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. COST QUALITY MANAGEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitanova Gordana

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Within the contemporary economic conditions, enterprises might achieve a competitive advantage if only they sell goods and services with high quality and lower prices. Customers, usually, prefer quality goods with acceptable prices, while such goods create reputation with the particular brand. The perfect control system is necessary to achieve a high quality product, which the cost quality management is considered to be an indispensable part in. The cost quality is nevertheless created to ensure that customers’ requirements are being appropriately attained. The most important objective of quality costs controlling is to assist the management in enhancing the product’s value permanently. The superior cost quality control system helps the management to achieve other strategic objectives, such as: producing goods with acceptable costs and deliver the products to their customers in time.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lue-Ping; Yu, Guo-Pei; Liu, Hui; Ma, Xie-Min; Wang, Jing; Kong, Gui-Lan; Li, Yi; Ma, Wen; Cui, Yong; Xu, Beibei; Yu, Na; Bao, Xiao-Yuan; Guo, Yu; Wang, Fei; Zhang, Jun; Li, Yan; Xie, Xue-Qin; Jiang, Bao-Guo; Ke, Yang

    2013-01-01

    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. 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. There were 651,559 hospitalizations during the period analyzed. Averaged CPS was stable over time, while averaged CPD steadily increased by 41.7% (Phospitalizations 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. 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. However, purely market-oriented health-care reform could also misguide future healthcare reform.

  4. 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

  5. Palliative healthcare: cost reduction and quality enhancement using end-of-life survey methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falls, Christopher Edward

    2008-01-01

    American medical institutions throughout the 20th century prescribed high customer satisfaction, but when it came to death, largely ignored it. An accelerated accumulation of esoteric medical information and the application of this knowledge to affect new cures and longer lives instilled an unquestioning reverence for the medical community among the patient population. Diminishing marginal gains in life expectancy, escalating costs related to life sustaining technologies, and a psychographic shift in the dominant consumer base have challenged this traditional reverence. Armed with unprecedented access to medical information, a more knowledgeable and assertive patient population has emerged in the 21st century to institute its own standards of what constitutes quality health care. In terms of end of life care, this has meant recognition that the emotional needs of the dying have been largely underserved by the current American medical model. Patients and their families are no longer willing to accept the traditional medical perspective of death as failure and have numerous international palliative care models that serve as benchmarks of success when it comes to quality of dying. When cure is a possibility, Americans will pursue it at all costs, but when it is not a possibility, they want honest communication and the opportunity to say good-bye to their loved ones. In the context of these emergent needs, life review is offered as a solution. The value proposition targets not only dying patients and their families, but also society as a whole.

  6. The quality cost loop in quality assurance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grabowski, S.P.

    1979-01-01

    A system to determine quality cost is described which solves two major problems: - Determination of quality cost with sufficient accuracy in consideration of rentability - Implementation of quality cost in cost accounting. (RW) [de

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shawky, Ahmed Sherif Mahmoud

    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 sustainable...... into dynamic context information reliability by developing models and online algorithms that ensure increased reliability for context information exchange. Eventually, the PhD looks into improving network planning by implementing an automated network planning model that takes advantage of both Radio over Fiber...... 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...

  8. Quality cost system in electronics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Denzer, H.O.

    1978-01-01

    A description is presented of a formal cost of quality system used in an electronic manufacturing facility. The system elements and reports are illustrated. Examples of the use of a quality cost system to measure quality performance and to improve product quality are included. A comparison to industry averages for quality costs is made. The paper attempts to show that the collection and use of quality costs are an aid to management and can be accompanied by improved product quality

  9. Integrating cost information with health management support system: an enhanced methodology to assess health care quality drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohli, R; Tan, J K; Piontek, F A; Ziege, D E; Groot, H

    1999-08-01

    Changes in health care delivery, reimbursement schemes, and organizational structure have required health organizations to manage the costs of providing patient care while maintaining high levels of clinical and patient satisfaction outcomes. Today, cost information, clinical outcomes, and patient satisfaction results must become more fully integrated if strategic competitiveness and benefits are to be realized in health management decision making, especially in multi-entity organizational settings. Unfortunately, traditional administrative and financial systems are not well equipped to cater to such information needs. This article presents a framework for the acquisition, generation, analysis, and reporting of cost information with clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction in the context of evolving health management and decision-support system technology. More specifically, the article focuses on an enhanced costing methodology for determining and producing improved, integrated cost-outcomes information. Implementation issues and areas for future research in cost-information management and decision-support domains are also discussed.

  10. What cost quality assurance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tikkanen, M.W.; Starek, R.; Liddel, P.R.; Grey, R.G.; Peile, R.C.

    1991-01-01

    This paper reports that the increased awareness of global environmental pollution has meant that analytical laboratories are faced with an increasing number of samples to analyze and a greater demand for quality control for their applications. In answer to these demands, more laboratory managers are turning to automation for analytical procedures and automated routines to perform quality control on individual samples. Atomic Absorption analysis, particularly by graphite furnace and hydride generation technique has proved to be adaptable to automated analysis to determine low concentrations of elements such as As, Co, Cd, Hg, Ag, Ba, Cr and Pb. Although highly sensitive, both techniques are time consuming and highly matrix dependent. They may also require extensive sample preparation prior to analysis. Additionally, government imposed methodologies e.g. those used for the USA EPA, Contract Laboratory Program, RCRA and SDWA programs, require very specific time consuming quality control measures

  11. 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.

  12. Cost of quality in hellenic sugar industry

    OpenAIRE

    Γιάνναρης, Χρήστος Γ.

    2000-01-01

    What is the cost of quality? Does it raise the price of goods and services? Are huge savings possible by implementing continual improvement efforts? These questions are not easy ones, but quality is measurable, as are its costs. Philip Crosby, in “Quality is Free", writes that the cost of quality is "the expense of nonconformance - the cost of doing things wrong.” Today, we not only recognize the measurability of quality costs but that these costs are central to the management and engineering...

  13. Potential Cost Savings of Contrast-Enhanced Digital Mammography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Bhavika K; Gray, Richard J; Pockaj, Barbara A

    2017-06-01

    The purpose of this article is to discuss whether the sensitivity and specificity of contrast-enhanced digital mammography (CEDM) render it a viable diagnostic alternative to breast MRI. That CEDM couples low-energy images (comparable to the diagnostic quality of standard mammography) and subtracted contrast-enhanced mammograms make it a cost-effective modality and a realistic substitute for the more costly breast MRI.

  14. 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.

  15. The Concepts of Quality, Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elassy, Noha

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This paper aims to critically review and discuss different definitions of the concepts of quality, quality assurance (QA) and quality enhancement (QE) in higher education (HE) with presenting critical perspectives of the literature. Design/methodology/approach: The paper looks at literature concerns with the meaning of quality, QA and QE,…

  16. Developing methods of controlling quality costs

    OpenAIRE

    Gorbunova A. V.; Maximova O. N.; Ekova V. A.

    2017-01-01

    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 eva...

  17. Integrated modeling of software cost and quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rone, K.Y.; Olson, K.M.

    1994-01-01

    In modeling the cost and quality of software systems, the relationship between cost and quality must be considered. This explicit relationship is dictated by the criticality of the software being developed. The balance between cost and quality is a viable software engineering trade-off throughout the life cycle. Therefore, the ability to accurately estimate the cost and quality of software systems is essential to providing reliable software on time and within budget. Software cost models relate the product error rate to the percent of the project labor that is required for independent verification and validation. The criticality of the software determines which cost model is used to estimate the labor required to develop the software. Software quality models yield an expected error discovery rate based on the software size, criticality, software development environment, and the level of competence of the project and the developers with respect to the processes being employed

  18. 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.

  19. ANALYSIS OF QUALITY COSTS FOR STATISTICA QUALITY CONTROL PLANNING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Chiadamrong

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Quality has become one or the most important force leading to organizational success and company growth in national and international markets. The return-on-investment from strong and effective quality programs is providing excellent profitability results in firms with effective quality strategies. Due to the wide variation in quality results, the search for the genuine keys to success in quality has become a matter of deep concern to management of companies. This paper suggests a way to quantifying quality costs. As a result, the appropriate quality strategies can be adjusted and set to match with each company situation based on the categorization of the quality costs suggested. This outcome can, then, be used as a guideline for manufactures in setting their suitable quality program, which establishes the proper balance between the costs and customer services.

  20. Quality costs in the production process

    OpenAIRE

    J. Michalska

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this paper is showing the relationship of the quality costs with a production process. In this paper it was worked out and introduced the way of marking the documents with regard to the quality costs.Design/methodology/approach: In the frames of own research it has been analysed the quality costs in the production process from the documents marked using the worked out way of marking.Findings: On the basis of the own research it can be stated, that the majority of the eleme...

  1. 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,...

  2. 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.

  3. Cybersecurity Cost of Quality: Managing the Costs of Cybersecurity Risk Management

    OpenAIRE

    Radziwill, Nicole M.; Benton, Morgan C.

    2017-01-01

    There is no standard yet for measuring and controlling the costs associated with implementing cybersecurity programs. To advance research and practice towards this end, we develop a mapping using the well-known concept of quality costs and the Framework Core within the Cybersecurity Framework produced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in response to the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014. This mapping can be easily adopted by organizations that are already using ...

  4. Quality of neurological care. Balancing cost control and ethics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernat, J L

    1997-11-01

    As the quality of neurological care becomes a mutual objective of physicians, patients, and health planners, increased demands on cost savings will create conflicts that could threaten the ethical basis of medical practice. Physicians will see increasing ethical conflicts between their fiduciary duties to make treatment decisions in the best interest of their patients and their justice-based duties to conserve societal resources. These conflicts can be best mitigated if physicians maintain their orientation as patient advocates but practice cost-conscious clinical behaviors that consider the cost-effectiveness of tests and treatments and do not squander society's finite resources by ordering medical tests and treatments of zero or marginal utility. Health system planners should resolve their conflicting objectives of quality and cost control by rigorously defining and measuring quality through physician leadership and by implementing cost-control measures that enhance the quality of medical care. Managed care organizations voluntarily should forsake financially successful but blatantly unethical cost-saving schemes, such as gag clauses and end-of-year kickback payments to physicians, because these schemes diminish patients' trust in physicians and degrade the integrity of the patient-physician relationship. State and federal laws should prudently regulate these unethical cost-saving schemes to the same extent as they have for the harmful conflicts in fee-for-service medicine.

  5. 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

  6. Is higher nursing home quality more costly?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giorgio, L Di; Filippini, M; Masiero, G

    2016-11-01

    Widespread issues regarding quality in nursing homes call for an improved understanding of the relationship with costs. This relationship may differ in European countries, where care is mainly delivered by nonprofit providers. In accordance with the economic theory of production, we estimate a total cost function for nursing home services using data from 45 nursing homes in Switzerland between 2006 and 2010. Quality is measured by means of clinical indicators regarding process and outcome derived from the minimum data set. We consider both composite and single quality indicators. Contrary to most previous studies, we use panel data and control for omitted variables bias. This allows us to capture features specific to nursing homes that may explain differences in structural quality or cost levels. Additional analysis is provided to address simultaneity bias using an instrumental variable approach. We find evidence that poor levels of quality regarding outcome, as measured by the prevalence of severe pain and weight loss, lead to higher costs. This may have important implications for the design of payment schemes for nursing homes.

  7. [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.

  8. The Costs of an Enhanced Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Michael T.; Dunlap, Laura J.; Zarkin, Gary A.; Karuntzos, Georgia T.

    1998-01-01

    This study estimates the economic costs of an enhanced Employee Assistance Program (EAP) intervention at a large midwestern EAP that serves 90 worksites. Results specify developmental and implementation costs and provide benchmark cost estimated for other EAPs that may be considering enhanced services. (SLD)

  9. Applying Quality Costs in a Software Development Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.P. Hollingsworth

    1999-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper shows how Quality Costs can be a measure of software quality. The relationship between Quality Costs and other software quality metrics is briefly explained, and software development oriented versions of the two principal Quality Cost models are described. Finally the paper discusses the major issues involved in setting up a software Quality Cost programme. The concepts are based on previous research on Quality Costs in manufacturing, coupled with work on software metrics and the work currently being undertaken by the authors in a number of industries.

  10. Value management: optimizing quality, service, and cost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makadon, Harvey J; Bharucha, Farzan; Gavin, Michael; Oliveira, Jason; Wietecha, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Hospitals have wrestled with balancing quality, service, and cost for years--and the visibility and urgency around measuring and communicating real metrics has grown exponentially in the last decade. However, even today, most hospital leaders cannot articulate or demonstrate the "value" they provide to patients and payers. Instead of developing a strategic direction that is based around a core value proposition, they focus their strategic efforts on tactical decisions like physician recruitment, facility expansion, and physician alignment. In the healthcare paradigm of the next decade, alignment of various tactical initiatives will require a more coherent understanding of the hospital's core value positioning. The authors draw on their experience in a variety of healthcare settings to suggest that for most hospitals, quality (i.e., clinical outcomes and patient safety) will become the most visible indicator of value, and introduce a framework to help healthcare providers influence their value positioning based on this variable.

  11. 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.

  12. NON-QUALITY COSTS AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES IN THE ORGANIZATION

    OpenAIRE

    ANDREI DIAMANDESCU

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to evaluate and analyze non-quality costs. This approach can be best based on the definition and understanding of the quality costs and then passing to the study of the effects of failures on the quality and the costs of these failures. Finally the paper will suggest several ways to improve the control costs of non-quality.

  13. Factors Affecting Time, Cost and Quality Management in Building ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study is an assessment of time, cost and quality management in the Nigerian construction industry, and it aims to explore time cost and quality management in the construction industry. The objective of the study is to identify factors affecting time; cost and quality management in building construction projects. This study ...

  14. Problems concerning product quality enhancement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Krynke

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In the article analysis of the discrepancies in the production process for selected products in a company producing candles was carried out. Using the Pareto-Lorenzdiagram and the FMEA method the most essential areas having influence on the production of candles were shown. Apart from factors connected with the manufacturing side of the process, factors of the labour organization and requirements concerning the quality of material were also noted. An appropriate quality of equipment constitutes one of the essential conditions of production process functioning and this directly influences manufacturing possibilities of the enterprise. A synthesis of immaterial factors that influence the production of the enterprise, taking into consideration conditions of functioning the production system, was also carried out. The set of factors selected for description was the fourteenth Toyota management principle. Respondents were asked to provide answers which could bring the best improvements.

  15. Assessing Participation in Secondary Education Quality Enhancement

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Assessing Participation in Secondary Education Quality Enhancement: Teachers, Parents and Communities in Cross River State. ... ailing economy, low moral values and philosophy of the end justifies the means were reasons for low parents and communities involvement in secondary education-quality improvement.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Enhancing quality of construction on nuclear facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buchert, K.P.

    1984-01-01

    From the author's viewpoint and the viewpoint of others, the quality of construction on both nuclear projects and many other non-nuclear projects has decreased. The trend toward recent QA and QC methods of contractors doing their own inspection has not only tended to reduce the quality of construction, but also has discouraged qualified inspectors from accepting positions where this type of QA and QC is practiced. In addition, the methods have decreased the desired interaction between design engineers and construction management. The paper contains detailed recommendations on how the quality of construction can be enhanced on nuclear projects. It is also shown that construction quality must be obtained by different methods than those used to obtain manufacturing quality

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Li; Mahnken, Andreas; Domroese, Sascha

    2015-01-01

    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 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.)

  2. 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.)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Linking quality of care and training costs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    ), 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......) values. To provide a model example, we conducted a randomised cost-effectiveness trial. Midwives were randomised to CLM training (midwife-performed CLMs) or no training (initial management by midwife, and CLM performed by obstetrician). Intervention-group participants underwent simulation......-based and clinical training until they were proficient. During the following 6 months, waiting times from arrival to admission or discharge were recorded for women who presented with symptoms of pre-term labour. Outcomes for women managed by intervention and control-group participants were compared. These data were...

  7. Cost-Effective Adjustments to Nursing Home Staffing to Improve Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowblis, John R; Roberts, Amy Restorick

    2018-06-01

    Health care providers face fixed reimbursement rates from government sources and need to carefully adjust staffing to achieve the highest quality within a given cost structure. With data from the Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reports (1999-2015), this study holistically examined how staffing levels affect two publicly reported measures of quality in the nursing home industry, the number of deficiency citations and the deficiency score. While higher staffing consistently yielded better quality, the largest quality improvements resulted from increasing administrative registered nurses and social service staffing. After adjusting for wages, the most cost-effective investment for improving overall deficiency outcomes was increasing social services. Deficiencies related to quality of care were improved most by increasing administrative nursing and social service staff. Quality of life deficiencies were improved most by increasing social service and activities staff. Approaches to improve quality through staffing adjustments should target specific types of staff to maximize return on investment.

  8. Mandatory cost and other cost coming from the adoption of quality certifications in the hospitality business

    OpenAIRE

    Sanchez Rebull, M. Victoria; Hernandez, Ana Betriz; Banchieri, Lucia; Campa Planas, Fernando; Ginieis, Matias

    2011-01-01

    The adaptation to the regulation of hospitality business implies a relevant cost in the profit and loss account. Additionally, some companies in this business decide to add some voluntary quality and environmental certification systems, which also yields to increased costs. The purpose of this paper is to quantify these costs and to analyse if the hotel size influences them. A total of 67 different costs were considered in hotels of all sizes, in the region of Catalonia as one of the most rel...

  9. 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.

  10. Quality-Adjusted Cost Functions for Child-Care Centers.

    OpenAIRE

    Mocan, H Naci

    1995-01-01

    Using a newly compiled data set, this paper estimates multi- product translog cost functions for 399 child care centers from California, Colorado, Connecticut, and North Carolina. Quality of child care is controlled by a quality index, which has been shown to be positively related to child outcomes by previous research. Nonprofit centers that receive public money, either from the state or federal government, (which is tied to higher standards), have total variable costs that are 18 percent hi...

  11. Assessment of Rheumatoid Arthritis Quality Process Measures and Associated Costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Brenna L; Tkacz, Joseph; Meyer, Roxanne; Bolge, Susan C; Ruetsch, Charles

    2017-02-01

    The objective was to examine the relationship between health care costs and quality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Administrative claims were used to calculate 8 process measures for the treatment of RA. Associated health care costs were calculated for members who achieved or did not achieve each of the measures. Medical, pharmacy, and laboratory claims for RA patients (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification 714.x) were extracted from the Optum Clinformatics Datamart database for 2011. Individuals were predominately female and in their mid-fifties. Measure achievement ranged from 55.9% to 80.8%. The mean cost of care for members meeting the measure was $18,644; members who did not meet the measures had a mean cost of $14,973. Primary cost drivers were pharmacy and office expenses, accounting for 42.4% and 26.3% of total costs, respectively. Regression analyses revealed statistically significant associations between biologic usage, which was more prevalent in groups attaining measures, and total expenditure across all measures (Ps < 0.001). Pharmacy costs were similar between both groups. Individuals meeting the measures had a higher proportion of costs accounted for by office visits; those not meeting the measures had a higher proportion of costs from inpatient and outpatient visits. These findings suggest that increased quality may lead to lower inpatient and outpatient hospital costs. Yet, the overall cost of RA care is likely to remain high because of intensive pharmacotherapy regimens.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 ampersand Treat (E ampersand T), and Pump ampersand Treat (P ampersand 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

  16. Pain, Itch, Quality of Life, and Costs after Herpes Zoster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wijck, Albert J M; Aerssens, Yannick R

    2017-07-01

    Herpes zoster (HZ) and postherpetic neuralgia are known to have a profound effect on the patient's quality of life, but the incidence and severity of itch and its relation with pain and quality of life in the long term are still relatively unknown. The aim of this study was to measure the presence and severity of pain and itch and impact on quality of life in patients over 50 years old with HZ. We enrolled 661 patients with HZ in this 12-month observational study. Patient data were collected via a web-based questionnaire. Outcomes were pain, itch, burden of illness, impact on patient's daily life, impact on quality of life, and healthcare costs. At inclusion, 94% of patients reported any pain, 74.3% significant pain, and 26% severe pain. After 3 months, 18.8% of patients suffered from postherpetic neuralgia. At inclusion, 70.8% of patients had any itch, 39.2% significant itch, and 7.3% severe itch. The occurrence of pain increases costs and has a high impact on the quality of life, lowering EQ-5D scores by an average of 18%. In contrast, itch has little effect on the quality of life. Pain and itch are highly prevalent months after HZ. Pain caused by HZ has a large impact on quality of life, burden of illness, impact on daily life, and health care costs for these patients. The impact of itch on quality of life is relatively small. © 2016 World Institute of Pain.

  17. 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.

  18. Student Engagement in the Scottish Quality Enhancement Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gvaramadze, Irakli

    2011-01-01

    The research addressed the interplay of student engagement and quality enhancement mechanisms in the Scottish higher education system. The paper demonstrates increasing focus on student learning, learning experience and high-quality learning in the current quality enhancement approaches. The student-university coproduction model is used to…

  19. The Quality of Cost-Utility Analyses in Orthopedic Trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nwachukwu, Benedict U; Schairer, William W; O'Dea, Evan; McCormick, Frank; Lane, Joseph M

    2015-08-01

    As health care in the United States transitions toward a value-based model, there is increasing interest in applying cost-effectiveness analysis within orthopedic surgery. Orthopedic trauma care has traditionally underemphasized economic analysis. The goals of this review were to identify US-based cost-utility analysis in orthopedic trauma, to assess the quality of the available evidence, and to identify cost-effective strategies within orthopedic trauma. Based on a review of 971 abstracts, 8 US-based cost-utility analyses evaluating operative strategies in orthopedic trauma were identified. Study findings were recorded, and the Quality of Health Economic Studies (QHES) instrument was used to grade the overall quality. Of the 8 studies included in this review, 4 studies evaluated hip and femur fractures, 3 studies analyzed upper extremity fractures, and 1 study assessed open tibial fracture management. Cost-effective interventions identified in this review include total hip arthroplasty (over hemiarthroplasty) for femoral neck fractures in the active elderly, open reduction and internal fixation (over nonoperative management) for distal radius and scaphoid fractures, limb salvage (over amputation) for complex open tibial fractures, and systems-based interventions to prevent delay in hip fracture surgery. The mean QHES score of the studies was 79.25 (range, 67-89). Overall, there is a paucity of cost-utility analyses in orthopedic trauma; however, the available evidence suggests that certain operative interventions can be cost-effective. The quality of these studies, however, is fair, based on QHES grading. More attention should be paid to evaluating the cost-effectiveness of operative intervention in orthopedic trauma. Copyright 2015, SLACK Incorporated.

  20. Cost-effectiveness of a pressure ulcer quality collaborative

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bal Roland

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A quality improvement collaborative (QIC in the Dutch long-term care sector (nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home care used evidence-based prevention methods to reduce the incidence and prevalence of pressure ulcers (PUs. The collaborative consisted of a core team of experts and 25 organizational project teams. Our aim was to determine its cost-effectiveness from a healthcare perspective. Methods We used a non-controlled pre-post design to establish the change in incidence and prevalence of PUs in 88 patients over the course of a year. Staff indexed data and prevention methods (activities, materials. Quality of life (Qol weights were assigned to the PU states. We assessed the costs of activities and materials in the project. A Markov model was built based on effectiveness and cost data, complemented with a probabilistic sensitivity analysis. To illustrate the results of longer term, three scenarios were created in which change in incidence and prevalence measures were (1 not sustained, (2 partially sustained, and (3 completely sustained. Results Incidence of PUs decreased from 15% to 4.5% for the 88 patients. Prevalence decreased from 38.6% to 22.7%. Average Quality of Life (Qol of patients increased by 0.02 Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs in two years; healthcare costs increased by €2000 per patient; the Incremental Cost-effectiveness Ratio (ICER was between 78,500 and 131,000 depending on whether the changes in incidence and prevalence of PU were sustained. Conclusions During the QIC PU incidence and prevalence significantly declined. When compared to standard PU care, the QIC was probably more costly and more effective in the short run, but its long-term cost-effectiveness is questionable. The QIC can only be cost-effective if the changes in incidence and prevalence of PU are sustained.

  1. Cost-effectiveness of a pressure ulcer quality collaborative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makai, Peter; Koopmanschap, Marc; Bal, Roland; Nieboer, Anna P

    2010-06-01

    A quality improvement collaborative (QIC) in the Dutch long-term care sector (nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home care) used evidence-based prevention methods to reduce the incidence and prevalence of pressure ulcers (PUs). The collaborative consisted of a core team of experts and 25 organizational project teams. Our aim was to determine its cost-effectiveness from a healthcare perspective. We used a non-controlled pre-post design to establish the change in incidence and prevalence of PUs in 88 patients over the course of a year. Staff indexed data and prevention methods (activities, materials). Quality of life (Qol) weights were assigned to the PU states. We assessed the costs of activities and materials in the project. A Markov model was built based on effectiveness and cost data, complemented with a probabilistic sensitivity analysis. To illustrate the results of longer term, three scenarios were created in which change in incidence and prevalence measures were (1) not sustained, (2) partially sustained, and (3) completely sustained. Incidence of PUs decreased from 15% to 4.5% for the 88 patients. Prevalence decreased from 38.6% to 22.7%. Average Quality of Life (Qol) of patients increased by 0.02 Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY)s in two years; healthcare costs increased by euro2000 per patient; the Incremental Cost-effectiveness Ratio (ICER) was between 78,500 and 131,000 depending on whether the changes in incidence and prevalence of PU were sustained. During the QIC PU incidence and prevalence significantly declined. When compared to standard PU care, the QIC was probably more costly and more effective in the short run, but its long-term cost-effectiveness is questionable. The QIC can only be cost-effective if the changes in incidence and prevalence of PU are sustained.

  2. Balancing compliance and cost when implementing a Quality Assurance program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pickering, S.Y.

    1997-12-01

    When implementing a Quality Assurance (QA) program, compliance and cost must be balanced. A QA program must be developed that hits the mark in terms of adequate control and documentation, but does not unnecessarily expand resources. As the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) has moved towards certification, Sandia National Laboratories has learned much about balancing compliance and costs. Some of these lessons are summarized here

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Cost of quality assurance in radiotherapy: human and material requirements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caudrelier, V.; Garcia, R.; Chauvet, B.; Bourhis, J.

    2005-01-01

    In 2004, three new important laws were passed concerning radiotherapy services. The first two concerns the internal and external quality control of linear accelerators and the last concerns the role of the medical physicist, whose presence was made mandatory during the whole length of the treatments. These laws, which aim to improve the quality and the security of treatments, represent an increase in price that we have calculated, and which prevents them being implemented, as a joint study realised by the SFRO and the SFPM has shown. The cost of quality in radiotherapy requires investment in material and manpower and improvement in availability of the accelerators which entails a complete reorganization of the services. Cost analysis is included. The difficulties in implementing these laws have also been evaluated and this evaluation already enables us to propose certain elements enabling us to go forward to globally improve the quality and security in radiotherapy. (author)

  7. 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...

  8. From Quality Assurance to Quality Enhancement in the European Higher Education Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gvaramadze, Irakli

    2008-01-01

    This article focuses on recent trends in quality assurance initiatives, analyses how the European Higher Education Area promotes quality enhancement mechanisms and their implications for quality cultures in universities. It presents and discusses two approaches towards quality enhancement both at the institutional and programme level: 1. Quality…

  9. 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.

  10. Internal cost control on the ecological quality of products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.P. Syroid

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available To improve the environmental quality of products due attention should be paid to control the processes related to environmental quality input of the product. The results of the study help to state the purpose and objectives of the control, also to define objects for internal control of operations cost of environmental quality. So, we believe that the main purpose of internal cost control on the ecological quality of products is the establishment of the correctness and legality of business operations, prevention of violations and abuses in the expenditure of natural, labour, material and financial resources to ensure the minimization of negative impact on the health of consumers and the environment. The basic objectives of internal control of expenditure are brought forward, but it should be noted that they can vary and depend on the size, structure, spheres and types of economic activity of the enterprise, the requirements of management personnel. In the process of identifying the objects of control of environmental quality it should be noted that this list is not exhaustive, but it is most relevant to highlight objects such as genetically modified organisms and waste production. Also the subjects of cost control to environmental quality, their functions and the information base for monitoring are determined. Proper organization of the process of internal cost control on the ecological quality of products would benefit from a clear documentation of transactions, timely and complete registration of accounting data in the registers, the true reflection of information in managerial financial reporting and ensure reduction of the negative impact on the health of consumers and the environment.

  11. 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.

  12. Dynamics of Anthropomorphic Painting Robot: Quality Analysis and Cost Reduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Potkonjak, V.; Djordjevic, G.; Kostic, D.; Rasic, M.

    2000-01-01

    Application of robots in spray-painting tasks results in low-cost production, persistent quality and protects humans from a hostile working environment. Automated planning of applicator’s trajectory requires a model of paint deposition onto the treated surface and formulation of an appropriate

  13. 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.

  14. Reduction of cost of poor quality in nuclear fuel manufacturing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holmqvist, B.

    2000-01-01

    Within ABB reduction of Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) has become an important process to focus quality improvement initiatives on bottom-line results. The process leads to improved bottom-line results, through cost savings, but it also leads to quality improvements in our processes, products and services. The traditional way of measuring and controlling COPQ in the production workshops is not enough. It is of vital importance to include other non-value creating costs as well, both internally, e.g. in the engineering work, and externally, in delivered products and purchased goods. ABB Atom has since a number of years used the COPQ process in the various steps of nuclear fuel manufacturing. The definition has been expanded to cover, for instance: Scrap, rework and deviations; Margin slippage; Warranty costs; Lack of supplier performance; Excess and obsolete inventory. Each of the COPQ elements has a responsible 'owner' within the management of the Nuclear Fuel Division. The owners form a COPQ task force, which is responsible for analyzing results, setting goals and initiating improvement actions. The COPQ result is updated each month and is presented to all employees in several ways, such as Intranet. For the various COPQ elements improvement initiatives have been implemented. The presentation will describe some of them, such as reduction of: Scrap, rework and deviations through a process with zero defect meetings, high level of process automation, statistical methods; Margin slippage through business process re-engineering; Warranty costs through an improved design review process and expanded testing of new products; Costs for lack in supplier performance through a new concept for supplier QA/QC. It is our strong belief that both ABB Atom and our Customers will benefit from the COPQ process since it leads to a higher quality for nuclear fuel and control rods and facilitates lower product prices. (author)

  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...... emphasising quality enhancement is suggested. The case shows how interactive use of performance measurement can lead to more engaged and enabling dialogue amongst involved actors concerning quality enhancement, however institutionalised beliefs regarding course evaluation systems makes a change challenging....... 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. Endovascular aneurysm repair delivery redesign leads to quality improvement and cost reduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Courtney J; Horvath, Alexander J; Powell, Richard J; Columbo, Jesse A; Walsh, Teri R; Goodney, Philip P; Walsh, Daniel B; Stone, David H

    2015-08-01

    Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is now a mainstay of therapy for abdominal aortic aneurysm, although it remains associated with significant expense. We performed a comprehensive analysis of EVAR delivery at an academic medical center to identify targets for quality improvement and cost reduction in light of impending health care reform. All infrarenal EVARs performed from April 2011 to March 2012 were identified (N = 127). Procedures were included if they met standard commercial instructions for use guidelines, used a single manufacturer, and were billed to Medicare diagnosis-related group 238 (n = 49). By use of DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, and control) quality improvement methodology (define, measure, analyze, improve, control), targets for EVAR quality improvement were identified and high-yield changes were implemented. Procedure technical costs were calculated before and after process redesign. Perioperative services and clinic visits were identified as targets for quality improvement efforts and cost reduction. Mean technical costs before the intervention were $31,672, with endograft implants accounting for 52%. Pricing redesign in collaboration with hospital purchasing reduced mean EVAR technical costs to $28,607, a 10% reduction in overall cost, with endograft implants now accounting for 46%. Perioperative implementation of instrument tray redesign reduced instrument use by 32% (184 vs 132 instruments), saving $50,000 annually. Unnecessary clinic visits were reduced by 39% (1.6 vs 1.1 clinic visits per patient) through implementation of a preclinic imaging protocol. There was no difference in mean length of stay after the intervention. Comprehensive EVAR delivery redesign leads to cost reduction and waste elimination while preserving quality. Future efforts to achieve more competitive and transparent device pricing will make EVAR more cost neutral and enhance its financial sustainability for health care systems. Copyright © 2015 Society for

  17. assessing participation in secondary education quality enhancement

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF. BARTH EKWEME

    for low parents and communities involvement in secondary education-quality improvement. It was recommended that the quality of instruction in ... concern on standard of education hinges on the quality of instruction the children are ... NTI, 2000). This implies that teachers have a duty of helping students under their care to.

  18. The influence of legislative changes on quality and costs in radiotherapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bogusz-Czerniewicz, M.; Swiezewski, A.; Malicki, J.

    2008-01-01

    Background: On 24 December 2002, in compliance with EURATOM Directive 97/43, the Minister of Health issued an ordinance on rules and regulations of safe application of ionising radiation for medical purposes and methods of internal control over observance of the rules and regulations. The ordinance obliges managers of institutions which apply ionising radiation for medical purposes (radiotherapy, X-ray diagnostics, nuclear medicine) to implement, maintain and develop the Quality Management System (QMS). On 25 August 2005, the Minister of Health issued an ordinance on rules and regulations of safe application of ionising radiation with reference to all types of medical exposure which overruled the ordinance of 24.12.2002. Aim: The purpose of this paper was (i) the comparative analysis of the aforementioned ordinances in the context of three selected aspects: internal audits, external audits and the system of quality management, and (ii) the analysis of the rise in labour costs, services, depreciation and materials in 2002 -2005, as a result of the implementation of the aforementioned legal rules and regulations. Materials and methods: A comparative analysis of the two a fore mentioned ordinances of the Minister of Health was performed: concerning (i) external clinical audits, (ii) internal clinical audits and (iii) requirements of the quality management system. The total cost of implementation of such rules and regulations (in particular the cost of the Quality Management System) has been calculated based on an analysis of labour costs, depreciation, materials and services in 2002 - 2005. Results: Legislative changes in the scope of safe application of ionising radiation for medical purposes enhance not only the organisation of health care institutions applying radiotherapy, but also the rise in costs of the organisations as a result of implementation of the changes, e.g. through (i) the costs of salaries for work groups or consulting companies implementing QMS, (ii

  19. Waste Management facilities cost information: System Cost Model Software Quality Assurance Plan. Revision 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterson, B.L.; Lundeen, A.S.

    1996-02-01

    In May of 1994, Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company (LITCO) in Idaho Falls, Idaho and subcontractors developed the System Cost Model (SCM) application. The SCM estimates life-cycle costs of the entire US Department of Energy (DOE) complex for designing; constructing; operating; and decommissioning treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facilities for mixed low-level, low-level, transuranic, and mixed transuranic waste. The SCM uses parametric cost functions to estimate life-cycle costs for various treatment, storage, and disposal modules which reflect planned and existing facilities at DOE installations. In addition, SCM can model new facilities based on capacity needs over the program life cycle. The SCM also provides transportation costs for truck and rail, which include transport of contact-handled, remote-handled, and alpha (transuranic) wastes. The user can provide input data (default data is included in the SCM) including the volume and nature of waste to be managed, the time period over which the waste is to be managed, and the configuration of the waste management complex (i.e., where each installation's generated waste will be treated, stored, and disposed). Then the SCM uses parametric cost equations to estimate the costs of pre-operations (designing), construction costs, operation management, and decommissioning these waste management facilities. For the product to be effective and useful the SCM users must have a high level of confidence in the data generated by the software model. The SCM Software Quality Assurance Plan is part of the overall SCM project management effort to ensure that the SCM is maintained as a quality product and can be relied on to produce viable planning data. This document defines tasks and deliverables to ensure continued product integrity, provide increased confidence in the accuracy of the data generated, and meet the LITCO's quality standards during the software maintenance phase. 8 refs., 1 tab

  20. Waste Management facilities cost information: System Cost Model Software Quality Assurance Plan. Revision 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peterson, B.L.; Lundeen, A.S.

    1996-02-01

    In May of 1994, Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company (LITCO) in Idaho Falls, Idaho and subcontractors developed the System Cost Model (SCM) application. The SCM estimates life-cycle costs of the entire US Department of Energy (DOE) complex for designing; constructing; operating; and decommissioning treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facilities for mixed low-level, low-level, transuranic, and mixed transuranic waste. The SCM uses parametric cost functions to estimate life-cycle costs for various treatment, storage, and disposal modules which reflect planned and existing facilities at DOE installations. In addition, SCM can model new facilities based on capacity needs over the program life cycle. The SCM also provides transportation costs for truck and rail, which include transport of contact-handled, remote-handled, and alpha (transuranic) wastes. The user can provide input data (default data is included in the SCM) including the volume and nature of waste to be managed, the time period over which the waste is to be managed, and the configuration of the waste management complex (i.e., where each installation`s generated waste will be treated, stored, and disposed). Then the SCM uses parametric cost equations to estimate the costs of pre-operations (designing), construction costs, operation management, and decommissioning these waste management facilities. For the product to be effective and useful the SCM users must have a high level of confidence in the data generated by the software model. The SCM Software Quality Assurance Plan is part of the overall SCM project management effort to ensure that the SCM is maintained as a quality product and can be relied on to produce viable planning data. This document defines tasks and deliverables to ensure continued product integrity, provide increased confidence in the accuracy of the data generated, and meet the LITCO`s quality standards during the software maintenance phase. 8 refs., 1 tab.

