WorldWideScience

Sample records for engine initiative improving

  1. Implementing quality/productivity improvement initiatives in an engineering environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruda, R. R.

    1985-01-01

    Quality/Productivity Improvement (QPI) initiatives in the engineering environment at McDonnell Douglas-Houston include several different, distinct activities, each having its own application, yet all targeted toward one common goal - making continuous improvement a way of life. The chief executive and the next two levels of management demonstrate their commitment to QPI with hands-on involvement in several activities. Each is a member of a QPI Council which consists of six panels - Participative Management, Communications, Training, Performance/Productivity, Human Resources Management and Strategic Management. In addition, each manager conducts Workplace Visits and Bosstalks, to enhance communications with employees and to provide a forum for the identification of problems - both real and perceived. Quality Circles and Project Teams are well established within McConnel Douglas as useful and desirable employee involvement teams. The continued growth of voluntary membership in the circles program is strong evidence of the employee interest and management support that have developed within the organization.

  2. Engineering, maintenance, and initiatives to improve LAMPF beam availability and system reliability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harris, H.W.; DeHaven, R.A.; Hart, V.E.; Parsons, W.M.; Sturrock, J.C.

    1992-01-01

    Two different requirements are driving engineering studies and hardware development to improve LAMPF. The first is concerned with component and system improvements to increase beam availability during the LAMPF production cycle. Hardware changes in RF, power supplies, and magnets are being implemented to increase mean time between failure and reduce time to replace or repair failed units. A joint LAMPF-Industry project is on-going to improve reliability of RF components. A component test stand is being refurbished to include significant development capability. The second approach includes several changes that will increase the duty factor of the existing accelerator. Major changes are being evaluated for replacing the front end of the accelerator. Other changes improving the high brightness capability could result in a new performance plateau for LAMPF. 2 refs., 2 figs

  3. Engineering, maintenance, and new initiatives to improve LAMPF beam availability and system reliability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harris, H.W.; DeHaven, R.A.; Hart, V.E.; Parsons, W.M.; Sturrock, J.C.

    1992-01-01

    Two different requirements are driving engineering studies and hardware development to improve LAMPF. The first is concerned with component and system improvements to increase beam availability during the LAMPF production cycle. Hardware changes in RF, power supplies, and magnets are being implemented to increase mean time between failure and reduce time to replace or repair failed units. A joint LAMPF-Industry project is on-going to improve reliability of RF components. A component test stand is being refurbished to include significant development capability. The second approach includes several changes that will increase the duty factor of the existing accelerator. Major changes are being evaluated for replacing the front end of the accelerator. Other changes improving high brightness capability could result in a new performance plateau for LAMPF

  4. Process Engineering Technology Center Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Centeno, Martha A.

    2002-01-01

    NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is developing as a world-class Spaceport Technology Center (STC). From a process engineering (PE) perspective, the facilities used for flight hardware processing at KSC are NASA's premier factories. The products of these factories are safe, successful shuttle and expendable vehicle launches carrying state-of-the-art payloads. PE is devoted to process design, process management, and process improvement, rather than product design. PE also emphasizes the relationships of workers with systems and processes. Thus, it is difficult to speak of having a laboratory for PE at K.S.C. because the entire facility is practically a laboratory when observed from a macro level perspective. However, it becomes necessary, at times, to show and display how K.S.C. has benefited from PE and how K.S.C. has contributed to the development of PE; hence, it has been proposed that a Process Engineering Technology Center (PETC) be developed to offer a place with a centralized focus on PE projects, and a place where K.S.C.'s PE capabilities can be showcased, and a venue where new Process Engineering technologies can be investigated and tested. Graphics for showcasing PE capabilities have been designed, and two initial test beds for PE technology research have been identified. Specifically, one test bed will look into the use of wearable computers with head mounted displays to deliver work instructions; the other test bed will look into developing simulation models that can be assembled into one to create a hierarchical model.

  5. Reaction Control Engine for Space Launch Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    Engineers at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) have begun a series of engine tests on a new breed of space propulsion: a Reaction Control Engine developed for the Space Launch Initiative (SLI). The engine, developed by TRW Space and Electronics of Redondo Beach, California, is an auxiliary propulsion engine designed to maneuver vehicles in orbit. It is used for docking, reentry, attitude control, and fine-pointing while the vehicle is in orbit. The engine uses nontoxic chemicals as propellants, a feature that creates a safer environment for ground operators, lowers cost, and increases efficiency with less maintenance and quicker turnaround time between missions. Testing includes 30 hot-firings. This photograph shows the first engine test performed at MSFC that includes SLI technology. Another unique feature of the Reaction Control Engine is that it operates at dual thrust modes, combining two engine functions into one engine. The engine operates at both 25 and 1,000 pounds of force, reducing overall propulsion weight and allowing vehicles to easily maneuver in space. The low-level thrust of 25 pounds of force allows the vehicle to fine-point maneuver and dock while the high-level thrust of 1,000 pounds of force is used for reentry, orbit transfer, and coarse positioning. SLI is a NASA-wide research and development program, managed by the MSFC, designed to improve safety, reliability, and cost effectiveness of space travel for second generation reusable launch vehicles.

  6. Software Engineering Improvement Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    In performance of this task order, bd Systems personnel provided support to the Flight Software Branch and the Software Working Group through multiple tasks related to software engineering improvement and to activities of the independent Technical Authority (iTA) Discipline Technical Warrant Holder (DTWH) for software engineering. To ensure that the products, comments, and recommendations complied with customer requirements and the statement of work, bd Systems personnel maintained close coordination with the customer. These personnel performed work in areas such as update of agency requirements and directives database, software effort estimation, software problem reports, a web-based process asset library, miscellaneous documentation review, software system requirements, issue tracking software survey, systems engineering NPR, and project-related reviews. This report contains a summary of the work performed and the accomplishments in each of these areas.

  7. Productivity Improvement for Engineers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-08-01

    organization and the likely positions or types of work that will be required of the engineer in the future. There should therefore, be a balance of...Mall, P., Improving Total Productivity, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1978. Miller, R.B., Participative Management-Quality of Worklife and Job Enrichment...Noyes Data Corp., Park Ridge, N.J., 1977. Hughes Aircraft Co., R & D Productivity-Study Report, Hughes Aircraft Co., Culver City , California, 1974

  8. SNF Project Engineering Process Improvement Plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DESAI, S.P.

    2000-01-01

    This plan documents the SNF Project activities and plans to support its engineering process. It describes five SNF Project Engineering initiatives: new engineering procedures, qualification cards process; configuration management, engineering self assessments, and integrated schedule for engineering activities

  9. Nuclear engineering education initiative at Ibaraki University

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumura, Kunihito; Kanto, Yasuhiro; Tanaka, Nobuatsu; Saigusa, Mikio; Kurumada, Akira; Kikuchi, Kenji

    2015-01-01

    With the help of a grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ibaraki University has been engaging for six years in the development and preparation of educational environment on nuclear engineering for each of graduate and undergraduate. Core faculty conducts general services including the design and implementation of curriculum, operational improvement, and implementation of lectures. 'Beginner-friendly introduction for nuclear power education' is provided at the Faculty of Engineering, and 'nuclear engineering education program' at the Graduate School of Science and Engineering. All the students who have interest or concern in the accidents at nuclear power plants or the future of nuclear power engineering have opportunities to learn actively. This university participates in the alliance or association with other universities, builds industry - government - academia cooperation with neighboring institutions such as the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, and makes efforts to promote the learning and development of applied skills related to nuclear engineering through training and study tours at each facility. For example, it established the Frontier Applied Atomic Science Center to analyze the structure and function of materials using the strong neutron source of J-PARC. As the efforts after the earthquake accident, it carried out a radiation survey work in Fukushima Prefecture. In addition, it proposed and practiced the projects such as 'development of methods for the evaluation of transfer/fixation properties and decontamination of radioactive substances,' and 'structure analysis of radioactive substances remaining in soil, litter, and polluted water and its application to the decontamination.' (A.O.)

  10. Improving engineers' performance with computers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Purvis, E.E. III

    1984-01-01

    The problem addressed is how to improve the performance of engineers in the design, operation, and maintenance of nuclear power plants. The application of computer science to this problem offers a challenge in maximizing the use of developments outside the nuclear industry and setting priorities to address the most fruitful areas first. Areas of potential benefits include data base management through design, analysis, procurement, construction, operation maintenance, cost, schedule and interface control and planning, and quality engineering on specifications, inspection, and training

  11. The Engineering 4 Health Challenge - an interdisciplinary and intercultural initiative to foster student engagement in B.C. and improve health care for children in under-serviced communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Morgan; Weber-Jahnke, Jens H

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes the Engineering 4 Health (E4H) Challenge, an interdisciplinary and intercultural initiative that, on the one hand, seeks to improve health education of children in under-serviced communities and, on the other, seeks to attract students in British Columbia to professions in engineering and health. The E4H Challenge engages high school and university students in BC to cooperatively design and develop health information and communication technology (ICT) to educate children living in under-serviced communities. The E4H Challenge works with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program to integrate applications for health awareness into the school programs of communities in developing countries. Although applications developed by the E4H Challenge use the low-cost, innovative XO laptop (the "$100 laptop" developed by the OLPC foundation) the software can also be used with other inexpensive hardware.

  12. Margin improvement initiatives: realistic approaches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chan, P.K.; Paquette, S. [Royal Military College of Canada, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Dept., Kingston, ON (Canada); Cunning, T.A. [Department of National Defence, Ottawa, ON (Canada); French, C.; Bonin, H.W. [Royal Military College of Canada, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Dept., Kingston, ON (Canada); Pandey, M. [Univ. of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON (Canada); Murchie, M. [Cameco Fuel Manufacturing, Port Hope, ON (Canada)

    2014-07-01

    With reactor core aging, safety margins are particularly tight. Two realistic and practical approaches are proposed here to recover margins. The first project is related to the use of a small amount of neutron absorbers in CANDU Natural Uranium (NU) fuel bundles. Preliminary results indicate that the fuelling transient and subsequent reactivity peak can be lowered to improve the reactor's operating margins, with minimal impact on burnup when less than 1000 mg of absorbers is added to a fuel bundle. The second project involves the statistical analysis of fuel manufacturing data to demonstrate safety margins. Probability distributions are fitted to actual fuel manufacturing datasets provided by Cameco Fuel Manufacturing, Inc. They are used to generate input for ELESTRES and ELOCA. It is found that the fuel response distributions are far below industrial failure limits, implying that margin exists in the current fuel design. (author)

  13. Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) Initiative

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farrell, John T [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)

    2017-10-04

    This is the keynote presentation on the Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines (Co-Optima) Initiative delivered at SAE International's ICE 2017 - 13th International Conference on Engines & Vehicles held in Capri, Italy.

  14. Initial tests of thermoacoustic space power engine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Backhaus, S.N.

    2002-01-01

    Future NASA deep-space missions will require radioisotope-powered electric generators that are just as reliable as current RTGs, but more efficient and of higher specific power (Wikg). Thennoacoustic engines at the -1-kW scale have converted high-temperature heat into acoustic, or PV, power without moving parts at 30% efficiency. Consisting of only tubes and a few heat exchangers, thennoacoustic engines are low mass and promise to be highly reliable. Coupling a thennoacoustic engine to a low mass, highly reliable and efficient linear alternator will create a heat-driven electric generator suitable for deep-space applications. Conversion efficiency data will be presented on a demonstration thennoacoustic engine designed for the 1 00-Watt power range.

  15. Initial testing of a variable-stroke Stirling engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thieme, L. G.

    1985-01-01

    In support of the U.S. Department of Energy's Stirling Engine Highway Vehicle Systems Program, NASA Lewis Research Center is evaluating variable-stroke control for Stirling engines. The engine being tested is the Advenco Stirling engine; this engine was manufactured by Philips Research Laboratories of the Netherlands and uses a variable-angle swash-plate drive to achieve variable stroke operation. The engine is described, initial steady-state test data taken at Lewis are presented, a major drive system failure and subsequent modifications are described. Computer simulation results are presented to show potential part-load efficiency gains with variable-stroke control.

  16. SNF project engineering process improvement plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DESAI, S.P.

    1999-01-01

    This Engineering Process Improvement Plan documents the activities and plans to be taken by the SNF Project to support its engineering process and to produce a consolidated set of engineering procedures that are fully compliant with the requirements of HNF-PRO-1819. All new procedures will be issued and implemented by September 30, 1999

  17. Quality Improvement Initiatives in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Sameer K; Siegel, Corey A; Melmed, Gil Y

    2017-08-01

    This article serves as an overview of several quality improvement initiatives in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is associated with significant variation in care, suggesting poor quality of care. There have been several efforts to improve the quality of care for patients with IBD. Quality improvement (QI) initiatives in IBD are intended to be patient-centric, improve outcomes for individuals and populations, and reduce costs-all consistent with "the triple aim" put forth by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Current QI initiatives include the development of quality measure sets to standardize processes and outcomes, learning health systems to foster collaborative improvement, and patient-centered medical homes specific to patients with IBD in shared risk models of care. Some of these programs have demonstrated early success in improving patient outcomes, reducing costs, improving patient satisfaction, and facilitating patient engagement. However, further studies are needed to evaluate and compare the effects of these programs over time on clinical outcomes in order to demonstrate long-term value and sustainability.

  18. Software Engineering Improvement Activities/Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    bd Systems personnel accomplished the technical responsibilities for this reporting period, as planned. A close working relationship was maintained with personnel of the MSFC Avionics Department Software Group (ED14). Work accomplishments included development, evaluation, and enhancement of a software cost model, performing literature search and evaluation of software tools available for code analysis and requirements analysis, and participating in other relevant software engineering activities. Monthly reports were submitted. This support was provided to the Flight Software Group/ED 1 4 in accomplishing the software engineering improvement engineering activities of the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Software Engineering Improvement Plan.

  19. Improving engineering performance by utilizing process indicators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, T.E.

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of the work discussed in this paper was to develop engineering performance indicators used to facilitate improvement to the technical quality, cost-effectiveness, and delivery of engineering products and service. This work was specifically tailored for engineering support products and service associated with operating Florida Power and Light Company (FP and L) nuclear plants. The engineering process for the development of plant change packages was reviewed to identify critical in-process activities. Because each engineering project usually deals with a specific component or plant system, the different tasks are usually technically unique and of varying magnitudes. Although each engineering product may employ different analytical techniques or industry code requirements, several activities in documenting the engineering design process are generic. The quality of performance in these activities can be monitored analogously to the steps in a manufacturing process. This concept builds quality concepts into the package in lieu of inspecting package quality at the end of the process. The work has resulted in a valuable self-assessment tool that serves as a basis for engineering process improvements. The indicators are published in a semi-yearly performance report for FP and L contractors as well as FP and L in-house engineering work. Contracts have been set up to base fees on meeting targets established for the performance report. The ability to meet performance targets continues to improve

  20. Improving requirements engineering by artefact orientation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Méndez Fernández, Daniel; Wieringa, Roelf J.

    2013-01-01

    The importance of continuously improving requirements engineering (RE) has been recognised for many years. Similar to available software process improvement approaches, most RE improvement approaches focus on a normative and solution-driven assessment of companies rather than on a problem-driven RE

  1. Initial trade and design studies for the fusion engineering device

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flanagan, C.A.; Steiner, D.; Smith, G.E.

    1981-06-01

    The Magnetic Fusion Energy Engineering Act of 1980 calls for the operation of a Fusion Engineering Device (FED) by 1990. It is the intent of the Act that the FED, in combination with other testing facilities, will establish the engineering feasibility of magnetic fusion energy. The Fusion Engineering Design Center (FEDC), under the guidance of a Technical Management Board (TMB), initiated a program of trade and design studies in October 1980 to support the selection of the FED concept. This document presents the results of these initial trade and design studies. Based on these results, a baseline configuration has been identified and the Design Center effort for the remainder of the fiscal year will be devoted to the development of a self-consistent FED design description

  2. Targeted initiatives. Support for nuclear engineering education in the USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gutteridge, John

    2001-01-01

    Recruitment and education of a new generation of nuclear engineers stands to benefit in the USA from a range of programmes involving governmental bodies, universities, and industry groups. They are part of efforts to attract more students to consider and prepare for careers in the nuclear industry, and to provide financial support for nuclear research and education. Career prospects in the nuclear field are brightening. The demand for nuclear engineers and nuclear trained personnel is on the rise as the new century opens. During the past year several studies were completed in an attempt to ascertain the problems in nuclear engineering education and define initiatives to address these problems

  3. Space Shuttle main engine product improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucci, A. D.; Klatt, F. P.

    1985-01-01

    The current design of the Space Shuttle Main Engine has passed 11 certification cycles, amassed approximately a quarter million seconds of engine test time in 1200 tests and successfully launched the Space Shuttle 17 times of 51 engine launches through May 1985. Building on this extensive background, two development programs are underway at Rocketdyne to improve the flow of hot gas through the powerhead and evaluate the changes to increase the performance margins in the engine. These two programs, called Phase II+ and Technology Test Bed Precursor program are described. Phase II+ develops a two-tube hot-gas manifold that improves the component environment. The Precursor program will evaluate a larger throat main combustion chamber, conduct combustion stability testing of a baffleless main injector, fabricate an experimental weld-free heat exchanger tube, fabricate and test a high pressure oxidizer turbopump with an improved inlet, and develop and test methods for reducing temperature transients at start and shutdown.

  4. Improving Software Engineering on NASA Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crumbley, Tim; Kelly, John C.

    2010-01-01

    Software Engineering Initiative: Reduces risk of software failure -Increases mission safety. More predictable software cost estimates and delivery schedules. Smarter buyer of contracted out software. More defects found and removed earlier. Reduces duplication of efforts between projects. Increases ability to meet the challenges of evolving software technology.

  5. Improving Formwork Engineering Using the Toyota Way

    OpenAIRE

    Jiun-De Kuo; Wei-Chieh Wang; Chien-Ho Ko

    2011-01-01

    Construction is a labor-intensive industry with formwork engineering requiring a disproportionate amount of labor and costs. Formwork accounts for approximately one-third of the cost of reinforced concrete construction, partly because traditional formwork processes frequently result in delivery delays and material waste. The purpose of this research is to adapt production concepts pioneered by Toyota (the “Toyota Way”) to improve formwork engineering. The Toyota Way of production consists of ...

  6. Improving the Engine room of a Yacht

    OpenAIRE

    Castells, Josep

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this project is to improve the energy efficiency of a sailing yacht engine room by reducing the inputs and maximizing the outputs and simultaneously striving to reduce the weight. The document is structured in three sections; an introduction about the important concepts and the case, a theoretical part with the technologies that are applicable in the project and that could improve it and finally, an analysis and suggested improvements of the system. This project strives to exp...

  7. Improving Formwork Engineering Using the Toyota Way

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiun-De Kuo

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Construction is a labor-intensive industry with formwork engineering requiring a disproportionate amount of labor and costs. Formwork accounts for approximately one-third of the cost of reinforced concrete construction, partly because traditional formwork processes frequently result in delivery delays and material waste. The purpose of this research is to adapt production concepts pioneered by Toyota (the “Toyota Way” to improve formwork engineering. The Toyota Way of production consists of four tiers of management philosophy, known as the “4Ps” model. This research adopts the 4Ps as steps for formwork improvement. The first step, “establishing long term vision,” emphasizes long term considerations for formwork improvement. Step two, “establishing value streams,” reviews formwork flows and eliminates wastage. The third step, “developing the crew,” forms mold workers as a team. The final step is “developing a culture of continuous improvement” that provides a basis for constant review and provides a basis for continuous progress. The present research used the Toyota Way to improve formwork engineering. The improvements include reductions in resource waste and increases in operational value. In the long run, the proposed model could provide a learning and growth platform for individuals, the business unit, and the company’s extended network of partners. It could also serve to spur innovative thinking in the improvement of formwork engineering.

  8. SNF project engineering process improvement plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    KELMENSON, R.L.

    1999-01-01

    This Engineering Process Improvement Plan documents the activities and plans to be taken by the SNF Project (the Project) to support its engineering process and to produce a consolidated set of engineering procedures that are fully compliant with the requirements of HNF-PRO-1819 (1819). These requirements are imposed on all engineering activities performed for the Project and apply to all life-cycle stages of the Project's systems, structures and components (SSCs). This Plan describes the steps that will be taken by the Project during the transition period to ensure that new procedures are effectively integrated into the Project's work process as these procedures are issued. The consolidated procedures will be issued and implemented by September 30, 1999

  9. Initial Validation of a Technical Writing Rubric for Engineering Design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheryl Bodnar

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Engineering design serves as the capstone experience of most undergraduate engineering programs. One of the key elements of the engineering design process is the compilation of results obtained into a technical report that can be shared and distributed to interested stakeholders including industry, faculty members and other relevant parties. In an effort to expand the tools available for assessment of engineering design technical reports, this study performed an initial validation of a previously developed Technical Writing rubric. The rubric was evaluated for its reliability to measure the intended construct, inter-rater reliability and external validity in comparison to an existing generalized written communication rubric. It was found that the rubric was reliable with Cronbach’s alpha for all dimensions between 0.817 and 0.976. The inter-rater reliability for the overall instrument was also found to be excellent at 0.85. Finally, it was observed that there were no statistically significant differences observed between the measurements obtained on the Technical Writing rubric in comparison to the more generalized Written Communication Value rubric. This demonstrates that although specific to engineering design environments the Technical Writing rubric was able to measure key constructs associated with written communication practice. This rubric can now serve as one additional tool for assessment of communication skills within engineering capstone design experiences.

  10. Toyota production system quality improvement initiative improves perioperative antibiotic therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkitt, Kelly H; Mor, Maria K; Jain, Rajiv; Kruszewski, Matthew S; McCray, Ellesha E; Moreland, Michael E; Muder, Robert R; Obrosky, David Scott; Sevick, Mary Ann; Wilson, Mark A; Fine, Michael J

    2009-09-01

    To assess the role of a Toyota production system (TPS) quality improvement (QI) intervention on appropriateness of perioperative antibiotic therapy and in length of hospital stay (LOS) among surgical patients. Pre-post quasi-experimental study using local and national retrospective cohorts. We used TPS methods to implement a multifaceted intervention to reduce nosocomial methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections on a Veterans Affairs surgical unit, which led to a QI intervention targeting appropriate perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis. Appropriate perioperative antibiotic therapy was defined as selection of the recommended antibiotic agents for a duration not exceeding 24 hours from the time of the operation. The local computerized medical record system was used to identify patients undergoing the 25 most common surgical procedures and to examine changes in appropriate antibiotic therapy and LOS over time. Overall, 2550 surgical admissions were identified from the local computerized medical records. The proportion of surgical admissions receiving appropriate perioperative antibiotics was significantly higher (P <.01) in 2004 after initiation of the TPS intervention (44.0%) compared with the previous 4 years (range, 23.4%-29.8%) primarily because of improvements in compliance with antibiotic therapy duration rather than appropriate antibiotic selection. There was no statistically significant decrease in LOS over time. The use of TPS methods resulted in a QI intervention that was associated with an increase in appropriate perioperative antibiotic therapy among surgical patients, without affecting LOS.

  11. Opening remarks: regulatory initiatives toward improved technical specifications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edison, G.E.

    1985-01-01

    In order to deal with the numerous problems that have evolved over the years with nuclear power plant technical specifications, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has undertaken some initiatives for improvement: 1) new operating licenses, 2) change to existing operating reactor technical specifications, 3) a broad-scoped reconsideration of the content of technical specifications, and 4) rule changes. It is believed that reliability and risk assessment techniques can be used in conjunction with manufacturer's recommendations and engineering judgment to better define the appropriate scope and depth for technical specification resulting in focusing attention on high risk-worth systems and avoidance of plant shutdown transients both intentionally and unintentionally through provisions of technical specifications

  12. Venture Capital Initiative: Ohio's School Improvement Effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Soonhwa; Loadman, William E.

    In 1994 the Ohio State Legislature established Venture Capital to support school restructuring. The Venture Capital school initiative is a concept borrowed from the business community in which the corporate entity provides risk capital to parts of the organization to stimulate creative ideas and to provide opportunities for local entities to try…

  13. 76 FR 61365 - Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-04

    ...] Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative AGENCY: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS...: Letter of Intent Submission Deadline: For Model 1 of this initiative, interested organizations must...-improvement.html . Application Submission Deadline: For Model 1 of this initiative, applications must be...

  14. Governing and Managing Customer-initiated Engineering Change – An in-depth case study of a global industrial supplier

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sommer, Anita Friis; Storbjerg, Simon Haahr; Dukovska-Popovska, Iskra

    2013-01-01

    or externally by for instance customers. Managing initiated engineering changes is a vital source for improving product performance and radically reducing change costs. Customer-initiated engineering change is an area growing in importance decreasing product life cycles and increasing demand for customisation....... Through an in-depth case study, this paper investigates which process and what governance setup is appropriate to manage customer initiated engineering changes, referred to as request management. The paper includes a proposal for a request management framework and a task-based iterative process model...

  15. Integrated initial training program for a CEGB operations engineer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tompsett, P.A.

    1987-01-01

    This paper considers the overall training programs undertaken by a newly appointed Operations Engineer at one of the Central Electricity Generating Board's (CEGB) Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (AGR) nuclear power stations. The training program is designed to equip him with the skills and knowledge necessary for him to discharge his duties safely and effectively. In order to assist the learning process and achieve and integrated program, aspects of reactor technology and operation, initially the subject of theoretical presentations at the CEGB's Nuclear Power Training Center (NPTC) are reinforced by either simulation and/or practical experience on site. In the later stages plant-specific simulators, operated by trained tutors, are incorporated into the training program to provide the trainee with practical experience of plant operation. The trainee's performance is assessed throughout the program to provide feedback to the trainee, the trainers and station management

  16. An initial bibliometric analysis and mapping of systems engineering research

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Oosthuizen, Rudolph

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Systems engineering is still a growing field that depends on continuous research to develop and mature. Research in systems engineering is difficult and the classic approaches for other engineering disciplines may not be sufficient. Additional...

  17. Scientific investigation plan for initial engineered barrier system field tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wunan Lin.

    1993-02-01

    The purpose of this Scientific Investigation Plan (SIP) is to describe tests known as Initial Engineered Barrier System Field Tests (IEBSFT) and identified by Work Breakdown Structure as WBS 1.2.2.2.4. The IEBSFT are precursors to the Engineered Barrier System Field Test (EBSFT), WBS 1.2.2.2.4, to be conducted in the Exploratory Study Facility (ESF) at Yucca Mountain. The EBSFT and IEBSFT are designed to provide information on the interaction between waste packages (simulated by heated containers) and the surrounding rock mass, its vadose water, and infiltrated water. Heater assemblies will be installed in drifts or boreholes openings and heated to measure moisture movement during heat-up and subsequent cool-down of the rock mass. In some of the tests, infiltration of water into the heated rock mass will be studied. Throughout the heating and cooling cycle, instruments installed in the rock will monitor such parameters as temperature, moisture content, concentration of some chemical species, and stress and strain. Rock permeability measurements, rock and fluid (water and gas) sampling, and fracture pattern measurements will also be made before and after the test

  18. EDUCATIONAL POLICIES AND INITIATIVES FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia, CAIA

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available According to Gartner estimates, due to increased variety, speed and data volume, by 2015 there will be a global demand of 4.4 million professionals for real-time analysis of data from sources with different structures, but only one third of the demand will be met. The purpose of this research is to identify possible solutions for improved academic results in the IT domain, considering the time management policies, the content and the student motivations, as well as the business strategy tendencies. These proposals are targeted toward meeting the IT specialists demand. The research is composed of two parts: the first explores the Romanian IT labour market characteristics, while the second investigates the academic education policies that can help mitigate deficiencies and attain higher performance. The deficiencies are identified through a series of statistical research and analysis based on national level databases, adopting a quantitative approach. The policies proposed are supported by a flow model developed considering the students' activity, motivation, traits and results, measured and analysed quantitatively.

  19. Zero tolerance for failure. An AREVA initiative to improve reliability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lippert, Hans-Joachim; Gentet, Guy; Mollard, Pierre; Garner, Norman

    2010-01-01

    Significant improvements in fuel reliability have been realized over the past 2 decades, but total elimination of failures has remained elusive. Driving reliability to higher levels requires a philosophy that does not accept that even infrequent and isolated failures are inevitable - it was on this foundation that Areva's Zero Tolerance for Failure (ZTF) initiative was established. This is not in itself either a program or project, but a fundamental shift in the way of thinking about work according to the following four principles: - Failures are avoidable, - Zero failures are our goal, - We will respond rapidly to any failure, - We succeed when we fix failures in a way that precludes recurrence. The shift to a ZTF philosophy is a broad change in corporate culture that expands the concept of failure far beyond cases where fuel rod cladding integrity is breached. While this paper specifically illustrates the ways in which ZTF has shaped the company's response to enhancing fuel rod reliability, ZTF extends to any failures of fuel products to deliver expected levels of performance, manufacturing processes to meet specifications and high first-pass acceptance criteria, and beyond to error-free performance of engineering analyses and cycle design and licensing services. Application of ZTF to enhancing fuel reliability deploys efforts in the areas of manufacturing, human factors, design, R and D, processes and product strategy. In order to achieve the necessary improvements, a number of important actions have been initiated across regions and facilities. In addition to these global scale projects and measures, each region contributes by adopting measures which are relevant to its particular activities and market needs. (orig.)

  20. Engineering Critical Current Density Improvement in Ag- Bi-2223 Tapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, W. G.; Seifi, Behrouz; Eriksen, Morten

    2000-01-01

    Ag alloy sheathed Bi-2223 multifilament tapes were produced by the powder-in-tube method. Engineering critical current density improvement has been achieved through both enhancement of critical current density by control of the thermal behavior of oxide powder and by an increase of the filling...... factor of the tapes. Phase evolution at initial sintering stage has been studied by a quench experiment in Ag-Bi-2223 tapes. The content, texture, and microstructure of various phases were determined by XRD and SEM. A novel process approach has been invented in which square wire was chosen rather than...

  1. Improving student retention in computer engineering technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierozinski, Russell Ivan

    The purpose of this research project was to improve student retention in the Computer Engineering Technology program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology by reducing the number of dropouts and increasing the graduation rate. This action research project utilized a mixed methods approach of a survey and face-to-face interviews. The participants were male and female, with a large majority ranging from 18 to 21 years of age. The research found that participants recognized their skills and capability, but their capacity to remain in the program was dependent on understanding and meeting the demanding pace and rigour of the program. The participants recognized that curriculum delivery along with instructor-student interaction had an impact on student retention. To be successful in the program, students required support in four domains: academic, learning management, career, and social.

  2. Hands-on courses in petroleum engineering improve performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abou-Kassem, J.H.; Islam, M.R. [Regina Univ., Regina, SK (Canada)

    1999-07-01

    A hands-on methodology was employed to teach eight lecture-based courses in the United Arab Emirates University in which initially two petroleum engineering courses were used to test the methodology. The courses are considered to be basic to petroleum engineering. Although the courses did not have any impact on the overall student grades, the courses stimulated independent thought among students who were not previously used to this mode of thinking. Students were exposed to laboratory experiments and project works that were considered previously to be too-difficult-to-handle by undergraduate students. The course methodology was more acceptable to the female than the male population. The course methodology centered on creative thinking, questioning the establishment methods and critiquing conventional modes of thinking. Despite the differences between male and female students, overall the student population recognized that their ability to think independently and critically improved after taking the course. An appendix contains examples of learning modules. 18 refs.

  3. Practical recommendations for the evaluation of improvement initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parry, Gareth; Coly, Astou; Goldmann, Don; Rowe, Alexander K; Chattu, Vijay; Logiudice, Deneil; Rabrenovic, Mihajlo; Nambiar, Bejoy

    2018-01-01

    Abstract A lack of clear guidance for funders, evaluators and improvers on what to include in evaluation proposals can lead to evaluation designs that do not answer the questions stakeholders want to know. These evaluation designs may not match the iterative nature of improvement and may be imposed onto an initiative in a way that is impractical from the perspective of improvers and the communities with whom they work. Consequently, the results of evaluations are often controversial, and attribution remains poorly understood. Improvement initiatives are iterative, adaptive and context-specific. Evaluation approaches and designs must align with these features, specifically in their ability to consider complexity, to evolve as the initiative adapts over time and to understand the interaction with local context. Improvement initiatives often identify broadly defined change concepts and provide tools for care teams to tailor these in more detail to local conditions. Correspondingly, recommendations for evaluation are best provided as broad guidance, to be tailored to the specifics of the initiative. In this paper, we provide practical guidance and recommendations that funders and evaluators can use when developing an evaluation plan for improvement initiatives that seeks to: identify the questions stakeholders want to address; develop the initial program theory of the initiative; identify high-priority areas to measure progress over time; describe the context the initiative will be applied within; and identify experimental or observational designs that will address attribution. PMID:29447410

  4. Factors to Consider in Selecting an Organisational Improvement Initiative: Survey Results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Musli

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Organisations should select the appropriate improvement initiative that will fit with the context of organisation and provide value to the organisation. This paper presents 18 factors to be considered when selecting an organisational improvement initiative. Organisational improvement initiatives are approaches, management systems, tools and/or techniques that can be used for managing and improving organisations, such as Lean, ISO9001, Six Sigma and Improvement Team. A survey was conducted to identify the level of importance of these 18 factors as criteria for selecting an improvement initiative. Purposive sampling was used for this survey involving practitioners, managers, engineers, executives, consultants and/or academicians, who have been involved in the selection and/or implementation of organisational improvement initiatives in Malaysia. Two factors were rated as ‘very high importance’, which involve: (1 The ability to gain top management commitment and support to introduce and implement the initiative successfully, and (2 The initiative is aligned to the vision, mission and/or purpose of the organisation. All these factors can be adopted by the organisations as decision criteria to assist in the selection of the most appropriate improvement initiative based on rational decision making.

  5. Civil Engineering: Improving the Quality of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    One Feather, Sandra

    2002-01-01

    American Indian civil engineers describe the educational paths that led them to their engineering careers, applications of civil engineering in reservation communities, necessary job skills, opportunities afforded by internship programs, continuing education, and the importance of early preparation in math and science. Addresses of 12 resource Web…

  6. Collaborative Engineering Environments. Two Examples of Process Improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spee, J.B.R.M.; Bijwaard, D.; Laan, D.J.

    Companies are recognising that innovative processes are determining factors in competitiveness. Two examples from projects in aircraft development describe the introduction of collaborative engineering environments as a way to improve engineering processes. A multi-disciplinary simulation

  7. Successful integration of ergonomics into continuous improvement initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monroe, Kimberly; Fick, Faye; Joshi, Madina

    2012-01-01

    Process improvement initiatives are receiving renewed attention by large corporations as they attempt to reduce manufacturing costs and stay competitive in the global marketplace. These initiatives include 5S, Six Sigma, and Lean. These programs often take up a large amount of available time and budget resources. More often than not, existing ergonomics processes are considered separate initiatives by upper management and struggle to gain a seat at the table. To effectively maintain their programs, ergonomics program managers need to overcome those obstacles and demonstrate how ergonomics initiatives are a natural fit with continuous improvement philosophies.

  8. Evaluating a questionnaire to measure improvement initiatives in Swedish healthcare

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andersson Ann-Christine

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Quality improvement initiatives have expanded recently within the healthcare sector. Studies have shown that less than 40% of these initiatives are successful, indicating the need for an instrument that can measure the progress and results of quality improvement initiatives and answer questions about how quality initiatives are conducted. The aim of the present study was to develop and test an instrument to measure improvement process and outcome in Swedish healthcare. Methods A questionnaire, founded on the Minnesota Innovation Survey (MIS, was developed in several steps. Items were merged and answer alternatives were revised. Employees participating in a county council improvement program received the web-based questionnaire. Data was analysed by descriptive statistics and correlation analysis. The questionnaire psychometric properties were investigated and an exploratory factor analysis was conducted. Results The Swedish Improvement Measurement Questionnaire consists of 27 items. The Improvement Effectiveness Outcome dimension consists of three items and has a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.67. The Internal Improvement Processes dimension consists of eight sub-dimensions with a total of 24 items. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for the complete dimension was 0.72. Three significant item correlations were found. A large involvement in the improvement initiative was shown and the majority of the respondents were satisfied with their work. Conclusions The psychometric property tests suggest initial support for the questionnaire to study and evaluate quality improvement initiatives in Swedish healthcare settings. The overall satisfaction with the quality improvement initiative correlates positively to the awareness of individual responsibilities.

