1.6; for CO, 1.1 compared to 10.0; and for CO2, 42

  3. Quality enhancement of parallel MDP flows with mask suppliers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Erwin; Lee, Rachel; Lee, Chun Der

    2013-06-01

    For many maskshops, designed parallel mask data preparation (MDP) flows accompanying with a final data comparison are viewed as a reliable method that could reduce quality risks caused by mis-operation. However, in recent years, more and more mask data mistakes have shown that present parallel MDP flows could not capture all mask data errors yet. In this paper, we will show major failure models of parallel MDP flows from analyzing MDP quality accidents and share our approaches to achieve further improvement with mask suppliers together.

  4. Data Quality Studies of Enhanced Interferometric Gravitational Wave Detectors

    CERN Document Server

    McIver, Jessica

    2012-01-01

    Data quality assessment plays an essential role in the quest to detect gravitational wave signals in data from the LIGO and Virgo interferometric gravitational wave detectors. Interferometer data contains a high rate of noise transients from the environment, the detector hardware, and the detector control systems. These transients severely limit the statistical significance of gravitational wave candidates of short duration and/or poorly modeled waveforms. This paper describes the data quality studies that have been performed in recent LIGO and Virgo observing runs to mitigate the impact of transient detector artifacts on the gravitational wave searches.

  5. ENHANCING PRODUCED WATER QUALITY USING MODIFIED ACTIVATED CARBON

    OpenAIRE

    AlKaabi, Maryam Ali

    2016-01-01

    The formation produced water from natural gas production process in the North field offshore considered largest volume of waste water in Qatar, which could be considered a potential benefits source for the industry as well as for other domestic uses if it was treated properly, taking in to consideration economical cost and conditions aspects. This project aims to study the physical and chemical characterizations of the produced water associated with natural gas from the North field, in the sa...

  6. Using UAVs to enhance the quality of precision agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recent studies by USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have indicated potential for significant improvement in the quality and application of Precision Agriculture products through the use of very high resolution imagery. An assessment of potential platforms to collect such imagery at an afford...

  7. Integrated analysis of water quality parameters for cost-effective faecal pollution management in river catchments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nnane, Daniel Ekane; Ebdon, James Edward; Taylor, Huw David

    2011-03-01

    In many parts of the world, microbial contamination of surface waters used for drinking, recreation, and shellfishery remains a pervasive risk to human health, especially in Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDC). However, the capacity to provide effective management strategies to break the waterborne route to human infection is often thwarted by our inability to identify the source of microbial contamination. Microbial Source Tracking (MST) has potential to improve water quality management in complex river catchments that are either routinely, or intermittently contaminated by faecal material from one or more sources, by attributing faecal loads to their human or non-human sources, and thereby supporting more rational approaches to microbial risk assessment. The River Ouse catchment in southeast England (U.K.) was used as a model with which to investigate the integration and application of a novel and simple MST approach to monitor microbial water quality over one calendar year, thereby encompassing a range of meteorological conditions. A key objective of the work was to develop simple low-cost protocols that could be easily replicated. Bacteriophages (viruses) capable of infecting a human specific strain of Bacteroides GB-124, and their correlation with presumptive Escherichia coli, were used to distinguish sources of faecal pollution. The results reported here suggest that in this river catchment the principal source of faecal pollution in most instances was non-human in origin. During storm events, presumptive E. coli and presumptive intestinal enterococci levels were 1.1-1.2 logs higher than during dry weather conditions, and levels of the faecal indicator organisms (FIOs) were closely associated with increased turbidity levels (presumptive E. coli and turbidity, r = 0.43). Spatio-temporal variation in microbial water quality parameters was accounted for by three principal components (67.6%). Cluster Analysis, reduced the fourteen monitoring sites to six

  8. Enhancing the health-beneficial qualities of whole grain rice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Various pre- and post-harvest approaches (i.e. pre-germination of whole grains and reduced milling degree) to enhancing the health beneficial compounds of whole grain and milled rice have been reported. A discussion of the results from our pre-harvest efforts is as follows. The majority of rice cons...

  9. Standardization of quality control plans for highway bridges in Europe: COST Action TU 1406

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casas, Joan R.; Matos, Jose Campos e.

    2017-09-01

    In Europe, as all over the world, the need to manage roadway bridges in an efficient way led to the development of different management systems. Hence, nowadays, many European countries have their own system. Although they present a similar architectural framework, several differences can be appointed. These differences constitute a divergent mechanism that may conduct to different decisions on maintenance actions. Within the roadway bridge management process, the identification of maintenance needs is more effective when developed in a uniform and repeatable manner. This process can be accomplished by the identification of performance indicators and definition of performance goals and key performance indicators (KPI), improving the planning of maintenance strategies. Therefore, a discussion at a European level, seeking to achieve a standardized approach in this subject, will bring significant benefits. Accordingly, a COST Action is under way in Europe with the aim of standardizing the establishment of quality control plans for roadway bridges.

  10. How Can One Create a Culture for Quality Enhancement? Final report

    OpenAIRE

    Kottmann, Andrea; Huisman, Jeroen; Brockerhoff, Lisa; Cremonini, Leon; Mampaey, Jelle

    2016-01-01

    NOKUT commissioned two research centres in the Netherlands and Belgium to find success criteria for establishing and developing a culture for quality enhancement at universities and university colleges. The research institutes conducted a literature survey on the topic as well as case studies at five excellent educational centres in Europe. The project ends with a summary of success criteria, and aims to inspire Norwegian institutions and NOKUT’s advisory and quality enhancement activities. T...

  11. QUALICOPC, a multi-country study evaluating quality, costs and equity in primary care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van den Berg Michael J

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The QUALICOPC (Quality and Costs of Primary Care in Europe study aims to evaluate the performance of primary care systems in Europe in terms of quality, equity and costs. The study will provide an answer to the question what strong primary care systems entail and which effects primary care systems have on the performance of health care systems. QUALICOPC is funded by the European Commission under the "Seventh Framework Programme". In this article the background and design of the QUALICOPC study is described. Methods/design QUALICOPC started in 2010 and will run until 2013. Data will be collected in 31 European countries (27 EU countries, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey and in Australia, Israel and New Zealand. This study uses a three level approach of data collection: the system, practice and patient. Surveys will be held among general practitioners (GPs and their patients, providing evidence at the process and outcome level of primary care. These surveys aim to gain insight in the professional behaviour of GPs and the expectations and actions of their patients. An important aspect of this study is that each patient's questionnaire can be linked to their own GP's questionnaire. To gather data at the structure or national level, the study will use existing data sources such as the System of Health Accounts and the Primary Health Care Activity Monitor Europe (PHAMEU database. Analyses of the data will be performed using multilevel models. Discussion By its design, in which different data sources are combined for comprehensive analyses, QUALICOPC will advance the state of the art in primary care research and contribute to the discussion on the merit of strengthening primary care systems and to evidence based health policy development.

  12. Health and nutrition economics: diet costs are associated with diet quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Yuan-Ting; Chang, Yu-Hung; Lee, Meei-Shyuan; Wahlqvist, Mark L

    2009-01-01

    The WHO asserts that the global food price crisis threatens public health and jeopardizes the health of the most disadvantaged groups such as women, children, the elderly and low-income families. Economic factors play a crucial role and could affect personal nutrition status and health. Economic decision factors such as food price and income do influence people's food choices. Moreover, food costs are a barrier for low income-families to healthier food choices. Several studies indicate that diet costs are associated with dietary quality and also food safety. Food prices have surged over the past couple of years (2007-9) and raised serious concerns about food security around the world. Rising food prices are having severe impacts on population health and nutritional status. Therefore, people who change their diet pattern for economic reasons may develop a range of nutritionally-related disorders and diseases, from so-called over-nutrition to or with under-nutrition even within the one household. This is likely to increase with growing food insecurity. Presently, economics is not integrated with mainstream nutrition science or practice, other than in "home economics", but it can enable greater understanding of how socioeconomic status may interplay with human nutritional status and health and how these situations might be resolved. Collaborative, cross-disciplinary nutritional economics research should play a greater role in the prevention and management of food crises.

  13. Concentrated biogas slurry enhanced soil fertility and tomato quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fang-Bo Yu; Xi-Ping Luo; Fang-Bo Yu; Xi-Ping Luo; Cheng-Fang Song; Miao-Xian Zhang; Sheng-Dao Shan (Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Inst. of Environmental Technology, Zhejiang Forestry University, Linan (China))

    2010-05-15

    Biogas slurry is a cheap source of plant nutrients and can offer extra benefits to soil fertility and fruit quality. However, its current utilization mode and low content of active ingredients limit its further development. In this paper, a one-growing-season field study was conducted to assess the effects of concentrated biogas slurry on soil property, tomato fruit quality, and composition of microflora in both nonrhizosphere and rhizosphere soils. The results showed that application of concentrated slurry could bring significant changes to tomato cultivation, including increases in organic matter, available N, P, and K, total N and P, electrical conductivity, and fruit contents of amino acids, protein, soluble sugar, beta-carotene, tannins, and vitamin C, together with the R/S ratios and the culturable counts of bacteria, actinomycetes, and fungi in soils. It was concluded that the application is a practicable means in tomato production and will better service the area of sustainable agriculture

  14. Soil compost amendment enhances tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldantoni, Daniela; Bellino, Alessandro; Alfani, Anna

    2016-09-01

    Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is one of the most important crops in the world and represents a key crop in southern Italy. With the aim to evaluate the nutritional characteristics of tomato fruits in relation to NPK and compost fertilisation, the concentrations of the main nutrients, toxic elements, primary metabolites and total phenols were determined in two varieties (Lido and San Marzano). Each variety was cultivated in a different experimental field, subjected to different agronomic techniques. Concentrations of toxic elements (Cd and Pb) were below the limits indicated by the EU Regulation (2011) in all the fruits analysed. Moreover, fruits obtained from San Marzano plants grown on organic amended soils showed a better overall quality than those obtained on mineral fertilised soil, being characterised by lower N (attributed to lower nitrate and nitrite concentrations), lower Cd, and higher soluble sugar concentrations. Higher concentrations of soluble sugars in fruits from organic amended soils were also observed in the Lido variety. The agricultural use of quality compost represents an effective strategy to obtain high quality products in an economically and environmentally sustainable way. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  15. Activity-based quality management : Een synthese van kwaliteitsmanagement en Activity-Based Costing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tillema, K.H.

    2002-01-01

    The NEN-EN-ISO 9000 (the Dutch version of ISO 9000), which describes the basic principles of quality management systems and specifies the relevant terminology, breaks down quality management into quality planning, quality control, quality assurance and quality improvement. Quality planning focusses

  16. Activity-based quality management : Een synthese van kwaliteitsmanagement en Activity-Based Costing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tillema, K.H.

    2002-01-01

    The NEN-EN-ISO 9000 (the Dutch version of ISO 9000), which describes the basic principles of quality management systems and specifies the relevant terminology, breaks down quality management into quality planning, quality control, quality assurance and quality improvement. Quality planning focusses

  17. Enhancing shared decision making through assessment of patient-clinician concordance on decision quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaltoft, Mette Kjer; Selby, Warwick; Salkeld, Glenn

    Purpose: To explore the feasibility and potential of a prescriptive, web-based, decomposable measure of decision quality (MyDecisionQuality (MDQ)); to assess and enhance patient-clinician decision concordance, thereby facilitating more transparent shared decision making and documentation of bette...

  18. Multiple Perspectives: Whither Scholarship in the Work of Enhancing the Quality of Teaching and Learning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dangel, Julie Rainer

    2011-01-01

    Whither Scholarship in the Work of Enhancing the Quality of Teaching and Learning? This is an important query because it acknowledges, embraces, questions, and challenges the role of scholarship in enhancing teaching and learning. Interestingly, these four verbs help the author categorize her perspectives on the use of scholarship. Drawing from…

  19. Improving quality in population surveys of headache prevalence, burden and cost: key methodological considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, Timothy J; Stovner, Lars Jacob; Al Jumah, Mohammed; Birbeck, Gretchen L; Gururaj, Gopalakrishna; Jensen, Rigmor; Katsarava, Zaza; Queiroz, Luiz Paulo; Scher, Ann I; Tekle-Haimanot, Redda; Wang, Shuu-Jiun; Martelletti, Paolo; Dua, Tarun; Chatterji, Somnath

    2013-01-01

    Population-based studies of headache disorders are important. They inform needs assessment and underpin service policy for a set of disorders that are a public-health priority. On the one hand, our knowledge of the global burden of headache is incomplete, with major geographical gaps; on the other, methodological differences and variable quality are notable among published studies of headache prevalence, burden and cost. The purpose here was to start the process of developing standardized and better methodology in these studies. An expert consensus group was assembled to identify the key methodological issues, and areas where studies might fail. Members had competence and practical experience in headache epidemiology or epidemiology in general, and were drawn from all WHO world regions. We reviewed the relevant literature, and supplemented the knowledge gathered from this exercise with experience gained from recent Global Campaign population-based studies, not all yet published. We extracted methodological themes and identified issues within them that were of key importance. We found wide variations in methodology. The themes within which methodological shortcomings had adverse impact on quality were the following: study design; selection and/or definition of population of interest; sampling and bias avoidance; sample size estimation; access to selected subjects (managing and reporting non-participation); case definition (including diagnosis and timeframe); case ascertainment (including diagnostic validation of questionnaires); burden estimation; reporting (methods and results). These are discussed.

  20. Power Quality Enhancement in Wind Connected Grid System Interface Based On Static Switched Filter Compensator (SSFC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lakshmi Prasanna Vatti

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Wind energy has become one of the significant alternative renewable energy resources because of its abundance and the strong drive for its commercialization. Dynamic electric load variations and wind velocity excursions cause excessive changes in the prime mover kinetic energy and the corresponding electrical power injected into the AC grid utility system. In this paper, a scheme based on the low cost static switched filter compensator (SSFC is presented for voltage sag/swell compensation, power factor improvement in distribution grid networks with the dispersed wind energy interface. The SSFC scheme is based on an intermittent switching process between two shunt capacitor banks to be one of them in parallel with the capacitor of a tuned arm filter. Two regulators based on a tri- loop dynamic error driven inter-coupled weighted modified proportional-integralderivative (PID controller which is used to modulate the PWM. The Static Switched Filter Compensation (SSFC compensation scheme which enhances the system power quality has been fully validated using MATLAB–Simulink. The effectiveness of this compensation scheme approach is demonstrated using a study case of 3 bus system. Simulation results show that there is improvement in harmonics reduction, voltage sag/swell compensation, power factor improvement at generator bus, load bus, and infinite bus respectively

  1. Longitudinal Patterns of Spending Enhance the Ability to Predict Costly Patients: A Novel Approach to Identify Patients for Cost Containment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauffenburger, Julie C; Franklin, Jessica M; Krumme, Alexis A; Shrank, William H; Brennan, Troyen A; Matlin, Olga S; Spettell, Claire M; Brill, Gregory; Choudhry, Niteesh K

    2017-01-01

    With rising health spending, predicting costs is essential to identify patients for interventions. Many of the existing approaches have moderate predictive ability, which may result, in part, from not considering potentially meaningful changes in spending over time. Group-based trajectory modeling could be used to classify patients into dynamic long-term spending patterns. To classify patients by their spending patterns over a 1-year period and to assess the ability of models to predict patients in the highest spending trajectory and the top 5% of annual spending using prior-year predictors. We identified all fully insured adult members enrolled in a large US nationwide insurer and used medical and prescription data from 2009 to 2011. Group-based trajectory modeling was used to classify patients by their spending patterns over a 1-year period. We assessed the predictive ability of models that categorized patients in the top fifth percentile of annual spending and in the highest spending trajectory, using logistic regression and split-sample validation. Models were estimated using investigator-specified variables and a proprietary risk-adjustment method. Among 998,651 patients, in the best-performing model, prediction was strong for patients in the highest trajectory group (C-statistic: 0.86; R: 0.47). The C-statistic of being in the top fifth percentile of spending in the best-performing model was 0.82 (R: 0.26). Approaches using nonproprietary investigator-specified methods performed almost as well as other risk-adjustment methods (C-statistic: 0.81 vs. 0.82). Trajectory modeling may be a useful way to predict costly patients that could be implementable by payers to improve cost-containment efforts.

  2. The next generation of low-cost personal air quality sensors for quantitative exposure monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piedrahita, R.; Xiang, Y.; Masson, N.; Ortega, J.; Collier, A.; Jiang, Y.; Li, K.; Dick, R. P.; Lv, Q.; Hannigan, M.; Shang, L.

    2014-10-01

    Advances in embedded systems and low-cost gas sensors are enabling a new wave of low-cost air quality monitoring tools. Our team has been engaged in the development of low-cost, wearable, air quality monitors (M-Pods) using the Arduino platform. These M-Pods house two types of sensors - commercially available metal oxide semiconductor (MOx) sensors used to measure CO, O3, NO2, and total VOCs, and NDIR sensors used to measure CO2. The MOx sensors are low in cost and show high sensitivity near ambient levels; however they display non-linear output signals and have cross-sensitivity effects. Thus, a quantification system was developed to convert the MOx sensor signals into concentrations. We conducted two types of validation studies - first, deployments at a regulatory monitoring station in Denver, Colorado, and second, a user study. In the two deployments (at the regulatory monitoring station), M-Pod concentrations were determined using collocation calibrations and laboratory calibration techniques. M-Pods were placed near regulatory monitors to derive calibration function coefficients using the regulatory monitors as the standard. The form of the calibration function was derived based on laboratory experiments. We discuss various techniques used to estimate measurement uncertainties. The deployments revealed that collocation calibrations provide more accurate concentration estimates than laboratory calibrations. During collocation calibrations, median standard errors ranged between 4.0-6.1 ppb for O3, 6.4-8.4 ppb for NO2, 0.28-0.44 ppm for CO, and 16.8 ppm for CO2. Median signal to noise (S / N) ratios for the M-Pod sensors were higher than the regulatory instruments: for NO2, 3.6 compared to 23.4; for O3, 1.4 compared to 1.6; for CO, 1.1 compared to 10.0; and for CO2, 42.2 compared to 300-500. By contrast, lab calibrations added bias and made it difficult to cover the necessary range of environmental conditions to obtain a good calibration. A separate user study

  3. METHOD OF IMAGE QUALITY ENHANCEMENT FOR SPACE OBJECTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. S. Korshunov

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The paper deals with an approach for image quality improvement of the space objects in the visible range of electromagnetic wave spectrum. The proposed method is based on the joint taking into account of both the motion velocity of the space supervisory apparatus and a space object observed in the near-earth space when the time of photo-detector exposure is chosen. The timing of exposure is carried out by light-signal characteristics, which determines the optimal value of the charge package formed in the charge-coupled device being irradiated. Thus, the parameters of onboard observation equipment can be selected, which provides space images suitable for interpretation. The linear resolving capacity is used as quality indicator for space images, giving a complete picture for the image contrast and geometric properties of the object on the photo. Observation scenario modeling of the space object, done by sputnik-inspector, has shown the possibility of increasing the linear resolution up to10% - 20% or up to 40% - 50% depending on the non-complanarity angle at the movement along orbits. The proposed approach to the increase of photographs quality provides getting sharp and highcontrast images of space objects by the optical-electronic equipment of the space-based remote sensing. The usage of these images makes it possible to detect in time the space technology failures, which are the result of its exploitation in the nearearth space. The proposed method can be also applied at the stage of space systems design for optical-electronic surveillance in computer models used for facilities assessment of the shooting equipment information tract.

  4. Enhancing the Quality of Life through Cultural Events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2008-01-01

    ' sense of place and identity while also attracting visitors to the region. Furthermore, the festival is designed to create regional, national and international liaisons between artists and cultural institutions to improve the cultural attractiveness, hence fostering product and institutional innovations....... The present research recognizes the articulated aims of the festival and investigates how a cultural event influences participants' quality of life (QOL). The study adopts a twofold approach to examine organizers' expectations as well as the impacts on participants' short-term subjective well being...

  5. Enhancing indoor air quality –The air filter advantage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vannan Kandi Vijayan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Air pollution has become the world's single biggest environmental health risk, linked to around 7 million deaths in 2012 according to a recent World Health Organisation (WHO report. The new data further reveals a stronger link between, indoor and outdoor air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and ischemic heart disease, as well as between air pollution and cancer. The role of air pollution in the development of respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, is well known. While both indoor and outdoor pollution affect health, recent statistics on the impact of household indoor pollutants (HAP is alarming. The WHO factsheet on HAP and health states that 3.8 million premature deaths annually - including stroke, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD and lung cancer are attributed to exposure to household air pollution. Use of air cleaners and filters are one of the suggested strategies to improve indoor air quality. This review discusses the impact of air pollutants with special focus on indoor air pollutants and the benefits of air filters in improving indoor air quality.

  6. A Framework for Better Understanding and Enhancing Direct Contact Membrane Distillation (DCMD) in Terms of Module Design, Cost Analysis and Energy Required

    KAUST Repository

    AbuHannoud, Ali

    2011-07-01

    Water is becoming scarcer and several authors have highlighted the upcoming problem of higher water salinity and the difficulty of treating and discharging water. Moreover, current discoveries of problems with chemicals that have been used for pretreating or post-treating water alerted scientists to research better solutions to treat water. Membrane distillation (MD) is a promising technology that might replace current processes as it has lower pretreatment requirements combined with a tremendous ability to treat a wide range of feed sources while producing very high product quality. If it enters the market, it will have a big influence on all products, from food industry to spaceflight. However, there are several problems which make MD a hot topic for research. One of them is the question about the real cost of MD in terms of heating feed and cooling distillate over time with respect to product quantity and quality. In this work, extensive heating and cooling analyses are covered to answer this question in order to enhance the MD process. Results show energy cost to produce water and the main source of energy loss for direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD), and several suggestions are made in order to better understand and hence enhance the process.

  7. A Better Engineering Design: Low Cost Assistance Kit for Manual Wheelchair Users with Enhanced Obstacle Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dryvendra

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes a better engineering design of an assistance kit for manual wheelchair users. The design is aimed to enhance the detection of obstacles in the travelling path of the wheelchair user at low cost. This is facilitated by microcontroller and sensor technologies. The proposed design provides the intended user with obstacle detection, light detection, a light emitting diode (LED emergency light system, and an emergency alarm system. The microcontroller is the main controller that receives input from the sensors and produces output to the light crystal display (LCD screen, the LED emergency light system, and the emergency alarm system. An ultrasonic sensor is used to detect the presence of obstacles directly behind the wheelchair. If any obstacle exists behind the wheelchair within a set range, the system will alert the wheelchair user through different alarm sounds. In the case of absence of light, the LED emergency light system is activated and turns on a light source, which is attached to the wheelchair to provide a bright and clear path for the user. The distance between the obstacle and the wheelchair, and the status of the LED emergency light system are displayed on the LCD screen.

  8. Higher nutritional quality at no additional cost among low-income households: insights from food purchases of "positive deviants".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marty, Lucile; Dubois, Christophe; Gaubard, Malu S; Maidon, Audrey; Lesturgeon, Audrey; Gaigi, Hind; Darmon, Nicole

    2015-07-01

    It is unknown whether diet quality is correlated with actual food expenditure. According to the positive deviance theory, the study of actual food expenditure by people with limited economic resources could help identify beneficial food-purchasing behavior. The aims were to investigate the relation between actual expenditure on food and nutritional quality and to identify "positive deviants" among low-income households. Individuals in deprived social situations (n = 91) were recruited as part of the "Opticourses" nutrition intervention conducted in 2012-2014 in poor districts of Marseille, France. Opticourses participants collected food-purchase receipts for their household over a 1-mo period. "Actual diet costs" and "estimated diet costs" were calculated per 2000 kcal of food purchases by using actual expenditures and a standard food price database of food consumed by a representative sample of French adults, respectively. Mean adequacy ratio (MAR), mean excess ratio (MER), and energy density (ED) were used as nutritional quality indicators. "Positive deviants" were defined as having a higher MAR and a lower MER than the respective median values. Opticourses participants selected less-expensive food options than the average French population, both within a food group and for a given food item. Higher diet costs were associated with higher nutritional quality (higher MAR, lower ED), regardless of whether costs were calculated from actual expenditure or on the basis of standard food prices. Twenty-one positive deviants were identified. They made significantly healthier purchases than did other participants (MAR: +13%; MER: -90%. ED: -22%) at higher estimated diet costs. Yet, they did not spend more on food (having the same actual diet costs), which showed that they purchased food with a higher nutritional quality for their price. In this low-income population, actual diet cost was positively correlated with nutritional quality, yet the results showed that higher

  9. A Low Cost High Density Sensor Network for Air Quality at London Heathrow Airport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bright, V.; Mead, M. I.; Popoola, O. A.; Baron, R. P.; Saffell, J.; Stewart, G.; Kaye, P.; Jones, R.