  1. Cost-effectiveness of enhanced recovery in hip and knee replacement: a systematic review protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Jacqueline; Pritchard, Mark G; Cheng, Lok Yin; Janarthanan, Roshni; Leal, José

    2018-03-14

    Hip and knee replacement represents a significant burden to the UK healthcare system. 'Enhanced recovery' pathways have been introduced in the National Health Service (NHS) for patients undergoing hip and knee replacement, with the aim of improving outcomes and timely recovery after surgery. To support policymaking, there is a need to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of enhanced recovery pathways across jurisdictions. Our aim is to systematically summarise the published cost-effectiveness evidence on enhanced recovery in hip and knee replacement, both as a whole and for each of the various components of enhanced recovery pathways. A systematic review will be conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, Econlit and the National Health Service Economic Evaluations Database. Separate search strategies were developed for each database including terms relating to hip and knee replacement/arthroplasty, economic evaluations, decision modelling and quality of life measures.We will extract peer-reviewed studies published between 2000 and 2017 reporting economic evaluations of preoperative, perioperative or postoperative enhanced recovery interventions within hip or knee replacement. Economic evaluations alongside cohort studies or based on decision models will be included. Only studies with patients undergoing elective replacement surgery of the hip or knee will be included. Data will be extracted using a predefined pro forma following best practice guidelines for economic evaluation, decision modelling and model validation.Our primary outcome will be the cost-effectiveness of enhanced recovery (entire pathway and individual components) in terms of incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year. A narrative synthesis of all studies will be presented, focussing on cost-effectiveness results, study design, quality and validation status. This systematic review is exempted from ethics approval because the work is carried out on published documents. The results of the review will be

  2. 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.

  3. Reducing costs while maintaining quality in endovascular neurosurgical procedures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashlan, Osama N; Wilson, Thomas J; Chaudhary, Neeraj; Gemmete, Joseph J; Stetler, William R; Dunnick, N Reed; Thompson, B Gregory; Pandey, Aditya S

    2014-11-01

    extrapolation over a 1-year period, the 3 policy changes decreased costs by an estimated $323,561.34. Simple cost-saving policies can lead to substantial reductions in costs of neurointerventional procedures while maintaining high levels of quality and growth of services.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Cost analysis of enhanced recovery after surgery in microvascular breast reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Christine; Moriarty, James; Borah, Bijan J; Mara, Kristin C; Harmsen, William S; Saint-Cyr, Michel; Lemaine, Valerie

    2018-06-01

    Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) pathways have been shown in multiple surgical specialties to decrease hospital length of stay (LOS) after surgery. ERAS in breast reconstruction has been found to decrease hospital LOS and inpatient opioid use. ERAS protocols can facilitate a patient's recovery and can potentially increase the quality of care while decreasing costs. A standardized ERAS pathway was developed through multidisciplinary collaboration. It addressed all phases of surgical care for patients undergoing free-flap breast reconstruction utilizing an abdominal donor site. In this retrospective cohort study, clinical variables associated with hospitalization costs for patients who underwent free-flap breast reconstruction with the ERAS pathway were compared with those of historical controls, termed traditional recovery after surgery (TRAS). All patients included in the study underwent surgery between September 2010 and September 2014. Predicted costs of the study groups were compared using generalized linear modeling. A total of 200 patients were analyzed: 82 in the ERAS cohort and 118 in the TRAS cohort. Clinical variables that were identified to potentially affect costs were found to have a statistically significant difference between groups and included unilateral versus bilateral procedures (p = 0.04) and the need for postoperative blood transfusion (p = 0.03). The cost regression analysis on the two cohorts was adjusted for these significant variables. Adjusted mean costs of patients with ERAS were found to be $4,576 lesser than those of the TRAS control group ($38,688 versus $43,264). Implementation of the ERAS pathway was associated with significantly decreased costs when compared to historical controls. There has been a healthcare focus toward prudent resource allocation, which dictates the need for plastic surgeons to recognize economic evaluation of clinical practice. The ERAS pathway can increase healthcare accountability by improving

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kejser, Ulla Bøgvad

    2009-01-01

    , 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...... systematic evaluation of the quality of repositories and the perceived benefits that different preservation strategies may bring. This also relates to a conducted investigation of preservation requirements for a shared bit preservation system, which describes how institutions with OAIS compliant repositories...

  8. 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…

  9. Enhancing Nurses Access for Care Quality and Knowledge through ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Enhancing Nurses Access for Care Quality and Knowledge through ... Special journal issue highlights IDRC-supported findings on women's paid work ... New website will help record vital life events to improve access to services for all.

  10. 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...

  11. 26 CFR 1.43-4 - Qualified enhanced oil recovery costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 true Qualified enhanced oil recovery costs. 1.43-4... TAXES Credits Against Tax § 1.43-4 Qualified enhanced oil recovery costs. (a) Qualifying costs—(1) In... “qualified enhanced oil recovery costs” if the amounts are paid or incurred with respect to an asset which is...

  12. 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.…

  13. Design and Implementation of the Intensive Care Unit Quality Management Registry: Monitoring Quality and Cost of an Adult Intensive Care Unit in a Greek State Hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosmidis, Dimitrios; Koutsouki, Sotiria; Lampiri, Klairi; Nagy, Eva Ottilia; Papaioannou, Vasilios; Pneumatikos, Ioannis; Anastassopoulos, George

    2017-11-01

    Intensive care electronic registries have been instrumental in quality measurement, improvement, and assurance of intensive care. In this article, the development and pilot implementation of the Intensive Care Unit Quality Management Registry are described, with a particular focus on monitoring the quality and operational cost in an adult ICU at a northern Greek state hospital. A relational database was developed for a hospital ICU so that qualitative and financial data are recorded for further analysis needed for planning quality care improvement and enhanced efficiency. Key features of this database registry were low development cost, user friendliness, maximum data security, and interoperability in existing hospital information systems. The database included patient demographics, nursing and medical parameters, and quality and performance indicators as established in many national registries worldwide. Cost recording was based on a mixed approach: at patient level ("bottom-up" method) and at department level ("top-down" method). During the pilot phase of the database operation, regular monitoring of quality and cost data revealed several fields of quality excellence, while indicating room for improvement for others. Parallel recording and trending of multiple parameters showed that the database can be utilized for optimum ICU quality and cost management and also for further research purposes by nurses, physicians, and administrators.

  14. Fold-Back: Using Emerging Technologies to Move from Quality Assurance to Quality Enhancement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, Simon N.; Fitzgerald, Robert N.; Bacon, Matt

    2016-01-01

    Emerging technologies offer an opportunity for the development, at the institutional level, of quality processes with greater capacity to enhance learning in higher education than available through current quality processes. These systems offer the potential to extend use of learning analytics in institutional-level quality processes in addition…

  15. Effects of a preceptorship programme on turnover rate, cost, quality and professional development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tso-Ying; Tzeng, Wen-Chii; Lin, Chia-Huei; Yeh, Mei-Ling

    2009-04-01

    The purpose of the present study was to design a preceptorship programme and to evaluate its effects on turnover rate, turnover cost, quality of care and professional development. A high turnover rate of nurses is a common global problem. How to improve nurses' willingness to stay in their jobs and reduce the high turnover rate has become a focus. Well-designed preceptorship programmes could possibly decrease turnover rates and improve professional development. A quasi-experimental research design was used. First, a preceptorship programme was designed to establish the role and responsibilities of preceptors in instructing new nurses. Second, a quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the preceptorship programme. Data on new nurses' turnover rate, turnover cost, quality of nursing care, satisfaction of preceptor's teaching and preceptor's perception were measured. After conducting the preceptorship programme, the turnover rate was 46.5% less than the previous year. The turnover cost was decreased by US$186,102. Additionally, medication error rates made by new nurses dropped from 50-0% and incident rates of adverse events and falls decreased. All new nurses were satisfied with preceptor guidance. The preceptorship programme effectively lowered the turnover rate of new nurses, reduced turnover costs and enhanced the quality of nursing care, especially by reducing medication error incidents. Positive feedback about the programme was received from new nurses. Study findings may offer healthcare administrators another option for retaining new nurses, controlling costs, improving quality and fostering professional development. In addition, incentives and effective support from the organisation must be considered when preceptors perform preceptorship responsibilities.

  16. Quality of Security Service Costing Demonstration for the MSHN Project

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Spyropoulou, Evdoxia

    2000-01-01

    .... Each service has two costs: an initialization cost and a run-time cost. The demonstration illustrates the costs incurred as network modes and security levels are changed. High level and detailed specifications are provided.

  17. Water quality audits can improve availability and reduce costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dvorin, R.S.; Schlesinger, H.A.

    1984-01-01

    The Water Quality Audit (WQA) is an independent, detailed review and thorough analysis of an operating plant's water technology control systems and operator education (as distinguished from operator training). The need for such an audit and its role in improving the reliability and availability of both nuclear and fossil-fueled power plants is discussed. Instances of how the failure of either system hardware or operational control has caused injection of seawater, acid, caustic, or ion exchange resin into the condensate-feedwater system and steam generator are revealed. The systems to be audited are described, and the stage-wise nature of the audit explained. The potential savings of an audit are outlined and the timing and range of costs of a WQA are given

  18. 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.

  19. Enhancing quality using ISO 9001:2008 as a vehicle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hemantha Rao, G.V.S.; Rama Rao, B.S.

    2009-01-01

    Effectiveness of any function rests on three engines - technology, systems and people. Characterization and Quality Control of nuclear fuel is no an exception. Systems integrate people and technology. Technology without systems is creative chaos while systems without technology is mindless bureaucracy. People who man should bridge and blend these two proportionately. Systems provide both means and platform for continual improvement of quality. ISO 9001:2008, international standard for Quality Management System based on the eight principles of total quality management has been used as a driver for building and enhancing the quality of fuel fabricated at NFC. This paper brings out how this international standard has been used as a platform to continually upgrade the quality of fuel manufactured at NFC and its performance. Results thus far obtained are also discussed

  20. Template matching for auditing hospital cost and quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silber, Jeffrey H; Rosenbaum, Paul R; Ross, Richard N; Ludwig, Justin M; Wang, Wei; Niknam, Bijan A; Mukherjee, Nabanita; Saynisch, Philip A; Even-Shoshan, Orit; Kelz, Rachel R; Fleisher, Lee A

    2014-10-01

    Develop an improved method for auditing hospital cost and quality. Medicare claims in general, gynecologic and urologic surgery, and orthopedics from Illinois, Texas, and New York between 2004 and 2006. A template of 300 representative patients was constructed and then used to match 300 patients at hospitals that had a minimum of 500 patients over a 3-year study period. From each of 217 hospitals we chose 300 patients most resembling the template using multivariate matching. The matching algorithm found close matches on procedures and patient characteristics, far more balanced than measured covariates would be in a randomized clinical trial. These matched samples displayed little to no differences across hospitals in common patient characteristics yet found large and statistically significant hospital variation in mortality, complications, failure-to-rescue, readmissions, length of stay, ICU days, cost, and surgical procedure length. Similar patients at different hospitals had substantially different outcomes. The template-matched sample can produce fair, directly standardized audits that evaluate hospitals on patients with similar characteristics, thereby making benchmarking more believable. Through examining matched samples of individual patients, administrators can better detect poor performance at their hospitals and better understand why these problems are occurring. © Health Research and Educational Trust.

  1. 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 con......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...

  2. Enhancing the quality and credibility of qualitative analysis.

    OpenAIRE

    Patton, M Q

    1999-01-01

    Varying philosophical and theoretical orientations to qualitative inquiry remind us that issues of quality and credibility intersect with audience and intended research purposes. This overview examines ways of enhancing the quality and credibility of qualitative analysis by dealing with three distinct but related inquiry concerns: rigorous techniques and methods for gathering and analyzing qualitative data, including attention to validity, reliability, and triangulation; the credibility, comp...

  3. Quality risk in outsourcing: noncontractible product quality and private quality cost information

    OpenAIRE

    Kaya, Murat; Özer, Özalp; Ozer, Ozalp

    2009-01-01

    This article addresses the concept of quality risk in outsourcing. Recent trends in outsourcing extend a contract manufacturer's (CM's) responsibility to several functional areas, such as research and development and design in addition to manufacturing. This trend enables an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to focus on sales and pricing of its product. However, increasing CM responsibilities also suggest that the OEM's product quality is mainly determined by its CM. We identify two facto...

  4. QUALITY COSTS AS THE FACTOR OF COMPETITIVENESS INCREASE AT DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN MARKET

    OpenAIRE

    Lazibat, Tonći; Matić, Božo

    2000-01-01

    The paper discusses the importance of quality costs as the factor of competitiveness at the world market. For this purpose it is given definition of quality costs, their structure and characteristics, and the control system-supervision, as the subsystem of quality system determined by international standards ISO 9000ff. There are also analyzed experiences in monitoring the quality costs in developed countries and countries in transition-transitional countries, with a special retrospect to the...

  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. 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.

  7. Contractor Selection for Enhancing the Quality of University ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Contractor Selection for Enhancing the Quality of University Education in Nigeria using the Hamming Distance. DEA Omorogbe, SO Aibieyi. Abstract. The need for contractor selection in our university education system cannot be over emphasized. And applying scientific techniques for appropriateness and accuracy in the ...

  8. 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…

  9. External tank program productivity and quality enhancements - A case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, S. R.

    1988-01-01

    The optimization of the Manned Space Systems productivity and quality enhancement program is described. The guidelines and standards of the program and the roles played in it by various employee groups are addressed. Aspects of the program involving job/organization redefinition, production and planning in automation, and artificial intelligence and robotics are examined.

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Using complaints to enhance quality improvement: developing an analytical tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Sophie Yahui

    2012-01-01

    This study aims to construct an instrument for identifying certain attributes or capabilities that might enable healthcare staff to use complaints to improve service quality. PubMed and ProQuest were searched, which in turn expanded access to other literature. Three paramount dimensions emerged for healthcare quality management systems: managerial, operational, and technical (MOT). The paper reveals that the managerial dimension relates to quality improvement program infrastructure. It contains strategy, structure, leadership, people and culture. The operational dimension relates to implementation processes: organizational changes and barriers when using complaints to enhance quality. The technical dimension emphasizes the skills, techniques or information systems required to achieve successfully continuous quality improvement. The MOT model was developed by drawing from the relevant literature. However, individuals have different training, interests and experiences and, therefore, there will be variance between researchers when generating the MOT model. The MOT components can be the guidelines for examining whether patient complaints are used to improve service quality. However, the model needs testing and validating by conducting further research before becoming a theory. Empirical studies on patient complaints did not identify any analytical tool that could be used to explore how complaints can drive quality improvement. This study developed an instrument for identifying certain attributes or capabilities that might enable healthcare professionals to use complaints and improve service quality.

  14. Cost-effectiveness of a quality improvement collaborative focusing on patients with diabetes.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schouten, L.M.T.; Niessen, L.W.; Pas, J.W. van der; Grol, R.P.T.M.; Hulscher, M.E.J.L.

    2010-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the lifelong health effects, costs, and cost-effectiveness of a quality improvement collaborative focusing on improving diabetes management in an integrated care setting. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Economic evaluation from a healthcare perspective with lifetime horizon

  15. 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.

  16. 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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. A project management quality cost information system for the construction industry

    OpenAIRE

    Love, PED; Irani, Z

    2003-01-01

    A prototype Project Management Quality Cost System (PROMQACS) was developed to determine quality costs in construction projects. The structure and information requirements that are needed to provide a classification system of quality costs were identified and discussed. The developed system was tested and implemented in two case study construction projects to determine the information and management issues needed to develop PROMQACS into a software program. In addition, the system was used to...

  18. A mathematical model for crashing projects by considering time, cost, quality and risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amin Mahmoudi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Employers are looking for reducing execution time and maintaining the quality of the projects that are the main objective of the projects. In this article, we focus on crashing projects by con-sidering different factors such as cost, time, quality and risk. For the proposed integer linear model, cost of conformance and cost of non-conformance are considered as parts of the costs of quality of deliverables in projects. The cost of conformance consists of the costs of training the project team, inspection and test of deliverables. The cost of non-conformance also includes costs of rework and scrap. Project risk management is one of the important aspects of the pro-jects. The present study also considers the impact of risks, which is highly applicable in projects with a high level of uncertainty. Results are presented using integer programming approach with the aim of minimizing the costs of the project.

  19. Managing student retention through the assessment of cost of quality

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The primary goal of this article is to introduce a relatively new costing tool that could assist with the formulation of a retention strategy. There is a cost factor linked to the education and training of students: the money spent on a successful student could be perceived as adding value; whilst the costs related to unsuccessful ...

  20. Putting strategy to work: Tools for cost and quality management in the 1990s

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-12-01

    Utilities face challenges in implementing cost and quality management approaches that will bring bottom-line results in all operational areas. This report identifies successful implementations of approaches that improve productivity and asset utilization and also achieve cost and quality management objectives. It provides insight and direction based on real-life management experience spanning the past decade. This document, Volume 3, Cost and Quality Guidebook, defines the 17 approaches most often used in cost and quality improvement efforts by the nation's leading companies. This volume includes survey results, case studies pertinent to each approach, a literature reference list, and a list of contacts

  1. Implementation of Continuous Video-Electroencephalography at a Community Hospital Enhances Care and Reduces Costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolls, Brad J; Mace, Brian E; Dombrowski, Keith E

    2017-10-24

    Despite data indicating the importance of continuous video-electroencephalography (cvEEG) monitoring, adoption has been slow outside major academic centers. Barriers to adoption include the need for technologists, equipment, and cvEEG readers. Advancements in lower-cost lead placement templates and commercial systems with remote review may reduce barriers to allow community centers to implement cvEEG. Here, we report our experience, lessons learned, and financial impact of implementing a community hospital cvEEG-monitoring program. We implemented an adult cvEEG service at Duke Regional Hospital (DRH), a community hospital affiliate, in June of 2012. Lead placement templates were used in the implementation to reduce the impact on technologists by using other bedside providers for EEG initiation. Utilization of the service, study quality, and patient outcomes were tracked over a 3-year period following initiation of service. Service was implemented at essentially no cost. Utilization varied from a number of factors: intensive care unit (ICU) attending awareness, limited willingness of bedside providers to perform lead placement, and variation in practice of the consulting neurologists. A total of 92 studies were performed on 88 patients in the first 3 years of the program, 24 in year one, 27 in year two, and 38 in year three, showing progressive adoption. Seizures were seen in 25 patients (27%), 19 were in status, of which 18 were successfully treated. Transfers to the main hospital, Duke University Medical Center, were prevented for 53 patients, producing an estimated cost savings of $145,750. The retained patients produced a direct contribution margin of about $75,000, and the margin was just over $100,000 for the entire monitored cohort. ICU cvEEG service is feasible and practical to implement at the community hospital level. Service was initiated at little to no cost and clearly enhanced care, increased breadth of care, increased ICU census, and reduced

  2. HDR Image Quality Enhancement Based on Spatially Variant Retinal Response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Horiuchi Takahiko

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a growing demand for being able to display high dynamic range (HDR images on low dynamic range (LDR devices. Tone mapping is a process for enhancing HDR image quality on an LDR device by converting the tonal values of the original image from HDR to LDR. This paper proposes a new tone mapping algorithm for enhancing image quality by deriving a spatially-variant operator for imitating S-potential response in human retina, which efficiently improves local contrasts while conserving good global appearance. The proposed tone mapping operator is studied from a system construction point of view. It is found that the operator is regarded as a natural extension of the Retinex algorithm by adding a global adaptation process to the local adaptation. The feasibility of the proposed algorithm is examined in detail on experiments using standard HDR images and real HDR scene images, comparing with conventional tone mapping algorithms.

  3. Prescription drugs: issues of cost, coverage, and quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Copeland, C

    1999-04-01

    This Issue Brief closely examines expenditures on prescription drugs, and discusses their potential to substitute for other types of health care services. In addition, it describes employer coverage of prescription drugs, direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs, and potential legislation affecting the prescription drug market. Prescription drug expenditures grew at double-digit rates during almost every year since 1980, accelerating to 14.1 percent in 1997. In contrast, total national health expenditures, hospital service expenditures, and physician service expenditures growth rates decreased from approximately 13 percent in 1980 to less than 5 percent in 1997. Private insurance payments for prescription drugs increased 17.7 percent in 1997, after growing 22.1 percent in 1995 and 18.3 percent in 1996. This growth in prescription drug payments compares with 4 percent or less overall annual growth in private insurance payments for each of those three years. From 1993 to 1997, the overwhelming majority of the increases in expenditures on prescription drugs were attributable to increased volume, mix, and availability of pharmaceutical products. In 1997, these factors accounted for more than 80 percent of the growth in prescription drug expenditures. A leading explanation for the sharp growth in drug expenditures is that prescription drugs are a substitute for other forms of health care. While it is difficult to determine the extent to which this substitution occurs, various studies have associated cost savings with the use of pharmaceutical products in treating specific diseases. Evidence suggests that more appropriate utilization of prescription drugs has the potential to lower total expenditures and improve the quality of care. Also, some studies indicate the U.S. health care system needs to improve the way patients use and physicians prescribe current medications. Prescription drug plans offered by employers are likely to undergo changes to ensure that

  4. 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

  5. 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".

  6. 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

  7. Complementary effect of patient volume and quality of care on hospital cost efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jeong Hoon; Park, Imsu; Jung, Ilyoung; Dey, Asoke

    2017-06-01

    This study explores the direct effect of an increase in patient volume in a hospital and the complementary effect of quality of care on the cost efficiency of U.S. hospitals in terms of patient volume. The simultaneous equation model with three-stage least squares is used to measure the direct effect of patient volume and the complementary effect of quality of care and volume. Cost efficiency is measured with a data envelopment analysis method. Patient volume has a U-shaped relationship with hospital cost efficiency and an inverted U-shaped relationship with quality of care. Quality of care functions as a moderator for the relationship between patient volume and efficiency. This paper addresses the economically important question of the relationship of volume with quality of care and hospital cost efficiency. The three-stage least square simultaneous equation model captures the simultaneous effects of patient volume on hospital quality of care and cost efficiency.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Gottschlich, C.; Schönlieb, C.-B.

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Enhancement of radiological protection through an internal quality assessment cycle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Figueiredo, Filipe Morais de; Gama, Zenewton Andre da Silva

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To determine the level of quality in radiation protection of patients during radiological examination, evaluating the effectiveness of an intervention aimed at enhancing the quality of such a protection. Materials and Methods: A quality improvement cycle was implemented in a radiology service of the Regional Health Administration, in Algarve, Portugal. Based on six quality criteria, an initial evaluation was performed and followed by an intervention focused on the most problematic points (over an eight-month period) and a subsequent quality reassessment. A random sampling (n = 60) has allowed the authors to infer the point estimates and confidence intervals for each criterion, as well as calculating the statistical significance of the results by means of the Z-test. Results: Initially, deficiencies were observed in relation to all the quality criteria. After the intervention, a minimum relative improvement of 33% was observed in five of the six criteria, with statistical significance (p < 0.05) in two of them. The absolute frequency of noncompliance decreased from 38 (first evaluation) to 21 (second evaluation), corresponding to a 44.7% improvement. Conclusion: The first institutional evaluation cycle showed a seemingly incipient improvement margin. However, the implemented intervention was effective in stimulating good practices and improving the level of radiological protection of patients. (author)

  11. Health care quality, access, cost, workforce, and surgical education: the ultimate perfect storm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Marshall Z

    2012-01-01

    The discussions on health care reform over the past two years have focused on cost containment while trying to maintain quality of care. Focusing on just cost and quality unfortunately does not address other very important factors that impact on our health care delivery system. Availability of a well-trained workforce, maintaining the sophisticated medical/surgical education system, and ultimately access to quality care by the public are critical to maintaining and enhancing our health care delivery system. Unfortunately, all five of these components are under at risk. Thus, we have evolving the ultimate perfect storm affecting our health care delivery system. Although not ideal and given the uniqueness of our population and their expectations, our current delivery system is excellent compared to other countries. However, the cost of our current system is rising at an alarming rate. Currently, health care consumes 17% of our gross domestic product. If our system is not revised this will continue to rise and by 2025 it will consume 48%. The dilemma, given the current state of our overall economy and rising debt, is how to address this major problem. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act, which is now law, does not address most of the issues and the cost was initially grossly under estimated. Furthermore, the law does not address the issues of workforce, maintaining our medical education system or ultimately, access. A major revision of our system will be necessary to truly create a system that protects and enhances all five of the components of our health care delivery system. To effectively accomplish this will require addressing those issues that lead to wasteful spending and diversion of our health care dollars to profit instead of care. Improved and efficient delivery systems that reduce complications, reduction of duplication of tertiary and quaternary programs or services within the same markets (i.e. regionalization of care), health insurance reform, and

  12. 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.

  13. The low cost of quality improvements in the electricity distribution sector of Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Corton, Maria Luisa; Zimmermann, Aneliese; Phillips, Michelle Andrea

    2016-01-01

    We analyze the impact of introducing output-based incentives in the price-cap regulatory regime of the Brazilian electricity distribution sector. We focus on the trade-off between operating costs and quality improvement, hypothesizing a positive relationship. Operating costs include maintenance and repair expenses. The regulator sets limits for service continuity and non-technical energy losses in each regulatory period. Service continuity refers to the average length of interruptions in electricity distribution. Non-technical losses refer to losses due to factors specific to the distribution segment. Quality incentives include peer-pressure and penalties/rewards for compliance with minimum quality standards. We model operating costs using a GMM framework to acknowledge endogeneity of variables. The model is dynamic given the inclusion of regulatory lags to recognize past cost behavior. Findings reveal a small trade-off between costs and quality. We conclude that quality improvements are not costly relative to the potential savings from complying with quality standards. We also find that the impact on operating costs is larger when energy losses increase compared to the cost effect due to increases in duration of outages. These findings suggest areas of attention in managerial decision making, and serve as valuable information to the regulator in tailoring quality incentives for this sector. - Highlights: • The article focuses on the impact of quality improvements on operating costs. • We find a very small tradeoff between quality improvements and operating costs. • We find the impact of a large share of electricity losses on costs larger compared to the impact of longer outages. • The results serve the regulator to adjust incentives for quality improvement. • The results serve the regulator in tailoring regulatory values for electricity losses and outages.

  14. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  16. FlexSAR, a high quality, flexible, cost effective, prototype SAR system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Mark; Knight, Chad; Haslem, Brent

    2016-05-01

    The FlexSAR radar system was designed to be a high quality, low-cost, flexible research prototype instrument. Radar researchers and practitioners often desire the ability to prototype new or advanced configurations, yet the ability to enhance or upgrade existing radar systems can be cost prohibitive. FlexSAR answers the need for a flexible radar system that can be extended easily, with minimal cost and time expenditures. The design approach focuses on reducing the resources required for developing and validating new advanced radar modalities. Such an approach fosters innovation and provides risk reduction since actual radar data can be collected in the appropriate mode, processed, and analyzed early in the development process. This allows for an accurate, detailed understanding of the corresponding trade space. This paper is a follow-on to last years paper and discusses the advancements that have been made to the FlexSAR system. The overall system architecture is discussed and presented along with several examples illustrating the system utility.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Quality, the Enhancement of a University's Teaching and Learning and the Role of Quality Officers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgson, Kath; Whalley, Gordon

    2006-01-01

    There has been, and remains, much criticism of the external monitoring of the quality of universities' learning and teaching by bodies such as the QAA largely on the grounds that it is essentially a bureaucratic collection of data that does little, if anything, to help in improving or enhancing the learning and teaching. In this article, while…

  1. Taguchi Approach to Design Optimization for Quality and Cost: An Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unal, Resit; Dean, Edwin B.

    1990-01-01

    Calibrations to existing cost of doing business in space indicate that to establish human presence on the Moon and Mars with the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) will require resources, felt by many, to be more than the national budget can afford. In order for SEI to succeed, we must actually design and build space systems at lower cost this time, even with tremendous increases in quality and performance requirements, such as extremely high reliability. This implies that both government and industry must change the way they do business. Therefore, new philosophy and technology must be employed to design and produce reliable, high quality space systems at low cost. In recognizing the need to reduce cost and improve quality and productivity, Department of Defense (DoD) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have initiated Total Quality Management (TQM). TQM is a revolutionary management strategy in quality assurance and cost reduction. TQM requires complete management commitment, employee involvement, and use of statistical tools. The quality engineering methods of Dr. Taguchi, employing design of experiments (DOE), is one of the most important statistical tools of TQM for designing high quality systems at reduced cost. Taguchi methods provide an efficient and systematic way to optimize designs for performance, quality, and cost. Taguchi methods have been used successfully in Japan and the United States in designing reliable, high quality products at low cost in such areas as automobiles and consumer electronics. However, these methods are just beginning to see application in the aerospace industry. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the Taguchi methods for improving quality and reducing cost, describe the current state of applications and its role in identifying cost sensitive design parameters.

  2. Quality of Life and Cost Effectiveness of Prostate Cancer Treatment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jayadevappa, Ravishankar

    2007-01-01

    ...: Controlling for stage at diagnosis and co-morbidity, (1) analyze progression of cancer, HRQoL, incremental cost and satisfaction with care of prostate cancer patients across two ethnic groups, (2...

  3. Quality of Life and Cost Effectiveness of Prostate Cancer Treatment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jayadevappa, Ravishankar

    2008-01-01

    ...: Controlling for stage at diagnosis and co-morbidity, (1) analyze progression of cancer, HRQoL, incremental cost and satisfaction with care of prostate cancer patients across two ethnic groups, (2...

  4. 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

  5. A Model of Cost Reduction and Standardization: Improved Cost Savings While Maintaining the Quality of Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzman, Michael J; Gitelis, Matthew E; Linn, John G; Ujiki, Michael B; Waskerwitz, Matthew; Umanskiy, Konstantin; Muldoon, Joseph P

    2015-11-01

    Surgeon instrument choices are influenced by training, previous experience, and established preferences. This causes variability in the cost of common operations, such as laparoscopic appendectomy. Many surgeons are unaware of the impact that this has on healthcare spending. We sought to educate surgeons on their instrument use and develop standardized strategies for operating room cost reduction. We collected the individual surgeon instrument cost for performing a laparoscopic appendectomy. Sixteen surgeons were educated about these costs and provided with cost-effective instruments and techniques. This study was conducted in a university-affiliated hospital system. Patients included those undergoing a laparoscopic appendectomy within the hospital system. Patient demographics, operating room costs, and short-term outcomes for the fiscal year before and after the education program were then compared. During fiscal year 2013, a total of 336 laparoscopic appendectomies were performed compared with 357 in 2014. Twelve surgeons had a ≥5% reduction in average cost per case. Overall, the average cost per case was reduced by 17% (p day readmissions, postoperative infections, operating time, or reoperations. This retrospective study is subject to the accuracy of the medical chart system. In addition, specific instrument costs are based on our institution contracts and vary compared with other institutions. In this study we demonstrate that operative instrument costs for laparoscopic appendectomy can be significantly reduced by informing the surgeons of their operating room costs compared with their peers and providing a low-cost standardized instrument tray. Importantly, this can be realized without any incentive or punitive measures and does not negatively impact outcomes. Additional work is needed to expand these results to more operations, hospital systems, and training programs.

  6. San Pablo Bay Tidal Marsh Enhancement and Water Quality Improvement Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Information about the SFBWQP San Pablo Bay Tidal Marsh Enhancement and Water Quality Improvement Project, part of an EPA competitive grant program to improve SF Bay water quality focused on restoring impaired waters and enhancing aquatic resources.

  7. ISO 9000. Guidelines to increased costs and reduced product quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reedy, R.F.

    1994-01-01

    Many US companies are considering being registered to the provisions of ISO 9000, International Standards for Quality Management. One important problem with the document is that ISO 9000 is not focused on control of product quality. The quality assurance rules established in ISO 9000 have been used in the US for more than 25 years with disastrous financial consequences and little, if any, improvement in quality and safety. These rules are so reliant on documentation and strict compliance that ensuring products comply with specifications has become a secondary issues. That is not what was intended, but it is the result. ISO 9000 program can work effectively only when the top executive responsible for engineering or production takes full responsibility for interpretation and implementation of the quality assurance program. 3 refs., 1 tab

  8. Image quality enhancement for skin cancer optical diagnostics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bliznuks, Dmitrijs; Kuzmina, Ilona; Bolocko, Katrina; Lihachev, Alexey

    2017-12-01

    The research presents image quality analysis and enhancement proposals in biophotonic area. The sources of image problems are reviewed and analyzed. The problems with most impact in biophotonic area are analyzed in terms of specific biophotonic task - skin cancer diagnostics. The results point out that main problem for skin cancer analysis is the skin illumination problems. Since it is often not possible to prevent illumination problems, the paper proposes image post processing algorithm - low frequency filtering. Practical results show diagnostic results improvement after using proposed filter. Along that, filter do not reduces diagnostic results' quality for images without illumination defects. Current filtering algorithm requires empirical tuning of filter parameters. Further work needed to test the algorithm in other biophotonic applications and propose automatic filter parameter selection.

  9. Multi-Functional Distributed Generation Unit for Power Quality Enhancement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zeng, Zheng; Yang, Huan; Guerrero, Josep M.

    2015-01-01

    A multi-functional distributed generation unit (MFDGU) and its control strategy are proposed in this paper for the purpose of enhancing power quality in low-voltage networks. By using the 3H-bridge converter structure, an MFDGU can be applied in 3-phase 4-wire low-voltage distribution networks...... reference of the MFDGU, which can be easily implemented in three-phase networks. A 15kVA prototype consisting of three full bridge converters has been built and tested. Experimental results show the feasibility of the proposed topology and control strategy....

  10. RURAL-URBAN DIFFERENCES IN NURSING HOME ACCESS, QUALITY AND COST

    OpenAIRE

    Yu, Wei; Bradford, Garnett L.

    1995-01-01

    Rural-urban differences in the supply of nursing home services as hypothesized to be jointly affected by competitive and regulatory forces, government policies, and the cost structure. Study findings indicate that rural services are slightly less accessible and lower in quality. A translog cost share function reveals no difference in the operating cost structure of rural and urban homes. Cost shares for nursing care are directly related to the degree of skilled nursing provided by homes. Sign...

  11. Enhancing the quality and credibility of qualitative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patton, M Q

    1999-12-01

    Varying philosophical and theoretical orientations to qualitative inquiry remind us that issues of quality and credibility intersect with audience and intended research purposes. This overview examines ways of enhancing the quality and credibility of qualitative analysis by dealing with three distinct but related inquiry concerns: rigorous techniques and methods for gathering and analyzing qualitative data, including attention to validity, reliability, and triangulation; the credibility, competence, and perceived trustworthiness of the qualitative researcher; and the philosophical beliefs of evaluation users about such paradigm-based preferences as objectivity versus subjectivity, truth versus perspective, and generalizations versus extrapolations. Although this overview examines some general approaches to issues of credibility and data quality in qualitative analysis, it is important to acknowledge that particular philosophical underpinnings, specific paradigms, and special purposes for qualitative inquiry will typically include additional or substitute criteria for assuring and judging quality, validity, and credibility. Moreover, the context for these considerations has evolved. In early literature on evaluation methods the debate between qualitative and quantitative methodologists was often strident. In recent years the debate has softened. A consensus has gradually emerged that the important challenge is to match appropriately the methods to empirical questions and issues, and not to universally advocate any single methodological approach for all problems.

  12. Effects of Soil Quality Enhancement on Pollinator-Plant Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasmin J. Cardoza

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Both biotic and abiotic factors can affect soil quality, which can significantly impact plant growth, productivity, and resistance to pests. However, the effects of soil quality on the interactions of plants with beneficial arthropods, such as pollinators, have not been extensively examined. We studied the effects of vermicompost (earthworm compost, VC soil amendment on behavioral and physiological responses of pollinators to flowers and floral resources, using cucumbers, Cucumis sativus, as our model system. Results from experiments conducted over three field seasons demonstrated that, in at least two out of three years, VC amendment significantly increased visit length, while reducing the time to first discovery. Bumblebee (Bombus impatiens workers that fed on flowers from VC-amended plants had significantly larger and more active ovaries, a measure of nutritional quality. Pollen fractions of flowers from VC-grown plants had higher protein compared to those of plants grown in chemically fertilized potting soil. Nectar sugar content also tended to be higher in flowers from VC-grown plants, but differences were not statistically significant. In conclusion, soil quality enhancement, as achieved with VC amendment in this study, can significantly affect plant-pollinator interactions and directly influences pollinator nutrition and overall performance.

  13. 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.

  14. Controlling costs without compromising quality: paying hospitals for total knee replacement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pine, Michael; Fry, Donald E; Jones, Barbara L; Meimban, Roger J; Pine, Gregory J

    2010-10-01

    Unit costs of health services are substantially higher in the United States than in any other developed country in the world, without a correspondingly healthier population. An alternative payment structure, especially for high volume, high cost episodes of care (eg, total knee replacement), is needed to reward high quality care and reduce costs. The National Inpatient Sample of administrative claims data was used to measure risk-adjusted mortality, postoperative length-of-stay, costs of routine care, adverse outcome rates, and excess costs of adverse outcomes for total knee replacements performed between 2002 and 2005. Empirically identified inefficient and ineffective hospitals were then removed to create a reference group of high-performance hospitals. Predictive models for outcomes and costs were recalibrated to the reference hospitals and used to compute risk-adjusted outcomes and costs for all hospitals. Per case predicted costs were computed and compared with observed costs. Of the 688 hospitals with acceptable data, 62 failed to meet effectiveness criteria and 210 were identified as inefficient. The remaining 416 high-performance hospitals had 13.4% fewer risk-adjusted adverse outcomes (4.56%-3.95%; P costs ($12,773-$11,512; P costs. A payment system based on the demonstrated performance of effective, efficient hospitals can produce sizable cost savings without jeopardizing quality. In this study, 96% of total excess hospital costs resulted from higher routine costs at inefficient hospitals, whereas only 4% was associated with ineffective care.

  15. Impact Of Total Quality Management (TQM), Activity Based Costing ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Time (JIT), and Total Quality Management (TQM) as strategic initiatives lead to improved financial performance in the Turkish textile industry. Strong evidence emerged that there is a strong positive association between using ABC, JIT or TQM ...

  16. Plastic packaged microcircuits: Quality, reliability, and cost issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pecht, Michael G.; Agarwal, Rakesh; Quearry, Dan

    1993-12-01

    Plastic encapsulated microcircuits (PEMs) find their main application in commercial and telecommunication electronics. The advantages of PEMs in cost, size, weight, performance, and market lead-time, have attracted 97% of the market share of worldwide microcircuit sales. However, PEMs have always been resisted in US Government and military applications due to the perception that PEM reliability is low. This paper surveys plastic packaging with respect to the issues of reliability, market lead-time, performance, cost, and weight as a means to guide part-selection and system-design.

  17. Assessment of compliance costs resulting from implementation of the proposed Great Lakes water quality guidance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fenner, K.; Podar, M.; Snyder, B.