  9. Improvement of Engineering Work Efficiency through System Integration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Sangdae; Jo, Sunghan; Hyun, Jinwoo

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the concept of developing an integrated engineering system for ER to improve efficiency and utilization of engineering system. Each process including computer system and database was introduced separately by each department at that different time. Each engineering process has a close relation with other engineering processes. The introduction of processes in a different time has caused the several problems such as lack of interrelationship between engineering processes, lack of integration fleet-wide statistical data, lack of the function of data comparison among plants and increase of access time by different access location on internet. These problems have caused inefficiency of engineering system utilization to get proper information and degraded engineering system utilization. KHNP has introduced and conducted advanced engineering processes to maintain equipment effectively in a highly reliable condition since 2000s. But engineering systems for process implementation have been developed in each department at a different time. This has caused the problems of process inefficiency and data discordance. Integrated Engineering System(IES) to integrate dispersed engineering processes will improve work efficiency and utilization of engineering system because integration system would enable engineer to get total engineering information easily and do engineering work efficiently

  10. Improvement of Engineering Work Efficiency through System Integration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Sangdae; Jo, Sunghan; Hyun, Jinwoo [KHNP CRI, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-10-15

    This paper presents the concept of developing an integrated engineering system for ER to improve efficiency and utilization of engineering system. Each process including computer system and database was introduced separately by each department at that different time. Each engineering process has a close relation with other engineering processes. The introduction of processes in a different time has caused the several problems such as lack of interrelationship between engineering processes, lack of integration fleet-wide statistical data, lack of the function of data comparison among plants and increase of access time by different access location on internet. These problems have caused inefficiency of engineering system utilization to get proper information and degraded engineering system utilization. KHNP has introduced and conducted advanced engineering processes to maintain equipment effectively in a highly reliable condition since 2000s. But engineering systems for process implementation have been developed in each department at a different time. This has caused the problems of process inefficiency and data discordance. Integrated Engineering System(IES) to integrate dispersed engineering processes will improve work efficiency and utilization of engineering system because integration system would enable engineer to get total engineering information easily and do engineering work efficiently.

  11. Big Earth Data Initiative: Metadata Improvement: Case Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozimor, John; Habermann, Ted; Farley, John

    2016-01-01

    Big Earth Data Initiative (BEDI) The Big Earth Data Initiative (BEDI) invests in standardizing and optimizing the collection, management and delivery of U.S. Government's civil Earth observation data to improve discovery, access use, and understanding of Earth observations by the broader user community. Complete and consistent standard metadata helps address all three goals.

  12. Environmental education and socioresponsive engineering. Report of an educational initiative in Hyderabad, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansari, Ali Uddin; Jafari, Ashfaque; Mirzana, Ishrat Meera; Imtiaz, Zulfia; Lukacs, Heather

    2003-07-01

    A recent initiative at Muffakham Jah College of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, India, has resulted in setting up a program called Centre for Environment Studies and Socioresponsive Engineering which seeks to involve undergraduate students in studying and solving environmental problems in and around the city of Hyderabad, India. Two pilot projects have been undertaken--one focusing on design and construction of an eco-friendly house, The Natural House, and another directed at improving environmental and general living conditions in a slum area. The paper describes our attempts and experience of motivating our students to take interest in such projects. In an interesting development we invited a member of a student-faculty team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) that is doing a project in Nepal on safe drinking water. We report in our paper how the presentation by the guest from M.I.T. served as a catalyst for generating interest among civil and mechanical engineering students in our own projects. The paper includes contributions from one of our students and the M.I.T. staff member, reporting on their experiences related to the slum development project. We also discuss the Natural House project and its international and educational significance as a means of inculcating sensitivity and interest in nature among engineering students. We propose a pledge for engineers similar to the Hippocratic Oath for medical professionals.

  13. IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVENESS AND UTILISATION OF THE INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING FUNCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon Lister

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Research work carried out by the University of Cape Town has examined the following questions:
    - are industrial engineering techniques being used in industry?
    - what are the reasons for not using the various techniques?
    - what factors that can be addressed by industrial engineers, are inhibiting the improvement of manufacturing productivity?
    - are industrial engineers being utilised in the most effective t"ay? Investigations in South African and overseas companies have indicated some barriers to acceptance that have to be overcome. This paper identifies key elements which, if implemented or adopted, will improve the effectiveness of both industrial engineers, and the intrOduction of industrial engineering techniques.

  14. Engineering bacterial translation initiation - Do we have all the tools we need?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigar, Justin R J; Wieden, Hans-Joachim

    2017-11-01

    Reliable tools that allow precise and predictable control over gene expression are critical for the success of nearly all bioengineering applications. Translation initiation is the most regulated phase during protein biosynthesis, and is therefore a promising target for exerting control over gene expression. At the translational level, the copy number of a protein can be fine-tuned by altering the interaction between the translation initiation region of an mRNA and the ribosome. These interactions can be controlled by modulating the mRNA structure using numerous approaches, including small molecule ligands, RNAs, or RNA-binding proteins. A variety of naturally occurring regulatory elements have been repurposed, facilitating advances in synthetic gene regulation strategies. The pursuit of a comprehensive understanding of mechanisms governing translation initiation provides the framework for future engineering efforts. Here we outline state-of-the-art strategies used to predictably control translation initiation in bacteria. We also discuss current limitations in the field and future goals. Due to its function as the rate-determining step, initiation is the ideal point to exert effective translation regulation. Several engineering tools are currently available to rationally design the initiation characteristics of synthetic mRNAs. However, improvements are required to increase the predictability, effectiveness, and portability of these tools. Predictable and reliable control over translation initiation will allow greater predictability when designing, constructing, and testing genetic circuits. The ability to build more complex circuits predictably will advance synthetic biology and contribute to our fundamental understanding of the underlying principles of these processes. "This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Biochemistry of Synthetic Biology - Recent Developments" Guest Editor: Dr. Ilka Heinemann and Dr. Patrick O'Donoghue. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier

  15. Engineered Emitters for Improved Silicon Photovoltaics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamat, Ronak A.

    In 2014, installation of 5.3GW of new Photovoltaic (PV) systems occurred in the United States, raising the total installed capacity to 16.36GW. Strong growth is predicted for the domestic PV market with analysts reporting goals of 696GW by 2020. Conventional single crystalline silicon cells are the technology of choice, accounting for 90% of the installations in the global commercial market. Cells made of GaAs offer higher efficiencies, but at a substantially higher cost. Thin film technologies such as CIGS and CdTe compete favorably with multi-crystalline Si (u-Si), but at 20% efficiency, still lag the c-Si cell in performance. The c-Si cell can be fabricated to operate at approximately 25% efficiency, but commercially the efficiencies are in the 18-21% range, which is a direct result of cost trade-offs between process complexity and rapid throughput. With the current cost of c-Si cell modules at nearly 0.60/W. The technology is well below the historic metric of 1/W for economic viability. The result is that more complex processes, once cost-prohibitive, may now be viable. An example is Panasonic's HIT cell which operates in the 22-24% efficiency range. To facilitate research and development of novel PV materials and techniques, RIT has developed a basic solar cell fabrication process. Student projects prior to this work had produced cells with 12.8% efficiency using p type substrates. This thesis reports on recent work to improve cell efficiencies while simultaneously expanding the capability of the rapid prototyping process. In addition to the p-Si substrates, cells have been produced using n-Si substrates. The cell emitter, which is often done with a single diffusion or implant has been re-engineered using a dual implant of the same dose. This dual-implanted emitter has been shown to lower contact resistance, increase Voc, and increase the efficiency. A p-Si substrate cell has been fabricated with an efficiency of 14.6% and n-Si substrate cell with a 13

  16. 75 FR 22576 - Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-29

    ... DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [CFDA No. 84.120A] Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program... the fiscal year (FY) 2009 grant slate for the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program. SUMMARY: The Secretary intends to use the grant slate developed in FY 2009 for the Minority Science and...

  17. Applying PPM to ERP Maintenance and Continuous Improvement Initiatives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    El-Tal, Nada Maria; Fonnesbæk, Majbrit; Kræmmergaard, Pernille

    2006-01-01

    to gain business benefits from the systems. However the ERP literature on how to do this is limited. The purpose of this article is to explore how Project Portfolio Management (PPM) from the Research and Development (R&D) literature can be applied to an ERP second wave context, when companies...... are to prioritize and select maintenance and continuous improvement initiatives. This is done by reviewing the existing literature in the fields of PPM from R&D literature and then by reviewing the existing literature about maintenance and improvement initiatives in the ERP literature, after which the two...... are compared and discussed using three case-studies. The paper contributes with a discussion on how PPM from R&D can be applied to maintenance and continuous improvement initiatives in the second wave of ERP. The paper ends with arguing that emphasis needs to be given to this field, since a conscious...

  18. Security Engineering and Educational Initiatives for Critical Information Infrastructures

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-01

    content. The curriculum development efforts are accompanied by exercises that expose students to practical tools and resources for security engineering...with relatively simple analytical features, but high pedagogical value. Information Assurance Courses Curriculum development has occurred for...tool chain and accompanying methodology confronts serious challenges posed by large heterogeneous networks (e.g., SCADA and corporate systems) from

  19. Improved Fuzzy Art Method for Initializing K-means

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sevinc Ilhan

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The K-means algorithm is quite sensitive to the cluster centers selected initially and can perform different clusterings depending on these initialization conditions. Within the scope of this study, a new method based on the Fuzzy ART algorithm which is called Improved Fuzzy ART (IFART is used in the determination of initial cluster centers. By using IFART, better quality clusters are achieved than Fuzzy ART do and also IFART is as good as Fuzzy ART about capable of fast clustering and capability on large scaled data clustering. Consequently, it is observed that, with the proposed method, the clustering operation is completed in fewer steps, that it is performed in a more stable manner by fixing the initialization points and that it is completed with a smaller error margin compared with the conventional K-means.

  20. Developing a system engineering program to improve performance and reliability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keuter, D.

    1985-01-01

    After several maintenance, operational, and equipment problems last year, Trojan set out on a mission to improve plant performance and reliability by strengthening its on-site engineering organization. This paper presents Trojan's plans in developing an on-site system engineering organization

  1. Engineering improvements for the ITER fusion reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moreno villar, A.; Albisu, F.

    1996-01-01

    The engineering and design phase (EDA) of the ITER project is being carried out jointly by the European Union, United States, Japan and the Russian Federation. the EU Home Team has contracted the European consortium, EFET, to undertake studies, design tasks and other services relating to the industry's contribution to the overall design of the project. The industry's contribution materializes through work orders within the framework of the contract. This paper summarises the tasks in which EFET participates, especially the ones on which IBERTEF AIE- a company formed by Empresarios Agrupados and SE NER-, collaborates. Up to June 1995, IBERTEF has carried out or is carrying out engineering works in the following tasks: TaskD/: Conceptual design and calculation of the vacuum chamber. Task D8: Structural design of the shielding blanket support. Task D21: Tokamak building crane. Task D51: Power supply schemes. Task CTA T4: Divertor region test platform: Task S22 TD 05: Heavy lifting transporter. Task D71 A-04: Safety design guidelines support. Task G16 TD 17: Design and development of the shielding blanket. Task S74 TD 05: Remote maintenance manual. Task D230: Design of buildings. Task D231: Cost estimate and construction plan for buildings. (Author)

  2. A New, Highly Improved Two-Cycle Engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiesen, Bernard

    2008-01-01

    The figure presents a cross-sectional view of a supercharged, variable-compression, two-cycle, internal-combustion engine that offers significant advantages over prior such engines. The improvements are embodied in a combination of design changes that contribute synergistically to improvements in performance and economy. Although the combination of design changes and the principles underlying them are complex, one of the main effects of the changes on the overall engine design is reduced (relative to prior two-cycle designs) mechanical complexity, which translates directly to reduced manufacturing cost and increased reliability. Other benefits include increases in the efficiency of both scavenging and supercharging. The improvements retain the simplicity and other advantages of two-cycle engines while affording increases in volumetric efficiency and performance across a wide range of operating conditions that, heretofore have been accessible to four-cycle engines but not to conventionally scavenged two-cycle ones, thereby increasing the range of usefulness of the two-cycle engine into all areas now dominated by the four-cycle engine. The design changes and benefits are too numerous to describe here in detail, but it is possible to summarize the major improvements: Reciprocating Shuttle Inlet Valve The entire reciprocating shuttle inlet valve and its operating gear is constructed as a single member. The shuttle valve is actuated in a lost-motion arrangement in which, at the ends of its stroke, projections on the shuttle valve come to rest against abutments at the ends of grooves in a piston skirt. This shuttle-valve design obviates the customary complex valve mechanism, actuated from an engine crankshaft or camshaft, yet it is effective with every type of two-cycle engine, from small high-speed single cylinder model engines, to large low-speed multiple cylinder engines.

  3. Reaming process improvement and control: An application of statistical engineering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Müller, Pavel; Genta, G.; Barbato, G.

    2012-01-01

    A reaming operation had to be performed within given technological and economical constraints. Process improvement under realistic conditions was the goal of a statistical engineering project, supported by a comprehensive experimental investigation providing detailed information on single...

  4. Software Engineering Program: Software Process Improvement Guidebook

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of this document is to provide experience-based guidance in implementing a software process improvement program in any NASA software development or maintenance community. This guidebook details how to define, operate, and implement a working software process improvement program. It describes the concept of the software process improvement program and its basic organizational components. It then describes the structure, organization, and operation of the software process improvement program, illustrating all these concepts with specific NASA examples. The information presented in the document is derived from the experiences of several NASA software organizations, including the SEL, the SEAL, and the SORCE. Their experiences reflect many of the elements of software process improvement within NASA. This guidebook presents lessons learned in a form usable by anyone considering establishing a software process improvement program within his or her own environment. This guidebook attempts to balance general and detailed information. It provides material general enough to be usable by NASA organizations whose characteristics do not directly match those of the sources of the information and models presented herein. It also keeps the ideas sufficiently close to the sources of the practical experiences that have generated the models and information.

  5. [Improving industrial microbial stress resistance by metabolic engineering: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Ruiyan; Li, Yin

    2010-09-01

    Metabolic engineering is a technologic platform for industrial strain improvement and aims not only at modifying microbial metabolic fluxes, but also improving the physiological performance of industrial microbes. Microbes will meet multiple stresses in industrial processes. Consequently, elicited gene responses might result in a decrease in overall cell fitness and the efficiency of biotransformation. Thus, it is crucial to develop robust and productive microbial strains that can be integrated into industrial-scale bioprocesses. In this review, we focus on the progress of these novel methods and strategies for engineering stress-tolerance phenotypes referring to rational metabolic engineering and inverse metabolic engineering in recent years. In addition, we also address problems existing in this area and future research needs of microbial physiological functionality engineering.

  6. Efficiency Improvement and Quality Initiatives Application in Financial Institutions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MSc. Ajtene Avdullahi

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Financial institutions in today’s economy have no longer the luxury to improve profit simply by increasing revenue. These firms, due to the significant measuring reductions in the financial services industry needed to improve operational efficiencies and merely support existing processes with fewer resources. This paper explains the benefits of Lean, Six Sigma, Total Quality Management and Lean Six Sigma that have improved organization's performance, by cutting costs and waste, improving their products or services, increasing profitability as well as enhancing customer satisfaction. The applicability of quality management practices in financial institutions in Kosovo is presented and also their efficiency and effectiveness. By analyzing data from Raiffeisen Bank Kosovo, this paper highlights the benefits of Individual and Micro companies customer segment as the result of organizational change and successful application of quality initiatives from financial institutions in Kosovo.

  7. Quality improvement initiatives: the missed opportunity for health plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Lopez, Sara; Lennert, Barbara

    2009-11-01

    The increase in healthcare cost without direct improvements in health outcomes, coupled with a desire to expand access to the large uninsured population, has underscored the importance of quality initiatives and organizations that provide more affordable healthcare by maximizing value. To determine the knowledge of managed care organizations about quality organizations and initiatives and to identify potential opportunities in which pharmaceutical companies could collaborate with health plans in the development and implementation of quality initiatives. We conducted a survey of 36 pharmacy directors and 15 medical directors of different plans during a Managed Care Network meeting in 2008. The represented plans cover almost 74 million lives in commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid programs, or a combination of them. The responses show limited knowledge among pharmacy and medical directors about current quality organizations and initiatives, except for quality organizations that provide health plan quality accreditation. The results also reveal an opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to collaborate with private health plans in the development of quality initiatives, especially those related to drug utilization, such as patient adherence and education and correct drug utilization. Our survey shows clearly that today's focus for managed care organizations is mostly limited to the organizations that provide health plan quality accreditation, with less focus on other organizations.

  8. Improving Safety through Human Factors Engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siewert, Bettina; Hochman, Mary G

    2015-10-01

    Human factors engineering (HFE) focuses on the design and analysis of interactive systems that involve people, technical equipment, and work environment. HFE is informed by knowledge of human characteristics. It complements existing patient safety efforts by specifically taking into consideration that, as humans, frontline staff will inevitably make mistakes. Therefore, the systems with which they interact should be designed for the anticipation and mitigation of human errors. The goal of HFE is to optimize the interaction of humans with their work environment and technical equipment to maximize safety and efficiency. Special safeguards include usability testing, standardization of processes, and use of checklists and forcing functions. However, the effectiveness of the safety program and resiliency of the organization depend on timely reporting of all safety events independent of patient harm, including perceived potential risks, bad outcomes that occur even when proper protocols have been followed, and episodes of "improvisation" when formal guidelines are found not to exist. Therefore, an institution must adopt a robust culture of safety, where the focus is shifted from blaming individuals for errors to preventing future errors, and where barriers to speaking up-including barriers introduced by steep authority gradients-are minimized. This requires creation of formal guidelines to address safety concerns, establishment of unified teams with open communication and shared responsibility for patient safety, and education of managers and senior physicians to perceive the reporting of safety concerns as a benefit rather than a threat. © RSNA, 2015.

  9. Area-based initiatives - Engines of planning and policy innovation?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agger, Annika; Norvig Larsen, Jacob

    studies of local planning culture change are discussed. Main findings are that during the past two decades a general change in planning culture has developed gradually, triggered by urban regeneration full scale experimentation with place-based approaches. Second, planners as well as public administrators...... and development in planning culture turns out to be a more substantial result than the reduction of social exclusion and economic deprivation. The paper analyses all available official evaluation studies of Danish place-based urban policy initiatives from mid-1990s through 2010. In addition to this, recent...... attitude towards the involvement of local citizens and stakeholders is significantly transformed. While earlier, public participation in planning was mostly restricted to what was lawfully mandatory, the new turn in planning culture demonstrates a practice that goes much further in involving citizens...

  10. Improving Power Density of Free-Piston Stirling Engines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, Maxwell H.; Prahl, Joseph M.; Loparo, Kenneth A.

    2016-01-01

    Analyses and experiments demonstrate the potential benefits of optimizing piston and displacer motion in a free-piston Stirling Engine. Isothermal analysis shows the theoretical limits of power density improvement due to ideal motion in ideal Stirling engines. More realistic models based on nodal analysis show that ideal piston and displacer waveforms are not optimal, often producing less power than engines that use sinusoidal piston and displacer motion. Constrained optimization using nodal analysis predicts that Stirling engine power density can be increased by as much as 58 percent using optimized higher harmonic piston and displacer motion. An experiment is conducted in which an engine designed for sinusoidal motion is forced to operate with both second and third harmonics, resulting in a piston power increase of as much as 14 percent. Analytical predictions are compared to experimental data and show close agreement with indirect thermodynamic power calculations, but poor agreement with direct electrical power measurements.

  11. Improving Free-Piston Stirling Engine Power Density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, Maxwell H.

    2016-01-01

    Analyses and experiments demonstrate the potential benefits of optimizing piston and displacer motion in a free piston Stirling Engine. Isothermal analysis shows the theoretical limits of power density improvement due to ideal motion in ideal Stirling engines. More realistic models based on nodal analysis show that ideal piston and displacer waveforms are not optimal, often producing less power than engines that use sinusoidal piston and displacer motion. Constrained optimization using nodal analysis predicts that Stirling engine power density can be increased by as much as 58% using optimized higher harmonic piston and displacer motion. An experiment is conducted in which an engine designed for sinusoidal motion is forced to operate with both second and third harmonics, resulting in a maximum piston power increase of 14%. Analytical predictions are compared to experimental data showing close agreement with indirect thermodynamic power calculations, but poor agreement with direct electrical power measurements.

  12. New program of initial training for staff of engineering ANAV The training required for a particular job in ANAV is divided into three sections

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonzalez Rabasa, D.

    2013-01-01

    - Common Primary Education - Initial training specific job - Training in the workplace For engineering has detected an area for improvement in the described model, consisting of providing the initial formation of a common engineering approach rather than the current operational approach. In preparing this plan takes into account the INPO standards, a functional analysis of the different jobs, the managers and supervisors of the observations and feedback from students, among others.

  13. 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.

  14. An Integrated Care Initiative to Improve Patient Outcome in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer-Amberg, Norbert; Woltmann, Rainer; Walther, Stefanie

    2015-01-01

    The optimal treatment of schizophrenia patients requires integration of medical and psychosocial inputs. In Germany, various health-care service providers and institutions are involved in the treatment process. Early and continuous treatment is important but often not possible because of the fragmented medical care system in Germany. The Integrated Care Initiative Schizophrenia has implemented a networked care concept in the German federal state of Lower Saxony that integrates various stakeholders of the health care system. In this initiative, office-based psychiatrists, specialized nursing staff, psychologists, social workers, hospitals, psychiatric institutional outpatient's departments, and other community-based mental health services work together in an interdisciplinary approach. Much emphasis is placed on psychoeducation. Additional efforts cover socio-therapy, visiting care, and family support. During the period from October 2010 (start of the initiative) to December 2012, first experiences and results of quality indicators were collected of 713 registered patients and summarized in a quality monitoring report. In addition, standardized patient interviews were conducted, and duration of hospital days was recorded in 2013. By the end of 2012, patients had been enrolled for an average of 18.7 months. The overall patient satisfaction measured in a patient survey in June 2013 was high and the duration of hospital days measured in a pre-post analysis in July 2013 was reduced by 44%. Two years earlier than planned, the insurance fund will continue the successfully implemented Integrated Care Initiative and adopt it in the regular care setting. This initiative can serve as a learning case for how to set up and measure integrated care systems that may improve outcomes for patients suffering from schizophrenia.

  15. An Integrated Care Initiative to Improve Patient Outcome in Schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norbert eMayer-Amberg

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The optimal treatment of schizophrenia patients requires integration of medical and psychosocial inputs. In Germany, various healthcare service providers and institutions are involved in the treatment process. Early and continuous treatment is important but often not possible because of the fragmented medical care system in Germany. The current work is a quality monitoring report of a novel care setting, called Integrated Care Initiative Schizophrenia. It has implemented a networked care concept in the German federal state of Lower Saxony that integrates various stakeholders of the health care system. In this initiative, office-based psychiatrists, specialised nursing staff, psychologists, social workers, hospitals, psychiatric institutional outpatient’s departments and other community-based mental health services work together in an interdisciplinary approach. Much emphasis is placed on psychoeducation. Additional efforts cover socio-therapy, visiting care, and family support. During the period from October 2010 (start of the initiative to December 2012, first experiences and results of quality indicators were collected of 713 registered patients and summarised in a quality monitoring report. In addition, standardised patient interviews were conducted, and duration of hospital days was recorded in 2013. By the end of 2012, patients had been enrolled for an average of 18.7 months. The overall patient satisfaction measured in a patient survey in June 2013 was high and the duration of hospital days measured in a pre-post analysis in July 2013 was reduced by 44%. Two years earlier than planned, the insurance fund will continue the successfully implemented integrated care initiative and adopt it in the regular care setting. This initiative can serve as a learning case for how to set up and measure integrated care systems that may improve outcomes for patients suffering from schizophrenia.

  16. Danish initiatives to improve the safety of meat products

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wegener, Henrik Caspar

    2010-01-01

    and Campylobacter, and to a lesser extent Yersinia, Escherichia coli O157 and Listeria. Danish initiatives to improve the safety of meat products have focused on the entire production chain from the farm to the consumer, with a special emphasis on the pre-harvest stage of production. The control of bacterial......During the last two decades the major food safety problems in Denmark, as determined by the number of human patients, has been associated with bacterial infections stemming from meat products and eggs. The bacterial pathogens causing the majority of human infections has been Salmonella...

  17. Implementation of a quality improvement initiative in Belgian diabetic foot clinics: feasibility and initial results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doggen, Kris; Van Acker, Kristien; Beele, Hilde; Dumont, Isabelle; Félix, Patricia; Lauwers, Patrick; Lavens, Astrid; Matricali, Giovanni A; Randon, Caren; Weber, Eric; Van Casteren, Viviane; Nobels, Frank

    2014-07-01

    This article aims to describe the implementation and initial results of an audit-feedback quality improvement initiative in Belgian diabetic foot clinics. Using self-developed software and questionnaires, diabetic foot clinics collected data in 2005, 2008 and 2011, covering characteristics, history and ulcer severity, management and outcome of the first 52 patients presenting with a Wagner grade ≥ 2 diabetic foot ulcer or acute neuropathic osteoarthropathy that year. Quality improvement was encouraged by meetings and by anonymous benchmarking of diabetic foot clinics. The first audit-feedback cycle was a pilot study. Subsequent audits, with a modified methodology, had increasing rates of participation and data completeness. Over 85% of diabetic foot clinics participated and 3372 unique patients were sampled between 2005 and 2011 (3312 with a diabetic foot ulcer and 111 with acute neuropathic osteoarthropathy). Median age was 70 years, median diabetes duration was 14 years and 64% were men. Of all diabetic foot ulcers, 51% were plantar and 29% were both ischaemic and deeply infected. Ulcer healing rate at 6 months significantly increased from 49% to 54% between 2008 and 2011. Management of diabetic foot ulcers varied between diabetic foot clinics: 88% of plantar mid-foot ulcers were off-loaded (P10-P90: 64-100%), and 42% of ischaemic limbs were revascularized (P10-P90: 22-69%) in 2011. A unique, nationwide quality improvement initiative was established among diabetic foot clinics, covering ulcer healing, lower limb amputation and many other aspects of diabetic foot care. Data completeness increased, thanks in part to questionnaire revision. Benchmarking remains challenging, given the many possible indicators and limited sample size. The optimized questionnaire allows future quality of care monitoring in diabetic foot clinics. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. Innovation Pilot – to Improve Innovation Competences of Engineering Students

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Løje, Hanne; Grex, Sara

    2017-01-01

    In the future, there will be increasing demands for skilled and well-educated engineers who are capable of developing new solutions through innovation and can work in multidisciplinary teams. Therefore the universities are developing innovation and entrepreneurship programs to improve...... the innovation competences of the engineering students to meet this demand. In this paper, we will discuss how to improve innovation competences of engineering students and describe how it is done in a newly developed course at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The aim of the course is to strengthened...... innovation skills in addition to personal and interpersonal skills. This is done in close collaboration with companies. The outline for the course is that the students work in multidisciplinary teams with specific challenges offered by the companies. The main findings so far show the importance of the use...

  19. 76 FR 1180 - FDA Transparency Initiative: Improving Transparency to Regulated Industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-07

    ...] FDA Transparency Initiative: Improving Transparency to Regulated Industry AGENCY: Food and Drug... the Transparency Initiative, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the availability of a report entitled ``FDA Transparency Initiative: Improving Transparency to Regulated Industry.'' The...

  20. Latin-American writing initiatives in engineering from Spanish-speaking countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Narváez-Cardona

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This article analyzes Latin-American publications from Spanish Speaking countries to map programs pursued in the Region and then provide a context to envision further research agendas for Latin-American Writing Studies in engineering. The analysis of 22 publications suggests that initiatives and studies in engineering are recent (as of 2009. The sample reveals an emphasis on pedagogically-oriented publications focused on engineering as one field. The trends suggest that the Latin-American writing advocates in engineering might benefit by incorporating theoretical frameworks for a exploring and understanding different roles of writing across time and curriculum in student learning and by engineering subfields and, b exploring theoretical approaches to understand genres beyond individual texts (i.e., genre repertoires and genre systems.

  1. Latin-American writing initiatives in engineering from Spanish-speaking countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Narváez-Cardona

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-8026.2016v69n3p223 This article analyzes Latin-American publications from Spanish Speaking countries to map programs pursued in the Region and then provide a context to envision further research agendas for Latin-American Writing Studies in engineering. The analysis of 22 publications suggests that initiatives and studies in engineering are recent (as of 2009. The sample reveals an emphasis on pedagogically-oriented publications focused on engineering as one field. The trends suggest that the Latin-American writing advocates in engineering might benefit by incorporating theoretical frameworks for a exploring and understanding different roles of writing across time and curriculum in student learning and by engineering subfields and, b exploring theoretical approaches to understand genres beyond individual texts (i.e., genre repertoires and genre systems.

  2. Genetic engineering for improvement of Musa production in Africa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The transgenic approach shows potential for the genetic improvement of the crop using a wide set of transgenes currently available which may confer resistance to nematode pests, fungal, bacterial and viral diseases. This article discusses the applications of genetic engineering for the enhancement of Musa production.

  3. improvement of engineering properties of igbokoda standard sand

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    eobe

    concentrations of 1%, 2%, 3%, 4% and 5% by mass of the soil sample. Direct shear test .... Review of Plastic and HDPE wastes use for soil improvement and in ..... Soil Stabilizer, Final Year Project report, Department of Civil Engineering ...

  4. Improving Teacher-Made Assessments in Technology and Engineering Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Jesse W.; Moye, Johnny J.; Gareis, Christopher R.; Hylton, Sarah P.

    2018-01-01

    In the interest of learning how to effectively use the technological literacy standards and of adhering to education regulation, this article focuses on efforts to improve the professional teaching practices of Technology and Engineering Education (TEE) teachers by using the Gareis and Grant (2015) process with respect to "Standards for…

  5. Quality improvement initiatives in a case management service: case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Deborah J

    2015-01-01

    This article explores the importance of quality practices in underpinning the person-centred approach at a Community Options Program (COP) case management service in northern NSW. The NSW community care sector does not have a statutory excellence body to identify, promote and support improved practices and quality and safety across community services, and therefore the COP provider decided to establish a dedicated role to focus on the quality improvement of its service. The subsequent quality improvement initiatives have included mapping the clients' journey through the service, identifying areas to standardise practice, and creating service pathways. The clients' journey was used as the framework to identify where standardised practice was required, and a robust process was implemented to develop over 25 good practice guidelines and tools that addressed the variations in practice and enabled the service pathways to be developed. Prior to trialling the guidelines and tools, staff received education sessions on the anticipated changes to practice, and the practicality and applicability of the guidelines were evaluated at the end of the trials. This information was reviewed and the guidelines were amended accordingly before being rolled out. The guidelines have been in use for over 12 months and have provided the benchmark against which to audit practice, and have resulted in key performance improvements such as an increase in client review rates and a rise in the feedback response rate from clients, with a noticeable shift in the comments about the brokered support worker to acknowledging the role of their case manager. Formalising informal supports for those clients that lived alone also increased, which means these people are less reliant on services and there is a reduced risk of social isolation.

  6. Statewide Quality Improvement Initiative to Reduce Early Elective Deliveries and Improve Birth Registry Accuracy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Heather C; King, Eileen; White, Beth E; Ford, Susan E; Fuller, Sandra; Krew, Michael A; Marcotte, Michael P; Iams, Jay D; Bailit, Jennifer L; Bouchard, Jo M; Friar, Kelly; Lannon, Carole M

    2018-04-01

    To evaluate the success of a quality improvement initiative to reduce early elective deliveries at less than 39 weeks of gestation and improve birth registry data accuracy rapidly and at scale in Ohio. Between February 2013 and March 2014, participating hospitals were involved in a quality improvement initiative to reduce early elective deliveries at less than 39 weeks of gestation and improve birth registry data. This initiative was designed as a learning collaborative model (group webinars and a single face-to-face meeting) and included individual quality improvement coaching. It was implemented using a stepped wedge design with hospitals divided into three balanced groups (waves) participating in the initiative sequentially. Birth registry data were used to assess hospital rates of nonmedically indicated inductions at less than 39 weeks of gestation. Comparisons were made between groups participating and those not participating in the initiative at two time points. To measure birth registry accuracy, hospitals conducted monthly audits comparing birth registry data with the medical record. Associations were assessed using generalized linear repeated measures models accounting for time effects. Seventy of 72 (97%) eligible hospitals participated. Based on birth registry data, nonmedically indicated inductions at less than 39 weeks of gestation declined in all groups with implementation (wave 1: 6.2-3.2%, Pinitiative, they saw significant decreases in rates of early elective deliveries as compared with wave 3 (control; P=.018). All waves had significant improvement in birth registry accuracy (wave 1: 80-90%, P=.017; wave 2: 80-100%, P=.002; wave 3: 75-100%, Pinitiative enabled statewide spread of change strategies to decrease early elective deliveries and improve birth registry accuracy over 14 months and could be used for rapid dissemination of other evidence-based obstetric care practices across states or hospital systems.

  7. Trans-disciplinary community groups: an initiative for improving healthcare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sideras, James Demetri

    2016-01-01

    In the context of budget constraints and the current quality crisis facing UK healthcare, the purpose of this paper is to examine the use of trans-disciplinary community groups (TCG)--an innovative and inexpensive initiative for improving patient care. Using an action research study, TCG was implemented within a private healthcare firm for vulnerable adults. Qualitative data were gathered over 12 months from 33 participants using depth interviews and focus groups. TCG led to improved patient activities and increased patient decision-making and confidence in self-advocacy. Key prerequisites were top management commitment, democratic leadership and employee empowerment. However, staff nurses resisted TCG because they were inclined to using managerial control and their own independent clinical judgements. Whilst the findings from this study should not be generalized across all healthcare sectors, its results could be replicated in contexts where there is wide commitment to TCG and where managers adopt a democratic style of leadership. Researchers could take this study further by exploring the applicability of TCG in public healthcare organizations or other multi-disciplinary service contexts. The findings of this research paper provide policy makers and healthcare managers with practical insights on TCG and the factors that are likely to obstruct and facilitate its implementation. Adopting TCG could enable healthcare managers to ameliorate their services with little or no extra cost, which is especially important in a budget constraint context and the current quality crisis facing UK healthcare.

  8. Improvement of Selected Logistics Processes Using Quality Engineering Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasadzień, Michał; Žarnovský, Jozef

    2018-03-01

    Increase in the number of orders, the increasing quality requirements and the speed of order preparation require implementation of new solutions and improvement of logistics processes. Any disruption that occurs during execution of an order often leads to customer dissatisfaction, as well as loss of his/her confidence. The article presents a case study of the use of quality engineering methods and tools to improve the e-commerce logistic process. This made it possible to identify and prioritize key issues, identify their causes, and formulate improvement and prevention measures.

  9. Trait- and density-mediated indirect interactions initiated by an exotic invasive plant autogenic ecosystem engineer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean E. Pearson

    2010-01-01

    Indirect interactions are important for structuring ecological systems. However, research on indirect effects has been heavily biased toward top-down trophic interactions, and less is known about other indirect-interaction pathways. As autogenic ecosystem engineers, plants can serve as initiators of nontrophic indirect interactions that, like top-down pathways, can...

  10. Systems Engineering Plan and project record Configuration Management Plan for the Mixed Waste Disposal Initiative

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bryan, W.E.; Oakley, L.B.

    1993-04-01

    This document summarizes the systems engineering assessment that was performed for the Mixed Waste Disposal Initiative (MWDI) Project to determine what types of documentation are required for the success of the project. The report also identifies the documents that will make up the MWDI Project Record and describes the Configuration Management Plan describes the responsibilities and process for making changes to project documentation

  11. Implementation of a Quality Improvement Initiative: Improved Congenital Muscular Torticollis Outcomes in a Large Hospital Setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strenk, Mariann L; Kiger, Michelle; Hawke, Jesse L; Mischnick, Amy; Quatman-Yates, Catherine

    2017-06-01

    The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) published a guideline for congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) in 2013. Our division adopted the guideline as the institutional practice standard and engaged in a quality improvement (QI) initiative to increase the percentage of patients who achieved resolution of CMT within 6 months of evaluation. The aims of this report are to describe the QI activities conducted to improve patient outcomes and discuss the results and implications for other institutions and patient populations. This was a quality improvement study. In alignment with the Chronic Care Model and Model of Improvement, an aim and operationally defined key outcome and process measures were established. Interventions were tested using Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles. A CMT registry was established to store and manage data extracted from the electronic record over the course of testing. Statistical process control charts were used to monitor progress over time. The QI initiative resulted in an increase in the percentage of patients who achieved full resolution of CMT within a 6-month episode of care from 42% to 61% over an 18-month period. Themes that emerged as key drivers of improvement included: (1) timely, optimal access to care, (2) effective audit and clinician feedback, and (3) accurate, timely documentation. The initiative took place at a single institution with a supportive culture and strong QI resources, which may limit direct translation of interventions and findings to other institutions and patient populations. Improvement science methodologies provided the tools and structure to improve division-wide workflow and increase consistency in the implementation of the APTA CMT guideline. In doing so, significant CMT population outcome improvements were achieved. © 2017 American Physical Therapy Association

  12. Practice and documentation of palliative sedation: a quality improvement initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinnon, M.; Azevedo, C.; Bush, S.H.; Lawlor, P.; Pereira, J.