    2012-12-01

    Atmospheric composition within urban areas has a direct effect on the air quality of an environment in which a large majority of people live and work. Atmospheric pollutants including ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM) can have a significant effect on human health. As such it is important to determine the potential exposure of individuals to these atmospheric constituents and investigate the processes that lead to the degradation of air quality within the urban environment. Whilst modelled pollutant levels on the local scale often suggest high degrees of spatial and temporal variability, the relatively sparse fixed site automated urban networks only provide low spatial resolution data that do not appear adequate in detecting such small scale variability. In this paper we demonstrate that measurements can now be made using networks of low-cost sensors that utilise a variety of techniques, including electrochemical and optical, to measure concentrations of atmospheric species. Once equipped with GPS and GPRS to determine position and transmit data respectively, these networks have the potential to provide valuable insights into pollutant variability inherent on the local or micro-scale. The methodology has been demonstrated successfully in field campaigns carried out in cities including London and Valencia, and is now being deployed as part of the Sensor Networks for Air Quality currently deployed at London Heathrow airport (SNAQ-Heathrow) which is outlined in the partner paper presented by Mead et al. (this conference). The SNAQ-Heathrow network of 50 sensor nodes will provide an unprecedented data set that includes measurements of O3, NO, NO2, CO, CO2, SO2, total VOCs, size-speciated PM as well as meteorological variables that include temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction. This network will provide high temporal (20 second intervals) and spatial (50 sites within the airport area

  10. 浅谈建筑工程造价预结算的质量控制%Discussion on Quality Control in Construction Project's Cost Budget and Settlement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王伟

    2015-01-01

    建筑工程的预结算管理是工程造价管理工作中的重要内容之一,其质量控制管理在相当程度上决定了建筑工程成本造价管理工作的成效。目前,我国建筑工程造价预结算质量控制中存在着水平参差不齐、工程造价管理市场不成熟造成的控制难度增大、高素质技术管理人员的缺失、相关法律约束不完善等问题,应加强建筑工程的造价成本控制,提高预结算质量控制水平和能力,实行动态控制,加强质量控制力度,不断提升相关人员素质,完善相关制度。%Budget and settlement management of construction projects is one of the important contents of project cost man⁃agement, the quality control management of which is quite a decisive factor to the efficiency of construction's cost manage⁃ment work. At present, the uneven level in the quality control of China's construction projects' cost budget and settlement, and the immaturity of engineering cost management market turn to be the main reasons for the growing control difficulty, the lack of high-quality administrative staff and the imperfection of related legal restrains. In view of this, it is necessary to enhance the cost control of construction project, upgrade the level and ability of the quality control of budget and settle⁃ment work, implement the dynamic motion control, strengthen the quality control power, continuously promote the quality of related personnel, and perfect the related systems.

  11. Costs and Quality of Life in Diabetic Macular Edema: Canadian Burden of Diabetic Macular Edema Observational Study (C-REALITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John R. Gonder

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. To characterize the economic and quality of life burden of diabetic macular edema (DME in Canadian patients. Patients and Methods. 145 patients with DME were followed for 6 months with monthly telephone interviews and medical chart reviews at months 0, 3, and 6. Visual acuity in the worst-seeing eye was assessed at months 0 and 6. DME-related healthcare costs were determined over 6 months, and vision-related (National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire and generic (EQ-5D quality of life was assessed at months 0, 3, and 6. Results. Mean age of patients was 63.7 years: 52% were male and 72% had bilateral DME. At baseline, visual acuity was categorized as normal/mild loss for 63.4% of patients, moderate loss for 10.4%, and severe loss/nearly blind for 26.2%. Mean 6-month DME-related costs/patient were as follows: all patients (n=135, $2,092; normal/mild loss (n=88, $1,776; moderate loss (n=13, $1,845; and severe loss/nearly blind (n=34, $3,007. Composite scores for vision-related quality of life declined with increasing visual acuity loss; generic quality of life scores were highest for moderate loss and lowest for severe loss/nearly blind. Conclusions. DME-related costs in the Canadian healthcare system are substantial. Costs increased and vision-related quality of life declined with increasing visual acuity severity.

  12. Summarized Costs, Placement Of Quality Stars, And Other Online Displays Can Help Consumers Select High-Value Health Plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Jessica; Hibbard, Judith H; Sacks, Rebecca M

    2016-04-01

    Starting in 2017, all state and federal health insurance exchanges will present quality data on health plans in addition to cost information. We analyzed variations in the current design of information on state exchanges to identify presentation approaches that encourage consumers to take quality as well as cost into account when selecting a health plan. Using an online sample of 1,025 adults, we randomly assigned participants to view the same comparative information on health plans, displayed in different ways. We found that consumers were much more likely to select a high-value plan when cost information was summarized instead of detailed, when quality stars were displayed adjacent to cost information, when consumers understood that quality stars signified the quality of medical care, and when high-value plans were highlighted with a check mark or blue ribbon. These approaches, which were equally effective for participants with higher and lower numeracy, can inform the development of future displays of plan information in the exchanges.

  13. Social/economic costs and health-related quality of life in patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Bastida, Julio; Peña-Longobardo, Luz María; Aranda-Reneo, Isaac; Tizzano, Eduardo; Sefton, Mark; Oliva-Moreno, Juan

    2017-08-18

    The aim of this study was to determine the economic burden and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and their caregivers in Spain. This was a cross-sectional and retrospective study of patients diagnosed with SMA in Spain. We adopted a bottom up, prevalence approach design to study patients with SMA. The patient's caregivers completed an anonymous questionnaire regarding their socio-demographic characteristics, use of healthcare services and non-healthcare services. Costs were estimated from a societal perspective (including healthcare costs and non-healthcare costs), and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) was assessed using the EQ-5D questionnaire. The main caregivers also answered a questionnaire on their characteristics and on their HRQOL. A total of 81 caregivers of patients with different subtypes of SMA completed the questionnaire. Based on the reference unitary prices for 2014, the average annual costs per patient were € 33,721. Direct healthcare costs were € 10,882 (representing around 32.3% of the total cost) and the direct non-healthcare costs were € 22,839 (67.7% of the total cost). The mean EQ-5D social tariff score for patients was 0.16, and the mean score of the EQ-5D visual analogue scale was 54. The mean EQ-5D social tariff score for caregivers was 0.49 and their mean score on the EQ-5D visual analogue scale was 69. The results highlight the burden that SMA has in terms of costs and decreased HRQOL, not only for patients but also for their caregivers. In particular, the substantial social/economic burden is mostly attributable to the high direct non-healthcare costs.

  14. Advanced olive selections with enhanced quality for minor constituents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Velasco, L.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Squalene, phytosterols and tocopherols are minor constituents of paramount importance for the olive fruit and oil quality. The objective of this research was to conduct a two-year evaluation of these compounds in the fruits of seven advanced breeding selections. They were mainly selected for early bearing and high oil content from progenies of crosses between the cultivars ‘Arbequina’ and ‘Picual’. An analysis of variance showed high genotypic effects, non-significant year effects, and genotype x year interactions of low magnitude. The selections showed great variability for the traits, surpassing in some cases the parental values. One selection with total tocopherol content of 263 mg·kg−1 fruit flesh, compared to a maximum of 148 mg·kg −1 in the parents, and another one with Δ5-avenasterol concentration of 30.7% of total sterols, compared to a maximum of 22.1% in the parents, were the most relevant phenotypes. These selections may play an important role for improving olive fruit and oil quality for specific market niches.Compuestos como el escualeno, los fitoesteroles y los tocoferoles tienen una enorme importancia para la calidad del fruto y del aceite de oliva. El objetivo de este trabajo fue la evaluación durante dos años de estos compuestos en los frutos de siete selecciones avanzadas de olivo, seleccionadas principalmente para entrada temprana en producción y alto contenido en aceite a partir de las descendencias de cruzamientos entre los cultivares ‘Arbequina’ y ‘Picual’. El análisis de la varianza mostró, para la mayoría de los caracteres, un elevado efecto del genotipo, ausencia de efecto del factor año, e interacciones entre año y genotipo de baja magnitud. Las selecciones mostraron gran variabilidad para todos los caracteres, sobrepasando en algunos casos los valores de los parentales. Entre las selecciones con valores superiores a los parentales, destacaron una selección con un contenido en tocoferoles

  15. Performance Analysis of Enhanced Opportunistic Minimum Cost Routingin Mobile Adhoc Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K.vanisree

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Mobile Ad-Hoc Network (MANET is a collection of wireless mobile nodes forming a temporary network with infrastructure less environment to establish a data transmission between nodes within the network. A routing protocol is used to discover routes between nodes. In this paper, we study the three existing routing protocols namely AODV, DSDV and DSR to analyze theirperformance based on set of parameters.AODV and DSR deliver almost all the packets compared to DSDV. Hence we try to modify the AODVprotocol and use in the cooperative transmission. In this paper, we study the cooperative transmission at the network layer and cooperative diversity at the physical layer as a joint optimization of the transmission power in a Mobile Ad-Hoc Network (MANET with static channel. However due to variable wireless channels static routing is suboptimal. Proposed protocol proactively selects forwarding nodes that work cooperatively forwarding the packet towards the destination. Cooperative transmission side diversity helps in reducing interference. Diversity can be achieved at the physical layer by coordinating the multiple nodes. Nodes are equipped with Omni-directional antenna and take the advantages of transmission side diversity to achieve energy saving, under the assumption that channel gains are available at the transmitters. The proposed Opportunistic Minimum Cost Cooperative Transmission Shortest Path (OMCTSP algorithms select the best optimum route with minimum cost in terms of energy, number of hops, available bandwidth, link quality (SNR and outage probability. As the network becomes larger, finding optimal routes becomes computationally intractable as the complexity of the dynamic programming (DP approach increases as o (2 2n where n is the number of nodes in the networks. Hence we develop two suboptimal algorithms have complexity of o (n2 perform as same as optimal algorithm. Also developthe Opportunistic Cooperative Routing in MANET (O_CORMAN, which

  16. Cost effectiveness of novel oral anticoagulants for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation depending on the quality of warfarin anticoagulation control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janzic, Andrej; Kos, Mitja

    2015-04-01

    Vitamin K antagonists, such as warfarin, are standard treatments for stroke prophylaxis in patients with atrial fibrillation. Patient outcomes depend on quality of warfarin management, which includes regular monitoring and dose adjustments. Recently, novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) that do not require regular monitoring offer an alternative to warfarin. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether cost effectiveness of NOACs for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation depends on the quality of warfarin control. We developed a Markov decision model to simulate warfarin treatment outcomes in relation to the quality of anticoagulation control, expressed as percentage of time in the therapeutic range (TTR). Standard treatment with adjusted-dose warfarin and improved anticoagulation control by genotype-guided dosing were compared with dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban and edoxaban. The analysis was performed from the Slovenian healthcare payer perspective using 2014 costs. In the base case, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for apixaban, dabigatran and edoxaban was below the threshold of €25,000 per quality-adjusted life-years compared with adjusted-dose warfarin with a TTR of 60%. The probability that warfarin was a cost-effective option was around 1%. This percentage rises as the quality of anticoagulation control improves. At a TTR of 70%, warfarin was the preferred treatment in half the iterations. The cost effectiveness of NOACs for stroke prevention in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation who are at increased risk for stroke is highly sensitive to warfarin anticoagulation control. NOACs are more likely to be cost-effective options in settings with poor warfarin management than in settings with better anticoagulation control, where they may not represent good value for money.

  17. Efficient quality enhancement of disparity maps based on alpha matting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brosch, Nicole; Nezveda, Matej; Gelautz, Margrit; Seitner, Florian

    2014-03-01

    We propose an efficient disparity map enhancement method that improves the alignment of disparity edges and color edges even in the presence of mixed pixels and provides alpha values for pixels at disparity edges as a byproduct. In contrast to previous publications, the proposed method addresses mixed pixels at disparity edges and does not introduce mixed disparities that can lead to object deformations in synthesized views. The proposed algorithm computes transparencies by performing alpha matting per disparity-layer. These alpha values indicate the degree of affiliation to a disparity-layer and can hence be used as an indicator for a disparity reassignment that aligns disparity edges with color edges and accounts for mixed pixels. We demonstrate the capabilities of the proposed method on various images and corresponding disparity maps, including images that contain fuzzy object borders (e.g., fur). Furthermore, the proposed method is qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated using disparity ground truth and compared to previously published disparity post-processing methods.

  18. Make or buy analysis model based on tolerance allocation to minimize manufacturing cost and fuzzy quality loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosyidi, C. N.; Puspitoingrum, W.; Jauhari, W. A.; Suhardi, B.; Hamada, K.

    2016-02-01

    The specification of tolerances has a significant impact on the quality of product and final production cost. The company should carefully pay attention to the component or product tolerance so they can produce a good quality product at the lowest cost. Tolerance allocation has been widely used to solve problem in selecting particular process or supplier. But before merely getting into the selection process, the company must first make a plan to analyse whether the component must be made in house (make), to be purchased from a supplier (buy), or used the combination of both. This paper discusses an optimization model of process and supplier selection in order to minimize the manufacturing costs and the fuzzy quality loss. This model can also be used to determine the allocation of components to the selected processes or suppliers. Tolerance, process capability and production capacity are three important constraints that affect the decision. Fuzzy quality loss function is used in this paper to describe the semantic of the quality, in which the product quality level is divided into several grades. The implementation of the proposed model has been demonstrated by solving a numerical example problem that used a simple assembly product which consists of three components. The metaheuristic approach were implemented to OptQuest software from Oracle Crystal Ball in order to obtain the optimal solution of the numerical example.

  19. More americans living longer with cardiovascular disease will increase costs while lowering quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandya, Ankur; Gaziano, Thomas A; Weinstein, Milton C; Cutler, David

    2013-10-01

    In the past several decades, some risk factors for cardiovascular disease have improved, while others have worsened. For example, smoking rates have dropped and treatment rates for cardiovascular disease have increased-factors that have made the disease less fatal. At the same time, Americans' average body mass index and incidence of diabetes have increased as the population continues to live longer-factors that have made cardiovascular disease more prevalent. To assess the aggregate impact of these opposing trends, we used the nine National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey waves from 1973 to 2010 to forecast total cardiovascular disease risk and prevalence from 2015 to 2030. We found that continued improvements in cardiovascular disease treatment and declining smoking rates will not outweigh the influence of increasing population age and obesity on cardiovascular disease risk. Given an aging population, an obesity epidemic, and declining mortality from the disease, the United States should expect to see a sharp rise in the health care costs, disability, and reductions in quality of life associated with increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease. Policies that target the treatment of high blood pressure and cholesterol and the reduction of obesity will be necessary to curb the imminent spike in cardiovascular disease prevalence.

  20. Real-time motion analytics during brain MRI improve data quality and reduce costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dosenbach, Nico U F; Koller, Jonathan M; Earl, Eric A; Miranda-Dominguez, Oscar; Klein, Rachel L; Van, Andrew N; Snyder, Abraham Z; Nagel, Bonnie J; Nigg, Joel T; Nguyen, Annie L; Wesevich, Victoria; Greene, Deanna J; Fair, Damien A

    2017-08-10

    Head motion systematically distorts clinical and research MRI data. Motion artifacts have biased findings from many structural and functional brain MRI studies. An effective way to remove motion artifacts is to exclude MRI data frames affected by head motion. However, such post-hoc frame censoring can lead to data loss rates of 50% or more in our pediatric patient cohorts. Hence, many scanner operators collect additional 'buffer data', an expensive practice that, by itself, does not guarantee sufficient high-quality MRI data for a given participant. Therefore, we developed an easy-to-setup, easy-to-use Framewise Integrated Real-time MRI Monitoring (FIRMM) software suite that provides scanner operators with head motion analytics in real-time, allowing them to scan each subject until the desired amount of low-movement data has been collected. Our analyses show that using FIRMM to identify the ideal scan time for each person can reduce total brain MRI scan times and associated costs by 50% or more. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Portable and low-cost sensors in monitoring air qualities in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Bin; Popoola, Lekan; Jones, Roderic; Li, Chunlin; Chen, Jianmin

    2016-04-01

    large measurement networks (due to its low cost and power demand) in places such as big cities in China where air quality has become an increasing concern.

  2. The Hazardous-Drums Project: A Multiweek Laboratory Exercise for General Chemistry Involving Environmental, Quality Control, and Cost Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, David; Widanski, Bozena

    2013-01-01

    A laboratory experiment is described that introduces students to "real-world" hazardous waste management issues chemists face. The students are required to define an analytical problem, choose a laboratory analysis method, investigate cost factors, consider quality-control issues, interpret the meaning of results, and provide management…

  3. The Hazardous-Drums Project: A Multiweek Laboratory Exercise for General Chemistry Involving Environmental, Quality Control, and Cost Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, David; Widanski, Bozena

    2013-01-01

    A laboratory experiment is described that introduces students to "real-world" hazardous waste management issues chemists face. The students are required to define an analytical problem, choose a laboratory analysis method, investigate cost factors, consider quality-control issues, interpret the meaning of results, and provide management…

  4. Cost-effective solutions for water quality improvement in the Dommel river supported by sewer-WWTP-river integrated modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benedetti, L.; Langeveld, J.; Nieuwenhuijzen, van A.F.; Jonge, de J.; Weijers, S.; Klein, de J.J.M.; Nopens, I.; Flameling, T.; Zanten, van O.

    2013-01-01

    This project aims at finding cost-efficient sets of measures to meet the Water Framework Directive (WFD) derived goals for the Dommel River (The Netherlands). Within the project, both acute and long-term impacts of the urban wastewater system on the chemical and ecological quality of the river are

  5. Cost-effective solutions for water quality improvement in the Dommel river supported by sewer-WWTP-river integrated modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benedetti, L.; Langeveld, J.; Nieuwenhuijzen, van A.F.; Jonge, de J.; Weijers, S.; Klein, de J.J.M.; Nopens, I.; Flameling, T.; Zanten, van O.

    2013-01-01

    This project aims at finding cost-efficient sets of measures to meet the Water Framework Directive (WFD) derived goals for the Dommel River (The Netherlands). Within the project, both acute and long-term impacts of the urban wastewater system on the chemical and ecological quality of the river are s

  6. Six Sigma. Quality initiatives for cost reduction and process optimisation; Six Sigma. Qualitaetsinitiative zur Kostenreduzierung und Prozessoptimierung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boerkircher, Mikko [Rheinkalk GmbH, Flandersbach (Germany). Bereich Brennen und Verdeln

    2010-06-15

    Six Sigma occupies an important position in management practice. An increasing number of companies have recognised that this quality approach is not only an effective lever in order to reduce the costs of errors. In addition Six Sigma imparts important momentum to customer satisfaction and commitment, which is likewise reflected in increasing income and turnover. (orig.)

  7. Epidural Steroids for Lumbosacral Radicular Syndrome Compared to Usual Care : Quality of Life and Cost Utility in General Practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spijker-Huiges, Antje; Vermeulen, Karin; Winters, Jan C.; van Wijhe, Marten; van der Meer, Klaas

    Objective: To investigate the effect of adding segmental epidural steroid injections (SESIs) to usual care compared with usual care alone on quality of life and cost utility in lumbosacral radicular syndrome (LRS) in general practice. Design: A pragmatic randomized controlled trial. Results were

  8. The relationship between product quality and transaction costs with vertical coordination in DOC Rioja wine grape industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernanez-Olmos, M.; Rossell-Martinez, J.; Espitia-Escuer, M. A.

    2009-07-01

    This paper analyzes the relationship between product quality and governance mode choice (market mode, hybrid mode or vertical integration) using the results of a survey of 187 qualified appellation of origin (DOC) Rioja wineries. By estimating a generalized ordered logit, it is concluded that wineries that produce high-quality wines are more likely to vertically integrate than are wineries that produce low-quality wines. Consistent with transaction cost economics, evidence is found that asset specificity and uncertainty are important determinants of vertical integration. Finally, the size of the winery is also an important factor that affects governance mode choice in viticulture. (Author)

  9. Enhanced Trustworthy and High-Quality Information Retrieval System for Web Search Engines

    CERN Document Server

    Ramachandran, S; Joseph, S; Ramaraj, V

    2009-01-01

    The WWW is the most important source of information. But, there is no guarantee for information correctness and lots of conflicting information is retrieved by the search engines and the quality of provided information also varies from low quality to high quality. We provide enhanced trustworthiness in both specific (entity) and broad (content) queries in web searching. The filtering of trustworthiness is based on 5 factors: Provenance, Authority, Age, Popularity, and Related Links. The trustworthiness is calculated based on these 5 factors and it is stored thereby increasing the performance in retrieving trustworthy websites. The calculated trustworthiness is stored only for static websites. Quality is provided based on policies selected by the user. Quality based ranking of retrieved trusted information is provided using WIQA (Web Information Quality Assessment) Framework.

  10. An enhancement algorithm for low quality fingerprint image based on edge filter and Gabor filter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Jun-tao; Liu, Jie; Liu, Zheng-guang

    2009-07-01

    On account of restriction of man-made and collection environment, the fingerprint image generally has low quality, especially a contaminated background. In this paper, an enhancement algorithm based on edge filter and Gabor filter is proposed to solve this kind of fingerprint image. Firstly, a gray-based algorithm is used to enhance the edge and segment the image. Then, a multilevel block size method is used to extract the orientation field from segmented fingerprint image. Finally, Gabor filter is used to fulfill the enhancement of the fingerprint image. The experiment results show that the proposed enhancement algorithm is effective than the normal Gabor filter algorithm. The fingerprint image enhance by our algorithm has better enhancement effect, so it is helpful for the subsequent research, such as classification, feature exaction and identification.

  11. Costs and financing of improvements in the quality of maternal health services through the Bamako Initiative in Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogunbekun, I; Adeyi, O; Wouters, A; Morrow, R H

    1996-12-01

    This paper reports on a study to assess the quality of maternal health care in public health facilities in Nigeria and to identify the resource implications of making the necessary quality improvements. Drawing upon unifying themes from quality assurance, basic microeconomics and the Bamako Initiative, locally defined norms were used to estimate resource requirements for improving the quality of maternal health care. Wide gaps existed between what is required (the norm) and what was available in terms of fixed and variable resources required for the delivery of maternal health services in public facilities implementing the Bamako Initiative in the Local Government Areas studied. Given such constraints, it was highly unlikely that technically acceptable standards of care could be met without additional resource inputs to meet the norm. This is part of the cost of doing business and merits serious policy dialogue. Revenue generation from health services was poor and appeared to be more related to inadequate supply of essential drugs and consumables than to the use of uneconomic fee scales. It is likely that user fees will be necessary to supplement scarce government budgets, especially to fund the most critical variable inputs associated with quality improvements. However, any user fee system, especially one that raises fees to patients, will have to be accompanied by immediate and visible quality improvements. Without such quality improvements, cost recovery will result in even lower utilization and attempts to generate new revenues are unlikely to succeed.

  12. Effects of Primary Care Team Social Networks on Quality of Care and Costs for Patients With Cardiovascular Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundt, Marlon P.; Gilchrist, Valerie J.; Fleming, Michael F.; Zakletskaia, Larissa I.; Tuan, Wen-Jan; Beasley, John W.

    2015-01-01

    PURPOSE Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States. Primary care teams can be best suited to improve quality of care and lower costs for patients with cardiovascular disease. This study evaluates the associations between primary care team communication, interaction, and coordination (ie, social networks); quality of care; and costs for patients with cardiovascular disease. METHODS Using a sociometric survey, 155 health professionals from 31 teams at 6 primary care clinics identified with whom they interact daily about patient care. Social network analysis calculated variables of density and centralization representing team interaction structures. Three-level hierarchical modeling evaluated the link between team network density, centralization, and number of patients with a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease for controlled blood pressure and cholesterol, counts of urgent care visits, emergency department visits, hospital days, and medical care costs in the previous 12 months. RESULTS Teams with dense interactions among all team members were associated with fewer hospital days (rate ratio [RR] = 0.62; 95% CI, 0.50–0.77) and lower medical care costs (−$556; 95% CI, −$781 to −$331) for patients with cardiovascular disease. Conversely, teams with interactions revolving around a few central individuals were associated with increased hospital days (RR = 1.45; 95% CI, 1.09–1.94) and greater costs ($506; 95% CI, $202–$810). Team-shared vision about goals and expectations mediated the relationship between social network structures and patient quality of care outcomes. CONCLUSIONS Primary care teams that are more interconnected and less centralized and that have a shared team vision are better positioned to deliver high-quality cardiovascular disease care at a lower cost. PMID:25755035

  13. Revenue enhancement through total quality management/continuous quality improvement (TQM/CQI) in outpatient coding and billing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwore, R B; Murray, B P; Parsons, R J; Smith, P M; Vorderer, L H

    1995-01-01

    To survive and thrive, rural hospitals are seeking enhanced revenues. This study focuses on outpatient laboratory and radiology coding and billing accuracy in a nonrandom sample of seven rural hospitals in a Western state. Information was gathered on (1) procedures incorrectly coded, (2) potential revenue increases from correct coding and billing, (3) barriers to implementing changes, and (4) perceived audit value. The identified major source of potential revenue enhancement was increased fees from private payers. Correct coding and billing to Medicare and Medicaid offered the potential of additional revenue. Participating administrators appreciated the validation of coding and billing practices and identification of potential enhanced revenues. Five of seven hospitals (71.4%) selectively implemented recommended changes. Complete compliance with recommended changes was limited by barriers of tradition, competition, and reimbursement, which must be overcome to realize successful implementation. Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization's (JCAHO) new Total Quality Management/Continuous Quality Improvement (TQM/CQI) emphasis provides an opportunity for revenue enhancement through coding/billing assessments and interdepartmental focus and coordination.