    1993-01-01

    The primary purpose of the study was to develop an estimate of the incremental cost to direct dischargers resulting from the implementation of the proposed Great Lakes Water Quality Guidance (GLWQG). This estimate reflects the incremental cost of complying with permit requirements developed using the Implementation Procedures and water quality criteria proposed in the GLWQG versus permit requirements based on existing State water quality standards. Two secondary analyses were also performed, one to develop a preliminary estimate of the costs that would be incurred by indirect dischargers to publicly owned treatment works (POTWs), and another to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the GLWQG. Finally, several sensitivity analyses were performed to evaluate the impact of several major assumptions on the estimated compliance costs. To estimate compliance costs, permit limitations and conditions based on existing State water quality standards were compared to water quality-based limitations and conditions based on the proposed GLWQG criteria and Implementation Procedures for a sample of plants. The control measures needed to comply with the proposed GLWQG-based effluent limitations were evaluated. Individual plant compliance costs were estimated for these control measures based on information on treatment technology and cost analyses available in the literature. An overall compliance cost was projected from the sample based on statistical methods

  18. Measuring Healthcare Providers' Performances Within Managed Competition Using Multidimensional Quality and Cost Indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portrait, France R M; van der Galiën, Onno; Van den Berg, Bernard

    2016-04-01

    The Dutch healthcare system is in transition towards managed competition. In theory, a system of managed competition involves incentives for quality and efficiency of provided care. This is mainly because health insurers contract on behalf of their clients with healthcare providers on, potentially, quality and costs. The paper develops a strategy to comprehensively analyse available multidimensional data on quality and costs to assess and report on the relative performance of healthcare providers within managed competition. We had access to individual information on 2409 clients of 19 Dutch diabetes care groups on a broad range of (outcome and process related) quality and cost indicators. We carried out a cost-consequences analysis and corrected for differences in case mix to reduce incentives for risk selection by healthcare providers. There is substantial heterogeneity between diabetes care groups' performances as measured using multidimensional indicators on quality and costs. Better quality diabetes care can be achieved with lower or higher costs. Routine monitoring using multidimensional data on quality and costs merged at the individual level would allow a systematic and comprehensive analysis of healthcare providers' performances within managed competition. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  19. Monitoring urban air quality using a high-density network of low-cost sensor nodes in Oslo, Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castell, Nuria; Schneider, Philipp; Vogt, Matthias; Dauge, Franck R.; Lahoz, William; Bartonova, Alena

    2017-04-01

    Urban air quality represents a major public health burden and is a long-standing concern to citizens. Air pollution is associated with a range of diseases, symptoms and conditions that impair health and quality of life. In Oslo, traffic, especially exhaust from heavy-duty and private diesel vehicles and dust resuspension from studded tyres, together with wood burning in winter, are the main sources of pollution. Norway, as part of the European Economic Area, is obliged to comply with the European air quality regulations and ensure clean air. Despite this, Oslo has exceeded both the NO2 and PM10 thresholds for health protection defined in the Directive 2008/50/EC. The air quality in the Oslo area is continuously monitored in 12 compliance monitoring stations. These stations provide reliable and accurate data but their density is too low to provide a detailed spatial distribution of air quality. The emergence of low-cost nodes enables observations at high spatial resolution, providing the opportunity to enhance existing monitoring systems. However, the data generated by these nodes is significantly less accurate and precise than the data provided by reference equipment. We have conducted an evaluation of low-cost nodes to monitor NO2 and PM10, comparing the data collected with low-cost nodes against CEN (European Standardization Organization) reference analysers. During January and March 2016, a network of 24 nodes was deployed in Oslo. During January, high NO2 levels were observed for several days in a row coinciding with the formation of a thermal inversion. During March, we observed an episode with high PM10 levels due to road dust resuspension. Our results show that there is a major technical challenge associated with current commercial low-cost sensors, regarding the sensor robustness and measurement repeatability. Despite this, low-cost sensor nodes are able to reproduce the NO2 and PM10 variability. The data from the sensors was employed to generate detailed

  20. The Cost-Effectiveness of Raising Teacher Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, Stuart S.

    2009-01-01

    Econometric studies suggest that student achievement may be improved if high-performing teachers are substituted for low-performing teachers. Drawing upon a recent study linking teacher performance on licensure exams with gains in student achievement, an analysis was conducted to determine the cost-effectiveness of requiring teacher applicants to…

  1. 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

    2017-12-01

    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.

  2. A cost-constrained model of strategic service quality emphasis in nursing homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, M A; Provan, K G

    1996-02-01

    This study employed structural equation modeling to test the relationship between three aspects of the environmental context of nursing homes; Medicaid dependence, ownership status, and market demand, and two basic strategic orientations: low cost and differentiation based on service quality emphasis. Hypotheses were proposed and tested against data collected from a sample of nursing homes operating in a single state. Because of the overwhelming importance of cost control in the nursing home industry, a cost constrained strategy perspective was supported. Specifically, while the three contextual variables had no direct effect on service quality emphasis, the entire model was supported when cost control orientation was introduced as a mediating variable.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Silva, C M; Baidya, R; Marusic, I

    2013-01-01

    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 (Re τ = 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. (paper)

  4. Cost and quality of fuels for electric utility plants 1991

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    Data for 1991 and 1990 receipts and costs for fossil fuels discussed in the Executive Summary are displayed in Tables ES1 through ES7. These data are for electric generating plants with a total steam-electric and combined-cycle nameplate capacity of 50 or more megawatts. Data presented in the Executive Summary on generation, consumption, and stocks of fossil fuels at electric utilities are based on data collected on the Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-759, ''Monthly Power Plant Report.'' These data cover all electric generating plants. The average delivered cost of coal, petroleum, and gas each decreased in 1991 from 1990 levels. Overall, the average annual cost of fossil fuels delivered to electric utilities in 1991 was $1.60 per million Btu, a decrease of $0.09 per million Btu from 1990. This was the lowest average annual cost since 1978 and was the result of the abundant supply of coal, petroleum, and gas available to electric utilities. US net generation of electricity by all electric utilities in 1991 increased by less than I percent--the smallest increase since the decline that occurred in 1982.3 Coal and gas-fired steam net generation, each, decreased by less than I percent and petroleum-fired steam net generation by nearly 5 percent. Nuclear-powered net generation, however, increased by 6 percent. Fossil fuels accounted for 68 percent of all generation; nuclear, 22 percent; and hydroelectric, 10 percent. Sales of electricity to ultimate consumers in 1991 were 2 percent higher than during 1990

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DeMuth, S.

    1998-01-01

    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

  6. Cost minimization through optimized raw material quality composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urs Buehlmann; R. Edward Thomas; Xiaoqui Zuo

    2011-01-01

    Lumber, a heterogeneous, anisotropic material produced from sawing logs, contains a varying number of randomly dispersed, unusable areas (defects) distributed over each boards’ surface area. Each board's quality is determined by the frequency and distribution of these defects and the board's dimension. Typically, the industry classifies lumber into five...

  7. 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.

  8. [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.

  9. Use of biosolids to enhance rangeland forage quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarland, Michael J; Vasquez, Issaak Romero; Vutran, MaiAnh; Schmitz, Mark; Brobst, Robert B

    2010-05-01

    Biosolids land application was demonstrated to be a potentially cost-effective means for restoring forage productivity and enhancing soil-moisture-holding capacity on disturbed rangelands. By land-applying aerobically digested, anaerobically digested, composted, and lime-stabilized biosolids on rangeland test plots at rates of up to 20 times (20X) the estimated nitrogen-based agronomic rate, forage yields were found to increase from 132.8 kg/ha (118.2 lb/ac) (control plots) to 1182.3 kg/ha (1052.8 lb/ac). Despite the environmental benefits associated with increased forage yield (e.g., reduced soil erosion, improved drainage, and enhanced terrestrial carbon sequestration), the type of forage generated both before and after biosolids land application was found to be dominated by invasive weeds, all of which were characterized as having fair to poor nutritional value. Opportunistic and shallow rooting invasive weeds not only have marginal nutritional value, they also limit the establishment of native perennial grasses and thus biodiversity. Many of the identified invasive species (e.g., Cheatgrass) mature early, a characteristic that significantly increases the fuel loads that support the increased frequency and extent of western wildfires.

  10. Quality upgrading and cost reducing effects of using an operation control system for performance of maintenance tasks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramler, K.

    1996-01-01

    According to available results, the use of an operation control system has come up to expections with respect to a quality enhancement of maintenance work. The tasks are performed more safely and there is more insight into the processes. so that, as indirect results, cost savings and rationalisation effects are to be expected. However, the cost savings achieved through the operation control system for maintenance tasks will remain modest. The truly cost-effective optimisation potentials in the maintenance area primarily consist in a reduction of preventive measures to the required scope, i.e reduction of the envisaged quantity of processes for maintenance and recurrent inspection. In order to extend savings to the organisational level, with respect to personnel expenditure, by DP supported maintenance planning, a suitable optimisation of the organisational structure and personnel employment is inevitable, because otherwise the rationalisation potentials will remain utopia. (orig.) [de

  11. Comparing data quality and cost from three modes of on-board transit passenger surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-01

    This report presents the findings from a research project investigating the relative data quality and administration costs for three : different modes of surveying bus passengers that produce results generalizable to the full passenger population. Th...

  12. 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.

  13. Costs and quality of life of patients with ankylosing spondylitis in Hong Kong.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, T Y; Tam, L-S; Lee, V W-Y; Hwang, W W; Li, T K; Lee, K K; Li, E K

    2008-09-01

    To assess the annual direct, indirect and total societal costs, quality of life (QoL) of AS in a Chinese population in Hong Kong and determine the cost determinants. A retrospective, non-randomized, cross-sectional study was performed in a cohort of 145 patients with AS in Hong Kong. Participants completed questionnaires on sociodemographics, work status and out-of-pocket expenses. Health resources consumption was recorded by chart review. Functional impairment and disease activity were measured using the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) and the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), respectively. Patients' QoL was assessed using the Short Form-36 (SF-36). The mean age of the patients was 40 yrs with mean disease duration of 10 yrs. The mean BASDAI score was 4.7 and BASFI score was 3.3. Annual total costs averaged USD 9120. Direct costs accounted for 38% of the total costs while indirect costs accounted for 62%. Costs of technical examinations represented the largest proportion of total cost. Patients with AS reported significantly impaired QoL. Functional impairment became the major cost driver of direct costs and total costs. There is a substantial societal cost related to the treatment of AS in Hong Kong. Functional impairment is the most important cost driver. Treatments that reduce functional impairment may be effective to decrease the costs of AS and improve the patient's QoL, and ease the pressure on the healthcare system.

  14. Strategies to control costs and quality: a focus on outcomes research for disease management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villagra, Victor

    2004-04-01

    Rapid adoption of disease management has outpaced systematic evaluation of its net value in improving health outcomes and mitigating healthcare cost. This article identifies areas in which outcomes research in disease management is needed to demonstrate its value or to enhance its performance. Patient identification for disease management relies on administrative database queries but the trade-offs in sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of alternative queries are not well known. Large-scale deployment, rapid patient engagement, and repeated interactions between patients and nurses could be important attributes for attaining measurable improvements in quality and cost reduction over short periods of time, but these hypothesis need to be tested. There is a trend toward integration of multiple chronic disease management programs onto a single platform. To support this trend, there is a need for a corresponding set of integrated clinical guidelines or "meta-guidelines" that combine the contents of individual practice guidelines. The relative contribution of various disease management interventions in improving clinical results, lowering costs, and their respective ease of implementation is not known. Research leading to a better understanding of tradeoffs could lead to more rational resource allocation and better overall outcomes. Coordination between disease management programs and physician practices is lacking. Research aimed at defining operational and technical interfaces and cultural and behavioral professional adjustments necessary to achieve integration and coordination is needed. The lack of a consistent analytical framework for evaluating clinical and financial outcomes has made comparisons of reported results impossible and has rendered many reports unreliable. Theoretical work on a standard methodology that integrates clinical and financial outcomes and empiric validation is needed.

  15. 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...

  16. Economic costs and health-related quality of life for hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) patients in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yaming; Jit, Mark; Wu, Joseph T; Yang, Juan; Leung, Kathy; Liao, Qiaohong; Yu, Hongjie

    2017-01-01

    Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common illness in China that mainly affects infants and children. The objective of this study is to assess the economic cost and health-related quality of life associated with HFMD in China. A telephone survey of caregivers were conducted in 31 provinces across China. Caregivers of laboratory-confirmed HFMD patients who were registered in the national HFMD enhanced surveillance database during 2012-2013 were invited to participate in the survey. Total costs included direct medical costs (outpatient care, inpatient care and self-medication), direct non-medical costs (transportation, nutrition, accommodation and nursery), and indirect costs for lost income associated with caregiving. Health utility weights elicited using EuroQol EQ-5D-3L and EQ-Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) were used to calculate associated loss in quality adjusted life years (QALYs). The subjects comprised 1136 mild outpatients, 1124 mild inpatients, 1170 severe cases and 61 fatal cases. The mean total costs for mild outpatients, mild inpatients, severe cases and fatal cases were $201 (95%CI $187, $215), $1072 (95%CI $999, $1144), $3051 (95%CI $2905, $3197) and $2819 (95%CI $2068, $3571) respectively. The mean QALY losses per HFMD episode for mild outpatients, mild inpatients and severe cases were 3.6 (95%CI 3.4, 3,9), 6.9 (95%CI 6.4, 7.4) and 13.7 (95%CI 12.9, 14.5) per 1000 persons. Cases who were diagnosed with EV-A71 infection and had longer duration of illness were associated with higher total cost and QALY loss. HFMD poses a high economic and health burden in China. Our results provide economic and health utility data for cost-effectiveness analysis for HFMD vaccination in China.

  17. Economic costs and health-related quality of life for hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD patients in China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaming Zheng

    Full Text Available Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD is a common illness in China that mainly affects infants and children. The objective of this study is to assess the economic cost and health-related quality of life associated with HFMD in China.A telephone survey of caregivers were conducted in 31 provinces across China. Caregivers of laboratory-confirmed HFMD patients who were registered in the national HFMD enhanced surveillance database during 2012-2013 were invited to participate in the survey. Total costs included direct medical costs (outpatient care, inpatient care and self-medication, direct non-medical costs (transportation, nutrition, accommodation and nursery, and indirect costs for lost income associated with caregiving. Health utility weights elicited using EuroQol EQ-5D-3L and EQ-Visual Analogue Scale (VAS were used to calculate associated loss in quality adjusted life years (QALYs.The subjects comprised 1136 mild outpatients, 1124 mild inpatients, 1170 severe cases and 61 fatal cases. The mean total costs for mild outpatients, mild inpatients, severe cases and fatal cases were $201 (95%CI $187, $215, $1072 (95%CI $999, $1144, $3051 (95%CI $2905, $3197 and $2819 (95%CI $2068, $3571 respectively. The mean QALY losses per HFMD episode for mild outpatients, mild inpatients and severe cases were 3.6 (95%CI 3.4, 3,9, 6.9 (95%CI 6.4, 7.4 and 13.7 (95%CI 12.9, 14.5 per 1000 persons. Cases who were diagnosed with EV-A71 infection and had longer duration of illness were associated with higher total cost and QALY loss.HFMD poses a high economic and health burden in China. Our results provide economic and health utility data for cost-effectiveness analysis for HFMD vaccination in China.

  18. 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.

  19. Strategies to enhance price and quality competition in health care: lessons learned from tracking local markets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesser, Cara S; Ginsburg, Paul B

    2006-06-01

    Drawing on observations from tracking changes in local health care markets over the past ten years, this article critiques two Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice recommendations to enhance price and quality competition. First, we take issue with the notion that consumers, acting independently, will drive greater competition in health care markets. Rather we suggest an important role remains for trusted agents who can analyze inherently complex price and quality information and negotiate on consumers' behalf. With aggregated information identifying providers who deliver cost-effective care, consumers would be better positioned to respond to financial incentives about where to seek care and thereby drive more meaningful competition among providers to reduce costs and improve quality. Second, we take issue with the FTC/DOJ recommendation to provide more direct subsidies to prevent distortions in competition. In the current political environment, it is not practical to provide direct subsidies for all of the unfunded care that exists in health care markets today; instead, some interference with competition may be necessary to protect cross subsidies. Barriers can be reduced, though, by revising pricing policies that have resulted in marked disparities in the relative profitability of different services.

  20. 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.

  1. Online naphazoline quality control by micellar-enhanced spectrofluorimetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peralta, Cecilia Mariana; Silva, Raúl Alejandro; Fernández, Liliana Patricia; Masi, Adriana Noemí

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this study was to develop a method for online spectrofluorimetric quality control of naphazoline (NPZ) in pharmaceuticals and raw drugs. A combination of a flow-injection analysis (FIA) system with micellar-enhanced fluorescence detection is presented as a powerful alternative for the rapid and sensitive analysis of naphazoline. Since NPZ shows low native fluorescence, the use of an anionic surfactant, such as sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS), provides a considerable enhancement of fluorescence intensity and the nature of the technique allows a possible and easy adaptation to a FIA system. Using λ(exc) = 280 nm and λ(em) = 326 nm, a good linear relationship (LOL) was obtained in the range 0.003-10 µg mL(-1) with a detection limit (LOD) of 3 × 10(-4) µg mL(-1) (s/n = 3). Parameters related to the nature of the analytical signal and to the FIA manifold were optimized. Satisfactory recoveries were obtained in the analysis of commercial pharmaceutical formulations. The proposed method is simple, accurate and allows for high-speed sampling and considerably shorter analysis times. In addition, it requires inexpensive equipment and reagents and has easy operational conditions and no side effects, thus avoiding environmental pollution through toxic waste. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  2. Estimating the cost of improving quality in electricity distribution: A parametric distance function approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coelli, Tim J.; Gautier, Axel; Perelman, Sergio; Saplacan-Pop, Roxana

    2013-01-01

    The quality of electricity distribution is being more and more scrutinized by regulatory authorities, with explicit reward and penalty schemes based on quality targets having been introduced in many countries. It is then of prime importance to know the cost of improving the quality for a distribution system operator. In this paper, we focus on one dimension of quality, the continuity of supply, and we estimated the cost of preventing power outages. For that, we make use of the parametric distance function approach, assuming that outages enter in the firm production set as an input, an imperfect substitute for maintenance activities and capital investment. This allows us to identify the sources of technical inefficiency and the underlying trade-off faced by operators between quality and other inputs and costs. For this purpose, we use panel data on 92 electricity distribution units operated by ERDF (Electricité de France - Réseau Distribution) in the 2003–2005 financial years. Assuming a multi-output multi-input translog technology, we estimate that the cost of preventing one interruption is equal to 10.7€ for an average DSO. Furthermore, as one would expect, marginal quality improvements tend to be more expensive as quality itself improves. - Highlights: ► We estimate the implicit cost of outages for the main distribution company in France. ► For this purpose, we make use of a parametric distance function approach. ► Marginal quality improvements tend to be more expensive as quality itself improves. ► The cost of preventing one interruption varies from 1.8 € to 69.2 € (2005 prices). ► We estimate that, in average, it lays 33% above the regulated price of quality.

  3. The economics of recovery after pancreatic surgery: detailed cost minimization analysis of an enhanced recovery program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagedan, Daniel J; Devitt, Katharine S; Tremblay St-Germain, Amélie; Ramjaun, Aliya; Cleary, Sean P; Wei, Alice C

    2017-11-01

    Clinical pathways (CPW) are considered safe and effective at decreasing postoperative length of stay (LoS), but the effect on economic costs is uncertain. This study sought to elucidate the effect of a CPW on direct hospitalization costs for patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD). A CPW for PD patients at a single Canadian institution was implemented. Outcomes included LoS, 30-day readmissions, and direct costs of hospital care. A retrospective cost minimization analysis compared patients undergoing PD prior to and following CPW implementation, using a bootstrapped t test and deviation-based cost modeling. 121 patients undergoing PD after CPW implementation were compared to 74 controls. Index LoS was decreased following CPW implementation (9 vs. 11 days, p = 0.005), as was total LoS (10 vs. 11 days, p = 0.003). The mean total cost of postoperative hospitalization per patient decreased in the CPW group ($15,678.45 CAD vs. $25,732.85 CAD, p = 0.024), as was the mean 30-day cost including readmissions ($16,627.15 CAD vs. $29,872.72 CAD, p = 0.016). Areas of significant cost savings included laboratory tests and imaging investigations. CPWs may generate cost savings by reducing unnecessary investigations, and improve quality of care through process standardization and decreasing practice variation. Copyright © 2017 International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Cost to primary care practices of responding to payer requests for quality and performance data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halladay, Jacqueline R; Stearns, Sally C; Wroth, Thomas; Spragens, Lynn; Hofstetter, Sara; Zimmerman, Sheryl; Sloane, Philip D

    2009-01-01

    We wanted to determine how much it costs primary care practices to participate in programs that require them to gather and report data on care quality indicators. Using mixed quantitative-qualitative methods, we gathered data from 8 practices in North Carolina that were selected purposively to be diverse by size, ownership, type, location, and medical records. Formal practice visits occurred between January 2008 and May 2008. Four quality-reporting programs were studied: Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC), Bridges to Excellence (BTE), and Improving Performance in Practice (IPIP). We estimated direct costs to the practice and on-site costs to the quality organization for implementation and maintenance phases of program participation. Major expenses included personnel time for planning, training, registry maintenance, visit coding, data gathering and entry, and modification of electronic systems. Costs per full-time equivalent clinician ranged from less than $1,000 to $11,100 during program implementation phases and ranged from less than $100 to $4,300 annually during maintenance phases. Main sources of variation included program characteristics, amount of on-site assistance provided, experience and expertise of practice personnel, and the extent of data system problems encountered. The costs of a quality-reporting program vary greatly by program and are important to anticipate and understand when undertaking quality improvement work. Incentives that would likely improve practice participation include financial payment, quality improvement skills training, and technical assistance with electronic system troubleshooting.

  5. Quality education enhancement by means of university environmental edification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarína Čekanová

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The submitted work partly describes the historical and actual trends of the introduction of targeted environmental edification at universities based on the framework of Slovakian sustainable development as well as its enhancement of quality educational processes. There has been a need to accentuate environmental consciousness and to bring closer a current state in an incorporating of more environmental and quality aspects for the education process at technical universities. The article emphasizes continuous development of observed problems and introduces the possible future visions from the point of reorganization and tending of study fields. This reorganization requires very a sensitive approach because duplications or triplicities can frequently occur in the environmental education of individual subjects. For this reason students’ interest and ability to learn better can gradually decrease and consequently, results can become worse. Upon graduation, students may not be as well prepared to face the strong competition of the labour market in the Slovak Republic as well as in European Union countries.

  6. [Preliminary analysis of total cost and life quality for elder patients with femoral neck fracture].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Haonan; He, Liang; Zhang, Guilin; Gong, Xiaofeng; Li, Ning

    2015-09-01

    To analyze the total cost and life quality of the femoral neck fracture patients who received different surgery and supplement comprehensive data of osteoporotic fracture. One hundred and five patients above 60-year old who were diagnosed femoral neck fracture and received operation in Department of Orthopedics & Traumatology, Beijing Jishuitan Hospital were admitted into our study from August 2013 to December. According to the type of surgery there were 52 and 53 cases in internal fixation (IF) group and hemiarthroplasty (HA) group respectively. At first we collected the medical expense of the patients before and during hospitalization. And then the 1-year medical and non-medical expenses were collected by the cost diary ever 3 months after discharge. At the last follow-up we evaluated the life quality by the EuroQol-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) and calculated the total cost. Outcome All the patients completed the operation successfully. No nonunion or delayed union cases in IF group, and no cases received revision surgery in both groups. The total average cost was 59 584.9 yuan including 79.1% medical cost and 20.9% non-medical cost. The primary treatment cost accounts for 84.1% of the medical cost. The cost for home care accounts for 90.7% of the non-medical care. The total and medical cost of IF group just account for 40.3% and 38.5% of the HA group and the non-medical showed no significant difference between the 2 groups (P>0.05). In addition the data of life quality and walking capability also showed no significant difference. The main cost for the femoral neck fracture is medical expense in 1-year follow-up. Both surgeries can provide satisfactory outcome, however IF may be more cost-effective compared to the HA because of the less total cost.

  7. 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

    2014-02-01

    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. Copyright © 2014 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. 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

    1992-01-01

    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

  10. Community Partnership to Address Snack Quality and Cost in After-School Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beets, Michael W.; Tilley, Falon; Turner-McGrievy, Gabrielle; Weaver, Robert G.; Jones, Sonya

    2014-01-01

    Background: Policies call on after-school programs (ASPs) to serve more nutritious snacks. A major barrier for improving snack quality is cost. This study describes the impact on snack quality and expenditures from a community partnership between ASPs and local grocery stores. Methods: Four large-scale ASPs (serving ~500 children, aged 6-12?years,…

  11. Quality and cost evaluation of bread produced from blends of wheat ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: This study was necessitated by the need to improve the nutritional quality of baked products, ensure their acceptability and the baker's profitability. Objective: The aim of the study therefore was to evaluate the quality and cost of bread produced from composite flours of wheat and partially defatted soy. Materials ...

  12. On the Cost-vs-Quality Tradeoff in Make-or-Buy Decisions

    OpenAIRE

    Andersson, Fredrik

    2010-01-01

    The make-or-buy decision is analyzed in a simple two-task principal-agent model. There is a cost-saving/quality tradeoff in effort provision. The principal faces a dichotomous choice between weak ("make") and strong ("buy") cost-saving incentives for the agent; the dichotomy is due to an incomplete-contracting limitation necessitating that one party be residual claimant. Choosing "buy" rather than "make" leads to higher cost-saving effort and -- in a plausible "main case" -- to lower quality ...

  13. 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...

  14. 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

    Despite growing adoption of pay-for-performance (P4P) programmes in health care, there is remarkably little evidence on the cost-effectiveness of such schemes. We review the limited number of previous studies and critique the frameworks adopted and the narrow range of costs and outcomes considered......, 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Supplier’s Joint Investments in Cost Reduction and Quality Improvement in a Decentralized Supply Chain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hengyun Zhang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available We consider a decentralized supply chain with a downstream manufacturer and an upstream supplier. The upstream supplier sells a product to the manufacturer, who faces a quality and price sensitive demand. The supplier has a chance to invest in both cost reduction and quality improvement of its product. We derive the optimal investment and pricing decisions for the supply chain members. We do so in both the centralized and the decentralized supply chains. We show that the optimal investment and pricing decisions in the decentralized supply chain may deviate from that in the centralized supply chain. We develop a mechanism to coordinate the decentralized supply chain. The developed mechanism contains four policies: wholesale price, sharing of revenue, sharing of cost reduction investment cost, and sharing of quality improvement investment cost. We also show that the developed coordination mechanism can lead to Pareto improvement.

  17. 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.

  18. Power quality enhancement at distribution level utilizing the unified power quality conditioner (UPQC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khadkikar, Vinod

    The present doctoral work is based on the philosophy of optimal utilization of the available resources in a most effective and efficient way to improve the product efficiency and to reduce the overall cost. This work proposes a novel control philosophy termed as power angle control (PAC), in which both the series and shunt inverters share the load reactive power in co-ordination with each other without affecting the basic UPQC compensation capabilities. This eventually results in a better utilization of the series inverter, reduction in the shunt inverter rating to some extent and ultimately in the reduction of the overall cost of UPQC. Moreover, in this thesis work several other control approaches are also proposed, such as, unit vector template generation, quadrature voltage injection, generalized single-phase p-q theory and novel current unbalance compensation approach. All the developed concepts are successfully validated through digital simulation as well as extensive experimental investigations. Keywords. power quality, active power filter, unified power quality conditioner, reactive power compensation, harmonics compensation.

  19. 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

  20. Reclaimed wastewater quality enhancement by oxygen injection during transportation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Gómez, L E; Alvarez, M; Rodríguez-Sevilla, J; Marrero, M C; Hernández, A

    2011-01-01

    In-sewer treatments have been studied in sewer systems, but few have been carried out on reclaimed wastewater systems. A study of oxygen injection has been performed in a completely filled gravity pipe, 0.6 m in diameter and 62 km long, in cast iron with concrete inside coating, which is part of the reclaimed wastewater reuse scheme of Tenerife (Spain). A high pressure oxygen injection system was installed at 16.0 km from pipe inlet and a constant dosage of 30 mg/L O(2) has been injected during six months, under three different operational modes (low COD, 63 mg/L; high COD, 91 mg/L; and partially nitrified water). Oxygen has been consumed in nitrification and organic matter reduction. Generally, nitrification is clearly favored instead of the organic matter oxidation. Nitrification occurs, in general, with nitrite accumulation due to the presence of free ammonia above 1 mg/L. Denitrification is in all cases incomplete due to a limitation of easily biodegradable organic matter content, inhibiting the appearance of anaerobic conditions and sulfide generation. A notable reduction of organic matter parameters is achieved (TSS below 10 mg/L), which is significantly higher than that observed under the ordinary transport conditions without oxygen. This leads to a final cost reduction, and the oxygen injection system helps water reuse managers to maintain a final good water quality in the case of a treatment plant malfunction.

  1. Wellness at work: enhancing the quality of our working lives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillier, D; Fewell, F; Cann, W; Shephard, V

    2005-10-01

    This paper was prepared for the International Review of Psychiatry as part of an effort to improve understanding of the connection between employee health and performance and to begin to identify new strategies through which treating wellness as an investment in human capital can lead to greater organizational success. Computer database searches of peer-reviewed literature published between 1993 and 2005 and manual reviews of 20 journals were used to identify research on the link between employee health and performance. Data was extracted to summarize the overall findings on the magnitude of health problems addressed by health promotion and disease prevention programmes, and the impact of interventions on improving health risk, reducing health care cost, and improving worker performance. From this summary, major conclusions on early detection of disease, the impact of behaviour change programmes were drawn. This systematic review is supplemented with a case study description of a preliminary evaluation of a corporate wellness programme in a major international organization. The influence of developments in work/family issues, complementary and alternative medicine, and quality of care and health outcomes research are briefly discussed. Finally, a conceptual framework for studying the impact of health and productivity is described.

  2. Enhancing spill prevention and response preparedness through quality control techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, M.A.; Butts, R.L.; Pickering, T.H.; Lindsay, J.R.; McCully, B.S.

    1993-01-01

    The year 1990 saw passage of federal and state oil spill legislation directing the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation to require on shore bulk petroleum storage facilities to improve their oil spill response and prevention capabilities. The Florida Power ampersand Light Company (FPL), to address concerns arising out of several recent significant spills which had occurred worldwide, and to examine its current situation with regard compliance with the new laws, formed a quality improvement interdepartmental task team in July 1989. Its mission was to reduce the potential for oil spills during waterborne transportation between FPL's fuel oil terminals and its power plants and during transfer and storage of oil at these facilities. Another objective of the team was to enhance the company's spill response preparedness. Using quality control tools and reliability techniques, the team conducted a detailed analysis of seven coastal power plants and five fuel oil terminal facilities. This analysis began with the development of cause-and-effect diagrams designed to identify the root causes of spills so that corrective and preventive actions could be taken. These diagram are constructed by listing possible causes of oil spills under various major categories of possible system breakdown, such as man, method, equipment, and materials. Next, potential root causes are identified and then verified. The team identified the occurrence of surface water oil spill and reduced spill response capability as primary concerns and accordingly constructed cause-and-effect diagrams for both components. Lack of proper procedures, failure of control equipment, and inadequate facility design were identified as potential root causes leading to surface water oil spills. Lack of proper procedures, an inconsistent training program, and response equipment limitations were identified as potential root causes affecting oil spill response capabilities

  3. Strategies for cost-effective and enhanced production of bacterial cellulose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Mazhar Ul; Ullah, Muhammad Wajid; Khan, Shaukat; Shah, Nasrullah; Park, Joong Kon

    2017-09-01

    Bacterial cellulose (BC) has received substantial attention because of its high purity, mechanical strength, crystallinity, liquid-absorbing capabilities, biocompatibility, and biodegradability etc. These properties allow BC to be used in various fields, especially in industries producing medical, electronic, and food products etc. A major discrepancy associated with BC is its high production cost, usually much higher than the plant cellulose. To address this limitations, researchers have developed several strategies for enhanced production of BC including the designing of advanced reactors and utilization of various carbon sources. Another promising approach is the production of BC from waste materials such as food, industrial, agricultural, and brewery wastes etc. which not only reduces the overall BC production cost but is also environment-friendly. Besides, exploration of novel and efficient BC producing microbial strains provides impressive boost to the BC production processes. To this end, development of genetically engineered microbial strains has proven useful for enhanced BC production. In this review, we have summarized major efforts to enhance BC production in order to make it a cost-effective biopolymer. This review can be of interest to researchers investigating strategies for enhanced BC production, as well as companies exploring pilot projects to scale up BC production for industrial applications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Integrated cost-effectiveness analysis of agri-environmental measures for water quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balana, Bedru B; Jackson-Blake, Leah; Martin-Ortega, Julia; Dunn, Sarah

    2015-09-15

    This paper presents an application of integrated methodological approach for identifying cost-effective combinations of agri-environmental measures to achieve water quality targets. The methodological approach involves linking hydro-chemical modelling with economic costs of mitigation measures. The utility of the approach was explored for the River Dee catchment in North East Scotland, examining the cost-effectiveness of mitigation measures for nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) pollutants. In-stream nitrate concentration was modelled using the STREAM-N and phosphorus using INCA-P model. Both models were first run for baseline conditions and then their effectiveness for changes in land management was simulated. Costs were based on farm income foregone, capital and operational expenditures. The costs and effects data were integrated using 'Risk Solver Platform' optimization in excel to produce the most cost-effective combination of measures by which target nutrient reductions could be attained at a minimum economic cost. The analysis identified different combination of measures as most cost-effective for the two pollutants. An important aspect of this paper is integration of model-based effectiveness estimates with economic cost of measures for cost-effectiveness analysis of land and water management options. The methodological approach developed is not limited to the two pollutants and the selected agri-environmental measures considered in the paper; the approach can be adapted to the cost-effectiveness analysis of any catchment-scale environmental management options. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delaire, Caroline; Peletz, Rachel; Kumpel, Emily; Kisiangani, Joyce; Bain, Robert; Khush, Ranjiv

    2017-06-06

    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 (water sources in sub-Saharan Africa would 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).

  8. The trade-off between hospital cost and quality of care. An exploratory empirical analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morey, R C; Fine, D J; Loree, S W; Retzlaff-Roberts, D L; Tsubakitani, S

    1992-08-01

    The debate concerning quality of care in hospitals, its "value" and affordability, is increasingly of concern to providers, consumers, and purchasers in the United States and elsewhere. We undertook an exploratory study to estimate the impact on hospital-wide costs if quality-of-care levels were varied. To do so, we obtained costs and service output data regarding 300 U.S. hospitals, representing approximately a 5% cross section of all hospitals operating in 1983; both inpatient and outpatient services were included. The quality-of-care measure used for the exploratory analysis was the ratio of actual deaths in the hospital for the year in question to the forecasted number of deaths for the hospital; the hospital mortality forecaster had earlier (and elsewhere) been built from analyses of 6 million discharge abstracts, and took into account each hospital's actual individual admissions, including key patient descriptors for each admission. Such adjusted death rates have increasingly been used as potential indicators of quality, with recent research lending support for the viability of that linkage. The authors then utilized the economic construct of allocative efficiency relying on "best practices" concepts and peer groupings, built using the "envelopment" philosophy of Data Envelopment Analysis and Pareto efficiency. These analytical techniques estimated the efficiently delivered costs required to meet prespecified levels of quality of care. The marginal additional cost per each death deferred in 1983 was estimated to be approximately $29,000 (in 1990 dollars) for the average efficient hospital. Also, over a feasible range, a 1% increase in the level of quality of care delivered was estimated to increase hospital cost by an average of 1.34%. This estimated elasticity of quality on cost also increased with the number of beds in the hospital.

  9. 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.

  10. Quality Improvement Processes in Obesity Surgery Lead to Higher Quality and Value, Lower Costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brousseau, Holli; Pohl, Dieter

    2017-03-01

    In the era of changes in the evaluation of medical services and performance, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has determined that the key components are quality, value, and clinical practice improvement (MACRA). Weight Loss Surgery, also called Bariatric or Obesity Surgery, has been at the forefront of quality improvement and quality reporting through the Center of Excellence Program since 2005. As a result, weight loss surgery is now as safe as gallbladder surgery.1 Even within this culture of quality and safety, improvements are still possible, as described in this article. [Full article available at http://rimed.org/rimedicaljournal-2017-03.asp].

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

    KAUST Repository

    Bahabry, R. R.; Gumus, A.; Kutbee, A. T.; Wehbe, N.; Ahmed, S. M.; Ghoneim, M. T.; Lee, K. -T.; Rogers, J. A.; Hussain, M. M.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Administrators' Perspectives on Strategies for Enhancing the Quality ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Starting with elucidation of the concept of quality in education, the paper propounds a tripartite model of quality in education. Using the model as an analytical point of departure, it discusses the gaps in quality assurance in Nigerian education and makes recommendations for improvement. Keywords: Quality assurance ...