    2014-01-01

    Background Palliative sedation (ps), the continuous use of sedating doses of medication to intentionally reduce consciousness and relieve refractory symptoms at end of life, is ethically acceptable if administered according to standards of best practice. Procedural guidelines outlining the appropriate use of ps and the need for rigorous documentation have been developed. As a quality improvement strategy, we audited the practice and documentation of ps on our palliative care unit (pcu). Methods A pharmacy database search of admissions in 2008 identified, for a subsequent chart review, patients who had received either a continuous infusion of midazolam (≥10 mg/24 h), regular parenteral dosing of methotrimeprazine (≥75 mg daily), or regular phenobarbital. Documentation of the decision-making process, consent, and medication use was collected using a data extraction form based on current international ps standards. Results Interpretation and comparison of data were difficult because of an apparent lack of a consistent operational definition of ps. Patient records had no specific documentation in relation to ps initiation, to clearly identified refractory symptoms, and to informed consent in 60 (64.5%), 43 (46.2%), and 38 (40.9%) charts respectively. Variation in the medications used was marked: 54 patients (58%) were started on a single agent and 39 (42%), on multiple agents. The 40 patients (43%) started on midazolam alone received a mean daily dose of 21.4 mg (standard deviation: 24.6 mg). Conclusions The lack of documentation and standardized practice of ps on our pcu has resulted in a quality improvement program to address those gaps. They also highlight the importance of conducting research and developing clinical guidelines in this area. PMID:24764700

  13. Mechanical stimulation improves tissue-engineered human skeletal muscle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Courtney A.; Smiley, Beth L.; Mills, John; Vandenburgh, Herman H.

    2002-01-01

    Human bioartificial muscles (HBAMs) are tissue engineered by suspending muscle cells in collagen/MATRIGEL, casting in a silicone mold containing end attachment sites, and allowing the cells to differentiate for 8 to 16 days. The resulting HBAMs are representative of skeletal muscle in that they contain parallel arrays of postmitotic myofibers; however, they differ in many other morphological characteristics. To engineer improved HBAMs, i.e., more in vivo-like, we developed Mechanical Cell Stimulator (MCS) hardware to apply in vivo-like forces directly to the engineered tissue. A sensitive force transducer attached to the HBAM measured real-time, internally generated, as well as externally applied, forces. The muscle cells generated increasing internal forces during formation which were inhibitable with a cytoskeleton depolymerizer. Repetitive stretch/relaxation for 8 days increased the HBAM elasticity two- to threefold, mean myofiber diameter 12%, and myofiber area percent 40%. This system allows engineering of improved skeletal muscle analogs as well as a nondestructive method to determine passive force and viscoelastic properties of the resulting tissue.

  14. Improving energy audit process and report outcomes through planning initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprau Coulter, Tabitha L.

    Energy audits and energy models are an important aspect of the retrofit design process, as they provide project teams with an opportunity to evaluate a facilities current building systems' and energy performance. The information collected during an energy audit is typically used to develop an energy model and an energy audit report that are both used to assist in making decisions about the design and implementation of energy conservation measures in a facility. The current lack of energy auditing standards results in a high degree of variability in energy audit outcomes depending on the individual performing the audit. The research presented is based on the conviction that performing an energy audit and producing a value adding energy model for retrofit buildings can benefit from a revised approach. The research was divided into four phases, with the initial three phases consisting of: 1.) process mapping activity - aimed at reducing variability in the energy auditing and energy modeling process. 2.) survey analysis -- To examine the misalignment between how industry members use the top energy modeling tools compared to their intended use as defined by software representatives. 3.) sensitivity analysis -- analysis of the affect key energy modeling inputs are having on energy modeling analysis results. The initial three phases helped define the need for an improved energy audit approach that better aligns data collection with facility owners' needs and priorities. The initial three phases also assisted in the development of a multi-criteria decision support tool that incorporates a House of Quality approach to guide a pre-audit planning activity. For the fourth and final research phase explored the impacts and evaluation methods of a pre-audit planning activity using two comparative energy audits as case studies. In each case, an energy audit professionals was asked to complete an audit using their traditional methods along with an audit which involved them first

  15. Are there chances of improving Colombian engineering journals rankings?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés Pavas

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The results of the most recent evaluation of the Colombian scientific journals, performed by Colciencias resorting to the Colombian Bibliographic Index - Publindex, was released recently. Several discussions have been made on the consequences. This document presents and analysis with a different perspective: is there something that authors and editors could do in order to improve the ranking of the journals? The document presents data and analysis applicable to engineering scientific journals.

  16. Protein engineering of subtilisins to improve stability in detergent formulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von der Osten, C; Branner, S; Hastrup, S; Hedegaard, L; Rasmussen, M D; Bisgård-Frantzen, H; Carlsen, S; Mikkelsen, J M

    1993-03-01

    Microbial proteases are used extensively in a large number of industrial processes and most importantly in detergent formulations facilitating the removal of proteinaceous stains. Site-directed mutagenesis has been employed in the construction of subtilisin variants with improved storage and oxidation stabilities. It is shown that in spite of significant structural homology between subtilisins subjected to protein engineering the effects of specific mutations can be quite different. Mutations that stabilize one subtilisin may destabilize another.

  17. A Simulation-Based Quality Improvement Initiative Improves Pediatric Readiness in Community Hospitals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitfill, Travis; Gawel, Marcie; Auerbach, Marc

    2017-07-17

    The National Pediatric Readiness Project Pediatric Readiness Survey (PRS) measured pediatric readiness in 4149 US emergency departments (EDs) and noted an average score of 69 on a 100-point scale. This readiness score consists of 6 domains: coordination of pediatric patient care (19/100), physician/nurse staffing and training (10/100), quality improvement activities (7/100), patient safety initiatives (14/100), policies and procedures (17/100), and availability of pediatric equipment (33/100). We aimed to assess and improve pediatric emergency readiness scores across Connecticut's hospitals. The aim of this study was to compare the National Pediatric Readiness Project readiness score before and after an in situ simulation-based assessment and quality improvement program in Connecticut hospitals. We leveraged in situ simulations to measure the quality of resuscitative care provided by interprofessional teams to 3 simulated patients (infant septic shock, infant seizure, and child cardiac arrest) presenting to their ED resuscitation bay. Assessments of EDs were made based on a composite quality score that was measured as the sum of 4 distinct domains: (1) adherence to sepsis guidelines, (2) adherence to cardiac arrest guidelines, (3) performance on seizure resuscitation, and (4) teamwork. After the simulation, a detailed report with scores, comparisons to other EDs, and a gap analysis were provided to sites. Based on this report, a regional children's hospital team worked collaboratively with each ED to develop action items and a timeline for improvements. The National Pediatric Readiness Project PRS scores, the primary outcome of this study, were measured before and after participation. Twelve community EDs in Connecticut participated in this project. The PRS scores were assessed before and after the intervention (simulation-based assessment and gap analysis/report-out). The average time between PRS assessments was 21 months. The PRS scores significantly improved 12

  18. Software process improvement in the NASA software engineering laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcgarry, Frank; Pajerski, Rose; Page, Gerald; Waligora, Sharon; Basili, Victor; Zelkowitz, Marvin

    1994-01-01

    The Software Engineering Laboratory (SEL) was established in 1976 for the purpose of studying and measuring software processes with the intent of identifying improvements that could be applied to the production of ground support software within the Flight Dynamics Division (FDD) at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)/Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The SEL has three member organizations: NASA/GSFC, the University of Maryland, and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). The concept of process improvement within the SEL focuses on the continual understanding of both process and product as well as goal-driven experimentation and analysis of process change within a production environment.

  19. Rocket Science: The Shuttle's Main Engines, though Old, Are not Forgotten in the New Exploration Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covault, Craig

    2005-01-01

    The Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), developed 30 years ago, remains a strong candidate for use in the new Exploration Initiative as part of a shuttle-derived heavy-lift expendable booster. This is because the Boeing-Rocket- dyne man-rated SSME remains the most highly efficient liquid rocket engine ever developed. There are only enough parts for 12-15 existing SSMEs, however, so one NASA option is to reinitiate SSME production to use it as a throw-away, as opposed to a reusable, powerplant for NASA s new heavy-lift booster.

  20. EMERGING ENGINEERING PRINCIPLES FOR YIELD IMPROVEMENT IN MICROBIAL CELL DESIGN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago Comba

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Metabolic Engineering has undertaken a rapid transformation in the last ten years making real progress towards the production of a wide range of molecules and fine chemicals using a designed cellular host. However, the maximization of product yields through pathway optimization is a constant and central challenge of this field. Traditional methods used to improve the production of target compounds from engineered biosynthetic pathways in non-native hosts include: codon usage optimization, elimination of the accumulation of toxic intermediates or byproducts, enhanced production of rate-limiting enzymes, selection of appropriate promoter and ribosome binding sites, application of directed evolution of enzymes, and chassis re-circuit. Overall, these approaches tend to be specific for each engineering project rather than a systematic practice based on a more generalizable strategy. In this mini-review, we highlight some novel and extensive approaches and tools intended to address the improvement of a target product formation, founded in sophisticated principles such as dynamic control, pathway genes modularization, and flux modeling.

  1. Emerging engineering principles for yield improvement in microbial cell design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago Comba

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Metabolic Engineering has undertaken a rapid transformation in the last ten years making real progress towards the production of a wide range of molecules and fine chemicals using a designed cellular host. However, the maximization of product yields through pathway optimization is a constant and central challenge of this field. Traditional methods used to improve the production of target compounds from engineered biosynthetic pathways in non-native hosts include: codon usage optimization, elimination of the accumulation of toxic intermediates or byproducts, enhanced production of rate-limiting enzymes, selection of appropriate promoter and ribosome binding sites, application of directed evolution of enzymes, and chassis re-circuit. Overall, these approaches tend to be specific for each engineering project rather than a systematic practice based on a more generalizable strategy. In this mini-review, we highlight some novel and extensive approaches and tools intended to address the improvement of a target product formation, founded in sophisticated principles such as dynamic control, pathway genes modularization, and flux modeling.

  2. Effects of Initial Seeding Density and Fluid Perfusion Rate on Formation of Tissue-Engineered Bone

    OpenAIRE

    GRAYSON, WARREN L.; BHUMIRATANA, SARINDR; CANNIZZARO, CHRISTOPHER; CHAO, P.-H. GRACE; LENNON, DONALD P.; CAPLAN, ARNOLD I.; VUNJAK-NOVAKOVIC, GORDANA

    2008-01-01

    We describe a novel bioreactor system for tissue engineering of bone that enables cultivation of up to six tissue constructs simultaneously, with direct perfusion and imaging capability. The bioreactor was used to investigate the relative effects of initial seeding density and medium perfusion rate on the growth and osteogenic differentiation patterns of bone marrow–derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) cultured on three-dimensional scaffolds. Fully decellularized bovine trabecular bon...

  3. Improving inpatient postnatal services: midwives views and perspectives of engagement in a quality improvement initiative

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wray Julie

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite major policy initiatives in the United Kingdom to enhance women's experiences of maternity care, improving in-patient postnatal care remains a low priority, although it is an aspect of care consistently rated as poor by women. As part of a systems and process approach to improving care at one maternity unit in the South of England, the views and perspectives of midwives responsible for implementing change were sought. Methods A Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI approach was adopted to support a systems and process change to in-patient care and care on transfer home in a large district general hospital with around 6000 births a year. The CQI approach included an initial assessment to identify where revisions to routine systems and processes were required, developing, implementing and evaluating revisions to the content and documentation of care in hospital and on transfer home, and training workshops for midwives and other maternity staff responsible for implementing changes. To assess midwifery views of the quality improvement process and their engagement with this, questionnaires were sent to those who had participated at the outset. Results Questionnaires were received from 68 (46% of the estimated 149 midwives eligible to complete the questionnaire. All midwives were aware of the revisions introduced, and two-thirds felt these were more appropriate to meet the women's physical and emotional health, information and support needs. Some midwives considered that the introduction of new maternal postnatal records increased their workload, mainly as a consequence of colleagues not completing documentation as required. Conclusions This was the first UK study to undertake a review of in-patient postnatal services. Involvement of midwives at the outset was essential to the success of the initiative. Midwives play a lead role in the planning and organisation of in-patient postnatal care and it was important to obtain their

  4. Improving collaborative learning in online software engineering education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neill, Colin J.; DeFranco, Joanna F.; Sangwan, Raghvinder S.

    2017-11-01

    Team projects are commonplace in software engineering education. They address a key educational objective, provide students critical experience relevant to their future careers, allow instructors to set problems of greater scale and complexity than could be tackled individually, and are a vehicle for socially constructed learning. While all student teams experience challenges, those in fully online programmes must also deal with remote working, asynchronous coordination, and computer-mediated communications all of which contribute to greater social distance between team members. We have developed a facilitation framework to aid team collaboration and have demonstrated its efficacy, in prior research, with respect to team performance and outcomes. Those studies indicated, however, that despite experiencing improved project outcomes, students working in effective software engineering teams did not experience significantly improved individual achievement. To address this deficiency we implemented theoretically grounded refinements to the collaboration model based upon peer-tutoring research. Our results indicate a modest, but statistically significant (p = .08), improvement in individual achievement using this refined model.

  5. Some approaches to system reliability improvement in engineering design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shen, Kecheng.

    1990-01-01

    In this thesis some approaches to system reliability improvement in engineering design are studied. In particular, the thesis aims at developing alternative methodologies for ranking of component importance which are more related to the design practice and which are more useful in system synthesis than the existing ones. It also aims at developing component reliability models by means of stress-strength interference which will enable both component reliability prediction and design for reliability. A new methodology for ranking of component importance is first developed based on the notion of the increase of the expected system yield. This methodology allows for incorporation of different improvement actions at the component level such as parallel redundancy, standby redundancy, burn-in, minimal repair and perfect replacement. For each of these improvement actions, the increase of system reliability is studied and used as the component importance measure. A possible connection between the commonly known models of component lifetimes and the stress-strength interference models is suggested. Under some general conditions the relationship between component failure rate and the stress and strength distribution characteristics is studied. A heuristic approach for obtaining bounds on failure probability through stress-strength interference is also presented. A case study and a worked example are presented, which illustrate and verify the developed importance measures and their applications in the analytical as well as synthetical work of engineering design. (author)

  6. Improved initial guess for minimum energy path calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smidstrup, Søren; Pedersen, Andreas; Stokbro, Kurt; Jónsson, Hannes

    2014-01-01

    A method is presented for generating a good initial guess of a transition path between given initial and final states of a system without evaluation of the energy. An objective function surface is constructed using an interpolation of pairwise distances at each discretization point along the path and the nudged elastic band method then used to find an optimal path on this image dependent pair potential (IDPP) surface. This provides an initial path for the more computationally intensive calculations of a minimum energy path on an energy surface obtained, for example, by ab initio or density functional theory. The optimal path on the IDPP surface is significantly closer to a minimum energy path than a linear interpolation of the Cartesian coordinates and, therefore, reduces the number of iterations needed to reach convergence and averts divergence in the electronic structure calculations when atoms are brought too close to each other in the initial path. The method is illustrated with three examples: (1) rotation of a methyl group in an ethane molecule, (2) an exchange of atoms in an island on a crystal surface, and (3) an exchange of two Si-atoms in amorphous silicon. In all three cases, the computational effort in finding the minimum energy path with DFT was reduced by a factor ranging from 50% to an order of magnitude by using an IDPP path as the initial path. The time required for parallel computations was reduced even more because of load imbalance when linear interpolation of Cartesian coordinates was used

  7. Improvement of industrial efficiency by knowledge management in maintenance engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Alberto Mariotoni

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This article shows research and studies dealing with the management of knowledge in industrial maintenance engineering, developed in the field of applied research in real industrial companies of Europe, which are the consequences of  having knowledge on islands, as well as measures improvements when there is an adequate knowledge management. The peculiarities which are given in the maintenance of the company departments, knowledge of operators and technicians operating in these areas, is heavily based on their experiences (strong tacit component, what is difficult to measure and articulate, and however, on numerous occasions, this break from the knowledge, can impose a high cost for the industry.

  8. Improvement of ecological characteristics of the hydrogen diesel engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natriashvili, T.; Kavtaradze, R.; Glonti, M.

    2018-02-01

    In the article are considered the questions of influence of a swirl intensity of the shot and injector design on the ecological indices of the hydrogen diesel, little-investigated till now. The necessity of solution of these problems arises at conversion of the serial diesel engine into the hydrogen diesel. The mathematical model consists of the three-dimensional non-stationary equations of transfer and also models of turbulence and combustion. The numerical experiments have been carried out with the use of program code FIRE. The optimal values of parameters of the working process, ensuring improvement of the effective and ecological indices of the hydrogen diesel are determined.

  9. Improving Construction Process through Integration and Concurrent Engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malik Khalfan

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available In an increasingly competitive business environment, improvedtime-to-market, reduced production cost, quality of the productand customer involvement are rapidly becoming the key successfactors for any product development process. Consequently, mostorganisations are moving towards the adoption of latest technologyand new management concepts and philosophies such as totalquality management and concurrent engineering (CE to bringimprovement in their product development process. This paperdiscusses the adoption of integrated processes and CE withinthe construction industry to enable construction organisations toimprove their project development process. It also discusses aproposed integrated database model for the construction projects,which should enable the construction process to improve, becomemore effective and more efficient.

  10. Improving capability, motivation and turnover of engineering personnel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alonso Zabalo, F.; Gonzalez Junco, J.

    1995-01-01

    The electricity sector today is continually improving the technical and economic performance of power plants and extending their operating life. This means that to serve the electricity industry, engineering companies must continually adapt and innovate in technology. Human resources are vital for today's engineering companies, to satisfy demand within the industry, and to remain strong in their home market and competitive abroad. A company can optimize the potential and cost-effectiveness of its people by balancing the experience and specialization of senior engineers, who can apply their abilities to new fields, and recruiting younger people with new methods and outlook. In parallel, the company must foster an environment in which staff share technical information, think positively about the future, avoid routine and welcome change and stimulating work. To harmonize individual and collective interests to achieve shared goals, the company must manage the knowledge, expertise and professional aspirations of each individual, rotate people among group without losing individuality, and promote in house and outside training. Weekly briefing give people a personal awareness of the technical and economic goals of the work group and its specific tasks and their cost, and a sense of responsibility, to give the organization the vitality it needs to succeed today. This presentation describes the procedures, and organizational and management tools needed to achieve these objectives and practical experience in applying them. (Author)

  11. Improvement in equipment for initiating combustion of bituminous beds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kleyev, A M; Galimov, R R; Smerkovich, Y S

    1981-01-01

    An experimental sample of a unit is developed based on the logging lifter PK-2 which was tested with initiation of intrabed combustion at the Sugushlinskiy field (viscosity of bitumen over 10/sup 3/ Pa.s) and Mordovo-Karmal'skiy field (viscosity of bitumen up to 3 Pa.s). Technical characteristics and operating principles of the unit are presented.

  12. Approaches to Improve Mixing in Compression Ignition Engines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boot, M.D.

    2010-04-20

    This thesis presents three approaches to suppress soot emissions in compression ignition (CI) engines. First, a fuel chemistry approach is proposed. A particular class of fuels - cyclic oxygenates - is identified which is capable of significantly reducing engine-out soot emissions. By means of experiments in 'closed' and optical engines, as well as on an industrial burner, two possible mechanisms are identified that could account for the observed reduction in soot: a) an extended ignition delay (ID) and b) a longer flame lift-length (FLoL). Further analysis of the available data suggests that both mechanisms are related to the inherently low reactivity of the fuel class in question. These findings are largely in line with data found in literature. In the second approach, it is attempted to reduce soot by adopting an alternative combustion concept: early direct injection premixed charge compression ignition (EDI PCCI). In this concept, fuel is injected relatively early in the compression stroke instead of conventional, close to top-dead-center (TDC), injection schemes. While the goal of soot reduction can indeed be achieved via this approach, an important drawback must be addressed before this concept can be considered practically viable. Due to the fact that combustion chamber temperature and pressure is relatively low early in the compression stroke, fuel impingement against the cylinder liner (wall-wetting) often occurs. Consequently, high levels of unburned hydrocarbons (UHC), oil dilution and poor efficiency are observed. Several strategies, combining a limited engine modification with dedicated air management and fueling settings, are investigated to tackle this drawback. All of these strategies, and especially their combination, resulted in significantly lower UHC emissions and improved fuel economy. Although UHC emissions are typically a tell-tale sign of wall-wetting, as mentioned earlier, the relation between these two has long been hypothetical

  13. Study the impact of internship on improving engineering students' competency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsono, Sugandi, Machmud; Tuwoso, Purnomo

    2017-09-01

    An effort to improve human resources quality in higher education can be done through an internship program. This program is important for the graduate student to enhance their self-development and entrepreneurship ability. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of internship course on the student's achievement, particularly of their professional competencies. Furthermore, this research was conducted to identify the type of industries that are suitable for internship program of the engineering students. The results showed that the investigation information related to data collection and assignment, lodging, suitability of expertise and some matters correlated to the process students' internship in industry. This study also found the method to improve the services of industries and university.

  14. How does Software Process Improvement Address Global Software Engineering?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuhrmann, Marco; Diebold, Philipp; Münch, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    a systematic mapping study on the state-of-the-art in SPI from a general perspective, we observed Global Software Engineering (GSE) becoming a topic of interest in recent years. Therefore, in this paper, we provide a detailed investigation of those papers from the overall systematic mapping study that were......For decades, Software Process Improvement (SPI) programs have been implemented, inter alia, to improve quality and speed of software development. To set up, guide, and carry out SPI projects, and to measure SPI state, impact, and success, a multitude of different SPI approaches and considerable...... experience are available. SPI addresses many aspects ranging from individual developer skills to entire organizations. It comprises for instance the optimization of specific activities in the software lifecycle as well as the creation of organization awareness and project culture. In the course of conducting...

  15. Approaches to improve angiogenesis in tissue-engineered skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahota, Parbinder S; Burn, J Lance; Brown, Nicola J; MacNeil, Sheila

    2004-01-01

    A problem with tissue-engineered skin is clinical failure due to delays in vascularization. The aim of this study was to explore a number of simple strategies to improve angiogenesis/vascularization using a tissue-engineered model of skin to which small vessel human dermal microvascular endothelial cells were added. For the majority of these studies, a modified Guirguis chamber was used, which allowed the investigation of several variables within the same experiment using the same human dermis; cell type, angiogenic growth factors, the influence of keratinocytes and fibroblasts, mechanical penetration of the human dermis, the site of endothelial cell addition, and the influence of hypoxia were all examined. A qualitative scoring system was used to assess the impact of these factors on the penetration of endothelial cells throughout the dermis. Similar results were achieved using freshly isolated small vessel human dermal microvascular endothelial cells or an endothelial cell line and a minimum cell seeding density was identified. Cell penetration was not influenced by the addition of angiogenic growth factors (vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor); similarly, including epidermal keratinocytes or dermal fibroblasts did not encourage endothelial cell entry, and neither did mechanical introduction of holes throughout the dermis. Two factors were identified that significantly enhanced endothelial cell penetration into the dermis: hypoxia and the site of endothelial cell addition. Endothelial cells added from the papillary surface entered into the dermis much more effectively than when cells were added to the reticular surface of the dermis. We conclude that this model is valuable in improving our understanding of how to enhance vascularization of tissue-engineered grafts.

  16. The process of managerial control in quality improvement initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slovensky, D J; Fottler, M D

    1994-11-01

    The fundamental intent of strategic management is to position an organization with in its market to exploit organizational competencies and strengths to gain competitive advantage. Competitive advantage may be achieved through such strategies as low cost, high quality, or unique services or products. For health care organizations accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, continually improving both processes and outcomes of organizational performance--quality improvement--in all operational areas of the organization is a mandated strategy. Defining and measuring quality and controlling the quality improvement strategy remain problematic. The article discusses the nature and processes of managerial control, some potential measures of quality, and related information needs.

  17. An Integrated Care Initiative to Improve Patient Outcome in Schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Mayer-Amberg, Norbert; Woltmann, Rainer; Walther, Stefanie

    2016-01-01

    The optimal treatment of schizophrenia patients requires integration of medical and psychosocial inputs. In Germany, various healthcare service providers and institutions are involved in the treatment process. Early and continuous treatment is important but often not possible because of the fragmented medical care system in Germany. The current work is a quality monitoring report of a novel care setting, called Integrated Care Initiative Schizophrenia. It has implemented a networked care con...

  18. Initial closed operation of the CELSS Test Facility Engineering Development Unit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kliss, M.; Blackwell, C.; Zografos, A.; Drews, M.; MacElroy, R.; McKenna, R.; Heyenga, A. G.

    2003-01-01

    As part of the NASA Advanced Life Support Flight Program, a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) Test Facility Engineering Development Unit has been constructed and is undergoing initial operational testing at NASA Ames Research Center. The Engineering Development Unit (EDU) is a tightly closed, stringently controlled, ground-based testbed which provides a broad range of environmental conditions under which a variety of CELSS higher plant crops can be grown. Although the EDU was developed primarily to provide near-term engineering data and a realistic determination of the subsystem and system requirements necessary for the fabrication of a comparable flight unit, the EDU has also provided a means to evaluate plant crop productivity and physiology under controlled conditions. This paper describes the initial closed operational testing of the EDU, with emphasis on the hardware performance capabilities. Measured performance data during a 28-day closed operation period are compared with the specified functional requirements, and an example of inferring crop growth parameters from the test data is presented. Plans for future science and technology testing are also discussed. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd on behalf of COSPAR.

  19. Engineering chloroplasts to improve Rubisco catalysis: prospects for translating improvements into food and fiber crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharwood, Robert E

    2017-01-01

    494 I. 495 II. 496 III. 496 IV. 499 V. 499 VI. 501 VII. 501 VIII. 502 IX. 505 X. 506 507 References 507 SUMMARY: The uncertainty of future climate change is placing pressure on cropping systems to continue to provide stable increases in productive yields. To mitigate future climates and the increasing threats against global food security, new solutions to manipulate photosynthesis are required. This review explores the current efforts available to improve carbon assimilation within plant chloroplasts by engineering Rubisco, which catalyzes the rate-limiting step of CO 2 fixation. Fixation of CO 2 and subsequent cycling of 3-phosphoglycerate through the Calvin cycle provides the necessary carbohydrate building blocks for maintaining plant growth and yield, but has to compete with Rubisco oxygenation, which results in photorespiration that is energetically wasteful for plants. Engineering improvements in Rubisco is a complex challenge and requires an understanding of chloroplast gene regulatory pathways, and the intricate nature of Rubisco catalysis and biogenesis, to transplant more efficient forms of Rubisco into crops. In recent times, major advances in Rubisco engineering have been achieved through improvement of our knowledge of Rubisco synthesis and assembly, and identifying amino acid catalytic switches in the L-subunit responsible for improvements in catalysis. Improving the capacity of CO 2 fixation in crops such as rice will require further advances in chloroplast bioengineering and Rubisco biogenesis. © 2016 The Author. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  20. Engineering Escherichia coli for improved ethanol production from gluconate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrand, Amanda; Schlacta, Theresa; Warmack, Rebeccah; Kasuga, Takao; Fan, Zhiliang

    2013-10-10

    We report on engineering Escherichia coli to produce ethanol at high yield from gluconic acid (gluconate). Knocking out genes encoding for the competing pathways (l-lactate dehydrogenase and pyruvate formate lyase A) in E. coli KO11 eliminated lactate production, lowered the carbon flow toward acetate production, and improved the ethanol yield from 87.5% to 97.5% of the theoretical maximum, while the growth rate of the mutant strain was about 70% of the wild type. The corresponding genetic modifications led to a small improvement of ethanol yield from 101.5% to 106.0% on glucose. Deletion of the pyruvate dehydrogenase gene (pdh) alone improved the ethanol yield from 87.5% to 90.4% when gluconate was a substrate. The growth rate of the mutant strain was identical to that of the wild type. The corresponding genetic modification led to no improvements on ethanol yield on glucose. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Patients' involvement in improvement initiatives: a qualitative systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van, Claire; McInerney, Patricia; Cooke, Richard

    2015-10-01

    Over the last 20 years, quality improvement in health has become an important strategy in health services in many countries. With the emphasis on quality health care, there has been a shift in social paradigms towards including service users in their own health on different levels. There is growing evidence in literature on the positive impact on health outcomes where patients are active participants in their personal care. There is however less information available on the broader influence of users on improvement in systems. The objective of this review was to identify the barriers and enablers to patients being involved in quality improvement efforts directed towards their own health care. This review considered studies that included adults and children of any age experiencing any health problem.The review considered studies that explored patient or user participation in quality improvement and the factors enabling and hindering this processThe qualitative component of this review considered studies that focused on qualitative data, including, but not limited to, designs such as phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, action research and feminist research. Other texts such as opinion papers and reports were also considered. The search strategy aimed to find both published and unpublished studies. A three-step search strategy was utilized in this review. The searches using all identified keywords and index terms included the databases PubMed, PsycINFO, Medline, Scopus, EBSCOhost and CINAHL.Qualitative, text and opinion papers were considered for inclusion in this review.Closely related concepts like community involvement, family involvement, patients' involvement in their own care (for example, in the case of shared decision making), and patient centeredness in the context of a consultation were excluded. Qualitative and textual papers selected for retrieval were assessed by two independent reviewers for authenticity prior to inclusion in the review using

  2. Improving and Communicating Workforce Skills: A Regional Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, Dee

    2011-01-01

    The demand for improved workplace skills in the U.S. is rapidly rising, and U.S. industries, employees, and educational systems are struggling to respond. This paper describes the Skills Advantage program, an effort led by employers and facilitated by Kirkwood Community College to address regional employment needs. This work-ready certificate…

  3. ELECTRICAL SAFETY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT A COMPLEX WIDE TEAMING INITIATIVE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    GRAY BJ

    2007-11-26

    This paper describes the results of a year-long project, sponsored by the Energy Facility Contractors Group (EFCOG) and designed to improve overall electrical safety performance throughout Department of Energy (DOE)-owned sites and laboratories. As evidenced by focused metrics, the Project was successful primarily due to the joint commitment of contractor and DOE electrical safety experts, as well as significant support from DOE and contractor senior management. The effort was managed by an assigned project manager, using classical project-management principles that included execution of key deliverables and regular status reports to the Project sponsor. At the conclusion of the Project, the DOE not only realized measurable improvement in the safety of their workers, but also had access to valuable resources that will enable them to do the following: evaluate and improve electrical safety programs; analyze and trend electrical safety events; increase electrical safety awareness for both electrical and non-electrical workers; and participate in ongoing processes dedicated to continued improvement.

  4. Rationally engineered polymeric cisplatin nanoparticles for improved antitumor efficacy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paraskar, Abhimanyu; Soni, Shivani; Basu, Sudipta; Srivats, Shyam; Roy, Rituparna Sinha; Sengupta, Shiladitya; Amarasiriwardena, Chitra J; Lupoli, Nicola

    2011-01-01

    The use of cisplatin, a first line chemotherapy for most cancers, is dose-limited due to nephrotoxicity. While this toxicity can be addressed through nanotechnology, previous attempts at engineering cisplatin nanoparticles have been limited by the impact on the potency of cisplatin. Here we report the rational engineering of a novel cisplatin nanoparticle by harnessing a novel polyethylene glycol-functionalized poly-isobutylene-maleic acid (PEG-PIMA) copolymer, which can complex with cis-platinum (II) through a monocarboxylato and a coordinate bond. We show that this complex self-assembles into a nanoparticle, and exhibits an IC 50 = 0.77 ± 0.11 μM comparable to that of free cisplatin (IC 50 = 0.44 ± 0.09 μM). The nanoparticles are internalized into the endolysosomal compartment of cancer cells, and release cisplatin in a pH-dependent manner. Furthermore, the nanoparticles exhibit significantly improved antitumor efficacy in a 4T1 breast cancer model in vivo, with limited nephrotoxicity, which can be explained by preferential biodistribution in the tumor with reduced kidney concentrations. Our results suggest that the PEG-PIMA-cisplatin nanoparticle can emerge as an attractive solution to the challenges in cisplatin chemotherapy.

  5. Genome engineering for improved recombinant protein expression in Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahalik, Shubhashree; Sharma, Ashish K; Mukherjee, Krishna J

    2014-12-19

    A metabolic engineering perspective which views recombinant protein expression as a multistep pathway allows us to move beyond vector design and identify the downstream rate limiting steps in expression. In E.coli these are typically at the translational level and the supply of precursors in the form of energy, amino acids and nucleotides. Further recombinant protein production triggers a global cellular stress response which feedback inhibits both growth and product formation. Countering this requires a system level analysis followed by a rational host cell engineering to sustain expression for longer time periods. Another strategy to increase protein yields could be to divert the metabolic flux away from biomass formation and towards recombinant protein production. This would require a growth stoppage mechanism which does not affect the metabolic activity of the cell or the transcriptional or translational efficiencies. Finally cells have to be designed for efficient export to prevent buildup of proteins inside the cytoplasm and also simplify downstream processing. The rational and the high throughput strategies that can be used for the construction of such improved host cell platforms for recombinant protein expression is the focus of this review.

  6. Pathway engineering to improve ethanol production by thermophilic bacteria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lynd, L.R.

    1998-12-31

    Continuation of a research project jointly funded by the NSF and DOE is proposed. The primary project goal is to develop and characterize strains of C. thermocellum and C. thermosaccharolyticum having ethanol selectivity similar to more convenient ethanol-producing organisms. An additional goal is to document the maximum concentration of ethanol that can be produced by thermophiles. These goals build on results from the previous project, including development of most of the genetic tools required for pathway engineering in the target organisms. As well, we demonstrated that the tolerance of C. thermosaccharolyticum to added ethanol is sufficiently high to allow practical utilization should similar tolerance to produced ethanol be demonstrated, and that inhibition by neutralizing agents may explain the limited concentrations of ethanol produced in studies to date. Task 1 involves optimization of electrotransformation, using either modified conditions or alternative plasmids to improve upon the low but reproducible transformation, frequencies we have obtained thus far.

  7. Engineering yeast transcription machinery for improved ethanol tolerance and production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alper, Hal; Moxley, Joel; Nevoigt, Elke; Fink, Gerald R; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2006-12-08

    Global transcription machinery engineering (gTME) is an approach for reprogramming gene transcription to elicit cellular phenotypes important for technological applications. Here we show the application of gTME to Saccharomyces cerevisiae for improved glucose/ethanol tolerance, a key trait for many biofuels programs. Mutagenesis of the transcription factor Spt15p and selection led to dominant mutations that conferred increased tolerance and more efficient glucose conversion to ethanol. The desired phenotype results from the combined effect of three separate mutations in the SPT15 gene [serine substituted for phenylalanine (Phe(177)Ser) and, similarly, Tyr(195)His, and Lys(218)Arg]. Thus, gTME can provide a route to complex phenotypes that are not readily accessible by traditional methods.

  8. Improvement of engineering soil properties using non -traditional additives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waheed Mohanned

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Laboratory experiments are conducted to evaluate the effect of some non-traditional additives on the engineering properties of clayey soil, which show problematic phenomenon when used as a construction material. The conducted tests covered the influence of these additives on various parameters like consistency limits, compaction characteristics and CBR value. Two nontraditional stabilizers are selected in this study, polymers and phosphoric acid at three different percent which are (1%, 3% and 5% of the dry soil weight. It is concluded that addition of the polymer to the clayey soil results in a slight increase in plastic limit while the liquid limit is not affected accompanied by a marginal decrease in the dry unit weight while the optimum moisture content remains unaffected. The addition of phosphoric acid to the clayey soil has no effect on its Atterberg limits. In general, it is observed that polymer is found to be ineffective as a stabilizer to improve clayey soils, especially in small amounts of about (3%. The phosphoric acid treated soil gained better improvement for all amounts of additive used. For (3% acid treated soil the CBR is about (360% compared to that of untreated soil, for that, it can be concluded that the improvement using phosphoric acid in the clay soils is a promising option and can be applied to solve the geotechnical stabilization problems.

  9. Statement of work for architect-engineer services, initial pretreatment module

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sowa, K.B.

    1994-01-01

    This Statement of Work describes the Architect-Engineer services to be provided by Raytheon/BNFL in providing a conceptual design (Contract TGW-SVV-063869) for the Initial Pretreatment Module (IPM), Project W-236B, at the Hanford site, Richland, Washington. The IPM Project, a radiochemical process facility, will be designed and constructed for an initial phase of waste pretreatment, which will be for the removal of cesium from supernatant wastes to produce a Low-level waste (LLW) stream to a vitrification facility. The design shall also accommodate side streams of High-Level Waste (HLW) fractions that will be directed to suitable, existing storage tanks where they will be recombined with an additional high-activity waste fraction generated from pretreatment of the tank waste sludges and solids. This combined high-activity waste fraction will be immobilized as glass and disposed in a geological repository

  10. Decontamination and decommissioning of the initial engine test facility and the IET two-inch hot-waste line

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoll, F.E.

    1987-04-01

    The Initial Engine Test Decommissioning Project is described in this report. The Initial Engine Test facility was constructed and operated at the National Reactor Testing Station, now known as the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, to support the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program and the Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power Transient test program, circa 1950 through 1960s. Due to the severe nature of these nuclear test programs, a significant amount of radioactive contamination was deposited in various portions of the Initial Engine Test Facility. Characterizations, decision analyses, and plans for decontamination and decommissioning were prepared from 1982 through 1985. Decontamination and decommissioning activities were performed in such a way that no radiological health or safety hazard to the public or to personnel at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory remains. These decontamination and decommissioning activities began in 1985 and were completed in 1987. 13 figs

  11. Enabling CoO improvement thru green initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Eric; Padmabandu, G. G.; Ujazdowski, Richard; Haran, Don; Lake, Matt; Mason, Eric; Gillespie, Walter

    2015-03-01

    Chipmakers continued pressure to drive down costs while increasing utilization requires development in all areas. Cymer's commitment to meeting customer's needs includes developing solutions that enable higher productivity as well as lowering cost of lightsource operation. Improvements in system power efficiency and predictability were deployed to chipmakers' in 2014 with release of our latest Master Oscillating gas chamber. In addition, Cymer has committed to reduced gas usage, completing development in methods to reduce Helium gas usage while maintaining superior bandwidth and wavelength stability. The latest developments in lowering cost of operations are paired with our advanced ETC controller in Cymer's XLR 700ix product.