  14. Signal Quality Enhancement of Directly- Modulated VCSELs Using a Micro-Ring Resonator Transfer Function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    An, Yi; Muller, M.; Estaran Tolosa, Jose Manuel

    2013-01-01

    A micro-ring resonator transfer function is used to enhance the quality of signals generated using directly modulated VCSELs. The scheme is demonstrated up to 25 Gbit/s with a 17.6-GHz VCSEL, with up to 10 dB sensitivity improvement.......A micro-ring resonator transfer function is used to enhance the quality of signals generated using directly modulated VCSELs. The scheme is demonstrated up to 25 Gbit/s with a 17.6-GHz VCSEL, with up to 10 dB sensitivity improvement....

  15. Improving iris recognition performance using segmentation, quality enhancement, match score fusion, and indexing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vatsa, Mayank; Singh, Richa; Noore, Afzel

    2008-08-01

    This paper proposes algorithms for iris segmentation, quality enhancement, match score fusion, and indexing to improve both the accuracy and the speed of iris recognition. A curve evolution approach is proposed to effectively segment a nonideal iris image using the modified Mumford-Shah functional. Different enhancement algorithms are concurrently applied on the segmented iris image to produce multiple enhanced versions of the iris image. A support-vector-machine-based learning algorithm selects locally enhanced regions from each globally enhanced image and combines these good-quality regions to create a single high-quality iris image. Two distinct features are extracted from the high-quality iris image. The global textural feature is extracted using the 1-D log polar Gabor transform, and the local topological feature is extracted using Euler numbers. An intelligent fusion algorithm combines the textural and topological matching scores to further improve the iris recognition performance and reduce the false rejection rate, whereas an indexing algorithm enables fast and accurate iris identification. The verification and identification performance of the proposed algorithms is validated and compared with other algorithms using the CASIA Version 3, ICE 2005, and UBIRIS iris databases.

  16. Quality parameters analysis of optical imaging systems with enhanced focal depth using the Wigner distribution function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalvidea; Colautti; Sicre

    2000-05-01

    An analysis of the Strehl ratio and the optical transfer function as imaging quality parameters of optical elements with enhanced focal length is carried out by employing the Wigner distribution function. To this end, we use four different pupil functions: a full circular aperture, a hyper-Gaussian aperture, a quartic phase plate, and a logarithmic phase mask. A comparison is performed between the quality parameters and test images formed by these pupil functions at different defocus distances.

  17. Constructing quality-adjusted price indices from revenue and cost data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Aquino DeSouza

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper shows how to construct quality adjusted price indices without direct observation of product-level data (prices, quantities and characteristics. The technique used here allows for a welfare based measurement of price change using commonly available (at least for the manufacturing sector plant-level data on revenue and cost. However, one has to be explicit about the evolution of the outside good quality and the structure of demand and supply. Using data on the Colombian beer industry and combining the methodologies originally proposed by Katayama, Lu and Tybout (2003, DeSouza (2006a and Trajtenberg (1990 I am able to uncover the demand parameters and build welfare-based price indices for the 1977-1990 period.Este artigo demonstra como construir um índice de preços ajustados pela qualidade sem a observação direta de dados ao nível de produto (preços, quantidades e características. A técnica aplicada no artigo permite medir a inflação dos preços com base na variação intertemporal de bem-estar através do uso de dados de receita e despesa comumente disponíveis (pelo menos para o setor industrial ao nível de empresas. No entanto, tal técnica exige a imposição de hipóteses sobre a evolução da qualidade do bem externo assim como a estrutura da demanda e da oferta. Com dados sobre a indústria colombiana de cerveja e combinando metodologias originalmente desenvolvidas por Katayama, Lu e Tybout (2003, DeSouza (2006a e Trajtenberg (1990 estimam-se os parâmetros da demanda e constroem-se índices de preços para o período de 1977 a 1990 a partir da mensuração do bem-estar dos consumidores.

  18. Low-energy-density diets are associated with higher diet quality and higher diet costs in French adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewnowski, Adam; Monsivais, Pablo; Maillot, Matthieu; Darmon, Nicole

    2007-06-01

    Low-energy-density diets are often recommended for weight control. Such diets have a higher nutrient content than do high-energy-density diets. This study tested the hypothesis that energy-dense diets have a relatively low monetary cost, whereas less energy-dense diets are more expensive. In this cross-sectional study, dietary intakes of 1,474 French adults (672 men, 802 women), aged 15 to 92 years, were assessed using 7-day diet records. Dietary energy density (kcal/g) was calculated by dividing total dietary energy by the edible weight of foods and caloric beverages consumed. Diet cost ($/7 days or $/2,000 kcal) was estimated using mean national food prices for 895 foods. The relationship between dietary energy density and diet cost was examined in a linear regression model. Within each quintile of energy intakes, the more energy-dense diets were associated with lower diet quality and with lower diet costs (r(2)=0.38 to 0.44). In a regression model, the more energy-dense diets cost less, whereas low-energy-density diets cost substantially more, adjusting for energy intakes, sex, and age. The finding that energy-dense diets cost less per 2,000 kcal may help explain why the highest rates of obesity are observed among groups of limited economic means. The finding that low-energy-density diets are associated with higher diet costs suggests that lasting improvements in diet quality may require economic as well as behavioral interventions.

  19. Accrued Cost Savings of a Free Clinic Using Quality-Adjusted Life Years Saved and Return on Investment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Jim; Lacey, Marcus; Guse, Clare E

    2017-01-01

    Savings garnered through the provision of preventive services is a form of profit for health systems. Free clinics have been using this logic to demonstrate their cost-savings. The Community-Based Chronic Disease Management (CCDM) clinic treats hypertension using nurse-led teams, clinical protocols, and community-based settings. We calculated CCDM's cost-effectiveness from 2007 to 2013 using 2 metrics: Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) saved and return on investment (ROI). QALYs were calculated using the Clinical Preventive Burden (CPB) score for hypertension care. ROI was calculated by tallying the savings from prevented heart attacks, strokes, and emergency department visits against the total operating costs. Using conservative assumptions for cost estimates, hypertension care resulted in a value of QALYs saved of $711,000 to $2,133,000 and an ROI ratio range of 0.35 to 1.20. Our study shows that when using conservative assumptions to calculate cost-savings, our free clinic did not save money. Cost-savings did occur, but the amount was modest, was less than that of cost-inputs, and was not likely captured by any single health entity. Although free clinics remain a vital health care access point for many Americans, it has yet to be demonstrated that they generate a net savings. © Copyright 2017 by the American Board of Family Medicine.

  20. Cost-effectiveness of skin-barrier-enhancing emollients among preterm infants in Bangladesh

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeFevre, Amnesty; Shillcutt, Samuel D; Saha, Samir K; Ahmed, ASM Nawshad Uddin; Ahmed, Saifuddin; Chowdhury, MAK Azad; Law, Paul A; Black, Robert; Santosham, Mathuram

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Objective To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of topical emollients, sunflower seed oil (SSO) and synthetic Aquaphor, versus no treatment, in preventing mortality among hospitalized preterm infants (effective if they fell below a ceiling ratio based on the per capita gross national income of Bangladesh (United States dollars, US$ 470). Findings Aquaphor and SSO were both highly cost-effective relative to control, reducing neonatal mortality by 26% and 32%, respectively. SSO cost US$ 61 per death averted and US$ 2.15 per YLL averted (I$ 6.39, international dollars, per YLL averted). Aquaphor cost US$ 162 per death averted and US$ 5.74 per YLL averted (I$ 17.09 per YLL averted). Results were robust to sensitivity analysis. Aquaphor was cost-effective relative to SSO with 77% certainty: it cost an incremental US$ 26 more per patient treated, but averted 1.25 YLLs (US$ 20.74 per YLL averted). Conclusion Topical therapy with SSO or Aquaphor was highly cost-effective in reducing deaths from infection among the preterm neonates studied. The choice of emollient should be made taking into account budgetary limitations and ease of supply. Further research is warranted on additional locally available emollients, use of emollients in community-based settings and generalizability to other geographic regions. PMID:20428367

  1. Improvement in cost-effectiveness and customer satisfaction by a quality management system according to EN ISO 9001:2000.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beholz, Sven; Konertz, Wolfgang

    2005-12-01

    The implementation of a quality management system (QMS) according to EN ISO 9001:2000 has proven to be possible for cardiac surgery departments. However, it remains unclear if a QMS can help to improve quality as indicated by cost-effectiveness and customer satisfaction. To control costs for medical goods and laboratory investigations an internal control system for the allocation of resources was implemented. Laboratory costs and medical goods per open heart procedure were investigated in the years 2000 to 2003. In terms of customer satisfaction, repeated questionnaire-based evaluation of referring physicians was obtained from 2001 to 2003 and the influence of repeated interventions on various aspects of communications was investigated. Costs of medical goods could be reduced by 6.1%, and for laboratory investigations by 35% per operation. Additionally, customer satisfaction could be increased efficiently with respect to accessibility and postoperative communication. By the introduction of a process based QMS, efficient control of the costs of medical goods and laboratory investigations could be achieved. Once a year repeat evaluation of satisfaction of advising physicians has proven to be a valuable tool in the process of continuous improvement.

  2. Enhanced First Trimester Screening for Trisomy 21 with Contingent Cell-Free Fetal DNA: A Comparative Performance and Cost Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Tianhua; Meschino, Wendy S; Teitelbaum, Mari; Dougan, Shelley; Okun, Nan

    2017-09-01

    Prenatal screening for trisomy 21 is a standard of care. Emerging cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) technologies can improve screening performance, but they are expensive. This study was conducted to propose a contingent screening model that would incorporate cffDNA technology, would remain affordable, and could be applied equitably in a publically funded system. Using performance and cost parameters from published literature, four prenatal screening strategies were compared. Scenario 1 modelled integrated prenatal screening (first trimester nuchal translucency and biochemical markers from both the first and second trimesters) with no cffDNA. Scenarios 2 and 3 modelled first trimester combined screening (FTS) and "enhanced FTS" (adding serum placental growth factor and alpha fetoprotein to FTS), respectively, with contingent cffDNA following a positive result. Scenario 4 modelled cffDNA as the primary screening test. Scenario 1 provides a known detection rate (DR) of 88%, with a false positive rate (FPR) of 3.3%. Scenarios 2 and 3 result in a DR of 94% and overall FPR of 0.59% and 0.33%, respectively, comparable to the DR of 96% and FPR of 0.1% with primary cffDNA (assuming the published test failure rate of 3%). The total cost, cost per woman screened, and cost per case of trisomy 21 detected were lower with scenario 3 (enhanced FTS with contingent cffDNA) compared with primary cffDNA or scenario 2 (FTS with contingent cffDNA). Enhanced FTS with contingent cffDNA following a positive result provides a similar performance to that of primary cffDNA at a substantially lower cost. Copyright © 2017 The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada/La Société des obstétriciens et gynécologues du Canada. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Cost-effectiveness of enhanced syphilis screening among HIV-positive men who have sex with men: a microsimulation model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashleigh R Tuite

    Full Text Available Syphilis co-infection risk has increased substantially among HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM. Frequent screening for syphilis and treatment of men who test positive might be a practical means of controlling the risk of infection and disease sequelae in this population.We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of strategies that increased the frequency and population coverage of syphilis screening in HIV-infected MSM receiving HIV care, relative to current standard of care.We developed a state-transition microsimulation model of syphilis natural history and medical care in HIV-infected MSM receiving care for HIV. We performed Monte Carlo simulations using input data derived from a large observational cohort in Ontario, Canada, and from published biomedical literature. Simulations compared usual care (57% of the population screened annually to different combinations of more frequent (3- or 6-monthly screening and higher coverage (100% screened. We estimated expected disease-specific outcomes, quality-adjusted survival, costs, and cost-effectiveness associated with each strategy from the perspective of a public health care payer.Usual care was more costly and less effective than strategies with more frequent or higher coverage screening. Higher coverage strategies (with screening frequency of 3 or 6 months were expected to be cost-effective based on usually cited willingness-to-pay thresholds. These findings were robust in the face of probabilistic sensitivity analyses, alternate cost-effectiveness thresholds, and alternate assumptions about duration of risk, program characteristics, and management of underlying HIV.We project that higher coverage and more frequent syphilis screening of HIV-infected MSM would be a highly cost-effective health intervention, with many potentially viable screening strategies projected to both save costs and improve health when compared to usual care. The baseline requirement for regular blood testing in this

  4. HANFORD RIVER PROTECTION PROJECT ENHANCED MISSION PLANNING THROUGH INNOVATIVE TOOLS LIFECYCLE COST MODELING AND AQUEOUS THERMODYNAMIC MODELING - 12134

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    PIERSON KL; MEINERT FL

    2012-01-26

    Two notable modeling efforts within the Hanford Tank Waste Operations Simulator (HTWOS) are currently underway to (1) increase the robustness of the underlying chemistry approximations through the development and implementation of an aqueous thermodynamic model, and (2) add enhanced planning capabilities to the HTWOS model through development and incorporation of the lifecycle cost model (LCM). Since even seemingly small changes in apparent waste composition or treatment parameters can result in large changes in quantities of high-level waste (HLW) and low-activity waste (LAW) glass, mission duration or lifecycle cost, a solubility model that more accurately depicts the phases and concentrations of constituents in tank waste is required. The LCM enables evaluation of the interactions of proposed changes on lifecycle mission costs, which is critical for decision makers.

  5. TRADE ENHANCEMENT CHARACTERISTICS OF DESSERT BANANA FRUITS AND ESTIMATES OF TRANSACTION COSTS IN OKIGWE METROPOLIS, IMO STATE NIGERIA

    OpenAIRE

    C. Ogbonna Emerole; K. Charles Osondu; O. Chidozie Anyiro; O. Alexan Orji

    2013-01-01

    This study on trade enhancement Characteristics of sweet (dessert) banana fruit and estimation of transaction costs was conducted in Okigwe Metropolis of Imo State, Nigeria. Stratified random sampling technique was adopted in selecting 80 respondents comprising 40 dessert banana traders (panelists) and 40 dessert banana consumers. Monthly trade data was collected from the respondents using pretested semi-structured questionnaire during dry season (November-April) and rain season (May-October)...

  6. INFORMATION MODEL OF MAJOR DEPRESSION TREATMENT COST - RELEVANCE OF QUALITY MANAGEMENT OF HEALTH SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danijela Tadić

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper develops multirelational data base for major depression costs. It lists how data are collected and stored into the fact base and dimension base. Uncertain data is described linguistically and modelled by fuzzy sets. Linguistic expressions are stored in dimension base. Models of major depression treatment costs are developed for each patient and all population. On the basis of this model and multirelational data base MD-OLAP a model for major depression treatment costs is developed.

  7. Using Quality Enhancement Processes to Achieve Sustainable Development and Support for Sessional Staff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lekkas, D.; Winning, T. A.

    2017-01-01

    Consistent with quality enhancement, we report on how we used a continuous improvement cycle to formalise and embed an academic development and support programme for our School's sessional staff. Key factors in establishing and maintaining the programme included: local change agents supported initially by institutional project funding; School…

  8. Finding a useful conceptual basis for enhancing the quality of life of nursing home residents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerritsen, D.L.; Steverink, N.; Ooms, M.E.; Ribbe, M.W.

    In this article it is depicted that before nursing home staff can effectively contribute to optimising the quality of life (QOL) of nursing home residents, it has to be clear what exactly QOL is and how it can be enhanced. The aim is to identify a QOL framework that provides tools for optimising QOL

  9. Pilot of a Learning Management System to Enhance Counselors' Relational Qualities through Mindfulness-Based Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballinger, Julie Ann

    2013-01-01

    Mindfulness-based practices are associated with increased attentional qualities, improved self-focus styles, enhanced empathic understanding, and strengthened self-compassion, making these practices a viable addition to counselor training programs. However, current mindfulness training models are primarily designed for relief of psychological…

  10. Strategies for Enhancing Quality Assurance in Business Teacher Education Programme in Nigerian Universities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okoro, James

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the strategies for enhancing quality assurance in business teacher education programme in Nigerian universities. Two research questions and four hypotheses guided the study. This study adopted a descriptive survey design. The population of the study comprised 129 Business Education lecturers in state and federal…

  11. Adoption of On-farm and Post-harvest Rice Quality Enhancing Technologies in Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiamiyu, SA.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the rate and determinants of adoption of improved rice quality enhancing technologies among a randomly selected sample of 150 farmers and 18 rice processors from six rice producing areas of Niger State. Data were collected through interview schedule using questionnaires. Descriptive statistics and regression model were adopted to analyze data. Results show that adoption of quality enhancing technologies was low among the selected sample of these rice value chain actors. The adoption indices of on-farm and post-harvest quality enhancing practices were 0.46 and 0.37 respectively. Some socioeconomic attributes including: Age, level of education, contact with extension, access to credit and level of commercialization were statistically significant determining factors (P≤0.05 influencing adoption at farm level, while post-harvest technology adoption was determined by level of education, access to credit and membership of cooperatives. Promotion of quality enhanced technologies among these actors in the rice value chain is recommended.

  12. How Can One Create a Culture for Quality Enhancement? Final report

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kottmann, Andrea; Huisman, Jeroen; Brockerhoff, Lisa; Cremonini, Leon; Mampaey, Jelle

    2016-01-01

    NOKUT commissioned two research centres in the Netherlands and Belgium to find success criteria for establishing and developing a culture for quality enhancement at universities and university colleges. The research institutes conducted a literature survey on the topic as well as case studies at

  13. Small Steps Lead to Quality Assurance and Enhancement in Qatar University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al Attiyah, Asma; Khalifa, Batoul

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents a brief overview of Qatar University's history since it was started in 1973. Its primary focus is on the various small, but important, steps taken by the University to address the needs of quality assurance and enhancement. The Qatar University Reform Plan is described in detail. Its aims are to continually improve the quality…

  14. 34 CFR 611.1 - What definitions apply to the Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants Program?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... elementary, middle, or secondary school operated by a high-need LEA in which the school's students or... 34 Education 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What definitions apply to the Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants Program? 611.1 Section 611.1 Education Regulations of the Offices of the Department...

  15. Z-Source Inverter Based Power Quality Compensator with Enhanced Ride-Through Capability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gajanayake, C.J.; Vilathgamuwa, D.M.; Loh, P.C.;

    2007-01-01

    network. The shunt inverter is controlled to maintain a quality voltage waveform at the load bus. Whereas the series inverter enhances the ride-through capability during grid faults, protects the shunt inverter by limiting the current and also controls the power delivered to the grid. The performance...

  16. Methods for Identifying Part Quality Issues and Estimating Their Cost with an Application Using the UH-60

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    WPU report. TOP 5 Items with PQDRs by Value ($M) RCN# (*Oldest PQDR) Nomenclature I/E SOS NIIN CAT Qty Def Unit Cost Total # PQDR s End Item Value...401667 4 AH-64D 1.581 145 TOP 5 PQDRs by Age (Days) RCN# Nomenclature I/E SOS NIIN CAT Qty Def Unit Cost End Item Value ($M) Age (Days) W45N7V-09-0274...customer dissatisfaction leading to lost sales (and revenue), • compromised employee morale due to persistent quality issues, • increased scrap and

  17. TRADE ENHANCEMENT CHARACTERISTICS OF DESSERT BANANA FRUITS AND ESTIMATES OF TRANSACTION COSTS IN OKIGWE METROPOLIS, IMO STATE NIGERIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Ogbonna Emerole

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This study on trade enhancement Characteristics of sweet (dessert banana fruit and estimation of transaction costs was conducted in Okigwe Metropolis of Imo State, Nigeria. Stratified random sampling technique was adopted in selecting 80 respondents comprising 40 dessert banana traders (panelists and 40 dessert banana consumers. Monthly trade data was collected from the respondents using pretested semi-structured questionnaire during dry season (November-April and rain season (May-October for the year 2012. Data collected were subjected to descriptive statistical analysis; with transaction costs estimated as ex ante and ex post components. Hedonic pricing regression model was used in determining buyer socioeconomic/banana attributes that influenced willingness to pay price. Fruit characteristics that significantly enhanced trade of sweet banana in descending order were taste (3.83, fruit variety (3.57, and fruit skin colour (3.50. Other significant factors were level of ripeness (3.49, availability in off-season (3.46, fruit size (3.20 and cleanliness (3.20. Mean ex-ante transaction costs for sweet banana was N77, 800.00/trader and its mean ex-post transaction cost was N25,080.00/trader. We recommended that traders should take advantage of Global Mobile System (GSM to overcome information barriers on banana trading. Government and health institutions should intensify consumer safety education, and encourage horticultural unions to heighten postharvest monitoring of stored and displayed dessert banana fruits to enforce observance of ripening standards.

  18. Versatile, Compact, Low-Cost, MEMS-Based Image Stabilization for Imaging Sensor Performance Enhancement Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — LW Microsystems proposes to develop a compact, low-cost image stabilization system suitable for use with a wide range of focal-plane imaging systems in remote...

  19. Performance Enhancement at the Cost of Potential Brain Plasticity: Neural Ramifications of Nootropic Drugs in the Healthy Developing Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly R. Urban

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive enhancement is perhaps one of the most intriguing and controversial topics in neuroscience today. Currently, the main classes of drugs used as potential cognitive enhancers include psychostimulants (methylphenidate, amphetamine, but wakefulness-promoting agents (modafinil and glutamate activators (ampakine are also frequently used. Pharmacologically, substances that enhance the components of the memory/learning circuits - dopamine, glutamate (neuronal excitation, and/or norepinephrine - stand to improve brain function in healthy individuals beyond their baseline functioning. In particular, non-medical use of prescription stimulants such as methylphenidate and illicit use of psychostimulants for cognitive enhancement have seen a recent rise among teens and young adults in schools and college campuses. However, this enhancement likely comes with a neuronal, as well as ethical, cost. Altering glutamate function via the use of psychostimulants may impair behavioral flexibility, leading to the development and/or potentiation of addictive behaviors. Furthermore, dopamine and norepinephrine do not display linear effects; instead, their modulation of cognitive and neuronal function maps on an inverted-U curve. Healthy individuals run the risk of pushing themselves beyond optimal levels into hyperdopaminergic and hypernoradrenergic states, thus vitiating the very behaviors they are striving to improve. Finally, recent studies have begun to highlight potential damaging effects of stimulant exposure in healthy juveniles. This review explains how the main classes of cognitive enhancing drugs affect the learning and memory circuits, and highlights the potential risks and concerns in healthy individuals, particularly juveniles and adolescents. We emphasize the performance enhancement at the potential cost of brain plasticity that is associated with the neural ramifications of nootropic drugs in the healthy developing brain.

  20. Cost analyses of a web-based behavioral intervention to enhance fruit and vegetable consumption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McClure Jennifer B

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The purpose of this paper is to evaluate costs associated with the online intervention trial, Making Effective Nutritional Choices for Cancer Prevention (MENU, and to connect the findings to the study outcomes. Methods Using prospective data collected during the MENU development and implementation phases, we estimated overall costs per person, incremental costs for the three arms of the MENU intervention, and incremental costs per change in fruit and vegetable (F&V consumption across the studied population. The MENU study was conducted in five HMO sites of the Cancer Research Network. The number of eligible study participants who were enrolled in the study was 2,540. Recruited participants were randomized into (1 an untailored website program, (2 tailored website program, or (3 tailored web program plus personalized counseling (HOBI via email. The primary measures for these analyses include the total intervention costs, average cost per participant, and the average cost per mean change in daily intake of F&V, stratified by study arm. Results The mean change in F&V consumption was greater in both the tailored arm and statistically higher in the HOBI arm relative to the untailored arm. The untailored arm achieved +2.34 servings increase vs. the tailored website arm (+2.68 and the HOBI arm (+2.80 servings increase. Total intervention costs for MENU participants who completed the 12-month follow-up assessment, by study arm, were estimated to be $197,197 or $110 respectively. This translates to $69 per participant in the untailored web site intervention, $81 per participant in the tailored website intervention, and $184 per participant in the HOBI intervention and a cost per average change in F&V consumption to be $35, $27 and $61 respectively. Conclusions Providing personalized "tailored" messages and additional personalized support via email generated an additional $12-$115 per participant, over the untailored web program

  1. OBJECTIVE QUALITY ASSESSMENT OF IMAGE ENHANCEMENT METHODS IN DIGITAL MAMMOGRAPHY-A COMPARATIVE STUDY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheba K.U

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Mammography is the primary and most reliable technique for detection of breast cancer. Mammograms are examined for the presence of malignant masses and indirect signs of malignancy such as micro calcifications, architectural distortion and bilateral asymmetry. However, Mammograms are X-ray images taken with low radiation dosage which results in low contrast, noisy images. Also, malignancies in dense breast are difficult to detect due to opaque uniform background in mammograms. Hence, techniques for improving visual screening of mammograms are essential. Image enhancement techniques are used to improve the visual quality of the images. This paper presents the comparative study of different preprocessing techniques used for enhancement of mammograms in mini-MIAS data base. Performance of the image enhancement techniques is evaluated using objective image quality assessment techniques. They include simple statistical error metrics like PSNR and human visual system (HVS feature based metrics such as SSIM, NCC, UIQI, and Discrete Entropy

  2. High Quality, Low Cost Bulk Gallium Nitride Substrates Grown by the Electrochemical Solution Growth Method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seacrist, Michael [SunEdison Inc., St. Peters, MO (United States)

    2017-08-15

    The objective of this project was to develop the Electrochemical Solution Growth (ESG) method conceived / patented at Sandia National Laboratory into a commercially viable bulk gallium nitride (GaN) growth process that can be scaled to low cost, high quality, and large area GaN wafer substrate manufacturing. The goal was to advance the ESG growth technology by demonstrating rotating seed growth at the lab scale and then transitioning process to prototype commercial system, while validating the GaN material and electronic / optical device quality. The desired outcome of the project is a prototype commercial process for US-based manufacturing of high quality, large area, and lower cost GaN substrates that can drive widespread deployment of energy efficient GaN-based power electronic and optical devices. In year 1 of the project (Sept 2012 – Dec 2013) the overall objective was to demonstrate crystalline GaN growth > 100um on a GaN seed crystal. The development plan included tasks to demonstrate and implement a method for purifying reagent grade salts, develop the reactor 1 process for rotating seed Electrochemical Solution Growth (ESG) of GaN, grow and characterize ESG GaN films, develop a fluid flow and reaction chemistry model for GaN film growth, and design / build an improved growth reactor capable of scaling to 50mm seed diameter. The first year’s project objectives were met in some task areas including salt purification, film characterization, modeling, and reactor 2 design / fabrication. However, the key project objective of the growth of a crystalline GaN film on the seed template was not achieved. Amorphous film growth on the order of a few tenths of a micron has been detected with a film composition including Ga and N, plus several other impurities originating from the process solution and hardware. The presence of these impurities, particularly the oxygen, has inhibited the demonstration of crystalline GaN film growth on the seed template. However, the

  3. Towards a low-cost, full-service air quality data archival system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Samourkasidis, Argyris; Athanasiadis, Ioannis N.