  14. The nine-year sustained cost-containment impact of swiss pilot physicians-pharmacists quality circles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niquille, Anne; Ruggli, Martine; Buchmann, Michel; Jordan, Dominique; Bugnon, Olivier

    2010-04-01

    Six pioneer physicians-pharmacists quality circles (PPQCs) located in the Swiss canton of Fribourg (administratively corresponding to a state in the US) were under the responsibility of 6 trained community pharmacists moderating the prescribing process of 24 general practitioners (GPs). PPQCs are based on a multifaceted collaborative process mediated by community pharmacists for improving compliance with clinical guidelines within GPs' prescribing practices. To assess, over a 9-year period (1999-2007), the cost-containment impact of the PPQCs. The key elements of PPQCs are a structured continuous quality improvement and education process; local networking; feedback of comparative and detailed data regarding costs, drug choice, and frequency of prescribed drugs; and structured independent literature review for interdisciplinary continuing education. The data are issued from the community pharmacy invoices to the health insurance companies. The study analyzed the cost-containment impact of the PPQCs in comparison with GPs working in similar conditions of care without particular collaboration with pharmacists, the percentage of generic prescriptions for specific cardiovascular drug classes, and the percentage of drug costs or units prescribed for specific cardiovascular drugs. For the 9-year period, there was a 42% decrease in the drug costs in the PPQC group as compared to the control group, representing a $225,000 (USD) savings per GP only in 2007. These results are explained by better compliance with clinical and pharmacovigilance guidelines, larger distribution of generic drugs, a more balanced attitude toward marketing strategies, and interdisciplinary continuing education on the rational use of drugs. The PPQC work process has yielded sustainable results, such as significant cost savings, higher penetration of generics and reflection on patient safety, and the place of "new" drugs in therapy. The PPQCs may also constitute a solid basis for implementing more

  15. Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Implementation of an Enhanced Recovery Program in Liver Surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joliat, Gaëtan-Romain; Labgaa, Ismaïl; Hübner, Martin; Blanc, Catherine; Griesser, Anne-Claude; Schäfer, Markus; Demartines, Nicolas

    2016-10-01

    Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) programs have been shown to ease the postoperative recovery and improve clinical outcomes for various surgery types. ERAS cost-effectiveness was demonstrated for colorectal surgery but not for liver surgery. The present study aim was to analyze the implementation costs and benefits of a specific ERAS program in liver surgery. A dedicated ERAS protocol for liver surgery was implemented in our department in July 2013. The subsequent year all consecutive patients undergoing liver surgery were treated according to this protocol (ERAS group). They were compared in terms of real in-hospital costs with a patient series before ERAS implementation (pre-ERAS group). Mean costs per patient were compared with a bootstrap T test. A cost-minimization analysis was performed. Seventy-four ERAS patients were compared with 100 pre-ERAS patients. There were no significant pre- and intraoperative differences between the two groups, except for the laparoscopy number (n = 18 ERAS, n = 9 pre-ERAS, p = 0.010). Overall postoperative complications were observed in 36 (49 %) and 64 patients (64 %) in the ERAS and pre-ERAS groups, respectively (p = 0.046). The median length of stay was significantly shorter for the ERAS group (8 vs. 10 days, p = 0.006). The total mean costs per patient were €38,726 and €42,356 for ERAS and pre-ERAS (p = 0.467). The cost-minimization analysis showed a total mean cost reduction of €3080 per patient after ERAS implementation. ERAS implementation for liver surgery induced a non-significant decrease in cost compared to standard care. Significant decreased complication rate and hospital stay were observed in the ERAS group.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arocena, Pablo

    2008-01-01

    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)

  17. 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)

  18. The Cost Effectiveness of the U.S. Export Enhancement Program Bonus Allocation Mechanism

    OpenAIRE

    Humei Wang; Richard J. Sexton

    2004-01-01

    The U.S. Export Enhancement Program is evaluated from the perspective of the cost effectiveness of its bonus allocation mechanism. The current mechanism resembles a discriminatory-price, common-value auction. However, auction theory suggests that a discriminatory auction may not be optimal in this setting for several reasons. This article evaluates the current format relative to an alternative, uniform-price auction. Estimation results reveal evidence of strategic bidder behavior under the cu...

  19. 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.

  20. Reducing the length of postnatal hospital stay: implications for cost and quality of care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowers, John; Cheyne, Helen

    2016-01-15

    UK health services are under pressure to make cost savings while maintaining quality of care. Typically reducing the length of time patients stay in hospital and increasing bed occupancy are advocated to achieve service efficiency. Around 800,000 women give birth in the UK each year making maternity care a high volume, high cost service. Although average length of stay on the postnatal ward has fallen substantially over the years there is pressure to make still further reductions. This paper explores and discusses the possible cost savings of further reductions in length of stay, the consequences for postnatal services in the community, and the impact on quality of care. We draw on a range of pre-existing data sources including, national level routinely collected data, workforce planning data and data from national surveys of women's experience. Simulation and a financial model were used to estimate excess demand, work intensity and bed occupancy to explore the quantitative, organisational consequences of reducing the length of stay. These data are discussed in relation to findings of national surveys to draw inferences about potential impacts on cost and quality of care. Reducing the length of time women spend in hospital after birth implies that staff and bed numbers can be reduced. However, the cost savings may be reduced if quality and access to services are maintained. Admission and discharge procedures are relatively fixed and involve high cost, trained staff time. Furthermore, it is important to retain a sufficient bed contingency capacity to ensure a reasonable level of service. If quality of care is maintained, staffing and bed capacity cannot be simply reduced proportionately: reducing average length of stay on a typical postnatal ward by six hours or 17% would reduce costs by just 8%. This might still be a significant saving over a high volume service however, earlier discharge results in more women and babies with significant care needs at home. Quality

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helmut Schröder

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.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.

  2. 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, pdiet 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 pdiet 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ali KURT; 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 ...

  4. Lessons learned from testing the quality cost model of Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) transitional care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooten, Dorothy; Naylor, Mary D; York, Ruth; Brown, Linda P; Munro, Barbara Hazard; Hollingsworth, Andrea O; Cohen, Susan M; Finkler, Steven; Deatrick, Janet; Youngblut, JoAnne M

    2002-01-01

    To describe the development, testing, modification, and results of the Quality Cost Model of Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) Transitional Care on patient outcomes and health care costs in the United States over 22 years, and to delineate what has been learned for nursing education, practice, and further research. The Quality Cost Model of APN Transitional Care. Review of published results of seven randomized clinical trials with very low birth-weight (VLBW) infants; women with unplanned cesarean births, high risk pregnancies, and hysterectomy surgery; elders with cardiac medical and surgical diagnoses and common diagnostic related groups (DRGs); and women with high risk pregnancies in which half of physician prenatal care was substituted with APN care. Ongoing work with the model is linking the process of APN care with the outcomes and costs of care. APN intervention has consistently resulted in improved patient outcomes and reduced health care costs across groups. Groups with APN providers were rehospitalized for less time at less cost, reflecting early detection and intervention. Optimal number and timing of postdischarge home visits and telephone contacts by the APNs and patterns of rehospitalizations and acute care visits varied by group. To keep people well over time, APNs must have depth of knowledge and excellent clinical and interpersonal skills that are the hallmark of specialist practice, an in-depth understanding of systems and how to work within them, and sufficient patient contact to effect positive outcomes at low cost.

  5. 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…

  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. Integration of quality improvement and cost-efficiency through industrial improvement techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vink JP

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Jasper P Vink,1 Maxime T Rigaudy,1,2 Karl O Elmqvist11Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London, London, 2Hull York Medical School, York, UKIn this journal, Crema and Verbano1 discussed the importance of defining quality of health care and how quality can be improved through various industrial instruments and techniques. Quality of health care is a heavily debated topic that requires a wide scope of considerations across the many stakeholders of the health system. We acknowledge Crema and Verbano’s arguments that patient safety is a basic pillar of quality, upon which we would like to expand by highlighting the clinical effectiveness and patient-reported outcomes, which are the two further crucial components of quality. The arguments made regarding quality improvement techniques and cost efficiency in health care provision are insightful, yet appear to make a distinction between efforts to improve quality, eliminate waste from processes, and cut costs in health care provision. We would argue that in fact these achievements are all closely related and can be achieved simultaneously, if the industrial techniques of quality management are applied adequately.View the original paper by Crema and Verbano.

  8. 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.

  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; Pcost 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. Partial and incremental PCMH practice transformation: implications for quality and costs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paustian, Michael L; Alexander, Jeffrey A; El Reda, Darline K; Wise, Chris G; Green, Lee A; Fetters, Michael D

    2014-02-01

    To examine the associations between partial and incremental implementation of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model and measures of cost and quality of care. We combined validated, self-reported PCMH capabilities data with administrative claims data for a diverse statewide population of 2,432 primary care practices in Michigan. These data were supplemented with contextual data from the Area Resource File. We measured medical home capabilities in place as of June 2009 and change in medical home capabilities implemented between July 2009 and June 2010. Generalized estimating equations were used to estimate the mean effect of these PCMH measures on total medical costs and quality of care delivered in physician practices between July 2009 and June 2010, while controlling for potential practice, patient cohort, physician organization, and practice environment confounders. Based on the observed relationships for partial implementation, full implementation of the PCMH model is associated with a 3.5 percent higher quality composite score, a 5.1 percent higher preventive composite score, and $26.37 lower per member per month medical costs for adults. Full PCMH implementation is also associated with a 12.2 percent higher preventive composite score, but no reductions in costs for pediatric populations. Incremental improvements in PCMH model implementation yielded similar positive effects on quality of care for both adult and pediatric populations but were not associated with cost savings for either population. Estimated effects of the PCMH model on quality and cost of care appear to improve with the degree of PCMH implementation achieved and with incremental improvements in implementation. © Health Research and Educational Trust.

  11. Two-Year Costs and Quality in the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Stacy B; Ghosh, Arkadipta; Peikes, Deborah N; Day, Timothy J; Yoon, Frank B; Taylor, Erin Fries; Swankoski, Kaylyn; O'Malley, Ann S; Conway, Patrick H; Rajkumar, Rahul; Press, Matthew J; Sessums, Laura; Brown, Randall

    2016-06-16

    The 4-year, multipayer Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative was started in October 2012 to determine whether several forms of support would produce changes in care delivery that would improve the quality and reduce the costs of care at 497 primary care practices in seven regions across the United States. Support included the provision of care-management fees, the opportunity to earn shared savings, and the provision of data feedback and learning support. We tracked changes in the delivery of care by practices participating in the initiative and used difference-in-differences regressions to compare changes over the first 2 years of the initiative in Medicare expenditures, health care utilization, claims-based measures of quality, and patient experience for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries attributed to initiative practices and a group of matched comparison practices. During the first 2 years, initiative practices received a median of $115,000 per clinician in care-management fees. The practices reported improvements in approaches to the delivery of primary care in areas such as management of the care of high-risk patients and enhanced access to care. Changes in average monthly Medicare expenditures per beneficiary did not differ significantly between initiative and comparison practices when care-management fees were not taken into account (-$11; 95% confidence interval [CI], -$23 to $1; P=0.07; negative values indicate less growth in spending at initiative practices) or when these fees were taken into account ($7; 95% CI, -$5 to $19; P=0.27). The only significant differences in other measures were a 3% reduction in primary care visits for initiative practices relative to comparison practices (Pinitiative practices relative to comparison practices (P=0.006 and Pinitiative have reported progress in transforming the delivery of primary care. However, at this point these practices have not yet shown savings in expenditures for Medicare Parts A and B after

  12. Summary of strategies for planning Productivity Improvement and Quality Enhancement (PIQE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-01-01

    The Summary of NASA Strategies for Productivity Improvement and Quality Enhancement respond to NASA's eighth top goal: Establish NASA as a leader in the development and application of advanced technology and management practices which contribute to significant increases in both Agency and national productivity. The Strategies provide the framework for development of the agency-wide Productivity Improvement and Quality Enhancement (PIQE) Plans.

  13. 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.

  14. Quality improvement in hospitals: how much does it reduce healthcare costs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, S B

    1995-01-01

    The philosophy of W.E. Deming suggests that continuous quality improvement efforts, when properly applied, ultimately will lead to financial dividends and will help ensure business longevity. Reducing hospital charges can be exciting for the participants and can provide an impetus for expanding quality improvement efforts. Americans, however, tend to demand almost instant gratification and have limited patience for longer-term results. This factor, coupled with minimal knowledge of actual operational costs and inaccurate charge accounting systems, may lead hospital managers to misinterpret the potential net long-term effects of their quality improvement efforts. In the approaching environment of capitated reimbursement, such mistakes may have serious consequences.

  15. Consequent use of IT tools as a driver for cost reduction and quality improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, Stefan; Rapp, Roberto; Feustel, Andreas

    2013-10-01

    The semiconductor industry drives a lot of efforts in the field of cost reductions and quality improvements. The consequent use of IT tools is one possibility to support these goals. With the extensions of its 150mm Fab to 200mm Robert Bosch increased the systematic use of data analysis and Advanced Process Control (APC).

  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. A comparative study on indoor air quality in a low cost and a green ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A study on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is important because people spend most of their time inside houses. IAQ was monitored in two different types of rural houses namely a low cost house and a “green” house built with pyramidal shape of roof in the rural area. Carbon monoxide (CO) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) concentrations ...

  18. 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…

  19. The impact of horizontal mergers and acquisitions on cost and quality in health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, M J; Porper, R W; Manji, S

    1995-12-01

    Mergers and acquisitions among HMOs, hospitals and other health care providers can be disconcerting to benefits staff and employees, but they can be successfully managed. They may offer an employer the opportunity to improve the quality of care provided and to do so at reduced costs.

  20. [Reduce Energy Costs While Maintaining Healthy IAQ.] "Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools" Update #17

    Science.gov (United States)

    US Environmental Protection Agency, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This issue of "Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools" Update ("IAQ TfS" Update) contains the following items: (1) News and Events; (2) Feature Article: Reduce Energy Costs while Maintaining Healthy IAQ; (3) Insight into Excellence: North East Independent School District ; (4) School Building Week 2009; and (5) Have Your Questions Answered!

  1. 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....

  2. Targeting Environmental Quality to Improve Population Health and Lower Healthcare Costs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Key goals of health care reform are to stimulate innovative approaches to improve healthcare quality and clinical outcomes while holding down costs. To achieve these goals value-based payment places the needs of the patient first and encourages multi-stakeholder cooperation. Ye...

  3. Quality-adjusted cost of care: a meaningful way to measure growth in innovation cost versus the value of health gains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakdawalla, Darius; Shafrin, Jason; Lucarelli, Claudio; Nicholson, Sean; Khan, Zeba M; Philipson, Tomas J

    2015-04-01

    Technology drives both health care spending and health improvement. Yet policy makers rarely see measures of cost growth that account for both effects. To fill this gap, we present the quality-adjusted cost of care, which illustrates cost growth net of growth in the value of health improvements, measured as survival gains multiplied by the value of survival. We applied the quality-adjusted cost of care to two cases. For colorectal cancer, drug cost per patient increased by $34,493 between 1998 and 2005 as a result of new drug launches, but value from offsetting health improvements netted a modest $1,377 increase in quality-adjusted cost of care. For multiple myeloma, new therapies increased treatment cost by $72,937 between 2004 and 2009, but offsetting health benefits lowered overall quality-adjusted cost of care by $67,863. However, patients with multiple myeloma on established first-line therapies saw costs rise without corresponding benefits. All three examples document rapid cost growth, but they provide starkly different answers to the question of whether society got what it paid for. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  4. Cost and impact of a quality improvement programme in mental health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beecham, Jennifer; Ramsay, Angus; Gordon, Kate; Maltby, Sophie; Walshe, Kieran; Shaw, Ian; Worrall, Adrian; King, Sarah

    2010-04-01

    To estimate the cost and impact of a centrally-driven quality improvement initiative in four UK mental health communities. Total costs in year 1 were identified using documentation, a staff survey, semi-structured interviews and discussion groups. Few outcome data were collected within the programme so thematic analysis was used to identify the programme's impact within its five broad underlying principles. The survey had a 40% response. Total costs ranged between pound164,000 and pound458,000 per site, plus staff time spent on workstreams. There was a very hazy view of the resources absorbed and poor recording of expenditure and activity. The initiative generated little demonstrable improvements in service quality but some participants reported changes in attitudes. Given the difficult contexts, short time-scales and capacity constraints, the programme's lack of impact is not surprising. It may, however, represent a worthwhile investment in cultural change which might facilitate improvements in how services are delivered.

  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. Standard values of quality and ore mining costs in management of multi-plant mining company

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kudelko, Jan [KGHM CUPRUM Research and Development Center, Wroclaw (Poland); Wirth, Herbert [KGHM Polska Miedz S.A., Lubin (Poland)

    2010-03-15

    Profitability of copper deposit mining depends on three basic variables, electrolytic copper price, manufacturing and selling costs of copper and company property involved in production process. If the company property is adjusted to its tasks then the mining profiability depends on costs of copper mining and selling, because the price is the external variable defined by the market. We can shape the costs in two (complementary) ways, traditionally, reducing the labor, material and power consumption, and by adjusting the quality of mined ore (copper content) to the level required by the current copper prices. Required quality of copper ore in the whole company we determine according to the accepted profitability criteria and then we determine quality standard for individual mines. Algorithms determining the ore quality standard resulting from current market price of copper are presented in the paper. Calculation models for the mined ore quality standards, unit mining costs per one ton of copper, electrolytic copper production and ore output are given. Standards were established for one variable assuming that the other variables are determined in this calculation. Innovative solution, presented in the paper, is the method of decomposition of the company controllable variables into the tasks for individual mines providing reaching the targets to the whole technological circuit. Using the models, having relatively few data, it will be possible to calculate quickly the values which are interesting for managers such as for example the prognosis of rate of return (economic or operational), required copper content in the mined ore for the whole company and individual mines at given rate of return or boundary level of copper content in comparison with cost and production level. Examples of calculation are provided. (orig.)

  7. Between Cost Cheap Prices And Increasing High Quality Educational University In Pekanbaru City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prama Widayat

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The need of higher education in the community has become the main thing for the future, not all can study at State Universities (PTN but some must enter in Private Universities (PTS. But the problem that arises is the problem of tuition fees in the PTS course higher than the state university, the tendency of prospective students in choosing Higher Education (PT based on cost and quality. While the problems from the PT side lies in the budget constraints in improving quality because of talk about the quality of course comprehensive from the means of lectures to the specialization of universities. Limitations of costs can at least be overcome by the synergy of universities, private companies and governments so it is not always student.

  8. [Software for illustrating a cost-quality balance carried out by clinical laboratory practice].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishibori, Masahiro; Asayama, Hitoshi; Kimura, Satoshi; Takagi, Yasushi; Hagihara, Michio; Fujiwara, Mutsunori; Yoneyama, Akiko; Watanabe, Takashi

    2010-09-01

    We have no proper reference indicating the quality of clinical laboratory practice, which should clearly illustrates that better medical tests require more expenses. Japanese Society of Laboratory Medicine was concerned about recent difficult medical economy and issued a committee report proposing a guideline to evaluate the good laboratory practice. According to the guideline, we developed software that illustrate a cost-quality balance carried out by clinical laboratory practice. We encountered a number of controversial problems, for example, how to measure and weight each quality-related factor, how to calculate costs of a laboratory test and how to consider characteristics of a clinical laboratory. Consequently we finished only prototype software within the given period and the budget. In this paper, software implementation of the guideline and the above-mentioned problems are summarized. Aiming to stimulate these discussions, the operative software will be put on the Society's homepage for trial

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. Chelating ligands: enhancers of quality and purity of biogas ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The quality of biogas depends largely on the percentage of methane and hydrogen sulphide gas present. High concentration of hydrogen sulphide results in low quality biogas. This work employed the use of chelating ligands in scrubbing hydrogen sulphide gas while improving the yield of methane gas. Experimental ...

  12. 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…

  13. Power transformation for enhancing responsiveness of quality of life questionnaire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, YanYan Ange

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the effect of power transformation of raw scores on the responsiveness of quality of life survey. The procedure maximizes the paired t-test value on the power transformed data to obtain an optimal power range. The parallel between the Box-Cox transformation is also investigated for the quality of life data.

  14. Placements: An Underused Vehicle for Quality Enhancement in Higher Education?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kettis, Asa; Ring, Lena; Gustavsson, Maria; Wallman, Andy

    2013-01-01

    Placements have the potential to contribute more effectively to the quality of higher education. The aim of this article is to discuss how placements can be made more worthwhile for individual students, while also contributing to the overall quality of teaching and learning at HEIs as well as to the development of workplace cultures that are…

  15. A Comparison of Alternative Strategies for Cost-Effective Water Quality Management in Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, Daniel Boyd; Polasky, Stephen; Starfield, Anthony; Palik, Brian; Westphal, Lynne; Snyder, Stephanie; Jakes, Pamela; Hudson, Rachel; Gustafson, Eric

    2006-09-01

    Roughly 45% of the assessed lakes in the United States are impaired for one or more reasons. Eutrophication due to excess phosphorus loading is common in many impaired lakes. Various strategies are available to lake residents for addressing declining lake water quality, including septic system upgrades and establishing riparian buffers. This study examines 25 lakes to determine whether septic upgrades or riparian buffers are a more cost-effective strategy to meet a phosphorus reduction target. We find that riparian buffers are the more cost-effective strategy in every case but one. Large transaction costs associated with the negotiation and monitoring of riparian buffers, however, may be prohibiting lake residents from implementing the most cost-effective strategy.

  16. Using management information systems to enhance health care quality assurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosser, L H; Kleiner, B H

    1995-01-01

    Examines how computers and quality assurance are being used to improve the quality of health care delivery. Traditional quality assurance methods have been limited in their ability to effectively manage the high volume of data generated by the health care process. Computers on the other hand are able to handle large volumes of data as well as monitor patient care activities in both the acute care and ambulatory care settings. Discusses the use of computers to collect and analyse patient data so that changes and problems can be identified. In addition, computer models for reminding physicians to order appropriate preventive health measures for their patients are presented. Concludes that the use of computers to augment quality improvement is essential if the quality of patient care and health promotion are to be improved.

  17. Species integrity enhanced by a predation cost to hybrids in the wild

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nilsson, P. A.; Hulthén, Kaj; Chapman, Ben B.

    2017-01-01

    Species integrity can be challenged, and even eroded, if closely related species can hybridize and produce fertile offspring of comparable fitness to that of parental species. The maintenance of newly diverged or closely related species therefore hinges on the establishment and effectiveness of pre...... barrier to gene flow in the wild. Cyprinid fishes commonly produce fertile, viable hybrid offspring and therefore make excellent study organisms to investigate ecological costs to hybrids. We electronically tagged two freshwater cyprinid fish species (roach Rutilus rutilus and bream Abramis brama...... to directly test for a predation cost to hybrids in the wild. Hybrid individuals were found significantly more susceptible to cormorant predation than individuals from either parental species. Such ecological selection against hybrids contributes to species integrity, and can enhance species diversification....

  18. 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)

  19. Improving the quality of pressure ulcer care with prevention: a cost-effectiveness analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padula, William V; Mishra, Manish K; Makic, Mary Beth F; Sullivan, Patrick W

    2011-04-01

    In October 2008, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services discontinued reimbursement for hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPUs), thus placing stress on hospitals to prevent incidence of this costly condition. To evaluate whether prevention methods are cost-effective compared with standard care in the management of HAPUs. A semi-Markov model simulated the admission of patients to an acute care hospital from the time of admission through 1 year using the societal perspective. The model simulated health states that could potentially lead to an HAPU through either the practice of "prevention" or "standard care." Univariate sensitivity analyses, threshold analyses, and Bayesian multivariate probabilistic sensitivity analysis using 10,000 Monte Carlo simulations were conducted. Cost per quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained for the prevention of HAPUs. Prevention was cost saving and resulted in greater expected effectiveness compared with the standard care approach per hospitalization. The expected cost of prevention was $7276.35, and the expected effectiveness was 11.241 QALYs. The expected cost for standard care was $10,053.95, and the expected effectiveness was 9.342 QALYs. The multivariate probabilistic sensitivity analysis showed that prevention resulted in cost savings in 99.99% of the simulations. The threshold cost of prevention was $821.53 per day per person, whereas the cost of prevention was estimated to be $54.66 per day per person. This study suggests that it is more cost effective to pay for prevention of HAPUs compared with standard care. Continuous preventive care of HAPUs in acutely ill patients could potentially reduce incidence and prevalence, as well as lead to lower expenditures.

  20. Cost and quality of life of overlooked eye care needs of children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malvankar-Mehta MS

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Monali S Malvankar-Mehta,1,2 Ryan Wilson,3 Erik Leci,3 Kelly Hatch,4 Sapna Sharan1 1Department of Ophthalmology, Ivey Eye Institute, St. Joseph’s Hospital, 2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 3Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, 4Allyn & Betty Taylor Library, Natural Sciences Centre, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada Background: The objective of this research was to conduct a systematic review and cost analysis to summarize, from the Ministry of Health perspective, the costs families might incur because of their child’s prescription for refractive errors and amblyopia correction.Methods: Databases including MEDLINE, Embase, BIOSIS, CINAHL, HEED, ISI Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library as well as the gray literature were searched. Systematic review was conducted using EPPI-Reviewer 4. Percentage difference in cost of glasses and patches per patient per various diagnoses were computed. The cost of glasses and patches was projected over a 5-year time horizon. Cost-utility analysis was performed.Results: In total, 302 records were retrieved from multiple databases and an additional 48 records were identified through gray literature search. From these, a total of 14 studies (10,388 subjects were eligible for quantitative analysis. The cost of glasses increased significantly for congenital cataract patients to US$1,820, esotropia patients to US$840, myopes to US$411, amblyopes (mixed to US$916, anisometropes to US$521, and patients with strabismus to US$728 over a 5-year period making them unaffordable for low-income families. Incremental cost of glasses of congenital cataract patients with delayed treatment was computed to be US$1,690 per health utility gained. Incremental cost of glasses for high refractive error was US$93 per health utility gained in non-compliant children. For amblyopia patients, incremental cost of glasses per quality-adjusted life years gained was US$3,638.Conclusion: Cost of

  1. Cordectomy by CO2 laser or radiotherapy for small T1a glottic carcinomas : Costs, local control, survival, quality of life, and voice quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goor, Kim M.; Peeters, A. Jeanne G. E.; Mahieu, Hans F.; Langendijk, Johannes A.; Leemans, C. Rene; Verdonck-de Leeuw, Irma M.; van Agthoven, Michel

    Background, The clinical results of radiotherapy and endoscopic cordectomy for T1a glottic carcinoma are reported to be similar, but costs of both treatments may differ. Therefore, we retrospectively evaluated the costs, voice quality, quality of life, and clinical results of both treatments.

  2. The impact of scale, complexity, and service quality on the administrative costs of pension funds: A cross-country comparison

    OpenAIRE

    J.A. Bikker; O.W. Steenbeek; F. Torracchi

    2010-01-01

    Administrative costs per participant appear to vary widely across pension funds in different countries. These costs are important because they reduce the rate of return on the investments of pension funds, and consequently raise the cost of retirement security. Using unique data on 90 pension funds over the period 2004-2008, this paper examines the impact of scale, the complexity of pension plans, and service quality on the administrative costs of pension funds, and compares those costs acros...

  3. Low-Cost Air Quality Monitoring Tools: From Research to Practice (A Workshop Summary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea L. Clements

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available In May 2017, a two-day workshop was held in Los Angeles (California, U.S.A. to gather practitioners who work with low-cost sensors used to make air quality measurements. The community of practice included individuals from academia, industry, non-profit groups, community-based organizations, and regulatory agencies. The group gathered to share knowledge developed from a variety of pilot projects in hopes of advancing the collective knowledge about how best to use low-cost air quality sensors. Panel discussion topics included: (1 best practices for deployment and calibration of low-cost sensor systems, (2 data standardization efforts and database design, (3 advances in sensor calibration, data management, and data analysis and visualization, and (4 lessons learned from research/community partnerships to encourage purposeful use of sensors and create change/action. Panel discussions summarized knowledge advances and project successes while also highlighting the questions, unresolved issues, and technological limitations that still remain within the low-cost air quality sensor arena.

  4. Challenges of healthcare administration: optimizing quality and value at an affordable cost in pediatric cardiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Mitchell I; Frias, Patricio A

    2018-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to explore the paradigm shift in healthcare delivery that will need to take place over the next few years away from an emphasis on supply-driven health care to better quality transparent-driven health care whose focus is on the consumer's best interest. The current healthcare system is fragmented and costs continue to rise. The best way to contain costs is to improve quality to the consumer, the patient. Physicians and hospitals need to align in a team-based approach that allows physicians to understand current costs and how to strive toward a focus on healthcare outcomes. Pediatric cardiology is a unique discipline that cares for patients with complex congenital conditions that will span their lifetime and also involves not just cardiology but surgery, intensive care, anesthesia, nursing, and a host of inpatient and ambulatory services. Understanding what matters to the patient and his/her family and presenting quality outcomes in a transparent fashion will gradually allow a shift to take place away from physician visits, tests ordered, and procedures performed. This can only be achieved with physicians, given the appropriate tools to understand costs, value, and outcomes and models where the hospitals and physicians are aligned. The transformation to a value-based healthcare system is beginning and pediatric cardiologists need to be educated, given the appropriate resources, receive appropriate feedback, and patients need to be part of the solution so that care providers can understand what matters most to them.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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%.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Nassar, Joanna M.; Hussain, Aftab M.; Rojas, Jhonathan Prieto; Hussain, Muhammad Mustafa

    2014-01-01

    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%.

  9. Quality assurance. 6. ed.

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Masing, W.

    1979-01-01

    Brief introduction to the quality sector. After some explanations of the terms of quality, feature, and defect, the article discusses the planning of quality and testing, industrial metrology, the test risk, quality assurance, quality enhancement, quality cost, and organisational problems. (RW) [de

  10. 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.

  11. Extension and Enhancement Methods for Setting Data Quality Objectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goodman, D.

    2000-01-01

    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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

  16. Highlights of contractor initiatives in quality enhancement and productivity improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-01-01

    The NASA/Contractor Team efforts are presented as part of NASA's continuing effort to facilitate the sharing of quality and productivity improvement ideas among its contractors. This complilation is not meant to be a comprehensive review of contractor initiative nor does it necessarily express NASA's views. The submissions represent samples from a general survey, and were not edited by NASA. The efforts are examples of quality and productivity programs in private industry, and as such, highlight company efforts in individual areas. Topics range from modernization of equipment, hardware, and technology to management of human resources. Of particular interest are contractor initiatives which deal with measurement and evaluation data pertaining to quality and productivity performance.

  17. Enhancing quality of student teachers' practices through reflective ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper explores the role of journal writing in enhancing student teachers' learning during school practice. It analyses data from 22 student teachers' journals and 23 questionnaires. The study focuses on the areas that student teachers reflected on most, the nature of their reflection and the extent to which previous ...

  18. 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

    2017-12-01

    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, ptype 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Data quality studies of enhanced interferometric gravitational wave detectors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 contain 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. (paper)

  1. Doctors on deck. ACOs led by doctors seek to manage costs, quality and hospital relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Melanie

    2012-04-16

    Most of the first crop of ACOs in the Medicare Shared Savings Program are owned and operated by physicians without formal participation of a hospital in the efforts to improve quality and curb costs. "There were some people who feared that the only entities that would participate would be hospital-dominated systems," says Jonathan Blum, director of the Center for Medicare Management at the CMS, left. "That has not happened".

  2. Calibration of low-cost gas sensors for an urban air quality monitoring network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, A.; Kelley, C.; He, C.; Ghugare, P.; Lehman, A.; Benish, S.; Stratton, P.; Dickerson, R. R.; Zuidema, C.; Azdoud, Y.; Ren, X.

    2017-12-01

    In a warming world, environmental pollution may be exacerbated by anthropogenic activities, such as climate change and the urban heat island effect, as well as natural phenomena such as heat waves. However, monitoring air pollution at federal reference standards (approximately 1 part per billion or ppb for ambient ozone) is cost-prohibitive in heterogeneous urban areas as many expensive devices are required to fully capture a region's geo-spatial variability. Innovation in low-cost sensors provide a potential solution, yet technical challenges remain to overcome possible imprecision in the data. We present the calibrations of ozone and nitrous dioxide from a low-cost air quality monitoring device designed for the Baltimore Open Air Project. The sensors used in this study are commercially available thin film electrochemical sensors from SPEC Sensor, which are amperometric, meaning they generate current proportional to volumetric fraction of gas. The results of sensor calibrations in the laboratory and field are presented.

  3. Lux level enhancement and reduction in electricity cost in commercial buildings by retrofitting with PMR luminaries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mariun, N.; Mohibullah; Jasni, J.; Lam, S.Y.

    2006-01-01

    Most of the existing commercial buildings are illuminated by luminaries systems during broad daylight and night which is provided by the renowned lighting industry. However, back in 1980s, the installed luminaries within the office compound were limited in choice of luminaire selection and cost factor impact. Some of the old commercial building are still using prismatic acrylic lens diffuser luminaries in order to brighten up the building for their business activities and a large number of luminaries are needed to illuminate equivalent illumination level as per requirement of the building bye-laws code. With the advancement in luminaries technology, the lighting industries have offered better solution to reduce energy costs by 50% or more, also able to improve the quality of light and reducing the quantity of luminaries requirement by introducing the parabolic mirror reflector (PMR) luminaries system. The selected commercial building as a case study to support this luminaries retrofitting program by comparing the existing luminaries with the retrofit luminaries in terms of the lux measurement and energy cost saving calculation is presented in this paper. Nevertheless, some general lighting design principle rules are also discussed

  4. Enhancing the Quality of Life through Cultural Events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liburd, Janne J.

    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...

  5. Evaluating and Enhancing Outcomes Assessment Quality in Higher Education Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Kenneth; Goodwin, Laura

    2007-01-01

    Accreditation is a mark of distinction indicating that an institution has met high standards set by the profession, and an increasingly important feature of the accreditation process in higher education is "outcomes assessment." This article presents two rubrics for evaluating the quality of an institution's outcomes assessment system. One rubric…

  6. Data Quality Enhanced Prediction Model for Massive Plant Data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Moon-Ghu; Kang, Seong-Ki; Shin, Hajin

    2016-01-01

    This paper introduces an integrated signal preconditioning and model prediction mainly by kernel functions. The performance and benefits of the methods are demonstrated by a case study with measurement data from a power plant and its components transient data. The developed methods will be applied as a part of monitoring massive or big data platform where human experts cannot detect the fault behaviors due to too large size of the measurements. Recent extensive efforts for on-line monitoring implementation insists that a big surprise in the modeling for predicting process variables was the extent of data quality problems in measurement data especially for data-driven modeling. Bad data for training will be learned as normal and can make significant degrade in prediction performance. For this reason, the quantity and quality of measurement data in modeling phase need special care. Bad quality data must be removed from training sets to the bad data considered as normal system behavior. This paper presented an integrated structure of supervisory system for monitoring the plants or sensors performance. The quality of the data-driven model is improved with a bilateral kernel filter for preprocessing of the noisy data. The prediction module is also based on kernel regression having the same basis with noise filter. The model structure is optimized by a grouping process with nonlinear Hoeffding correlation function

  7. Data Quality Enhanced Prediction Model for Massive Plant Data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Park, Moon-Ghu [Nuclear Engr. Sejong Univ., Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Kang, Seong-Ki [Monitoring and Diagnosis, Suwon (Korea, Republic of); Shin, Hajin [Saint Paul Preparatory Seoul, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-10-15

    This paper introduces an integrated signal preconditioning and model prediction mainly by kernel functions. The performance and benefits of the methods are demonstrated by a case study with measurement data from a power plant and its components transient data. The developed methods will be applied as a part of monitoring massive or big data platform where human experts cannot detect the fault behaviors due to too large size of the measurements. Recent extensive efforts for on-line monitoring implementation insists that a big surprise in the modeling for predicting process variables was the extent of data quality problems in measurement data especially for data-driven modeling. Bad data for training will be learned as normal and can make significant degrade in prediction performance. For this reason, the quantity and quality of measurement data in modeling phase need special care. Bad quality data must be removed from training sets to the bad data considered as normal system behavior. This paper presented an integrated structure of supervisory system for monitoring the plants or sensors performance. The quality of the data-driven model is improved with a bilateral kernel filter for preprocessing of the noisy data. The prediction module is also based on kernel regression having the same basis with noise filter. The model structure is optimized by a grouping process with nonlinear Hoeffding correlation function.

  8. 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

  9. Cost and quality implications of discrepancies between admitting and discharge diagnoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNutt, Robert; Johnson, Tricia; Kane, Jason; Ackerman, Mariel; Odwazny, Richard; Bardhan, Jaydeep

    2012-01-01

    Presenting and discharge diagnoses of hospitalized patients may differ as a result of patient complexity, diagnostic dilemmas, or errors in clinical judgment at the time of primary assessment. When diagnoses at admission and discharge are not in agreement, this discrepancy may indicate more complex processes of care and resultant costs. It is unclear whether surrogate measures reflecting quality of care are impacted by discrepant diagnoses. To assess whether an association exists between admitting and discharge International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) diagnosis codes and other quality markers including hospital length of stay, total cost of care, and 30-day readmission rate. This was a retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of general internal medicine patients aged 18 years and older. Diagnosis discrepancy was defined as a difference between the 3-digit ICD-9 diagnosis code at admission and the principal 3-digit ICD-9 diagnosis code at discharge. Sixty-eight percent of patients had a diagnosis discrepancy. Diagnosis discrepancy was associated with a 0.41-day increase in length of stay (P < .001), $663 increase in direct costs (P < .001), and a 1.55 times greater odds of readmission within 30 days (P < .001). Diagnosis discrepancy was associated with hospital quality outcome measures. This finding likely reflects variations in patients' diagnostic complexity.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Carmel River Lagoon Enhancement Project: Water Quality and Aquatic Wildlife Monitoring, 2006-7

    OpenAIRE

    Perry, William; Watson, Fred; Casagrande, Joel; Hanley, Charles

    2007-01-01

    This is a report to the California Department of Parks and Recreation. It describes water quality and aquatic invertebrate monitoring after the construction of the Carmel River Lagoon Enhancement Project. Included are data that have been collected for two years and preliminary assessment of the enhanced ecosystem. This report marks the completion of 3-years of monitoring water quality and aquatic habitat. The report adopts the same format and certain background text from previous ...

  14. Elevational spatial compounding for enhancing image quality in echocardiography

    OpenAIRE

    Perperidis, Antonios; McDicken, Norman; MacGillivray, Tom; Anderson, Tom

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Echocardiography is commonly used in clinical practice for the real-time assessment of cardiac morphology and function. Nevertheless, due to the nature of the data acquisition, cardiac ultrasound images are often corrupted by a range of acoustic artefacts, including acoustic noise, speckle and shadowing. Spatial compounding techniques have long been recognised for their ability to suppress common ultrasound artefacts, enhancing the imaged cardiac structures. However, they require...