  12. Initial very low calorie diet (VLCD) improves ultimate weight loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quaade, F; Astrup, A

    1989-01-01

    (4.1-28.8], than group 1 (8.7 kg (-1.1 to 19.1), P = 0.008; and 7.3 kg (0.9-18.2 P = 0.01). Weight losses in both groups eliminated or strongly reduced the need for a wide variety of expensive drugs: antidiabetics, diuretics, antihypertensives, analgetics, etc. It is concluded that VLCD...... for 2 months or more. The two groups were comparable with regard to height, absolute weight and percentual overweight, but group 2 was somewhat older than group 1 (49.5 vs 38.3 years, P less than 0.01). Group 2 lost significantly more weight, both totally (17.1 kg (7.8-40.1] and on VLCD alone (12.3 kg...... is an effective and encouraging way of starting a dieting program, and that it should be continued for at least two months, as the length of the initial VLCD period related significantly to the amount of weight eventually lost....

  13. 34 CFR 637.1 - What is the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What is the Minority Science and Engineering... Education (Continued) OFFICE OF POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION MINORITY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM General § 637.1 What is the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement...

  14. Systems Engineering Initiative: Undergraduate Education Enhancement in a Regional Education Network

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kurwitz, R. C.; Peddicord, K.; Poston, J.; Yang, X.; Bostanci, H.

    2016-01-01

    Full text: The Systems Engineering Initiative (SEI) is an experience based education enhancement programme that forms teams of undergraduate students with faculty and industry mentors to solve problems of interest to industry. This model of innovation creates a new learning paradigm that is outside the traditional classroom based model and fits more of the Master-apprentice model as applied to engineering teams. The SEI programme is currently administered by the Nuclear Power Institute (NPI), a regional nuclear education network, and is being carried out at three partner universities. Previous nuclear related projects have benefited industry and are of high technical quality with publications in peer-reviewed journals and awards for presentations in various forums. Students within the programme have benefited through development of soft skills outside the traditional curriculum, understanding of how their knowledge fits into a nuclear organization, and exposure to career opportunities. Industry and other NPI stakeholders benefit from the development of capable engineers and technicians, positive outreach to the community, and most importantly, knowledge transfer to the next generation of nuclear professionals. (author

  15. Characterizing Design Cognition of High School Students: Initial Analyses Comparing Those with and without Pre-Engineering Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, John; Lammi, Matthew; Gero, John; Grubbs, Michael E.; Paretti, Marie; Williams, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Reported in this article are initial results from of a longitudinal study to characterize the design cognition and cognitive design styles of high school students with and without pre-engineering course experience over a 2-year period, and to compare them with undergraduate engineering students. The research followed a verbal protocol analysis…

  16. Improving Free-Piston Stirling Engine Specific Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, Maxwell H.

    2015-01-01

    This work uses analytical methods to demonstrate the potential benefits of optimizing piston and/or displacer motion in a Stirling engine. Isothermal analysis was used to show the potential benefits of ideal motion in ideal Stirling engines. Nodal analysis is used to show that ideal piston and displacer waveforms are not optimal in real Stirling engines. Constrained optimization was used to identify piston and displacer waveforms that increase Stirling engine specific power.

  17. Reverse engineering of heavy-ion collisions: Unraveling initial conditions from anisotropic flow data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Retinskaya, Ekaterina

    2014-01-01

    Ultra-Relativistic heavy-ion physics is a promising field of high energy physics connecting two fields: nuclear physics and elementary particle physics. Experimental achievements of the last years have provided an opportunity to study the properties of a new state of matter created in heavy-ion collisions called quark-gluon plasma. The initial state of two colliding nuclei is affected by fluctuations coming from wave- functions of nucleons. These fluctuations lead to the momentum anisotropy of the hadronic matter which is observed by the detectors. The system created in the collision behaves like a fluid, so the initial state is connected to the final state via hydrodynamic evolution. In this thesis we model the evolution with relativistic viscous hydrodynamics. Our results, combined with experimental data, give non trivial constraints on the initial state, thus achieving 'reverse engineering' of the heavy-ion collisions. The observable which characterizes the momentum anisotropy is the anisotropic flow v n . We present the first measurements of the first harmonic of the anisotropic flow called directed flow v 1 in Pb-Pb collisions at the LHC. We then perform the first viscous hydrodynamic modeling of directed flow and show that it is less sensitive to viscosity than higher harmonics. Comparison of these experimental data with the modeling allows to extract the values of the dipole asymmetry of the initial state, which provides constraints on the models of initial states. A prediction for directed flow v 1 in Au-Au collisions is also made for RHIC. We then perform a similar modeling of the second and third harmonics of the anisotropic flow, called respectively elliptic v 2 and triangular v 3 flow. A combined analysis of the elliptic and triangular flow data compared with viscous hydrodynamic calculations allows us to put constraints on initial ellipticity and triangularity of the system. These constraints are then used as a filter for different models of

  18. Intervention to Improve Engineering Self-Efficacy and Sense of Belonging of First-Year Engineering Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Kari L.

    The percentage of bachelor's degrees in STEM awarded to women and underrepresented minority students needs to increase dramatically to reach parity with their majority counterparts. While three key underrepresented minority (URM) groups, African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, and Native Americans constitute some 30 percent of the overall undergraduate student population in the United States, the share of engineering degrees earned by members of these groups declines as degree level increases. Underrepresented minority students accounted for about 12% of engineering bachelor's degrees awarded in 2009, 7% of master's degrees and 3% of doctorates (NSF Science Resource Statistics, 2009). The percent in engineering has been steadily decreasing, while overall participation in higher education among these groups has increased considerably. Keeping those thoughts in mind it is important to examine the historical theories and frameworks that will help us not only understand why underrepresented minority students pursue and persist in STEM majors in low numbers, but to also develop interventions to improve the alarming statistics that hamper engineering diversity. As indicated by our past two U.S. Presidents, there has been an increased discussion on the national and state level regarding the number of students entering engineering disciplines in general and underrepresented minority students in particular. Something happens between a student's freshman year and the point they decide to either switch their major or drop out of school altogether. Some researchers attribute the high dropout rate of underrepresented minority students in engineering programs to low engineering self-efficacy (e.g. Jordan et al., 2011). A student's engineering self-efficacy is his/her belief that he/she can successfully navigate the engineering curriculum and eventually become a practicing engineer. A student's engineering self-efficacy is formed by mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, his

  19. Improved Nanomechanical Test Techniques for Surface Engineered Materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen R. Goodes

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The development and implementation of a wide range of innovative nanomechanical test techniques to solve tribological problems in applications as diverse as biomedical and automotive are described in this review. For improved wear resistance and durability, the importance of understanding the system response rather than the coating-only properties is emphasized. There are many applications involving mechanical contact where the key to understanding the problem is to test at higher load and to combine reliable measurements taken across different length scales using both nano- and micro-indentation and related wear measurement techniques which more closely simulate contact conditions to fully understand the mechanical behaviour and hence deliver improved application performance. Results are presented with the NanoTest platform for applications for biomedical devices and surface engineering of lightweight alloys for the automotive industry. By combining results with different techniques it is possible to postulate predictive design rules – based on the elastic and plastic deformation energies involved in contact - to aid the reliable optimisation of mechanical properties in the various contact situations in the different applications.

  20. Improving Communication With Surrogate Decision-Makers: A Pilot Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meltzer, Ellen C; Shi, Zhenzhen; Suppes, Alexandra; Hersh, Jennifer E; Orlander, Jay D; Calhoun, Aaron W; Tung, Judy; Logio, Lia; Manna, Ruth; Bialer, Philip A; Acres, Cathleen A; Fins, Joseph J

    2017-08-01

    Difficult conversations in medical care often occur between physicians and patients' surrogates, individuals entrusted with medical decisions for patients who lack the capacity to make them. Poor communication between patients' surrogates and physicians may exacerbate anxiety and guilt for surrogates, and may contribute to physician stress and burnout. This pilot study assesses the effectiveness of an experiential learning workshop that was conducted in a clinical setting, and aimed at improving resident physician communication skills with a focus on surrogate decision-making. From April through June 2016, we assessed internal medicine residents' baseline communication skills through an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) with actors representing standardized surrogates. After an intensive, 6-hour communication skills workshop, residents were reassessed via an OSCE on the same day. A faculty facilitator and the surrogate evaluated participants' communication skills via the expanded Gap Kalamazoo Consensus Statement Assessment Form. Wilcoxon signed rank tests (α of .05) compared mean pre- and postworkshop scores. Of 44 residents, 33 (75%) participated. Participants' average preworkshop OSCE scores ( M  = 3.3, SD = 0.9) were significantly lower than postworkshop scores ( M  = 4.3; SD = 0.8; Z  = 4.193; P  decision-making benefit from focused interventions. Our pilot assessment of a workshop showed promise, and additionally demonstrated the feasibility of bringing OSCEs and simulated encounters into a busy clinical practice.

  1. Advanced Materials Test Methods for Improved Life Prediction of Turbine Engine Components

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stubbs, Jack

    2000-01-01

    Phase I final report developed under SBIR contract for Topic # AF00-149, "Durability of Turbine Engine Materials/Advanced Material Test Methods for Improved Use Prediction of Turbine Engine Components...

  2. New program of initial training for staff of engineering ANAV The training required for a particular job in ANAV is divided into three sections; Nuevo programa de formacion inicial para el personal de ingenieria en ANAV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gonzalez Rabasa, D.

    2013-07-01

    - Common Primary Education - Initial training specific job - Training in the workplace For engineering has detected an area for improvement in the described model, consisting of providing the initial formation of a common engineering approach rather than the current operational approach. In preparing this plan takes into account the INPO standards, a functional analysis of the different jobs, the managers and supervisors of the observations and feedback from students, among others.

  3. Learning from co-housing initiatives — Between Passivhaus engineers and active inhabitants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lidewij Chantal Tummers

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Following the UN world summits on Climate Change (Paris 2015 and Habitat (Quito 2016, most European cities assume an active role to implement internationally agreed goals related to climate change, translated in the so-called New Urban Agenda. At the same time, the urban housing market is increasingly inaccessible for low- and middle-income households. To overcome problems such as failing housing supply and high energy-bills, groups of residents take initiatives to create and manage housing projects collectively; these initiatives are further indicated as ‘co-housing’.  The aim of this study is to create deeper understanding of the current rise of co-housing in Europe, and what it could mean in urban policies addressing energy transition and climate change. There are two domains where co-housing can become an important asset for urban development: design and maintenance of (semi-public space for climate change mitigation, and the transition to a circular metabolism in housing. Based on empirical data, this thesis concludes that co-housing projects present relevant models and approaches for reducing the energy consumption and for integrating renewable energies in the general housing stock. Engineers can learn from co-housing pioneers to advance the targets for energy-transition and further develop sustainable cities. The thesis contributes to the emerging body of knowledge with a new understanding of co-housing, analysing its ‘key-features’ with an interdisciplinary framework, in a European context. It adds a new perspective to existing co-housing research, which is dominated by social sciences, by drawing attention to the physical characteristics of co-housing, produced in architectural, planning and engineering processes (the technosphere. The choices made during design and building are not only shaped by the residents’ aims and perception of sustainability, but also influenced by technosphere-related institutions, such as the

  4. Engineering Single-Atom Cobalt Catalysts toward Improved Electrocatalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Gang; Yu, Pengfei; Chen, Hangrong; Wen, Jianguo; Sun, Cheng-Jun; Zhou, Hua; Zhang, Nian; Li, Qianru; Zhao, Wanpeng; Xie, Bing; Li, Tao; Shi, Jianlin

    2018-04-01

    The development of cost-effective catalysts to replace noble metal is attracting increasing interests in many fields of catalysis and energy, and intensive efforts are focused on the integration of transition-metal sites in carbon as noble-metal-free candidates. Recently, the discovery of single-atom dispersed catalyst (SAC) provides a new frontier in heterogeneous catalysis. However, the electrocatalytic application of SAC is still subject to several theoretical and experimental limitations. Further advances depend on a better design of SAC through optimizing its interaction with adsorbates during catalysis. Here, distinctive from previous studies, favorable 3d electronic occupation and enhanced metal-adsorbates interactions in single-atom centers via the construction of nonplanar coordination is achieved, which is confirmed by advanced X-ray spectroscopic and electrochemical studies. The as-designed atomically dispersed cobalt sites within nonplanar coordination show significantly improved catalytic activity and selectivity toward the oxygen reduction reaction, approaching the benchmark Pt-based catalysts. More importantly, the illustration of the active sites in SAC indicates metal-natured catalytic sites and a media-dependent catalytic pathway. Achieving structural and electronic engineering on SAC that promotes its catalytic performances provides a paradigm to bridge the gap between single-atom catalysts design and electrocatalytic applications. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. CF6 jet engine performance improvement program. Task 1: Feasibility analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasching, W. A.

    1979-01-01

    Technical and economic engine improvement concepts selected for subsequent development include: (1) fan improvement; (2) short core exhaust; (3) HP turbine aerodynamic improvement; (4) HP turbine roundness control; (5) HP turbine active clearance control; and (6) cabin air recirculation. The fuel savings for the selected engine modification concepts for the CF6 fleet are estimated.

  6. Engineering, installation, testing, and initial operation of the DIII-D Advanced Divertor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andersen, P.M.; Baxi, C.B.; Reis, E.E.; Schaffer, M.J.; Smith, J.P.

    1990-09-01

    The Advanced Divertor (AD) for General Atomics tokamak, DIII-D, was installed in the summer of 1990. The AD has enabled two classes of physics experiments to be run: divertor biasing and divertor baffling. Both are new experiments for DIII-D. The AD has two principal components: (1) a continuous ring electrode; and (2) a toroidally symmetric baffle. The tokamak can be run in bias baffle or standard DIII-D divertor modes by accurate positioning of the outer divertor strike point through the use of the DIII-D control system. The paper covers design, analysis, fabrication, installation, instrumentation, testing, initial operation, and future plans for the Advanced Divertor from an engineering viewpoint. 2 refs., 5 figs

  7. Improved Barriers to Turbine Engine Fragments: Interim Report II

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Shockey, Donald

    1999-01-01

    Because fragments from in-flight engine failures can damage critical aircraft components and produce catastrophic consequences, the Federal Aviation Administration is sponsoring research to mitigate...

  8. Productivity improvement through industrial engineering in the semiconductor industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyersdorf, Doron

    1996-09-01

    Industrial Engineering is fairly new to the semiconductor industry, though the awareness to its importance has increased in recent years. The US semiconductor industry in particular has come to the realization that in order to remain competitive in the global market it must take the lead not only in product development but also in manufacturing. Industrial engineering techniques offer one ofthe most effective strategies for achieving manufacturing excellence. Industrial engineers play an important role in the success of the manufacturing facility. This paper defines the Industrial engineers role in the IC facility, set the visions of excellence in semiconductor manufacturing and highlights 10 roadblocks on the journey towards manufacturing excellence.

  9. Initiation of CPAP therapy for OSA: does prophylactic humidification during CPAP pressure titration improve initial patient acceptance and comfort?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiest, G H; Harsch, I A; Fuchs, F S; Kitzbichler, S; Bogner, K; Brueckl, W M; Hahn, E G; Ficker, J H

    2002-01-01

    Heated humidifiers (HH) enable effective treatment of upper airway dryness during nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) therapy for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), but the role of prophylactic use of HH during the initiation of nCPAP treatment has not been studied so far. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether prophylactic HH during the initiation of CPAP would result in improved initial patient comfort and acceptance. In 44 consecutive, previously untreated OSA patients with no history of upper airway dryness, CPAP titration with and without HH was performed on two consecutive nights in a randomised order. The patients were interviewed after each treatment night in order to establish the comfort of the treatment, and, after the second treatment, they were asked which of the two nights they considered more pleasant, and which treatment they would prefer for long-term use. Following CPAP titration with HH, 32 patients (73%) claimed to have had a better night's sleep than usual (i.e. without CPAP treatment) compared with 33 patients (75%) saying the same following CPAP treatment without HH. For 21 patients (47.7%) treatment with HH was more pleasant, 23 (52.3%) saw no difference or said that treatment without HH was more pleasant. Nineteen patients (43.2%) gave preference to treatment with HH for long-term use, while 25 patients (56.8%) had no preference or said they would prefer treatment without HH. The use of HH during the initiation phase of CPAP treatment was associated neither with an initial improvement in comfort nor with greater initial treatment acceptance. Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

  10. Biologically improved nanofibrous scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhaarathy, V. [Centre for Nanofibers and Nanotechnology, NUSNNI, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117576 (Singapore); Department of Nanoscience and Technology, School of Physical Sciences, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore 641046 (India); Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, 138673 (Singapore); Venugopal, J., E-mail: nnijrv@nus.edu.sg [Centre for Nanofibers and Nanotechnology, NUSNNI, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117576 (Singapore); Gandhimathi, C. [Centre for Nanofibers and Nanotechnology, NUSNNI, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117576 (Singapore); Ponpandian, N.; Mangalaraj, D. [Department of Nanoscience and Technology, School of Physical Sciences, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore 641046 (India); Ramakrishna, S. [Centre for Nanofibers and Nanotechnology, NUSNNI, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 117576 (Singapore)

    2014-11-01

    Nanofibrous structure developed by electrospinning technology provides attractive extracellular matrix conditions for the anchorage, migration and differentiation of stem cells, including those responsible for regenerative medicine. Recently, biocomposite nanofibers consisting of two or more polymeric blends are electrospun more tidily in order to obtain scaffolds with desired functional and mechanical properties depending on their applications. The study focuses on one such an attempt of using copolymer Poly(L-lactic acid)-co-poly (ε-caprolactone) (PLACL), silk fibroin (SF) and Aloe Vera (AV) for fabricating biocomposite nanofibrous scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering. SEM micrographs of fabricated electrospun PLACL, PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV nanofibrous scaffolds are porous, beadless, uniform nanofibers with interconnected pores and obtained fibre diameter in the range of 459 ± 22 nm, 202 ± 12 nm and 188 ± 16 nm respectively. PLACL, PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV electrospun mats obtained at room temperature with an elastic modulus of 14.1 ± 0.7, 9.96 ± 2.5 and 7.0 ± 0.9 MPa respectively. PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers have more desirable properties to act as flexible cell supporting scaffolds compared to PLACL for the repair of myocardial infarction (MI). The PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers had a contact angle of 51 ± 12° compared to that of 133 ± 15° of PLACL alone. Cardiac cell proliferation was increased by 21% in PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers compared to PLACL by day 6 and further increased to 42% by day 9. Confocal analysis for cardiac expression proteins myosin and connexin 43 was observed better by day 9 compared to all other nanofibrous scaffolds. The results proved that the fabricated PLACL/SF/AV nanofibrous scaffolds have good potentiality for the regeneration of infarcted myocardium in cardiac tissue engineering. - Highlights: • Fabricated nanofibrous scaffolds are porous, beadless and uniform structures. • PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers improve the

  11. Biologically improved nanofibrous scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhaarathy, V.; Venugopal, J.; Gandhimathi, C.; Ponpandian, N.; Mangalaraj, D.; Ramakrishna, S.

    2014-01-01

    Nanofibrous structure developed by electrospinning technology provides attractive extracellular matrix conditions for the anchorage, migration and differentiation of stem cells, including those responsible for regenerative medicine. Recently, biocomposite nanofibers consisting of two or more polymeric blends are electrospun more tidily in order to obtain scaffolds with desired functional and mechanical properties depending on their applications. The study focuses on one such an attempt of using copolymer Poly(L-lactic acid)-co-poly (ε-caprolactone) (PLACL), silk fibroin (SF) and Aloe Vera (AV) for fabricating biocomposite nanofibrous scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering. SEM micrographs of fabricated electrospun PLACL, PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV nanofibrous scaffolds are porous, beadless, uniform nanofibers with interconnected pores and obtained fibre diameter in the range of 459 ± 22 nm, 202 ± 12 nm and 188 ± 16 nm respectively. PLACL, PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV electrospun mats obtained at room temperature with an elastic modulus of 14.1 ± 0.7, 9.96 ± 2.5 and 7.0 ± 0.9 MPa respectively. PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers have more desirable properties to act as flexible cell supporting scaffolds compared to PLACL for the repair of myocardial infarction (MI). The PLACL/SF and PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers had a contact angle of 51 ± 12° compared to that of 133 ± 15° of PLACL alone. Cardiac cell proliferation was increased by 21% in PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers compared to PLACL by day 6 and further increased to 42% by day 9. Confocal analysis for cardiac expression proteins myosin and connexin 43 was observed better by day 9 compared to all other nanofibrous scaffolds. The results proved that the fabricated PLACL/SF/AV nanofibrous scaffolds have good potentiality for the regeneration of infarcted myocardium in cardiac tissue engineering. - Highlights: • Fabricated nanofibrous scaffolds are porous, beadless and uniform structures. • PLACL/SF/AV nanofibers improve the

  12. Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) Initiative: Recent Progress on Light-Duty Boosted Spark-Ignition Fuels/Engines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farrell, John

    2017-07-03

    This presentation reports recent progress on light-duty boosted spark-ignition fuels/engines being developed under the Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines initiative (Co-Optima). Co-Optima is focused on identifying fuel properties that optimize engine performance, independent of composition, allowing the market to define the best means to blend and provide these fuels. However, in support of this, we are pursuing a systematic study of blendstocks to identify a broad range of feasible options, with the objective of identifying blendstocks that can provide target ranges of key fuel properties, identifying trade-offs on consistent and comprehensive basis, and sharing information with stakeholders.

  13. Improving innovation and multidisciplinary competences among bachelor of engineering students

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Løje, Hanne; Andersson, Pernille Hammar; Grex, Sara

    2017-01-01

    within Engineering Education. Furthermore, there is also a demand for the graduates to be able to work multidisciplinary and to be able to use generic skills in their work. In this paper, the research question is how to enhance innovation and multidisciplinary competences of engineering students......From society and industry, there are increasing requirements for skilled and well-educated engineers who can develop new solutions through innovation and this have pushed universities to meet these requirements by having an increasing focus on developing innovation and entrepreneurship programmes......? This is a central question in order to educate engineers that can create sustainable solutions for the environment, for products and to secure future workplaces. In this paper, a new mandatory course for Bachelor of Engineering students at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) "Innovation Pilot...

  14. A multi-criteria optimization and decision-making approach for improvement of food engineering processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alik Abakarov

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to propose a multi-criteria optimization and decision-making technique to solve food engineering problems. This technique was demonstrated using experimental data obtained on osmotic dehydration of carrot cubes in a sodium chloride solution. The Aggregating Functions Approach, the Adaptive Random Search Algorithm, and the Penalty Functions Approach were used in this study to compute the initial set of non-dominated or Pareto-optimal solutions. Multiple non-linear regression analysis was performed on a set of experimental data in order to obtain particular multi-objective functions (responses, namely water loss, solute gain, rehydration ratio, three different colour criteria of rehydrated product, and sensory evaluation (organoleptic quality. Two multi-criteria decision-making approaches, the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP and the Tabular Method (TM, were used simultaneously to choose the best alternative among the set of non-dominated solutions. The multi-criteria optimization and decision-making technique proposed in this study can facilitate the assessment of criteria weights, giving rise to a fairer, more consistent, and adequate final compromised solution or food process. This technique can be useful to food scientists in research and education, as well as to engineers involved in the improvement of a variety of food engineering processes.

  15. Improving the efficacy and safety of engineered T cell therapy for cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Huan; Liu, Lin; Wang, Zhehai

    2013-01-28

    Adoptive T-cell therapy (ACT) using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) is a powerful immunotherapeutics approach against metastatic melanoma. The success of TIL therapy has led to novel strategies for redirecting normal T cells to recognize tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) by genetically engineering tumor antigen-specific T cell receptors (TCRs) or chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) genes. In this manner, large numbers of antigen-specific T cells can be rapidly generated compared with the longer term expansion of TILs. Great efforts have been made to improve these approaches. Initial clinical studies have demonstrated that genetically engineered T cells can mediate tumor regression in vivo. In this review, we discuss the development of TCR and CAR gene-engineered T cells and the safety concerns surrounding the use of these T cells in patients. We highlight the importance of judicious selection of TAAs for modified T cell therapy and propose solutions for potential "on-target, off-organ" toxicity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. An Improved Sequential Initiation Method for Multitarget Track in Clutter with Large Noise Measurement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daxiong Ji

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes an improved sequential method for underwater multiple objects tracks initiation in clutter, estimating the initial position for the trajectory. The underwater environment is complex and changeable, and the sonar data are not very ideal. When the detection distance is far, the error of measured data is also great. Besides that, the clutter has a grave effect on the tracks initiation. So it is hard to initialize a track and estimate the initial position. The new tracks initiation is that when at least six of ten points meet the requirements, then we determine that there is a new track and the initial states of the parameters are estimated by the linear least square method. Compared to the conventional tracks initiation methods, our method not only considers the kinematics information of targets, but also regards the error of the sonar sensors as an important element. Computer simulations confirm that the performance of our method is very nice.

  17. Data structure and software engineering challenges and improvements

    CERN Document Server

    Antonakos, James L

    2011-01-01

    Data structure and software engineering is an integral part of computer science. This volume presents new approaches and methods to knowledge sharing, brain mapping, data integration, and data storage. The author describes how to manage an organization's business process and domain data and presents new software and hardware testing methods. The book introduces a game development framework used as a learning aid in a software engineering at the university level. It also features a review of social software engineering metrics and methods for processing business information. It explains how to

  18. System Engineering Management and Implementation Plan for Project W-211, ''Initial Tank Retrieval Systems'' (ITRS)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    VAN BEEK, J.E.

    2000-01-01

    This systems Engineering Management and Implementation Plan (SEMIP) describes the Project W-211 implementation of the Tank Farm Contractor Systems Engineering Management Plan (TFC SEMP). The SEMIP defines the systems engineering products and processes used by the project to comply with the TFC SEMP, and provides the basis for tailoring systems engineering processes by applying a graded approach to identify appropriate systems engineering requirements for W-211

  19. Evolving social responsibility understandings, motivations, and career goals of undergraduate students initially pursuing engineering degrees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rulifson, Gregory A.

    Engineers impact the lives of every person every day, and need to have a strong sense of social responsibility. Understanding what students think about social responsibility in engineering and their futures is very important. Further, by identifying influences that change these ideas and shape their conceptualizations, we can intervene to help prepare students for their responsibilities as part of the profession in the future. This thesis presents the experiences, in their own words, of 34 students who started in engineering. The study is composed of three parts: (i) engineering students' ideas about socially responsible engineering and what influenced these ideas, (ii) how students see themselves as future socially responsible engineers and how this idea changes over their first three years of college, and (iii) what social responsibility-related reasons students who leave engineering have for choosing a new major. Results show that students are complicated and have varied paths through and out of engineering studies. Students came up with their own ideas about socially responsible engineering that converged over the years on legal and safety related aspects of the profession. Relatedly, students identified with the engineering profession through internships and engineering courses, and rarely described socially responsible aspirations that could be accomplished with engineering. More often, those students who desired to help the disadvantaged through their engineering work left engineering. Their choice to leave was a combination of an unsupportive climate, disinterest in their classes, and a desire to combine their personal and professional social responsibility ambitions. If we want engineering students to push the engineering profession forward to be more socially responsible, we can identify the effective influences and develop a curriculum that encourages critical thinking about the social context and impacts of engineering. Additionally, a social

  20. System Engineering Management and Implementation Plan for Project W-211 Initial Tank Retrieval Systems (ITRS)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    VAN BEEK, J.E.

    2000-05-05

    This systems Engineering Management and Implementation Plan (SEMIP) describes the Project W-211 implementation of the Tank Farm Contractor Systems Engineering Management Plan (TFC SEMP). The SEMIP defines the systems engineering products and processes used by the project to comply with the TFC SEMP, and provides the basis for tailoring systems engineering processes by applying a graded approach to identify appropriate systems engineering requirements for W-211.

  1. Industrial Engineering Tool Use in Quality Improvement Projects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodin, Wayne [Pantex Plant (PTX), Amarillo, TX (United States); Beruvides, Mario [Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX (United States)

    2017-10-30

    This paper presents the results of an examination of industrial engineering tool use in Six Sigma projects for a contractor providing specialty manufacturing and service activities for a United States federal government agency.

  2. Improved Barriers to Turbine Engine Fragments: Interim Report II

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Shockey, Donald

    1999-01-01

    ... the effects of uncontained engine bursts. SRI International is evaluating the ballistic effectiveness of fabric structures made from advanced polymers and developing a computational ability to design fragment barriers...

  3. An educational initiative to improve medical student awareness about brain death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Ariane; Howard, Jonathan; Watsula-Morley, Amanda; Gillespie, Colleen

    2018-04-01

    Medical student knowledge about brain death determination is limited. We describe an educational initiative to improve medical student awareness about brain death and assess the impact of this initiative. Beginning in July 2016, students at our medical school were required to attend a 90-min brain death didactic and simulation session during their neurology clerkship. Students completed a test immediately before and after participating in the initiative. Of the 145 students who participated in this educational initiative between July 2016 and June 2017, 124 (86%) consented to have their data used for research purposes as part of a medical education registry. Students correctly answered a median of 53% of questions (IQR 47-58%) on the pretest and 86% of questions (IQR 78-89%) on the posttest (p initiative (18% of students were comfortable performing a brain death evaluation before the initiative and 86% were comfortable doing so after the initiative, p initiative and 76% were comfortable doing so after the initiative, p initiative, but awareness and comfort dealing with brain death improved significantly after this initiative. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Engineering Probiotics that Improve Warfighter Performance by Maintaining Lean Body Mass and Inhibiting Anxiety

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-03

    From - To) 03/10/2017 Final Technical Report 15-05-14 to 14-05-17 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Sa. CONTRACT NUMBER Engineering probiotics that improve...ABSTRACT The overall goal of this work is to engineer "synthetic probiotics": orally-administered gut bacteria that sense and compute the metabolic...Final Technical Report Grant number: ONR N00014-14-1-0487 Title: Engineering probiotics that improve warfighter performance by maintaining lean body

  5. Noise and vibration improvement technologies for engines; Engine ni okeru soon shindo kaizen gijutsu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuzuoka, H.; Maeda, R. [Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., Tokyo (Japan)

    1999-02-01

    This is an outline of recent measurement and simulation technology for reduction of engine noise and vibration. We can recognize correct phenomenon by visualization of noise and vibration phenomena using new measurement technology. And we can create optimum countermeasures using new simulation technology In this report, examples of application of these technology in the development of NEO-DI engines are provided. (author)

  6. System Engineering Analysis For Improved Scout Business Information Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Slyke, D. A. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2017-01-30

    The project uses system engineering principles to address the need of Boy Scout leaders for an integrated system to facilitate advancement and awards records, leader training and planning for meetings and activities. Existing products to address needs of Scout leaders and relevant stakeholders function to support record keeping and some communication functions but opportunity exists for a better system to fully integrate these functions with training delivery and recording, activity planning along with feedback and information gathering from stakeholders. Key stakeholders for the sytem include Scouts and their families, leaders, training providers, sellers of supplies and awards, content generators and facilities that serve Scout activities. Key performance parameters for the system are protection of personal information, availability of current information, information accuracy and information content that has depth. Implementation concepts considered for the system include (1) owned and operated by Boy Scouts of America, (2) Contracted out to a vendor (3) distributed system that functions with BSA managed interfaces. The selected concept is to contract out to a vendor to maximize the likelihood of successful integration and take advantage of the best technology. Development of requirements considers three key use cases (1) System facilitates planning a hike with training needed satisfied in advance and advancement recording real time (2) Scheduling and documenting in-person training, (3) Family interested in Scouting receives information and can request follow-up. Non-functional requirements are analyzed with the Quality Function Deployment tool. Requirement addressing frequency of backup, compatibility with legacy and new technology, language support, software update are developed to address system reliability and intuitive interface. System functions analyzed include update of activity database, maintenance of advancement status, archive of documents, and

  7. Clean Diesel Engine Component Improvement Program Diesel Truck Thermoelectric Generator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elsner, N. B. [Hi-Z Technology, Inc., San Diego, CA (United States); Bass, J. C. [Hi-Z Technology, Inc., San Diego, CA (United States); Ghamaty, S. [Hi-Z Technology, Inc., San Diego, CA (United States); Krommenhoek, D. [Hi-Z Technology, Inc., San Diego, CA (United States); Kushch, A. [Hi-Z Technology, Inc., San Diego, CA (United States); Snowden, D. [Hi-Z Technology, Inc., San Diego, CA (United States); Marchetti, S. [Hi-Z Technology, Inc., San Diego, CA (United States)

    2005-03-16

    Hi-Z Technology, Inc. (Hi-Z) is currently developing four different auxiliary generator designs that are used to convert a portion (5 to 20%) of the waste heat from vehicle engines exhaust directly to electricity. The four designs range from 200 Watts to 10 kW. The furthest along is the 1 kW Diesel Truck Thermoelectric Generator (DTTEG) for heavy duty Class 8 Diesel trucks, which, under this program, has been subjected to 543,000 equivalent miles of bouncing and jarring on PACCAR's test track. Test experience on an earlier version of the DTTEG on the same track showed the need for design modifications incorporated in DTTEG Mod 2, such as a heavy duty shock mounting system and reinforcement of the electrical leads mounting system, the thermocouple mounting system and the thermoelectric module restraints. The conclusion of the 543,000 mile test also pointed the way for an upgrading to heavy duty hose or flex connections for the internal coolant connections for the TEG, and consideration of a separate lower temperature cooling loop with its own radiator. Fuel savings of up to $750 per year and a three to five year payback are believed to be possible with the 5 % efficiency modules. The economics are expected to improve considerably to approach a two year payback when the 5 kW to 10 kW generators make it to the market in a few years with a higher efficiency (20%) thermoelectric module system called Quantum Wells, which are currently under development by Hi-Z. Ultimately, as automation takes over to reduce material and labor costs in the high volume production of QW modules, a one year payback for the 5 kW to10 kW generator appears possible. This was one of the stated goals at the beginning of the project. At some future point in time, with the DTTEG becoming standard equipment on all trucks and automobiles, fuel savings from the 25% conversion of exhaust heat to useable electricity nationwide equates to a 10% reduction in the 12 to 15 million barrels per day of

  8. The Relationship of Engagement in Improvement Practices to Outcome Measures in Large-Scale Quality Improvement Initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Gregory L; Kenward, Kevin; Hines, Stephen; Joshi, Maulik S

    Hospital engagement networks (HENs) are part of the largest health care improvement initiative ever undertaken. This article explores whether engagement in improvement activities within a HEN affected quality measures. Data were drawn from 1174 acute care hospitals. A composite quality score was created from 10 targeted topic area measures multiplied by the number of qualifying topics. Scores improved from 5.4 (SD = 6.8) at baseline to 4.6 (5.9) at remeasurement; P improvement ( P improvement, whereas hospitals in the West ( P = .0009) did not improve as much as hospitals in other regions. After adjusting for hospital characteristics, hospitals with improvement champions ( P = .008), a higher level of engagement with their state association ( P = .001), and more leadership involvement ( P = .005) in HEN demonstrated greater improvement.

  9. FOCUS: the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists' initiative to improve quality and safety in the cardiovascular operating room.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbeito, Atilio; Lau, William Travis; Weitzel, Nathaen; Abernathy, James H; Wahr, Joyce; Mark, Jonathan B

    2014-10-01

    The Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA) introduced the FOCUS initiative (Flawless Operative Cardiovascular Unified Systems) in 2005 in response to the need for a rigorous scientific approach to improve quality and safety in the cardiovascular operating room (CVOR). The goal of the project, which is supported by the SCA Foundation, is to identify hazards and develop evidence-based protocols to improve cardiac surgery safety. A hazard is anything that has the potential to cause a preventable adverse event. Specifically, the strategic plan of FOCUS includes 3 goals: (1) identifying hazards in the CVOR, (2) prioritizing hazards and developing risk-reduction interventions, and (3) disseminating these interventions. Collectively, the FOCUS initiative, through the work of several groups composed of members from different disciplines such as clinical medicine, human factors engineering, industrial psychology, and organizational sociology, has identified and documented significant hazards occurring daily in our CVORs. Some examples of frequent occurrences that contribute to reduce the safety and quality of care provided to cardiac surgery patients include deficiencies in teamwork, poor OR design, incompatible technologies, and failure to adhere to best practices. Several projects are currently under way that are aimed at better understanding these hazards and developing interventions to mitigate them. The SCA, through the FOCUS initiative, has begun this journey of science-driven improvement in quality and safety. There is a long and arduous road ahead, but one we need to continue to travel.