    2014-01-01

    We present our explorations towards a low-cost solution for creating an autonomous environmental data archival system. AiRCHIVE is a software platform for providing open access to sensor data with different ways, that account for machine interoperability. It is built with Raspberry Pi, a low-cost

  4. Treating Urge Incontinence in Older Women: A Cost-Effective Investment in Quality-Adjusted Life-Years (QALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria L. Phillips

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. To conduct cost-effectiveness analyses of urge incontinence treatments for older women. Methods. Decision-analytic models assessed three treatment pathways: (1 limited behavioral therapy (LBT; (2 full behavioral therapy (FBT with biofeedback; and (3 drug (DRUG, with allowances for crossover options following initial treatments. Model inputs were gathered from published data. Cost data were based on third party payer reimbursement. Outcomes were measured as the number of incontinence episodes avoided and quality-adjusted life years gained (QALYs. Results. At baseline values costs per QALY gained ranged from US$3696 to $10609. LBT was the least costly with the lowest benefit. Switching from LBT to FBT, with the greatest gain, was $415 per additional QALY. DRUG was the most expensive option. Sensitivity analyses showed that only small changes in key inputs were required for DRUG to generate greater gains than FBT. Medication costs had to fall substantially for DRUG to be cost competitive. Conclusion. All treatment strategies provide QALYs gains at a bargain price, compared to the standard of US$50,000 per QALY gained. No single treatment strategy dominated under all conditions. Clinicians should offer multiple treatment options to older women with urge incontinence.

  5. Alignment between chain quality management and chain governance in EU pork supply chains: a Transaction-Cost-Economics perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wever, Mark; Wognum, Nel; Trienekens, Jacques; Omta, Onno

    2010-02-01

    Although inter-firm coordination of quality management is increasingly important for meeting end-customer demand in agri-food chains, few researchers focus on the relation between inter-firm quality management systems (QMS) and inter-firm governance structures (GS). However, failure to align QMSs and GSs may lead to inefficiencies in quality management because of high transaction-costs. In addition, misalignment is likely to reduce the quality of end-customer products. This paper addresses this gap in research by empirically examining the relation between QMSs and GSs in pork meat supply chains. Transaction-Cost-Economic theory is used to develop propositions about the relation between three aspects of QMSs--ownership, vertical scope and scale of adoption--and the use of different types of GSs in pork meat supply chains. To validate the propositions, seven cases are examined from four different countries. The results show that the different aspects of QMSs largely relate to specific GSs used in chains in the manner predicted by the propositions. This supports the view that alignment between QMSs and GSs is important for the efficient coordination of quality management in (pork meat) supply chains.

  6. Hospital-Based Outcomes Management: Enhancing Quality of Care with Coordinated Data Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Lansky, David

    1989-01-01

    A hospital based outcomes management system permits physicians, patients, administrators, and purchasers of care to evaluate treatment efficacy and provider quality. Current information technology available in most hospitals will permit institutions to implement outcomes management systems at moderate cost and with substantial benefits. The system must include patient demographics, diagnostic and procedural data, economic indicators, and long-term outcome information. This paper provides a br...

  7. Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of community singing on mental health-related quality of life of older people: randomised controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulton, Simon; Clift, Stephen; Skingley, Ann; Rodriguez, John

    2015-09-01

    As the population ages, older people account for a greater proportion of the health and social care budget. Whereas some research has been conducted on the use of music therapy for specific clinical populations, little rigorous research has been conducted looking at the value of community singing on the mental health-related quality of life of older people. To evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of community group singing for a population of older people in England. A pilot pragmatic individual randomised controlled trial comparing group singing with usual activities in those aged 60 years or more. A total of 258 participants were recruited across five centres in East Kent. At 6 months post-randomisation, significant differences were observed in terms of mental health-related quality of life measured using the SF12 (mean difference = 2.35; 95% CI = 0.06-4.76) in favour of group singing. In addition, the intervention was found to be marginally more cost-effective than usual activities. At 3 months, significant differences were observed for the mental health components of quality of life (mean difference = 4.77; 2.53-7.01), anxiety (mean difference = -1.78; -2.5 to -1.06) and depression (mean difference = -1.52; -2.13 to -0.92). Community group singing appears to have a significant effect on mental health-related quality of life, anxiety and depression, and it may be a useful intervention to maintain and enhance the mental health of older people. © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2015.

  8. Patient Use of Cost and Quality Data When Choosing a Joint Replacement Provider in the Context of Reference Pricing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan Kandrack

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Health plans are encouraging consumerism among joint replacement patients by reporting information on hospital costs and quality. Little is known about how the proliferation of such initiatives impacts patients’ selection of a surgeon and hospital. We performed a qualitative analysis of semistructured interviews with 13 patients who recently received a hip or knee replacement surgery. Patients focused on the choice of a surgeon as opposed to a hospital, and the surgeon choice was primarily made based on reputation. Most patients had long-standing relationships with an orthopedic surgeon and tended to stay with that surgeon for their replacement. Despite growing availability of cost and quality information, patients almost never used such information to make a decision.

  9. ENHANCING THE QUALITY OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS (EEIs THROUGH GAP ANALYSIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri N. Chandra Shekhar

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Engineering will be challenged as n ever before to shape the nature and quality of life in the twenty- first century. Engineering education will be at the forefront of the effort to meet this challenge. The aim of this study was to determine the students' preferences based on the quality gap of various services provided by Engineering Education Institutions (EEIs by using an originally SERVQUAL instrument among fresh engineering graduates. In this study, a total of 200 students who have attended the Graduate Apprenticeship Counseling programme were selected randomly and asked to complete a questionnaire which measured students' perceptions and expectations on services provided by the EEIs. The quality gap of educational services was determined based on differences between students' perception s and expectations on thirty two items of service quality. Factor Analysis (FA was carried out to identify the underlying dimensions in the service quality items. In this study, service quality items having higher quality gap are factor analyzed. The results help to focus on items which need immediate attention to enhance the quality of EEIs.

  10. A scoping study on the costs of indoor air quality illnesses:an insurance loss reduction perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Allan; Vine, Edward L.

    1998-08-31

    The incidence of commercial buildings with poor indoor air quality (IAQ), and the frequency of litigation over the effects of poor IAQ is increasing. If so, these increases have ramifications for insurance carriers, which pay for many of the costs of health care and general commercial liability. However, little is known about the actual costs to insurance companies from poor IAQ in buildings. This paper reports on the results of a literature search of buildings-related, business and legal databases, and interviews with insurance and risk management representatives aimed at finding information on the direct costs to the insurance industry of poor building IAQ, as well as the costs of litigation. The literature search and discussions with insurance and risk management professionals reported in this paper turned up little specific information about the costs of IAQ-related problems to insurance companies. However, those discussions and certain articles in the insurance industry press indicate that there is a strong awareness and growing concern over the "silent crisis" of IAQ and its potential to cause large industry losses, and that a few companies are taking steps to address this issue. The source of these losses include both direct costs to insurers from paying health insurance and professional liability claims, as weIl as the cost of litigation. In spite of the lack of data on how IAQ-related health problems affect their business, the insurance industry has taken the anecdotal evidence about their reality seriously enough to alter their policies in ways that have lessened their exposure. We conclude by briefly discussing four activities that need to be addressed in the near future: (1) quantifying IAQ-related insurance costs by sector, (2) educating the insurance industry about the importance of IAQ issues, (3) examining IAQ impacts on the insurance industry in the residential sector, and (4) evaluating the relationship between IAQ improvements and their impact on

  11. Cost-Effectiveness and Quality of Care of a Comprehensive ART Program in Malawi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlando, Stefano; Diamond, Samantha; Palombi, Leonardo; Sundaram, Maaya; Shear Zimmer, Lauren; Marazzi, Maria Cristina; Mancinelli, Sandro; Liotta, Giuseppe

    2016-05-01

    The aim of this study is to assess the cost-effectiveness of a holistic, comprehensive human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment Program in Malawi.Comprehensive cost data for the year 2010 have been collected at 30 facilities from the public network of health centers providing antiretroviral treatment (ART) throughout the country; two of these facilities were operated by the Disease Relief through Excellent and Advanced Means (DREAM) program.The outcomes analysis was carried out over five years comparing two cohorts of patients on treatment: 1) 2387 patients who started ART in the two DREAM centers during 2008, 2) patients who started ART in Malawi in the same year under the Ministry of Health program.Assuming the 2010 cost as constant over the five years the cost-effective analysis was undertaken from a health sector and national perspective; a sensitivity analysis included two hypothesis of ART impact on patients' income.The total cost per patient per year (PPPY) was $314.5 for the DREAM protocol and $188.8 for the other Malawi ART sites, with 737 disability adjusted life years (DALY) saved among the DREAM program patients compared with the others. The Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratio was $1640 per DALY saved; it ranged between $896-1268 for national and health sector perspective respectively. The cost per DALY saved remained under $2154 that is the AFR-E-WHO regional gross domestic product per capita threshold for a program to be considered very cost-effective.HIV/acquired immune deficiency syndrome comprehensive treatment program that joins ART with laboratory monitoring, treatment adherence reinforcing and Malnutrition control can be very cost-effective in the sub-Saharan African setting.

  12. Efficiency enhancement in two-cell CIGS photovoltaic system with low-cost optical spectral splitter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maragliano, Carlo; Apostoleris, Harry; Bronzoni, Matteo; Rampino, Stefano; Stefancich, Marco; Chiesa, Matteo

    2016-01-25

    Spectrum splitting represents a valid alternative to multi-junction solar cells for broadband light-to-electricity conversion. While this concept has existed for decades, its adoption at the industrial scale is still stifled by high manufacturing costs and inability to scale to large areas. Here we report the experimental validation of a novel design that could allow the widespread adoption of spectrum splitting as a low-cost approach to high efficiency photovoltaic conversion. Our system consists of a prismatic lens that can be manufactured using the same methods employed for conventional CPV optic production, and two inexpensive CuInGaSe(2) (CIGS) solar cells having different composition and, thus, band gaps. We demonstrate a large improvement in cell efficiency under the splitter and show how this can lead to substantial increases in system output at competitive cost using existing technologies.

  13. Compulsive buying and quality of life: An estimate of the monetary cost of compulsive buying among adults in early midlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chenshu; Brook, Judith S; Leukefeld, Carl G; De La Rosa, Mario; Brook, David W

    2017-06-01

    The aims of this study were to examine the associations between compulsive buying and quality of life and to estimate the monetary cost of compulsive buying for a cohort of men and women at mean age 43. Participants came from a community-based random sample of residents in two New York counties (N=548). The participants were followed from adolescence to early midlife. The mean age of participants at the most recent interview was 43.0 (SD=2.8). Fifty five percent of the participants were females. Over 90% of the participants were white. Linear regression analyses showed that compulsive buying was significantly associated with quality of life, despite controlling for relevant demographic and psychosocial factors. The estimated monetary cost of compulsive buying for this cohort was significant. The fact that the monetary cost of CB is not trivial suggests that individuals are both consciously and unconsciously plagued by their CB. The findings are important for interventionists and clinicians for cost-effective intervention and treatment programs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Overview of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    McQueen, Lynn; Mittman, Brian S.; Demakis, John G.

    2004-01-01

    The U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA)'s Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) is an innovative integration of health services research, policy, and clinical care delivery designed to improve the quality, outcomes, and efficiency of VHA health care through the identification and implementation of evidence-based practices in routine care settings. A total of eight condition-specific QUERI centers are currently in operation, each pursuing an integrated portfolio of activities designed to identify and correct gaps in clinical quality and performance and to derive generalizable scientific knowledge regarding quality improvement processes and methods and their effectiveness. This overview article describes QUERI's mission, history, structure, and activities and provides a brief summary of key findings and impacts. PMID:15187071

  15. Quality of Context Enhancements and Cost Effective Radio over Fiber Network Planning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shawky, Ahmed Sherif Mahmoud

    and reliable mobile applications is becoming a rising issue for next generation networks. Manufacturers and service providers are not only looking to increase capacity, bandwidth and performance properties, but are also looking into the network's ability to support new applications, features and improved...... services. The increased number of mobile users puts a demand on today's networks in terms of application sensitivity, mobility and reliability. Mobile operators are offering various context-aware services and applications to the user. Today, mobile users are demanding access to dynamic context information...... at any time, thus due to the sensitivity of such context applications, users can easily get frustrated in case the context information received is no longer valid. Mobile operators are in search for methods to ensure reliability of dynamic context information. Another main concern for both mobile...

  16. An improved Gabor enhancement method for low-quality fingerprint images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Hao; Li, Jicheng; Zhou, Jinwei; Chen, Dong

    2015-10-01

    The criminal's fingerprints often refer to those fingerprints that are extracted from crime scene and have played an important role in police' investigation and cracking the cases, but these fingerprints have features such as blur, incompleteness and low-contrast of ridges. Traditional fingerprint enhancement and identification methods have some limitations and the current automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) hasn't not been applied extensively in police' investigation. Since the Gabor filter has drawbacks such as poor efficiency, low preciseness of the extracted ridge's orientation parameters, the enhancements of low-contrast fingerprint images can't achieve the desired effects. Therefore, an improved Gabor enhancement for low-quality fingerprint is proposed in this paper. Firstly, orientation image templates with different scales were used to distinguish the orientation images in the fingerprint area, and then orientation parameters of ridge were calculated. Secondly, mean frequencies of ridge were extracted based on local window of ridge's orientation and mean frequency parameters of ridges were calculated. Thirdly, the size and orientation of Gabor filter were self-adjusted according to local ridge's orientation and mean frequency. Finally, the poor-quality fingerprint images were enhanced. In the experiment, the improved Gabor filter has better performance for low-quality fingerprint images when compared with the traditional filtering methods.

  17. Value of crops: Quantity, quality and cost price. [algae as a nutritional supplement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, C.

    1979-01-01

    Possibilities of using algae as a nutritional supplement are examined. The nutritional value and protein content of spirulines of blue algae are discussed. A cost analysis of growing them artificially is presented.

  18. Determinação dos custos da qualidade em produção de mudas de eucalipto Determination of quality costs in eucalyptus seedling production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helio Garcia Leite

    2005-12-01

    quality are at a good level, the costs of defects are high. This can be attributed to the lack of evaluation, that hinders the determination of the conformity degree of the several operations that comprise the process of seedling production, allied the lack of investments in some strategic points of prevention such as training for enhancing quality. The flaw costs in relation to the seedling cost only represent 7.8%. This value is relatively low, considering the absence of investments in evaluation and in training of the operational staff. This fact can be attributed to the high qualification of the technical body and the investments in research. Although this value seems small, when it is extrapolated for the annual program of 10 million seedlings, and depending on the real cost of the production, it can represent a considerable amount.

  19. Research on Optimal Delivery Days and Customer Satisfaction Based on Quality Costs

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    薛伟; 周宏彤; 陈亚绒

    2004-01-01

    Customer satisfaction is an important index to evaluate the competitiveness and efficiency of an enterprise. Every enterprise is confront with the subject of supplying with the customer satisfactory products at the lowest costs and the highest manufacturing speed. Regarding the delivery days of a coach company as a design variable, this paper builds up an optimization model of customer satisfaction, and suggests an effective method to reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction based on analysis and research.

  20. Enhancement of the Automated Quality Control Procedures for the International Soil Moisture Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heer, Elsa; Xaver, Angelika; Dorigo, Wouter; Messner, Romina

    2017-04-01

    In-situ soil moisture observations are still trusted to be the most reliable data to validate remotely sensed soil moisture products. Thus, the quality of in-situ soil moisture observations is of high importance. The International Soil Moisture Network (ISMN; http://ismn.geo.tuwien.ac.at/) provides in-situ soil moisture data from all around the world. The data is collected from individual networks and data providers, measured by different sensors in various depths. The data sets which are delivered in different units, time zones and data formats are then transformed into homogeneous data sets. An erroneous behavior of soil moisture data is very difficult to detect, due to annual and daily changes and most significantly the high influence of precipitation and snow melting processes. Only few of the network providers have a quality assessment for their data sets. Therefore, advanced quality control procedures have been developed for the ISMN (Dorigo et al. 2013). Three categories of quality checks were introduced: exceeding boundary values, geophysical consistency checks and a spectrum based approach. The spectrum based quality control algorithms aim to detect erroneous measurements which occur within plausible geophysical ranges, e.g. a sudden drop in soil moisture caused by a sensor malfunction. By defining several conditions which have to be met by the original soil moisture time series and their first and second derivative, such error types can be detected. Since the development of these sophisticated methods many more data providers shared their data with the ISMN and new types of erroneous measurements were identified. Thus, an enhancement of the automated quality control procedures became necessary. In the present work, we introduce enhancements of the existing quality control algorithms. Additionally, six completely new quality checks have been developed, e.g. detection of suspicious values before or after NAN-values, constant values and values that lie in a

  1. Estimating FttH and FttCurb Deployment Costs Using Geometric Models with Enhanced Parameters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Phillipson, F.

    2015-01-01

    The need for higher bandwidth by customers urges the network providers to upgrade their networks. Fibre to the home or Fibre to the curb are two of the scenarios that are considered. To make a proper assessment on the economic viability, a good estimation of the roll-out costs of the networks are im

  2. Are socio-economic disparities in diet quality explained by diet cost?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monsivais, Pablo; Aggarwal, Anju; Drewnowski, Adam

    2012-06-01

    Socio-economic disparities in nutrition are well documented. This study tested the hypothesis that socio-economic differences in nutrient intakes can be accounted for, in part, by diet cost. A representative sample of 1295 adults in King County (WA) was surveyed in 2008-2009, and usual dietary intakes were assessed based on a food-frequency questionnaire. The monetary value of individual diets was estimated using local retail supermarket prices for 384 foods. Nutrients of concern as identified by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee were fibre, vitamins A, C and E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. A nutrient density score based on all seven nutrients was another dependent measure. General linear models and linear regressions were used to examine associations among education and income, nutrient density measure and diet cost. Analyses were conducted in 2009-2010. Controlling for energy and other covariates, higher-cost diets were significantly higher in all seven nutrients and in overall nutrient density. Higher education and income were positively and significantly associated with the nutrient density measure, but these effects were greatly attenuated with the inclusion of the cost variable in the model. Socio-economic differences in nutrient intake can be substantially explained by the monetary cost of the diet. The higher cost of more nutritious diets may contribute to socio-economic disparities in health and should be taken into account in the formulation of nutrition and public health policy.

  3. 34 CFR 611.2 - What management plan must be included in a Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants Program application?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... TEACHER QUALITY ENHANCEMENT GRANTS PROGRAM General Provisions § 611.2 What management plan must be... 34 Education 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What management plan must be included in a Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants Program application? 611.2 Section 611.2 Education Regulations of the Offices...

  4. Enhancing water quality modelling & forecasting in the Han River basin (Korea) using data assimilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loos, Sibren; Sumihar, Julius; Min, Joong-Hyuk; El Serafy, Ghada; Kim, Kyunghyun; Weerts, Albrecht

    2013-04-01

    Data assimilation in operational systems is a promising method to enhance the lead-time and reduce the uncertainty of water quality forecasts and provides a good base for the setup of monitoring schemes in large catchments (locations and frequency of sampling). In the River Han (Korea) three weirs have been constructed to prevent flooding and improve the water quality in the main stream. With real-time automated data imports and two water quality models, HSPF and EFDC, embedded in the FEWS-NIER forecasting platform, information about the current water quality status and daily water quality forecasts seven days ahead is provided to -water management agencies in the basin. To improve both the quality and the lead time of the water quality forecasts the EFDC hydrodynamics and water quality model has been implemented in OpenDA, an open interface standard for data assimilation (DA) in numerical models. The setup of this real-time water quality data assimilation system to enhance the algal dynamics modelling and the forecasts in the Han River basin (20,960 km² in size) was performed by a number of steps using Ensemble Kalman Filtering (EnKF). Using a twin experiment the correct working of the algorithm was tested. Noise was applied to several water quality variables in the main tributaries with a sequential simulation algorithm, to obtain correct noise settings that result in a realistic spread between the individual ensemble members. As the next step, the inclusion of observations in the main stream for data assimilation was tested using the EnKF algorithm to define their effect on the model results. Noise was applied to global solar radiation to improve water temperature forecasts, as well as to phosphate, nitrate and chlorophyll-α concentrations in the large tributaries to improve the prediction of algal level upstream of the weirs. Different combinations of noise and observation settings (standard deviation and time correlation) to find the best model update of

  5. Comparison of literature searches on quality and costs for health technology assessment using the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topfer, L A; Parada, A; Menon, D; Noorani, H; Perras, C; Serra-Prat, M

    1999-01-01

    Biomedical databases are an important source of information for health technology assessment. However, there is considerable variation in the costs of accessing commercial databases. We sought to measure the quality, amount of overlap, and costs of information retrieved from two of the main database sources--MEDLINE and EMBASE. Librarians at two health technology assessment agencies ran a total of eight literature searches on various medical technologies, using both databases. All search results were independently reviewed by two researchers. The researchers were asked to identify relevant references and to rank each of these according to a level of evidence scale. The results were tabulated to show the number of references identified by each database, the number of relevant references ranked by level of evidence, and the number of these references that were unique to one or the other database. The cost of retrieving references from each source was also calculated. Each database contained relevant references not available in the other. Because of the longer time lag for indexing in MEDLINE, many of the references that originally appeared to be unique to EMBASE were subsequently available in MEDLINE as well. Since our study was conducted, MEDLINE has been made available worldwide, free of charge, via the Internet. Hence, the cost difference between the databases is now even greater. However, notwithstanding the costs, it appears that literature searches that rely on only one or the other database will inevitably miss pertinent information.

  6. Quality factor enhancement of Nano electromechanical systems by capacitive driving beyond the resonance

    CERN Document Server

    Barois, T; Poncharal, P; Vincent, Philippe; Ayari, A

    2016-01-01

    Nano electromechanical systems are considered as ultra sensitive devices for mass and force detection. Capacitive actuation is widely used in these devices but is known to degrade the quality factor of the resonator due to DC electrostatic damping. We report the enhancement of the quality factor of SiC vibrating nanowires detected nano optomechanically and electrically by applying an AC capacitive driving at a frequency above both the resonance frequency and the electrical cutoff frequency. Self-oscillations are demonstrated for optimal conditions. We developed an analytical model of the phenomenon and showed that it can lead to an improvement of the force sensitivity. * anthony.ayari@univ-lyon1.fr 1

  7. Enhancing research quality and reporting: why the Journal of Comorbidity is now publishing study protocols

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan Smith

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The Journal of Comorbidity was launched in 2011 and has since become established as a high-quality journal that publishes open-access, peer-reviewed articles, with a focus on advancing the clinical management of patients with comorbidity/multimorbidity. To further enhance research quality and reporting of studies in this field, the journal is now offering authors the opportunity to publish a summary of their study protocols – a move designed to generate interest and raise awareness in ongoing clinical research and to enable researchers to detail their methodologies in order that replication by scientific peers is possible.

  8. Quality, energy requirement and costs of drying tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus L)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ArabHosseini, A.

    2005-01-01

    Tarragon ( Artemisia dracunculus L.) is a favorite herbal and medicinal plant. Drying is necessary to achieve longer shelf life with high quality, preserving the original flavor. Essential oil content and color are the most important parameters that define the quality of herbal and medicinal plants.