  15. Costs, quality of life and cost-effectiveness of arthroscopic and open repair for rotator cuff tears: an economic evaluation alongside the UKUFF trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, J; Gray, A; Cooper, C; Cooper, D; Ramsay, C; Carr, A

    2016-12-01

    A trial-based comparison of the use of resources, costs and quality of life outcomes of arthroscopic and open surgical management for rotator cuff tears in the United Kingdom NHS was performed using data from the United Kingdom Rotator Cuff Study (UKUFF) randomised controlled trial. Using data from 273 patients, healthcare-related use of resources, costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) were estimated at 12 months and 24 months after surgery on an intention-to-treat basis with adjustment for covariates. Uncertainty about the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for arthroscopic versus open management at 24 months of follow-up was incorporated using bootstrapping. Multiple imputation methods were used to deal with missing data. There were no significant differences between the arthroscopic and open groups in terms of total mean use and cost of resources or QALYs at any time post-operatively. Open management dominated arthroscopic management in 59.8% of bootstrapped cost and effect differences. The probability that arthroscopic management was cost-effective compared with open management at a willingness-to-pay threshold of £20 000 per QALY gained was 20.9%. There was no significant overall difference in the use or cost of resources or quality of life between arthroscopic and open management in the trial. There was uncertainty about which strategy was most cost-effective. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2016;98-B:1648-55. ©2016 Gray et al.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rossiter, Helfrid M.A.; Owusu, Peter A.; Awuah, Esi; MacDonald, Alan M.; Schaefer, Andrea I.

    2010-01-01

    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 Pounds 1200 and Pounds 3800 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 Pounds 0.3-21, while the boreholes had a water collection fee of Pounds 0.07-0.7/m 3 , many wells were free. Interestingly, the most expensive water ( Pounds 2.9-3.5/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

  19. Quality, energy requirement and costs of drying tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus L.)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hosseini, A.A.A.

    2005-11-07

    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. Hot air batch drying is the most common drying method for these plants but affects the essential oil content and color. The drying conditions affect essential oil content and color as well as the energy consumption and costs. Process engineers and farmers need to know how they have to dry to obtain the best quality. The objective of this work is to investigate the conditions for optimal drying in terms of quality, energy consumption and costs. Adsorption and desorption experiments were done to find the equilibrium moisture content and water exchange between the material and surrounding air during drying and storage at temperatures of 25C to 70C and relative humidities of 5% to 90%. Drying of tarragon leaves and chopped plants was investigated separately and the best model was selected from the drying equations in literature. The effect of drying temperature and relative humidity on the essential oil content and color change was studied. Experiments were done at temperatures of 40C to 90C and the optimal conditions were. Long-term effects of the drying conditions were also investigated during the storage time. Material dried at 45, 60 and 90C was stored and the essential oil content and color of the material was measured after 15, 30, 60 and 120 days of storage. Drying at 45C was found as the best condition based on the changes of essential oil and color during drying and storage. Optimization of drying of tarragon was studied based on the results of the sorption isotherms, drying equations and the changes of essential oil content and color during drying and storage. Models were made for the drying process, energy consumption and cost calculation. The current conditions

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rossiter, Helfrid M.A. [School of Engineering, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JL (United Kingdom); Owusu, Peter A.; Awuah, Esi [Department of Civil Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi (Ghana); MacDonald, Alan M. [British Geological Survey, Murchison House, West Mains Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3LA (United Kingdom); Schaefer, Andrea I., E-mail: Andrea.Schaefer@ed.ac.uk [School of Engineering, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JL (United Kingdom)

    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{sub 3}{sup -}) were found in 21% of the samples, manganese (Mn) and fluoride (F{sup -}) 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 Pounds 1200 and Pounds 3800 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 Pounds 0.3-21, while the boreholes had a water collection fee of Pounds 0.07-0.7/m{sup 3}, many wells were free. Interestingly, the most expensive water ( Pounds 2.9-3.5/m{sup 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

  1. 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

  2. Localized real-time information on outdoor air quality at kindergartens in Oslo, Norway using low-cost sensor nodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castell, Nuria; Schneider, Philipp; Grossberndt, Sonja; Fredriksen, Mirjam F; Sousa-Santos, Gabriela; Vogt, Mathias; Bartonova, Alena

    2018-08-01

    In Norway, children in kindergartens spend significant time outdoors under all weather conditions, and there is thus a natural concern about the quality of outdoor air. It is well known that air pollution is associated with a wide variety of adverse health impacts for children, with greater impact on children with asthma. Especially during winter and spring, kindergartens in Oslo that are situated close to streets with busy traffic, or in areas where wood burning is used for house heating, can experience many days with bad air quality. During these periods, updated information on air quality levels can help the kindergarten teachers to plan appropriate outdoor activities and thus protect children's health. We have installed 17 low-cost air quality nodes in kindergartens in Oslo. These nodes are smaller, cheaper and less complex to use than traditional equipment. Performance evaluation shows that while they are less accurate and suffer from higher uncertainty than reference equipment, they still can provide reliable coarse information about local pollution. The main challenge when using this technology is that calibration parameters might change with time depending on the atmospheric conditions. Thus, even if the sensors are calibrated a priori, once deployed, and especially if they are deployed for a long time, it is not possible to determine if a node is over- or under-estimating the concentration levels. To enhance the data from the sensors, we employed a data fusion technique that allows generating a detailed air quality map merging the data from the sensors and the data from an urban model, thus being able to offer air quality information to any location within Oslo. We arranged a focus group with the participation of local administration, kindergarten staff and parents to understand their opinion and needs related to the air quality information that was provided to the participant kindergartens. They expressed concern about the data quality but agree that

  3. Continuous quality improvement in substance abuse treatment facilities: How much does it cost?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Priscillia; Hunter, Sarah B; Levan, Deborah

    2017-06-01

    Continuous quality improvement (CQI) has grown in the U.S. since the 1970s, yet little is known about the costs to implement CQI in substance abuse treatment facilities. This paper is part of a larger group randomized control trial in a large urban county evaluating the impact of Plan-Study-Do-Act (PDSA)-CQI designed for community service organizations (Hunter, Ober, Paddock, Hunt, & Levan, 2014). Operated by one umbrella organization, each of the eight facilities of the study, four residential and four outpatient substance abuse treatment facilities, selected their own CQI Actions, including administrative- and clinical care-related Actions. Using an activity-based costing approach, we collected labor and supplies and equipment costs directly attributable to CQI Actions over a 12-month trial period. Our study finds implementation of CQI and meeting costs of this trial per facility were approximately $2000 to $10,500 per year ($4500 on average), or $10 to $60 per admitted client. We provide a description of the sources of variation in these costs, including differing intensity of the CQI Actions selected, which should help decision makers plan use of PDSA-CQI. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. Does integrated care lead to both improved service quality and lower care cost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldeyer, Regina; Siegel, Achim; Daul, Gisela; Gaiser, Karin; Hildebrandt, Helmut; Köster, Ingrid; Schubert, Ingrid; Stunder, Brigitte; Stützle, Yvonne

    2010-01-01

    Purpose and context ‘Gesundes Kinzigtal’ is one of the few population-based integrated care approaches in Germany, organising care across all health service sectors and indications. The management company and its contracting partners (the physicians’ network in the region and two statutory health insurers) strive to reach a higher quality of care at a lower overall cost as compared with the German standard. During its first two years of operation (2006–2007), the Kinzigtal project achieved surprisingly positive financial results compared with its reference value. To gain independent evidence on the quality aspects of the system, the management company and its partners provided a remarkable budget for its evaluation by independent scientific institutions. Case description and data sources We will present interim results of a population-based controlled cohort study. In this study, quality of care is checked by relying on health and service quality indicators that have been constructed from health insurers’ administrative data (claims data). Interim results are presented for the intervention region (Kinzigtal area) and the control region (the rest of Baden-Württemberg, i.e., Southwest Germany). Preliminary conclusions and discussion The evaluation of ‘Gesundes Kinzigtal’ is in full progress. Until now, there is no evidence that the surprisingly positive financial results of the Kinzigtal system have been achieved at the expense of care quality. Rather, Gesundes Kinzigtal Integrated Care seems to be about to increasingly realize comparative advantages regarding health service quality (in comparison to the control region).

  5. Enhancement of quality in chemical inquiry by pre-university students.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rens, L.; Pilot, A.; van Dijk, H.

    2005-01-01

    Our pre-university chemistry students face problems achieving sufficient quality in chemical inquiry. To try to enhance the quality of student performance in chemical inquiry, Dutch pre-university chemistry students (age 17) carried out an authentic research project on 'Diffusion of ions in

  6. Enhancement of quality in chemical inquiry by pre-university students

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rens, L.; Pilot, A.; van Dijk, H.

    2004-01-01

    Our pre-university chemistry students face problems achieving sufficient quality in chemical inquiry. To try to enhance the quality of student performance in chemical inquiry, Dutch pre-university chemistry students (age 17) carried out an authentic research project on 'Diffusion of ions in

  7. A paper-polymer centrifugal device for low-cost sample pre-concentration and colorimetric lateral flow assay enhancement

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wiederoder, MS

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This study describes a novel hybrid paper-polymer centrifugal microfluidic device for pre-concentration of E.coli and lateral flow immunoassay enhancement for water quality verification. The device balances rotational centrifugal force...

  8. Community Partnership to Address Snack Quality and Cost in Afterschool Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilley, Falon; Turner-McGrievy, Gabrielle; Weaver, Robert Glenn; Jones, Sonya

    2014-01-01

    Background Policies call on afterschool programs (ASPs) to serve more nutritious snacks. A major barrier for improving snack quality is cost. This study describes the impact on snack quality and expenditures from a community-partnership between ASPs and local grocery stores. Methods Four large-scale ASPs (serving ∼500 children aged 6-12 years each day) and a single local grocery store chain participated in the study. The nutritional quality of snacks served was recorded pre-intervention (18 weeks spring/fall 2011) and post-intervention (7 weeks spring 2012) via direct observation, along with cost/child/snack/day. Results Pre-intervention snacks were low-nutrient-density salty snacks (eg, chips, 3.0 servings/week), sugar-sweetened beverages (eg, powdered-lemonade, 1.9 servings/week), and desserts (eg, cookies, 2.1servings/week), with only 0.4 servings/week of fruits and no vegetables. By post-intervention, fruits (3.5 servings/week) and vegetables (1.2 servings/week) increased, while sugar-sweetened beverages and desserts were eliminated. Snack expenditures were $0.26 versus $0.24 from pre-intervention to post-intervention. Partnership savings versus purchasing snacks at full retail cost was 24.5% or $0.25/serving versus $0.34/serving. Conclusions This innovative partnership can serve as a model in communities where ASPs seek to identify low-cost alternatives to providing nutritious snacks. PMID:25040123

  9. 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.

  10. Enhancing quality of orange juice by irradiation and chitosan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swailam, H.M.

    2009-01-01

    Recent concern about the presence of disease-causing bacteria in orange juice has highlighted the need to develop alternative means of pathogen control that preserve sensory properties and nutrient content. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of irradiation and chitosan on the microbiological, physico-chemical and sensory properties in orange juice during refrigerated storage at 4 c. Irradiation treatments with 1 and 2 kGy decreased the log counts of total bacterial counts (TBC) and total mould and yeast (TM and Y)of orange juice (OJ). Whereas, irradiation with 2 kGy after treated OJ with 0.1% chitosan (Cs) the log counts were less than 10 cfu/ml during storage periods up to 6 months. Also, no viable cells of salmonella typhimurium and escherichia coli were found after these treatments. Therefore, it was concluded that irradiation with 2 kGy 0.1% Cs of oj improved the microbiological safety. D 1 0-value of s. typhimirium in oj and saline solution were 0.48 and 0.40 kGy, while those of e.coli were 0.25 and 0.20 kGy. Irradiation and chitosan resulted in reduction of ascorbic acid content by 7.47%.however, the contents of acidity were stable during storage periods. After 6 months of storage, sensory quality of the irradiated 2 kGy.1% Cs oj samples was adequate, while the quality of the non-irradiated control was deteriorated. Using 2 kGy.1% Cs treatment would allow to inactivate pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms or slow down their development without affecting its sensory quality. The results indicated that the oj behaves as a non-Newtonian fluid. The measurements of viscosity were applied in power low model to analyze the behavior

  11. Quality Enhancement: A New Step in a Risky Business? A Few Adumbrations on Its Prospect for Higher Education in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neave, Guy; Rosa, Maria Joao; Amaral, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    This chapter examines quality enhancement and risk management as new stages in the dynamic of the Evaluative State. It develops an interpretation alternative to the usual predominantly technical and metrical perspectives of mainline literature on quality assurance and accreditation. Quality

  12. The Relationship between Costs and Quality in Veterans Health Administration Community Living Centers: An Analysis Using Longitudinal Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, James F; Shwartz, Michael; Stolzmann, Kelly; Sullivan, Jennifer L

    2018-05-18

    To examine the relationship between cost and quality in Veterans Health Administration (VA) nursing homes (called Community Living Centers, CLCs) using longitudinal data. One hundred and thirty CLCs over 13 quarters (from FY2009 to FY2012) were studied. Costs, resident days, and resident severity (RUGs score) were obtained from the VA Managerial Cost Accounting System. Clinical quality measures were obtained from the Minimum Data Set, and resident-centered care (RCC) was measured using the Artifacts of Culture Change Tool. We used a generalized estimating equation model with facilities included as fixed effects to examine the relationship between total cost and quality after controlling for resident days and severity. The model included linear and squared terms for all independent variables and interactions with resident days. With the exception of RCC, all other variables had a statistically significant relationship with total costs. For most poorer performing smaller facilities (lower size quartile), improvements in quality were associated with higher costs. For most larger facilities, improvements in quality were associated with lower costs. The relationship between cost and quality depends on facility size and current level of performance. © Published 2018. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  13. Palmitoleate enhances quality of rooster semen during chilled storage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rad, Hamed Mirzaei; Eslami, Mohsen; Ghanie, Abolfazl

    2016-02-01

    The practice of artificial insemination is widely utilized in poultry; and this requires a broad use of semen storage techniques to prevent the reduction of fertilizing ability of stored semen. The antioxidant activity of palmitoleic acid with in vitro experiments has been shown. The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of palmitoleic acid on the quality of rooster semen stored at 4C. Semen was collected from ten roosters twice a week. Ejaculates with greater than 80% forward spermatozoa motility were pooled and after dilution semen was enriched with 0 (control), 0.125 (P 0.125), 0.25 (P 0.25), 0.5 (P 0.5) and 1 (P 1) millimolar palmitoleate. Forward spermatozoa progressive motility and viability, as well as amounts of malondialdehyde (MDA) and total antioxidant activity (AOA) were evaluated in seminal plasma and spermatozoa at 0, 24 and 48h of storage. Motility was 78.5±2.21, 77.5±1.04, and 69.5±2.32% at 24h and 58.66±1.35, 49.33±1.36 and 43.00±2.08% at 48h in P 0.125, P 0.25 and control, respectively (Prooster semen with small doses of palmitoleate has beneficial effects on the semen quality during cold storage. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Enhancing indoor air quality -The air filter advantage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayan, Vannan Kandi; Paramesh, Haralappa; Salvi, Sundeep Santosh; Dalal, Alpa Anil Kumar

    2015-01-01

    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.

  15. Enhancing Cellular Coverage Quality by Virtual Access Point and Wireless Power Transfer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinsong Gui

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The ultradensification deploying for cellular networks is a direct and effective method for the improvement of network capacity. However, the benefit is achieved at the cost of network infrastructure investment and operating overheads, especially when there is big gap between peak-hour Internet traffic and average one. Therefore, we put forward the concept of virtual cellular coverage area, where wireless terminals with high-end configuration are motivated to enhance cellular coverage quality by both providing RF energy compensation and rewarding free traffic access to Internet. This problem is formulated as the Stackelberg game based on three-party circular decision, where a Macro BS (MBS acts as the leader to offer a charging power to Energy Transferring Relays (ETRs, and the ETRs and their associating Virtual Access Points (VAPs act as the followers to make their decisions, respectively. According to the feedback from the followers, the leader may readjust its strategy. The circular decision is repeated until the powers converge. Also, the better response algorithm for each game player is proposed to iteratively achieve the Stackelberg-Nash Equilibrium (SNE. Theoretical analysis proves the convergence of the proposed game scheme, and simulation results demonstrate its effectiveness.

  16. Implementation of enhanced recovery programme for laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy: feasibility, safety and cost analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, John; Di Fabio, Francesco; Clarke, Hannah; Bajalan, Mohammed; Davids, Joe; Abu Hilal, Mohammed

    2015-01-01

    The adoption of laparoscopy for distal pancreatectomy has proven to substantially improve short-term outcomes. Stress response after major surgery can be further minimized within an enhanced recovery programme (ERP). However, data on the potential benefit of an ERP for laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy are still lacking. The aim was to assess the feasibility, safety and cost of ERP for patients undergoing laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy. This is a case-control study from a Tertiary University Hospital. Sixty-six consecutive patients who underwent laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy were analyzed. Twenty-two patients were enrolled for the ERP and compared with previous consecutive 44 patients managed traditionally (1:2 ratio). Operative details, post-operative outcome and cost analysis were compared in the two groups. Patients enrolled in the ERP had similar intraoperative blood loss (median 165 ml vs. 200 ml; p = 0.176), operation time (225 min vs. 210 min; p = 0.633), time to remove naso-gastric tube (1 vs. 1 day; p = 0.081) but significantly shorter time to mobilization (median 1 vs. 2 days; p = 0.0001), start solid diet (2 vs. 3 days; p = 0004), and pass stools (3 vs. 5 days; p = 0.002) compared to the control group. Median length of stay was significantly shorter in the ERP group (3 vs. 6 days; p pancreatectomy with significant earlier return to normal gut function, reduced length of stay and cost saving. Copyright © 2015 IAP and EPC. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. 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...... 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.......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...

  18. 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 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.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.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.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.

  19. Enhancing diabetes management while teaching quality improvement methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sievers, Beth A; Negley, Kristin D F; Carlson, Marny L; Nelson, Joyce L; Pearson, Kristina K

    2014-01-01

    Six medical units realized that they were having issues with accurate timing of bedtime blood glucose measurement for their patients with diabetes. They decided to investigate the issues by using their current staff nurse committee structure. The clinical nurse specialists and nurse education specialists decided to address the issue by educating and engaging the staff in the define, measure, analyze, improve, control (DMAIC) framework process. They found that two issues needed to be improved, including timing of bedtime blood glucose measurement and snack administration and documentation. Several educational interventions were completed and resulted in improved timing of bedtime glucose measurement and bedtime snack documentation. The nurses understood the DMAIC process, and collaboration and cohesion among the medical units was enhanced. Copyright 2014, SLACK Incorporated.

  20. 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.

  1. The burden of endometriosis: costs and quality of life of women with endometriosis and treated in referral centres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simoens, Steven; Dunselman, Gerard; Dirksen, Carmen; Hummelshoj, Lone; Bokor, Attila; Brandes, Iris; Brodszky, Valentin; Canis, Michel; Colombo, Giorgio Lorenzo; DeLeire, Thomas; Falcone, Tommaso; Graham, Barbara; Halis, Gülden; Horne, Andrew; Kanj, Omar; Kjer, Jens Jørgen; Kristensen, Jens; Lebovic, Dan; Mueller, Michael; Vigano, Paola; Wullschleger, Marcel; D'Hooghe, Thomas

    2012-05-01

    This study aimed to calculate costs and health-related quality of life of women with endometriosis-associated symptoms treated in referral centres. A prospective, multi-centre, questionnaire-based survey measured costs and quality of life in ambulatory care and in 12 tertiary care centres in 10 countries. The study enrolled women with a diagnosis of endometriosis and with at least one centre-specific contact related to endometriosis-associated symptoms in 2008. The main outcome measures were health care costs, costs of productivity loss, total costs and quality-adjusted life years. Predictors of costs were identified using regression analysis. Data analysis of 909 women demonstrated that the average annual total cost per woman was €9579 (95% confidence interval €8559-€10 599). Costs of productivity loss of €6298 per woman were double the health care costs of €3113 per woman. Health care costs were mainly due to surgery (29%), monitoring tests (19%) and hospitalization (18%) and physician visits (16%). Endometriosis-associated symptoms generated 0.809 quality-adjusted life years per woman. Decreased quality of life was the most important predictor of direct health care and total costs. Costs were greater with increasing severity of endometriosis, presence of pelvic pain, presence of infertility and a higher number of years since diagnosis. Our study invited women to report resource use based on endometriosis-associated symptoms only, rather than drawing on a control population of women without endometriosis. Our study showed that the economic burden associated with endometriosis treated in referral centres is high and is similar to other chronic diseases (diabetes, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis). It arises predominantly from productivity loss, and is predicted by decreased quality of life.

  2. 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

  3. Zebra Mussel Farming in the Szczecin (Oder Lagoon: Water-Quality Objectives and Cost-Effectiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerald Schernewski

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The Oder (Szczecin Lagoon in the southern Baltic Sea is a heavily eutrophicated and degraded coastal ecosystem. We applied a systems approach framework to critically evaluate whether existing water-management measures achieve water-quality objectives for the river and lagoon systems. Our simulations reveal that the existing water-quality objectives for the river and the coastal waters are not sufficiently complementary. We suggest new water-quality threshold concentrations, which are in agreement with the European Water Framework Directive, and we calculate acceptable maximum nutrient loads for the Oder River. These calculations suggest that external nutrient-load reductions in the river basin alone seem insufficient to achieve good water quality in the lagoon. A comprehensive eutrophication management approach should also include internal nutrient-retention and nutrient-removal measures in the lagoon. We focus on mussel farming, i.e., that of zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, because they are efficient in removing nutrients and improving water transparency in the Oder Lagoon. For this purpose, the ecosystem model ERGOM is extended by a mussel module and an economic model. The economic model describes costs and benefits of mussel cultivation depending on the the farm size. We included additional potential sources of income such as water-quality tax or emission certificates. The simulations show that mussel farming in the lagoon is a suitable supportive measure and, at a load-reduction target of 50% or more, it is a cost-efficient measure for removing nutrients and for implementing the Baltic Sea Action Plan. In the Oder Lagoon, mussel farming could potentially remove nearly 1000 t of N (70 t of P/year, or about 2% of the present N and P loads, and it would have the additional benefit of improving water transparency.

  4. 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

  5. Potential and costs of carbon dioxide removal by enhanced weathering of rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strefler, Jessica; Amann, Thorben; Bauer, Nico; Kriegler, Elmar; Hartmann, Jens

    2018-03-01

    The chemical weathering of rocks currently absorbs about 1.1 Gt CO2 a-1 being mainly stored as bicarbonate in the ocean. An enhancement of this slow natural process could remove substantial amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, aiming to offset some unavoidable anthropogenic emissions in order to comply with the Paris Agreement, while at the same time it may decrease ocean acidification. We provide the first comprehensive assessment of economic costs, energy requirements, technical parameterization, and global and regional carbon removal potential. The crucial parameters defining this potential are the grain size and weathering rates. The main uncertainties about the potential relate to weathering rates and rock mass that can be integrated into the soil. The discussed results do not specifically address the enhancement of weathering through microbial processes, feedback of geogenic nutrient release, and bioturbation. We do not only assess dunite rock, predominantly bearing olivine (in the form of forsterite) as the mineral that has been previously proposed to be best suited for carbon removal, but focus also on basaltic rock to minimize potential negative side effects. Our results show that enhanced weathering is an option for carbon dioxide removal that could be competitive already at 60 US  t-1 CO2 removed for dunite, but only at 200 US  t-1 CO2 removed for basalt. The potential carbon removal on cropland areas could be as large as 95 Gt CO2 a-1 for dunite and 4.9 Gt CO2 a-1 for basalt. The best suited locations are warm and humid areas, particularly in India, Brazil, South-East Asia and China, where almost 75% of the global potential can be realized. This work presents a techno-economic assessment framework, which also allows for the incorporation of further processes.

  6. Effects of hot boning and moisture enhancement on the eating quality of cull cow beef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pivotto, L M; Campbell, C P; Swanson, K; Mandell, I B

    2014-01-01

    The effects of chilling method and moisture enhancement were examined for improving eating quality of semimembranosus (SM) and longissimus lumborum (LL) from 62 cull beef cows. Chilling method included hot boning muscles after 45 to 60 min postmortem or conventional chilling for 24 h. Moisture enhancement included 1) a non-injected control (CONT) or injection processing (10% of product weight) using 2) Sodium Tripolyphosphate/salt (Na/STP), 3) Sodium Citrate (NaCIT), 4) Calcium Ascorbate (CaASC), or 5) Citrus Juices (CITRUS). Chilling method by moisture enhancement treatment interactions (Pboned vs. conventionally chilled product (SM and LL) for CaASC vs. other moisture enhancement treatments. Chilling method by moisture enhancement treatment interactions (Pboned LL using CaASC vs. Na/STP. Moisture enhancement can improve tenderness of cull cow beef depending on combinations of chilling method and moisture enhancement treatments used. © 2013.

  7. Quality of life and costs in Parkinson's disease: a cross sectional study in Hungary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamás, Gertrúd; Gulácsi, László; Bereczki, Dániel; Baji, Petra; Takáts, Annamária; Brodszky, Valentin; Péntek, Márta

    2014-01-01

    Patient reported outcomes and costs of illness are useful to capture some of the multiple effects of a disease and its treatments. Our aim was to assess quality of life (QoL) and costs of Parkinson's disease (PD) in Hungary, and to analyze their associations. A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted in one neurology university clinic. Clinical characteristics, PD related resource utilizations and productivity loss in the past 12 months were recorded; the Hoehn&Yahr (HY) scale, PDQ-39 and EQ-5D questionnaires were applied. Cost calculation was performed from the societal perspective. 110 patients (34.5% female) were involved with mean age of 63.3 (SD=11.3) and disease duration of 8.2 (SD=5.8) years. PDQ-39 summary score was 48.1 (SD=13.4). The average EQ-5D score was 0.59 (SD=0.28), and was significantly lower than the population norm in age-groups 45-74. The correlation was significant between EQ-5D and PDQ-39 (-0.47, p=0.000), the HY scale and EQ-5D (-0.3416, p=0.0008) and PDQ-39 (0.3419, p=0.0006) scores. The total mean cost was €6030.2 (SD=6163.0)/patient/year (direct medical 35.7%, direct non-medical 29.4%, indirect cost 34.9%). A one year increase in disease duration and 0.1 decrease of the EQ-5D utility score increase the yearly costs by 8 to 10%, and 7.8%, respectively. The effect of the PDQ-39 score on total cost was not significant. Disease severity and public health importance of PD are clearly demonstrated by the magnitude of QoL loss. PD-related costs are substantial, but are much lower in Hungary than in Western European countries. Disease duration and EQ-5D score are significant proxy of costs.

  8. Quality of life and costs in Parkinson's disease: a cross sectional study in Hungary.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gertrúd Tamás

    Full Text Available Patient reported outcomes and costs of illness are useful to capture some of the multiple effects of a disease and its treatments. Our aim was to assess quality of life (QoL and costs of Parkinson's disease (PD in Hungary, and to analyze their associations.A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted in one neurology university clinic. Clinical characteristics, PD related resource utilizations and productivity loss in the past 12 months were recorded; the Hoehn&Yahr (HY scale, PDQ-39 and EQ-5D questionnaires were applied. Cost calculation was performed from the societal perspective.110 patients (34.5% female were involved with mean age of 63.3 (SD=11.3 and disease duration of 8.2 (SD=5.8 years. PDQ-39 summary score was 48.1 (SD=13.4. The average EQ-5D score was 0.59 (SD=0.28, and was significantly lower than the population norm in age-groups 45-74. The correlation was significant between EQ-5D and PDQ-39 (-0.47, p=0.000, the HY scale and EQ-5D (-0.3416, p=0.0008 and PDQ-39 (0.3419, p=0.0006 scores. The total mean cost was €6030.2 (SD=6163.0/patient/year (direct medical 35.7%, direct non-medical 29.4%, indirect cost 34.9%. A one year increase in disease duration and 0.1 decrease of the EQ-5D utility score increase the yearly costs by 8 to 10%, and 7.8%, respectively. The effect of the PDQ-39 score on total cost was not significant.Disease severity and public health importance of PD are clearly demonstrated by the magnitude of QoL loss. PD-related costs are substantial, but are much lower in Hungary than in Western European countries. Disease duration and EQ-5D score are significant proxy of costs.

  9. Impact of extreme load requirements and quality assurance on nuclear power plant costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stevenson, J.D.

    1993-01-01

    Definitive costs, applicable to nuclear power plant concrete structures, as a function of National Regulatory Requirements, standardization, the effect of extreme load design associated with both design basis accidents and extreme external events and quality assurance are difficult to develop since such effects are interrelated and not only differ widely from country to country, project to project but also vary in time. Table 1 shows an estimate of the of the overall plant cost effects of external event extreme load design on nuclear power plant design for the U.S -and selected foreign countries for which experience with LWRs exist- Germany is the most expensive primarily due to a military aircraft crash resistance. However, the German requirement for 4 safeguards trains rather than 2 and the containment design requirement to consider one Steam Generator blowdown concurrent with a RCS blowdown. This presentation will concentrate on the direct current impact extreme load design and quality assurance have on concrete structures, systems and components for nuclear plants. This presentation is considered timely due to the increased interest in the c potential backfit of Eastern European nuclear power stations of the WWER 440 and WWER 1000 types which typically did not consider the extreme loads identified in Table 1 and accident loads in Table 3 and quality assurance in Table 5 in their original design. Concrete structures in particular are highlighted because they typically form the last barrier to radioactive release from the containment and other Safety Related Structures

  10. Contrast-enhanced MR angiography vs intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography for carotid imaging: activity-based cost analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    U-King-Im, Jean Marie; Cross, Justin J.; Higgins, Nicholas J.; Graves, Martin J.; Antoun, Nagui M.; Gillard, Jonathan H.; Hollingworth, William; Trivedi, Rikin A.; Kirkpatrick, Peter J.

    2004-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the costs of performing contrast-enhanced MR angiography (CE MRA) with intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography (DSA) for the evaluation of carotid atherosclerotic disease. Activity-based cost analysis was used to identify the costs of performing each procedure. The variable direct costs of performing CE MRA and DSA were determined in 20 patients by using detailed time and motion studies. All personnel directly involved in the cases were tracked to the nearest minute and all consumable items used were recorded. Moreover, procedure times were prospectively recorded for an additional 80 patients who underwent both DSA and CE MRA. The variable direct costs of bed usage in the angiography day-case unit, all direct fixed costs as well as indirect costs were assessed from hospital and departmental accounting records. Total costs for each procedure were calculated and compared using Wilcoxon signed-rank sum test. Mean aggregate costs were and euro;721 for DSA and and euro;306 for CE MRA, resulting in potential savings of and euro;415 per patient (p<0.0001). On average, a DSA procedure thus cost approximately 2.4 (95% confidence intervals: 2.2-2.6) times more than CE MRA to our medical institution. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of our conclusions across wide ranges of plausible values for various parameters. Assuming equal diagnostic performance, institutions may have substantial cost savings if CE MRA is used instead of DSA for carotid imaging. (orig.)

  11. Contrast-enhanced MR angiography vs intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography for carotid imaging: activity-based cost analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    U-King-Im, Jean Marie; Cross, Justin J.; Higgins, Nicholas J.; Graves, Martin J.; Antoun, Nagui M.; Gillard, Jonathan H. [University Department of Radiology, Addenbrooke' s Hospital, CB2 2QQ, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Hollingworth, William [Department of Radiology, University of Washington, WA 98103, Seattle (United States); Trivedi, Rikin A. [University Department of Radiology, Addenbrooke' s Hospital, CB2 2QQ, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Academic Department of Neurosurgery, Addenbrooke' s Hospital, CB2 2QQ, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Kirkpatrick, Peter J. [Academic Department of Neurosurgery, Addenbrooke' s Hospital, CB2 2QQ, Cambridge (United Kingdom)

    2004-04-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the costs of performing contrast-enhanced MR angiography (CE MRA) with intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography (DSA) for the evaluation of carotid atherosclerotic disease. Activity-based cost analysis was used to identify the costs of performing each procedure. The variable direct costs of performing CE MRA and DSA were determined in 20 patients by using detailed time and motion studies. All personnel directly involved in the cases were tracked to the nearest minute and all consumable items used were recorded. Moreover, procedure times were prospectively recorded for an additional 80 patients who underwent both DSA and CE MRA. The variable direct costs of bed usage in the angiography day-case unit, all direct fixed costs as well as indirect costs were assessed from hospital and departmental accounting records. Total costs for each procedure were calculated and compared using Wilcoxon signed-rank sum test. Mean aggregate costs were and euro;721 for DSA and and euro;306 for CE MRA, resulting in potential savings of and euro;415 per patient (p<0.0001). On average, a DSA procedure thus cost approximately 2.4 (95% confidence intervals: 2.2-2.6) times more than CE MRA to our medical institution. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of our conclusions across wide ranges of plausible values for various parameters. Assuming equal diagnostic performance, institutions may have substantial cost savings if CE MRA is used instead of DSA for carotid imaging. (orig.)

  12. Quality Enhancement by Inclusion Complex Formation of Simvastatin Tablets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emőke Rédai

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Simvastatin is an inhibitor of hydroxy-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, used in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. To enhance its bioavailability by inclusion complexation, as host molecule randommethyl-β-cyclodextrin had been used. After evaluating the complexes we chose the kneading product in 1:2 molar ratio for incorporation of 10 mg simvastatin tablets. Materials and methods: We prepared homogenous mixtures of the inclusion complex and some excipients. The tablets were prepared by direct compression. The tablets were evaluated in regard to: weight uniformity, thickness, diameter, hardness, friability, disintegration and dissolution profile. Results: Weights are in the range of 196-208 mg, diameter 6.83-6.86 mm, height 3.86-4.01 mm, hardness 78.3-113.1 N, friability 0.75- 1.19 %, disintegration above 15 minutes. The dissolved amounts of simvastatin from the tablets are higher compared to the dissolution of pure simvastatin, but lower than the dissolution of the complex itself. Excipients, like disintegrants and lubricants greatly influence the dissolution properties of the tablets. Conclusions: According to our results, tablets containing inclusion complex of simvastatin exhibit better solubility, according to the dissolved amount of simvastatin, than pure drug alone. Proper physical parameters of the tablets are obtained by application of 5 % Primellose

  13. 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

  14. Systematic review and quality assessment of cost-effectiveness analysis of pharmaceutical therapies for advanced colorectal cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Henry W C; Chan, Agnes L F; Leung, Matthew S H; Lu, Chin-Li

    2013-04-01

    To systematically review and assess the quality of cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs) of pharmaceutical therapies for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). The MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane, and EconLit databases were searched for the Medical Subject Headings or text key words quality-adjusted, QALY, life-year gained (LYG), and cost-effectiveness (January 1, 1999-December 31, 2009). Original CEAs of mCRC pharmacotherapy published in English were included. CEAs that measured health effects in units other than quality-adjusted life years or LYG and letters to the editor, case reports, posters, and editorials were excluded. Each article was independently assessed by 2 trained reviewers according to a quality checklist created by the Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine. Twenty-four CEA studies pertaining to pharmaceutical therapies for mCRC were identified. All studies showed a wide variation in methodologic approaches, which resulted in a different range of incremental cost-effectiveness ratios reported for each regimen. We found common methodologic flaws in a significant number of CEA studies, including lack of clear description for critique of data quality; lack of method for adjusting costs for inflation and methods for obtaining expert judgment; no results of model validation; wide differences in the types of perspective, time horizon, study design, cost categories, and effect outcomes; and no quality assessment of data (cost and effectiveness) for the interventions evaluation. This study has shown a wide variation in the methodology and quality of cost-effectiveness analysis for mCRC. Improving quality and harmonization of CEA for cancer treatment is needed. Further study is suggested to assess the quality of CEA methodology outside the mCRC disease state.

  15. Prescription drugs in nursing homes: managing costs and quality in a complex environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendelson, Dan; Ramchand, Rajeev; Abramson, Richard; Tumlinson, Anne

    2002-11-12

    This brief provides a description of prescription drug use in nursing homes and a summary of current policy issues in this area. The brief first profiles the nursing home pharmaceutical market, outlining the major trends in demographics and drug utilization, the supply chain by which drugs go from manufacturers to pharmacies to nursing home residents, and the alternative arrangements by which prescription drugs in nursing homes are financed. The brief then provides a synopsis of current policy issues, focusing in turn on cost containment and quality improvement initiatives.

  16. Cost effectiveness of the Dutch incentive for the environmental quality of power generation (MEP)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melgerd, R.

    2005-01-01

    This article relates to research on the cost effectiveness of the MEP scheme ('Milieukwaliteit Elektriciteitsproductie' or Environmental Quality of Electricity Generation), carried out as a graduation project at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands. MEP subsidies are intended to promote investment in sustainable energy sources in the Netherlands by offering investors more certainty and a simpler structure than previous energy subsidies. The MEP also helps prevent Dutch taxpayers' money 'leaking' abroad to purchase sustainable electricity produced cheaper elsewhere. This makes the MEP measurably more effective than its predecessors. The scheme is moreover a step towards the effective deployment of state funds for the reduction of CO2 emission [nl

  17. The cost-effectiveness of quality improvement projects: a conceptual framework, checklist and online tool for considering the costs and consequences of implementation-based quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Carl; Pulleyblank, Ryan; Parrott, Steve; Essex, Holly

    2016-02-01

    In resource constrained systems, decision makers should be concerned with the efficiency of implementing improvement techniques and technologies. Accordingly, they should consider both the costs and effectiveness of implementation as well as the cost-effectiveness of the innovation to be implemented. An approach to doing this effectively is encapsulated in the 'policy cost-effectiveness' approach. This paper outlines some of the theoretical and practical challenges to assessing policy cost-effectiveness (the cost-effectiveness of implementation projects). A checklist and associated (freely available) online application are also presented to help services develop more cost-effective implementation strategies. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  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. A design technique of low cost but high quality peak stretcher

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lo, H Y; Su, C S; Hsu, J Y; Wang, L

    1981-03-01

    This paper presents the design of low cost but high quality pulse peak stretcher incorporated with a LSI of 12 bit ADC and SKD-85 microcomputer. The conflict between the capacitor high charging speed and longer holding time for realizing a high quality stretcher is discussed and solved. For a lager number of channels available in a dual ramp Wilkinson-type ADC, two-stage stretchers connected in series are designed. The first stage is a fast-discharge to keep the output stretched pulse follow-up the input quickly and the second-stage (main stretcher) is a slow-discharge to keep the transient of the circuit minimum. Both of these two peak stretchers are described and the experiment results are photographically recorded.