  10. The standing committee on engineering capacity building’s guidebook and compendium initiative

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Clinton, D

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The Standing Committee on Engineering Capacity Building of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) in October 2010 launched the first edition of a guidebook setting out its understanding of the challenges and complexities facing...

  11. Improving lithium therapeutics by crystal engineering of novel ionic cocrystals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Adam J; Kim, Seol-Hee; Duggirala, Naga K; Jin, Jingji; Wojtas, Lukasz; Ehrhart, Jared; Giunta, Brian; Tan, Jun; Zaworotko, Michael J; Shytle, R Douglas

    2013-12-02

    Current United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved lithium salts are plagued with a narrow therapeutic window. Recent attempts to find alternative drugs have identified new chemical entities, but lithium's polypharmacological mechanisms for treating neuropsychiatric disorders are highly debated and are not yet matched. Thus, re-engineering current lithium solid forms in order to optimize performance represents a low cost and low risk approach to the desired therapeutic outcome. In this contribution, we employed a crystal engineering strategy to synthesize the first ionic cocrystals (ICCs) of lithium salts with organic anions. We are unaware of any previous studies that have assessed the biological efficacy of any ICCs, and encouragingly we found that the new speciation did not negatively affect established bioactivities of lithium. We also observed that lithium ICCs exhibit modulated pharmacokinetics compared to lithium carbonate. Indeed, the studies detailed herein represent an important advancement in a crystal engineering approach to a new generation of lithium therapeutics.

  12. A case study: the initiative to improve RN scheduling at Hamilton Health Sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Laurel-Anne; Pierson, Sharon

    2008-01-01

    In 2003, Hamilton Health Sciences embarked on an initiative to improve and standardize nursing schedules and scheduling practices. The scheduling project was one of several initiatives undertaken by a corporate-wide Nursing Resource Group established to enhance the work environment and patient care and to ensure appropriate utilization of nursing resources across the organization's five hospitals. This article focuses on major activities undertaken in the scheduling initiative. The step-by-step approach described, plus examples of the scheduling resources developed and samples of extended-tour schedules, will all provide insight, potential strategies and practical help for nursing administrators, human resources (HR) personnel and others interested in improving nurse scheduling.

  13. Entrepreneurship in the Engineering Curriculum: Some Initial Results of PUC-Rio's Experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aranha, Jose Alberto S.; Pimenta-Bueno, J. A.; Scavarda do Carmo, Luiz Carlos; da Silveira, Marcos A.

    The ideal of the entrepreneurial spirit has played a key role in shaping the current reform of engineering education at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). The previous paradigm of a science-based conceptual engineer has given place to what may be termed a science-based entrepreneurial engineer. This paper discusses…

  14. A Knowledge Management Approach to Support Software Process Improvement Implementation Initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoni, Mariano Angel; Cerdeiral, Cristina; Zanetti, David; Cavalcanti da Rocha, Ana Regina

    The success of software process improvement (SPI) implementation initiatives depends fundamentally of the strategies adopted to support the execution of such initiatives. Therefore, it is essential to define adequate SPI implementation strategies aiming to facilitate the achievement of organizational business goals and to increase the benefits of process improvements. The objective of this work is to present an approach to support the execution of SPI implementation initiatives. We also describe a methodology applied to capture knowledge related to critical success factors that influence SPI initiatives. This knowledge was used to define effective SPI strategies aiming to increase the success of SPI initiatives coordinated by a specific SPI consultancy organization. This work also presents the functionalities of a set of tools integrated in a process-centered knowledge management environment, named CORE-KM, customized to support the presented approach.

  15. Quality initiatives: improving patient flow for a bone densitometry practice: results from a Mayo Clinic radiology quality initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aakre, Kenneth T; Valley, Timothy B; O'Connor, Michael K

    2010-03-01

    Lean Six Sigma process improvement methodologies have been used in manufacturing for some time. However, Lean Six Sigma process improvement methodologies also are applicable to radiology as a way to identify opportunities for improvement in patient care delivery settings. A multidisciplinary team of physicians and staff conducted a 100-day quality improvement project with the guidance of a quality advisor. By using the framework of DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, and control), time studies were performed for all aspects of patient and technologist involvement. From these studies, value stream maps for the current state and for the future were developed, and tests of change were implemented. Comprehensive value stream maps showed that before implementation of process changes, an average time of 20.95 minutes was required for completion of a bone densitometry study. Two process changes (ie, tests of change) were undertaken. First, the location for completion of a patient assessment form was moved from inside the imaging room to the waiting area, enabling patients to complete the form while waiting for the technologist. Second, the patient was instructed to sit in a waiting area immediately outside the imaging rooms, rather than in the main reception area, which is far removed from the imaging area. Realignment of these process steps, with reduced technologist travel distances, resulted in a 3-minute average decrease in the patient cycle time. This represented a 15% reduction in the initial patient cycle time with no change in staff or costs. Radiology process improvement projects can yield positive results despite small incremental changes.

  16. Improving Collaborative Learning in Online Software Engineering Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neill, Colin J.; DeFranco, Joanna F.; Sangwan, Raghvinder S.

    2017-01-01

    Team projects are commonplace in software engineering education. They address a key educational objective, provide students critical experience relevant to their future careers, allow instructors to set problems of greater scale and complexity than could be tackled individually, and are a vehicle for socially constructed learning. While all…

  17. Improving a Computer Networks Course Using the Partov Simulation Engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momeni, B.; Kharrazi, M.

    2012-01-01

    Computer networks courses are hard to teach as there are many details in the protocols and techniques involved that are difficult to grasp. Employing programming assignments as part of the course helps students to obtain a better understanding and gain further insight into the theoretical lectures. In this paper, the Partov simulation engine and…

  18. Improving Engine Oil Warm Up through Waste Heat Recovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide Di Battista

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available In the transportation sector, engine oil thermal management has not yet received the attention it deserves in the path towards carbon dioxide and pollutants reduction. During the homologation cycle (which represents a typical daily trip, oil temperature reaches its thermal steady value, which insures best performances in terms of viscosity, only in the final part of the trip, when most part of the harmful emissions have been already emitted; therefore, a warm up acceleration would surely represent a strong beneficial action. In this paper, a faster warming up of the lubricant oil was done using the heat owned by the exhaust gases, which was almost immediately ready after the engine ignition, in the early part of a driving cycle. An experimental activity has been developed in a turbocharged engine (F1C 3L IVECO, modifying the oil circuit in order to heat up the oil during the cold phase of a homologation cycle by the exhaust gases. A significant reduction of fuel consumption and pollutant emissions savings has been experimentally demonstrated. Also, the interaction between the modified oil circuit, engine, coolant circuit, and exhaust line has been investigated in order to have a system view of the new heating oil technology.

  19. Improving Vegetable Oil Fueled CI Engine Characteristics Through Diethyl Ether Blending

    KAUST Repository

    Vedharaj, S.

    2016-12-01

    In this research, the flow and ignition properties of vegetable oil (VO) are improved by blending it with diethyl ether (DEE). DEE, synthesized from ethanol, has lower viscosity than diesel and VO. When DEE is blended with VO, the resultant DEEVO mixtures have favorable properties for compression ignition (CI) engine operation. As such, DEEVO20 (20% DEE + 80% VO) and DEEVO40 (40% DEE + 60% VO) were initially considered in the current study. The viscosity of VO is 32.4*10−6 m2/s; the viscosity is reduced with the increase of DEE in VO. In this study, our blends were limited to a maximum of 40% DEE in VO. The viscosity of DEEVO40 is 2.1*10−6 m2/s, which is comparable to that of diesel (2.3*10−6 m2/s). The lower boiling point and flash point of DEE improves the fuel spray and evaporation for DEEVO mixtures. In addition to the improvement in physical properties, the ignition quality of DEEVO mixtures is also improved, as DEE is a high cetane fuel (DCN = 139). The ignition characteristics of DEEVO mixtures were studied in an ignition quality tester (IQT). There is an evident reduction in ignition delay time (IDT) for DEEVO mixtures compared to VO. The IDT of VO (4.5 ms), DEEVO20 (3.2 ms) and DEEVO40 (2.7 ms) was measured in IQT. Accordingly, the derived cetane number (DCN) of DEEVO mixtures increased with the increase in proportion of DEE. The reported mixtures were also tested in a single cylinder CI engine. The start of combustion (SOC) was advanced for DEEVO20 and DEEVO40 compared to diesel, which is attributed to the high DCN of DEEVO mixtures. On the other hand, the peak heat release rate decreased for DEEVO mixtures compared to diesel. Gaseous emissions such as nitrogen oxide (NOX), total hydrocarbon (THC) and smoke were reduced for DEEVO mixtures compared to diesel. The physical and ignition properties of VO are improved by the addition of DEE, and thus, the need for the trans-esterification process is averted. Furthermore, this blending strategy is simpler

  20. Improving Vegetable Oil Fueled CI Engine Characteristics Through Diethyl Ether Blending

    KAUST Repository

    Vedharaj, S.; Vallinayagam, R.; Sarathy, Mani; Dibble, Robert W.

    2016-01-01

    In this research, the flow and ignition properties of vegetable oil (VO) are improved by blending it with diethyl ether (DEE). DEE, synthesized from ethanol, has lower viscosity than diesel and VO. When DEE is blended with VO, the resultant DEEVO mixtures have favorable properties for compression ignition (CI) engine operation. As such, DEEVO20 (20% DEE + 80% VO) and DEEVO40 (40% DEE + 60% VO) were initially considered in the current study. The viscosity of VO is 32.4*10−6 m2/s; the viscosity is reduced with the increase of DEE in VO. In this study, our blends were limited to a maximum of 40% DEE in VO. The viscosity of DEEVO40 is 2.1*10−6 m2/s, which is comparable to that of diesel (2.3*10−6 m2/s). The lower boiling point and flash point of DEE improves the fuel spray and evaporation for DEEVO mixtures. In addition to the improvement in physical properties, the ignition quality of DEEVO mixtures is also improved, as DEE is a high cetane fuel (DCN = 139). The ignition characteristics of DEEVO mixtures were studied in an ignition quality tester (IQT). There is an evident reduction in ignition delay time (IDT) for DEEVO mixtures compared to VO. The IDT of VO (4.5 ms), DEEVO20 (3.2 ms) and DEEVO40 (2.7 ms) was measured in IQT. Accordingly, the derived cetane number (DCN) of DEEVO mixtures increased with the increase in proportion of DEE. The reported mixtures were also tested in a single cylinder CI engine. The start of combustion (SOC) was advanced for DEEVO20 and DEEVO40 compared to diesel, which is attributed to the high DCN of DEEVO mixtures. On the other hand, the peak heat release rate decreased for DEEVO mixtures compared to diesel. Gaseous emissions such as nitrogen oxide (NOX), total hydrocarbon (THC) and smoke were reduced for DEEVO mixtures compared to diesel. The physical and ignition properties of VO are improved by the addition of DEE, and thus, the need for the trans-esterification process is averted. Furthermore, this blending strategy is simpler

  1. 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.

  2. Construction of Fluid - solid Coupling Model with Improved Richards - BP & Its Engineering Application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Chengyu; Jia, Nan; Shi, Dongping; Lu, Hao

    2017-10-01

    In order to study the slurry diffusion law during grouting, Richards unsaturated-saturated model was introduced, the definition of the grouting model is clear, the Richards model control equation was established, And the BP neural network was introduced, the improved fluid-solid coupling model was constructed, Through the use of saturated - unsaturated seepage flow model, As well as the overflow boundary iterative solution of the mixed boundary conditions, the free surface is calculated. Engineering practice for an example, with the aid of multi - field coupling analysis software, the diffusion law of slurry was simulated numerically. The results show that the slurry diffusion rule is affected by grouting material, initial pressure and other factors. When the slurry starts, it flows in the cracks along the upper side of the grouting hole, when the pressure gradient is reduced to the critical pressure, that is, to the lower side of the flow, when the slurry diffusion stability, and ultimately its shape like an 8. The slurry is spread evenly from the overall point of view, from the grouting mouth toward the surrounding evenly spread, it gradually reaches saturation by non-saturation, and it is not a purely saturated flow, when the slurry spread and reach a saturated state, the diffusion time is the engineering grouting time.

  3. A framework to improve performance measurement in engineering projects

    OpenAIRE

    Zheng , Li; Baron , Claude; Esteban , Philippe; Xue , Rui; Zhang , Qiang

    2017-01-01

    International audience; A wide range of methods and good practices have been developed for the measurement of projects performance. They help project managers to effectively monitor the project progress and evaluate results. However, from a literature review, we noticed several remaining critical issues in measuring projects performance, such as an unbalanced development of Key Performance Indicators types between lagging and leading indicators. On the other hand, systems engineering measurem...

  4. Acquisition Quality Improvement Within Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-01

    support, encouragement, prayers, and the endless cups of coffee you surprised me with. I treasure you and have a lifetime to show you my gratitude. To...Peterson for not allowing me to stop when it seemed like the whole world was caving in on me and for providing the guidance to start this project. Marlene...Arizona, 2 Utah, Colorado and New Mexico . NAVFAC SW provides public works, planning, engineering / design, construction, real estate, environmental

  5. The Challenge of Centennial Earthquakes to Improve Modern Earthquake Engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saragoni, G. Rodolfo

    2008-01-01

    The recent commemoration of the centennial of the San Francisco and Valparaiso 1906 earthquakes has given the opportunity to reanalyze their damages from modern earthquake engineering perspective. These two earthquakes plus Messina Reggio Calabria 1908 had a strong impact in the birth and developing of earthquake engineering. The study of the seismic performance of some up today existing buildings, that survive centennial earthquakes, represent a challenge to better understand the limitations of our in use earthquake design methods. Only Valparaiso 1906 earthquake, of the three considered centennial earthquakes, has been repeated again as the Central Chile, 1985, Ms = 7.8 earthquake. In this paper a comparative study of the damage produced by 1906 and 1985 Valparaiso earthquakes is done in the neighborhood of Valparaiso harbor. In this study the only three centennial buildings of 3 stories that survived both earthquakes almost undamaged were identified. Since for 1985 earthquake accelerogram at El Almendral soil conditions as well as in rock were recoded, the vulnerability analysis of these building is done considering instrumental measurements of the demand. The study concludes that good performance of these buildings in the epicentral zone of large earthquakes can not be well explained by modern earthquake engineering methods. Therefore, it is recommended to use in the future of more suitable instrumental parameters, such as the destructiveness potential factor, to describe earthquake demand

  6. Improvement of natural image search engines results by emotional filtering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrice Denis

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available With the Internet 2.0 era, managing user emotions is a problem that more and more actors are interested in. Historically, the first notions of emotion sharing were expressed and defined with emoticons. They allowed users to show their emotional status to others in an impersonal and emotionless digital world. Now, in the Internet of social media, every day users share lots of content with each other on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and so on. Several new popular web sites like FlickR, Picassa, Pinterest, Instagram or DeviantArt are now specifically based on sharing image content as well as personal emotional status. This kind of information is economically very valuable as it can for instance help commercial companies sell more efficiently. In fact, with this king of emotional information, business can made where companies will better target their customers needs, and/or even sell them more products. Research has been and is still interested in the mining of emotional information from user data since then. In this paper, we focus on the impact of emotions from images that have been collected from search image engines. More specifically our proposition is the creation of a filtering layer applied on the results of such image search engines. Our peculiarity relies in the fact that it is the first attempt from our knowledge to filter image search engines results with an emotional filtering approach.

  7. Performance analyses of naval ships based on engineering level of simulation at the initial design stage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong-Hoon Jeong

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Naval ships are assigned many and varied missions. Their performance is critical for mission success, and depends on the specifications of the components. This is why performance analyses of naval ships are required at the initial design stage. Since the design and construction of naval ships take a very long time and incurs a huge cost, Modeling and Simulation (M & S is an effective method for performance analyses. Thus in this study, a simulation core is proposed to analyze the performance of naval ships considering their specifications. This simulation core can perform the engineering level of simulations, considering the mathematical models for naval ships, such as maneuvering equations and passive sonar equations. Also, the simulation models of the simulation core follow Discrete EVent system Specification (DEVS and Discrete Time System Specification (DTSS formalisms, so that simulations can progress over discrete events and discrete times. In addition, applying DEVS and DTSS formalisms makes the structure of simulation models flexible and reusable. To verify the applicability of this simulation core, such a simulation core was applied to simulations for the performance analyses of a submarine in an Anti-SUrface Warfare (ASUW mission. These simulations were composed of two scenarios. The first scenario of submarine diving carried out maneuvering performance analysis by analyzing the pitch angle variation and depth variation of the submarine over time. The second scenario of submarine detection carried out detection performance analysis by analyzing how well the sonar of the submarine resolves adjacent targets. The results of these simulations ensure that the simulation core of this study could be applied to the performance analyses of naval ships considering their specifications.

  8. A National Partnership-Based Summer Learning Initiative to Engage Underrepresented Students with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melvin, Leland

    2010-01-01

    In response to the White House Educate to Innovate campaign, NASA developed a new science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education program for non-traditional audiences that also focused on public-private partnerships and nationwide participation. NASA recognized that summer break is an often overlooked but opportune time to engage youth in STEM experiences, and elevated its ongoing commitment to the cultivation of diversity. The Summer of Innovation (SoI) is the resulting initiative that uses NASA's unique missions and resources to boost summer learning, particularly for students who are underrepresented, underserved and underperforming in STEM. The SoI pilot, launched in June 2010, is a multi-faceted effort designed to improve STEM teaching and learning through partnership, multi-week summer learning programs, special events, a national concluding event, and teacher development. The SoI pilot features strategic infusion of NASA content and educational resource materials, sustainability through STEM Learning Communities, and assessments of effectiveness of SoI interventions with other pilot efforts. This paper examines the inception and development of the Summer of Innovation pilot project, including achievements and effectiveness, as well as lessons learned for future efforts.

  9. Test results of the Chrysler upgraded automotive gas turbine engine: Initial design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvath, D.; Ribble, G. H., Jr.; Warren, E. L.; Wood, J. C.

    1981-01-01

    The upgraded engine as built to the original design was deficient in power and had excessive specific fuel consumption. A high instrumented version of the engine was tested to identify the sources of the engine problems. Analysis of the data shows the major problems to be low compressor and power turbine efficiency and excessive interstage duct losses. In addition, high HC and CO emission were measured at idle, and high NOx emissions at high energy speeds.

  10. Improved repair of bone defects with prevascularized tissue-engineered bones constructed in a perfusion bioreactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, De-Qiang; Li, Ming; Liu, Pei-Lai; Zhang, Yuan-Kai; Lu, Jian-Xi; Li, Jian-Min

    2014-10-01

    Vascularization of tissue-engineered bones is critical to achieving satisfactory repair of bone defects. The authors investigated the use of prevascularized tissue-engineered bone for repairing bone defects. The new bone was greater in the prevascularized group than in the non-vascularized group, indicating that prevascularized tissue-engineered bone improves the repair of bone defects. [Orthopedics. 2014; 37(10):685-690.]. Copyright 2014, SLACK Incorporated.

  11. Evaluation of industrial engineering students’ competencies for process improvement in hospitals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukasz Maciej Mazur

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The failures to properly educate students about process improvement can be seen as major factor leading to increased risks of patient safety and increased wastes in hospital settings. The purpose of this research was two-fold: 1 to identify characteristics that explain the efficacy of Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA based-tools while used by Industrial Engineering (IE students on multidisciplinary teams in hospital; 2 to identify competencies needed by IEs for effective process improvement in hospital using PDSA based-tools. Exploratory mixed method design approach with survey study, unstructured interviews, and focus group discussions was used to collect the data. A regression analysis was used to identify PDSA based-tool characteristics perceived by IE students as instrumental for process improvement. Next, the abductive inference was applied to analyze qualitative data in order to investigate competencies needed for effective process improvement using PDSA based-tools.Using regression analysis, we found the brainstorming via visualization, recognizing root-cause(s of the problem and selecting improvement measures via linking the process flow with task(s characteristics to be the significant characteristics. From qualitative data analysis, we learned that IE students strived in technical analysis but lacked competencies in analyzing qualitative data needed for change implementation efforts. There is increasing evidence that success in achieving process improvement goals is at least partially attributable to implementation processes and contexts and not just to the nature of the technical solution. Therefore, IE students interested in working in hospitals must develop new competencies related to qualitative data analysis to manage change initiatives.

  12. Instructional and Career Guidance in STEM: An Improvement Initiative to Create Opportunities for Female High School Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belcher, Aaron Heath

    The purpose of this disquisition is to disseminate an improvement initiative in a public high school that addressed female Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disparity in STEM classes. In this high school current instructional and career guidance practices were inadequate in providing female STEM students opportunities to experience relevant instruction in STEM through the application of real world practices. The improvement initiative identified four interventions using qualitative research that addressed the question, how do instructional and career guidance practices that emphasize the real world application of STEM impact the academic choices and career aspirations of female STEM students? The interventions include (1) instructional feedback (2) instructional resources, (3) career coaching, and (4) community college partnership. These interventions were chosen as a result of insider research methods that followed a scan, focus, summarize framework for understanding the problem. The aim of the improvement initiative was to develop structured protocols that impact STEM classroom and career guidance practices. An intervention team intended to identify opportunities for female STEM students to experience the real world application of STEM. First, the research context is explained. Then, a review of the literature explains foundation knowledge that led to the conceptual and leadership framework. Next, the research methodology is outlined including design and participants, survey instruments, procedures, timeline, and measures. The research methodology is followed by an analysis of data for instructional and career guidance practice efficacy. Finally, a discussion of the initiative and its outcome are illustrated through the stories of three female STEM students. As a result of these stories, the intervention team developed STEM classroom observation protocols. These protocols can be used by school leaders as a structure for STEM instruction and career

  13. Corrugated round fibers to improve cell adhesion and proliferation in tissue engineering scaffolds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bettahalli Narasimha, M.S.; Arkesteijn, I.T.M.; Wessling, Matthias; Poot, Andreas A.; Stamatialis, Dimitrios

    2013-01-01

    Optimal cell interaction with biomaterial scaffolds is one of the important requirements for the development of successful in vitro tissue-engineered tissues. Fast, efficient and spatially uniform cell adhesion can improve the clinical potential of engineered tissue. Three-dimensional (3-D) solid

  14. 34 CFR 637.3 - What regulations apply to the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What regulations apply to the Minority Science and... Education (Continued) OFFICE OF POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION MINORITY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM General § 637.3 What regulations apply to the Minority Science and Engineering...

  15. 34 CFR 637.4 - What definitions apply to the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 34 Education 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What definitions apply to the Minority Science and... Education (Continued) OFFICE OF POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION MINORITY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM General § 637.4 What definitions apply to the Minority Science and Engineering...

  16. IMPROVEMENT OF ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DIESEL ENGINE WORKING ON BIODIESEL FUEL COMPOSITIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Levterov

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The ways of decreasing the toxicity of exhaust gases produced by the biodiesel engine are determined analitically. Optimization of the corner of advancing the fuel supply and the coefficient of air surplus is offered as the action of adjusting character, providing the improvement of ecological indexes of the biodiesel engine.

  17. Diesel engine exhaust initiates a sequence of pulmonary and cardiovascular effects in rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooter, I.M.; Gerlofs-Nijland, M.E.; Boere, A.J.F.; Leseman, D.L.A.C.; Fokkens, P.H.B.; Spronk, H.M.H.; Frederix, K.; Ten Cate, H.; Knaapen, A.M.; Vreman, H.J.; Cassee, F.R.

    2010-01-01

    This study was designed to determine the sequence of events leading to cardiopulmonary effects following acute inhalation of diesel engine exhaust in rats. Rats were exposed for 2h to diesel engine exhaust (1.9mg/m3), and biological parameters related to antioxidant defense, inflammation,

  18. Improvement of fuel injection system of locomotive diesel engine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Minghai; Cui, Hongjiang; Wang, Juan; Guan, Ying

    2009-01-01

    The traditional locomotive diesels are usually designed for the performance of rated condition and much fuel will be consumed. A new plunger piston matching parts of fuel injection pump and injector nozzle matching parts were designed. The experimental results of fuel injection pump test and diesel engine show that the fuel consumption rate can be decreased a lot in the most of the working conditions. The forced lubrication is adopted for the new injector nozzle matching parts, which can reduce failure rate and increase service life. The design has been patented by Chinese State Patent Office.

  19. How Does Software Process Improvement Address Global Software Engineering?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuhrmann, Marco; Diebold, Philipp; Münch, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    For decades, Software Process Improvement (SPI) programs have been implemented, inter alia, to improve quality and speed of software development. To set up, guide, and carry out SPI projects, and to measure SPI state, impact, and success, a multitude of different SPI approaches and considerable...

  20. Resveratrol biosynthesis: plant metabolic engineering for nutritional improvement of food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giovinazzo, Giovanna; Ingrosso, Ilaria; Paradiso, Annalisa; De Gara, Laura; Santino, Angelo

    2012-09-01

    The plant polyphenol trans-resveratrol (3, 5, 4'-trihydroxystilbene) mainly found in grape, peanut and other few plants, displays a wide range of biological effects. Numerous in vitro studies have described various biological effects of resveratrol. In order to provide more information regarding absorption, metabolism, and bioavailability of resveratrol, various research approaches have been performed, including in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo models. In recent years, the induction of resveratrol synthesis in plants which normally do not accumulate such polyphenol, has been successfully achieved by molecular engineering. In this context, the ectopic production of resveratrol has been reported to have positive effects both on plant resistance to biotic stress and the enhancement of the nutritional value of several widely consumed fruits and vegetables. The metabolic engineering of plants offers the opportunity to change the content of specific phytonutrients in plant - derived foods. This review focuses on the latest findings regarding on resveratrol bioproduction and its effects on the prevention of the major pathological conditions in man.

  1. Designing a Clinical Data Warehouse Architecture to Support Quality Improvement Initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelico, John D; Wilcox, Adam B; Vawdrey, David K; Kuperman, Gilad J

    2016-01-01

    Clinical data warehouses, initially directed towards clinical research or financial analyses, are evolving to support quality improvement efforts, and must now address the quality improvement life cycle. In addition, data that are needed for quality improvement often do not reside in a single database, requiring easier methods to query data across multiple disparate sources. We created a virtual data warehouse at NewYork Presbyterian Hospital that allowed us to bring together data from several source systems throughout the organization. We also created a framework to match the maturity of a data request in the quality improvement life cycle to proper tools needed for each request. As projects progress in the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control stages of quality improvement, there is a proper matching of resources the data needs at each step. We describe the analysis and design creating a robust model for applying clinical data warehousing to quality improvement.

  2. Engine health monitoring systems: Tools for improved maintenance management in the 1980's

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimball, J. C.

    1981-01-01

    The performance monitoring aspect of maintenance, characteristic of the engine health monitoring system are discussed. An overview of the system activities is presented and a summary of programs for improved monitoring in the 1980's are discussed.

  3. Observations and model calculations of B747 engine exhaust products at cruise altitude and inferred initial OH emissions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tremmel, H.G.; Schlager, H.; Konopka, P.; Schulte, P. [Deutsche Forschungsanstalt fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR), Wessling (Germany). Inst. fuer Physik der Atmosphaere; Arnold, F.; Klemm, M.; Droste-Franke, B. [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Kernphysik, Heidelberg (Germany)

    1997-06-01

    NO{sub y} (NO, HNO{sub 2} and HNO{sub 3}) exhaust emissions in the near-field plume of two B747 jet airliners cruising in the upper troposphere were measured in situ using the DLR Falcon research aircraft. In addition CO{sub 2} was measured providing exhaust plume dilution rates for the species. The observations were used to estimate the initial OH concentration and NO{sub 2}/NO{sub x} ratio at the engine exit and the combustor exit by back calculations using a chemistry box model. From the two different plume events, and using two different model simulation modes in each case, we inferred OH emission indices EI(OH) = 0.32-0.39 g/kg fuel (OH{sub 0} = 9-14.4 ppmv) and (NO{sub 2}/NO{sub x}){sub 0} = 0.12-0.17. Furthermore, our results indicate that the chemistry of the exhaust species during the short period between the combustion chamber exit and the engine exit must be considered, because OH is already consumed to a great extent in this engine section, due to conversion to HNO{sub 2} and HNO{sub 3}. For the engines discussed here, the modeled OH concentration between combustor exit und engine exit decreases by a factor of about 350, leading to OH concentrations of 1-2.10{sup 12} molec/cm{sup 3} at the engine exit. (orig.) 45 refs.

  4. Feasibility study for improved steady-state initialization algorithms for the RELAP5 computer code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paulsen, M.P.; Peterson, C.E.; Katsma, K.R.

    1993-04-01

    A design for a new steady-state initialization method is presented that represents an improvement over the current method used in RELAP5. Current initialization methods for RELAP5 solve the transient fluidflow balance equations simulating a transient to achieve steady-state conditions. Because the transient solution is used, the initial conditions may change from the desired values requiring the use of controllers and long transient running times to obtain steady-state conditions for system problems. The new initialization method allows the user to fix thermal-hydraulic values in volumes and junctions where the conditions are best known and have the code compute the initial conditions in other areas of the system. The steady-state balance equations and solution methods are presented. The constitutive, component, and specialpurpose models are reviewed with respect to modifications required for the new steady-state initialization method. The requirements for user input are defined and the feasibility of the method is demonstrated with a testbed code by initializing some simple channel problems. The initialization of the sample problems using, the old and the new methods are compared

  5. Modified Thermoresponsive Hyperbranched Polymers for Improved Viscosity and Enhanced Lubricity of Engine Oils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cosimbescu, Lelia [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Robinson, Joshua W. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Bays, John Timothy [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Qu, Jun [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); West, Brian [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2016-09-30

    The manuscript captures the chronological succession of the molecular design progression through multiple architectures and topologies of the polymeric viscosity index improvers and their rheology bench test performance. Tribology testing was also performed on selected analogs and their friction and wear was evaluated. Finally, a top performing polymer was selected for engine testing, scaled-up, and its rheological performance in a complete formulation was assessed. The engine performance of the viscosity index improver was examined against an industry-established baseline.

  6. Advances in public health accreditation readiness and quality improvement: evaluation findings from the National Public Health Improvement Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLees, Anita W; Thomas, Craig W; Nawaz, Saira; Young, Andrea C; Rider, Nikki; Davis, Mary

    2014-01-01

    Continuous quality improvement is a central tenet of the Public Health Accreditation Board's (PHAB) national voluntary public health accreditation program. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the National Public Health Improvement Initiative (NPHII) in 2010 with the goal of advancing accreditation readiness, performance management, and quality improvement (QI). Evaluate the extent to which NPHII awardees have achieved program goals. NPHII awardees responded to an annual assessment and program monitoring data requests. Analysis included simple descriptive statistics. Seventy-four state, tribal, local, and territorial public health agencies receiving NPHII funds. NPHII performance improvement managers or principal investigators. Development of accreditation prerequisites, completion of an organizational self-assessment against the PHAB Standards and Measures, Version 1.0, establishment of a performance management system, and implementation of QI initiatives to increase efficiency and effectiveness. Of the 73 responding NPHII awardees, 42.5% had a current health assessment, 26% had a current health improvement plan, and 48% had a current strategic plan in place at the end of the second program year. Approximately 26% of awardees had completed an organizational PHAB self-assessment, 72% had established at least 1 of the 4 components of a performance management system, and 90% had conducted QI activities focused on increasing efficiencies and/or effectiveness. NPHII appears to be supporting awardees' initial achievement of program outcomes. As NPHII enters its third year, there will be additional opportunities to advance the work of NPHII, compile and disseminate results, and inform a vision of high-quality public health necessary to improve the health of the population.

  7. Optimizing the prevention of venous thromboembolism: recent quality initiatives and strategies to drive improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amin, Alpesh N; Deitelzweig, Steven B

    2009-11-01

    Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is associated with a substantial health care and economic burden, yet many VTE events are preventable. Despite the availability of evidence-based guidelines derailing effective thromboprophylaxis strategies, the underuse and inappropriate prescribing of VTE prophylaxis are common. Current national quality initiatives were reviewed to identify strategies that may help hospitals and health care professionals optimize current VTE prophylaxis practices. A computerized literature search was performed using PubMed and MEDLINE, and this was complemented by hand searches of relevant journals and Web sites to identify additional literature related to VTE prevention and quality improvement. Many organizations, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Quality Forum, the Joint Commission, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have developed performance measures, quality indicators, public reporting initiatives, incentive programs, and "negative reimbursement" that are designed to help improve VTE prevention. It remains the responsibility of individual hospitals to identify specific areas in which they can improve their VTE prophylaxis rates to obtain positive results from the reporting initiatives and incentive programs. If performance measures are to be met, all hospital departments will need to implement effective VTE prevention policies, including early risk assessment, appropriate prophylaxis prescribing, monitoring, and follow-up. Multifaceted, integrated initiatives involving risk assessment tools, decision support, electronic alert systems, and hospitalwide education, with a mechanism for audit and feedback, may help ensure that all health care professionals comply with VTE-prevention policies and initiatives.

  8. Equipment for heating the exhaust gases of internal combustion engines in order to improve afterburning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Masaki,

    1976-04-15

    The device described here serves to heat exhaust gases of internal combustion engines by heat exchange with hot gases and also, in cold engines, to raise the temperature of the fuel-air mixture drawn in by the engine. The device is installed next to the outlet opening of the engine. It consists of a burner to generate the hot gas, as well as a heat exchanger permitting heat supply to the exhaust gases and a hot-gas line leading to the intake line. Heating of the air is taken in leads to a better atomization of the mixture and thus to improved combustion. Heating of the exhaust gases improves afterburning. The burner generating the hot gas is shut off when the normal operational temperature of the engine is reached. The temperature is controlled by means of a temperature sensor installed in the device.

  9. Who Repeats Algebra, and How Does Initial Performance Relate to Improvement When the Course Is Repeated?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, Anthony; Jaquet, Karina; Finkelstein, Neal

    2016-01-01

    The information provided in this report shows how students perform when they repeat algebra I and how the level of improvement varies depending on initial course performance and the academic measure (course grades or CST scores). This information can help inform decisions and policies regarding whether and under what circumstances students should…

  10. Need for baby friendly commu- nity initiative to improve the low ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ekanem EE. Fajola AO. Need for baby friendly commu- nity initiative to improve the low exclusive breastfeeding rates in. Nigeria. Accepted: 26th April 2016. Ekanem EE. Department of Paediatrics,. University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria. Email:emmanuelekanem@unical.edu.ng. Fajola AO. Regional Community Health,.

  11. 78 FR 45231 - Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Initial Approval of Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-26

    ... DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS-3280-FN] Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Initial Approval of Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality's (CIHQ's) Hospital Accreditation Program AGENCY: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS. ACTION: Final...

  12. Re-engineering pre-employment check-up systems: a model for improving health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rateb, Said Abdel Hakim; El Nouman, Azza Abdel Razek; Rateb, Moshira Abdel Hakim; Asar, Mohamed Naguib; El Amin, Ayman Mohammed; Gad, Saad abdel Aziz; Mohamed, Mohamed Salah Eldin

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to develop a model for improving health services provided by the pre-employment medical fitness check-up system affiliated to Egypt's Health Insurance Organization (HIO). Operations research, notably system re-engineering, is used in six randomly selected centers and findings before and after re-engineering are compared. The re-engineering model follows a systems approach, focusing on three areas: structure, process and outcome. The model is based on six main components: electronic booking, standardized check-up processes, protected medical documents, advanced archiving through an electronic content management (ECM) system, infrastructure development, and capacity building. The model originates mainly from customer needs and expectations. The centers' monthly customer flow increased significantly after re-engineering. The mean time spent per customer cycle improved after re-engineering--18.3 +/- 5.5 minutes as compared to 48.8 +/- 14.5 minutes before. Appointment delay was also significantly decreased from an average 18 to 6.2 days. Both beneficiaries and service providers were significantly more satisfied with the services after re-engineering. The model proves that re-engineering program costs are exceeded by increased revenue. Re-engineering in this study involved multiple structure and process elements. The literature review did not reveal similar re-engineering healthcare packages. Therefore, each element was compared separately. This model is highly recommended for improving service effectiveness and efficiency. This research is the first in Egypt to apply the re-engineering approach to public health systems. Developing user-friendly models for service improvement is an added value.

  13. Integrating societal perspectives and values for improved stewardship of a coastal ecosystem engineer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven B. Scyphers

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Oyster reefs provide coastal societies with a vast array of ecosystem services, but are also destructively harvested as an economically and culturally important fishery resource, exemplifying a complex social-ecological system (SES. Historically, societal demand for oysters has led to destructive and unsustainable levels of harvest, which coupled with multiple other stressors has placed oyster reefs among the most globally imperiled coastal habitats. However, more recent studies have demonstrated that large-scale restoration is possible and that healthy oyster populations can be sustained with effective governance and stewardship. However, both of these require significant societal support or financial investment. In our study, we explored relationships among how coastal societies (1 perceive and value oyster ecosystem services, (2 recognize and define problems associated with oyster decline, and (3 perceive or support stewardship initiatives. We specifically focused on the SES of eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica and coastal societies in the northern Gulf of Mexico, a region identified as offering among the last and best opportunities to sustainably balance conservation objectives with a wild fishery. We found that, in addition to harvest-related benefits, oysters were highly valued for providing habitat, mitigating shoreline erosion, and improving water quality or clarity. Our results also showed that although most respondents recognized that oyster populations have declined, many respondents characterized the problem differently than most scientific literature does. Among a variety of initiatives for enhancing sustainability, spawning sanctuaries and reef restoration were well supported in all states, but support for harvest reductions was less consistent. Our study suggests that public support for maintaining both harvest and ecosystem services exists at societal levels and that enhancing public awareness regarding the extent and causes

  14. An Analysis of Computer Aided Design (CAD) Packages Used at MSFC for the Recent Initiative to Integrate Engineering Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Leigh M.; Parker, Nelson C. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This paper analyzes the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). It examines the effectiveness of recent efforts to standardize CAD practices across MSFC engineering activities. An assessment of the roles played by management, designers, analysts, and manufacturers in this initiative will be explored. Finally, solutions are presented for better integration of CAD across MSFC in the future.