  9. Quality, energy requirement and costs of drying tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus L)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ArabHosseini, A.

    2005-01-01

    Tarragon ( Artemisia dracunculus L.) is a favorite herbal and medicinal plant. Drying is necessary to achieve longer shelf life with high quality, preserving the original flavor. Essential oil content and color are the most important parameters that define the quality of herbal and medicinal plants.

  10. Decreasing catheter-related infection and hospital costs by continuous quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Civetta, J M; Hudson-Civetta, J; Ball, S

    1996-10-01

    a) To reduce the rate of catheter-related infection, using improved skin preparation and catheters impregnated with silver sulfadiazine and chlorhexidine; b) to decrease the number of unnecessary guidewire exchanges of existing catheters by substituting suspected catheter-related sepsis for fever alone as an indication to change an indwelling catheter; and c) to decrease the hospital costs associated with guidewire exchanges and new catheter insertions. Sequential, prospective, descriptive studies using a continuous quality management approach. A 20-bed trauma intensive care unit at a university teaching hospital. Patients (n = 147) admitted from July 1 to December 31, 1992 (phase 1); 34 patients admitted in June and September 1993 (phase 2); and 156 patients admitted between January 1 and June 30, 1994 (phase 3). Phase 1: Proportions of catheter-related infections and catheter-related bacteremia were compared with our prior reported results. Indications for guidewire exchange were analyzed, and the rate of catheter-related infection for each indication was derived. Phase 2: The rate of catheter-related infection was determined for a trial group of triple-lumen catheters impregnated with silver sulfadiazine and chlorhexidine. Phase 3: Four components were altered. Impregnated triple-lumen catheters were used instead of unprotected catheters. Chlorhexidine skin cleanser was substituted for povidone-iodine solution during initial aseptic preparation during catheter insertion and subsequent guidewire exchange. Suspected catheter-related sepsis was substituted for fever as an indication for guidewire exchange. The "safe" period (the time before considering changing a catheter because catheter-related sepsis was suspected) was extended from 2 to 4 days. The overall rate of catheter-related infection in phase 1 was 15% (15% for triple-lumen catheters and 16% for introducers). Catheters changed for site inflammation had a 46% rate of catheter-related infection

  11. "Cap-and-Catch" Purification for Enhancing the Quality of Libraries of DNA Conjugates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franzini, Raphael M; Biendl, Stefan; Mikutis, Gediminas; Samain, Florent; Scheuermann, Jörg; Neri, Dario

    2015-07-13

    The potential of DNA-encoded combinatorial libraries (DECLs) as tools for hit discovery crucially relies on the availability of methods for their synthesis at acceptable purity and quality. Incomplete reactions in the presence of DNA can noticeably affect the purity of DECLs and methods to selectively remove unreacted oligonucleotide-based starting products would likely enhance the quality of DECL screening results. We describe an approach to selectively remove unreacted oligonucleotide starting products from reaction mixtures and demonstrate its applicability in the context of acylation of amino-modified DNA. Following an amide bond forming reaction, we treat unreacted amino-modified DNAs with biotinylating reagents and isolate the corresponding biotinylated oligonucleotides from the reaction mixture by affinity capture on streptavidin-coated sepharose. This approach, which yields the desired DNA-conjugate at enhanced purity, can be applied both to reactions performed in solution and to procedures in which DNA is immobilized on an anion exchange solid support.

  12. QUALITY BASED CREDIT RISK MITIGATION FOR BANK PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT: EMPIRIC STUDY IN AN INDONESIAN BANK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nini Avieni

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available There is an ongoing controversy over whether risk mitigation inherently enhances business performance. The aim of this paper is to settle the controversy, and provide insights roles of risk mitigation on corporate strategy. Author examined implication of Lean Six Sigma at credit risk mitigation system at one of Indonesia banks.  Based on responses from 112 credit analysts and database of business units performance indicators, this research showed a relationship between the implication of Lean Six Sigma at credit risk mitigation system and unit bank's performance. Quality Based Credit Risk Mitigation which is credit risk mitigation using Lean Six Sigma system will enhance business units’ performance through improvement in credit quality and credit process efficiency.

  13. Effect of coal quality on maintenance costs at utility plants. Final report. [Effect of ash and sulfur content of coal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holt, E.C. Jr.

    1980-06-01

    In an attempt to determine if correlation exists between coal quality, as measured by its ash and sulfur contents, and the maintenance cost at utility plants, an examination was made of the actual maintenance cost experience of selected portions of five TVA coal-fired power plants as a function of the fuel quality consumed during an extended period of time. The results indicate that, according to our decision rules developed in compliance with accepted statistical practices, correlation does exist in many portions of the coal-fired plants for which sufficient maintenance cost records were available. The degree of correlation varies significantly among the individual portions of a particular plant as well as among the various plants. However, the indicators are sufficient to confirm that a change (within the design constraints of the unit) in the ash and/or sulfur content of the coal being consumed by a utility boiler will have a proportionate effect on the maintenance cost at the plant. In the cases examined, each percent variation in ash content could have a monetary effect of from $0.05 to $0.10 per ton of coal consumed. Similarly, each percent variation in sulfur content could influence maintenance costs from $0.30 to $0.50 per ton of coal. Since these values are based on preliminary analysis of limited data, they must be approached with caution and not removed from the context in which they are presented. However, if borne out by further study, the potential magnitude of such savings may be sufficient to justify the acquisition of superior coal supplies, either by changing the source and/or using preparation to obtain a lower ash and sulfur fuel.

  14. Mapping urban air quality in near real-time using observations from low-cost sensors and model information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Philipp; Castell, Nuria; Vogt, Matthias; Dauge, Franck R; Lahoz, William A; Bartonova, Alena

    2017-09-01

    The recent emergence of low-cost microsensors measuring various air pollutants has significant potential for carrying out high-resolution mapping of air quality in the urban environment. However, the data obtained by such sensors are generally less reliable than that from standard equipment and they are subject to significant data gaps in both space and time. In order to overcome this issue, we present here a data fusion method based on geostatistics that allows for merging observations of air quality from a network of low-cost sensors with spatial information from an urban-scale air quality model. The performance of the methodology is evaluated for nitrogen dioxide in Oslo, Norway, using both simulated datasets and real-world measurements from a low-cost sensor network for January 2016. The results indicate that the method is capable of producing realistic hourly concentration fields of urban nitrogen dioxide that inherit the spatial patterns from the model and adjust the prior values using the information from the sensor network. The accuracy of the data fusion method is dependent on various factors including the total number of observations, their spatial distribution, their uncertainty (both in terms of systematic biases and random errors), as well as the ability of the model to provide realistic spatial patterns of urban air pollution. A validation against official data from air quality monitoring stations equipped with reference instrumentation indicates that the data fusion method is capable of reproducing city-wide averaged official values with an R(2) of 0.89 and a root mean squared error of 14.3 μg m(-3). It is further capable of reproducing the typical daily cycles of nitrogen dioxide. Overall, the results indicate that the method provides a robust way of extracting useful information from uncertain sensor data using only a time-invariant model dataset and the knowledge contained within an entire sensor network. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published

  15. Modeling Optimal Scheduling for Pumping System to Minimize Operation Cost and Enhance Operation Reliability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yin Luo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Traditional pump scheduling models neglect the operation reliability which directly relates with the unscheduled maintenance cost and the wear cost during the operation. Just for this, based on the assumption that the vibration directly relates with the operation reliability and the degree of wear, it could express the operation reliability as the normalization of the vibration level. The characteristic of the vibration with the operation point was studied, it could be concluded that idealized flow versus vibration plot should be a distinct bathtub shape. There is a narrow sweet spot (80 to 100 percent BEP to obtain low vibration levels in this shape, and the vibration also follows similar law with the square of the rotation speed without resonance phenomena. Then, the operation reliability could be modeled as the function of the capacity and rotation speed of the pump and add this function to the traditional model to form the new. And contrast with the tradition method, the result shown that the new model could fix the result produced by the traditional, make the pump operate in low vibration, then the operation reliability could increase and the maintenance cost could decrease.

  16. RJD A Cost Effective Frackless Solution For Production Enhancement In Marginal Fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Kamel

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available With the worldwide trend of low oil prices high maturity of oil fields excessive cost of horizontal and fracking technologies and necessity for green drilling applications radial jet drilling RJD technology can be a cost effective and environmentally-friendly alternative. RJD is an unconventional drilling technique that utilizes coiled tubing conveyed tools and the energy of high velocity jet fluids to drill laterals inside the reservoir. In recent years rapid advances in high pressure water jet technology has tremendously increased its application in oil and gas industry not only in drilling operations to improve drilling rate and reduce drilling cost but also in production to maximize hydrocarbon recovery. In addition RJD can be used to bypass near wellbore damage direct reservoir treatmentsinjections improve water disposal and re-injection rates and assist in steam or CO2 treatments. This paper highlights the theoretical basis technological advancement procedures applications and challenges of high pressure water jets. Several worldwide case studies are discussed to evaluate the success results pros and cons of RJD. The results show that nearly an average of four to five fold production increase can be obtained. The present paper clearly shows that radial jet drilling is a viable and attractive alternative in marginal and small reservoirs that still have significant oil in place to capture the benefits of horizontal drillingfracking and to improve productivity from both new wells andor workover wells that cannot be produced with the existing expensive conventional completions.

  17. Enhancing the Quality of E-learning Systems via Multimedia Learning Tools

    OpenAIRE

    Haroon Tarawneh; Mohammad Tarawneh; Farid Alzboun

    2011-01-01

    This paper discusses how the multimedia learning tools can enhance the quality of e-learning systems. The construction and use of multimedia learning tools is a relatively new pedagogy, where multimedia learning tools are a learning style. Keefe defined learning style as being characteristic of the cognitive, affective, and physiological behaviors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment. Learning style also re...

  18. Extruded Flaxseed Meal Enhances the Nutritional Quality of Cereal-based Products

    OpenAIRE

    Giacomino, S.; Peñas, Elena; Ferreyra, V.; Pellegrino, N.; Fournier, M.; Apro, Nicolás; Olivera Carrión, Margarita; Frías, Juana

    2013-01-01

    Human consumption of flaxseed is increasing due to its health benefit properties and extrusion processes can enhance its nutritional quality. Extruded flaxseed meal (EFM) obtained in a pilot plant was characterized and incorporated in flour mixes and cereal-based bars to demonstrate its nutritious usefulness. Amino acid content was not affected by extrusion and, despite lysine was the limitating amino acid, the chemical score (CS) was 83 %. Thiamin and riboflavin decreased slightly as consequ...

  19. Cost Analysis of Simple Phase Change Material-Enhanced Building Envelopes in Southern U.S. Climates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kosny, J.; Shukla, N.; Fallahi, A.

    2013-01-01

    Traditional thermal designs of building envelope assemblies are based on static energy flows, yet building envelopes are subject to varying environmental conditions. This mismatch between the steady-state principles and their dynamic operation can decrease thermal efficiency. Design work supporting the development of low-energy houses showed that conventional insulations may not always be the most cost effective solution to improvement envelope thermal performance. PCM-enhanced building envelopes that simultaneously reduce the total cooling loads and shift the peak-hour loads are the focus of this report.

  20. Cost Analysis of Simple Phase Change Material-Enhanced Building Envelopes in Southern U.S. Climates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kosny, Jan [Fraunhofer CSE, Cambridge, MA (United States); Shukla, Nitin [Fraunhofer CSE, Cambridge, MA (United States); Fallahi, Ali [Fraunhofer CSE, Cambridge, MA (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Traditional thermal designs of building envelope assemblies are based on static energy flows, yet building envelopes are subject to varying environmental conditions. This mismatch between the steady-state principles and their dynamic operation can decrease thermal efficiency. Design work supporting the development of low-energy houses showed that conventional insulations may not always be the most cost effective solution to improvement envelope thermal performance. PCM-enhanced building envelopes that simultaneously reduce the total cooling loads and shift the peak-hour loads are the focus of this report.

  1. Conceptualizing how group singing may enhance quality of life with Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buetow, Stephen A; Talmage, Alison; McCann, Clare; Fogg, Laura; Purdy, Suzanne

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Purpose: Group singing could be a promising component of neurorehabilitative care. This article aims to conceptualize how group singing may enable people with Parkinson's disease (PD) to synchronize their movement patterns to musical rhythm and enhance quality of life. Spanning the medical and social sciences, the article draws conceptually on literature on PD, group singing and rhythm in music; personal experience; and reasoning. Conceptualizing PD in terms of disruptions to social and biological rhythms, we hypothesize how group singing may produce two socio-psychological states - connectedness and flow - that may entrain rhythm in people with PD. The states connect during group singing to elicit and enhance motor processes but may also reawaken after the group singing, through the recall and reactivation of the musical rhythms encoded during group singing. In people with PD, this continuity of flow is hypothesized to be conducive to rhythmic entrainment during and after group singing and in turn to reduced deficits in motor timing and emotional processing, and improvements in quality of life. Empirical studies are needed to test this hypothesis in people with movement disorders such as PD. Implications for Rehabilitation Musical rhythm in group singing may enhance quality of life, and rehabilitation, in people with PD. Use group singing to produce two socio-psychological states - connectedness and flow - that may yield these health benefits. Include people with PD in singing groups to facilitate perceptual exposure to familiar music with melodic distinctiveness and a regular beat.

  2. The application of quality management (TQM to enhance the competitiveness of agricultural entities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jelena Kristić

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In recent years quality management has become a new management segment and the most important factor in the market survival as well as in the growth and the development of business entities in most European and other countries worldwide. In order to determine characteristics of an efficient quality management system in agricultural entities and their impact on financial, economic and business performance and competitiveness, primary research was carried out on a sample of 248 respondents, i.e. the representatives of Croatian agricultural entities. The results of the research indicate there is a statistically significant relationship between a high level of TQM application and the horizontal and flexible organization structure, defined mission and vision, systematic observation of changes in the market, stable top management support, employee empowerment and their involvement in quality management activities, creating business environment that supports employee initiatives, education and training, measurable quality objectives, clear understanding of quality concept, business process evaluation and improvement, by using a proactive approach, and finally, orientation towards consumers. The study has found that TQM improves the financial, economic and business performance, i.e. increases market share, price competitiveness, competitive advantage, total sales, the introduction of new products, profitability, input use efficiency, exports, as well as employee and consumer satisfaction. Cost reduction is another advantage. Understanding the role of TQM is essential for gaining competitive advantage, which agricultural entities can achieve only through the synergy of all these elements.

  3. Value-based insurance design: quality improvement but no cost savings

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lee, Joy L; Maciejewski, Matthew; Raju, Shveta; Shrank, William H; Choudhry, Niteesh K

    2013-01-01

    Value-based insurance design (VBID) is an approach that attempts to improve the quality of care by selectively encouraging or discouraging the use of specific health care services, based on their potential benefit to patients' health...

  4. Improving quality and decreasing cost in gynecologic oncology care. Society of gynecologic oncology recommendations for clinical practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rimel, B J; Burke, William M; Higgins, Robert V; Lee, Paula S; Lutman, Christopher V; Parker, Lynn

    2015-05-01

    To identify potential cost savings in gynecologic oncology care without sacrificing quality. Members of the Clinical Practice Committee of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology were asked to review current practice patterns in gynecologic oncology and assess the potential for cost savings founded on evidence-based medicine and current guidelines. Five clinical practices were identified including the following: vaginal cytology for endometrial cancer survivors; colposcopy for low grade cytologic abnormalities for cervical cancer survivors; routine imaging studies for gynecologic cancer survivors; screening for ovarian cancer with serum biomarkers and ultrasound; and improving palliative care for gynecologic cancer patients. Review of the published literature and guidelines were performed to make evidence-based recommendations for cost effective quality gynecologic oncology care. • Do not perform Pap tests of the vaginal cuff in patients with a history of endometrial cancer. • Do not perform colposcopy for low grade Pap tests in women with a history of cervical cancer. • Avoid routine imaging for cancer surveillance in asymptomatic women with gynecologic cancer, specifically ovarian, endometrial, cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancer. • Do not screen women at low risk for ovarian cancer with ultrasound or CA-125 or other biomarkers. • Do not delay basic level palliative care for women with advanced or relapsed gynecologic cancer, do refer to a palliative care specialist when needed, and avoid unnecessary treatments at life's end. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Disease activity, quality of life and indirect costs of reduced productivity at work, generated by Polish patients with ankylosing spondylitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paweł Kawalec

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: The aim of the study was to investigate the association between activity of ankylosing spondylitis (AS and decrease in quality of life as well as productivity loss of affected patients in a specified group of patients in the Polish setting. Material and methods : An questionnaire survey was conducted using the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI to assess disease activity, as well as the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaires to assess productivity loss; quality of life was presented as utility calculated using the EuroQol 5 questionnaire and also measured on a visual analogue scale (VAS. Indirect costs were assessed with the human capital approach implying gross domestic product per capita or gross value added per worker in Poland in 2014 and were expressed in Polish zlotys (PLN as well as in euros. Correlation was presented using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient. Results : We performed our analysis based on 78 full questionnaires collected. A mean BASDAI score of 5.91 in the analysed group of patients was detected and mean utility of 0.5135 was observed. Average quality of life measured on the visual analogue scale was 46.55. Mean number of days off work was 45.26 days per year and mean on-the-job productivity loss was 49.29%. Average annual indirect costs per patient were €4241 (17 686 PLN calculated using gross domestic product and €10 172 (42 417 PLN estimated using gross value added. Total productivity loss was significantly correlated with disease activity (strong correlation of 0.6005 and utility (moderate correlation of –0.3698. Conclusions : Ankylosing spondylitis causes a great decrease in quality of life as well as patients’ productivity loss associated with both absenteeism and presenteeism. The greater the disease activity is, the lower is the utility, the lower is the quality of life measured on the VAS, and the greater are the total annual indirect costs. Total

  6. Enhancing shared decision making through assessment of patient-clinician concordance on decision quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaltoft, Mette Kjer; Selby, Warwick; Salkeld, Glenn

    Purpose: To explore the feasibility and potential of a prescriptive, web-based, decomposable measure of decision quality (MyDecisionQuality (MDQ)); to assess and enhance patient-clinician decision concordance, thereby facilitating more transparent shared decision making and documentation of better......) of the 8 MDQ criteria (options, effects, importance, chances; trust, support, control, commitment) were elicited and fed back in decomposed formats, along with concordance measures (Mean Squared Difference (MSD), Mean Absolute Difference (MAD)). The Incremental Values of Perfect Ratings were calculated...... and clinician using the dually-personalised decomposable MyDecisionQuality (MDQ) instrument. This has the potential to guide future work on optimising dyad-specific patient-clinician communication for shared decision making and informed consent....

  7. Evaluation of selected effects of pavement riding quality on logistics costs in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Steyn, WJvdM

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The efficient operation of a country’s economy depends, among other things, on an efficient logistical system to ensure that goods can be transported efficiently between producers and users. The costs of logistics include aspects such as transport...

  8. THE COST FOR THE ENTIRE LIFE CYCLE OF THE PRODUCT RESPECTING QUALITY STANDARDS

    OpenAIRE

    Mariana Man; Vladimir Modrak; Ioan Constantin Dima; Piotr Pachura

    2011-01-01

    This article presents issues concerning life cycle of products. Taking into account the limitation of the life cycle of products and strategic investments that require the use of certain technologies, the decision of setting forth a new product on the market should rely upon the costs of its life cycle.

  9. Reducing the costs of chronic kidney disease while delivering quality health care : a call to action

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vanholder, Raymond; Annemans, Lieven; Brown, Edwina; Gansevoort, Ron; Gout-Zwart, Judith J; Lameire, Norbert; Morton, Rachael L; Oberbauer, Rainer; Postma, Maarten J; Tonelli, Marcello; Biesen, Wim Van; Zoccali, Carmine

    2017-01-01

    The treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) imposes substantial societal costs. Expenditure is highest for renal replacement therapy (RRT), especially in-hospital haemodialysis. Redirection towards less expensive forms of RRT (peritoneal dialysis, home

  10. Assessment of Indoor Air Quality Benefits and Energy Costs of Mechanical Ventilation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Logue, J.M.; Price, P.N.; Sherman, M.H.; Singer, B.C.

    2011-07-01

    Intake of chemical air pollutants in residences represents an important and substantial health hazard. Sealing homes to reduce air infiltration can save space conditioning energy, but can also increase indoor pollutant concentrations. Mechanical ventilation ensures a minimum amount of outdoor airflow that helps reduce concentrations of indoor emitted pollutants while requiring some energy for fan(s) and thermal conditioning of the added airflow. This work demonstrates a physics based, data driven modeling framework for comparing the costs and benefits of whole-house mechanical ventilation and applied the framework to new California homes. The results indicate that, on a population basis, the health benefits from reduced exposure to indoor pollutants in New California homes are worth the energy costs of adding mechanical ventilation as specified by ASHRAE Standard 62.2.This study determines the health burden for a subset of pollutants in indoor air and the costs and benefits of ASHRAE's mechanical ventilation standard (62.2) for new California homes. Results indicate that, on a population basis, the health benefits of new home mechanical ventilation justify the energy costs.

  11. Quality-improvement initiatives focused on enhancing customer service in the outpatient pharmacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulin, Tenley J; Bain, Kevin T; Balderose, Bonnie K

    2015-09-01

    The development and implementation of quality-improvement initiatives to enhance customer service in an outpatient pharmacy of a Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center are described. Historically low customer service satisfaction rates with the outpatient pharmacy at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center prompted this quality-improvement project. A three-question survey was designed to be easily and quickly administered to veterans in the outpatient pharmacy waiting area. Using 5-point Likert scale, veterans were asked to rate (1) their overall experience with the outpatient pharmacy service and (2) their satisfaction with the customer service provided by the pharmacy department. They were also asked how they thought the pharmacy department could improve its customer service. After receiving feedback from the survey, several quality-improvement initiatives were developed. The initiatives were categorized as environmental, personnel, communicative, and technological. For each initiative, one or more tasks were developed and the initiatives were subsequently implemented over eight months. After each task was completed, veterans were surveyed to measure the impact of the change. A total of 79 veterans were surveyed before the implementation of the quality-improvement initiatives, and 49% and 68% rated their experience with the outpatient pharmacy and customer service favorably, respectively. Twenty-five veterans were surveyed after the implementation of numerous quality-improvement interventions, with 44% and 72% rating their experience with the outpatient pharmacy and customer service favorably. Customer service satisfaction with an outpatient pharmacy service at a VA medical center was enhanced through the implementation of various quality-improvement initiatives. Copyright © 2015 by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Rapid, Cost Effective, Enhanced Lipid Extraction from Marine Cyanobacteria in A Biodiesel Perspective.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vaithyalingam Shanmuga sundaram Uma

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Rapidly depleting fossil fuels and increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration have led to an enhanced interest in renewable energy fuels like biodiesel. Lipids and fatty acids of cyanobacteria are an ideal source of food, feed and fuels; hence their extraction becomes principally imperative. The present study investigated the nature of the biomass (wet/ dried, pre–treatment method (homogenisation, sonication, bead beating and microwave and the solvent mixture [chloroform:methanol (2:1v/v, hexane:iopropanol (3:2 v/v, n–hexane (Soxhlet] ideal for maximum extraction of lipids. Of all the tested methods, dried biomass at 40ºC (oven increased the lipid yield by ~ 3%, where homogenised biomass with pulverised glass powder increased the recovery by 54.47 and 62.42% in marine cyanobacteria Spirulina subsalsa BDU141201 and Oscillatoria willei BDU130791 over the un-disrupted biomass. chloroform:methanol (2:1v/v stood out as the efficient extraction solvent mixture with yield of 16.2±0.05 and 15.9±0.03% of transesterifiable lipids from S. subsalsa BDU141201 and O. willei BDU130791. The results were further evinced by the fatty acid composition of the selected strains, with enhanced recovery of oleic, linoleic and γ-linolenic acid –the pre-requisite for biodiesel when enhanced with 2:1 chloroform:methanol.

  13. Low-cost multi-stage filtration enhanced by coagulation-flocculation in upflow gravel filtration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. D. Sánchez

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper assesses the operational and design aspects of coagulation and flocculation in upflow gravel filters (CF-UGF in a multi-stage filtration (MSF plant. This study shows that CF-UGF units improve the performance of MSF considerably, when the system operates with turbidity above 30 NTU. It strongly reduces the load of particulate material before the water enters in the slow sand filters (SSF and therewith avoids short filter runs and prevents early interruption in SSF operations. The removal efficiency of turbidity in the CF-UGF with coagulant was between 85 and 96%, whereas the average efficiency without coagulant dosing was 46% (range: 21–76%. Operating with coagulant also improves the removal efficiency for total coliforms, E-coli and HPC. No reduction was observed in the microbial activity of the SSF, no obstruction of the SSF bed was demonstrated and SSF runs were maintained between 50 and 70 days for a maximum head loss of 0.70 m. The most important advantage is the flexibility of the system to operate with and without coagulant according to the influent turbidity. It was only necessary for 20% of the time to operate with the coagulant. The CF-UGF unit represented 7% of total construction costs and the O&M cost for the use of coagulant represented only 0.3%.