  20. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. Title: Water Quality Monitoring to Restore and Enhance Lake Herrick

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kannan, A.; Saintil, T.; Radcliffe, D. E.; Rasmussen, T. C.

    2017-12-01

    Lake Allyn M. Herrick is about 1.5 km2 and covers portions of the University of Georgia's East campus, the Oconee forest, residential and commercial land use. Lake Herrick, a 15-acre water body established in 1982 at the University of Georgia's campus was closed in 2002 for recreation due to fecal contamination, color change, and heavy sedimentation. Subsequent monitoring confirmed cyanobacterium blooms on the surface of lake and nutrient concentration especially phosphorus was one of the primary reasons. However, no studies have been done on lake inflows and outflows after 2005 in terms of nutrients and fecal Indicator bacteria. Two inflow tributaries and the outlet stream were monitored for discharge, E. coli, total coliform, forms of nitrogen and phosphorus and other water quality parameters during base flow and storm conditions. External environmental factors like precipitation, land-use/location, discharge, and internal factors within the water like temperature, DO, pH, conductivity, and turbidity influencing fecal indicator bacteria and nutrients will be discussed with data collected from the inflows/outflow between February 2016 to October 2017. Following this, microbial source tracking methods were also used to detect the bacterial source in the samples specific to a ruminant or human host. The source tracking data will be presented during the timeframe of January 2017 to September 2017, to draw a conclusion on the potential source of fecal contamination. The future aim of the project will include modeling flow and bacteria at the watershed scale in order to make management decisions to restore the lake for recreational uses where green infrastructure could play a key role.

  3. [Quality of life of patients with asthma on beclomethasone/formoterol. Cost-utility analysis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Ruiz, A J; Quintano Jiménez, J A; García-Agua Soler, N; Ginel Mendoza, L; Hidalgo Requena, A; Del Moral, F

    2016-01-01

    To perform a cost-utility analysis on asthmatic patients on beclomethasone/formoterol fixed combination in Primary Health Care. Material and methods Non-probability sampling was used to select a group of asthmatic patients with moderate/severe persistent severity (GEMA 2009), treated with beclomethasone/formoterol fixed combination, over 18 years, had given their informed consent. The study observation period was 6 months. The variables studied were: age, sex, duration of disease, health resources used, analysis of health related quality of life by EQ-5D and SF-36, and the specific Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire. For the qualitative variables, the frequency and percentages were calculated, and for the quantitative variables, the mean, SD and 95% CI. Chi-square, Student t-test and ANOVA were used for statistical inference. Comparisons were made with a statistical significance of 0.05. Of the 64 patients that completed the study, 59.4% were female. The mean age was 49 years, and mean disease duration was 93 months. For asthma control, 53% of patients had a prescription pattern of one/12h. All health related quality of life scales were modified with respect to the baseline and the differences were statistically significant. Our patients had a better health related quality of life than Spanish asthma cohort. The incremental cost utility beclomethasone/formoterol versus usual treatment option was € 6,256/QALY. Copyright © 2015 Sociedad Española de Médicos de Atención Primaria (SEMERGEN). Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  4. Solitary pulmonary nodules: Impact of quantitative contrast-enhanced CT on the cost-effectiveness of FDG-PET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Comber, L.A.; Keith, C.J.; Griffiths, M.; Miles, K.A.

    2003-01-01

    AIM: To determine the impact of quantitative contrast-enhanced computed tomography (QECT) on the cost-effectiveness of diagnostic strategies for the assessment of solitary pulmonary nodules (SPNs). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Four diagnostic strategies were evaluated using decision tree analysis: conventional CT alone; conventional CT followed by QECT; conventional CT followed positron emission tomography (PET); and conventional CT followed by QECT and PET (QECT+PET). The average cost per patient, accuracy of management and incremental cost:accuracy ratio (ICAR) were determined for each strategy. Although baseline assumptions reflected the Australian setting, sensitivity analysis was used to extrapolate the results to the UK. RESULTS: At the baseline prevalence of malignancy (54%) and cost of PET relative to surgery (16%), the QECT strategy incurs the least cost ($5560/patient) but the QECT+PET strategy is the most cost-effective (ICAR $12059/patient). At reported levels of disease prevalence (68.5%) and cost of PET relative to surgery (29.9%) in the UK, the QECT strategy is the most cost-effective. CONCLUSION: QECT offers a cost-effective approach to evaluation of SPNs. Whether QECT is used alone or in combination with PET will depend upon local availability and regional values for prior probability of malignancy within SPNs and the cost of PET relative to surgery

  5. The Effects of Source Water Quality on Drinking Water Treatment Costs: A Review and Synthesis of Empirical Literature - Ecological Economics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watershed protection, and associated in situ water quality improvements, has received considerable attention as a means of mitigating health risks and avoiding expenditures at drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs). This study reviews the extant cost function literature linking ...

  6. A Logistic Life Cycle Cost-Benefit Analysis of Power Quality Management in the Avionics Repair Facility

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kennedy, Christopher

    1998-01-01

    .... The implementation of power quality management can result in wide scale logistical support changes in regards to the life cycle costs of maintaining the DoD's current inventory of sensitive electronic equipment...

  7. 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.

  8. Economic evaluation of a mentorship and enhanced supervision program to improve quality of integrated management of childhood illness care in rural Rwanda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzi, Anatole; Mugunga, Jean Claude; Iyer, Hari S; Magge, Hema; Nkikabahizi, Fulgence; Hirschhorn, Lisa R

    2018-01-01

    Integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI) can reduce under-5 morbidity and mortality in low-income settings. A program to strengthen IMCI practices through Mentorship and Enhanced Supervision at Health centers (MESH) was implemented in two rural districts in eastern Rwanda in 2010. We estimated cost per improvement in quality of care as measured by the difference in correct diagnosis and correct treatment at baseline and 12 months of MESH. Costs of developing and implementing MESH were estimated in 2011 United States Dollars (USD) from the provider perspective using both top-down and bottom-up approaches, from programmatic financial records and site-level data. Improvement in quality of care attributed to MESH was measured through case management observations (n = 292 cases at baseline, 413 cases at 12 months), with outcomes from the intervention already published. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess uncertainty under different assumptions of quality of care and patient volume. The total annual cost of MESH was US$ 27,955.74 and the average cost added by MESH per IMCI patient was US$1.06. Salary and benefits accounted for the majority of total annual costs (US$22,400 /year). Improvements in quality of care after 12 months of MESH implementation cost US$2.95 per additional child correctly diagnosed and $5.30 per additional child correctly treated. The incremental costs per additional child correctly diagnosed and child correctly treated suggest that MESH could be an affordable method for improving IMCI quality of care elsewhere in Rwanda and similar settings. Integrating MESH into existing supervision systems would further reduce costs, increasing potential for spread.

  9. Opportunities for reproductive tourism: cost and quality advantages of Turkey in the provision of in-vitro Fertilization (IVF) services

    OpenAIRE

    Yildiz, M. Said; Khan, M. Mahmud

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The scale and scope of medical tourism have expanded rapidly over the last few decades. Turkey is becoming an important player in this market because of its relatively better service quality and large comparative cost advantage. Methods This paper compares cost, quality and effectiveness of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in the USA and in Turkey. The data from Turkey were obtained from a hospital specializing in IVF services and the US data came from secondary sources. Packa...

  10. The Effect of Safety Costs on Productivity and Quality: A Case Study of Five Steel Companies in Ahvaz

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gholamabbas Shirali

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background The implementation of a safety program is one of the most effective factors in increasing productivity. A look to safety from the perspective of efficiency can indicate necessary investment in safety for all, especially the managers of companies. Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of safety costs on some indicators of productivity and quality in industrial companies. Methods This study was a retrospective analysis and was implemented in five steel companies in Ahvaz. The data relating to the safety costs such as staffing costs and total safety costs, and productivity and quality indicators were collected in five years. This information and data were collected according to statistics from documents and archives of safety, accounting, and production sectors of companies. Costs as well as numbers and figures of variables were expressed in the form of per capita and percentage to make the data comparable. Linear and generalized regression models and Wald Chi-Square test were used by the SPSS 22 software to determine the relationships between them. Results Safety costs such as capita labor safety costs and capita total safety costs or percentage safety labor costs to labor costs, showed a significant positive effect on labor productivity, labor competitiveness, total factor productivity, quality index and production rates (in some cases, P = 0.001. Conclusions The total safety cost and safety labor compensation generally, regardless of the nature and quality of the safety management system, can impact productivity, quality and quantity of production in addition to other factors of production. Surely if safety programs are targeted and codified, the effect of the investment will be doubled.

  11. Social cost-efficient service quality-Integrating customer valuation in incentive regulation: Evidence from the case of Norway

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Growitsch, Christian; Jamasb, Tooraj; Mueller, Christine; Wissner, Matthias

    2010-01-01

    In order to overcome the perverse incentives of excessive maintenance reductions and insufficient network investments arising with incentive regulation of electricity distribution companies, regulators throughout Europe have started regulating service quality. In this paper, we explore the impact of incorporating customers' willingness-to-pay for service quality in benchmarking models on cost efficiency of distribution networks. Therefore, we examine the case of Norway, which features this approach to service quality regulation. We use the data envelopment analysis technique to analyse the effectiveness of such regulatory instruments. Moreover, we discuss the extent to which this indirect regulatory instrument motivates a socially desired service quality level. The results indicate that internalising external or social cost of service quality does not seem to have played an important role in improving cost efficiency in Norwegian distribution utilities.

  12. Social cost-efficient service quality. Integrating customer valuation in incentive regulation. Evidence from the case of Norway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Growitsch, Christian; Mueller, Christine; Wissner, Matthias [WIK, Department Energy Markets and Energy Regulation, Rhoendorfer Str. 68, 53604 Bad Honnef (Germany); Jamasb, Tooraj [University of Cambridge, Faculty of Economics (United Kingdom)

    2010-05-15

    In order to overcome the perverse incentives of excessive maintenance reductions and insufficient network investments arising with incentive regulation of electricity distribution companies, regulators throughout Europe have started regulating service quality. In this paper, we explore the impact of incorporating customers' willingness-to-pay for service quality in benchmarking models on cost efficiency of distribution networks. Therefore, we examine the case of Norway, which features this approach to service quality regulation. We use the data envelopment analysis technique to analyse the effectiveness of such regulatory instruments. Moreover, we discuss the extent to which this indirect regulatory instrument motivates a socially desired service quality level. The results indicate that internalising external or social cost of service quality does not seem to have played an important role in improving cost efficiency in Norwegian distribution utilities. (author)

  13. Social cost-efficient service quality-Integrating customer valuation in incentive regulation: Evidence from the case of Norway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Growitsch, Christian, E-mail: c.growitsch@wik.or [WIK, Department Energy Markets and Energy Regulation, Rhoendorfer Str. 68, 53604 Bad Honnef (Germany); Jamasb, Tooraj [University of Cambridge, Faculty of Economics (United Kingdom); Mueller, Christine; Wissner, Matthias [WIK, Department Energy Markets and Energy Regulation, Rhoendorfer Str. 68, 53604 Bad Honnef (Germany)

    2010-05-15

    In order to overcome the perverse incentives of excessive maintenance reductions and insufficient network investments arising with incentive regulation of electricity distribution companies, regulators throughout Europe have started regulating service quality. In this paper, we explore the impact of incorporating customers' willingness-to-pay for service quality in benchmarking models on cost efficiency of distribution networks. Therefore, we examine the case of Norway, which features this approach to service quality regulation. We use the data envelopment analysis technique to analyse the effectiveness of such regulatory instruments. Moreover, we discuss the extent to which this indirect regulatory instrument motivates a socially desired service quality level. The results indicate that internalising external or social cost of service quality does not seem to have played an important role in improving cost efficiency in Norwegian distribution utilities.

  14. The cost of service quality improvements: tracking the flow of funds in social franchise networks in Myanmar

    OpenAIRE

    Bishai, David; LeFevre, Amnesty; Theuss, Marc; Boxshall, Matt; Hetherington, John D; Zaw, Min; Montagu, Dominic

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Introduction This paper examines the cost of quality improvements in Population Services International (PSI) Myanmar’s social franchise operations from 2007 to 2009. Methods The social franchise commodities studied were products for reproductive health, malaria, STIs, pneumonia, and diarrhea. This project applied ingredients based costing for labor, supplies, transport, and overhead. Data were g...

  15. The Impact of Oregon's Pension Legacy Costs on New Teacher Turnover and Quality. CEDR Working Paper. WP #2016-5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahill, Kevin E.; Dyke, Andrew; Tapogna, John

    2016-01-01

    Pension legacy costs can restrict the amount of resources available for current public education, potentially making it more difficult to attract and retain high-quality teachers. Oregon provides a useful case study in pension legacy costs because many school districts in the state are now reallocating General Fund expenditures to cover sizeable…

  16. Effect of enhanced UV-B radiation on yield and quality of rice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yin Hong; Guo Wei; Mao Xiaoyan

    2009-01-01

    The effects of enhanced UV-B radiation on yield and quality of two rice cuhivars(ShenNong 6014 and ShenNong 265) are studied in potted method. There were three treatments including natural light (TCK), enhanced 5% UV-B radiation (T) and enhanced 10% (T). The results showed that enhanced UV-B radiation decreases yield components, the percentage of brown rice (0.66%-7.06%), head rice rate (5.65%-18.88%), the rate of white rice (22.17%-40.16%), grain area (2.61%-6.25%), fatty acid contents (1.23%-54.19%) and eating quality (1.07%-16.78%) but increasea protein content (4.65%-10.71%) and amylose content of rice (0.56%-4.81%). The effects of T2 was stronger than T1

  17. Cost-benefit evaluation in a quality control programme for conventional radiodiagnosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gallini, R.; Belletti, S.; Giugni, U.

    1985-01-01

    A comparison is being made between the cost of the staff and equipment in a quality control programme of conventional radiodiagnosis and the benefit obtained in the reduction of spoilt films and in the reduction of dose to patients and workers. For over two years the programme has followed a protocol verified on about 50 X-ray tubes, 25 radiological devices and four automatic processors. The present research, based on previous data, works on a limited but representative sample of radiological X-ray tubes and accessories. The control procedures are carried out periodically to improve and make constant the efficiency of the radiological devices. An evaluation of the cost of these procedures is made. In the meantime the dose to the patients undergoing radiodiagnostic examinations is evaluated by a transmission chamber. Comparison between the values obtained before and after the control enables the benefits to be evaluated. Rejection of radiographic films is evaluated before and after the control to obtain the cost reduction. During the one year control period, there were no variations in the technical characteristics of the personnel, in the operational procedures or in the work-load. (author)

  18. Quality of life and cost of illness in patients with psoriasis in Malaysia: a multicenter study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Min Moon; Chang, Choong Chor; Chan, Lee Chin; Heng, Agnes

    2013-03-01

    Psoriasis is an immune-mediated, chronic, inflammatory skin disease which affects approximately 2% of the world's population. It has a major impact on the patient's quality of life (QoL), influencing career, social activities, family relationships, and all other aspects of life. Many studies have described the various ways in which psoriasis can affect a patient's life. Very little is known, however, about the impact of psoriasis on the QoL of patients treated in Malaysia and the cost of illness in this region. This study aims to describe the extent to which psoriasis affects the QoL of patients treated in government-run dermatology clinics in Malaysia and to estimate the cost of illness. A total of 250 psoriasis patients treated at eight dermatology clinics in government-run hospitals in Malaysia were studied. The severity of psoriasis was assessed by dermatologists. Quality of life was evaluated using the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and Version 2 of the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12v2). Scores on the SF-12v2 of healthy subjects and of patients with other medical conditions, such as depression, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease, were also assessed for comparison. The costs of dermatology outpatient consultant fees, medications, investigations, procedures, transportation, over-the-counter medications, and hospitalization were retrospectively estimated using questionnaires. The cohort studied had a median Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) score of 9.9 and a median DLQI score of 10.0. The average SF-12v2 scores were 43.68 (standard deviation [SD] 9.23) and 42.25 (SD 10.7) on the Physical Health Summary and Mental Health Summary, respectively. The impact of disease on QoL was found to be greater in those with more extensive psoriatic lesion involvement, in younger patients, and in those with psoriatic arthropathy. Psoriasis was found to affect QoL in both genders equally. Body mass index had no effect on the severity of

  19. Learning a No-Reference Quality Assessment Model of Enhanced Images With Big Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Ke; Tao, Dacheng; Qiao, Jun-Fei; Lin, Weisi

    2018-04-01

    In this paper, we investigate into the problem of image quality assessment (IQA) and enhancement via machine learning. This issue has long attracted a wide range of attention in computational intelligence and image processing communities, since, for many practical applications, e.g., object detection and recognition, raw images are usually needed to be appropriately enhanced to raise the visual quality (e.g., visibility and contrast). In fact, proper enhancement can noticeably improve the quality of input images, even better than originally captured images, which are generally thought to be of the best quality. In this paper, we present two most important contributions. The first contribution is to develop a new no-reference (NR) IQA model. Given an image, our quality measure first extracts 17 features through analysis of contrast, sharpness, brightness and more, and then yields a measure of visual quality using a regression module, which is learned with big-data training samples that are much bigger than the size of relevant image data sets. The results of experiments on nine data sets validate the superiority and efficiency of our blind metric compared with typical state-of-the-art full-reference, reduced-reference and NA IQA methods. The second contribution is that a robust image enhancement framework is established based on quality optimization. For an input image, by the guidance of the proposed NR-IQA measure, we conduct histogram modification to successively rectify image brightness and contrast to a proper level. Thorough tests demonstrate that our framework can well enhance natural images, low-contrast images, low-light images, and dehazed images. The source code will be released at https://sites.google.com/site/guke198701/publications.

  20. 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.

  1. 78 FR 16474 - Extension of the Period for Comments on the Enhancement of Quality of Software-Related Patents

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-15

    ...] Extension of the Period for Comments on the Enhancement of Quality of Software-Related Patents AGENCY... announcing the formation of a partnership with the software community to enhance the quality of software... quality of software-related patents and the preparation of software-related patent applications including...

  2. Capacity enhancement and flexible operation of unified power quality conditioner in smart and microgrid network

    OpenAIRE

    Khadem, Shafiuzzaman Khan; Basu, Malabika; Conlon, Michael F.

    2018-01-01

    This paper presents a new approach to design Unified Power Quality Conditioner (UPQC), termed as distributed UPQC (D-UPQC), for smart or microgrid network where capacity enhancement and flexible operation of UPQC are the important issues. This paper shows the possibility of capacity enhancement and operational flexibility of UPQC through a coordinated control of existing resources. This UPQC consists of a single unit series active power filter (APFse) and multiple shunt APF (APFsh) units in a...

  3. 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.

  4. PET/CT and contrast enhanced CT in single vs. two separate sessions: a cost analysis study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picchio, M; Mansueto, M; Crivellaro, C; Guerra, L; Marcelli, S; Arosio, M; Sironi, S; Gianolli, L; Grimaldi, A; Messa, C

    2012-06-01

    Aim of the study was to quantify the economic impact of PET/CT and contrast enhanced (c.e.) CT performed in a single session examination vs. stand-alone modalities in oncological patients. One-hundred-forty-five cancer patients referred to both PET/CT and c.e. CT, to either stage (N.=46) or re-stage (N.=99) the disease, were included. Seventy-two/145 performed both studies in a single session (innovative method) and 73/145 in two different sessions (traditional method). The cost-minimization analysis was performed by evaluating: 1) institutional costs, data obtained by hospital accountability (staff, medical materials, equipment maintenance and depreciation, departments utilities); 2) patients costs, data obtained by a specific survey provided to patients (travel, food, accommodation costs, productivity loss). Economic data analysis showed that the costs for innovative method was lower than those of traditional method, both for Institution (106 € less per test) and for patient (21 € less per patient). The loss of productivity for patient and caregivers resulted lower for the innovative method than the traditional method (3 work-hour less per person). PET/CT and c.e. CT performed in a single session is more cost-effective than stand-alone modalities, by reducing both Institutional and patients costs. These advantages are mainly due to lower Institutional cost (single procedure) and to lower cost related to travel and housing.

  5. Day treatment versus enhanced standard methadone services for opioid-dependent patients: a comparison of clinical efficacy and cost.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avants, S K; Margolin, A; Sindelar, J L; Rounsaville, B J; Schottenfeld, R; Stine, S; Cooney, N L; Rosenheck, R A; Li, S H; Kosten, T R

    1999-01-01

    This study examined the differential efficacy and relative costs of two intensities of adjunctive psychosocial services--a day treatment program and enhanced standard care--for the treatment of opioid-dependent patients maintained on methadone hydrochloride. A 12-week randomized clinical trial with 6-month follow-up was conducted in a community-based methadone maintenance program. Of the 308 patients who met inclusion criteria, 291 began treatment (day treatment program: N=145; enhanced standard care: N=146), and 237 completed treatment (82% of those assigned to the day treatment program and 81% of those receiving enhanced standard care). Two hundred twenty of the patients participated in the 6-month follow-up (75% of those in the day treatment program and 73% of those in enhanced standard care provided a follow-up urine sample for screening). Both interventions were 12 weeks in duration, manual-guided, and provided by master's-level clinicians. The day treatment was an intensive, 25-hour-per-week program. The enhanced standard care was standard methadone maintenance plus a weekly skills training group and referral to on- and off-site services. Outcome measures included twice weekly urine toxicology screens, severity of addiction-related problems, prevalence of HIV risk behaviors, and program costs. Although the cost of the day treatment program was significantly higher, there was no significant difference in the two groups' use of either opiates or cocaine. Over the course of treatment, drug use, drug-related problems, and HIV risk behaviors decreased significantly for patients assigned to both treatment intensities. Improvements were maintained at follow-up. Providing an intensive day treatment program to unemployed, inner-city methadone patients was not cost-effective relative to a program of enhanced methadone maintenance services, which produced comparable outcomes at less than half the cost.

  6. Power quality enhancement of renewable energy source power network using SMES system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seo, H.R.; Kim, A.R.; Park, M.; Yu, I.K.

    2011-01-01

    Power quality enhancement of a renewable energy source power network is performed by a real-toroidal-type SMES coil. SMES unit charges and discharges the HTS coil to mitigate the fluctuation of PV system output power. The grid connected PV and SMES system has been modeled and simulated using power-hard-in-the-loop simulation. The PHILS results demonstrated the effectiveness of the SMES system for enhancing power quality. This paper deals with power quality enhancement of renewable energy source power network using SMES system and describes the operation characteristics of HTS SMES system using real-toroidal-type SMES coil for smoothening the fluctuation of large-scale renewable energy source such as photovoltaic (PV) power generation system. It generates maximum power of PV array under various weather conditions. SMES unit charges and discharges the HTS coil to mitigate the fluctuation of PV system output power. The SMES unit is controlled according to the PV array output and the utility power quality conditions. The grid connected PV and SMES system has been modeled and simulated using power-hard-in-the-loop simulation (PHILS). The PHILS results demonstrated the effectiveness of the SMES system for enhancing power quality in power network including large-scale renewable energy source, especially PV power generation system.

  7. Opportunities for reproductive tourism: cost and quality advantages of Turkey in the provision of in-vitro Fertilization (IVF) services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yildiz, M Said; Khan, M Mahmud

    2016-08-12

    The scale and scope of medical tourism have expanded rapidly over the last few decades. Turkey is becoming an important player in this market because of its relatively better service quality and large comparative cost advantage. This paper compares cost, quality and effectiveness of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in the USA and in Turkey. The data from Turkey were obtained from a hospital specializing in IVF services and the US data came from secondary sources. Package price offered by the dominant IVF-service provider to international patients in Turkey was used as a measure of cost for Turkey while IVF-specific service prices were used to estimate the cost for USA. To compare quality and effectiveness of IVF services, a number of general clinical quality indicators and IVF success rate were used. Indicators of quality, cost and success rate in the Turkish hospital were found to be better than the corresponding indicators in US hospitals. The cost difference of IVF services between USA and Turkey is so significant that the overall cost of obtaining the service from Turkey remains lower even with additional expenses for travel and accommodation. Cost-effectiveness ratio of IVF treatment per successful clinical pregnancy was much lower in Turkey than in the USA. It appears that cost and quality are the two most important factors affecting demand for health care services by international patients in Turkey. Like other important players in the medical tourism market, Turkey should be able to take advantage of its success in IVF, a highly specialized niche market, to transform its health system into an important exporter of general health services.

  8. Opportunities for reproductive tourism: cost and quality advantages of Turkey in the provision of in-vitro Fertilization (IVF services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Said Yildiz

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The scale and scope of medical tourism have expanded rapidly over the last few decades. Turkey is becoming an important player in this market because of its relatively better service quality and large comparative cost advantage. Methods This paper compares cost, quality and effectiveness of in-vitro fertilization (IVF in the USA and in Turkey. The data from Turkey were obtained from a hospital specializing in IVF services and the US data came from secondary sources. Package price offered by the dominant IVF-service provider to international patients in Turkey was used as a measure of cost for Turkey while IVF-specific service prices were used to estimate the cost for USA. To compare quality and effectiveness of IVF services, a number of general clinical quality indicators and IVF success rate were used. Results Indicators of quality, cost and success rate in the Turkish hospital were found to be better than the corresponding indicators in US hospitals. The cost difference of IVF services between USA and Turkey is so significant that the overall cost of obtaining the service from Turkey remains lower even with additional expenses for travel and accommodation. Conclusions Cost-effectiveness ratio of IVF treatment per successful clinical pregnancy was much lower in Turkey than in the USA. It appears that cost and quality are the two most important factors affecting demand for health care services by international patients in Turkey. Like other important players in the medical tourism market, Turkey should be able to take advantage of its success in IVF, a highly specialized niche market, to transform its health system into an important exporter of general health services.

  9. Enhancing board oversight on quality of hospital care: an agency theory perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, H Joanna; Lockee, Carlin; Fraser, Irene

    2012-01-01

    Community hospitals in the United States are almost all governed by a governing board that is legally accountable for the quality of care provided. Increasing pressures for better quality and safety are prompting boards to strengthen their oversight function on quality. In this study, we aimed to provide an update to prior research by exploring the role and practices of governing boards in quality oversight through the lens of agency theory and comparing hospital quality performance in relation to the adoption of those practices. Data on board practices from a survey conducted by The Governance Institute in 2007 were merged with data on hospital quality drawn from two federal sources that measured processes of care and mortality. The study sample includes 445 public and private not-for-profit hospitals. We used factor analysis to explore the underlying dimensions of board practices. We further compared hospital quality performance by the adoption of each individual board practice. Consistent with the agency theory, the 13 board practices included in the survey appear to center around enhancing accountability of the board, management, and the medical staff. Reviewing the hospital's quality performance on a regular basis was the most common practice. A number of board practices, not examined in prior research, showed significant association with better performance on process of care and/or risk-adjusted mortality: requiring major new clinical programs to meet quality-related criteria, setting some quality goals at the "theoretical ideal" level, requiring both the board and the medical staff to be as involved as management in setting the agenda for discussion on quality, and requiring the hospital to report its quality/safety performance to the general public. Hospital governing boards should examine their current practices and consider adopting those that would enhance the accountability of the board itself, management, and the medical staff.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Low-cost safety enhancements for stop-controlled and signalized intersections

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-05-01

    The purpose of this document is to present information on suggested effective, low-cost intersection countermeasures developed using intersection safety research results and input from an intersection safety expert panel. These low-cost countermeasur...

  14. Monitoring Consortiums: A Cost-Effective Means to Enhancing Watershed Data Collection and Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monitoring is essential for tracking overall watershed health, but monitoring costs are a limiting factor. As demonstrated in the four case studies, consortiums can reduce costs and improve cooperation among partners.

  15. Higher Dietary Cost Is Associated with Higher Diet Quality: A Cross-Sectional Study among Selected Malaysian Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Ibnteesam Pondor; Wan Ying Gan; Geeta Appannah

    2017-01-01

    Food price is a determining factor of food choices; however its relationship with diet quality is unclear in Malaysia. This study aimed to examine socio-economic characteristics and daily dietary cost (DDC) in relation to diet quality in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. Dietary intake was assessed using a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) and diet quality was estimated using a Malaysian Healthy Eating Index (M-HEI). DDC in Malaysian Ringgit (RM) was calculated from dietary intake and nationa...

  16. Use of a quality improvement tool, the prioritization matrix, to identify and prioritize triage software algorithm enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    North, Frederick; Varkey, Prathiba; Caraballo, Pedro; Vsetecka, Darlene; Bartel, Greg

    2007-10-11

    Complex decision support software can require significant effort in maintenance and enhancement. A quality improvement tool, the prioritization matrix, was successfully used to guide software enhancement of algorithms in a symptom assessment call center.

  17. 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.

  18. Evaluating quality of life and cost implications of prophylactic radiotherapy in mesothelioma: Health economic analysis of the SMART trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Samuel Alan; Clive, Amelia O; Maskell, Nick A; Penz, Erika

    2018-01-01

    The SMART trial is a UK-based, multicentre RCT comparing prophylactic radiotherapy and symptom-based (deferred) radiotherapy in 203 patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma who had undergone large bore pleural interventions. Using costs and quality of life data collected alongside the clinical trial, we will estimate the cost-effectiveness of prophylactic radiotherapy compared to deferred radiotherapy over a 1-year period. Healthcare utilization and costs were captured during the trial. Utility weights produced by the EQ-5D questionnaire were used to determine quality-adjusted life-years (QALY) gained. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was calculated over the one-year trial period. Costs were similar in the immediate and deferred radiotherapy groups: £5480.40 (SD = £7040; n = 102) and £5461.40 (SD = £7770; n = 101) respectively. There was also no difference in QALY: 0.498 (95% CI: [0.45, 0.547]) in the prophylactic radiotherapy group versus 0.525 (95% CI: [0.471, 0.580]) in the deferred group. At a willingness to pay threshold of £30,000/QALY there was only a 24% chance that prophylactic radiotherapy was cost-effective compared to deferred radiotherapy. There was no significant effect of prophylactic radiotherapy on quality of life in the intervention group, nor was there any discernable decrease in healthcare costs. There is little evidence to suggest that prophylactic radiotherapy is a cost-effective intervention in this population. ISRCTN72767336 with ISRCTN.

  19. Log quality enhancement: A systematic assessment of logging company wellsite performance and log quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farnan, R.A.; Mc Hattie, C.M.

    1984-01-01

    To improve the monitoring of logging company performance, computer programs were developed to assess information en masse from log quality check lists completed on wellsite by the service company engineer and Phillips representative. A study of all logging jobs performed by different service companies for Phillips in Oklahoma (panhandle excepted) during 1982 enabled several pertinent and beneficial interpretations to be made. Company A provided the best tool and crew service. Company B incurred an excessive amount of lost time related to tool failure, in particular the neutron-density tool combination. Company C, although used only three times, incurred no lost time. With a reasonable data base valid conclusions were made pertaining, for example, to repeated tool malfunctions. The actual logs were then assessed for quality

  20. Individual quality and age but not environmental or social conditions modulate costs of reproduction in a capital breeder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debeffe, Lucie; Poissant, Jocelyn; McLoughlin, Philip D

    2017-08-01

    Costs associated with reproduction are widely known to play a role in the evolution of reproductive tactics with consequences to population and eco-evolutionary dynamics. Evaluating these costs as they pertain to species in the wild remains an important goal of evolutionary ecology. Individual heterogeneity, including differences in individual quality (i.e., among-individual differences in traits associated with survival and reproduction) or state, and variation in environmental and social conditions can modulate the costs of reproduction; however, few studies have considered effects of these factors simultaneously. Taking advantage of a detailed, long-term dataset for a population of feral horses (Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada), we address the question of how intrinsic (quality, age), environmental (winter severity, location), and social conditions (group size, composition, sex ratio, density) influence the costs of reproduction on subsequent reproduction. Individual quality was measured using a multivariate analysis on a combination of four static and dynamic traits expected to depict heterogeneity in individual performance. Female quality and age interacted with reproductive status of the previous year to determine current reproductive effort, while no effect of social or environmental covariates was found. High-quality females showed higher probabilities of giving birth and weaning their foal regardless of their reproductive status the previous year, while those of lower quality showed lower probabilities of producing foals in successive years. Middle-aged (prime) females had the highest probability of giving birth when they had not reproduced the year before, but no such relationship with age was found among females that had reproduced the previous year, indicating that prime-aged females bear higher costs of reproduction. We show that individual quality and age were key factors modulating the costs of reproduction in a capital breeder but that

  1. A Model for Discussing the Quality of Technology-Enhanced Learning in Blended Learning Programmes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casanova, Diogo; Moreira, António

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents a comprehensive model for supporting informed and critical discussions concerning the quality of Technology-Enhanced Learning in Blended Learning programmes. The model aims to support discussions around domains such as how institutions are prepared, the participants' background and expectations, the course design, and the…

  2. 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…

  3. Grid-interfacing converter systems with enhanced voltage quality for microgrid application : concept and implementation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, F.; Duarte, J.L.; Hendrix, M.A.M.

    2011-01-01

    Grid-interfacing converter systems with enhanced voltage quality are proposed for microgrid application in this paper. By adapting the conventional series-parallel structure, a group of grid-interfacing system topologies are proposed for the purpose of interfacing local generation/microgrid to the

  4. 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.

  5. Cost-effectiveness of focal psychodynamic therapy and enhanced cognitive-behavioural therapy in out-patients with anorexia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egger, N; Wild, B; Zipfel, S; Junne, F; Konnopka, A; Schmidt, U; de Zwaan, M; Herpertz, S; Zeeck, A; Löwe, B; von Wietersheim, J; Tagay, S; Burgmer, M; Dinkel, A; Herzog, W; König, H-H

    2016-12-01

    Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious illness leading to substantial morbidity and mortality. The treatment of AN very often is protracted; repeated hospitalizations and lost productivity generate substantial economic costs in the health care system. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the differential cost-effectiveness of out-patient focal psychodynamic psychotherapy (FPT), enhanced cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT-E), and optimized treatment as usual (TAU-O) in the treatment of adult women with AN. The analysis was conducted alongside the randomized controlled Anorexia Nervosa Treatment of OutPatients (ANTOP) study. Cost-effectiveness was determined using direct costs per recovery at 22 months post-randomization (n = 156). Unadjusted incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were calculated. To derive cost-effectiveness acceptability curves (CEACs) adjusted net-benefit regressions were applied assuming different values for the maximum willingness to pay (WTP) per additional recovery. Cost-utility and assumptions underlying the base case were investigated in exploratory analyses. Costs of in-patient treatment and the percentage of patients who required in-patient treatment were considerably lower in both intervention groups. The unadjusted ICERs indicated FPT and CBT-E to be dominant compared with TAU-O. Moreover, FPT was dominant compared with CBT-E. CEACs showed that the probability for cost-effectiveness of FTP compared with TAU-O and CBT-E was ⩾95% if the WTP per recovery was ⩾€9825 and ⩾€24 550, respectively. Comparing CBT-E with TAU-O, the probability of being cost-effective remained <90% for all WTPs. The exploratory analyses showed similar but less pronounced trends. Depending on the WTP, FPT proved cost-effective in the treatment of adult AN.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Functional Status, Quality of Life, and Costs Associated With Fibromyalgia Subgroups: A Latent Profile Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luciano, Juan V; Forero, Carlos G; Cerdà-Lafont, Marta; Peñarrubia-María, María Teresa; Fernández-Vergel, Rita; Cuesta-Vargas, Antonio I; Ruíz, José M; Rozadilla-Sacanell, Antoni; Sirvent-Alierta, Elena; Santo-Panero, Pilar; García-Campayo, Javier; Serrano-Blanco, Antoni; Pérez-Aranda, Adrián; Rubio-Valera, María

    2016-10-01

    Although fibromyalgia syndrome (FM) is considered a heterogeneous condition, there is no generally accepted subgroup typology. We used hierarchical cluster analysis and latent profile analysis to replicate Giesecke's classification in Spanish FM patients. The second aim was to examine whether the subgroups differed in sociodemographic characteristics, functional status, quality of life, and in direct and indirect costs. A total of 160 FM patients completed the following measures for cluster derivation: the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale, the Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Pain Catastrophizing Scale, and the Control over Pain subscale. Pain threshold was measured with a sphygmomanometer. In addition, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire-Revised, the EuroQoL-5D-3L, and the Client Service Receipt Inventory were administered for cluster validation. Two distinct clusters were identified using hierarchical cluster analysis ("hypersensitive" group, 69.8% and "functional" group, 30.2%). In contrast, the latent profile analysis goodness-of-fit indices supported the existence of 3 FM patient profiles: (1) a "functional" profile (28.1%) defined as moderate tenderness, distress, and pain catastrophizing; (2) a "dysfunctional" profile (45.6%) defined by elevated tenderness, distress, and pain catastrophizing; and (3) a "highly dysfunctional and distressed" profile (26.3%) characterized by elevated tenderness and extremely high distress and catastrophizing. We did not find significant differences in sociodemographic characteristics between the 2 clusters or among the 3 profiles. The functional profile was associated with less impairment, greater quality of life, and lower health care costs. We identified 3 distinct profiles which accounted for the heterogeneity of FM patients. Our findings might help to design tailored interventions for FM patients.

  9. 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.

  10. Neonatal chest image quality addressed through training to enhance radiographer awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hesta Friedrich-Nel

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Diagnostic radiographers working in the neonatal intensive care unit primarily aim to produce an image of optimal quality using optimal exposure techniques without repeating exposures, to keep neonatal radiation dose to a minimum.   Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine whether radiographers were producing optimal quality chest images and, if not, whether additional training could contribute to reaching this goal in the Free State Province of South Africa.   Methods: Neonatal chest image quality was determined in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit by using a checklist based on and compiled from published guidelines to evaluate the quality of 450 randomly-selected images. Thereafter, a training programme was designed, based on the evaluation criteria of the checklist and image quality areas identified. The training also referred to positioning techniques that should be applied to ensure optimal image quality. After presentation of the training, 450 newly-produced neonatal chest images were evaluated. These images were selected through purposive sampling as this evaluation only included images of participating radiographers who completed the training.   Results: Image quality that showed significant improvement included a reduction in electrocardiogram lines superimposed on chest anatomy, a tendency to centre closer to thoracic vertebra four, and visible four-sided collimation on images. Image quality areas with no significant enhancement were the absence of lead markers and radiation shielding.   Conclusion: The study has shown that a training programme has the potential to improve neonatal chest image quality.