  15. Highly Adoptable Improvement: A Practical Model and Toolkit to Address Adoptability and Sustainability of Quality Improvement Initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Christopher William; Goldmann, Don

    2018-03-01

    Failure to consider the impact of change on health care providers is a barrier to success. Initiatives that increase workload and have low perceived value are less likely to be adopted. A practical model and supporting tools were developed on the basis of existing theories to help quality improvement (QI) programs design more adoptable approaches. Models and theories from the diffusion of innovation and work stress literature were reviewed, and key-informant interviews and site visits were conducted to develop a draft Highly Adoptable Improvement (HAI) Model. A list of candidate factors considered for inclusion in the draft model was presented to an expert panel. A modified Delphi process was used to narrow the list of factors into main themes and refine the model. The resulting model and supporting tools were pilot tested by 16 improvement advisors for face validity and usability. The HAI Model depicts how workload and perceived value influence adoptability of QI initiatives. The supporting tools include an assessment guide and suggested actions that QI programs can use to help design interventions that are likely to be adopted. Improvement advisors reported good face validity and usability and found that the model and the supporting tools helped address key issues related to adoption and reported that they would continue to use them. The HAI Model addresses important issues regarding workload and perceived value of improvement initiatives. Pilot testing suggests that the model and supporting tools are helpful and practical in guiding design and implementation of adoptable and sustainable QI interventions. Copyright © 2017 The Joint Commission. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Stirling engine or heat pump having an improved seal

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Maurice A.; Riggle, Peter; Emigh, Stuart G.

    1985-01-01

    A Stirling Engine or Heat Pump having two relatively movable machine elements for power transmission purposes includes a hermetic seal bellows interposed between the elements for separating a working gas from a pressure compensating liquid that balances pressure across the bellows to reduce bellows stress and to assure long bellows life. The volume of pressure compensating liquid displaced due to relative movement between the machine elements is minimized by enclosing the compensating liquid within a region exposed to portions of both machine elements at one axial end of a slidable interface presented between them by a clearance seal having an effective diameter of the seal bellows. Pressure equalization across the bellows is achieved by a separate hermetically sealed compensator including a movable enclosed bellows. The interior of the compensator bellows is in communication with one side of the seal bellows, and its exterior is in communication with the remaining side of the seal bellows. A buffer gas or additional liquid region can be provided at the remaining axial end of the clearnace seal, along with valved arrangements for makeup of liquid leakage through the clearance seal.

  17. Common rail fuel injection system for improvement of engine performance and reduction of exhaust emission on heavy duty diesel engine; Common rail system ni yoru seino haishutsu gas no kaizen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kato, T; Koyama, T; Sasaki, K; Mori, K; Mori, K [Mitsubishi Motor Corp., Tokyo (Japan)

    1997-10-01

    With the objective of improvement of engine performance and reduction of exhaust emissions, influence of control method to decrease initial injection rate and effect of injector types on fuel leakage of common rail fuel injection system (Common Rail System) were investigated. As a results, it became clear that injector with 2-way valve brings improvement of engine performance and reduction of exhaust emissions as compared with injector with 3-way valve because injector with 2-way valve has lower fuel leakage and is able to use higher injection pressure than injector with 3-way valve. 5 refs., 13 figs., 1 tab.

  18. A new DoD initiative: the Computational Research and Engineering Acquisition Tools and Environments (CREATE) program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arevalo, S; Atwood, C; Bell, P; Blacker, T D; Dey, S; Fisher, D; Fisher, D A; Genalis, P; Gorski, J; Harris, A; Hill, K; Hurwitz, M; Kendall, R P; Meakin, R L; Morton, S; Moyer, E T; Post, D E; Strawn, R; Veldhuizen, D v; Votta, L G

    2008-01-01

    In FY2008, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) initiated the Computational Research and Engineering Acquisition Tools and Environments (CREATE) program, a $360M program with a two-year planning phase and a ten-year execution phase. CREATE will develop and deploy three computational engineering tool sets for DoD acquisition programs to use to design aircraft, ships and radio-frequency antennas. The planning and execution of CREATE are based on the 'lessons learned' from case studies of large-scale computational science and engineering projects. The case studies stress the importance of a stable, close-knit development team; a focus on customer needs and requirements; verification and validation; flexible and agile planning, management, and development processes; risk management; realistic schedules and resource levels; balanced short- and long-term goals and deliverables; and stable, long-term support by the program sponsor. Since it began in FY2008, the CREATE program has built a team and project structure, developed requirements and begun validating them, identified candidate products, established initial connections with the acquisition programs, begun detailed project planning and development, and generated the initial collaboration infrastructure necessary for success by its multi-institutional, multidisciplinary teams

  19. Operational Efficiency and Productivity Improvement Initiatives in a Large Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Grant W; Hantz, Scott; Cunningham, Rebecca; Krishnaswamy, Amar; Ellis, Stephen G; Khot, Umesh; Rak, Joe; Kapadia, Samir R

    2018-02-26

    This study sought to report outcomes from an efficiency improvement project in a large cardiac cath lab. Operational inefficiencies are common in the cath lab, yet solutions are challenging. A detailed report describing and providing solutions for these inefficiencies may be valuable in guiding improvements in productivity. In this observational study, the authors report metrics of efficiency before and after a cath lab quality improvement program in June 2014. Main outcomes included lab room start times, room turnaround times, laboratory use, and employee satisfaction. Time series analysis was used to assess trend over time. Chi-square testing and analysis of variance were used to assess change before and after the initiative. The principal changes included implementation of a pyramidal nursing schedule, increased use of an electronic scheduling system, and increased utilization of a preparation and recovery area. Comparing before with after the program, start times improved an average of 17 min, and on-time starts improved from 61.8% to 81.7% (p = 0.0024). Turnaround times improved from 20.5 min to 16.4 min (trend p productivity. This knowledge may be helpful in assisting other cath labs in similar efficiency improvement initiatives. Copyright © 2018 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Cancer Services and Their Initiatives to Improve the Care of Indigenous Australians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma V. Taylor

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Indigenous Australians continue to experience significantly poorer outcomes from cancer than non-Indigenous Australians. Despite the importance of culturally appropriate cancer services in improving outcomes, there is a lack of awareness of current programs and initiatives that are aimed at meeting the needs of Indigenous patients. Telephone interviews were used to identify and describe the Indigenous-specific programs and initiatives that are implemented in a subset of the services that participated in a larger national online survey of cancer treatment services. Fourteen services located across Australia participated in the interviews. Participants identified a number of factors that were seen as critical to delivering culturally appropriate treatment and support, including having a trained workforce with effective cross-cultural communication skills, providing best practice care, and improving the knowledge, attitudes, and understanding of cancer by Indigenous people. However, over a third of participants were not sure how their service compared with others, indicating that they were not aware of how other services are doing in this field. There are currently many Indigenous-specific programs and initiatives that are aimed at providing culturally appropriate treatment and supporting Indigenous people affected by cancer across Australia. However, details of these initiatives are not widely known and barriers to information sharing exist. Further research in this area is needed to evaluate programs and initiatives and showcase the effective approaches to Indigenous cancer care.

  1. An Integrated Surface Engineering Technology Development for Improving Energy Efficiency of Engine Components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stephen Hsu; Liming Chang; Huan Zhan

    2009-05-31

    Frictional losses are inherent in most practical mechanical systems. The ability to control friction offers many opportunities to achieve energy conservation. Over the years, materials, lubricants, and surface modifications have been used to reduce friction in automotive and diesel engines. However, in recent years, progress in friction reduction technology has slowed because many of the inefficiencies have been eliminated. A new avenue for friction reduction is needed. Designing surfaces specifically for friction reduction with concomitant enhanced durability for various engine components has emerged recently as a viable opportunity due to advances in fabrication and surface finishing techniques. Recently, laser ablated dimples on surfaces have shown friction reduction properties and have been demonstrated successfully in conformal contacts such as seals where the speed is high and the load is low. The friction reduction mechanism in this regime appears to depend on the size, patterns, and density of dimples in the contact. This report describes modeling efforts in characterizing surface textures and understanding their mechanisms for enhanced lubrication under high contact pressure conditions. A literature survey is first presented on the development of descriptors for irregular surface features. This is followed by a study of the hydrodynamic effects of individual micro-wedge dimples using the analytical solution of the 1-D Reynolds equation and the determination of individual components of the total friction resistance. The results obtained provide a better understanding of the dimple orientation effects and the approach which may be used to further compare the friction reduction provided by different texture patterns.

  2. An improved and homogeneous altimeter sea level record from the ESA Climate Change Initiative

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Legeais, Jean-Francois; Ablain, Michael; Zawadzki, Lionel

    2018-01-01

    , the sea level ECV has been measured from space by different altimetry missions that have provided global and regional observations of sea level variations. As part of the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) program of the European Space Agency (ESA) (established in 2010), the Sea Level project (SL_cci) aimed...... to provide an accurate and homogeneous long-term satellite-based sea level record. At the end of the first phase of the project (2010-2013), an initial version (v1.1) of the sea level ECV was made available to users (Ablain et al., 2015). During the second phase of the project (2014-2017), improved altimeter...

  3. Improvement in Total Joint Replacement Quality Metrics: Year One Versus Year Three of the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dundon, John M; Bosco, Joseph; Slover, James; Yu, Stephen; Sayeed, Yousuf; Iorio, Richard

    2016-12-07

    In January 2013, a large, tertiary, urban academic medical center began participation in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative for total joint arthroplasty, a program implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2011. Medicare Severity-Diagnosis Related Groups (MS-DRGs) 469 and 470 were included. We participated in BPCI Model 2, by which an episode of care includes the inpatient and all post-acute care costs through 90 days following discharge. The goal for this initiative is to improve patient care and quality through a patient-centered approach with increased care coordination supported through payment innovation. Length of stay (LOS), readmissions, discharge disposition, and cost per episode of care were analyzed for year 3 compared with year 1 of the initiative. Multiple programs were implemented after the first year to improve performance metrics: a surgeon-directed preoperative risk-factor optimization program, enhanced care coordination and home services, a change in venous thromboembolic disease (VTED) prophylaxis to a risk-stratified protocol, infection-prevention measures, a continued emphasis on discharge to home rather than to an inpatient facility, and a quality-dependent gain-sharing program among surgeons. There were 721 Medicare primary total joint arthroplasty patients in year 1 and 785 in year 3; their data were compared. The average hospital LOS decreased from 3.58 to 2.96 days. The rate of discharge to an inpatient facility decreased from 44% to 28%. The 30-day all-cause readmission rate decreased from 7% to 5%; the 60-day all-cause readmission rate decreased from 11% to 6%; and the 90-day all-cause readmission rate decreased from 13% to 8%. The average 90-day cost per episode decreased by 20%. Mid-term results from the implementation of Medicare BPCI Model 2 for primary total joint arthroplasty demonstrated decreased LOS, decreased discharges to inpatient facilities, decreased readmissions, and

  4. Risk Management Improvement of Engineering Projects in Woodworking Industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona Bartkutė

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Risk is a complex phenomenon that has physical, monetary, cultural and social dimensions. Every company wants tosave money, time, increase quality, optimise manufacturing, but each factor may involve different risks with different influenceto company, its reputation. The aim of the research is to find better risk management improvement decisions, using techniquesthat could help to reduce risk impact in wood-based nonstandard production with shorter project time, smoother design process,lower costs, better project coordination, increased ability to manage problems, technical solutions.

  5. Local and national initiatives to motivate young people for engineering & ICT

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ir. Dick van Schenk Brill; Ing Peter van den Berg

    2009-01-01

    Described are a number of national and local initiatives that are taken to motivate young people to choose for technical education. From the local initiatives we focus on the area where Fontys and Actemium are located; the southeast of the Netherlands. Not only governmental organizations and

  6. Continuous Improvement in the Industrial and Management Systems Engineering Programme at Kuwait University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldowaisan, Tariq; Allahverdi, Ali

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes the process employed by the Industrial and Management Systems Engineering programme at Kuwait University to continuously improve the programme. Using a continuous improvement framework, the paper demonstrates how various qualitative and quantitative analyses methods, such as hypothesis testing and control charts, have been…

  7. Analysis on nuclear power plant control room system design and improvement based on human factor engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Feng; Liu Yanzi; Sun Yongbin

    2014-01-01

    The design of nuclear power plant control room system is a process of improvement with the implementation of human factor engineering theory and guidance. The method of implementation human factor engineering principles into the nuclear power plant control room system design and improvement was discussed in this paper. It is recommended that comprehensive address should be done from control room system function, human machine interface, digital procedure, control room layout and environment design based on the human factor engineering theory and experience. The main issues which should be paid more attention during the control room system design and improvement also were addressed in this paper, and then advices and notices for the design and improvement of the nuclear power plant control room system were afforded. (authors)

  8. Improving exergetic and sustainability parameters of a DI diesel engine using polymer waste dissolved in biodiesel as a novel diesel additive

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aghbashlo, Mortaza; Tabatabaei, Meisam; Mohammadi, Pouya; Pourvosoughi, Navid; Nikbakht, Ali M.; Goli, Sayed Amir Hossein

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Exergy analysis of diesel engine fuelled with various SBE biodiesel–diesel blends containing EPS. • Profound effect of engine speed and load on exergetic performance parameters of diesel engine. • Selection of B5 containing 50 g EPS/L biodiesel as the best mixture. • Potential application of the applied framework for optimizing sustainability index of IC engines. - Abstract: Exergy analysis of a DI diesel engine running on several biodiesel/diesel blends (B5) containing various quantities of expanded polystyrene (EPS) was carried out. Neat diesel and B5 were also investigated during the engine tests. The biodiesel used was produced using waste oil extracted from spend bleaching earth (SBE). The experiments were conducted to assess the effects of fuel type, engine speed, and load on thermal efficiency, exergetic parameters, and sustainability index of the diesel engine. The obtained results revealed that the exergetic parameters strongly depended on the engine speed and load. Generally, increasing engine speed remarkably decreased the exergy efficiency and sustainability index of the diesel engine. However, increasing engine load initially enhanced the exergy efficiency and sustainability index, while its further augmentation did not profoundly affect these parameters. The maximum exergy efficiency and sustainability index of the diesel engine (i.e. 40.21% and 1.67, respectively) were achieved using B5 containing 50 g EPS/L biodiesel. Generally, the approach presented herein could be a promising strategy for energy recovery from polymer waste, emissions reduction, and performance improvement. The findings of the present study also confirmed that exergy analysis could be employed to minimize the irreversibility and losses occurring in modern engines and to enhance the sustainability index of combustion processes.

  9. Improvement of Fatigue Life of Welded Structural Components of a Large Two-Stroke Diesel Engine by Grinding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agerskov, Henning; Hansen, Anders V.; Bjørnbak-Hansen, Jørgen

    2004-01-01

    one side only, with no access to the root side. Various investigations on the fatigue life of the structural components of this new design have been carried out. The present investigation concentrates on the improvement in fatigue life which may be obtained by grinding of the weld toes. The tests...... grinding to m=6 for the test series with grinding. In one of the test series, it was observed that in most cases crack initiation moved from the weld toe to the non-ground surface between the ground areas at the weld toes. Tests were made on steel S 275, on centrally and eccentrically loaded test specimens.......The crankshaft housings of large two-stroke diesel engines are welded structures subjected to constant amplitude loading and designed for infinite life at full design load. A new design of the so-called frame box has been introduced in the engine using butt weld joints of thick plates, welded from...

  10. Improving the performance of a compression ignition engine by directing flow of inlet air

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemper, Carlton

    1946-01-01

    The object of this report is to present the results of tests performed by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics to determine the effect on engine performance of directing the flow of the inlet air to a 5-inch by 7-inch cylinder, solid injection, compression ignition engine, After a few preliminary tests, comparative runs were made at a speed of 1500 r.p.m. with and without directed air flow. It was found that directing the flow of the inlet air toward the fuel injection valve gave steadier engine operation, and an appreciable increase in power, and decreased fuel consumption. The results indicate the possibility of improving the performance of a given type of combustion chamber without changing its shape and with no change in valve timing. They would also seem to prove that directional turbulence, set up before the inlet valve of a four-stroke cycle engine, continues in the engine cylinder throughout the compression stroke.

  11. A guide to the translation of the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) strategy into improved care

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boulet, Louis-Philippe; FitzGerald, J Mark; Levy, Mark L

    2012-01-01

    In 1995, the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) published an evidence-based workshop report as a guide to clinicians managing asthma patients, and has updated it annually to ensure that recommendations remain current. Although the report has been widely disseminated and influenced clinical...... practice and research, its major objective, of forming the basis for local and national initiatives to improve services for asthma patients, remains to be achieved. Over recent years, the science of guideline implementation has progressed, and encouraging examples of successful asthma programmes have been...... published. This report is intended to draw on this experience and assist with the translation of asthma guideline recommendations into quality programmes for patients with asthma using current knowledge translation principles. It also provides examples of successful initiatives in various socioeconomic...

  12. Science Teacher Education in Australia: Initiatives and Challenges to Improve the Quality of Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treagust, David F.; Won, Mihye; Petersen, Jacinta; Wynne, Georgie

    2015-02-01

    In this article, we describe how teachers in the Australian school system are educated to teach science and the different qualifications that teachers need to enter the profession. The latest comparisons of Australian students in international science assessments have brought about various accountability measures to improve the quality of science teachers at all levels. We discuss the issues and implications of government initiatives in preservice and early career teacher education programs, such as the implementation of national science curriculum, the stricter entry requirements to teacher education programs, an alternative pathway to teaching and the measure of effectiveness of teacher education programs. The politicized discussion and initiatives to improve the quality of science teacher education in Australia are still unfolding as we write in 2014.

  13. Leveraging finances for public health system improvement: results from the Turning Point initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekemeier, Betty; Riley, Catharine M; Berkowitz, Bobbie

    2007-01-01

    Reforming the public health infrastructure requires substantial system changes at the state level; state health agencies, however, often lack the resources and support for strategic planning and systemwide improvement. The Turning Point Initiative provided support for states to focus on large-scale system changes that resulted in increased funding for public health capacity and infrastructure development. Turning Point provides a test case for obtaining financial and institutional resources focused on systems change and infrastructure development-areas for which it has been historically difficult to obtain long-term support. The purpose of this exploratory, descriptive survey research was to enumerate the actual resources leveraged toward public health system improvement through the partnerships, planning, and implementation activities funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a part of the Turning Point Initiative.

  14. Paediatric early warning scores on a children's ward: a quality improvement initiative.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Ennis, Linda

    2014-09-09

    The aim of this quality improvement initiative was to incorporate a paediatric early warning score (PEWS) and track and trigger system in the routine care of children in an acute general children\\'s ward at a regional hospital in the Republic of Ireland. In the absence of a nationally recommended specific PEWS strategy, a local plan was developed. The experience of structuring and implementing the PEWS and track and trigger system is presented in this article. Data from the first year of use were collected to evaluate the clinical utility and effectiveness of this system. In the busy acute children\\'s service, the PEWS initiative was found to benefit processes of early detection, prompt referral and timely, appropriate management of children at potential risk of clinical deterioration. Nursing staff were empowered and supported to communicate concerns immediately and to seek rapid medical review, according to an agreed PEWS escalation plan. Outcomes were significantly improved.

  15. The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative: A Funding Model for Science, Engineering, and Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colwell, R. R.

    2016-12-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a massive ecological event, resulted in the tragic loss of 11 lives, and an environmental release of more than 130 million gallons of crude oil. Approximately 1.8 million gallons of dispersants were used in remediation efforts. An immediate response by BP was to establish a ten-year research program, with funding of 500 million. The funding was to determine the impact and long-term ecological and public health effects of oil spills and to develop improved preparation in the event of future oil or gas release into the environment. This Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), established by BP, provided independent leadership for both the program and administration of the 500 million funding, and the Research Board provides oversight, assisted by excellent staff. The Research Board of the GoMRI comprises twenty scientists, many of whom have prior scientific research administrative expertise. The Research Board, in accordance with its charge, develops research programs and carries out their evaluation and oversight, employing the peer review and operational principles of the National Science Foundation and the National Academies of Science. With these guiding principles, the Research Board established procedures for conflict of interest oversight and requesting and evaluating research programs. It has also focused on communicating the research findings accurately and responsibly. The GoMRI Research Board operates with transparency and ensures availability of all scientific results and data. GoMRI, currently midway through its 10-year mandate, has funded more than 3,000 scientists, representing 278 institutions in 42 states and 17 countries, who have produced more than 1,000 peer-reviewed publications to date. The Research Board is exploring mechanisms by which the GoMRI science findings can be communicated to the broader community and the public and to continue availability of data when the program has ended. A major contribution

  16. To improve training methods in an engine room simulator-based training

    OpenAIRE

    Lin, Chingshin

    2016-01-01

    The simulator based training are used widely in both industry and school education to reduce the accidents nowadays. This study aims to suggest the improved training methods to increase the effectiveness of engine room simulator training. The effectiveness of training in engine room will be performance indicators and the self-evaluation by participants. In the first phase of observation, the aim is to find out the possible shortcomings of current training methods based on train...

  17. Exploring, Documenting, and Improving Humanitarian Service Learning through Engineers Without Borders USA

    OpenAIRE

    Buchanan, Elizabeth; Berg, Devin; Lee, Tina; Buchanan, Elizabeth; Lacksonen, Tom

    2017-01-01

    Exploring, Documenting, and Improving Humanitarian Service Learning through Engineers without Borders-USA is a four-year project exploring a variety of challenges and opportunities in university-based service learning programs. Specifically, this project looks holistically at the inception and evolution of a new Engineers Without Borders USA chapter, while analyzing characteristics, values, and demographics of individuals involved in EWB community-based humanitarian projects in multiple chapt...

  18. Strategies for improving the nutritional quality of Phaseolus beans through gene engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kapila J.

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Although Phaseolus species are still difficult to transform, progress in this field now opens the way to engineering beans with a higher nutritional value. The opportunities for gene engineering in nutritional quality improvement, the strategies which canbe adopted and the constraints we are still facing are briefly outlined, using the enhancement of the seed methionine content and the reduction in antinutritional factors as examples.

  19. Analysis of the dynamic response improvement of a turbocharged diesel engine driven alternating current generating set

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Katrasnik, Tomaz; Medica, Vladimir; Trenc, Ferdinand

    2005-01-01

    Reliability of electric supply systems is among the most required necessities of modern society. Turbocharged diesel engine driven alternating current generating sets are often used to prevent electric black outs and/or as prime electric energy suppliers. It is well known that turbocharged diesel engines suffer from an inadequate response to a sudden load increase, this being a consequence of the nature of the energy exchange between the engine and the turbocharger. The dynamic response of turbocharged diesel engines could be improved by electric assisting systems, either by direct energy supply with an integrated starter-generator-booster (ISG) mounted on the engine flywheel, or by an indirect energy supply with an electrically assisted turbocharger. An experimentally verified zero dimensional computer simulation method was used for the analysis of both types of electrical assistance. The paper offers an analysis of the interaction between a turbocharged diesel engine and different electric assisting systems, as well as the requirements for the supporting electric motors that could improve the dynamic response of a diesel engine while driving an AC generating set. When performance class compliance is a concern, it is evident that an integrated starter-generator-booster outperforms an electrically assisted turbocharger for the investigated generating set. However, the electric energy consumption and frequency recovery times are smaller when an electrically assisted turbocharger is applied

  20. Final Report: Utilizing Alternative Fuel Ignition Properties to Improve SI and CI Engine Efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wooldridge, Margaret; Boehman, Andre; Lavoie, George; Fatouraie, Mohammad

    2017-11-30

    Experimental and modeling studies were completed to explore leveraging physical and chemical fuel properties for improved thermal efficiency of internal combustion engines. Fundamental studies of the ignition chemistry of ethanol and iso-octane blends and constant volume spray chamber studies of gasoline and diesel sprays supported the core research effort which used several reciprocating engine platforms. Single cylinder spark ignition (SI) engine studies were carried out to characterize the impact of ethanol/gasoline, syngas (H2 and CO)/gasoline and other oxygenate/gasoline blends on engine performance. The results of the single-cylinder engine experiments and other data from the literature were used to train a GT Power model and to develop a knock criteria based on reaction chemistry. The models were used to interpret the experimental results and project future performance. Studies were also carried out using a state of the art, direct injection (DI) turbocharged multi- cylinder engine with piezo-actuated fuel injectors to demonstrate the promising spray and spark timing strategies from single-cylinder engine studies on the multi-cylinder engine. Key outcomes and conclusions of the studies were: 1. Efficiency benefits of ethanol and gasoline fuel blends were consistent and substantial (e.g. 5-8% absolute improvement in gross indicated thermal efficiency (GITE)). 2. The best ethanol/gasoline blend (based on maximum thermal efficiency) was determined by the engine hardware and limits based on component protection (e.g. peak in-cylinder pressure or maximum turbocharger inlet temperature) – and not by knock limits. Blends with <50% ethanol delivered significant thermal efficiency gains with conventional SI hardware while maintain good safety integrity to the engine hardware. 3. Other compositions of fuel blends including syngas (H2 and CO) and other dilution strategies provided significant efficiency gains as well (e.g. 5% absolute improvement in ITE). 4. When the

  1. Improved structural integrity through advances in reliable residual stress measurement: the impact of ENGIN-X

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, L.; Santisteban, J. R.

    The determination of accurate reliable residual stresses is critical to many fields of structural integrity. Neutron stress measurement is a non-destructive technique that uniquely provides insights into stress fields deep within engineering components and structures. As such, it has become an increasingly important tool within engineering, leading to improved manufacturing processes to reduce stress and distortion as well as to the definition of more precise lifing procedures. This paper describes the likely impact of the next generation of dedicated engineering stress diffractometers currently being constructed and the utility of the technique using examples of residual stresses both beneficial and detrimental to structural integrity.

  2. Improvement of Early Antenatal Care Initiation: The Effects of Training Local Health Volunteers in the Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liabsuetrakul, Tippawan; Oumudee, Nurlisa; Armeeroh, Masuenah; Nima, Niamina; Duerahing, Nurosanah

    2018-01-01

    Although antenatal care (ANC) coverage has been increasing in low- and middle-income countries, the adherence to the ANC initiation standards at gestational age ANC initiation by training the existing local health volunteers (LHVs) in 3 southernmost provinces of Thailand. A clustered nonrandomized intervention study was conducted from November 2012 to February 2014. One district of each province was selected to be the study intervention districts for that province. A total of 124 LHVs in the intervention districts participated in the knowledge-counseling intervention. It was organized as half-day workshop using 2 training modules each comprising a 30-minute lecture followed by counseling practice in pairs for 1 hour. Outcome was the rate of early ANC initiation among women giving birth, and its association with intervention, meeting an LHV, and months after training was analyzed. Of 6677 women, 3178 and 3499 women were in the control and intervention groups, respectively. Rates of early ANC were significantly improved after the intervention (adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 1.29, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.17-1.43, P ANC. Training LHVs in communities by knowledge-counseling intervention significantly improved early ANC initiation, but the magnitude of change was still limited.

  3. Initial position estimation method for permanent magnet synchronous motor based on improved pulse voltage injection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Z.; Lu, K.; Ye, Y.

    2011-01-01

    According to saliency of permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM), the information of rotor position is implied in performance of stator inductances due to the magnetic saturation effect. Researches focused on the initial rotor position estimation of PMSM by injecting modulated pulse voltage...... vectors. The relationship between the inductance variations and voltage vector positions was studied. The inductance variation effect on estimation accuracy was studied as well. An improved five-pulses injection method was proposed, to improve the estimation accuracy by choosing optimaized voltage vectors...

  4. Impact of continuous quality improvement initiatives on clinical outcomes in peritoneal dialysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yusheng; Zhou, Yan; Wang, Han; Zhou, Tingting; Li, Qing; Li, Taoyu; Wu, Yan; Liu, Zhihong

    2014-06-01

    We evaluated the role of a quality improvement initiative in improving clinical outcomes in peritoneal dialysis (PD). In a retrospective analysis of 6 years of data from a hospital registry, the period between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2008 (control group) provided baseline data from before implementation of systemic outcomes monitoring, and the period between 1 July 2008 and 30 June 2011 [continuous quality improvement (CQI) group] represented the time when a CQI program was in place. Peritonitis incidence, patient and technique survival, cardiovascular status, causes of death, and drop-out were compared between the groups. In the 370 patients of the CQI group and the 249 patients of the control group, the predominant underlying kidney diseases were chronic glomerulonephritis and diabetic nephropathy. After implementation of the CQI initiative, the peritonitis rate declined to 1 episode in 77.25 patient-months from 1 episode in 22.86 patient-months. Ultrasound parameters of cardiac structure were generally unchanged in the CQI group, but significant increases in cardiothoracic ratio and interventricular septal thickness were observed in the control group (both p improve technique survival rates: 95.6%, 92.6%, and 92.6% in the CQI group compared with 89.6%, 79.2%, and 76.8% in the control group (p improve the quality of therapy and its outcomes. Copyright © 2014 International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis.

  5. We give nature a helping hand. Three initiatives to improve the ecological context

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2015-01-01

    More than 256 hectares of the Belgian Nuclear Research Center SCK-CEN estate are included in approved forest management plans. So there is an obligation to take care of the forest area. But there is more to this: both at the request of third parties and on its own initiative, SCK-CEN is taking measures to improve the ecological context and support projects for specific populations.

  6. Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative puts new spin on improving healthcare quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-11-01

    For nearly 4 years, the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative (PRHI) has been working to improve the way healthcare is delivered in southwestern Pennsylvania by combining the voices and resources of hospitals, providers, the business community, insurers, health plans, and federal agencies. As one example of borrowing from business, the PRHI has created a new learning and management system, called Perfecting Patient Care, which is based on the Toyota Production System model and is now being used successfully in hospitals.

  7. Development and participant assessment of a practical quality improvement educational initiative for surgical residents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellers, Morgan M; Hanson, Kristi; Schuller, Mary; Sherman, Karen; Kelz, Rachel R; Fryer, Jonathan; DaRosa, Debra; Bilimoria, Karl Y

    2013-06-01

    As patient-safety and quality efforts spread throughout health care, the need for physician involvement is critical, yet structured training programs during surgical residency are still uncommon. Our objective was to develop an extended quality-improvement curriculum for surgical residents that included formal didactics and structured practical experience. Surgical trainees completed an 8-hour didactic program in quality-improvement methodology at the start of PGY3. Small teams developed practical quality-improvement projects based on needs identified during clinical experience. With the assistance of the hospital's process-improvement team and surgical faculty, residents worked through their selected projects during the following year. Residents were anonymously surveyed after their participation to assess the experience. During the first 3 years of the program, 17 residents participated, with 100% survey completion. Seven quality-improvement projects were developed, with 57% completing all DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) phases. Initial projects involved issues of clinical efficiency and later projects increasingly focused on clinical care questions. Residents found the experience educationally important (65%) and believed they were well equipped to lead similar initiatives in the future (70%). Based on feedback, the timeline was expanded from 12 to 24 months and changed to start in PGY2. Developing an extended curriculum using both didactic sessions and applied projects to teach residents the theory and implementation of quality improvement is possible and effective. It addresses the ACGME competencies of practice-based improvement and learning and systems-based practice. Our iterative experience during the past 3 years can serve as a guide for other programs. Copyright © 2013 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Environment and initial state engineered dynamics of quantum and classical correlations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Cheng-Zhi, E-mail: czczwang@outlook.com; Li, Chun-Xian; Guo, Yu; Lu, Geng-Biao; Ding, Kai-He

    2016-11-15

    Based on an open exactly solvable system coupled to an environment with nontrivial spectral density, we connect the features of quantum and classical correlations with some features of the environment, initial states of the system, and the presence of initial system–environment correlations. Some interesting features not revealed before are observed by changing the structure of environment, the initial states of system, and the presence of initial system–environment correlations. The main results are as follows. (1) Quantum correlations exhibit temporary freezing and permanent freezing even at high temperature of the environment, for which the necessary and sufficient conditions are given by three propositions. (2) Quantum correlations display a transition from temporary freezing to permanent freezing by changing the structure of environment. (3) Quantum correlations can be enhanced all the time, for which the condition is put forward. (4) The one-to-one dependency relationship between all kinds of dynamic behaviors of quantum correlations and the initial states of the system as well as environment structure is established. (5) In the presence of initial system–environment correlations, quantum correlations under local environment exhibit temporary multi-freezing phenomenon. While under global environment they oscillate, revive, and damp, an explanation for which is given. - Highlights: • Various interesting behaviors of quantum and classical correlations are observed in an open exactly solvable model. • The important effects of the bath structure on quantum and classical correlations are revealed. • The one-to-one correspondence between the type of dynamical behavior of quantum discord and the initial state is given. • Quantum correlations are given in the presence of initial qubits–bath correlations.

  9. Environment and initial state engineered dynamics of quantum and classical correlations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Cheng-Zhi; Li, Chun-Xian; Guo, Yu; Lu, Geng-Biao; Ding, Kai-He

    2016-01-01

    Based on an open exactly solvable system coupled to an environment with nontrivial spectral density, we connect the features of quantum and classical correlations with some features of the environment, initial states of the system, and the presence of initial system–environment correlations. Some interesting features not revealed before are observed by changing the structure of environment, the initial states of system, and the presence of initial system–environment correlations. The main results are as follows. (1) Quantum correlations exhibit temporary freezing and permanent freezing even at high temperature of the environment, for which the necessary and sufficient conditions are given by three propositions. (2) Quantum correlations display a transition from temporary freezing to permanent freezing by changing the structure of environment. (3) Quantum correlations can be enhanced all the time, for which the condition is put forward. (4) The one-to-one dependency relationship between all kinds of dynamic behaviors of quantum correlations and the initial states of the system as well as environment structure is established. (5) In the presence of initial system–environment correlations, quantum correlations under local environment exhibit temporary multi-freezing phenomenon. While under global environment they oscillate, revive, and damp, an explanation for which is given. - Highlights: • Various interesting behaviors of quantum and classical correlations are observed in an open exactly solvable model. • The important effects of the bath structure on quantum and classical correlations are revealed. • The one-to-one correspondence between the type of dynamical behavior of quantum discord and the initial state is given. • Quantum correlations are given in the presence of initial qubits–bath correlations.

  10. Modulating Cytotoxic Effector Functions by Fc Engineering to Improve Cancer Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellner, Christian; Otte, Anna; Cappuzzello, Elisa; Klausz, Katja; Peipp, Matthias

    2017-09-01

    In the last two decades, monoclonal antibodies have revolutionized the therapy of cancer patients. Although antibody therapy has continuously been improved, still a significant number of patients do not benefit from antibody therapy. Therefore, rational optimization of the antibody molecule by Fc engineering represents a major area of translational research to further improve this potent therapeutic option. Monoclonal antibodies are able to trigger a variety of effector mechanisms. Especially Fc-mediated effector functions such as antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP), and complement- dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) are considered important in antibody therapy of cancer. Novel mechanistic insights into the action of monoclonal antibodies allowed the development of various Fc engineering approaches to modulate antibodies' effector functions. Strategies in modifying the Fc glycosylation profile (Fc glyco-engineering) or approaches in engineering the protein backbone (Fc protein engineering) have been intensively evaluated. In the current review, Fc engineering strategies resulting in improved ADCC, ADCP and CDC activity are summarized and discussed.

  11. Demystifying process mapping: a key step in neurosurgical quality improvement initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlin, Nancy; Rodstein, Jennifer; Burke, Michael A; Martin, Neil A

    2014-08-01

    Reliable delivery of optimal care can be challenging for care providers. Health care leaders have integrated various business tools to assist them and their teams in ensuring consistent delivery of safe and top-quality care. The cornerstone to all quality improvement strategies is the detailed understanding of the current state of a process, captured by process mapping. Process mapping empowers caregivers to audit how they are currently delivering care to subsequently strategically plan improvement initiatives. As a community, neurosurgery has clearly shown dedication to enhancing patient safety and delivering quality care. A care redesign strategy named NERVS (Neurosurgery Enhanced Recovery after surgery, Value, and Safety) is currently being developed and piloted within our department. Through this initiative, a multidisciplinary team led by a clinician neurosurgeon has process mapped the way care is currently being delivered throughout the entire episode of care. Neurosurgeons are becoming leaders in quality programs, and their education on the quality improvement strategies and tools is essential. The authors present a comprehensive review of process mapping, demystifying its planning, its building, and its analysis. The particularities of using process maps, initially a business tool, in the health care arena are discussed, and their specific use in an academic neurosurgical department is presented.