  14. Low-cost multi-stage filtration enhanced by coagulation-flocculation in upflow gravel filtration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. D. Sánchez

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper assesses the operational and design aspects of coagulation and flocculation in upflow gravel filters (CF-UGF in a multi-stage filtration (MSF plant. This study shows that CF-UGF units improve the performance of MSF considerably, when the system operates with turbidity above 30 NTU. It strongly reduces the load of particulate material before the water enters in the slow sand filters (SSF and therewith avoids short filter runs and prevents early interruption in SSF operations. The removal efficiency of turbidity in the CF-UGF with coagulant was between 85 and 96%, whereas the average efficiency without coagulant dosing was 46% (range: 21–76%. Operating with coagulant also improves the removal efficiency for total coliforms, E-coli and HPC. No reduction was observed in the microbial activity of the SSF, no obstruction of the SSF bed was demonstrated and SSF runs were maintained between 50 and 70 days for a maximum head loss of 0.70 m. The most important advantage is the flexibility of the system to operate with and without coagulant according to the influent turbidity. It was only necessary for 20% of the time to operate with the coagulant. The CF-UGF unit represented 7% of total construction costs and the O&M cost for the use of coagulant represented only 0.3%.

  15. Economic cost analysis of service quality as a factor of sustainable development of enterprises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gritsenko Olena Ivanivna

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In the article possibilities of economic analysis are considered in the context of improvement of quality of service and effective realization of the charges related to him. The analysis of existent principles of theory of cognition is conducted, that directly related to the economic analysis of quality. The basic factors of forming and improvement of functioning of quality of service for providing of competitiveness subjects of ménage are considered at the market of commodities in the state and after his limits. There were determined the main factors, which affect the sum and level of spending on quality of service. It is well-proven that charges on quality of service are a difficult economic category, and the mainly existent methods of account and accounting do not allow directly and exactly to select such charges of enterprise structures. It is for this purpose necessary to conduct the concrete and detailed (empiric analysis of structure of charges and its elements.

  16. Enhancing e-waste estimates: Improving data quality by multivariate Input–Output Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Feng, E-mail: fwang@unu.edu [Institute for Sustainability and Peace, United Nations University, Hermann-Ehler-Str. 10, 53113 Bonn (Germany); Design for Sustainability Lab, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Landbergstraat 15, 2628CE Delft (Netherlands); Huisman, Jaco [Institute for Sustainability and Peace, United Nations University, Hermann-Ehler-Str. 10, 53113 Bonn (Germany); Design for Sustainability Lab, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Landbergstraat 15, 2628CE Delft (Netherlands); Stevels, Ab [Design for Sustainability Lab, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Landbergstraat 15, 2628CE Delft (Netherlands); Baldé, Cornelis Peter [Institute for Sustainability and Peace, United Nations University, Hermann-Ehler-Str. 10, 53113 Bonn (Germany); Statistics Netherlands, Henri Faasdreef 312, 2492 JP Den Haag (Netherlands)

    2013-11-15

    Highlights: • A multivariate Input–Output Analysis method for e-waste estimates is proposed. • Applying multivariate analysis to consolidate data can enhance e-waste estimates. • We examine the influence of model selection and data quality on e-waste estimates. • Datasets of all e-waste related variables in a Dutch case study have been provided. • Accurate modeling of time-variant lifespan distributions is critical for estimate. - Abstract: Waste electrical and electronic equipment (or e-waste) is one of the fastest growing waste streams, which encompasses a wide and increasing spectrum of products. Accurate estimation of e-waste generation is difficult, mainly due to lack of high quality data referred to market and socio-economic dynamics. This paper addresses how to enhance e-waste estimates by providing techniques to increase data quality. An advanced, flexible and multivariate Input–Output Analysis (IOA) method is proposed. It links all three pillars in IOA (product sales, stock and lifespan profiles) to construct mathematical relationships between various data points. By applying this method, the data consolidation steps can generate more accurate time-series datasets from available data pool. This can consequently increase the reliability of e-waste estimates compared to the approach without data processing. A case study in the Netherlands is used to apply the advanced IOA model. As a result, for the first time ever, complete datasets of all three variables for estimating all types of e-waste have been obtained. The result of this study also demonstrates significant disparity between various estimation models, arising from the use of data under different conditions. It shows the importance of applying multivariate approach and multiple sources to improve data quality for modelling, specifically using appropriate time-varying lifespan parameters. Following the case study, a roadmap with a procedural guideline is provided to enhance e

  17. Teacher is Matter for Education Quality : A Transformation of Policy for Enhancing the Teaching Profession in Malaysia

    OpenAIRE

    Jamil, Hazri

    2014-01-01

    It has been widely acknowledged that teachers are among the pivotal agents of improving the educational quality, especially in the context of student learning outcome. Accordingly, in raising the education standard and quality, effort towards enhancing teacher professionalism for ensuring quality of the teacher and teaching quality become the important issue in the education policy production. In Malaysia, a lot of efforts have been undertaken to address the question of teaching profession. R...

  18. Regional cost-effectiveness in transboundary water quality management for the Baltic Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler, Berit; Smart, James Christopher Rudd; Fonnesbech-Wulff, Anders

    scientists, is used to identify the most cost-effective configuration of abatement measures. BALTCOST utilises detailed regional and spatial data down to 10 x 10km grid cell level for all Baltic littoral countries. Modelling results suggest that it should be possible to achieve the BSAP load reduction......In 2007 HELCOM launched a plan for transboundary management of the Baltic Sea. This plan, called the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP), aims amongst other things, to reduce eutrophication in the different regions of the Baltic Sea by reducing incoming nutrient loads from all discharging drainage basins....... This paper investigates the costeffective distribution of nutrient abatement measures between drainage basins and Baltic Sea regions, where the aim is to achieve the BSAP nutrient load reduction targets. The cost-minimisation model BALTCOST, an interdisciplinary development involving economists and natural...

  19. Quality Dimensions, Value, Service Cost and Recommendation Behaviour: Evidence from the Nigerian Cellular Industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abolaji Joachim Abiodun

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The present study proposed and test a model that connects both affective and cognitive factors in cellular service to customers’ recommendation behavior. Results of the analysis of data collected through questionnaire from 293 respondents with cellular phones and active account in the Nigerian cellular industry indicate that core cellular service dimensions, service cost (price and hedonic values are significant determinants of customers’ recommendation behavior. In addition, the study found that customer service and utilitarian value exert negative effect on recommendation behavior. It seems that strengthening the performance of service providers on core service attributes, service cost (price and the entertainment and emotion evoking aspects of cellular service is of more value in partnering with customer to enlarge customer base through recommendation

  20. Patterns of initiation of oral anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation- quality and cost implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, Nihar R; Krumme, Alexis A; Schneeweiss, Sebastian; Shrank, William H; Brill, Gregory; Pezalla, Edmund J; Spettell, Claire M; Brennan, Troyen A; Matlin, Olga S; Avorn, Jerry; Choudhry, Niteesh K

    2014-11-01

    Dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban have been approved for use in patients with atrial fibrillation based upon randomized trials demonstrating their comparable or superior efficacy and safety relative to warfarin. Little is known about their adoption into clinical practice, whether utilization is consistent with the controlled trials on which their approval was based, and how their use has affected health spending for patients and insurers. We used medical and prescription claims data from a large insurer to identify patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation who were prescribed an oral anticoagulant in 2010-2013. We plotted trends in medication initiation over time, assessed corresponding insurer and patient out-of-pocket spending, and evaluated the cumulative number and cost of anticoagulants. We identified predictors of novel anticoagulant initiation using multivariable logistic models. Finally, we estimated the difference in total drug expenditures over 6 months for patients initiating warfarin versus a novel anticoagulant. There were 6893 patients with atrial fibrillation that initiated an oral anticoagulant during the study period. By the end of the study period, novel anticoagulants accounted for 62% of new prescriptions and 98% of anticoagulant-related drug costs. Female sex, lower household income, and higher CHADS2, CHA2DS2-VASC, and HAS-BLED scores were significantly associated with lower odds of receiving a novel anticoagulant (P <.001 for each). Average combined patient and insurer anticoagulant spending in the first 6 months after initiation was more than $900 greater for patients initiating a novel anticoagulant. This study demonstrates rapid adoption of novel anticoagulants into clinical practice, particularly among patients with lower CHADS2 and HAS-BLED scores, and high health care cost consequences. These findings provide important directions for future comparative and cost-effectiveness research. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights

  1. Quality Dimensions, Value, Service Cost and Recommendation Behaviour: Evidence from the Nigerian Cellular Industry

    OpenAIRE

    Abolaji Joachim Abiodun; Kenneth Sola Adeyemi; Adewale Omotayo Osibanjo

    2014-01-01

    The present study proposed and test a model that connects both affective and cognitive factors in cellular service to customers’ recommendation behavior. Results of the analysis of data collected through questionnaire from 293 respondents with cellular phones and active account in the Nigerian cellular industry indicate that core cellular service dimensions, service cost (price) and hedonic values are significant determinants of customers’ recommendation behavior. In addition, the study found...

  2. A Case Illustrating the Costs of Quality Improvement: Nine Months to Move Needles and Syringes on the Anesthesia Cart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quick, Alexander K; Macario, Alex; Brock-Utne, John G; Jaffe, Richard A; Kadry, Bassam

    2015-09-01

    Powerful entities are pushing physicians to become more involved with quality improvement (QI). We report a QI project to standardize and improve the ergonomics of the anesthesia medication and supply cart. Simply obtaining approval to make minor changes to the cart involved 54 phone calls, 164 e-mails, 4 presentations, 2 forms, 9 meetings, and 4 months of time. Confusion over fiscal matters further delayed the project by an additional 3 months. A combination of competing regulations, administrative overprocessing, and the lack of dedicated QI financial resources made simple improvements a challenge. The costs of participating in QI deserve attention.

  3. Rumble over jailhouse healthcare. As states broaden outsourcing to private vendors, critics question quality of care and cost savings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutscher, Beth; Meyer, Harris

    2013-09-02

    The trend for states to outsource prison healthcare has met opposition from inmate advocates and legal aid groups. They fear quality of care will suffer, while others debate whether outsourcing care saves any money. Corizon, the largest U.S. private prison healthcare provider, says it definitely delivers savings. "We are the model because we've been doing capitated rates since we've been in business. Our cost per individual is significantly less than in the 'free world,' "says Corizon CEO Rich Hallworth.

  4. Laparoscopic appendectomy: quality care and cost-effectiveness for today’s economy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Open appendectomy (OA) has traditionally been the treatment for acute appendicitis (AA). Beneficial effects of laparoscopic appendectomy (LA) for the treatment of AA are still controversial. Aim To present our technique for LA and to determine whether LA should be the technique of choice of any case of AA instead of OA. Material and methods All cases operated for AA (February 2011 through February 2012) by means of LA or OA were prospectively evaluated. Data regarding length of stay, complications, emergency department consultation after discharge or readmission were collected. Patients were classified into four groups depending on the severity of the appendicitis. Economic data were obtained based on the cost of the disposable material. Cost of hospital stay was calculated based on the Ley de Tasas of the Generalitat Valenciana according to the DRG and the length of stay. Results One hundred and forty-two cases were included. Ninety-nine patients underwent OA and 43 LA. Average length of stay for LA group was 2,6 days and 3,8 for OA. Average cost of the stay for OA was 1.799 euros and 1.081 euros for LA. Global morbidity rate was 16%, 5% for LA and 20% for OA. Conclusions LA is nowadays the technique of choice for the treatment of AA. PMID:24180475

  5. Enhancing Low-Cost Ozone Spectrometers to Measure Mesospheric Winds and Tides

    CERN Document Server

    Alam, O B

    2015-01-01

    Ground-based spectrometers have been developed to measure the concentration, velocity, and temperature of ozone in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) using low-cost satellite television electronics to observe the 11.072 GHz spectral line of ozone. A two-channel spectrometer has been engineered to yield various performance improvements, including a doubling of the signal-to-noise ratio, improved data processing efficiency, and lower power consumption at 15 W. Following 2009 and 2012 observations of the seasonal and diurnal variations in ozone concentration near the mesopause, the ozone line was observed at an altitude near 95 km and latitude of 38 degrees north using three single-channel spectrometers located at the MIT Haystack Observatory (Westford, MA), Chelmsford High School (Chelmsford, MA), and Union College (Schenectady, NY) pointed south at 8 degrees. Observations from 2009 through 2014 are used to derive the nightly-averaged seasonal variation in meridional velocity, as well as the seasonally...

  6. Enhanced methods for operating refueling station tube-trailers to reduce refueling cost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elgowainy, Amgad; Reddi, Krishna

    2017-08-22

    A method and apparatus are provided for operating a refueling station including source tube-trailers and at least one compressor to reduce refueling cost. The refueling station includes a gaseous fuel supply source including a plurality of tanks on a tube trailer coupled to a first control unit, and high pressure buffer storage having predefined capacity coupled to a second control unit and the first tanks by a pressure control valve and the first control unit, and at least one compressor. The refueling station is operated at different modes depending on a state of the refueling station at the beginning of each operational mode. The refueling system is assessed at the end of each operational mode to identify the state of the system and select a next mode of operation. The operational modes include consolidating hydrogen, or any gaseous fuel, within the tubes mounted on the trailer.

  7. A Framework to Enhance Quality of Service for Content Delivery Network Using Web Services: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K.Manivannan

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Content Delivery Networks (CDNs is anticipated to provide better performance delivery of content in internet through worldwide coverage, which would be a fence for new content delivery network providers. The appearance of Web as a omnipresent media for sharing content and services has led to the rapid growth of the Internet. At the same time, the number of users accessing Web-based content and services are growing exponentially. This has placed a heavy demand on Internet bandwidth and Web systems hosting content and application services. As a result, many Web sites are unable to manage this demand and offer their services in a timely manner. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs have emerged to overcome these limitations by offering infrastructure and mechanisms to deliver content and services in a scalable manner, and enhancing users Web experience. The planned research provides a framework designed to enhance QoS of Web service processes for real time servicing. QoS parameters of various domains can be combined to provide differentiated services, and allocating dynamically available resources in the midst of customers while delivering high-quality real time multimedia content. While accessing the service by a customer, it is possible to adapt real time streams to vastly changeable network conditions to give suitable quality in spite of factors upsetting Quality of service. To reach these intentions, adaptive web service processes to supply more information for determining the quality and size of the delivered object. The framework includes a section for QoS monitoring and adaptation and QoS faults prediction possibility and convalesce actions in case of failure. The aim of this research is to encourage research about quality of composite services in service-oriented architectures with security measures.

  8. Cutting Costs, Keeping Quality: Financing Strategies for Youth-Serving Organizations in a Difficult Economy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Eric

    2010-01-01

    This research brief highlights three effective financing strategies that successful youth-serving organizations are using to maintain quality services despite difficult economic times. The brief provides examples of how organizations have implemented these strategies and offers tips to help leaders consider how best to adapt these strategies to…

  9. Consistency of denominator data in electronic health records in Australian primary healthcare services: enhancing data quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailie, Ross; Bailie, Jodie; Chakraborty, Amal; Swift, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    propose a quality improvement approach for enhancing data quality.

  10. Combining enhanced biomass density with reduced lignin level for improved forage quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallego-Giraldo, Lina; Shadle, Gail; Shen, Hui; Barros-Rios, Jaime; Fresquet Corrales, Sandra; Wang, Huanzhong; Dixon, Richard A

    2016-03-01

    To generate a forage crop with increased biomass density that retains forage quality, we have genetically transformed lines of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) expressing antisense constructs targeting two different lignin pathway biosynthetic genes with a construct for down-regulation of a WRKY family transcription factor that acts as a repressor of secondary cell wall formation in pith tissues. Plants with low-level expression of the WRKY dominant repressor construct produced lignified cell walls in pith tissues and exhibited enhanced biomass and biomass density, with an increase in total sugars in the cell wall fraction; however, lines with high expression of the WRKY dominant repressor construct exhibited a very different phenotype, with loss of interfascicular fibres associated with repression of the NST1 transcription factor. This latter phenotype was not observed in transgenic lines in which the WRKY transcription factor was down-regulated by RNA interference. Enhanced and/or ectopic deposition of secondary cell walls was also seen in corn and switchgrass expressing WRKY dominant repressor constructs, with enhanced biomass in corn but reduced biomass in switchgrass. Neutral detergent fibre digestibility was not impacted by WRKY expression in corn. Cell walls from WRKY-DR-expressing alfalfa plants with enhanced secondary cell wall formation exhibited increased sugar release efficiency, and WRKY dominant repressor expression further increased sugar release in alfalfa down-regulated in the COMT, but not the HCT, genes of lignin biosynthesis. These results suggest that significant enhancements in forage biomass and quality can be achieved through engineering WRKY transcription factors in both monocots and dicots. © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Estimating Cost and Quality Implications of an Online Solution for the Army ROTC Military History Requirement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-11

    online learning is because they had instant access to an unlimited supply of information and could ‘ surf ’ the Web to fill gaps in background...Evaluation of classroom-based, web-enhanced, and web- based distance learning nutrition courses for undergraduate nursing. Journal of Nursing

  12. The (cost-)effectiveness of a patient-tailored intervention programme to enhance adherence to antihypertensive medication in community pharmacies: study protocol of a randomised controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Laan, Danielle M; Elders, Petra J M; Boons, Christel C L M; Bosmans, Judith E; Nijpels, Giel; Hugtenburg, Jacqueline G

    2017-01-19

    Medication non-adherence is a complex health care problem. Due to non-adherence, substantial numbers of cardiovascular patients benefit from their medication to only a limited extent. In order to improve adherence, a variety of pharmacist-led interventions have been developed. However, even the most effective interventions achieved only a modest positive effect. To be effective, interventions should be targeted at underlying barriers to adherence, developed in a systematic manner and tailored to specific features of a target group and setting. The current paper describes the design of the Cardiovascular medication non-Adherence Tailored Intervention (CATI) study aimed to evaluate the (cost-)effectiveness of a patient-tailored intervention programme in patients using antihypertensive medication. The CATI study is a randomised controlled trial that will be performed in 13 community pharmacies. Patients aged 45-75 years using antihypertensive medication and considered non-adherent according to pharmacy dispensing data, as well according to a self-report questionnaire, are eligible to participate. Patients in the intervention condition will receive a patient-tailored, pharmacist-led intervention programme. This programme consists of a structured interview at the pharmacy to identify patients' barriers to adherence and to counsel patients in order to overcome these barriers. The primary outcome is self-reported medication adherence measured with the MARS-5 questionnaire. Secondary outcome measures are blood pressure, illness perceptions, quality of life and societal costs. A cost-effectiveness analysis and process evaluation will also be performed. This study will provide insight into the (cost-)effectiveness of a patient-tailored, pharmacist-led intervention programme in non-adherent patients using antihypertensive medication. This intervention programme allows community pharmacists to support their patients in overcoming barriers to adherence and improving medication

  13. Efficient data analysis approaches to enhance the quality of customer service in Saudi Government sector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdullah Baz

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The common aim of all our daily activities is providing services to others or ourselves. Services provided by the government are called public services while those provided by some people to some others are called private services. Both types differ from country to country and from region to region. In Saudi Arabia, public services include education, health, police, trading, and environmental services. It is the aim of all government agencies in Saudi Arabia and other countries around the world to offer more services to their customers, improve the quality of their customer service, and enhance the existing services. Nowadays, most government agencies have already developed a number Information Systems (ISs to help their customers in applying for services and help their employees in processing the requested services. However, hardly a government agency utilizes the data in the employed ISs to improve the quality of its customer service. This paper is dedicated to addressing this gap by proposing a number of data analysis techniques that can be utilized to improve the quality of customer service and enhance the existing services in the Saudi government sector. Moreover, this article introduced a relational database structure that can be utilized to apply the proposed data analysis techniques.

  14. Enhanced yields and soil quality in a wheat-maize rotation using buried straw mulch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Zhibin; Liu, Hui; Wan, Shuixia; Hua, Keke; Jiang, Chaoqiang; Wang, Daozhong; He, Chuanlong; Guo, Xisheng

    2017-08-01

    Straw return may improve soil quality and crop yields. In a 2-year field study, a straw return method (ditch-buried straw return, DB-SR) was used to investigate the soil quality and crop productivity effects on a wheat-corn rotation system. This study consisted of three treatments, each with three replicates: (1) mineral fertilisation alone (CK0); (2) mineral fertilisation + 7500 kg ha(-1) wheat straw incorporated at depth of 0-15 cm (NPKWS); and (3) mineral fertilisation + 7500 kg ha(-1) wheat straw ditch buried at 15-30 cm (NPKDW). NPKWS and NPKDW enhanced crop yield and improved soil biotical properties compared to mineral fertilisation alone. NPKDW contributed to greater crop yields and soil nutrient availability at 15-30 cm depths, compared to NPKWS treatment. NPKDW enhanced soil microbial activity and bacteria species richness and diversity in the 0-15 cm layer. NPKWS increased soil microbial biomass, bacteria species richness and diversity at 15-30 cm. The comparison of the CK0 and NPKWS treatments indicates that a straw ditch buried by digging to the depth of 15-30 cm can improve crop yields and soil quality in a wheat-maize rotation system. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  15. Well water quality in rural Nicaragua using a low-cost bacterial test and microbial source tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Patricia; Aw, Tiong Gim; Urquhart, Gerald R; Galeano, Miguel Ruiz; Rose, Joan B

    2016-04-01

    Water-related diseases, particularly diarrhea, are major contributors to morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Monitoring water quality on a global scale is crucial to making progress in terms of population health. Traditional analytical methods are difficult to use in many regions of the world in low-resource settings that face severe water quality issues due to the inaccessibility of laboratories. This study aimed to evaluate a new low-cost method (the compartment bag test (CBT)) in rural Nicaragua. The CBT was used to quantify the presence of Escherichia coli in drinking water wells and aimed to determine the source(s) of any microbial contamination. Results indicate that the CBT is a viable method for use in remote rural regions. The overall quality of well water in Pueblo Nuevo, Nicaragua was deemed unsafe, and results led to the conclusion that animal fecal wastes may be one of the leading causes of well contamination. Elevation and depth of wells were not found to impact overall water quality. However rope-pump wells had a 64.1% reduction in contamination when compared with simple wells.

  16. Estimating the cost of improving service quality in water supply: A shadow price approach for England and wales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinos-Senante, María; Maziotis, Alexandros; Sala-Garrido, Ramón

    2016-01-01

    Service quality to customers is an aspect that cannot be ignored in the performance assessment of water companies. Nowadays water regulators introduce awards or penalties to incentivize companies to improve service quality to customers when setting prices. In this study, the directional distance function is employed to estimate the shadow prices of variables indicating the lack of service quality to customers in the water industry i.e., written complaints, unplanned interruptions and properties below the reference level. To calculate the shadow price of each undesirable output for each water company, it is needed to ascribe a reference price for the desirable output which is the volume of water delivered. An empirical application is carried out for water companies in England and Wales. Hence, the shadow price of each undesirable output is expressed both as a percentage of the price of the desirable output and in pence per cubic meter of water delivered The estimated results indicate that on average, each additional written complaint that needs to be dealt with by the water company includes a service quality cost of 0.399p/m(3). As expected, when looking at the other service quality variables which involve network repair or replacement, these values are considerably higher. On average, the water company must spend an extra 0.622p/m(3) to prevent one unplanned interruption and 0.702p/m(3) to avoid one water pressure below the reference level. The findings of this study are of great importance for regulated companies and regulators as it has been illustrated that improvements in the service quality in terms of customer service could be challenging and therefore ongoing investments will be required to address these issues.

  17. A LOW COST AND HIGH QUALITY SOLID FUEL FROM BIOMASS AND COAL FINES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John T. Kelly; George Miller; Mehdi Namazian

    2001-07-01

    Use of biomass wastes as fuels in existing boilers would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, SO2 and NOx emissions, while beneficially utilizing wastes. However, the use of biomass has been limited by its low energy content and density, high moisture content, inconsistent configuration and decay characteristics. If biomass is upgraded by conventional methods, the cost of the fuel becomes prohibitive. Altex has identified a process, called the Altex Fuel Pellet (AFP) process, that utilizes a mixture of biomass wastes, including municipal biosolids, and some coal fines, to produce a strong, high energy content, good burning and weather resistant fuel pellet, that is lower in cost than coal. This cost benefit is primarily derived from fees that are collected for accepting municipal biosolids. Besides low cost, the process is also flexible and can incorporate several biomass materials of interest The work reported on herein showed the technical and economic feasibility of the AFP process. Low-cost sawdust wood waste and light fractions of municipal wastes were selected as key biomass wastes to be combined with biosolids and coal fines to produce AFP pellets. The process combines steps of dewatering, pellet extrusion, drying and weatherizing. Prior to pilot-scale tests, bench-scale test equipment was used to produce limited quantities of pellets for characterization. These tests showed which pellet formulations had a high potential. Pilot-scale tests then showed that extremely robust pellets could be produced that have high energy content, good density and adequate weatherability. It was concluded that these pellets could be handled, stored and transported using equipment similar to that used for coal. Tests showed that AFP pellets have a high combustion rate when burned in a stoker type systems. While NOx emissions under stoker type firing conditions was high, a simple air staging approach reduced emissions to below that for coal. In pulverized-fuel-fired tests it was

  18. High-Density, High-Resolution, Low-Cost Air Quality Sensor Networks for Urban Air Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mead, M. I.; Popoola, O. A.; Stewart, G.; Bright, V.; Kaye, P.; Saffell, J.