  11. Electron beam irradiation: a novel technology to enhance the quality of soybean seeds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhalla, Shashi; Srinivasan, K.; Singh, Subadas; Thakur, Manju; Sharma, S.K.; Pramod, R.; Dwivedi, J.; Bapna, S.C.

    2010-01-01

    Soybean seeds, rich in protein and oil, maintain their germinability only for short durations under ambient conditions. Loss of viability of stored seeds often hampers soybean production in harsh environments worldwide. Physiological factors favored by high temperature and high moisture content accelerate the seed deterioration in the tropics. Several chemical and physical treatments are being used to enhance quality. Irradiation is a novel technology for food preservation and is gaining importance all over the world. Low doses of irradiation bring about improvement in quality of food/seeds, which can be beneficial in several ways. Electron Beam (EB) irradiation is a new approach in this area. The objective of present study was to investigate the effect of EB irradiation in enhancing the quality of low vigour soybean seeds

  12. Assessing estuarine quality: A cost-effective in situ assay with amphipods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Haro, Monica; Acevedo, Pelayo; Pais-Costa, Antónia Juliana; Taggart, Mark A; Martins, Irene; Ribeiro, Rui; Marques, João Carlos

    2016-05-01

    In situ assays based on feeding depression can be powerful ecotoxicological tools that can link physiological organism-level responses to population and/or community-level effects. Amphipods are traditional target species for toxicity tests due to their high sensitivity to contaminants, availability in the field and ease of handling. However, cost-effective in situ assays based on feeding depression are not yet available for amphipods that inhabit estuarine ecosystems. The aim of this work was to assess a short-term in situ assay based on postexposure feeding rates on easily quantifiable food items with an estuarine amphipod. Experiments were carried out under laboratory conditions using juvenile Echinogammarus marinus as the target individual. When 60 Artemia franciscana nauplii (as prey) were provided per individual for a period of 30 min in dark conditions, feeding rates could be easily quantified. As an endpoint, postexposure feeding inhibition in E. marinus was more sensitive to cadmium contamination than mortality. Assay calibration under field conditions demonstrated the relevance of sediment particle size in explaining individual feeding rates in uncontaminated water bodies. An evaluation of the 48-h in situ bioassay based on postexposure feeding rates indicated that it is able to discriminate between unpolluted and polluted estuarine sites. Using the harmonized protocol described here, the in situ postexposure feeding assay with E. marinus was found to be a potentially useful, cost-effective tool for assessing estuarine sediment and water quality. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. Salty or sweet? Nutritional quality, consumption, and cost of snacks served in afterschool programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beets, Michael W; Weaver, Robert G; Tilley, Falon; Turner-McGrievy, Gabrielle; Huberty, Jennifer; Ward, Dianne S; Freedman, Darcy A

    2015-02-01

    Snacks served in afterschool programs (ASPs, 3-6 pm) represent an important opportunity to promote healthy eating. ASP policies suggest a fruit/vegetable is served daily, while sugar-sweetened foods/beverages and artificially flavored snacks are eliminated. Limited information exists on the types of snacks served in ASPs, if snacks meet existing nutrition policies, whether children eat the snacks, and their cost. Direct observation of snacks served and consumed was collected in 20 ASPs serving over 1700 elementary age children. The number of days that snacks were served/week was evaluated for compliance with nutrition policies. Costs of snacks were collected via receipts. Programs served desserts and artificially flavored salty snacks on 2.7 and 2.1 days/week. Fruits and vegetables were served 0.6 and 0.1 days/week, respectively. Sugar-sweetened beverages were served 1.8 days/week. Of the children (N = 383) observed, 75% to 100% consumed the snack served, with 95% and 100% of served fruits/vegetables consumed. No ASP served fruit/vegetables daily, 18 served sugar-sweetened foods, 16 served artificially flavored snacks, and 14 served sugar-sweetened beverages. Desserts and salty snacks cost $0.27-$0.32/snack vs $0.38-$0.40/snack for vegetables/fruits. The quality of snacks failed to meet nutrition policies and consists of predominately high-sugar and artificially flavored options. Strategies to improve snack offerings in ASPs while addressing price barriers are required. © 2015, American School Health Association.

  15. Salty or Sweet? Nutritional quality, consumption, and cost of snacks served in afterschool programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beets, Michael W.; Weaver, R. Glenn; Tilley, Falon; Turner-McGrievy, Brie; Huberty, Jennifer; Ward, Dianne S.; Freedman, Darcy A.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND Snacks served in afterschool programs (ASPs, 3–6pm) represent an important opportunity to promote healthy eating. ASP policies suggest a fruit/vegetable is served daily, while sugar-sweetened foods/beverages and artificially-flavored snacks are eliminated. Limited information exists on the types of snacks served in ASPs, if snacks meet existing nutrition policies, whether children eat the snacks, and their cost. METHODS Direct observation of snacks served and consumed was collected in 20 ASPs serving over 1,700 elementary-age children. The number of days snacks were served/week was evaluated for compliance with nutrition policies. Costs of snacks were collected via receipts. RESULTS Programs served desserts and artificially-flavored salty-snacks on 2.7 and 2.1 days/week. Fruits and vegetables were served 0.6 and 0.1 days/wk, respectively. Sugar-sweetened-beverages were served 1.8 days/wk. Of the children (N=383) observed, 75–100% consumed the snack served, with 95% and 100% of served fruits/vegetables consumed. No ASP served fruit/vegetables daily, 18 served sugar-sweetened foods, 16 served artificially-flavored snacks, and 14 served sugar-sweetened-beverages. Desserts and salty-snacks cost $0.27–$0.32/snack vs. $0.38–$0.40/snack for vegetables/fruits. CONCLUSIONS The quality of snacks failed to meet nutrition policies and consists of predominately high-sugar and artificially-flavored options. Strategies to improve snack offerings in ASPs while addressing price barriers are required. PMID:25564980

  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. Contribution of food prices and diet cost to socioeconomic disparities in diet quality and health: a systematic review and analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darmon, Nicole; Drewnowski, Adam

    2015-10-01

    It is well established in the literature that healthier diets cost more than unhealthy diets. The aim of this review was to examine the contribution of food prices and diet cost to socioeconomic inequalities in diet quality. A systematic literature search of the PubMed, Google Scholar, and Web of Science databases was performed. Publications linking food prices, dietary quality, and socioeconomic status were selected. Where possible, review conclusions were illustrated using a French national database of commonly consumed foods and their mean retail prices. Foods of lower nutritional value and lower-quality diets generally cost less per calorie and tended to be selected by groups of lower socioeconomic status. A number of nutrient-dense foods were available at low cost but were not always palatable or culturally acceptable to the low-income consumer. Acceptable healthier diets were uniformly associated with higher costs. Food budgets in poverty were insufficient to ensure optimum diets. Socioeconomic disparities in diet quality may be explained by the higher cost of healthy diets. Identifying food patterns that are nutrient rich, affordable, and appealing should be a priority to fight social inequalities in nutrition and health. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Life Sciences Institute.

  18. Contribution of food prices and diet cost to socioeconomic disparities in diet quality and health: a systematic review and analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewnowski, Adam

    2015-01-01

    Context: It is well established in the literature that healthier diets cost more than unhealthy diets. Objective: The aim of this review was to examine the contribution of food prices and diet cost to socioeconomic inequalities in diet quality. Data Sources: A systematic literature search of the PubMed, Google Scholar, and Web of Science databases was performed. Study Selection: Publications linking food prices, dietary quality, and socioeconomic status were selected. Data Extraction: Where possible, review conclusions were illustrated using a French national database of commonly consumed foods and their mean retail prices. Data Synthesis: Foods of lower nutritional value and lower-quality diets generally cost less per calorie and tended to be selected by groups of lower socioeconomic status. A number of nutrient-dense foods were available at low cost but were not always palatable or culturally acceptable to the low-income consumer. Acceptable healthier diets were uniformly associated with higher costs. Food budgets in poverty were insufficient to ensure optimum diets. Conclusions: Socioeconomic disparities in diet quality may be explained by the higher cost of healthy diets. Identifying food patterns that are nutrient rich, affordable, and appealing should be a priority to fight social inequalities in nutrition and health. PMID:26307238

  19. Enhancement of Edge-based Image Quality Measures Using Entropy for Histogram Equalization-based Contrast Enhancement Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. T. R. Kurmasha

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available An Edge-based image quality measure (IQM technique for the assessment of histogram equalization (HE-based contrast enhancement techniques has been proposed that outperforms the Absolute Mean Brightness Error (AMBE and Entropy which are the most commonly used IQMs to evaluate Histogram Equalization based techniques, and also the two prominent fidelity-based IQMs which are Multi-Scale Structural Similarity (MSSIM and Information Fidelity Criterion-based (IFC measures. The statistical evaluation results show that the Edge-based IQM, which was designed for detecting noise artifacts distortion, has a Person Correlation Coefficient (PCC > 0.86 while the others have poor or fair correlation to human opinion, considering the Human Visual Perception (HVP. Based on HVP, this paper propose an enhancement to classic Edge-based IQM by taking into account the brightness saturation distortion which is the most prominent distortion in HE-based contrast enhancement techniques. It is tested and found to have significantly well correlation (PCC > 0.87, Spearman rank order correlation coefficient (SROCC > 0.92, Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE < 0.1054, and Outlier Ratio (OR = 0%.

  20. Underwater image quality enhancement of sea cucumbers based on improved histogram equalization and wavelet transform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xi Qiao

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Sea cucumbers usually live in an environment where lighting and visibility are generally not controllable, which cause the underwater image of sea cucumbers to be distorted, blurred, and severely attenuated. Therefore, the valuable information from such an image cannot be fully extracted for further processing. To solve the problems mentioned above and improve the quality of the underwater images of sea cucumbers, pre-processing of a sea cucumber image is attracting increasing interest. This paper presents a new method based on contrast limited adaptive histogram equalization and wavelet transform (CLAHE-WT to enhance the sea cucumber image quality. CLAHE was used to process the underwater image for increasing contrast based on the Rayleigh distribution, and WT was used for de-noising based on a soft threshold. Qualitative analysis indicated that the proposed method exhibited better performance in enhancing the quality and retaining the image details. For quantitative analysis, the test with 120 underwater images showed that for the proposed method, the mean square error (MSE, peak signal to noise ratio (PSNR, and entropy were 49.2098, 13.3909, and 6.6815, respectively. The proposed method outperformed three established methods in enhancing the visual quality of sea cucumber underwater gray image.

  1. Enhancing efficiency of production cost on seafood process with activity based management method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarigan, U.; Tarigan, U. P. P.

    2018-02-01

    The efficiency of production costs has an important impact maintaining company presence in the business world, as well as in the face of increasingly sharp global competition. It was done by identifying and reducing non-value-added activities to decrease production costs and increase profits. The study was conducted at a company engaged in the production of squid (seafood). It has a higher product price than the market as Rp 50,000 per kg while the market price of squid is only Rp 35,000 per kg. The price of the product to be more expensive compared with market price, and thereby a lot more consumers choose the lower market price. Based on the discussions conducted, the implementation of Activity Based Management was seen in the reduction of activities that are not added value in the production process. Since each activities consumers cost, the reduction of nonvalue-added activities has effects on the decline of production cost. The production’s decline costs mainly occur in the reduction of material transfer costs. The results showed that there was an increase after the improvement of 2.60%. Increased production cost efficiency causes decreased production costs and increased profits.

  2. Individual quality and age but not environmental or social conditions modulate costs of reproduction in a capital breeder

    OpenAIRE

    Debeffe, Lucie; Poissant, Jocelyn; McLoughlin, Philip D.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Costs associated with reproduction are widely known to play a role in the evolution of reproductive tactics with consequences to population and eco?evolutionary dynamics. Evaluating these costs as they pertain to species in the wild remains an important goal of evolutionary ecology. Individual heterogeneity, including differences in individual quality (i.e., among?individual differences in traits associated with survival and reproduction) or state, and variation in environmental and ...

  3. Measuring Values Of Environmental Quality Improvement And Leisure Time Through Combining Contingent Valuation and Travel Cost Data

    OpenAIRE

    Young Sook Eom; Douglas M. Larson

    2004-01-01

    This paper demonstrates a utility-theoretic empirical framework for estimating values of environmental quality improvement by combining travel cost and contingent valuation data in a two-constraint (time and money) budget framework. Recgninzing the role of time "prices" and time budget, the recreation demand and willingness to pay (WTP) functiuons are specified with full price and full budget arguments, with the opportunity cost of time being a fraction of wage rate. When applied to the case ...

  4. A proposed defect tracking model for classifying the inserted defect reports to enhance software quality control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultan, Torky; Khedr, Ayman E; Sayed, Mostafa

    2013-01-01

    NONE DECLARED Defect tracking systems play an important role in the software development organizations as they can store historical information about defects. There are many research in defect tracking models and systems to enhance their capabilities to be more specifically tracking, and were adopted with new technology. Furthermore, there are different studies in classifying bugs in a step by step method to have clear perception and applicable method in detecting such bugs. This paper shows a new proposed defect tracking model for the purpose of classifying the inserted defects reports in a step by step method for more enhancement of the software quality.

  5. 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

    ... the public on means to enhance quality of the patent process with particular emphasis on the search... DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No.: PTO-P-2010-0038] Notice of Roundtables and Request for Comments on Enhancement in the Quality of Patents and on United States Patent and...

  6. Combining Water Quality and Cost-Benefit Analysis to Examine the Implications of Agricultural Best Management Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, N. S.; Easton, Z. M.; Lee, D. R.; Steenhuis, T. S.

    2007-12-01

    Nutrient runoff from agricultural fields threatens water quality and can impair habitats in many watersheds. Agencies consider these potential risks as they determine acceptable levels of nutrient loading. For example, in the New York City (NYC) watershed, the Environmental Protection Agency's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for phosphorus (P) has been set at 15μg P L-1 to protect against eutrophication and bacterial outbreaks. In the NYC watersheds agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) are the primary means to control nonpoint source P loading. BMPs include riparian buffers, filter strips, manure storage facilities, crop rotation, stripcropping, tree planting and nutrient management plans (NMPs). Water quality research on BMPs to date has included studies on site-specificity of different BMPs, short and long term BMP efficacy, and placement of BMPs with respect to critical source areas. A necessary complement to studies addressing water quality aspects of different BMPs are studies examining the cost-benefit aspects of BMPs. In general, there are installment, maintenance and opportunity costs associated with each BMP, and there are benefits, including cost share agreements between farmers and farm agencies, and increased efficiency of farm production and maintenance. Combining water quality studies and related cost-benefit analyses would help planners and watershed managers determine how best improve water quality. Our research examines the costs-benefit structure associated with BMP scenarios on a one-farm headwater watershed in the Catskill Mountains of NY. The different scenarios include "with and without" BMPs, combinations of BMPs, and different BMP placements across agricultural fields. The costs associated with each BMP scenarios are determined using information from farm agencies and watershed planning agencies. With these data we perform a cost-benefit analysis for the different BMP scenarios and couple the water quality modeling using the

  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. 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. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  9. The development of a checklist to enhance methodological quality in intervention programs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvador Chacón-Moscoso

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The methodological quality of primary studies is an important issue when performing meta-analyses or systematic reviews. Nevertheless, there are no clear criteria for how methodological quality should be analyzed. Controversies emerge when considering the various theoretical and empirical definitions, especially in relation to three interrelated problems: the lack of representativeness, utility, and feasibility. In this article, we (a systematize and summarize the available literature about methodological quality in primary studies; (b propose a specific, parsimonious, 12-item checklist to empirically define the methodological quality of primary studies based on a content validity study; and (c present an inter-coder reliability study for the resulting 12 items. This paper provides a precise and rigorous description of the development of this checklist, highlighting the clearly specified criteria for the inclusion of items and a substantial inter-coder agreement in the different items. Rather than simply proposing another checklist, however, it then argues that the list constitutes an assessment tool with respect to the representativeness, utility, and feasibility of the most frequent methodological quality items in the literature, one that provides practitioners and researchers with clear criteria for choosing items that may be adequate to their needs. We propose individual methodological features as indicators of quality, arguing that these need to be taken into account when designing, implementing, or evaluating an intervention program. This enhances methodological quality of intervention programs and fosters the cumulative knowledge based on meta-analyses of these interventions. Future development of the checklist is discussed.

  10. Comparison of Calibration Techniques for Low-Cost Air Quality Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malings, C.; Ramachandran, S.; Tanzer, R.; Kumar, S. P. N.; Hauryliuk, A.; Zimmerman, N.; Presto, A. A.

    2017-12-01

    Assessing the intra-city spatial distribution and temporal variability of air quality can be facilitated by a dense network of monitoring stations. However, the cost of implementing such a network can be prohibitive if high-quality but high-cost monitoring systems are used. To this end, the Real-time Affordable Multi-Pollutant (RAMP) sensor package has been developed at the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies of Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with SenSevere LLC. This self-contained unit can measure up to five gases out of CO, SO2, NO, NO2, O3, VOCs, and CO2, along with temperature and relative humidity. Responses of individual gas sensors can vary greatly even when exposed to the same ambient conditions. Those of VOC sensors in particular were observed to vary by a factor-of-8, which suggests that each sensor requires its own calibration model. To this end, we apply and compare two different calibration methods to data collected by RAMP sensors collocated with a reference monitor station. The first method, random forest (RF) modeling, is a rule-based method which maps sensor responses to pollutant concentrations by implementing a trained sequence of decision rules. RF modeling has previously been used for other RAMP gas sensors by the group, and has produced precise calibrated measurements. However, RF models can only predict pollutant concentrations within the range observed in the training data collected during the collocation period. The second method, Gaussian process (GP) modeling, is a probabilistic Bayesian technique whereby broad prior estimates of pollutant concentrations are updated using sensor responses to generate more refined posterior predictions, as well as allowing predictions beyond the range of the training data. The accuracy and precision of these techniques are assessed and compared on VOC data collected during the summer of 2017 in Pittsburgh, PA. By combining pollutant data gathered by each RAMP sensor and applying

  11. Hanford River Protection Project Enhanced Mission Planning Through Innovative Tools: Lifecycle Cost Modeling And Aqueous Thermodynamic Modeling - 12134

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pierson, K.L.; Meinert, F.L.

    2012-01-01

    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.

  12. Inkjet printable nanosilver suspensions for enhanced sintering quality in rapid manufacturing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bai, John G; Creehan, Kevin D; Kuhn, Howard A

    2007-01-01

    Inkjet printable nanosilver suspensions were prepared by dispersing 30 nm silver particles into a water-based binder system to enhance the sintering quality in rapid manufacturing. During three-dimensional printing (3DP), the nanosilver suspensions were inkjet printed onto repetitively spread microsilver powder for selective joining. Since the nanosilver particles in the suspensions can be sintered at relatively low temperatures to bond the neighbouring microsilver powder, they were used to provide the continuous bonding strength of the manufacturing parts during the heat-up procedure of the sintering operation. Comparative study shows that the silver parts printed using the nanosilver suspension were significantly enhanced in sintering quality than those printed using the binder system, especially when the silver parts had thin or small features with high aspect ratios

  13. 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.

  14. Retrieval Practice Enhances the Accessibility but not the Quality of Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Sutterer, David W.; Awh, Edward

    2016-01-01

    Numerous studies have demonstrated that retrieval from long term memory (LTM) can enhance subsequent memory performance, a phenomenon labeled the retrieval practice effect. However, the almost exclusive reliance on categorical stimuli in this literature leaves open a basic question about the nature of this improvement in memory performance. It has not yet been determined whether retrieval practice improves the probability of successful memory retrieval or the quality of the retrieved represen...

  15. 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.

  16. The interaction between reproductive cost and individual quality is mediated by oceanic conditions in a long-lived bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert, Alexandre; Paiva, Vitor H; Bolton, Mark; Jiguet, Frédéric; Bried, Joël

    2012-08-01

    Environmental variability, costs of reproduction, and heterogeneity in individual quality are three important sources of the temporal and interindividual variations in vital rates of wild populations. Based on an 18-year monitoring of an endangered, recently described, long-lived seabird, Monteiro's Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma monteiroi), we designed multistate survival models to separate the effects of the reproductive cost (breeders vs. nonbreeders) and individual quality (successful vs. unsuccessful breeders) in relation to temporally variable demographic and oceanographic properties. The analysis revealed a gradient of individual quality from nonbreeders, to unsuccessful breeders, to successful breeders. The survival rates of unsuccessful breeders (0.90 +/- 0.023, mean +/- SE) tended to decrease in years of high average breeding success and were more sensitive to oceanographic variation than those of both (high-quality) successful breeders (0.97 +/- 0.015) and (low-quality) nonbreeders (0.83 +/- 0.028). Overall, our results indicate that reproductive costs act on individuals of intermediate quality and are mediated by environmental harshness.

  17. 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.

  18. Statistical and cost-benefit enhancements to the DQO process for characterization decisions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goodman, D.

    1996-01-01

    The costs of characterization can comprise a sizeable fraction of a remediation program budget. The DQO Process has been instituted at DOE to ensure that the investment in characterization adds net value to each remediation project. Thoughtful characterization can be very important to minimizing the total cost of a remediation. Strategic information gained by characterization can reduce the remediation costs by reducing the unproductive investment in unnecessary remediation of portions of a site that really don't need to be remediated, and strategic information can reduce remediation costs by reducing the frequency of expensive rework or emergency action that result when remediation has not been pursued to the extent that really is needed

  19. Enhancing supply risk management performance : a transaction cost and social exchange theory perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoffmann, Petra; Schiele, Holger; Song, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Supply risk management gained prominence over the last decade, both in the academic discourse and in practical application. This research examines the influence of Transaction Cost characteristics -behavioral uncertainty, environmental uncertainty and asset specificity- on supply risk management

  20. Enhancing supply risk management performance: a transaction cost and social exchange theory perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoffmann, Petra; Schiele, Holger; Song, Michael; Krabbendam, Johannes Jacobus

    2011-01-01

    Supply risk management gained prominence over the last decade, both in the academic discourse and in practical application. This research examines the influence of Transaction Cost characteristics -behavioral uncertainty, environmental uncertainty and asset specificity- on supply risk management

  1. 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.

  2. Hanford River Protection Project Life cycle Cost Modeling Tool to Enhance Mission Planning - 13396

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dunford, Gary; Williams, David; Smith, Rick

    2013-01-01

    The Life cycle Cost Model (LCM) Tool is an overall systems model that incorporates budget, and schedule impacts for the entire life cycle of the River Protection Project (RPP) mission, and is replacing the Hanford Tank Waste Operations Simulator (HTWOS) model as the foundation of the RPP system planning process. Currently, the DOE frequently requests HTWOS simulations of alternative technical and programmatic strategies for completing the RPP mission. Analysis of technical and programmatic changes can be performed with HTWOS; however, life cycle costs and schedules were previously generated by manual transfer of time-based data from HTWOS to Primavera P6. The LCM Tool automates the preparation of life cycle costs and schedules and is needed to provide timely turnaround capability for RPP mission alternative analyses. LCM is the simulation component of the LCM Tool. The simulation component is a replacement of the HTWOS model with new capability to support life cycle cost modeling. It is currently deployed in G22, but has been designed to work in any full object-oriented language with an extensive feature set focused on networking and cross-platform compatibility. The LCM retains existing HTWOS functionality needed to support system planning and alternatives studies going forward. In addition, it incorporates new functionality, coding improvements that streamline programming and model maintenance, and capability to input/export data to/from the LCM using the LCM Database (LCMDB). The LCM Cost/Schedule (LCMCS) contains cost and schedule data and logic. The LCMCS is used to generate life cycle costs and schedules for waste retrieval and processing scenarios. It uses time-based output data from the LCM to produce the logic ties in Primavera P6 necessary for shifting activities. The LCM Tool is evolving to address the needs of decision makers who want to understand the broad spectrum of risks facing complex organizations like DOE-RPP to understand how near

  3. Hanford River Protection Project Life cycle Cost Modeling Tool to Enhance Mission Planning - 13396

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunford, Gary [AEM Consulting, LLC, 1201 Jadwin Avenue, Richland, WA 99352 (United States); Williams, David [WIT, Inc., 11173 Oak Fern Court, San Diego, CA 92131 (United States); Smith, Rick [Knowledge Systems Design, Inc., 13595 Quaker Hill Cross Rd, Nevada City, CA 95959 (United States)

    2013-07-01

    The Life cycle Cost Model (LCM) Tool is an overall systems model that incorporates budget, and schedule impacts for the entire life cycle of the River Protection Project (RPP) mission, and is replacing the Hanford Tank Waste Operations Simulator (HTWOS) model as the foundation of the RPP system planning process. Currently, the DOE frequently requests HTWOS simulations of alternative technical and programmatic strategies for completing the RPP mission. Analysis of technical and programmatic changes can be performed with HTWOS; however, life cycle costs and schedules were previously generated by manual transfer of time-based data from HTWOS to Primavera P6. The LCM Tool automates the preparation of life cycle costs and schedules and is needed to provide timely turnaround capability for RPP mission alternative analyses. LCM is the simulation component of the LCM Tool. The simulation component is a replacement of the HTWOS model with new capability to support life cycle cost modeling. It is currently deployed in G22, but has been designed to work in any full object-oriented language with an extensive feature set focused on networking and cross-platform compatibility. The LCM retains existing HTWOS functionality needed to support system planning and alternatives studies going forward. In addition, it incorporates new functionality, coding improvements that streamline programming and model maintenance, and capability to input/export data to/from the LCM using the LCM Database (LCMDB). The LCM Cost/Schedule (LCMCS) contains cost and schedule data and logic. The LCMCS is used to generate life cycle costs and schedules for waste retrieval and processing scenarios. It uses time-based output data from the LCM to produce the logic ties in Primavera P6 necessary for shifting activities. The LCM Tool is evolving to address the needs of decision makers who want to understand the broad spectrum of risks facing complex organizations like DOE-RPP to understand how near

  4. 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.

  5. Enhancing Groundwater Cost Estimation with the Interpolation of Water Tables across the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosli, A. U. M.; Lall, U.; Josset, L.; Rising, J. A.; Russo, T. A.; Eisenhart, T.

    2017-12-01

    Analyzing the trends in water use and supply across the United States is fundamental to efforts in ensuring water sustainability. As part of this, estimating the costs of producing or obtaining water (water extraction) and the correlation with water use is an important aspect in understanding the underlying trends. This study estimates groundwater costs by interpolating the depth to water level across the US in each county. We use Ordinary and Universal Kriging, accounting for the differences between aquifers. Kriging generates a best linear unbiased estimate at each location and has been widely used to map ground-water surfaces (Alley, 1993).The spatial covariates included in the universal Kriging were land-surface elevation as well as aquifer information. The average water table is computed for each county using block kriging to obtain a national map of groundwater cost, which we compare with survey estimates of depth to the water table performed by the USDA. Groundwater extraction costs were then assumed to be proportional to water table depth. Beyond estimating the water cost, the approach can provide an indication of groundwater-stress by exploring the historical evolution of depth to the water table using time series information between 1960 and 2015. Despite data limitations, we hope to enable a more compelling and meaningful national-level analysis through the quantification of cost and stress for more economically efficient water management.

  6. 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

  7. Cost-Effectiveness of Enhanced Syphilis Screening among HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Microsimulation Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuite, Ashleigh R.; Burchell, Ann N.; Fisman, David N.

    2014-01-01

    Background 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. Purpose 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2017-11-01

    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.

  10. Public Attitudes about Health Information Technology, and Its Relationship to Health Care Quality, Costs, and Privacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaylin, Daniel S; Moiduddin, Adil; Mohamoud, Shamis; Lundeen, Katie; Kelly, Jennifer A

    2011-01-01

    Objective To understand Americans' attitudes concerning health information technology's (IT's) potential to improve health care and differences in those attitudes based on demographics and technological affinity. Data Sources/Study Setting A random-digit-dial sample with known probability of selection for every household in the United States with a telephone, plus a supplemental sample of cell phone users. Telephone interviews were conducted from August 2009 through November 2009. Study Design Data were analyzed to present univariate estimates of Americans' opinions of health IT, as well as multivariate logistic regressions to assess hypotheses relating individuals' characteristics to their opinions. Characteristics used in our model include age, race, ethnicity, gender, income, and affinity to technology. Findings A large majority (78 percent) favor use of electronic medical records (EMRs); believe EMRs could improve care and reduce costs (78 percent and 59 percent, respectively); believe benefits of EMR use outweigh privacy risks (64 percent); and support health care information sharing among providers (72 percent). Regression analyses show more positive attitudes among those with higher incomes and greater comfort using electronic technologies. Conclusion The findings suggest that American's believe that health IT adoption is an effective means to improve the quality and safety of health care. PMID:21275986

  11. Evaluating quality of life and cost implications of prophylactic radiotherapy in mesothelioma: Health economic analysis of the SMART trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Alan Stewart

    Full Text Available The SMART trial is a UK-based, multicentre RCT comparing prophylactic radiotherapy and symptom-based (deferred radiotherapy in 203 patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma who had undergone large bore pleural interventions. Using costs and quality of life data collected alongside the clinical trial, we will estimate the cost-effectiveness of prophylactic radiotherapy compared to deferred radiotherapy over a 1-year period.Healthcare utilization and costs were captured during the trial. Utility weights produced by the EQ-5D questionnaire were used to determine quality-adjusted life-years (QALY gained. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was calculated over the one-year trial period.Costs were similar in the immediate and deferred radiotherapy groups: £5480.40 (SD = £7040; n = 102 and £5461.40 (SD = £7770; n = 101 respectively. There was also no difference in QALY: 0.498 (95% CI: [0.45, 0.547] in the prophylactic radiotherapy group versus 0.525 (95% CI: [0.471, 0.580] in the deferred group. At a willingness to pay threshold of £30,000/QALY there was only a 24% chance that prophylactic radiotherapy was cost-effective compared to deferred radiotherapy.There was no significant effect of prophylactic radiotherapy on quality of life in the intervention group, nor was there any discernable decrease in healthcare costs. There is little evidence to suggest that prophylactic radiotherapy is a cost-effective intervention in this population.ISRCTN72767336 with ISRCTN.

  12. 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

    Distributed generation has been gaining acceptance over the years and it has the potential to provide reliable power to sensitive loads. However, distributed networks are prone to unbalanced faults conditions. This makes single inverter DG systems unsuitable as UPS systems. This paper proposes...... a Zsource inverter based power quality compensator and a control structure that supplies high quality voltage to the connected sensitive load in the presence of other non linear loads. The proposed topology consists of combination of shunt and series inverters connected to a common Z-source impedance...... 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...

  13. Enhancing Quality of Life: Restorative Experience in Recreational Forests in Selangor, Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norhuzailin Hussain

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Two recreational forests were selected as case studies: The Ampang and Kanching Recreational Forests. The recreational forests are facing pressure by surrounding developments such as highway and housing. Urban development has implications for the benefits offered by recreational forests, endangered biodiversity, water quality and wildlife to result a place that is no longer enjoyable to visit. It is important to conserve the recreational forests that can contribute to the urbanites quality of life. Based on the results from the site observations, self-administered questionnaires and in-depth interviews, this paper describes recreational forest users’ experience in the recreational forests and what makes they perceived restored while being in the forest. This study helps the recreational forest management and related organizations in conserving, planning and managing recreational forests in providing a positive experience for users that can enhance Malaysian quality of life.

  14. 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)

  15. 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…

  16. Societal consequences of falls in the older population: Injuries, healthcare costs, and long-term reduced quality of life

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    K.A. Hartholt (Klaas); E.F. van Beeck (Ed); S. Polinder (Suzanne); N. van der Velde (Nathalie); E.M.M. van Lieshout (Esther); M.J.M. Panneman (Martien); T.J.M. van der Cammen (Tischa); P. Patka (Peter)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractBACKGROUND:: Fall incidents are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in older adults. The aim of this cohort study was to determine the incidence, costs, and quality of life for fall-related injuries in the older Dutch population presenting at the emergency department. METHODS:: Data

  17. 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

  18. Land Application of Wastes: An Educational Program. Treatment Systems, Effluent Qualities, and Costs - Module 4, Objectives, Script, and Booklet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarkson, W. W.; And Others

    This module describes the following conventional treatment systems and evaluates their use as pretreatment steps for land application: preliminary, primary, secondary, disinfection, and advanced waste treatment. Effluent qualities are summarized, a brief discussion of application systems is given, and cost comparisons are discussed in some detail.…

  19. Highway Safety Data : costs, quality, and strategies for improvement : research report

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    The goal of this project was to analyze the collection and management of highway safety data by identifying issues and costs, and proposing means of resolving those issues and reducing the costs. Initial emphasis addressed known elements of the highw...

  20. 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.

  1. A comparison between the cost curves in the RAINS-model and the Swedish environmental quality objectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sternhufvud, C.; Grennfelt, P.

    2001-06-01

    The Swedish Parliament has adopted fifteen environmental quality objectives. To be able to attain these goals in a cost-efficient way, cost curves have been created for sulphur dioxide (SO 2 ), nitrogen oxides (NO x ), and volatile organic compounds (VOC). These pollutants are also restricted in international protocols under the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP). Most of the analyses underlying the protocols have been performed by the Regional Acidification Information and Simulation model (RAINS) developed at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria. This study compare the cost-effectiveness principles used in the RAINS model with the principles used in the proposal to meet the Swedish environmental quality objectives. The two approaches use different methodologies to solve the problem with air pollution and do therefore receive different results. The advantages and disadvantages are discussed in this report

  2. Social/economic costs and health-related quality of life in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavazza, Marianna; Kodra, Yllka; Armeni, Patrizio; De Santis, Marta; López-Bastida, Julio; Linertová, Renata; Oliva-Moreno, Juan; Serrano-Aguilar, Pedro; Posada-de-la-Paz, Manuel; Taruscio, Domenica; Schieppati, Arrigo; Iskrov, Georgi; Péntek, Márta; von der Schulenburg, Johann Matthias Graf; Kanavos, Panos; Chevreul, Karine; Persson, Ulf; Fattore, Giovanni

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the economic burden from a societal perspective and the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in Europe. We conducted a cross-sectional study of patients with DMD from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Data on demographic characteristics, healthcare resource utilization, informal care, labor productivity losses, and HRQOL were collected from the questionnaires completed by patients or their caregivers. HRQOL was measured with the EuroQol 5-domain (EQ-5D) questionnaire. Costs have been estimated from a societal perspective adopting a bottom-up approach. A total of 422 questionnaires were included in the study; 268 of which were collected from patients with DMD and 154 from caregivers. The average annual cost per person in 2012 ranged from €7657 in Hungary to €58,704 in France. Direct non-healthcare costs are the main component of whole costs and informal care is the main driver of non-healthcare costs. Costs are also shown to differ between children and adults. With regard to HRQOL of adult patients, the EQ-5D VAS score and EQ-5D index scores were 50.5 and 0.24, respectively. The corresponding EQ-5D VAS and EQ-5D index scores for caregivers were 74.7 and 0.71, respectively. We have estimated the average annual cost per patient with DMD in eight European countries adopting a social perspective, and to our knowledge this is the first study with such a wide perspective. The results on costs show a considerable gap between Eastern and Western European countries. Non-healthcare costs range from 64 to 89 % of overall costs and informal care is to a great extent the main driver of this cost category. The HRQOL of people with DMD is much lower than that of the general population.

  3. Do Certified Buildings Enhance Indoor Environmental Quality and Performance of Office Work?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Da Silva, Nuno Alexandre Faria; Wargocki, Pawel

    2014-01-01

    With the growth of sustainability consciousness, the awareness of stakeholders for high performance buildings has also increased. The concept of green buildings has appeared. Several voluntary environmental rating schemes for buildings were created. Their focus has been energy conservation...... on productivity and that an average employee cost can be >10-100 times higher than the rental operation and maintenance costs (Morrell, 2005; Persramet al., 2007). There is however lack of consistent and systematic data benchmarking benefits of green building, in particular as regards IEQ and the effects...... (Lee, 2011), the green building do not have to necessarily meet this postulation. Quite limited numbers of credits for enhancing IEQ offered by the schemes will certainly not very much help that the high IEQ is guaranteed. The present paper surveyed literature on green buildings to examine whether...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2015-03-01

    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. 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. 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. 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. © 2015 Annals of Family Medicine, Inc.

  6. Simulation modeling for stratified breast cancer screening - a systematic review of cost and quality of life assumptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, Matthias

    2017-12-02

    The economic evaluation of stratified breast cancer screening gains momentum, but produces also very diverse results. Systematic reviews so far focused on modeling techniques and epidemiologic assumptions. However, cost and utility parameters received only little attention. This systematic review assesses simulation models for stratified breast cancer screening based on their cost and utility parameters in each phase of breast cancer screening and care. A literature review was conducted to compare economic evaluations with simulation models of personalized breast cancer screening. Study quality was assessed using reporting guidelines. Cost and utility inputs were extracted, standardized and structured using a care delivery framework. Studies were then clustered according to their study aim and parameters were compared within the clusters. Eighteen studies were identified within three study clusters. Reporting quality was very diverse in all three clusters. Only two studies in cluster 1, four studies in cluster 2 and one study in cluster 3 scored high in the quality appraisal. In addition to the quality appraisal, this review assessed if the simulation models were consistent in integrating all relevant phases of care, if utility parameters were consistent and methodological sound and if cost were compatible and consistent in the actual parameters used for screening, diagnostic work up and treatment. Of 18 studies, only three studies did not show signs of potential bias. This systematic review shows that a closer look into the cost and utility parameter can help to identify potential bias. Future simulation models should focus on integrating all relevant phases of care, using methodologically sound utility parameters and avoiding inconsistent cost parameters.