  12. Best Fed Beginnings: A Nationwide Quality Improvement Initiative to Increase Breastfeeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman-Winter, Lori; Ustianov, Jennifer; Anastasio, Julius; Butts-Dion, Sue; Heinrich, Patricia; Merewood, Anne; Bugg, Kimarie; Donohue-Rolfe, Sarah; Homer, Charles J

    2017-07-01

    In response to a low number of Baby-Friendly-designated hospitals in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded the National Institute for Children's Health Quality to conduct a national quality improvement initiative between 2011 and 2015. The initiative was entitled Best Fed Beginnings and enrolled 90 hospitals in a nationwide initiative to increase breastfeeding and achieve Baby-Friendly designation. The intervention period lasted from July 2012 to August 2014. During that period, data on process indicators aligned with the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and outcome measures (overall and exclusively related to breastfeeding) were collected. In addition, data on the Baby-Friendly designation were collected after the end of the intervention through April 2016. Hospitals assembled multidisciplinary teams that included parent partners and community representatives. Three in-person learning sessions were interspersed with remote learning and tests of change, and a Web-based platform housed resources and data for widespread sharing. By April 2016, a total of 72 (80%) of the 90 hospitals received the Baby-Friendly designation, nearly doubling the number of designated hospitals in the United States. Participation in the Best Fed Beginnings initiative had significantly high correlation with designation compared with hospital applicants not in the program (Pearson's r [235]: 0.80; P initiative of maternity care hospitals accomplished rapid transformative changes to achieve Baby-Friendly designation. These changes were accompanied by a significant increase in exclusive breastfeeding. Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  13. Engineering Strain for Improved III-Nitride Optoelectronic Device Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Den Broeck, Dennis Marnix

    Due to growing environmental and economic concerns, renewable energy generation and high-efficiency lighting are becoming even more important in the scientific community. III-Nitride devices have been essential in production of high-brightness light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and are now entering the photovoltaic (PV) realm as the technology advances. InGaN/GaN multiple quantum well LEDs emitting in the blue/green region have emerged as promising candidates for next-generation lighting technologies. Due to the large lattice mismatch between InN and GaN, large electric fields exist within the quantum well layers and result in low rates of radiative recombination, especially for the green spectral region. This is commonly referred to as the "green gap" and results in poor external quantum efficiencies for light-emitting diodes and laser diodes. In order to mitigate the compressive stress of InGaN QWs, a novel growth technique is developed in order to grown thick, strain-relaxed In yGa1-yN templates for 0.08 structure, "semibulk" InGaN templates were achieved with vastly superior crystal and optical properties than bulk InGaN films. These semibulk InGaN templates were then utilized as new templates for multiple quantum well active layers, effectively reducing the compressive strain in the InGaN wells due to the larger lattice constant of the InGaN template with respect to a GaN template. A zero-stress balance method was used in order to realize a strain-balanced multiple quantum well structure, which again showed improved optical characteristics when compared to fully-strain active regions. The semibulk InGaN template was then implemented into "strain-compensated" LED structures, where light emission was achieved with very little leakage current. Discussion of these strain-compensated devices compared to conventional LEDs is detailed.

  14. EXPERIENCES INITIATING SOFTWARE PRODUCT LINE ENGINEERING IN SMALL TEAMS WITH PULSE

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mærsk-Møller, Hans Martin; Jørgensen, Bo Nørregaard

    2010-01-01

    Small teams of software engineers are represented both in small companies and semi-independent fractions in medium and large companies. Even though some results and experience papers have been published in the context of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), there is a lack of experience pa...... an existing methodology, PuLSETM, drew advantages of NetBeans Rich Client Platform, and based the product line on the existing application....

  15. An Instructional Design Framework to Improve Student Learning in a First-Year Engineering Class

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar Yelamarthi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Increasingly, numerous universities have identified benefits of flipped learning environments and have been encouraging instructors to adapt such methodologies in their respective classrooms, at a time when departments are facing significant budget constraints. This article proposes an instructional design framework utilized to strategically enhance traditional flipped methodologies in a first-year engineering course, by using low-cost technology aids and proven pedagogical techniques to enhance student learning. Implemented in a first-year engineering course, this modified flipped model demonstrated an improved student awareness of essential engineering concepts and improved academic performance through collaborative and active learning activities, including flipped learning methodologies, without the need for expensive, formal active learning spaces. These findings have been validated through two studies and have shown similar results confirming that student learning is improved by the implementation of multi-pedagogical strategies in-formed by the use of an instructional design in a traditional classroom setting.

  16. Improving appropriate use of echocardiography and single-photon emission computed tomographic myocardial perfusion imaging: a continuous quality improvement initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Thomas V; Rose, Geoffrey A; Fenner, Deborah J; Rozario, Nigel L

    2014-07-01

    Appropriate use criteria for cardiovascular imaging have been published, but compliance in practice has been incomplete, with persistent high rates of inappropriate use. The aim of this study was to show the efficacy of a continuous quality improvement (CQI) initiative to favorably influence the appropriate use of outpatient transthoracic echocardiography and single-photon emission computed tomographic (SPECT) myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) in a large cardiovascular practice. In this prospective study, a multiphase CQI initiative was implemented, and its impact on ordering patterns for outpatient transthoracic echocardiography and SPECT MPI was assessed. Between November and December 2010, a baseline analysis of the application of appropriate use criteria to indications for outpatient transthoracic echocardiographic studies (n = 203) and SPECT MPI studies (n = 205) was performed, with studies categorized as "appropriate," "inappropriate," "uncertain," or "unclassified." The CQI initiative was then begun, with (1) clinician education, including didactic lectures and case-based presentations with audience participation; (2) system changes in ordering processes, with redesigned image ordering forms; and (3) peer review and feedback. A follow-up analysis was then performed between June and August 2012, with categorization of indications for transthoracic echocardiographic studies (n = 206) and SPECT MPI studies (n = 206). At baseline, 73.9% of echocardiographic studies were categorized as appropriate, 16.7% as inappropriate, 5.9% as uncertain, and 3.4% as unclassified. Similarly, for SPECT MPI studies 71.7% were categorized as appropriate, 18.5% as inappropriate, 7.8% as uncertain, and 1.9% as unclassified. Separate analysis of the two most important categories, appropriate and inappropriate, demonstrated a significant improvement after the CQI initiative, with a 63% reduction in inappropriate echocardiographic studies (18.5% vs 6.9%, P = .0010) and a 46% reduction

  17. Citizen Science: The Small World Initiative Improved Lecture Grades and California Critical Thinking Skills Test Scores of Nonscience Major Students at Florida Atlantic University.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caruso, Joseph P; Israel, Natalie; Rowland, Kimberly; Lovelace, Matthew J; Saunders, Mary Jane

    2016-03-01

    Course-based undergraduate research is known to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics student achievement. We tested "The Small World Initiative, a Citizen-Science Project to Crowdsource Novel Antibiotic Discovery" to see if it also improved student performance and the critical thinking of non-science majors in Introductory Biology at Florida Atlantic University (a large, public, minority-dominant institution) in academic year 2014-15. California Critical Thinking Skills Test pre- and posttests were offered to both Small World Initiative (SWI) and control lab students for formative amounts of extra credit. SWI lab students earned significantly higher lecture grades than control lab students, had significantly fewer lecture grades of D+ or lower, and had significantly higher critical thinking posttest total scores than control students. Lastly, more SWI students were engaged while taking critical thinking tests. These results support the hypothesis that utilizing independent course-based undergraduate science research improves student achievement even in nonscience students.

  18. Improving resident engagement in quality improvement and patient safety initiatives at the bedside: the Advocate for Clinical Education (ACE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleyer, Anneliese M; Best, Jennifer A; McIntyre, Lisa K; Ehrmantraut, Ross; Calver, Patty; Goss, J Richard

    2013-01-01

    Quality improvement (QI) and patient safety (PS) are essential competencies in residency training; however, the most effective means to engage physicians remains unclear. The authors surveyed all medicine and surgery physicians at their institution to describe QI/PS practices and concurrently implemented the Advocate for Clinical Education (ACE) program to determine if a physician-centered program in the context of educational structures and at the point of care improved performance. The ACE rounded with medicine and surgery teams and provided individual and team-level education and feedback targeting 4 domains: professionalism, infection control, interpreter use, and pain assessment. In a pilot, the ACE observed 2862 physician-patient interactions and 178 physicians. Self-reported compliance often was greater than the behaviors observed. Following ACE implementation, observed professionalism behaviors trended toward improvement; infection control also improved. Physicians were highly satisfied with the program. The ACE initiative is one coaching/feedback model for engaging residents in QI/PS that may warrant further study.

  19. A perinatal care quality and safety initiative: are there financial rewards for improved quality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozhimannil, Katy B; Sommerness, Samantha A; Rauk, Phillip; Gams, Rebecca; Hirt, Charles; Davis, Stanley; Miller, Kristi K; Landers, Daniel V

    2013-08-01

    Although costs of providing care may decrease with hospital initiatives to improve obstetric and neonatal outcomes, the accompanying reduced adverse outcomes may negatively affect hospital revenues. In 2008 a Minnesota-based hospital system (Fairview Health Services) launched the Zero Birth Injury (ZBI) initiative, which used evidence-based care bundles to guide management of obstetric services. A pre-post analysis of financial impacts of ZBI was conducted by using hospital administrative records to measure costs and revenues associated with changes in maternal and neonatal birth injuries before (2008) and after (2009-2011) the initiative. For the Fairview Health Services hospitals, after adjusting for relevant covariates, implementation of ZBI was associated with a mean 11% decrease in the rate of maternal and neonatal adverse outcomes between 2008 and 2011 (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.89, p = .076). As a result of the adverse events avoided, the hospital system saved $284,985 in costs but earned $324,333 less revenue, which produced a net financial decrease of $39,348 (or a $305 net financial loss per adverse event avoided) in 2011, compared with 2008. Adoption of a perinatal quality and safety initiative that reduced birth injuries had little net financial impact on the hospital. ZBI produced better clinical results at a lower cost, which represents potential savings for payers, but the hospital system offering improved quality reaped no clear financial rewards. These results highlight the important role for shared-savings collaborations (among patients, providers, government and third-party payers, and employers) to incentivize QI. Widespread adoption of perinatal safety initiatives combined with innovative payment models may contribute to better health at reduced cost.

  20. Waste Management Improvement Initiatives at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited - 13091

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chan, Nicholas; Adams, Lynne; Wong, Pierre [Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Chalk River Laboratories, Chalk River, Ontario, K0J 1J0 (Canada)

    2013-07-01

    Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's (AECL) Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) has been in operation for over 60 years. Radioactive, mixed, hazardous and non-hazardous wastes have been and continue to be generated at CRL as a result of research and development, radioisotope production, reactor operation and facility decommissioning activities. AECL has implemented several improvement initiatives at CRL to simplify the interface between waste generators and waste receivers: - Introduction of trained Waste Officers representing their facilities or activities at CRL; - Establishment of a Waste Management Customer Support Service as a Single-Point of Contact to provide guidance to waste generators for all waste management processes; and - Implementation of a streamlined approach for waste identification with emphasis on early identification of waste types and potential disposition paths. As a result of implementing these improvement initiatives, improvements in waste management and waste transfer efficiencies have been realized at CRL. These included: 1) waste generators contacting the Customer Support Service for information or guidance instead of various waste receivers; 2) more clear and consistent guidance provided to waste generators for waste management through the Customer Support Service; 3) more consistent and correct waste information provided to waste receivers through Waste Officers, resulting in reduced time and resources required for waste management (i.e., overall cost); 4) improved waste minimization and segregation approaches, as identified by in-house Waste Officers; and 5) enhanced communication between waste generators and waste management groups. (authors)

  1. QUALITY IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES FOR SUPPORT FUNCTIONS IN AN INDUSTRY: TWO CASES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shirshendu Roy

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The concept of quality improvement in industry has originated from the involvement of inspector which has become the most important part of manufacturing process or development activity. Over years, this initiative is migrated to various support functions of the industry. In this paper, emphasis has been given particularly in the areas related to support functions where improvement project s can be effectively done and hence organization wide impact is assessed. Two case studies are presented here in this context. The first study shows how smaller change in content structure and delivery met hod can drastically improve the training feedback and the second one demonstrates minimizing lead time to recruitment with a cost-effective process modification.

  2. Adequate engineering for lowering the frequency of initiating events at Siemens/KWU

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gremm, O.

    1988-01-01

    The analysis of TMI and Chernobyl events shows weak points and deficits in the field of preventive safety features. This should not be forgotten during the ongoing discussion on severe accidents. Therefore the paper explains special preventive safety features which were the results of the development of Siemens/KWU reactor technology. With respect to the present discussion on new reactor concepts special attention is given to the inherent and passive safety features and the engineering which results in low core melt frequency. Such an analysis leads to knowledge modules which are based on experience during licensing procedures and plant operation and should be the starting points for reactor technology of the future

  3. Taking the initiative: A leadership conference for women in science and engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    The conference sprang from discussions on the current climate that women face in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. The conference (and this document) is a beginning, not a culmination, of women's learning leadership skills. Conferees were active, articulate, energetic, and ready to learn leadership qualities, some of which seem universal, others that appear to require skills in specific fields. After the introduction, the workshops and presentations are arranged under vision and direction, barriers, alignment and communication, and motivation and inspiration. Some statistics are presented on women degrees and employment in various fields.

  4. Taking the initiative. A leadership conference for women in science and engineering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1994-01-01

    The conference sprang from discussions on the current climate that women face in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. The conference (and this document) is a beginning, not a culmination, of women`s learning leadership skills. Conferees were active, articulate, energetic, and ready to learn leadership qualities, some of which seem universal, others that appear to require skills in specific fields. After the introduction, the workshops and presentations are arranged under vision and direction, barriers, alignment and communication, and motivation and inspiration. Some statistics are presented on women degrees and employment in various fields.

  5. Risk factors associated with recurrent hemorrhage after the initial improvement of colonic diverticular bleeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishikawa, Hiroki; Maruo, Takanori; Tsumura, Takehiko; Sekikawa, Akira; Kanesaka, Takashi; Osaki, Yukio

    2013-03-01

    We elucidated risk factors contributing to recurrent hemorrhage after initial improvement of colonic diverticular bleeding. 172 consecutive hospitalized patients diagnosed with colonic diverticular bleeding were analyzed. Recurrent hemorrhage after initial improvement of colonic diverticular bleeding is main outcome measure. We analyzed factors contributing to recurrent hemorrhage risk in univariate and multivariate analyses. The length of the observation period after improvement of colonic diverticular bleeding was 26.4 +/- 14.6 months (range, 1-79 months). The cumulative recurrent hemorrhage rate in all patients at 1 and 2 years was 34.8% and 41.8%, respectively. By univariate analysis, age > 70 years (P = 0.021), BMI > 25 kg/m2 (P = 0.013), the use of anticoagulant drugs (P = 0.034), the use of NSAIDs (P = 0.040), history of hypertension (P = 0.011), history of smoking (P = 0.030) and serum creatinine level > 1.5 mg/dL (P bleeding. By multivariate analysis, age > 70 years (Hazard ratio (HR), 1.905, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.067-3.403, P = 0.029), history of hypertension (HR, 0.493, 95% CI, 0.245-0.993, P = 0.048) and serum creatinine level > 1.5 mg/dL (HR, 95% CI, 0.288-0.964, P = 0.044) were shown to be significant independent risk factors. Close observation after the initial improvement of colonic diverticular bleeding is needed, especially in elderly patients or patients with history of hypertension or renal deficiency.

  6. Improving Initiation and Tracking of Research Projects at an Academic Health Center: A Case Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Susanne; Goros, Martin; Parsons, Helen M; Saygin, Can; Wan, Hung-Da; Shireman, Paula K; Gelfond, Jonathan A L

    2017-09-01

    Research service cores at academic health centers are important in driving translational advancements. Specifically, biostatistics and research design units provide services and training in data analytics, biostatistics, and study design. However, the increasing demand and complexity of assigning appropriate personnel to time-sensitive projects strains existing resources, potentially decreasing productivity and increasing costs. Improving processes for project initiation, assigning appropriate personnel, and tracking time-sensitive projects can eliminate bottlenecks and utilize resources more efficiently. In this case study, we describe our application of lean six sigma principles to our biostatistics unit to establish a systematic continual process improvement cycle for intake, allocation, and tracking of research design and data analysis projects. The define, measure, analyze, improve, and control methodology was used to guide the process improvement. Our goal was to assess and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations by objectively measuring outcomes, automating processes, and reducing bottlenecks. As a result, we developed a web-based dashboard application to capture, track, categorize, streamline, and automate project flow. Our workflow system resulted in improved transparency, efficiency, and workload allocation. Using the dashboard application, we reduced the average study intake time from 18 to 6 days, a 66.7% reduction over 12 months (January to December 2015).

  7. Improving the quality of lung cancer care in Ontario: the lung cancer disease pathway initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, William K; Ung, Yee C; Assouad, Nathalie; Chyjek, Anna; Sawka, Carol

    2013-07-01

    Before 2008, Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) undertook provincial cancer control quality-improvement initiatives on a programmatic basis. CCO has now added Disease Pathway Management (DPM) to its quality improvement strategy, with the intent of achieving high-quality care, processes, and patient experience across the patient pathway for specific cancers. The three goals of DPM are: to describe and share evidence-based best practice along the cancer continuum for specific cancers; identify quality-improvement priorities for specific cancers and catalyze action; monitor performance against best practice for specific cancers. The objective of this article is to describe the process by which the CCO lung cancer (LC) DPM was initiated and some of its early successes. In 2009, LC DPM began with a draft LC disease pathway map and the establishment of five multidisciplinary working groups, each focused on a phase of the LC patient journey: prevention, screening, and early detection; diagnosis; treatment; palliative care, end-of-life care, and survivorship; and patient experience. The working groups held 25 meetings of 2-hour duration and developed concepts for 17 quality-improvement projects across the patient journey. Eight were selected for detailed discussion at a provincial consensus conference, which provided input on priorities for action. A report on the priorities for action was prepared and widely circulated, and regional roadshows were held in all 14 regions of the province of Ontario. Region-specific data on incidence, stage, treatment compliance, and wait times among other issues relevant to LC, were shared with the regional care providers at these roadshows. Funding was provided by CCO to address opportunities for regional improvement based on the data and the priorities identified. The LC disease pathways were refined through substantial multidisciplinary discussion, and the diagnostic pathway was posted on CCO's Web site in February 2012. The treatment pathways

  8. The Increase of Operational Safety of Ships by Improving Diagnostic Methods for Marine Diesel Engine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazimierz Witkowski

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available This article shows the importance of the diagnostic improvement methods of marine engines to boost the economy and safety of operation of marine cargo ships. The need to implement effective diagnostic methods is justified by presenting statistical data of marine diesel engines failure and the cost of their operation. Based on the own research has been proven, for the chosen example, that indicator diagrams and analysis of indicated parameters have limited utility in the diagnosis of damages of marine engine, although this is a method commonly used in operational practice. To achieve greater diagnostic effectiveness, when, based on indicator diagrams, are calculated and then the characteristics of heat release is analyzed - net of heat release characteristics and the intensity of the heat release, it was demonstrated. This procedure is particularly effective in the diagnosis of damage of injection system components marine diesel engine.

  9. City logistics initiatives aimed at improving sustainability by changing the context of urban area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadić Snežana R.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available City logistics is a field that attracts increasing attention of professionals and scientific community and international organizations. Research on problems of urban areas' logistics gives different results and practical solutions. City logistics flows are characterized by partiality, spatial dispersion of generators, diversity in terms of the logistics chains structure, frequency of a large number of smaller shipments, dynamism, stochasticity etc. Problems and the complexity of logistics in urban areas as well as significant decline in the quality of life in modern cities have caused the development of initiatives and concepts of city logistics which should allow the sustainable development of urban areas. The first part of this paper presents the problems of city logistics and impact of logistics activities on urban areas in terms of economic, environmental and social sustainability. The second part presents city logistics initiatives that involve the change of urban area context, in order to improve its sustainability.

  10. Developing a service improvement initiative for people with learning disabilities in hospice settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springall, Fiona

    2018-03-21

    People with learning disabilities are often marginalised in healthcare, including in hospice settings, and as a result may not receive effective end of life care. Research in hospice settings has identified that many staff lack confidence, skills and knowledge in caring for people with learning disabilities, which can have a negative effect on the care these individuals receive. To address these issues, the author has proposed a service improvement initiative, which she developed as part of her learning disability nursing degree programme. This proposed initiative aimed to enhance end of life care for people with learning disabilities through the implementation of a community learning disability link nurse in the hospice setting. ©2018 RCN Publishing Company Ltd. All rights reserved. Not to be copied, transmitted or recorded in any way, in whole or part, without prior permission of the publishers.

  11. Quality improvement initiative: Preventative Surgical Site Infection Protocol in Vascular Surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parizh, David; Ascher, Enrico; Raza Rizvi, Syed Ali; Hingorani, Anil; Amaturo, Michael; Johnson, Eric

    2018-02-01

    Objective A quality improvement initiative was employed to decrease single institution surgical site infection rate in open lower extremity revascularization procedures. In an attempt to lower patient morbidity, we developed and implemented the Preventative Surgical Site Infection Protocol in Vascular Surgery. Surgical site infections lead to prolonged hospital stays, adjunctive procedure, and additive costs. We employed targeted interventions to address the common risk factors that predispose patients to post-operative complications. Methods Retrospective review was performed between 2012 and 2016 for all surgical site infections after revascularization procedures of the lower extremity. A quality improvement protocol was initiated in January 2015. Primary outcome was the assessment of surgical site infection rate reduction in the pre-protocol vs. post-protocol era. Secondary outcomes evaluated patient demographics, closure method, perioperative antibiotic coverage, and management outcomes. Results Implementation of the protocol decreased the surgical site infection rate from 6.4% to 1.6% p = 0.0137). Patient demographics and comorbidities were assessed and failed to demonstrate a statistically significant difference among the infection and no-infection groups. Wound closure with monocryl suture vs. staple proved to be associated with decreased surgical site infection rate ( p site infections in the vascular surgery population are effective and necessary. Our data suggest that there may be benefit in the incorporation of MRSA and Gram-negative coverage as part of the Surgical Care Improvement Project perioperative guidelines.

  12. Direct injection of gaseous LPG in a two-stroke SI engine for improved performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pradeep, V.; Bakshi, Shamit; Ramesh, A.

    2015-01-01

    Improvements in a two-stroke, spark-ignition (2S–SI) engine can be realized by curtailing short-circuiting losses effectively through direct injection of the fuel. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is an alternative transportation fuel that is used in several countries. However, limited information is available on LPG fuelled direct injected engines. Hence, there is a need to study these systems as applied to 2S–SI engines in order to bring out their potential benefits. A manifold injected 2S–SI engine is modified for direct injection of LPG, in gaseous form, from the cylinder head. This engine is evaluated for performance, emission and combustion. Evaluation at various throttle positions and constant speed showed that this system can significantly improve the thermal efficiency and lower the hydrocarbon (HC) emissions. Up to 93% reduction in HC emissions and improved combustion rates are observed compared to the conventional manifold injection system with LPG. CO emissions are higher and peak NO emissions are lower with this system due to the presence of richer in–cylinder trapped mixtures and charge stratification. This system can operate with similar injection timings at different throttle positions which make electronic control simpler. It can work with low injection pressures in the range of 4–5 bars. All these advantages are attractive for commercial viability of this engine. - Highlights: • Energy saving, low pressure, direct gaseous LPG injection in engine. • Significant reduction in HC emissions at all operating conditions. • No significant changes in injection timings for different throttle positions.

  13. Area-based initiativesengines of innovation in planning and policy?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Jacob Norvig; Agger, Annika

    . Nevertheless, there is still considerable uncertainty as to the most important outcomes of place-based initiatives. Evaluations have mostly focussed on direct quantitative socio-economic indicators. These have often been quite insignificant, while other effects have been largely neglected. This paper proposes...... and development in planning culture turns out to be a more substantial result than the reduction of social exclusion and economic deprivation. The paper analyses all available official evaluation studies of Danish place-based urban policy initiatives from mid-1990s through 2010. In addition to this, recent...... studies of local planning culture change are discussed. Main findings are that during the past two decades a general change in planning culture has developed gradually, triggered by urban regeneration full scale experimentation with place-based approaches. Second, planners as well as public administrators...

  14. Re-Engineering a Small Oncology Practice for Quality Using the ASCO Quality Oncology Practice Initiative

    OpenAIRE

    Hendricks, Carolyn B.

    2013-01-01

    The field of quality improvement is expanding rapidly, and small oncology practices need to adapt and rise to future challenges. Additional quality measures from ASCO and other organizations will likely focus on palliative care, the Top Five, and electronic measures.

  15. Assessments in the Global Peace Operations Initiative: A Systems Engineering Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-06-01

    police unit GCC GPOI Coordination Committee GIG GPOI Implementation Guide GPOI Global Peace Operations Initiative GRC GPOI Regional Committee G8...degree necessary to build a coherent assessments framework. The GPOI Implementation Guide ( GIG ) begins by alluding to what the program intended to...elements and associated interactions fully observed and understood. Using the U.S. economy as an example, Driscoll (2011) illustrates the common

  16. Using human factors engineering to improve the effectiveness of infection prevention and control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Judith; Gosbee, Laura Lin; Bessesen, Mary; Williams, Linda

    2010-08-01

    Human factors engineering is a discipline that studies the capabilities and limitations of humans and the design of devices and systems for improved performance. The principles of human factors engineering can be applied to infection prevention and control to study the interaction between the healthcare worker and the system that he or she is working with, including the use of devices, the built environment, and the demands and complexities of patient care. Some key challenges in infection prevention, such as delayed feedback to healthcare workers, high cognitive workload, and poor ergonomic design, are explained, as is how human factors engineering can be used for improvement and increased compliance with practices to prevent hospital-acquired infections.

  17. Students' and teachers' perceptions: initial achievements of a Project-Based Engineering School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrón-López, María-José; Velasco-Quintana, Paloma-Julia; García-García, María-José; Ocampo, Jared R.

    2017-11-01

    A unified academic model based on the project-based learning (PBL) methodology was implemented, in the 2012-2013 period, in the School of Engineering at Universidad Europea de Madrid. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether teachers and students participating in the capstone projects feel that the objectives for which this methodology was designed for are being achieved. The data were collected through interviews to participants at the end of the PBL experience. The results are encouraging, as students seem to be more motivated, and they say that they are experiencing deeper learning, and have developed key competitive skills required for their professional lives. Findings also suggest that teachers face positively the PBL as a learning approach since they perceive that students obtain a deeper learning, develop transversal skills with the projects and are more engaged with their studies. Implications and recommendations for the future of the model are also discussed.

  18. Initial Steps for Quality Improvement of Obesity Care Across Divisions at a Tertiary Care Pediatric Hospital

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheila Z. Chang

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Pediatric subspecialists can participate in the care of obese children. Objective: To describe steps to help subspecialty providers initiate quality improvement efforts in obesity care. Methods: An anonymous patient data download, provider surveys and interviews assessed subspecialty providers’ identification and perspectives of childhood obesity and gathered information on perceived roles and care strategies. Participating divisions received summary analyses of quantitative and qualitative data and met with study leaders to develop visions for division/service-specific care improvement. Results: Among 13 divisions/services, subspecialists’ perceived role varied by specialty; many expressed the need for cross-collaboration. All survey informants agreed that identification was the first step, and expressed interest in obtaining additional resources to improve care. Conclusions: Subspecialists were interested in improving the quality and coordination of obesity care for patients across our tertiary care setting. Developing quality improvement projects to achieve greater pediatric obesity care goals starts with engagement of providers toward better identifying and managing childhood obesity.

  19. Evaluation of quality improvement initiative in pediatric oncology: implementation of aggressive hydration protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fratino, Lisa M; Daniel, Denise A; Cohen, Kenneth J; Chen, Allen R

    2009-01-01

    Our goal was to improve the efficiency of chemotherapy administration for pediatric oncology patients. We identified prechemotherapy hydration as the process that most often delayed chemotherapy administration. An aggressive hydration protocol, supported by fluid order sets, was developed for patients receiving planned chemotherapy. The mean interval from admission to achieving adequate hydration status was reduced significantly from 4.9 to 1.4 hours with a minor reduction in the time to initiate chemotherapy from 9.6 to 8.6 hours. Chemotherapy availability became the new rate-limiting process.

  20. Human performance in an operational event - how to improve it? An initiative in a French NPP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meslin, M.

    1998-01-01

    In the case of the Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux French nuclear power station, the author comments the elements and principles of human factor policy which have been implemented, the organizational implications of this implementation (building up of an internal human factors network), and briefly evokes studies and initiatives aimed at improving the quality of operation from a general point of view and through projects aiming at analyzing and at a valorisation of human reliability in activities dealing with reactor operation. He also comments the perception and appropriation of quality in the different departments

  1. Commonalty initiatives in US nuclear power plants to improve radiation protection culture and worker efficiency

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wood, W.; Miller, D.

    2003-01-01

    Many US nuclear power plants have learned that common procedures, policies, instrumentation, tools and work practices achieve improvements to the radiation protection culture. Significant worker efficiency achievements are accomplished especially during refuelling outages. This paper discusses commonalty initiatives currently being implemented at many US Plants to address management challenges presented by deregulation of the US electric industry, reduction in the pool of outage contractors and aging of the experienced radiation worker population. The new INPO 2005 dose goals of 650 person-mSv/year for PWRs and 1200 person-mSv/yr for PWRs will require new approaches to radiation protection management to achieve these challenging goals by 2005. (authors)

  2. Urban air quality improvement by using a CNG lean burn engine for city buses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Merétei, T.; Ling, J.A.N. van; Havenith, C.

    1998-01-01

    The use of compressed natural gas (CNG)-fuelled lean-burn city bus engines has a significant potential for air quality improvement in urban areas. Particularly important is the reduction of NO, as well as particulate and non regulated HC-emissions. For this reason, a CNG-fuelled, lean-burn,

  3. Cause-Effect Analysis: Improvement of a First Year Engineering Students' Calculus Teaching Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Hoff, Quay; Harding, Ansie

    2017-01-01

    This study focuses on the mathematics department at a South African university and in particular on teaching of calculus to first year engineering students. The paper reports on a cause-effect analysis, often used for business improvement. The cause-effect analysis indicates that there are many factors that impact on secondary school teaching of…

  4. Assessing Cognitive Load Theory to Improve Student Learning for Mechanical Engineers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Impelluso, Thomas J.

    2009-01-01

    A computer programming class for students of mechanical engineering was redesigned and assessed: Cognitive Load Theory was used to redesign the content; online technologies were used to redesign the delivery. Student learning improved and the dropout rate was reduced. This article reports on both attitudinal and objective assessment: comparing…

  5. Integrating the development of continuous improvement andinnovation capabilities into engineering education

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Frances; Kofoed, Lise B.

    2007-01-01

    In this paper, a study is presented in which engineering students at a Danish university developed Continuous Improvement (CI) and innovation capabilities through action research and experientiallearning methods. The paper begins with a brief overview of the literature on CI and innovation...

  6. U.S. Engineering Degrees for Improving South Indian Graduate Students' Marriage and Dowry Options

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yakaboski, Tamara; Sheridan, Robyn Stout; Dade, Kristin

    2014-01-01

    The article examines improved marriage opportunities as an unexplored motivator for pursuing international education via U.S. graduate engineering degrees and stresses the need to centralize gender in analyzing academic mobility and international education. This interdisciplinary qualitative study explores how South Indian men and women's…

  7. Improving Aerospace Engineering Students' Achievements by an Open Aero Control Experiment Apparatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, QingHua; Zhang, WeiHua; Huang, ZheZhi; Dong, RongHua

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes the development of an aero control experiment apparatus (ACEA) for use in aerospace control practical courses. The ACEA incorporates a systematic multihierarchy learning and teaching method, and was designed to improve aerospace engineering students' understanding of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) control systems. It offers a…

  8. Application of quality-improvement methods in a community practice: the Sandhills Pediatrics Asthma Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wroth, Thomas H; Boals, Joseph C

    2005-01-01

    leadership and support. The leaders of the practice saw beyond the usual metrics of patient visit counts and relative value units (RVUs) to embrace the concept of population health: the notion that practices are not only responsible for providing acute, episodic care in the office, but also for improving health outcomes in the community in which they serve. Other important factors included ensuring a basic agreement among providers on the need for improvement and frequent communication about the goals of the project. Although the champions of the project tried to minimize formal meeting time, there was frequent informal communication between team members. In the future, there is a need to develop other approaches to stimulate these endeavors in community practices, such as "pay for performance" programs, continuing education credit, and tying maintenance of board certification to quality improvement initiatives.

  9. The CRINE initiative -- Producing the engineering tools (functional specifications and common working practices)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tuft, V.

    1995-01-01

    Alongside culture change, CRINE's other challenge is producing the right tools for the North Sea industry to change its traditional method of operation. CRINE, an acronym for Cost Reduction Initiative for the New Era, is an industry-wide program now underway in the UK Continental Shelf whose main objective is to achieve thirty percent or more savings in capital costs and to half operating costs over the next few years. These tools cover functional specifications, common working practices and quality. Turning these tools into deliverables, and on time, was a mixture of painstaking work and willingness by people to adapt to the needs of the task

  10. Self-triggered assistive stimulus training improves step initiation in persons with Parkinson’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Creath Robert A

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prior studies demonstrated that hesitation-prone persons with Parkinson’s disease (PDs acutely improve step initiation using a novel self-triggered stimulus that enhances lateral weight shift prior to step onset. PDs showed reduced anticipatory postural adjustment (APA durations, earlier step onsets, and faster 1st step speed immediately following stimulus exposure. Objective This study investigated the effects of long-term stimulus exposure. Methods Two groups of hesitation-prone subjects with Parkinson’s disease (PD participated in a 6-week step-initiation training program involving one of two stimulus conditions: 1 Drop. The stance-side support surface was lowered quickly (1.5 cm; 2 Vibration. A short vibration (100 ms was applied beneath the stance-side support surface. Stimuli were self-triggered by a 5% reduction in vertical force under the stance foot during the APA. Testing was at baseline, immediately post-training, and 6 weeks post-training. Measurements included timing and magnitude of ground reaction forces, and step speed and length. Results Both groups improved their APA force modulation after training. Contrary to previous results, neither group showed reduced APA durations or earlier step onset times. The vibration group showed 55% increase in step speed and a 39% increase in step length which were retained 6 weeks post-training. The drop group showed no stepping-performance improvements. Conclusions The acute sensitivity to the quickness-enhancing effects of stimulus exposure demonstrated in previous studies was supplanted by improved force modulation following prolonged stimulus exposure. The results suggest a potential approach to reduce the severity of start hesitation in PDs, but further study is needed to understand the relationship between short- and long-term effects of stimulus exposure.

  11. Information needs of engineers. The methodology developed by the WFEO Committee on Engineering Information and the use of value analysis for improving information services

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Darjoto, S.W.; Martono, A.; Michel, J.

    1990-05-01

    The World Federation of Engineering Organizations - WFEO - through the work of its Committee on Engineering Information, aims at improving the efficiency of engineers and particularly at developing new attitudes and practices concerning the specialized information mastering. One important part of the WFEO/CEI programme of activities during the last years and for the next years was and is devoted to a better understanding of the information needs of engineers. But also, it seems now essential to WFEO/CEI to better evaluate information services in order to correctly adapt them to the identified needs of engineers. The following communication will emphasize these two main and related perspectives: identifying the information needs of engineers; developing Value Analysis approaches for engineering information services. (author). 3 refs

  12. Information needs of engineers. The methodology developed by the WFEO Committee on Engineering Information and the use of value analysis for improving information services

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Darjoto, S W [Indonesian Inst. of Sciences, Bandung (Indonesia); Martono, A [Indonesian Inst. of Engineers, Jakarta (Indonesia); Michel, J [Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees, Paris (France)

    1990-05-01

    The World Federation of Engineering Organizations - WFEO - through the work of its Committee on Engineering Information, aims at improving the efficiency of engineers and particularly at developing new attitudes and practices concerning the specialized information mastering. One important part of the WFEO/CEI programme of activities during the last years and for the next years was and is devoted to a better understanding of the information needs of engineers. But also, it seems now essential to WFEO/CEI to better evaluate information services in order to correctly adapt them to the identified needs of engineers. The following communication will emphasize these two main and related perspectives: identifying the information needs of engineers; developing Value Analysis approaches for engineering information services. (author). 3 refs.

  13. Engineering Ethics Education on the Basis of Continuous Education to Improve Communication Ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahara, Kenji; Kajiwara, Toshinori

    The paper proposes the engineering ethics education method for students on the basis of continuous education to improve communication ability. First, through a debate, the students acquire the fundamental skills required to marshal their arguments, to construct the rebuttals and to summarize the debates. Secondly, the students study the fundamental techniques to make a presentation on technical subjects related to electrical engineering. Following these classes, in the lecture of engineering ethics, the students probe the cause of each accident and consider the better means for avoiding such an accident, each other. In most cases, the students can express right and commonsensical opinions from an ethical standpoint. However, they can hardly make judgments when the situations such as the human relations in the above accidents are set concretely. During the engineering ethics class, the students come to know that human relations behind the case make the ethical matters more complicated. Furthermore, they come to understand that facilitating daily communications with co-workers and/or bosses is very important in order to avoid the accidents. The recognition of the students is just the results of the continuous education through three years. It can be said that the engineering ethics education thus constructed makes the students raise such spontaneous awareness and their ethical qualities as engineers.