    2012-12-01

    Monitoring air quality in highly granular environments such as urban areas which are spatially heterogeneous with variable emission sources, measurements need to be made at appropriate spatial and temporal scales. Current routine air quality monitoring networks generally are either composed of sparse expensive installations (incorporating e.g. chemiluminescence instruments) or higher density low time resolution systems (e.g. NO2 diffusion tubes). Either approach may not accurately capture important effects such as pollutant "hot spots" or adequately capture spatial (or temporal) variability. As a result, analysis based on data from traditional low spatial resolution networks, such as personal exposure, may be inaccurate. In this paper we present details of a sophisticated, low-cost, multi species (gas phase, speciated PM, meteorology) air quality measurement network methodology incorporating GPS and GPRS which has been developed for high resolution air quality measurements in urban areas. Sensor networks developed in the Centre for Atmospheric Science (University of Cambridge) incorporated electrochemical gas sensors configured for use in urban air quality studies operating at parts-per-billion (ppb) levels. It has been demonstrated that these sensors can be used to measure key air quality gases such as CO, NO and NO2 at the low ppb mixing ratios present in the urban environment (estimated detection limits work, a state of the art multi species instrument package for deployment in scalable sensor networks has been developed which has general applicability. This is currently being employed as part of a major 3 year UK program at London Heathrow airport (the Sensor Networks for Air Quality (SNAQ) Heathrow project). The main project outcome is the creation of a calibrated, high spatial and temporal resolution data set for O3, NO, NO2, SO2, CO, CO2, VOCstotal, size-speciated PM, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction. The network incorporates existing

  19. Continuous Process for Low-Cost, High-Quality YSZ Powder

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scott L. Swartz; Michael Beachy; Matthew M. Seabaugh

    2006-03-31

    This report describes results obtained by NexTech Materials, Ltd. in a project funded by DOE under the auspices of the Solid-State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA). The project focused on development of YSZ electrolyte powder synthesis technology that could be ''tailored'' to the process-specific needs of different solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) designs being developed by SECA's industry teams. The work in the project involved bench-scale processing work aimed at establishing a homogeneous precipitation process for producing YSZ electrolyte powder, scaleup of the process to 20-kilogram batch sizes, and evaluation of the YSZ powder products produced by the process. The developed process involved the steps of: (a) preparation of an aqueous hydrous oxide slurry via coprecipitation; (b) washing of residual salts from the precipitated hydroxide slurry followed by drying; (c) calcination of the dried powder to crystallize the YSZ powder and achieve desired surface area; and (d) milling of the calcined powder to targeted particle size. YSZ powders thus prepared were subjected to a comprehensive set of characterization and performance tests, including particle size distribution and surface area analyses, sintering performance studies, and ionic conductivity measurements. A number of different YSZ powder formulations were established, all of which had desirable performance attributes relative to commercially available YSZ powders. Powder characterization and performance metrics that were established at the onset of the project were met or exceeded. A manufacturing cost analysis was performed, and a manufactured cost of $27/kg was estimated based on this analysis. The analysis also allowed an identification of process refinements that would lead to even lower cost.

  20. Regional cost-effectiveness in transboundary water quality management for the Baltic Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler, Berit; Smart, James Christopher Rudd; Fonnesbech-Wulff, Anders;

    In 2007 HELCOM launched a plan for transboundary management of the Baltic Sea. This plan, called the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP), aims amongst other things, to reduce eutrophication in the different regions of the Baltic Sea by reducing incoming nutrient loads from all discharging drainage basins...... difficult to achieve, and that additional abatement measures are likely to be required to fulfil these targets. The minimised total cost of delivering the achievable load reductions across the 9 Baltic littoral countries is estimated to be 4.69 billion Euros, annually, with substantial differences...

  1. Confronting Regulatory Cost and Quality Expectations. An Exploration of Technical Change in Minimum Efficiency Performance Standards

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taylor, Margaret [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Stanford Univ., CA (United States); Spurlock, C. Anna [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Yang, Hung-Chia [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2015-09-21

    The dual purpose of this project was to contribute to basic knowledge about the interaction between regulation and innovation and to inform the cost and benefit expectations related to technical change which are embedded in the rulemaking process of an important area of national regulation. The area of regulation focused on here is minimum efficiency performance standards (MEPS) for appliances and other energy-using products. Relevant both to U.S. climate policy and energy policy for buildings, MEPS remove certain product models from the market that do not meet specified efficiency thresholds.

  2. Survey of Latest Wireless Cellular Technologies for Enhancement of Spectral Density at Reduced Cost

    CERN Document Server

    Jain, R K; Agrawal, N K

    2011-01-01

    The future of mobile wireless communication networks will include existing 3rd generation, 4th generation (implemented in Japan, USA, South Korea etc.), 5th generation (based on cognitive radio which implies the whole wireless world interconnection & WISDOM - Wireless innovative System for Dynamic Operating Megacommunications concept), 6th generation (with very high data rates Quality of Service (QoS) and service applications) and 7th generation (with space roaming). This paper is focused on the specifications of future generations and latest technologies to be used in future wireless mobile communication networks. However keeping in view the general poor masses of India, some of the future generation technologies will be embedded with 2G and 2.5G so that general masses may get the advantage of internet, multimedia services and the operators may get proper revenues with little extra expenditure in the existing mobile communication networks.

  3. Facile sand enhanced electro-flocculation for cost-efficient harvesting of Dunaliella salina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Qiong; Pang, Qi; Pan, Xinwei; Chika, A Okonkwo; Wang, Liqing; Shi, Jia; Jia, Lishan; Chen, Changping; Gao, Yahui

    2015-01-01

    Energy consumption and water resource in the cultivation and harvesting steps still need to be minimized for the popularization of the microalgae-based products. An efficient electro-flocculation method for harvesting Dunaliella Salina integrated with local sand has been successfully applied. Sand was effective for speeding up the processes of flocculation and sedimentation of algal flocs and the electrolytic hydroxides was essential to bridge the sand and small flocs into large dense flocs. The maximal recovery effective improved from 95.13% in 6min to 98.09% in 4.5min and the optimal electrical energy consumption decreased 51.03% compared to conventional electro-flocculation in a laboratory ambient condition. Furthermore, reusing the flocculated medium in cultivation of the D. Salina with nitrogen supplemented performed no worse than using fresh medium. This sand enhanced electro-flocculation (SEF) technology provides a great potential for saving time and energy associated with improving microalgae harvesting.

  4. 基于VPLS的TE过程统计产品质量与费用控制%VPLS Based Quality and Cost Control for Tennessee Eastman Process

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋凯; 王海清; 李平

    2005-01-01

    Product quality and operation cost control obtain increasing emphases in modern chemical system engineering. To improve the fault detection power of the partial least square (PLS) method for quality control, a new QRPV statistic is proposed in terms of the VP (variable importance in projection) indices of monitored process variables, which is significantly advanced over and different from the conventional Q statistic. QRPv is calculated only by the residuals of the remarkable process variables (RPVs). Therefore, it is the dominant relation between quality and RPV not all process variables (as in the case of the conventional PLS) that is monitored by this new VP-PLS (VPLS) method. The combination of QRPV and T2 statistics is applied to the quality and cost control of the Tennessee Eastman (TE) process, and weak faults can be detected as quickly as possible. Consequently, theproduct quality of TE process is guaranteed and operation costs are reduced.

  5. Stationary and on-board storage systems to enhance energy and cost efficiency of tramways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceraolo, M.; Lutzemberger, G.

    2014-10-01

    Nowadays road transportation contributes in a large amount to the urban pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. One solution in urban environment, also in order to mitigate the effects of traffic jams, is the use of tramways. The most important bonus comes from the inherent reversibility of electric drives: energy can be sent back to the electricity source, while braking the vehicle. This can be done installing some storage device on-board trains, or in one or more points of the supply network. This paper analyses and compares the following variants: Stationary high-power lithium batteries. Stationary supercapacitors. High-power lithium batteries on-board trains. Supercapacitors on-board trains. When the storage system is constituted by a supercapacitor stack, it is mandatory to interpose between it and the line a DC/DC converter. On the contrary, the presence of the converter can be avoided, in case of lithium battery pack. This paper will make an evaluation of all these configurations, in a realistic case study, together with a cost/benefit analysis.

  6. Low Cost Desktop Image Analysis Workstation With Enhanced Interactive User Interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratib, Osman M.; Huang, H. K.

    1989-05-01

    A multimodality picture archiving and communication system (PACS) is in routine clinical use in the UCLA Radiology Department. Several types workstations are currently implemented for this PACS. Among them, the Apple Macintosh II personal computer was recently chosen to serve as a desktop workstation for display and analysis of radiological images. This personal computer was selected mainly because of its extremely friendly user-interface, its popularity among the academic and medical community and its low cost. In comparison to other microcomputer-based systems the Macintosh II offers the following advantages: the extreme standardization of its user interface, file system and networking, and the availability of a very large variety of commercial software packages. In the current configuration the Macintosh II operates as a stand-alone workstation where images are imported from a centralized PACS server through an Ethernet network using a standard TCP-IP protocol, and stored locally on magnetic disk. The use of high resolution screens (1024x768 pixels x 8bits) offer sufficient performance for image display and analysis. We focused our project on the design and implementation of a variety of image analysis algorithms ranging from automated structure and edge detection to sophisticated dynamic analysis of sequential images. Specific analysis programs were developed for ultrasound images, digitized angiograms, MRI and CT tomographic images and scintigraphic images.

  7. Systematic review of the symptom burden, quality of life impairment and costs associated with peptic ulcer disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkun, Alan; Leontiadis, Grigorios

    2010-04-01

    Management of peptic ulcer disease has improved over the past few decades. However, the widespread use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and low-dose acetylsalicylic acid means that the burden of peptic ulcer disease remains a relevant issue. We systematically searched PubMed and EMBASE for articles published 1966-2007 that reported symptoms, impairment of well-being or health-related quality of life, and costs associated with peptic ulcer disease. Thirty studies reported the prevalence of patient-reported gastrointestinal symptoms in individuals with endoscopically diagnosed symptomatic peptic ulcer disease. Average prevalence estimates, weighted by sample size, were 81% (95% confidence interval [CI], 77%-85%) for abdominal pain (11 studies), 81% (95% CI, 76%-85%) for pain specifically of epigastric origin (14 studies), and 46% (95% CI, 42%-50%) for heartburn or acid regurgitation (11 studies). On average, 29% (95% CI, 25%-34%) of patients with peptic ulcer disease presented with bleeding, often as the initial symptom (11 studies). Patients with peptic ulcer disease had significantly lower health-related quality of life than the general population, as measured by the Psychological General Well-Being index (P high costs for employers and health care systems.

  8. A quality initiative of postoperative radiographic imaging performed on mastectomy specimens to reduce histology cost and pathology report turnaround time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kallen, Michael E; Sim, Myung S; Radosavcev, Bryan L; Humphries, Romney M; Ward, Dawn C; Apple, Sophia K

    2015-10-01

    Breast pathology relies on gross dissection for accurate diagnostic work, but challenges can necessitate submission of high tissue volumes resulting in excess labor, laboratory costs, and delays. To address these issues, a quality initiative was created through implementation of the Faxitron PathVision specimen radiography system as part of the breast gross dissection protocol; this report documents its impact on workflow and clinical care. Retrospective data from 459 patients who underwent simple or modified radical mastectomy at our institution between May 2012 and December 2014 were collected. Comparison was made between the mastectomy specimen control group before radiography use (233 patients, 340 breasts) and Faxitron group that underwent postoperative radiography (226 patients, 338 breasts). We observed a statistically significant decrease in mean number of blocks between control and Faxitron groups (47.0 vs 39.7 blocks; Pmastectomy. A statistically significant decrease in pathology report turnaround time was also observed (4.2 vs 3.8days; P=.038). Postoperative mastectomy specimen radiography has increased workflow efficiency and decreased histology costs and pathology report turnaround time. These findings may underestimate actual benefits and highlight the importance of quality improvement projects in anatomical pathology.

  9. Unconventional microbial systems for the cost-efficient production of high-quality protein therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corchero, José Luis; Gasser, Brigitte; Resina, David; Smith, Wesley; Parrilli, Ermenegilda; Vázquez, Felícitas; Abasolo, Ibane; Giuliani, Maria; Jäntti, Jussi; Ferrer, Pau; Saloheimo, Markku; Mattanovich, Diethard; Schwartz, Simó; Tutino, Maria Luisa; Villaverde, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Both conventional and innovative biomedical approaches require cost-effective protein drugs with high therapeutic potency, improved bioavailability, biocompatibility, stability and pharmacokinetics. The growing longevity of the human population, the increasing incidence and prevalence of age-related diseases and the better comprehension of genetic-linked disorders prompt to develop natural and engineered drugs addressed to fulfill emerging therapeutic demands. Conventional microbial systems have been for long time exploited to produce biotherapeutics, competing with animal cells due to easier operation and lower process costs. However, both biological platforms exhibit important drawbacks (mainly associated to intracellular retention of the product, lack of post-translational modifications and conformational stresses), that cannot be overcome through further strain optimization merely due to physiological constraints. The metabolic diversity among microorganisms offers a spectrum of unconventional hosts, that, being able to bypass some of these weaknesses, are under progressive incorporation into production pipelines. In this review we describe the main biological traits and potentials of emerging bacterial, yeast, fungal and microalgae systems, by comparing selected leading species with well established conventional organisms with a long run in protein drug production.

  10. Health-related quality of life and rehabilitation cost following intensive care unit stay in multiple trauma patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stergiannis, Pantelis; Katsoulas, Theodoros; Fildissis, George; Intas, George; Galanis, Peter; Kosta, Natalia; Zidianakis, Vasilios; Baltopoulos, George

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to assess changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in multiple trauma patients due to motor vehicle crashes during a follow-up period of 2 years after discharge from an intensive care unit (ICU) and the effect of income and financial cost of rehabilitation in HRQOL. The study was a prospective observational study of multiple trauma patients from January 2009 to January 2011 who were hospitalized in a general, medical, and surgical ICU of a district hospital in Athens, Greece. Eighty-five patients with multiple traumas due to motor vehicle crashes and with an ICU stay of more than 24 hours were included in the study. HRQOL was assessed by a general questionnaire, the EuroQol 5D. Increased monthly household income and absence of traumatic brain injuries were associated with an improved EQ-VAS score. The frequency of severe problems in mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression decreased over time. The financial cost of rehabilitation was initially high but decreased over time. Severely injured victims of motor vehicle crashes suffer from serious problems in terms of HRQOL which is gradually improved even 2 years after hospital discharge. In addition, HRQOL is significantly related to income. Resources used for rehabilitation decrease over time, but even at 24 months, the patients still use half of the amount as compared with the cost of the first 6 months after trauma.

  11. Perceptions in the U.S. building industry of the benefits and costs of improving indoor air quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, M; Rackes, A; Gurian, P L; Waring, M S

    2016-04-01

    How building stakeholders (e.g. owners, tenants, operators, and designers) understand impacts of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and associated energy costs is unknown. We surveyed 112 stakeholders across the United States to ascertain their perceptions of their current IAQ and estimates of benefits and costs of, as well as willingness to pay for, IAQ improvements. Respondents' perceived IAQ scores correlated with the use of high-efficiency filters but not with any other IAQ-improving technologies. We elicited their estimates of the impacts of a ventilation-filtration upgrade (VFU), that is, doubling the ventilation rate from 20 to 40 cfm/person (9.5 to 19 l/s/person) and upgrading from a minimum efficiency reporting value 6 to 11 filter, and compared responses to estimates derived from IAQ literature and energy modeling. Minorities of respondents thought the VFU would positively impact productivity (45%), absenteeism (23%), or health (39%). Respondents' annual VFU cost estimates (mean = $257, s.d. = $496, median = $75 per person) were much higher than ours (always green building credentials were not more likely to affirm the IAQ benefits of the VFU and were less likely to be willing to pay for it.

  12. A Robust Synchronization to Enhance the Power Quality of Renewable Energy Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hadjidemetriou, Lenos; Kyriakides, Elias; Blaabjerg, Frede

    2015-01-01

    The increasing penetration of renewable energy sources (RESs) in the power grid requires high-quality power injection under various grid conditions. The synchronization method, usually a phase-locked loop (PLL) algorithm, is directly affecting the response of the grid-side converter of the RES....... This paper proposes a new PLL algorithm that uses an advanced decoupling network implemented in the stationary reference frame with limited requirements for processing time to enable a fast and accurate synchronization even under harmonic distorted voltage and low-voltage grid faults. The robust response...... of the proposed PLL is validated, and the effect of the proposed synchronization on the performance of the grid-connected renewable energy system is investigated. This investigation proves that the robust, accurate, and dynamic response of the new PLL can enhance the quality of the injected power from the RES...

  13. Spanish language generation engine to enhance the syntactic quality of AAC systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narváez A., Cristian; Sastoque H., Sebastián.; Iregui G., Marcela

    2015-12-01

    People with Complex Communication Needs (CCN) face difficulties to communicate their ideas, feelings and needs. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) approaches aim to provide support to enhance socialization of these individuals. However, there are many limitations in current applications related with systems operation, target scenarios and language consistency. This work presents an AAC approach to enhance produced messages by applying elements of Natural Language Generation. Specifically, a Spanish language engine, composed of a grammar ontology and a set of linguistic rules, is proposed to improve the naturalness in the communication process, when persons with CCN tell stories about their daily activities to non-disabled receivers. The assessment of the proposed method confirms the validity of the model to improve messages quality.

  14. Enhancing arabic bread quality and shelf life stability using bread improvers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleid, S M; Al-Hulaibi, A A; Ghoush, M Abu; Al-Shathri, A A

    2015-08-01

    Arabic breads is produced mainly from hard red winter wheat (HRWW) and have relatively little crumb, dense texture, form pocket and are often round with golden brown crust color. The objectives of this research were to investigate the effect of different bread improvers combinations addition in enhancing the quality parameters of Arabic bread. Therefore, the ability of Arabic bread for rolling, folding and overall quality were evaluated during the Arabic bread storage period for 2 days. It was found that there was significant effect of bread improvers combinations (Arabic gum "AG" * Mongglycerides "MG" *alpha-amylase) addition on the ability of Arabic bread for rolling and folding on the second day (P ≤ 0.1). The highest white Arabic bread quality was obtained significantly from addition of low AG, high of MG and high alpha-amylase combination and high AG, low of MG and high alpha-amylase combination. While, low of AG, high of MG and low alpha-amylase combination and high of AG, high of MG and low alpha-amylase combination significantly exhibited the highest overall quality for the Arabic bread made from whole flour.

  15. Quality of provider-participant relationships and enhancement of adolescent social skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sale, Elizabeth; Bellamy, Nikki; Springer, J Fred; Wang, Min Qi

    2008-05-01

    This study adds to the limited research on the potential importance of the quality of the relationship between adult prevention service providers and youth participants in enhancing social skills and strengthening prevention outcomes. Study subjects were drawn from seven prevention programs funded under a Youth Mentoring Initiative by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. These programs maintain a relationship-based service focus but use a variety of one-on-one, group, volunteer, and paid staff service formats. Study results showed that youth who perceived a higher level of trust, mutuality and empathy in their relationship with providers experienced significantly greater improvements in social skills (i.e., cooperation, self-control, assertiveness, and empathy) than program participants who perceived a lower quality relationship with adult providers. These findings underscore the importance of recruitment, training and supervisory practices that promote staff and volunteer skills in achieving high quality relationships with youth participants regardless of the specific intervention strategy. Editors' Strategic Implications: Practitioners and policymakers should review the authors' findings about the importance of individual adult skills in building protective mentoring relationships. The impact of relationship quality, rather than setting, suggests that the scope of effective prevention practice can be broadened beyond the confines of formal prevention programming to any place in which caring and skilled adults interact with youth.

  16. Traditional vs. non-traditional healing for minor and major morbidities in India: uses, cost and quality comparisons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Ashish; Madhavan, Harilal

    2015-09-01

    To examine the uses, cost and quality of care of traditional healing for short-term morbidities and major morbidities in India and to compare them with the non-traditional healing. We used data from a nationally representative survey, the India Human Development Survey (2004-2005) and descriptive as well as bivariate analyses for the examination. Use of traditional healing is much less common than use of non-traditional healing in both rural and urban areas and across all socio-economic and demographic characteristics; it is slightly more common in rural than urban areas for short-term morbidities. Use of traditional healing is relatively more frequent for cataract (especially in rural areas), leprosy, asthma, polio, paralysis, epilepsy and mental illnesses; its total cost of care and mean waiting time (in the health facility) are substantially lower than for non-traditional healing. Among patients who use both traditional and non-traditional healing, a relatively higher proportion use traditional healing complemented by non-traditional healing for short-term illnesses, but vice versa for major morbidities. This is the first study which has investigated at the national level the uses, complementarities, cost and quality aspects of traditional and non-traditional healing in India. Traditional healing is more affordable and pro-poor. Relatively higher use of traditional healing in patients from poorly educated as well as poor households and suffering from diseases, such as, epilepsy and mental illnesses; and higher demand for traditional healing for the above diseases highlight the need for research/policy reorientation in India. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Increasing tomato fruit quality by enhancing fruit chloroplast function. A double-edged sword?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cocaliadis, Maria Florencia; Fernández-Muñoz, Rafael; Pons, Clara; Orzaez, Diego; Granell, Antonio

    2014-08-01

    Fruits are generally regarded as photosynthate sinks as they rely on energy provided by sugars transported from leaves to carry out the highly demanding processes of development and ripening; eventually these imported photosynthates also contribute to the fruit organoleptic properties. Three recent reports have revealed, however, that transcriptional factors enhancing chloroplast development in fruit may result in higher contents not only of tomato fruit-specialized metabolites but also of sugars. In addition to suggesting new ways to improve fruit quality by fortifying fruit chloroplasts and plastids, these results prompted us to re-evaluate the importance of the contribution of chloroplasts/photosynthesis to fruit development and ripening.

  18. Insect pollination enhances seed yield, quality, and market value in oilseed rape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bommarco, Riccardo; Marini, Lorenzo; Vaissière, Bernard E

    2012-08-01

    The relationships between landscape intensification, the abundance and diversity of pollinating insects, and their contributions to crop yield, quality, and market value are poorly studied, despite observed declines in wild and domesticated pollinators. Abundance and species richness of pollinating insects were estimated in ten fields of spring oilseed rape, Brassica napus var. SW Stratos™, located along a gradient of landscape compositions ranging from simple landscapes dominated by arable land to heterogeneous landscapes with extensive cover of semi-natural habitats. In each field, we assessed the contribution of wind and insect pollination to seed yield, seed quality (individual seed weight and oil and chlorophyll contents), and market value in a block experiment with four replicates and two treatments: (1) all flowers were accessible to insects, self and wind pollination, and (2) flowers enclosed in tulle net bags (mesh: 1 × 1 mm) were accessible only to wind and self pollination. Complex landscapes enhanced the overall abundance of wild insects as well as the abundance and species richness of hoverflies. This did not translate to a higher yield, probably due to consistent pollination by honey bees across all fields. However, the pollination experiment showed that insects increased seed weight per plant by 18% and market value by 20%. Seed quality was enhanced by insect pollination, rendering heavier seeds as well as higher oil and lower chlorophyll contents, clearly showing that insect pollination is required to reach high seed yield and quality in oilseed rape. Our study demonstrates considerable and previously underestimated contributions from pollinating insects to both the yield and the market value of oilseed rape.

  19. A New Approach for Enhancing the Quality of Medical Computerized Tomography Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mutaz Al-Frejat

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Computerized tomography (CT images contribute immensely to medical research and diagnosis. However, due to degradative factors such as noise, low contrast, and blurring, CT images tend to be a degraded representation of the actual body or part under investigation. To reduce the risk of imprecise diagnosis associated with poor-quality CT images, this paper presents a new technique designed to enhance the quality of medical CT images. The main objective is to improve the appearance of CT images in order to obtain better visual interpretation and analysis, which is expected to ease the diagnosis process. The proposed technique involves applying a median filter to remove noise from the CT images and then using a Laplacian filter to enhance the edges and the contrast in the images. Also, as CT images suffer from low contrast, a Contrast Limited Adaptive Histogram Equalization transform is also applied to solve this problem. The main strength of this transform is its modest computational requirements, ease of application, and excellent results for most images. According to a subjective assessment by a group of radiologists, the proposed technique resulted in excellent enhancement, including that of the contrast and the edges of medical CT images. From a medical perspective, the proposed technique was able to clarify the arteries, tissues, and lung nodules in the CT images. In addition, blurred nodules in chest CT images were enhanced effectively. Therefore the proposed technique can help radiologists to better detect lung nodules and can also assist in diagnosing the presence of tumours and in the detection of abnormal growths.