  7. Capacity enhancement and flexible operation of unified power quality conditioner in smart and microgrid network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shafiuzzaman Khan Khadem

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a new approach to design Unified Power Quality Conditioner (UPQC, termed as distributed UPQC (D-UPQC, for smart or microgrid network where capacity enhancement and flexible operation of UPQC are the important issues. This paper shows the possibility of capacity enhancement and operational flexibility of UPQC through a coordinated control of existing resources. This UPQC consists of a single unit series active power filter (APFse and multiple shunt APF (APFsh units in a distributed (parallel mode. These units can be connected with a common/separate dc linked capacitor(s. The requirement of capacity enhancement arises from the flexibility to cope up with the increased harmonic load demand at low voltage (LV distribution network. This can be accomplished by a coordinated control where multiple APFsh units are operated by utilizing the capacity of APFse while it is in idle/low mode using. Operational flexibility can be accomplished by compensating (i the reactive and harmonic current individually or (ii splitting the combined reactive and harmonic current/power among the APFsh units. Design and control issues have been discussed to identify the capacity enhancement limit with the possibility of operational flexibility. A system then has been simulated in MATLAB to show the effectiveness of D-UPQC in capacity enhancement and flexible operation by applying its existing resource utilization capability.

  8. 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

  9. Enhancing e-waste estimates: Improving data quality by multivariate Input–Output Analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Feng; Huisman, Jaco; Stevels, Ab; Baldé, Cornelis Peter

    2013-01-01

    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

  10. 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

  11. Costs in Relation to Disability, Disease Activity, and Health-related Quality of Life in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wallman, Johan K; Eriksson, Jonas K; Nilsson, Jan-Åke

    2016-01-01

    between-patient associations) and by generalized estimating equations (GEE), using all observations to also account for within-patient associations of HAQ/DAS28/EQ-5D to costs. RESULTS: Regardless of the methodology (linear or GEE regression), HAQ was most closely related to both cost types, while work......OBJECTIVE: To compare how costs relate to disability, disease activity, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: Antitumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF)-treated patients with RA in southern Sweden (n = 2341) were monitored 2005-2010. Health Assessment...... Questionnaire (HAQ), 28-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS28), and EQ-5D scores were linked to register-derived costs of antirheumatic drugs (excluding anti-TNF agents), patient care, and work loss from 30 days before to 30 days after each visit (n = 13,289). Associations of HAQ/DAS28/EQ-5D to healthcare...

  12. Assessment of the Extent of Implementation of Quality Management System (QMS and Cost of Quality (COQ Concepts – A Case from a Developing Country

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheheryar Qureshi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In developed countries, the application of the quality management system (QMS is widely proven. However, in developing countries, like Pakistan, industries are not mature enough to understand and implement the system. The aim of this study is to examine the perception of quality, implementation of QMS and cost of quality (COQ program in value-added garment sector, which is one of the major subsectors of textile industry in Pakistan. The methodology of the study is a questionnaire survey. The findings suggest that the majority of the respondent firms have well implemented quality management (QM practices. Trend of results also depicts that most of the organizations wish to acquire ISO certification, which shows that the industrial processes are customer-centered thus striving to fulfil customer requirements. It can also be concluded that most of the organizations lack the COQ concept, its understanding and appropriate implementation.

  13. Use of low-dose irradiation to enhance the safety and quality of chilled ready meals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stewart, E M [Department of Food Science, Queen' s University Belfast (QUB) (United Kingdom); Patterson, M F [Food Science Division, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), Belfast (United Kingdom)

    2002-07-01

    The market for 'cook-chill' ready meals has expanded significantly during the past ten years. This specific category of food has been defined as a catering system based on the full cooking of food followed by fast chilling and storage in controlled temperature conditions (0-3 deg. C) and subsequent thorough re-heating before consumption. Such meals cover a wide range of commodities including meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, pasta and desserts and are used at home by consumers and by the catering industry for use, for example, as hospital meals or meals-on-wheels. These products have a relatively short shelf-life with a recommended maximum shelf-life of 5 days at 0-3 deg. C including the day of cooking. In addition, there are other concerns with regard to microbiological quality, reduced sensory quality and decreased nutritive value. It has been suggested that low-dose irradiation could be used to extend the shelf-life of these products while at the same time reducing the risk of food poisoning. Research carried out at QUB and DARD has readily demonstrated that the safety and shelf-life of chilled ready meals consisting of meat (chicken, beef or pork) and certain vegetables (e.g. broccoli, carrots and roast potatoes) can be enhanced by irradiation doses of 2 or 3 kGy without having a detrimental effect on sensory or nutritional quality. To date, investigations have been limited to such traditional meals with no research being carried out on the more popular ready meals such as lasagna, cottage pies, curries, etc. which have a relatively short shelf-life upon purchase. It is therefore the objective of this work program to investigate the effect of low-dose irradiation (1-5 kGy) on the microbiological, sensory and nutritional quality of these meals and to determine if their overall quality can be enhanced.

  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. Social/economic costs and health-related quality of life in patients with cystic fibrosis in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevreul, Karine; Michel, Morgane; Brigham, Karen Berg; López-Bastida, Julio; Linertová, Renata; Oliva-Moreno, Juan; Serrano-Aguilar, Pedro; Posada-de-la-Paz, Manuel; Taruscio, Domenica; Schieppati, Arrigo; Iskrov, Georgi; Péntek, Márta; von der Schulenburg, Johann Matthias Graf; Kanavos, Panos; Persson, Ulf; Fattore, Giovani

    2016-04-01

    Our goal was to provide data on the economic burden and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and their caregivers in Europe. A cross-sectional study was carried out on adults and children with CF in eight European countries. Patients completed an anonymous questionnaire regarding their socio-demographic characteristics, use of healthcare services and presence of a caregiver. Costs were calculated with a bottom-up approach using unit costs from each participating country, and HRQOL was assessed using EQ-5D. The principal caregiver also answered a questionnaire on their characteristics, HRQOL and burden. A total of 905 patients with CF was included (399 adults and 506 children). The total average annual cost per patient varied from €21,144 in Bulgaria to €53,256 in Germany. Adults had higher direct healthcare costs than children, but children had much higher informal care costs (P costs increased with patients' level of dependence. In adults, mean utility fell between 0.640 and 0.870, and the visual analogue scale ranged from 46.0 to 69.7. There was no difference in caregiver HRQOL regardless of whether they cared for an adult or a child. However, caregivers who looked after a child had a significantly higher burden (P = 0.0013). Our study highlights the burden of CF in terms of costs and decreased HRQOL for both patients and their caregivers throughout Europe.

  16. Differential investment and costs during avian incubation determined by individual quality: an experimental study of the common eider (Somateria mollissima).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanssen, Sveinn Are; Erikstad, Kjell Einar; Johnsen, Vigdis; Bustnes, Jan Ove

    2003-03-07

    Individuals of different quality may have different investment strategies, shaping responses to experimental manipulations, thereby rendering the detection of such patterns difficult. However, previous clutch-size manipulation studies have infrequently incorporated individual differences in quality. To examine costs of incubation and reproductive investment in relation to changes in clutch size, we enlarged and reduced natural clutch sizes of four and five eggs by one egg early in the incubation period in female common eiders (Somateria mollissima), a sea duck with an anorectic incubation period. Females that had produced four eggs (lower quality) responded to clutch reductions by deserting the nest more frequently but did not increase incubation effort in response to clutch enlargement, at the cost of reduced hatch success of eggs. Among birds with an original clutch size of five (higher quality), reducing and enlarging clutch size reduced and increased relative body mass loss respectively without affecting hatch success. In common eiders many females abandon their own ducklings to the care of other females. Enlarging five-egg clutches led to increased brood care rate despite the higher effort spent incubating these clutches, indicating that the higher fitness value of a large brood is increasing adult brood investment. This study shows that the ability to respond to clutch-size manipulations depends on original clutch size, reflecting differences in female quality. Females of low quality were reluctant to increase investment at the cost of lower hatch success, whereas females of higher quality apparently have a larger capacity both to increase incubation effort and brood care investment.

  17. Delivery system characteristics and their association with quality and costs of care: implications for accountable care organizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chukmaitov, Askar; Harless, David W; Bazzoli, Gloria J; Carretta, Henry J; Siangphoe, Umaporn

    2015-01-01

    Implementation of accountable care organizations (ACOs) is currently underway, but there is limited empirical evidence on the merits of the ACO model. The aim was to study the associations between delivery system characteristics and ACO competencies, including centralization strategies to manage organizations, hospital integration with physicians and outpatient facilities, health information technology, infrastructure to monitor community health and report quality, and risk-adjusted 30-day all-cause mortality and case-mixed-adjusted inpatient costs for the Medicare population. Panel data (2006-2009) were assembled from Florida and multiple sources: inpatient hospital discharge, vital statistics, the American Hospital Association, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, and other databases. We applied a panel study design, controlling for hospital and market characteristics. Hospitals that were in centralized health systems or became more centralized over the study period had significantly larger reductions in mortality compared with hospitals that remained freestanding. Surprisingly, tightly integrated hospital-physician arrangements were associated with increased mortality; as such, hospitals may wish to proceed cautiously when developing specific types of alignment with local physician organizations. We observed no statistically significant differences in the growth rate of costs across hospitals in any of the health systems studied relative to freestanding hospitals. Although we observed quality improvement in some organizational types, these outcome improvements were not coupled with the additional desired objective of lower cost growth. This implies that additional changes not present during our study period, potentially changes in provider payment approaches, are essential for achieving the ACO objectives of higher quality of care at lower costs. Provider organizations implementing ACOs should consider centralizing service delivery as a

  18. ENHANCING VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE BY REDUCING COMPLIANCE COSTS: A TAXPAYER SERVICE APPROACH

    OpenAIRE

    Glenn Jenkins; EDWIN FORLEMU

    1993-01-01

    In this paper an overview is made of the determinants of voluntary tax compliance. Unlike previous treatments of this subject, the cost of taxpayer compliance is considered as an important determinant of overall level of voluntary compliance in a country. A number of ways that tax authorities reduce compliance are discussed, and the most common uses of information technology in providing taxpayer service is described. Finally, the paper considers some of the ways that such activities might be...

  19. 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.

  20. Shop for quality or quantity? Volumes and costs in clinical laboratories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barletta, Giovanni; Zaninotto, Martina; Faggian, Diego; Plebani, Mario

    2013-02-01

    The increasing need to reduce the costs of providing diagnostic laboratory services has prompted initiatives based on the centralization and consolidation of laboratory facilities. However, the majority of papers and experiences reported in literature focus on "cost per test" thus overlooking the real value of a laboratory service, which requires more complex economic evaluations, such as cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness, and cost-utility analysis. It is important to perform cost analysis, which is no mean feat, by taking into consideration all variables affecting the final and true cost per test. The present study was conducted in order to evaluate the costs of delivering laboratory services in 20 Italian clinical laboratories using a widely accepted methodology, the so-called "activity-based costing analysis". The finding of a trend towards a decrease in total costs - due to an increase in test volumes - attained statistical significance only for quantities of up to about 1,100,00 tests per year. For 1,800,00 tests and more, the cost per test appeared to range from 1.5 to 2.0 € irrespective of the different volumes. Regarding the relationship between volumes and number of staff, there is an evident linear relationship between the number of senior staff and volumes, whereas this trend is not observed in the case of medical technologists, the degree and type of automation strongly affecting this variable. The findings made in the present study confirm that the relationship between volumes and costs is not linear; since it is complex, numerous variables should be taken into account.

  1. 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.

  2. RJD A Cost Effective Frackless Solution For Production Enhancement In Marginal Fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Kamel

    2017-02-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Green design application on campus to enhance student’s quality of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamiami, H.; Khaira, F.; Fachrudin, A.

    2018-02-01

    Green design becomes an important thing to applied in the building. Green building will provide comfortability and enhance Quality of Life (QoL) for the users. The purpose of this research is to analyze how green design application on campus to enhance student’s QoL. This research conducted in three campuses which located in North Sumatera Province, namely Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU), Universitas Negeri Medan (Unimed) and Universitas Medan Area (UMA) which have a lot of vegetation, open space, and multi-mass buildings. This research compared the green design application to QoL from three universities. Green design in this research that become independent variables focus on the energy efficiency and conservation (EEC), indoor health and comfort (IHC) and building environment management (BEM) with dependent variable is QoL. This research uses quantitative methods with questionnaire survey techniques. The population is students from the three universities with the sample of each University is 50 samples. The analysis uses multiple regression analysis. The results show that green design application may enhance QoL of students. The campus should have a good green design application to enhance QoL of students and give them comfortability.

  7. A high efficiency, high quality and low cost internal regulated bioanalytical laboratory to support drug development needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yan; Dhodda, Raj; Zhang, Jun; Sydor, Jens

    2014-05-01

    In the recent past, we have seen an increase in the outsourcing of bioanalysis in pharmaceutical companies in support of their drug development pipeline. This trend is largely driven by the effort to reduce internal cost, especially in support of late-stage pipeline assets where established bioanalytical assays are used to analyze a large volume of samples. This article will highlight our perspective of how bioanalytical laboratories within pharmaceutical companies can be developed into the best partner in the advancement of drug development pipelines with high-quality support at competitive cost.

  8. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    to quantify, document, and suggest how future dyadic decisions can be enhanced by criterion prioritisation. Associations between patient’s MDQ-W before, and MDQ-R after consultation with their clinician were analysed along with patient scores from the Satisfaction With Decision (SWD) instrument. Results...... 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....

  10. Enhanced magnetoresistance in the binary semimetal NbAs2 due to improved crystal quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokoi, K.; Murakawa, H.; Komada, M.; Kida, T.; Hagiwara, M.; Sakai, H.; Hanasaki, N.

    2018-02-01

    We have observed an extremely large magnetoresistance exceeding 1.9 million at 1.7 K at 40 T for a single crystal of the binary semimetal NbAs2. The magnetoresistive behavior for this compound is quantitatively reproduced by a semiclassical two-carrier model in which the significant enhancement of magnetoresistance is attributed to the almost full compensation of the hole and electron densities (0.994 6 ×105cm2 /V .s ). Our results indicate that binary semimetals with higher carrier densities have a great potential for exhibiting a further divergent increase in magnetoresistance merely through an improvement in crystal quality.

  11. 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

  12. The association between improved quality diabetes indicators, health outcomes and costs: towards constructing a "business case" for quality of diabetes care--a time series study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilf-Miron, Rachel; Bolotin, Arkadi; Gordon, Nesia; Porath, Avi; Peled, Ronit

    2014-12-01

    In primary health care systems where member's turnover is relatively low, the question, whether investment in quality of care improvement can make a business case, or is cost effective, has not been fully answered.The objectives of this study were: (1) to investigate the relationship between improvement in selected measures of diabetes (type 2) care and patients' health outcomes; and (2) to estimate the association between improvement in performance and direct medical costs. A time series study with three quality indicators - Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) testing, HbA1C and LDL- cholesterol (LDL-C) control - which were analyzed in patients with diabetes, insured by a large health fund. Health outcomes measures used: hospitalization days, Emergency Department (ED) visits and mortality. Poisson, GEE and Cox regression models were employed. Covariates: age, gender and socio-economic rank. 96,553 adult (age >18) patients with diabetes were analyzed. The performance of the study indicators, significantly and steadily improved during the study period (2003-2009). Poor HbA1C (>9%) and inappropriate LDL-C control (>100 mg/dl) were significantly associated with number of hospitalization days. ED visits did not achieve statistical significance. Improvement in HbA1C control was associated with an annual average of 2% reduction in hospitalization days, leading to substantial reduction in tertiary costs. The Hazard ratio for mortality, associated with poor HbA1C and LDL-C, control was 1.78 and 1.17, respectively. Our study demonstrates the effect of continuous improvement in quality care indicators, on health outcomes and resource utilization, among patients with diabetes. These findings support the business case for quality, especially in healthcare systems with relatively low enrollee turnover, where providers, in the long term, could "harvest" their investments in improving quality.

  13. 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.

  14. Comparative evaluation of two models of UPQC for suitable interface to enhance power quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Basu, Malabika [Department of Electrical Engineering, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street, Dublin 8 (Ireland); Das, Shyama P.; Dubey, Gopal K. [Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (India)

    2007-05-15

    Majority of the dispersed generations from renewable energy sources are connected to the grid through power electronic interface, which introduce additional harmonics in the distribution systems. Research is being carried out to integrate active filtering with specific interface such that a common power quality (PQ) platform could be achieved. For generalized solution, a unified power quality conditioner (UPQC) could be the most comprehensive PQ protecting device for sensitive non-linear loads, which require quality input supply. Also, load current harmonic isolation needs to be ensured for maintaining the quality of the supply current. The present paper describes two control scheme models for UPQC, for enhancing PQ of sensitive non-linear loads. Based on two different kinds of voltage compensation strategy, two control schemes have been designed, which are termed as UPQC-Q and UPQC-P. A comparative loading analysis has developed useful insight in finding the typical application of the two different control schemes. The effectiveness of the two control schemes is verified through extensive simulation using the software SABER. As the power circuit configuration of UPQC remains same for both the model, with modification of control scheme only, the utility of UPQC can be optimized depending upon the application requirement. (author)

  15. Cost of Parasitism Incurred by Two Songbird Species and Their Quality As Cowbird Hosts1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirk Burhans; Frank R. Thompson III

    2000-01-01

    We measured the costs of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism incurred by Field Sparrows (Spizella pusilla) and Indigo Buntings (Passerina cyanea). We predicted that the frequent occurrence of nest desertion as a response to cowbird parasitism in Field Sparrows would be reflected by a higher cost of...

  16. Higher Dietary Cost Is Associated with Higher Diet Quality: A Cross-Sectional Study among Selected Malaysian Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibnteesam Pondor

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Food price is a determining factor of food choices; however its relationship with diet quality is unclear in Malaysia. This study aimed to examine socio-economic characteristics and daily dietary cost (DDC in relation to diet quality in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. Dietary intake was assessed using a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ and diet quality was estimated using a Malaysian Healthy Eating Index (M-HEI. DDC in Malaysian Ringgit (RM was calculated from dietary intake and national food prices. Linear regression models were fitted to determine associations between DDC and M-HEI scores and predictors of diet quality. The mean M-HEI score of respondents was 61.31 ± 10.88 and energy adjusted DDC was RM10.71/2000 kcal (USD 2.49. The highest quintile of adjusted DDC had higher M-HEI scores for all respondents (Q1: 57.14 ± 10.07 versus Q5: 63.26 ± 11.54, p = 0.001. There were also positive associations between DDC and M-HEI scores for fruits (p < 0.001 and vegetables (p = 0.017 for all respondents. Predictors of diet quality included carbohydrate (β = 0290; p < 0.001 and fat intakes (β = −0.242; p < 0.001 and energy adjusted DDC (β = 0.196; p < 0.001. Higher dietary cost is associated with healthy eating among Malaysian adults.

  17. 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.

  18. Creating patient value in glaucoma care: applying quality costing and care delivery value chain approaches--a five-year case study in the Rotterdam Eye Hospital

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Korne, Dirk F.; Sol, Kees; Custers, Thomas; van Sprundel, Esther; van Ineveld, B. Martin; Lemij, Hans G.; Klazinga, Niek S.

    2009-01-01

    PURPOSE: 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 (QCM) and the

  19. Dual-energy contrast-enhanced breast tomosynthesis: optimization of beam quality for dose and image quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samei, Ehsan; Saunders, Robert S Jr

    2011-01-01

    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

  20. Results of ENHANCED Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Programming to Reduce Therapies and Improve Quality of Life (from the ENHANCED-ICD Study)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mastenbroek, Mirjam H.; Pedersen, Susanne S.; van der Tweel, Ingeborg

    2016-01-01

    -reported outcomes. The "ENHANCED Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator programming to reduce therapies and improve quality of life" study (ENHANCED-ICD study) was a prospective, safety-monitoring study enrolling 60 primary and secondary prevention patients at the University Medical Center Utrecht. Patients...... programming strategy, unnecessary ICD therapy was prevented in 10% of ENHANCED-ICD patients during a median follow-up period of 1.3 years. With respect to patient-reported outcomes, levels of distress were highest and perceived health status lowest at the time of implantation, which both gradually improved...... during follow-up. In conclusion, the ENHANCED-ICD study demonstrates that programming a NID 60/80 for VT/VF detection is safe for ICD patients and does not negatively impact their quality of life....

  1. 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%.

  2. Chromatic aberration correction: an enhancement to the calibration of low-cost digital dermoscopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wighton, Paul; Lee, Tim K; Lui, Harvey; McLean, David; Atkins, M Stella

    2011-08-01

    We present a method for calibrating low-cost digital dermoscopes that corrects for color and inconsistent lighting and also corrects for chromatic aberration. Chromatic aberration is a form of radial distortion that often occurs in inexpensive digital dermoscopes and creates red and blue halo-like effects on edges. Being radial in nature, distortions due to chromatic aberration are not constant across the image, but rather vary in both magnitude and direction. As a result, distortions are not only visually distracting but could also mislead automated characterization techniques. Two low-cost dermoscopes, based on different consumer-grade cameras, were tested. Color is corrected by imaging a reference and applying singular value decomposition to determine the transformation required to ensure accurate color reproduction. Lighting is corrected by imaging a uniform surface and creating lighting correction maps. Chromatic aberration is corrected using a second-order radial distortion model. Our results for color and lighting calibration are consistent with previously published results, while distortions due to chromatic aberration can be reduced by 42-47% in the two systems considered. The disadvantages of inexpensive dermoscopy can be quickly substantially mitigated with a suitable calibration procedure. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  3. Estimation development cost, study case: Quality Management System Reactor TRIGA Mark III

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antúnez Barbosa, Tereso Antonio; Valdovinos Rosas, Rosa María; Marcial Romero, José Raymundo; Ramos Corchado, Marco Antonio; Edgar Herrera Arriaga

    2016-01-01

    The process of estimating costs in software engineering is not a simple task, it must be addressed carefully to obtain an efficient strategy to solve problems associated with the effort, cost and time of activities that are performed in the development of an information system project. In this context the main goal for both developers and customers is the cost, since developers are worry about the effort pay-load and customers are worry about the product pay-load. However, in other fields the cost of goods depends on the activity or process that is performed, thereby deduce that the main cost of the final product of a development project software project is undoubtedly its size. In this paper a comparative study of common models for estimating costs are developed. These models are used today in order to create a structured analysis to provide the necessary information about cost, time and effort for making decisions in a software development project. Finally the models are applied to a case study, which is a system called Monitorizacion Automatica del Sistema de Gestion de Calidad del Reactor TRIGA Mark III. (author)

  4. The cost of service quality improvements: tracking the flow of funds in social franchise networks in Myanmar

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Introduction This paper examines the cost of quality improvements in Population Services International (PSI) Myanmar’s social franchise operations from 2007 to 2009. Methods The social franchise commodities studied were products for reproductive health, malaria, STIs, pneumonia, and diarrhea. This project applied ingredients based costing for labor, supplies, transport, and overhead. Data were gathered seven during key informant interviews with staff in the central Yangon office, examination of 3 years of payroll data, examination of a time motion study conducted by PSI, and spreadsheets recording the costs of acquiring and transporting supplies. Results In 2009 PSI Myanmar’s social franchise devoted $2.02 million towards a 94% reduction in commodity prices offered to its network of over 1700 primary care providers. These providers retained 1/3 of the subsidy as revenue and passed along the other 2/3 to their patients in the course of offering subsidized care for 1.5 million health episodes. In addition, PSI Myanmar devoted $2.09 million to support a team of franchise officers who conducted quality assurance for the private providers overseeing service quality and to distributing medical commodities. Conclusion In Myanmar, the social franchise operated by PSI spends roughly $1.00 in quality management and retailing for every $1.00 spent subsidizing medical commodities. Some services are free, but patients also pay fees for other lines of service. Overall patients contribute 1/6 as much as PSI does. Unlike other NGO’s, health services in social franchises like PSI are not all free to the patients, nor are the discounts uniformly applied. Discounts and subsidies evolve in response to public health concerns, market demand, providers’ cost structures as well as strategic objectives in maintaining the network and its portfolio of services. PMID:23826743

  5. The cost of service quality improvements: tracking the flow of funds in social franchise networks in Myanmar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishai, David; LeFevre, Amnesty; Theuss, Marc; Boxshall, Matt; Hetherington, John D; Zaw, Min; Montagu, Dominic

    2013-01-01

    This paper examines the cost of quality improvements in Population Services International (PSI) Myanmar's social franchise operations from 2007 to 2009. The social franchise commodities studied were products for reproductive health, malaria, STIs, pneumonia, and diarrhea. This project applied ingredients based costing for labor, supplies, transport, and overhead. Data were gathered seven during key informant interviews with staff in the central Yangon office, examination of 3 years of payroll data, examination of a time motion study conducted by PSI, and spreadsheets recording the costs of acquiring and transporting supplies. In 2009 PSI Myanmar's social franchise devoted $2.02 million towards a 94% reduction in commodity prices offered to its network of over 1700 primary care providers. These providers retained 1/3 of the subsidy as revenue and passed along the other 2/3 to their patients in the course of offering subsidized care for 1.5 million health episodes. In addition, PSI Myanmar devoted $2.09 million to support a team of franchise officers who conducted quality assurance for the private providers overseeing service quality and to distributing medical commodities. In Myanmar, the social franchise operated by PSI spends roughly $1.00 in quality management and retailing for every $1.00 spent subsidizing medical commodities. Some services are free, but patients also pay fees for other lines of service. Overall patients contribute 1/6 as much as PSI does. Unlike other NGO's, health services in social franchises like PSI are not all free to the patients, nor are the discounts uniformly applied. Discounts and subsidies evolve in response to public health concerns, market demand, providers' cost structures as well as strategic objectives in maintaining the network and its portfolio of services.

  6. [Frailty, disability and multi-morbidity: the relationship with quality of life and healthcare costs in elderly people].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutomski, Jennifer E; Baars, Maria A E; Boter, Han; Buurman, Bianca M; den Elzen, Wendy P J; Jansen, Aaltje P D; Kempen, Gertrudis I J M; Steunenberg, Bas; Steyerberg, Ewout W; Olde Rikkert, Marcel G M; Melis, René J F

    2014-01-01

    To assess the independent and combined impact of frailty, multi-morbidity, and activities of daily living (ADL) limitations on self-reported quality of life and healthcare costs in elderly people. Cross-sectional, descriptive study. Data came from The Older Persons and Informal Caregivers Minimum DataSet (TOPICS-MDS), a pooled dataset with information from 41 projects across the Netherlands from the Dutch national care for the Elderly programme. Frailty, multi-morbidity and ADL limitations, and the interactions between these domains, were used as predictors in regression analyses with quality of life and healthcare costs as outcome measures. Analyses were stratified by living situation (independent or care home). Directionality and magnitude of associations were assessed using linear mixed models. A total of 11,093 elderly people were interviewed. A substantial proportion of elderly people living independently reported frailty, multi-morbidity, and/or ADL limitations (56.4%, 88.3% and 41.4%, respectively), as did elderly people living in a care home (88.7%, 89.2% and 77,3%, respectively). One-third of elderly people living at home (31.9%) reported all three conditions compared with two-thirds of elderly people living in a care home (68.3%). In the multivariable analysis, frailty had a strong impact on outcomes independently of multi-morbidity and ADL limitations. Elderly people experiencing problems across all three domains reported the poorest quality-of-life scores and the highest healthcare costs, irrespective of their living situation. Frailty, multi-morbidity and ADL limitations are complementary measurements, which together provide a more holistic understanding of health status in elderly people. A multi-dimensional approach is important in mapping the complex relationships between these measurements on the one hand and the quality of life and healthcare costs on the other.

  7. Speech intelligibility enhancement after maxillary denture treatment and its impact on quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knipfer, Christian; Riemann, Max; Bocklet, Tobias; Noeth, Elmar; Schuster, Maria; Sokol, Biljana; Eitner, Stephan; Nkenke, Emeka; Stelzle, Florian

    2014-01-01

    Tooth loss and its prosthetic rehabilitation significantly affect speech intelligibility. However, little is known about the influence of speech deficiencies on oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL). The aim of this study was to investigate whether speech intelligibility enhancement through prosthetic rehabilitation significantly influences OHRQoL in patients wearing complete maxillary dentures. Speech intelligibility by means of an automatic speech recognition system (ASR) was prospectively evaluated and compared with subjectively assessed Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP) scores. Speech was recorded in 28 edentulous patients 1 week prior to the fabrication of new complete maxillary dentures and 6 months thereafter. Speech intelligibility was computed based on the word accuracy (WA) by means of an ASR and compared with a matched control group. One week before and 6 months after rehabilitation, patients assessed themselves for OHRQoL. Speech intelligibility improved significantly after 6 months. Subjects reported a significantly higher OHRQoL after maxillary rehabilitation with complete dentures. No significant correlation was found between the OHIP sum score or its subscales to the WA. Speech intelligibility enhancement achieved through the fabrication of new complete maxillary dentures might not be in the forefront of the patients' perception of their quality of life. For the improvement of OHRQoL in patients wearing complete maxillary dentures, food intake and mastication as well as freedom from pain play a more prominent role.

  8. 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

  9. Recent developments in intelligent packaging for enhancing food quality and safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohail, Muhammad; Sun, Da-Wen; Zhu, Zhiwei

    2018-03-07

    The role of packaging cannot be denied in the life cycle of any food product. Intelligent packaging is an emerging technology in the food packaging sector. Although it still needs its full emergence in the market, its importance has been proved for the maintenance of food quality and safety. The present review describes several aspects of intelligent packaging. It first highlights different tools used in intelligent packaging and elucidates the role of these packaging devices for maintaining the quality of different food items in terms of controlling microbial growth and gas concentration, and for providing convenience and easiness to its users in the form of time temperature indication. This review also discusses other intelligent packaging solutions in supply chain management of food products to control theft and counterfeiting conducts and broaden the image of the food companies in terms of branding and marketing. Overall, intelligent packaging can ensure food quality and safety in the food industry, however there are still some concerns over this emerging technology including high cost and legal aspects, and thus future work should be performed to overcome these problems for further promoting its applications in the food industry. Moreover, work should also be carried out to combine several single intelligent packaging devices into a single one, so that most of the benefits from this emerging technology can be achieved.

  10. 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.

  11. Enhanced methods for operating refueling station tube-trailers to reduce refueling cost

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Real-time data collection technologies: Enhanced decision-making and cost savings January, 2005

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rust, T.L.; Vu, H.Q.

    2006-01-01

    Hand-held computers, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and wireless communication devices are rapidly replacing traditional methods for field monitoring and data collection. Although pencil and paper remain important means of data transcription, field technicians can now use Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) to record their field notes and monitoring data. As data are uploaded wirelessly from the field, decision-makers can view realtime reports and maps that identify sample locations and monitoring results. The combination of PDAs, wireless communications, and web-based GIS provides field personnel and decision-makers many benefits throughout the life cycle of a project, including improved data consistency, real-time transfer of data from field locations to centralized databases, input validation, elimination of transcription errors, and cost savings. Concerns have been expressed however, about investing in hardware, software, and training for a new technology. This paper, based on several years of experience using wireless technologies for dozens of projects, is focused specifically on two case studies. The first case study is a large lead removal site in the Midwest at which real-time data collection technologies were used throughout the project to collect thousands of data points. The second is the Hurricane Katrina/Rita emergency response requiring rapid data collection under extraordinary circumstances. At both sites, the use of real-time data collection technologies significantly improved the data management process which reduced overall costs and increased efficiency. These results could not have been achieved using traditional data collection procedures. The oral presentation will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the real-time data collection technologies, lessons learned, and planning considerations. A live demonstration, following a typical data collection scenario in which data are collected and plotted on a GIS map in near real

  13. Legislation should support optimal breastfeeding practices and access to low-cost, high-quality complementary foods: Indonesia provides a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soekarjo, Damayanti; Zehner, Elizabeth

    2011-10-01

    It is important to support women to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months and continue breastfeeding for 24 months and beyond. It is also necessary to provide the poor with access to affordable ways to improve the quality of complementary foods. Currently, many countries do not have the legal and policy environment necessary to support exclusive and continued breastfeeding. Legislative and policy changes are also necessary for introducing complementary food supplements, allowing them to be marketed to those who need them, and ensuring that marketing remains appropriate and in full compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. This paper aims to illustrate the above with examples from Indonesia and to identify legislative requirements for supporting breastfeeding and enabling appropriate access to high-quality complementary food supplements for children 6-24 months of age. Requirements include improved information, training, monitoring and enforcement systems for the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes; implementation and monitoring of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative; establishment of a registration category for complementary food supplements to enhance availability of high-quality, low-cost fortified products to help improve young child feeding; clear identification and marketing of these products as complementary food supplements for 6-24-month-olds so as to promote proper use and not interfere with breastfeeding. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. Cost (and Quality and Value) of Information Technology Support in Large Research Universities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peebles, Christopher S.; Antolovic, Laurie

    1999-01-01

    Shows how financial and quality measures associated with the Balanced Scorecard (developed by Kaplan and Norton to measure organizational performance) can be applied to information technology (IT) user education and support in large research universities. Focuses on University Information Technology Services that has measured the quality of IT…

  15. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Papakonstantinou, Athanasios; Bogetoft, Peter

    2013-01-01

    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...

  17. Retrieval practice enhances the accessibility but not the quality of memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutterer, David W; Awh, Edward

    2016-06-01

    Numerous studies have demonstrated that retrieval from long-term memory (LTM) can enhance subsequent memory performance, a phenomenon labeled the retrieval practice effect. However, the almost exclusive reliance on categorical stimuli in this literature leaves open a basic question about the nature of this improvement in memory performance. It has not yet been determined whether retrieval practice improves the probability of successful memory retrieval or the quality of the retrieved representation. To answer this question, we conducted three experiments using a mixture modeling approach (Zhang & Luck, 2008) that provides a measure of both the probability of recall and the quality of the recalled memories. Subjects attempted to memorize the color of 400 unique shapes. After every 10 images were presented, subjects either recalled the last 10 colors (the retrieval practice condition) by clicking on a color wheel with each shape as a retrieval cue or they participated in a control condition that involved no further presentations (Experiment 1) or restudy of the 10 shape/color associations (Experiments 2 and 3). Performance in a subsequent delayed recall test revealed a robust retrieval practice effect. Subjects recalled a significantly higher proportion of items that they had previously retrieved relative to items that were untested or that they had restudied. Interestingly, retrieval practice did not elicit any improvement in the precision of the retrieved memories. The same empirical pattern also was observed following delays of greater than 24 hours. Thus, retrieval practice increases the probability of successful memory retrieval but does not improve memory quality.

  18. Pre-harvest methyl jasmonate treatment enhances cauliflower chemoprotective attributes without a loss in postharvest quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ku, Kang Mo; Choi, Jeong-Hee; Kushad, Mosbah M; Jeffery, Elizabeth H; Juvik, John A

    2013-06-01

    Methyl jasmonate (MeJA) treatment can significantly increase glucosinolate (GS) concentrations in Brassica vegetables and potentially enhance anticancer bioactivity. Although MeJA treatment may promote ethylene biosynthesis, which can be detrimental to postharvest quality, there are no previous reports of its effect on cauliflower postharvest quality. To address this, cauliflower curds in field plots were sprayed with either 0.1 % Triton X-100 (control) or 500 μM MeJA solutions four days prior to harvest, then stored at 4 °C. Tissue subsamples were collected after 0, 10, 20, and 30 days of postharvest storage and assayed for visual color change, ethylene production, GS concentrations, and extract quinone reductase inductive activity. MeJA treatment increased curd GS concentrations of glucoraphanin, glucobrassicin, and neoglucobrassicin by 1.5, 2.4, and 4.6-fold over controls, respectively. MeJA treated cauliflower showed significantly higher quinone reductase activity, a biomarker for anticancer bioactivity, without reducing visual color and postharvest quality for 10 days at 4 °C storage.

  19. LOAD-ENHANCED MOVEMENT QUALITY SCREENING AND TACTICAL ATHLETICISM: AN EXTENSION OF EVIDENCE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Stephen M; Schmitz, Randy J; Rhea, Christopher K; Ross, Scott E

    2017-06-01

    Military organizations use movement quality screening for prediction of injury risk and performance potential. Currently, evidence of an association between movement quality and performance is limited. Recent work has demonstrated that external loading strengthens the relationship between movement screens and performance outcomes. Such loading may therefore steer us toward robust implementations of movement quality screens while maintaining their appeal as cost effective, field-expedient tools. The purpose of the current study was to quantify the effect of external load-bearing on the relationship between clinically rated movement quality and tactical performance outcomes while addressing the noted limitations. Crossover Trial. Fifty young adults (25 male, 25 female, 22.98 ± 3.09 years, 171.95 ± 11.46 cm, 71.77 ± 14.03 kg) completed the Functional Movement Screen™ with (FMS™W) and without (FMS™C) a weight vest in randomized order. Following FMS™ testing, criterion measures of tactical performance were administered, including agility T-Tests, sprints, a 400-meter run, the Mobility for Battle (MOB) course, and a simulated casualty rescue. For each performance outcome, regression models were selected via group lasso with smoothed FMS™ item scores as candidate predictor variables. For all outcomes, proportion of variance accounted for was greater in FMS™W (R 2 = ;0.22 [T-Test], 0.29 [Sprint], 0.17 [400 meter], 0.29 [MOB], and 0.11 [casualty rescue]) than in FMS™C (R 2 = ;0.00 [T-Test], 0.11 [Sprint], 0.00 [400 meter], 0.19 [MOB], and 0.00 [casualty rescue]). From the FMS™W condition, beneficial performance effects (ptactical performance ability. Future designs should seek to identify mechanisms explaining this effect. 3.

  20. Real Time Assessment of Potable Water Quality in Distribution Network based on Low Cost Multi-Sensor Array

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhardwaj, Jyotirmoy; Gupta, Karunesh K.; Khatri, Punit

    2018-03-01

    New concepts and techniques are replacing traditional methods of water quality parameters measurement systems. This paper proposed a new way of potable water quality assessment in distribution network using Multi Sensor Array (MSA). Extensive research suggests that following parameters i.e. pH, Dissolved Oxygen (D.O.), Conductivity, Oxygen Reduction Potential (ORP), Temperature and Salinity are most suitable to detect overall quality of potable water. Commonly MSA is not an integrated sensor array on some substrate, but rather comprises a set of individual sensors measuring simultaneously different water parameters all together. Based on research, a MSA has been developed followed by signal conditioning unit and finally, an algorithm for easy user interfacing. A dedicated part of this paper also discusses the platform design and significant results. The Objective of this proposed research is to provide simple, efficient, cost effective and socially acceptable means to detect and analyse water bodies regularly and automatically.