  20. Dual-energy contrast-enhanced breast tomosynthesis: optimization of beam quality for dose and image quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samei, Ehsan; Saunders, Robert S

    2011-10-07

    Dual-energy contrast-enhanced breast tomosynthesis is a promising technique to obtain three-dimensional functional information from the breast with high resolution and speed. To optimize this new method, this study searched for the beam quality that maximized image quality in terms of mass detection performance. A digital tomosynthesis system was modeled using a fast ray-tracing algorithm, which created simulated projection images by tracking photons through a voxelized anatomical breast phantom containing iodinated lesions. The single-energy images were combined into dual-energy images through a weighted log subtraction process. The weighting factor was optimized to minimize anatomical noise, while the dose distribution was chosen to minimize quantum noise. The dual-energy images were analyzed for the signal difference to noise ratio (SdNR) of iodinated masses. The fast ray-tracing explored 523 776 dual-energy combinations to identify which yields optimum mass SdNR. The ray-tracing results were verified using a Monte Carlo model for a breast tomosynthesis system with a selenium-based flat-panel detector. The projection images from our voxelized breast phantom were obtained at a constant total glandular dose. The projections were combined using weighted log subtraction and reconstructed using commercial reconstruction software. The lesion SdNR was measured in the central reconstructed slice. The SdNR performance varied markedly across the kVp and filtration space. Ray-tracing results indicated that the mass SdNR was maximized with a high-energy tungsten beam at 49 kVp with 92.5 µm of copper filtration and a low-energy tungsten beam at 49 kVp with 95 µm of tin filtration. This result was consistent with Monte Carlo findings. This mammographic technique led to a mass SdNR of 0.92 ± 0.03 in the projections and 3.68 ± 0.19 in the reconstructed slices. These values were markedly higher than those for non-optimized techniques. Our findings indicate that dual

  1. Cost-effective way to enhance the capabilities of the LCLS baseline

    CERN Document Server

    Geloni, Gianluca; Saldin, Evgeni

    2010-01-01

    This paper discusses the potential for enhancing the LCLS hard X-ray FEL capabilities. In the hard X-ray regime, a high longitudinal coherence will be the key to such performance upgrade. The method considered here to obtain high longitudinal coherence is based on a novel single-bunch self-seeding scheme exploiting a single crystal monochromator, which is extremely compact and can be straightforwardly installed in the LCLS baseline undulator. We present simulation results dealing with the LCLS hard X-ray FEL, and show that this method can produce fully-coherent X-ray pulses at 100 GW power level. With the radiation beam monochromatized down to the Fourier transform limit, a variety of very different techniques leading to further improvements of the LCLS performance become feasible. In particular, we describe an efficient way for obtaining full polarization control at the LCLS hard X-ray FEL. We also propose to exploit crystals in the Bragg reflection geometry as movable deflectors for the LCLS X-ray transport...

  2. Enhancing simulation of efficiency with analytical tools. [combining computer simulation and analytical techniques for cost reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seltzer, S. M.

    1974-01-01

    Some means of combining both computer simulation and anlytical techniques are indicated in order to mutually enhance their efficiency as design tools and to motivate those involved in engineering design to consider using such combinations. While the idea is not new, heavy reliance on computers often seems to overshadow the potential utility of analytical tools. Although the example used is drawn from the area of dynamics and control, the principles espoused are applicable to other fields. In the example the parameter plane stability analysis technique is described briefly and extended beyond that reported in the literature to increase its utility (through a simple set of recursive formulas) and its applicability (through the portrayal of the effect of varying the sampling period of the computer). The numerical values that were rapidly selected by analysis were found to be correct for the hybrid computer simulation for which they were needed. This obviated the need for cut-and-try methods to choose the numerical values, thereby saving both time and computer utilization.

  3. An enhanced inertial navigation system based on a low-cost IMU and laser scanner

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyung-Soon; Baeg, Seung-Ho; Yang, Kwang-Woong; Cho, Kuk; Park, Sangdeok

    2012-06-01

    This paper describes an enhanced fusion method for an Inertial Navigation System (INS) based on a 3-axis accelerometer sensor, a 3-axis gyroscope sensor and a laser scanner. In GPS-denied environments, indoor or dense forests, a pure INS odometry is available for estimating the trajectory of a human or robot. However it has a critical implementation problem: a drift error of velocity, position and heading angles. Commonly the problem can be solved by fusing visual landmarks, a magnetometer or radio beacons. These methods are not robust in diverse environments: darkness, fog or sunlight, an unstable magnetic field and an environmental obstacle. We propose to overcome the drift problem using an Iterative Closest Point (ICP) scan matching algorithm with a laser scanner. This system consists of three parts. The first is the INS. It estimates attitude, velocity, position based on a 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) with both 'Heuristic Reduction of Gyro Drift' (HRGD) and 'Heuristic Reduction of Velocity Drift' (HRVD) methods. A frame-to-frame ICP matching algorithm for estimating position and attitude by laser scan data is the second. The third is an extended kalman filter method for multi-sensor data fusing: INS and Laser Range Finder (LRF). The proposed method is simple and robust in diverse environments, so we could reduce the drift error efficiently. We confirm the result comparing an odometry of the experimental result with ICP and LRF aided-INS in a long corridor.

  4. Low cost digester monitoring under realistic conditions: Rural use of biogas and digestate quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, L; Escalante, H; Jaimes-Estévez, J; Díaz, L J; Vecino, K; Rojas, G; Mantilla, L

    2017-09-01

    The purpose of this work was to assess the behaviour of anaerobic digestion of cattle manure in a rural digester under realistic conditions, and estimate the quality and properties of the digestate. The data obtained during monitoring indicated that the digester operation was stable without risk of inhibition. It produced an average of 0.85Nm(3)biogas/d at 65.6% methane, providing an energy savings of 76%. In addition, the digestate contained high nutrient concentrations, which is an important feature of fertilizers. However, this method requires post-treatment due to the presence of pathogens. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Impact of work-related cancers in Taiwan-Estimation with QALY (quality-adjusted life year) and healthcare costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Lukas Jyuhn-Hsiarn; Lin, Cheng-Kuan; Hung, Mei-Chuan; Wang, Jung-Der

    2016-12-01

    This study estimates the annual numbers of eight work-related cancers, total losses of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and lifetime healthcare expenditures that possibly could be saved by improving occupational health in Taiwan. Three databases were interlinked: the Taiwan Cancer Registry, the National Mortality Registry, and the National Health Insurance Research Database. Annual numbers of work-related cancers were estimated based on attributable fractions (AFs) abstracted from a literature review. The survival functions for eight cancers were estimated and extrapolated to lifetime using a semi-parametric method. A convenience sample of 8846 measurements of patients' quality of life with EQ-5D was collected for utility values and multiplied by survival functions to estimate quality-adjusted life expectancies (QALEs). The loss-of-QALE was obtained by subtracting the QALE of cancer from age- and sex-matched referents simulated from national vital statistics. The lifetime healthcare expenditures were estimated by multiplying the survival probability with mean monthly costs paid by the National Health Insurance for cancer diagnosis and treatment and summing this for the expected lifetime. A total of 3010 males and 726 females with eight work-related cancers were estimated in 2010. Among them, lung cancer ranked first in terms of QALY loss, with an annual total loss-of-QALE of 28,463 QALYs and total lifetime healthcare expenditures of US$36.6 million. Successful prevention of eight work-related cancers would not only avoid the occurrence of 3736 cases of cancer, but would also save more than US$70 million in healthcare costs and 46,750 QALYs for the Taiwan society in 2010.

  6. Novel “Enhanced-Cognition” RFID Architectures on Organic/Paper Low-Cost Substrates Utilizing Inkjet Technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Yang

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of novel design and integration approaches for improved performance “enhanced-cognition” UHF passive and active radio frequency identification (RFID tags. Antenna design rules are explained for a variety of applications. A strategy that is currently under development for embedding power sources and integration of sensors and integrated circuits (ICs on low-cost organic substrates, such as liquid crystal polymer (LCP and paper, enabling the use of inkjet-printing capability for the UHF frequency band, is discussed in the paper. The proposed technologies could potentially revolutionize RFID tags allowing for integrated sensing capabilities for various applications such as security, military, logistics, automotion, and pharmaceutics.

  7. Health-related quality of life, work productivity, and indirect costs among patients with irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buono, Jessica L; Carson, Robyn T; Flores, Natalia M

    2017-02-14

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects 10-15% of adults in the US, and is associated with significant impairment in health-related quality of life (HRQoL); however, information specific to the diarrhea subtype (IBS-D) is lacking. We assessed the impact of IBS-D on HRQoL, work productivity, and daily activities, and the associated indirect costs, among a sample of the US population. Respondents (≥18 years) from the 2012 US National Health and Wellness Survey who reported an IBS-D diagnosis by a physician or symptoms consistent with Rome II criteria for IBS-D were identified as having IBS-D. Controls included respondents without IBS-D or inflammatory bowel disease. HRQoL was assessed via the Short Form 36 Health Survey version 2 questionnaire and summarized into Mental and Physical Component Summary (MCS; PCS) scores and a Short Form-6 dimension (SF-6D) utility score. Work and activity impairment were assessed via the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire: General Health version (WPAI:GH), which measures absenteeism, presenteeism, overall work productivity loss, and daily activity impairment. Indirect costs were calculated using unit cost data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and variables from the WPAI:GH. Generalized linear models were used to examine differences in health outcomes between respondents with IBS-D and controls, controlling for demographic and health characteristics. In total, 66,491 respondents (1102 IBS-D; 65,389 controls) were analyzed. Mean age was 48.7 years; 50% were female. Compared with controls, the IBS-D cohort reported significantly lower HRQoL (mean MCS: 45.16 vs. 49.48; p work productivity loss (20.7% vs. 13.2%; p work and daily activities, and higher indirect costs, imposing a substantial burden on patients and employers. These findings suggest a significant unmet need exists for effective IBS-D treatments.

  8. Comparison of genomic DNA extraction techniques from whole blood samples: a time, cost and quality evaluation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chacon-Cortes, Diego; Haupt, Larisa M; Lea, Rod A; Griffiths, Lyn R

    2012-05-01

    Genomic DNA obtained from patient whole blood samples is a key element for genomic research. Advantages and disadvantages, in terms of time-efficiency, cost-effectiveness and laboratory requirements, of procedures available to isolate nucleic acids need to be considered before choosing any particular method. These characteristics have not been fully evaluated for some laboratory techniques, such as the salting out method for DNA extraction, which has been excluded from comparison in different studies published to date. We compared three different protocols (a traditional salting out method, a modified salting out method and a commercially available kit method) to determine the most cost-effective and time-efficient method to extract DNA. We extracted genomic DNA from whole blood samples obtained from breast cancer patient volunteers and compared the results of the product obtained in terms of quantity (concentration of DNA extracted and DNA obtained per ml of blood used) and quality (260/280 ratio and polymerase chain reaction product amplification) of the obtained yield. On average, all three methods showed no statistically significant differences between the final result, but when we accounted for time and cost derived for each method, they showed very significant differences. The modified salting out method resulted in a seven- and twofold reduction in cost compared to the commercial kit and traditional salting out method, respectively and reduced time from 3 days to 1 hour compared to the traditional salting out method. This highlights a modified salting out method as a suitable choice to be used in laboratories and research centres, particularly when dealing with a large number of samples.

  9. Food costs, diet quality and energy balance in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Andrea; Frazão, Elizabeth

    2014-07-01

    The high obesity rates and poor diet quality in the United States, particularly among low income populations, are often attributed to low income, low food access, and high food prices of healthy foods. This paper discusses these associations and questions some of the metrics used to measure food prices. The paper argues that 1. On average, Americans consume diets that need improvement and there is only a very limited relationship between income and diet quality; 2. The way the food price is measured makes a difference in the perception of how expensive healthy and less healthy food is; 3. The way Americans allocate their food budgets between healthy and less healthy foods is not in line with healthy diets; and 4. At any food spending level there are households that purchase healthy (and unhealthy) diets, including budgets at or below the maximum allotment for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which provides a means for low-income households to purchase food. Our key finding is that healthy foods and diets are affordable, but policy makers, nutrition educators, researchers and the media need to focus on promoting this message, and providing additional guidance on making the changes for Americans to switch to a healthy and affordable diet.

  10. Cost-effective way to enhance the capabilities of the LCLS baseline

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geloni, Gianluca [European XFEL GmbH, Hamburg (Germany); Kocharyan, Vitali; Saldin, Evgeni [Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg (Germany)

    2010-08-15

    This paper discusses the potential for enhancing the LCLS hard X-ray FEL capabilities. In the hard X-ray regime, a high longitudinal coherence will be the key to such performance upgrade. The method considered here to obtain high longitudinal coherence is based on a novel single-bunch self-seeding scheme exploiting a single crystal monochromator, which is extremely compact and can be straightforwardly installed in the LCLS baseline undulator. We present simulation results dealing with the LCLS hard X-ray FEL, and show that this method can produce fully-coherent X-ray pulses at 100 GW power level. With the radiation beam monochromatized down to the Fourier transform limit, a variety of very different techniques leading to further improvements of the LCLS performance become feasible. In particular, we describe an efficient way for obtaining full polarization control at the LCLS hard X-ray FEL. We also propose to exploit crystals in the Bragg reflection geometry as movable deflectors for the LCLS X-ray transport systems. The hard X-ray beam can be deflected of an angle of order of a radian without perturbations. The monochromatization of the output radiation constitutes the key for reaching such result. Finally, we describe a newoptical pump - hard X-ray probe technique which will allow time-resolved studies at the LCLS baseline on the femtosecond time scale. The principle of operation of the proposed scheme is essentially based on the use of the time jitter between pump and probe pulses. This eliminates the need for timing XFELs to high-power conventional lasers with femtosecond accuracy. (orig.)

  11. Free-breathing motion-corrected late-gadolinium-enhancement imaging improves image quality in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivieri, Laura; Cross, Russell; O'Brien, Kendall J; Xue, Hui; Kellman, Peter; Hansen, Michael S

    2016-06-01

    The value of late-gadolinium-enhancement (LGE) imaging in the diagnosis and management of pediatric and congenital heart disease is clear; however current acquisition techniques are susceptible to error and artifacts when performed in children because of children's higher heart rates, higher prevalence of sinus arrhythmia, and inability to breath-hold. Commonly used techniques in pediatric LGE imaging include breath-held segmented FLASH (segFLASH) and steady-state free precession-based (segSSFP) imaging. More recently, single-shot SSFP techniques with respiratory motion-corrected averaging have emerged. This study tested and compared single-shot free-breathing LGE techniques with standard segmented breath-held techniques in children undergoing LGE imaging. Thirty-two consecutive children underwent clinically indicated late-enhancement imaging using intravenous gadobutrol 0.15 mmol/kg. Breath-held segSSFP, breath-held segFLASH, and free-breathing single-shot SSFP LGE sequences were performed in consecutive series in each child. Two blinded reviewers evaluated the quality of the images and rated them on a scale of 1-5 (1 = poor, 5 = superior) based on blood pool-myocardial definition, presence of cardiac motion, presence of respiratory motion artifacts, and image acquisition artifact. We used analysis of variance (ANOVA) to compare groups. Patients ranged in age from 9 months to 18 years, with a mean +/- standard deviation (SD) of 13.3 +/- 4.8 years. R-R interval at the time of acquisition ranged 366-1,265 milliseconds (ms) (47-164 beats per minute [bpm]), mean +/- SD of 843+/-231 ms (72+/-21 bpm). Mean +/- SD quality ratings for long-axis imaging for segFLASH, segSSFP and single-shot SSFP were 3.1+/-0.9, 3.4+/-0.9 and 4.0+/-0.9, respectively (P quality ratings for short-axis imaging for segFLASH, segSSFP and single-shot SSFP were 3.4+/-1, 3.8+/-0.9 and 4.3+/-0.7, respectively (P quality ratings than standard breath-held techniques. Use of free

  12. The effect on patient loyalty of service quality, patient visit experience and perceived switching costs: lessons from one Taiwan university hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hsiu-Ling; Huang, Jun-Ying; Howng, Shen-Long

    2011-02-01

    The reimbursement system changed from fee-for-service to fixed prospective payments in Taiwan, the effect on the physician-patient's relationship is worth being studied. We examined the relationship between patient visit experience, cost perceptions and the two important aspects of quality of care, curing and interpersonal performance, and patients' loyalty to the hospital physicians. A total of 404 patients from an acute care hospital in Taiwan, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital (KMUH), were investigated using a self-administered mailing survey. All measures including patient loyalty (PL), curing service quality (CSQ), interpersonal service quality (ISQ), visit experience (VE) and perceived switching costs (PSC), were adapted and modified from existing scales. Our results showed that the physician's CSQ and ISQ positively affected patients' loyalty to KMUH. The interaction between the main effects of service quality, patients' VE and three types of switching visit costs, yielded additional insights into the importance of service quality for patient retention. The CSQ of physicians becomes a more important determinant of loyalty than ISQ as patients' VE increases. The importance of CSQ and ISQ increases in relation to PL as the perceived procedural and relational costs of changing care providers increases. Neither CSQ nor ISQ has a reduced relationship with PL as the perceived financial costs of switching hospitals increase. Our study indicates that the impact of CSQ and ISQ on loyalty varies according to the perceived visit costs of changing hospitals and the patients' VE.

  13. 75 FR 22120 - Notice of Roundtables and Request for Comments on Enhancement in the Quality of Patents and on...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-27

    ... Patent and Trademark Office Notice of Roundtables and Request for Comments on Enhancement in the Quality of Patents and on United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent Quality Metrics AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meeting; request for...

  14. Importance of Requirements Analysis & Traceability to Improve Software Quality and Reduce Cost and Risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapoor, Manju M.; Mehta, Manju

    2010-01-01

    The goal of this paper is to emphasize the importance of developing complete and unambiguous requirements early in the project cycle (prior to Preliminary Design Phase). Having a complete set of requirements early in the project cycle allows sufficient time to generate a traceability matrix. Requirements traceability and analysis are the key elements in improving verification and validation process, and thus overall software quality. Traceability can be most beneficial when the system changes. If changes are made to high-level requirements it implies that low-level requirements need to be modified. Traceability ensures that requirements are appropriately and efficiently verified at various levels whereas analysis ensures that a rightly interpreted set of requirements is produced.

  15. Quality assurance in welded structures. Part 3. ; NDT technology enhanced by computer. Yosetsu kozobutsu no hinshitsu hosho. 3. ; Computer riyo ni yoru hihakai shiken no kodoka

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsumura, H.; Ogata, T. (Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., Kobe (Japan))

    1993-09-05

    The basic theory of nondestructive testing (NDT) technology enhanced by computer and its practical example are outlined. Higher reliability of the products, reduction in production cost by automation, countermeasures for dirty, hard and dangerous works, technical communication by skilled workers, and higher efficiency of the products are the principles of enhancement of nondestructive testing. The fields of application of computer to the NDT specially handy, light and cheap micro-computer are numerical analysis, drawings, image processing, automation, artificial intelligence, measurement/control, data reserve and so forth. As for the trend of NTD advancement, radiation penetrating test, automation of probe in ultrasonic flow detection or real time measurement of inspection, three dimensional graphic expression of defect results and so forth are advanced. Future topics are the normalization of appropriate thinking of quality level and improvement and clarification of reliability of NDT. 13 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  16. The Air Force’s Experience with Should-Cost Reviews and Options for Enhancing Its Capability to Conduct Them

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    or as should-cost analysis (Monczka, Trent, and Handfield , 2001). Target costing or target pricing is another type of cost analysis that is similar to...should- cost analysis. Monczka, Trent, and Handfield describe target pricing as a method used in initial product development. The price willing to...pricing is that the target cost must never be violated (Monczka, Trent, and Handfield , 2001, p. 443). This approach is akin to the cost as an

  17. Treatment simplification in HIV-infected adults as a strategy to prevent toxicity, improve adherence, quality of life and decrease healthcare costs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitória M

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Jean B Nachega1–3, Michael J Mugavero4, Michele Zeier2, Marco Vitória5, Joel E Gallant3,61Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA; 2Department of Medicine and Centre for Infectious Diseases (CID, Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Cape Town, South Africa; 3Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA; 4Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA; 5HIV Department, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland; 6Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USAAbstract: Since the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART, the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV infection has become more potent and better tolerated. While the current treatment regimens still have limitations, they are more effective, more convenient, and less toxic than regimens used in the early HAART era, and new agents, formulations and strategies continue to be developed. Simplification of therapy is an option for many patients currently being treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART. The main goals are to reduce pill burden, improve quality of life and enhance medication adherence, while minimizing short- and long-term toxicities, reducing the risk of virologic failure and maximizing cost-effectiveness. ART simplification strategies that are currently used or are under study include the use of once-daily regimens, less toxic drugs, fixed-dose coformulations and induction-maintenance approaches. Improved adherence and persistence have been observed with the adoption of some of these strategies. The role of regimen simplification has implications not only for individual patients, but also for health care policy. With increased interest in ART regimen simplification, it is critical to

  18. ENHANCING QUALITY OF EDUCATION THROUGH E-LEARNING: The Case Study of Allama Iqbal Open University

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Javed Iqbal

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Education is the driving force for economic and social development in any country. Considering this, it is necessary to find ways to make quality education, accessible and affordable to all, using the latest technology available. Unfortunately, Pakistan has not been able to take advantage of the possibilities offered by e-learning. Major reasons for this are institutional and technical infrastructure, culture, computer literacy and access. Although government’s commitment to promote e-learning in the country is encouraging and initiatives such as the establishment of the Virtual University (VU are commendable, Pakistan has yet to go a long way in reaching the unique socio-economic benefits of e-learning. Allama Iqbal Open University is providing ‘Education for All’ through distance education from basic (functional literacy to higher education (PhD level. The aim of this paper is to present the case study of Allama Iqbal Open University in accordance with the strategies and adoption of e-learning. This case study focuses on different dimensions including concept and rational of e-learning, its significance and quality education, efforts made by Allama Iqbal Open University for the enhancing quality of education through e-learning.

  19. Extruded flaxseed meal enhances the nutritional quality of cereal-based products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacomino, S; Peñas, E; Ferreyra, V; Pellegrino, N; Fournier, M; Apro, N; Carrión, M Olivera; Frias, J

    2013-06-01

    Human consumption of flaxseed is increasing due to its health benefit properties and extrusion processes can enhance its nutritional quality. Extruded flaxseed meal (EFM) obtained in a pilot plant was characterized and incorporated in flour mixes and cereal-based bars to demonstrate its nutritious usefulness. Amino acid content was not affected by extrusion and, despite lysine was the limitating amino acid, the chemical score (CS) was 83 %. Thiamin and riboflavin decreased slightly as consequence of extrusion, phytic acid did not change and trypsin inhibitor activity was undetectable. Proximate composition and nutritional quality determined by biological and chemical indexes were compared among EFM, flour mixes (FM) and cereal bars (CB). They presented high protein levels (26, 20 and 17 %, respectively), good biological value (BV) (80, 79 and 65, respectively), acceptable true protein digestibility (TD) (73, 79 and 78, respectively), and high dietary fiber (33, 20.5 and 18 %, respectively). The ratio of ω6:ω3 for CB was within the WHO/FAO recommendations. These results open a new venue for the usefulsess of nutritious/healthy extruded flaxseed flours into ready-to-eat cereal-based products with improved nutritional quality.

  20. Competition - cost lower limits and quality assurance; Wettbewerb - Kostenuntergrenzen und Qualitaetssicherung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ernst, H. [Abt. Technik, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Fernwaerme - AGFW e.V., VDEW, Frankfurt am Main (Germany)

    1997-09-01

    The stiff competition in the pipeline and underground engineering field has now reached ruinous proportions. At the processing level it is quite possible that in contrast to former times, prices are dictated by the principal client. Practice shows that an order accepted under adverse conditions will, as a rule, not improve during completion, but will more likely deteriorate. Competition carried out on the backs of the executing firms results in a ruinous market situation. In order to create fundamentals for the survival of district heat in the prevailing rationalization debate, the Board of Directors of the AGFW has decided to place the AGFW regulations on a binding basis. Transparent minimum requirements provide the basis for both the quality of the product district heat and for competition-oriented activities. They are mandatory for implementing efficient and reliable district heat supply. (orig.) [Deutsch] Der harte Wettbewerb im Rohrleitungs- und Tiefbaubereich hat mittlerweile ruinoese Formen angenommen. Die Praxis zeigt, dass ein Auftrag, der zu schlechten Konditionen akzeptiert wurde, in der Regel waehrend der Auftragsabwicklung nicht besser, sondern eher noch schlechter wird. Vorwiegend auf dem Ruecken der Ausfuehrenden ausgetragener Wettbewerb fuehrt zu ruinoesem Wettbewerb. Um in der momentanen Rationalisierungsdiskussion die Grundlagen fuer das Ueberleben der Fernwaerme zu schaffen, hat der Vorstand der AGFW entschieden, das AGFW-Regelwerk auf eine verbindliche Basis zu stellen. Transparente Mindestanforderungen bieten die Basis fuer die Qualitaet des Produktes Fernwaerme und wettbewerbsorientiertes Handeln. Sie sind Voraussetzung fuer die Realisierung einer wirtschaftlichen und sicheren Fernwaermeversorgung. (orig.)