  14. Improving magnetic properties of MgB{sub 2} bulk superconductors by synthetic engine oil treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taylan Koparan, E., E-mail: etaylan20@gmail.com [Department of Science Education, Eregli Faculty of Education, Bulent Ecevit University, TR-67300, Zonguldak (Turkey); Savaskan, B. [Energy Systems Engineering, Faculty of Technology, Karadeniz Technical University, 61830, Of, Trabzon (Turkey); Yanmaz, E. [Department of Mechatronics, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, İstanbul Gelişim University, İstanbul (Turkey)

    2016-08-15

    Highlights: • The effects of synthetic engine oil treatment on magnetic properties of bulk MgB{sub 2} superconductors has been first time investigated and reported. • Synthetic engine oil used as a product which is cheap and a rich carbon source obviously has improved the superconducting magnetic properties of MgB{sub 2}. • The critical current density of all of MgB{sub 2} samples immersed at different standby time in engine oil in whole field range has been better than that of the pure MgB{sub 2} sample. • The MgB{sub 2} sample immersed at 300 min standby time in synthetic engine oil has the best performance compared to other samples. - Abstract: The present study focuses on the effects of standby time of the MgB{sub 2} samples immersed in synthetic engine oil on the critical current density ( J{sub c}(H)), magnetic field dependence of the pinning force density f{sub p}(b) and T{sub c} performances of MgB{sub 2} bulk superconductors. Synthetic engine oil was used as a product which is cheap and a rich carbon source. Manufactured MgB{sub 2} pellet samples were immersed at different standby time of 30 min, 120 min, 300 min and 1440 min in synthetic engine oil after the first heating process. Finally, MgB{sub 2} samples immersed in synthetic engine oil were sintered at 1000 °C and kept for 15 min in Ar atmosphere. The critical current density of all of MgB{sub 2} samples immersed at different standby time in engine oil in whole field range was better than that of the pure MgB{sub 2} sample because of the number of the pinning centers. The MgB{sub 2} sample immersed at 300 min standby time in synthetic engine oil has the best performance compared to other samples. The J{sub c} value for the pure sample is 2.0 × 10{sup 3} A/cm{sup 2}, whereas for the MgB{sub 2} sample immersed at 300 min standby time in engine oil the J{sub c} is enhanced to 4.8 × 10{sup 3} A/cm{sup 2} at 5 K and 3 T. The superconducting transition temperature (T{sub c}) did not change

  15. Improving magnetic properties of MgB_2 bulk superconductors by synthetic engine oil treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylan Koparan, E.; Savaskan, B.; Yanmaz, E.

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • The effects of synthetic engine oil treatment on magnetic properties of bulk MgB_2 superconductors has been first time investigated and reported. • Synthetic engine oil used as a product which is cheap and a rich carbon source obviously has improved the superconducting magnetic properties of MgB_2. • The critical current density of all of MgB_2 samples immersed at different standby time in engine oil in whole field range has been better than that of the pure MgB_2 sample. • The MgB_2 sample immersed at 300 min standby time in synthetic engine oil has the best performance compared to other samples. - Abstract: The present study focuses on the effects of standby time of the MgB_2 samples immersed in synthetic engine oil on the critical current density ( J_c(H)), magnetic field dependence of the pinning force density f_p(b) and T_c performances of MgB_2 bulk superconductors. Synthetic engine oil was used as a product which is cheap and a rich carbon source. Manufactured MgB_2 pellet samples were immersed at different standby time of 30 min, 120 min, 300 min and 1440 min in synthetic engine oil after the first heating process. Finally, MgB_2 samples immersed in synthetic engine oil were sintered at 1000 °C and kept for 15 min in Ar atmosphere. The critical current density of all of MgB_2 samples immersed at different standby time in engine oil in whole field range was better than that of the pure MgB_2 sample because of the number of the pinning centers. The MgB_2 sample immersed at 300 min standby time in synthetic engine oil has the best performance compared to other samples. The J_c value for the pure sample is 2.0 × 10"3 A/cm"2, whereas for the MgB_2 sample immersed at 300 min standby time in engine oil the J_c is enhanced to 4.8 × 10"3 A/cm"2 at 5 K and 3 T. The superconducting transition temperature (T_c) did not change with the increasing standby time of the samples in synthetic engine oil at all. The best diamagnetic property was

  16. Improving Student Writing: Methods You Can Use in Science and Engineering Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitt, S. J.; Bright, K.

    2013-12-01

    Many educators in the fields of science and engineering assure their students that writing is an important and necessary part of their work. According to David Lindsay, in Scientific Writing=Thinking in Words, 99% of scientists agree that writing is an integral part of their jobs. However, only 5% of those same scientists have ever had formal instruction in scientific writing, and those who are also educators may then feel unconfident in teaching this skill to their students (2). Additionally, making time for writing instruction in courses that are already full of technical content can cause it to be hastily and/or peremptorily included. These situations may be some of the contributing factors to the prevailing attitude of frustration that pervades the conversation about writing in science and engineering classrooms. This presentation provides a summary of past, present, and ongoing Writing Center research on effective writing tutoring in order to give science and engineering educators integrated approaches for working with student writers in their disciplines. From creating assignments, providing instruction, guiding revisions, facilitating peer review, and using assessments, we offer a comprehensive approach to getting your students motivated to improve their writing. Our new research study focuses on developing student writing resources and support in science and engineering institutions, with the goal of utilizing cross-disciplinary knowledge that can be used by the various constituencies responsible for improving the effectiveness of writing among student engineers and scientists. We will will draw upon recent findings in the study of the rhetoric and compositional pedagogy and apply them to the specific needs of the science and engineering classroom. The fields of communication, journalism, social sciences, rhetoric, technical writing, and philosophy of science have begun to integrate these findings into classroom practice, and we will show how these can also

  17. Supply-side interventions to improve health: Findings from the Salud Mesoamérica Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mokdad, Ali H; Palmisano, Erin B; Zúñiga-Brenes, Paola; Ríos-Zertuche, Diego; Johanns, Casey K; Schaefer, Alexandra; Desai, Sima S; Haakenstad, Annie; Gagnier, Marielle C; McNellan, Claire R; Colombara, Danny V; López Romero, Sonia; Castillo, Leolin; Salvatierra, Benito; Hernandez, Bernardo; Betancourt-Cravioto, Miguel; Mujica-Rosales, Ricardo; Regalia, Ferdinando; Tapia-Conyer, Roberto; Iriarte, Emma

    2018-01-01

    Results-based aid (RBA) is increasingly used to incentivize action in health. In Mesoamerica, the region consisting of southern Mexico and Central America, the RBA project known as the Salud Mesoamérica Initiative (SMI) was designed to target disparities in maternal and child health, focusing on the poorest 20% of the population across the region. Data were first collected in 365 intervention health facilities to establish a baseline of indicators. For the first follow-up measure, 18 to 24 months later, 368 facilities were evaluated in these same areas. At both stages, we measured a near-identical set of supply-side performance indicators in line with country-specific priorities in maternal and child health. All countries showed progress in performance indicators, although with different levels. El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama reached their 18-month targets, while the State of Chiapas in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize did not. A second follow-up measurement in Chiapas and Guatemala showed continued progress, as they achieved previously missed targets nine to 12 months later, after implementing a performance improvement plan. Our findings show an initial success in the supply-side indicators of SMI. Our data suggest that the RBA approach can be a motivator to improve availability of drugs and services in poor areas. Moreover, our innovative monitoring and evaluation framework will allow health officials with limited resources to identify and target areas of greatest need.

  18. Osteogenic Treatment Initiating a Tissue-Engineered Cartilage Template Hypertrophic Transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, J Y; Lim, S Y; He, P F; Fan, C J; Wang, D A

    2016-10-01

    Hypertrophic chondrocytes play a critical role in endochondral bone formation as well as the progress of osteoarthritis (OA). An in vitro cartilage hypertrophy model can be used as a platform to study complex molecular mechanisms involved in these processes and screen new drugs for OA. To develop an in vitro cartilage hypertrophy model, we treated a tissue-engineered cartilage template, living hyaline cartilaginous graft (LhCG), with osteogenic medium for hypertrophic induction. In addition, endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) were seeded onto LhCG constructs to mimic vascular invasion. The results showed that osteogenic treatment significantly inhibited the synthesis of endostatin in LhCG constructs and enhanced expression of hypertrophic marker-collagen type X (Col X) and osteogenic markers, as well as calcium deposition in vitro. Upon subcutaneous implantation, osteogenic medium-treated LhCG constructs all stained positive for Col X and showed significant calcium deposition and blood vessel invasion. Col X staining and calcium deposition were most obvious in osteogenic medium-treated only group, while there was no difference between EPC-seeded and non-seeded group. These results demonstrated that osteogenic treatment was of the primary factor to induce hypertrophic transition of LhCG constructs and this model may contribute to the establishment of an in vitro cartilage hypertrophy model.

  19. Gynecologic Oncology Group quality assurance audits: analysis and initiatives for improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blessing, John A; Bialy, Sally A; Whitney, Charles W; Stonebraker, Bette L; Stehman, Frederick B

    2010-08-01

    The Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) is a multi-institution, multi-discipline Cooperative Group funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to conduct clinical trials which investigate the treatment, prevention, control, quality of survivorship, and translational science of gynecologic malignancies. In 1982, the NCI initiated a program of on-site quality assurance audits of participating institutions. Each is required to be audited at least once every 3 years. In GOG, the audit mandate is the responsibility of the GOG Quality Assurance Audit Committee and it is centralized in the Statistical and Data Center (SDC). Each component (Regulatory, Investigational Drug Pharmacy, Patient Case Review) is classified as Acceptable, Acceptable, follow-up required, or Unacceptable. To determine frequently occurring deviations and develop focused innovative solutions to address them. A database was created to examine the deviations noted at the most recent audit conducted at 57 GOG parent institutions during 2004-2007. Cumulatively, this involved 687 patients and 306 protocols. The results documented commendable performance: Regulatory (39 Acceptable, 17 Acceptable, follow-up, 1 Unacceptable); Pharmacy (41 Acceptable, 3 Acceptable, follow-up, 1 Unacceptable, 12 N/A): Patient Case Review (31 Acceptable, 22 Acceptable, follow-up, 4 Unacceptable). The nature of major and lesser deviations was analyzed to create and enhance initiatives for improvement of the quality of clinical research. As a result, Group-wide proactive initiatives were undertaken, audit training sessions have emphasized recurring issues, and GOG Data Management Subcommittee agendas have provided targeted instruction and training. The analysis was based upon parent institutions only; affiliate institutions and Community Clinical Oncology Program participants were not included, although it is assumed their areas of difficulty are similar. The coordination of the GOG Quality Assurance Audit program in the SDC has

  20. Cost Analysis of Total Joint Arthroplasty Readmissions in a Bundled Payment Care Improvement Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clair, Andrew J; Evangelista, Perry J; Lajam, Claudette M; Slover, James D; Bosco, Joseph A; Iorio, Richard

    2016-09-01

    The Bundled Payment for Care Improvement (BPCI) Initiative is a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services program designed to promote coordinated and efficient care. This study seeks to report costs of readmissions within a 90-day episode of care for BPCI Initiative patients receiving total knee arthroplasty (TKA) or total hip arthroplasty (THA). From January 2013 through December 2013, 1 urban, tertiary, academic orthopedic hospital admitted 664 patients undergoing either primary TKA or THA through the BPCI Initiative. All patients readmitted to our hospital or an outside hospital within 90-days from the index episode were identified. The diagnosis and cost for each readmission were analyzed. Eighty readmissions in 69 of 664 patients (10%) were identified within 90-days. There were 53 readmissions (45 patients) after THA and 27 readmissions (24 patients) after TKA. Surgical complications accounted for 54% of THA readmissions and 44% of TKA readmissions. These complications had an average cost of $36,038 (range, $6375-$60,137) for THA and $38,953 (range, $4790-$104,794) for TKA. Eliminating the TKA outlier of greater than $100,000 yields an average cost of $27,979. Medical complications of THA and TKA had an average cost of $22,775 (range, $5678-$82,940) for THA and $24,183 (range, $3306-$186,069) for TKA. Eliminating the TKA outlier of greater than $100,000 yields an average cost of $11,682. Hospital readmissions after THA and TKA are common and costly. Identifying the causes for readmission and assessing the cost will guide quality improvement efforts. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Quality Improvement Initiative to Increase the Use of Nasogastric Hydration in Infants With Bronchiolitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, Mythili; Pruitt, Cassandra; Casey, Erin; Dhaliwal, Keerat; DeSanto, Cori; Markus, Richard; Rosen, Ayelet

    2017-08-01

    Intravenous (IV) hydration is used primarily in children with bronchiolitis at our institution. Because nasogastric (NG) hydration can provide better nutrition, the goal of our quality improvement (QI) initiative was to increase the rate of NG hydration in eligible children 1 to 23 months old with bronchiolitis by 20% over 6 months. We used Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles to increase the use of NG hydration in eligible children. Interventions included educational and system-based changes and sharing parental feedback with providers. Chart reviews were performed to identify the rates of NG hydration, which were plotted over time in a statistical process control p chart. The balancing measure was the rate of complications in children with NG versus IV hydration. Two hundred and ninety-three children who were hospitalized with bronchiolitis needed supplemental hydration during the QI initiative (January 2016-April 2016). Ninety-one children were candidates for NG hydration, and 53 (58%) received NG hydration. The rates of NG hydration increased from a baseline of 0% pre-QI bronchiolitis season (January 2015-April 2015) to 58% during the initiative. There was no aspiration and no accidental placement of the NG tube into a child's airway. Nine patients (17%) in the NG group had a progression of disease requiring nil per os status, and 6 of these were transferred to the PICU whereas none of those in the IV group were transferred to the PICU. Post-QI initiative, the majority of nurses (63%) and physicians (95%) stated that they are more likely to consider NG hydration in children with bronchiolitis. We successfully increased the rates of NG hydration in eligible children with bronchiolitis by using educational and system-based interventions. Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  2. Device Engineering Towards Improved Tin Sulfide Solar Cell Performance and Performance Reproducibility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steinmann, Vera; Chakraborty, Rupak; Rekemeyer, Paul; Siol, Sebastian; Martinot, Loic; Polizzotti, Alex; Yang, Chuanxi; Hartman, Katy; Gradecak, Silvija; Zakutayev, Andriy; Gordon, Roy G.; Buonassisi, Tonio

    2016-11-21

    As novel absorber materials are developed and screened for their photovoltaic (PV) properties, the challenge remains to rapidly test promising candidates in high-performing PV devices. There is a need to engineer new compatible device architectures, including the development of novel transparent conductive oxides and buffer layers. Here, we consider the two approaches of a substrate-style and a superstrate-style device architecture for novel thin-film solar cells. We use tin sulfide as a test absorber material. Upon device engineering, we demonstrate new approaches to improve device performance and performance reproducibility.

  3. Engineered Zircaloy Cladding Modifications for Improved Accident Tolerance of LWR Nuclear Fuel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heuser, Brent [Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States); Stubbins, James [Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States); Kozlowski, Tomasz [Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States); Uddin, Rizwan [Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States); Trinkle, Dallas [Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States); Downar, Thoms [Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States); Was, Gary [Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States); ang, Yong [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States); Phillpot, Simon [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States); Sabharwall, piyush [Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    2017-07-25

    The DOE NEUP sponsored IRP on accident tolerant fuel (ATF) entitled Engineered Zircaloy Cladding Modifications for Improved Accident Tolerance of LWR Nuclear Fuel involved three academic institutions, Idaho National Laboratory (INL), and ATI Materials (ATI). Detailed descriptions of the work at the University of Illinois (UIUC, prime), the University of Florida (UF), the University of Michigan (UMich), and INL are included in this document as separate sections. This summary provides a synopsis of the work performed across the IRP team. Two ATF solution pathways were initially proposed, coatings on monolithic Zr-based LWR cladding material and selfhealing modifications of Zr-based alloys. The coating pathway was extensively investigated, both experimentally and in computations. Experimental activities related to ATF coatings were centered at UIUC, UF, and UMich and involved coating development and testing, and ion irradiation. Neutronic and thermal hydraulic aspects of ATF coatings were the focus of computational work at UIUC and UMich, while materials science aspects were the focus of computational work at UF and INL. ATI provided monolithic Zircaloy 2 and 4 material and a binary Zr-Y alloy material. The selfhealing pathway was investigated with advanced computations only. Beryllium was identified as a valid self-healing additive early in this work. However, all attempts to fabricate a Zr-Be alloy failed. Several avenues of fabrication were explored. ATI ultimately declined our fabrication request over health concerns associated with Be (we note that Be was not part of the original work scope and the ATI SOW). Likewise, Ames Laboratory declined our fabrication request, citing known litigation dating to the 1980s and 1990s involving the U.S. Federal government and U.S. National Laboratory employees involving the use of Be. Materion (formerly, Brush Wellman) also declined our fabrication request, citing the difficulty in working with a highly reactive Zr and Be

  4. Engineered Zircaloy Cladding Modifications for Improved Accident Tolerance of LWR Nuclear Fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heuser, Brent; Stubbins, James; Kozlowski, Tomasz; Uddin, Rizwan; Trinkle, Dallas; Downar, Thoms; Was, Gary; Ang, Yong; Phillpot, Simon; Sabharwall, Piyush

    2017-01-01

    The DOE NEUP sponsored IRP on accident tolerant fuel (ATF) entitled Engineered Zircaloy Cladding Modifications for Improved Accident Tolerance of LWR Nuclear Fuel involved three academic institutions, Idaho National Laboratory (INL), and ATI Materials (ATI). Detailed descriptions of the work at the University of Illinois (UIUC, prime), the University of Florida (UF), the University of Michigan (UMich), and INL are included in this document as separate sections. This summary provides a synopsis of the work performed across the IRP team. Two ATF solution pathways were initially proposed, coatings on monolithic Zr-based LWR cladding material and selfhealing modifications of Zr-based alloys. The coating pathway was extensively investigated, both experimentally and in computations. Experimental activities related to ATF coatings were centered at UIUC, UF, and UMich and involved coating development and testing, and ion irradiation. Neutronic and thermal hydraulic aspects of ATF coatings were the focus of computational work at UIUC and UMich, while materials science aspects were the focus of computational work at UF and INL. ATI provided monolithic Zircaloy 2 and 4 material and a binary Zr-Y alloy material. The selfhealing pathway was investigated with advanced computations only. Beryllium was identified as a valid self-healing additive early in this work. However, all attempts to fabricate a Zr-Be alloy failed. Several avenues of fabrication were explored. ATI ultimately declined our fabrication request over health concerns associated with Be (we note that Be was not part of the original work scope and the ATI SOW). Likewise, Ames Laboratory declined our fabrication request, citing known litigation dating to the 1980s and 1990s involving the U.S. Federal government and U.S. National Laboratory employees involving the use of Be. Materion (formerly, Brush Wellman) also declined our fabrication request, citing the difficulty in working with a highly reactive Zr and Be

  5. Quality Improvement Initiative on Pain Knowledge, Assessment, and Documentation Skills of Pediatric Nurses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margonary, Heather; Hannan, Margaret S; Schlenk, Elizabeth A

    2017-01-01

    Pain treatment begins with a nurse’s assessment, which relies on effective assessment skills. Hospital settings have implemented pain assessment education, but there is limited evidence in pediatric transitional care settings. The purpose of this quality improvement (QI) initiative was to develop, implement, and evaluate an evidence-based pain education session with 20 nurses in a pediatric specialty hospital that provides transitional care. Specific aims were to assess nurses’ knowledge and attitudes of pain, and evaluate assessment skills based on nurses’ documentation. A prospective pre-post design with three assessments (baseline, post-intervention, and one-month follow-up) was used. The Shriner’s Pediatric Nurses’ Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Pain questionnaire and an electronic health record review were completed at each assessment. There was significant improvement in nurses’ knowledge and attitudes of pain after the education session (F[2,6] = 50.281, p nurses significantly increased from 43.1% at baseline to 64.8% at post-intervention, and 67.7% at follow-up (χ²[2] = 20.55, p Nursing interventions for pain increased significantly, from 33.3% at baseline to 84.0% at post-intervention, and stabilized at 80.0% at follow-up (χ²[2] = 8.91, p = 0.012). Frequency of pain reassessments did not show a statistically significant change, decreasing from 77.8% at baseline to 44.0% at post-intervention and 40.0% at follow-up (χ²[2]= 3.538, p = 0.171). Nurses’ pain knowledge and documentation of assessment skills were improved in this QI initiative.

  6. X-ray scatter correction method for dedicated breast computed tomography: improvements and initial patient testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramamurthy, Senthil; D’Orsi, Carl J; Sechopoulos, Ioannis

    2016-01-01

    A previously proposed x-ray scatter correction method for dedicated breast computed tomography was further developed and implemented so as to allow for initial patient testing. The method involves the acquisition of a complete second set of breast CT projections covering 360° with a perforated tungsten plate in the path of the x-ray beam. To make patient testing feasible, a wirelessly controlled electronic positioner for the tungsten plate was designed and added to a breast CT system. Other improvements to the algorithm were implemented, including automated exclusion of non-valid primary estimate points and the use of a different approximation method to estimate the full scatter signal. To evaluate the effectiveness of the algorithm, evaluation of the resulting image quality was performed with a breast phantom and with nine patient images. The improvements in the algorithm resulted in the avoidance of introduction of artifacts, especially at the object borders, which was an issue in the previous implementation in some cases. Both contrast, in terms of signal difference and signal difference-to-noise ratio were improved with the proposed method, as opposed to with the correction algorithm incorporated in the system, which does not recover contrast. Patient image evaluation also showed enhanced contrast, better cupping correction, and more consistent voxel values for the different tissues. The algorithm also reduces artifacts present in reconstructions of non-regularly shaped breasts. With the implemented hardware and software improvements, the proposed method can be reliably used during patient breast CT imaging, resulting in improvement of image quality, no introduction of artifacts, and in some cases reduction of artifacts already present. The impact of the algorithm on actual clinical performance for detection, diagnosis and other clinical tasks in breast imaging remains to be evaluated. (paper)

  7. Improving the provision of pregnancy care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women: a continuous quality improvement initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson-Helm, Melanie E; Rumbold, Alice R; Teede, Helena J; Ranasinha, Sanjeeva; Bailie, Ross S; Boyle, Jacqueline A

    2016-05-24

    Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) women are at greater risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes than non-Indigenous women. Pregnancy care has a key role in identifying and addressing modifiable risk factors that contribute to adverse outcomes. We investigated whether participation in a continuous quality improvement (CQI) initiative was associated with increases in provision of recommended pregnancy care by primary health care centers (PHCs) in predominantly Indigenous communities, and whether provision of care was associated with organizational systems or characteristics. Longitudinal analysis of 2220 pregnancy care records from 50 PHCs involved in up to four cycles of CQI in Australia between 2007 and 2012. Linear and logistic regression analyses investigated associations between documented provision of pregnancy care and each CQI cycle, and self-ratings of organizational systems. Main outcome measures included screening and counselling for lifestyle-related risk factors. Women attending PHCs after ≥1 CQI cycles were more likely to receive each pregnancy care measure than women attending before PHCs had completed one cycle e.g. screening for cigarette use: baseline = 73 % (reference), cycle one = 90 % [odds ratio (OR):3.0, 95 % confidence interval (CI):2.2-4.1], two = 91 % (OR:5.1, 95 % CI:3.3-7.8), three = 93 % (OR:6.3, 95 % CI:3.1-13), four = 95 % (OR:11, 95 % CI:4.3-29). Greater self-ratings of overall organizational systems were significantly associated with greater screening for alcohol use (β = 6.8, 95 % CI:0.25-13), nutrition counselling (β = 8.3, 95 % CI:3.1-13), and folate prescription (β = 7.9, 95 % CI:2.6-13). Participation in a CQI initiative by PHCs in Indigenous communities is associated with greater provision of pregnancy care regarding lifestyle-related risk factors. More broadly, these findings support incorporation of CQI activities addressing systems level issues into primary care

  8. Application of Value Engineering to Improve upon Customer Services Performance in Mazandaran Water and Sewage Company

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reza Tavakkoli-Mogahddam

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Over the course of producing and marketing goods and services, it appears that industry faces a new challenge in which information and science form the basis for any organizational movement. In this regard, the competitive preference of the organization concentrates on customer and value creation in the organization. Value engineering recognizes product/service functions and produces those with the maximum value at the lowest cost without the loss of production or service quality and safety. In this paper, using value engineering based on the international job plan of the SAVE (Society of American Value Engineering, various alternatives are proposed to improve upon the performance of Customer Services of Water and Sewage Co. The results indicate possible savings of about 714 Million Rials for the water authority in the city of Sari and 4860 Million Rials across Mazandaran Province.

  9. Use of a VGT to improve the limiting torque characteristics of a DI automotive diesel engine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hawley, J.G.; Wallace, F.J.; Cox, A. [University of Bath (United Kingdom). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; Pease, A.C. [Lotus Cars Ltd., Norwich (United Kingdom); Bird, G.L. [AVT, Diesel, Ford Motor Co. Ltd., Dunton (United Kingdom); Horrocks, R.W. [Diesel Powertrain Research, FFA, Aachen (Germany)

    1998-07-01

    The paper describes the experimental and modelling investigations that have been undertaken on the use of a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) to improve the limiting torque characteristics of a prototype 1.8 litre DI diesel engine. The baseline build of the engine with a fixed geometry turbocharger (FGT) was extensively mapped. Replacement of the FGT with the VGT resulted in a 10 per cent increase in torque on the baseline LTC without exceeding the set limiting parameters of maximum cylinder pressure, pre-turbine temperature and exhaust smoke. In conjunction with the experimental evaluation, an extensive cycle simulation exercise was conducted which indicated that the baseline LTC could be extended by as much as 15 per cent without exceeding the limiting engine operating criteria. (author)

  10. Initiated chemical vapor deposition of thermoresponsive poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) thin films for cell sheet engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Bora; Jiao, Alex; Yu, Seungjung; You, Jae Bem; Kim, Deok-Ho; Im, Sung Gap

    2013-08-01

    Poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) (PNVCL) is a thermoresponsive polymer known to be nontoxic, water soluble and biocompatible. Here, PNVCL homopolymer was successfully synthesized for the first time by use of a one-step vapor-phase process, termed initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy results showed that radical polymerization took place from N-vinylcaprolactam monomers without damaging the functional caprolactam ring. A sharp lower critical solution temperature transition was observed at 31°C from the iCVD poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) (PNVCL) film. The thermoresponsive PNVCL surface exhibited a hydrophilic/hydrophobic alteration with external temperature change, which enabled the thermally modulated attachment and detachment of cells. The conformal coverage of PNVCL film on various substrates with complex topography, including fabrics and nanopatterns, was successfully demonstrated, which can further be utilized to fabricate cell sheets with aligned cell morphology. The advantage of this system is that cells cultured on such thermoresponsive surfaces could be recovered as an intact cell sheet by simply lowering the temperature, eliminating the need for conventional enzymatic treatments. Copyright © 2013 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Cardiovascular risk assessment: audit findings from a nurse clinic--a quality improvement initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldron, Sarah; Horsburgh, Margaret

    2009-09-01

    Evidence has shown the effectiveness of risk factor management in reducing mortality and morbidity from cardiovascular disease (CVD). An audit of a nurse CVD risk assessment programme undertaken between November 2005 and December 2008 in a Northland general practice. A retrospective audit of CVD risk assessment with data for the first entry of 621 patients collected exclusively from PREDICT-CVDTM, along with subsequent data collected from 320 of these patients who had a subsequent assessment recorded at an interval ranging from six months to three years (18 month average). Of the eligible population (71%) with an initial CVD risk assessment, 430 (69.2%) had afive-year absolute risk less than 15%, with 84 (13.5%) having a risk greater than 15% and having not had a cardiovascular event. Of the patients with a follow-up CVD risk assessment, 34 showed improvement. Medication prescribing for patients with absolute CVD risk greater than 15% increased from 71% to 86% for anti-platelet medication and for lipid lowering medication from 65% to 72% in the audit period. The recently available 'heart health' trajectory tool will help patients become more aware of risks that are modifiable, together with community support to engage more patients in the nurse CVD prevention programme. Further medication audits to monitor prescribing trends. Patients who showed an improvement in CVD risk had an improvement in one or more modifiable risk factors and became actively involved in making changes to their health.

  12. The Business Change Initiative: A Novel Approach to Improved Cost and Schedule Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinn, Stephen A.; Bryson, Jonathan; Klein, Gerald; Lunz-Ruark, Val; Majerowicz, Walt; McKeever, J.; Nair, Param

    2016-01-01

    Goddard Space Flight Center's Flight Projects Directorate employed a Business Change Initiative (BCI) to infuse a series of activities coordinated to drive improved cost and schedule performance across Goddard's missions. This sustaining change framework provides a platform to manage and implement cost and schedule control techniques throughout the project portfolio. The BCI concluded in December 2014, deploying over 100 cost and schedule management changes including best practices, tools, methods, training, and knowledge sharing. The new business approach has driven the portfolio to improved programmatic performance. The last eight launched GSFC missions have optimized cost, schedule, and technical performance on a sustained basis to deliver on time and within budget, returning funds in many cases. While not every future mission will boast such strong performance, improved cost and schedule tools, management practices, and ongoing comprehensive evaluations of program planning and control methods to refine and implement best practices will continue to provide a framework for sustained performance. This paper will describe the tools, techniques, and processes developed during the BCI and the utilization of collaborative content management tools to disseminate project planning and control techniques to ensure continuous collaboration and optimization of cost and schedule management in the future.

  13. An improved CO_2-based transcritical Rankine cycle (CTRC) used for engine waste heat recovery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shu, Gequn; Shi, Lingfeng; Tian, Hua; Li, Xiaoya; Huang, Guangdai; Chang, Liwen

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Propose an improved CTRC system (PR-CTRC) for engine waste heat recovery. • The PR-CTRC achieves a significant increase in thermodynamic performance. • The PR-CTRC possesses a strong coupling capability for high and low grade waste heat. • The PR-CTRC uses smaller turbine design parameters than ORC systems. • Total cooling load analysis of combined engine and recovery system was conducted. - Abstract: CO_2-based transcritical Rankine cycle (CTRC) is a promising technology for the waste heat recovery of an engine considering its safety and environment friendly characteristics, which also matchs the high temperature of the exhaust gas and satisfies the miniaturization demand of recovery systems. But the traditional CTRC system with a basic configuration (B-CTRC) has a poor thermodynamic performance. This paper introduces an improved CTRC system containing both a preheater and regenerator (PR-CTRC), for recovering waste heat in exhaust gas and engine coolant of an engine, and compares its performance with that of the B-CTRC system and also with that of the traditional excellent Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) systems using R123 as a working fluid. The utilization rate of waste heat, total cooling load, net power output, thermal efficiency, exergy loss, exergy efficiency and component size have been investigated. Results show that, the net power output of the PR-CTRC could reach up to 9.0 kW for a 43.8 kW engine, which increases by 150% compared with that of the B-CTRC (3.6 kW). The PR-CTRC also improves the thermal efficiency and exergy efficiency of the B-CTRC, with increases of 184% and 227%, respectively. Compared with the ORC system, the PR-CTRC shows the significant advantage of highly recycling the exhaust gas and engine coolant simultaneously due to the special property of supercritical CO_2’s specific heat capacity. The supercritical property of CO_2 also generates a better heat transfer and flowing performances. Meanwhile, the PR

  14. Video Games and Software Engineers : Designing a study based on the benefits from Video Games and how they can improve Software Engineers

    OpenAIRE

    Cosic Prica, Srdjan

    2017-01-01

    Context: This is a study about investigating if playing video games can improve any skills and characteristics in a software engineer. Due to lack of resources and time, this study will focus on designing a study that others may use to measure the results and if video games actually can improve software engineers. Objectives: The main objectives are finding the benefits of playing video games and how those benefits are discovered. Meaning what types of games and for how long someone needs to ...

  15. Improvement of Engineering Students' Communication Skills in English through Extensive Reading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishizawa, Hitoshi; Yoshioka, Takayoshi; Itoh, Kazuaki

    The students' communication skills in English have improved after introducing Extensive Reading courses into the curriculum of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department. The students' average TOEIC scores, which used to be far lower than the ones of students in other educational institutions, have increased in recent two years. The students who used to avoid learning English have welcomed extensive reading of graded readers for foreign learners and books for native children of English. This is because the extensive reading causes less stress and it is enjoyable. The students who have read more than 0.2 million words of English texts have faster reading speed and more confidence in reading. They seem to change their reading style from English-to-Japanese translation (and comprehension in Japanese) to direct comprehension in English. Their listening comprehension is also improved. Extensive reading is an effective educational method to improve English communication skills of engineering students, and it also becomes a useful method of continuous education for engineers in need of improving their skills.

  16. Hydrogen Addition for Improved Lean Burn Capability on Natural Gas Engine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andersson, Tobias [Lund Inst. of Technology (Sweden). Dept. of Heat and Power Engineering

    2002-12-01

    Lean burn spark ignition (SI) engines powered by natural gas is an attractive alternative to the Diesel engine, especially in urban traffic, where reduction of tailpipe emissions are of great importance. A major benefit is the large reduction in soot (PM). Lean burn spark ignition (SI) engines yield high fuel conversion efficiency and also relatively low NO{sub x} emissions at full load. In order to improve the engine operating characteristics at lower loads, the {lambda}-value is normally reduced to some degree, with increased NO{sub x} emissions and reduced efficiency as a result. This is a drawback for the lean burn engines, especially in urban applications such as in city buses and distribution trucks for urban use. So, it is desirable to find ways to extend the lean limit at low loads. One way to improve these part load properties is to add hydrogen to the natural gas in order to improve the combustion characteristics of the fuel. It is possible to extend the lean limit of a natural gas engine by addition of hydrogen to the primary fuel. This report presents measurements made on a single cylinder 1.6 liter natural gas engine. Two combustion chambers, one slow and one fast burning, were tested with various amounts of hydrogen (0 to 20 %-vol) added to natural gas. Three operating conditions were investigated for each combustion chamber and each hydrogen content level; idle, wide open throttle (WOT) and a high load condition (simulated turbo charging). For all three operating conditions, the air/fuel ratio was varied between stoichiometric and the lean limit. For each operating point, the ignition timing was swept in order to find maximum brake torque (MBT) timing. In some cases were the ignition timing limited by knock. Heat release rate calculations were made in order to assess the influence of hydrogen addition on burn rate. Addition of hydrogen showed an increase in burn rate for both combustion chambers, resulting in more stable combustion close to the lean

  17. Membrane engineering via trans unsaturated fatty acids production improves Escherichia coli robustness and production of biorenewables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Zaigao; Yoon, Jong Moon; Nielsen, David R; Shanks, Jacqueline V; Jarboe, Laura R

    2016-05-01

    Constructing microbial biocatalysts that produce biorenewables at economically viable yields and titers is often hampered by product toxicity. For production of short chain fatty acids, membrane damage is considered the primary mechanism of toxicity, particularly in regards to membrane integrity. Previous engineering efforts in Escherichia coli to increase membrane integrity, with the goal of increasing fatty acid tolerance and production, have had mixed results. Herein, a novel approach was used to reconstruct the E. coli membrane by enabling production of a novel membrane component. Specifically, trans unsaturated fatty acids (TUFA) were produced and incorporated into the membrane of E. coli MG1655 by expression of cis-trans isomerase (Cti) from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. While the engineered strain was found to have no increase in membrane integrity, a significant decrease in membrane fluidity was observed, meaning that membrane polarization and rigidity were increased by TUFA incorporation. As a result, tolerance to exogenously added octanoic acid and production of octanoic acid were both increased relative to the wild-type strain. This membrane engineering strategy to improve octanoic acid tolerance was found to require fine-tuning of TUFA abundance. Besides improving tolerance and production of carboxylic acids, TUFA production also enabled increased tolerance in E. coli to other bio-products, e.g. alcohols, organic acids, aromatic compounds, a variety of adverse industrial conditions, e.g. low pH, high temperature, and also elevated styrene production, another versatile bio-chemical product. TUFA permitted enhanced growth due to alleviation of bio-product toxicity, demonstrating the general effectiveness of this membrane engineering strategy towards improving strain robustness. Copyright © 2016 International Metabolic Engineering Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Moving forward with prisms: Sensory-motor adaptation improves gait initiation in Parkinson’s disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet Helen Bultitude

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available It is postulated that the decreased walking speed; small, shuffling steps; and ‘freezing’ shown by patients with Parkinson’s disease could stem from an inability to tilt the body forward enough to provide sufficient forward propulsion. In two repeated-measures studies we examined whether adaptation to upward-shifting prisms, resulting in a downward after-effect, could improve gait initiation in healthy participants and patients with Parkinson’s disease. Faster forward stepping followed a brief (5 min exposure period for patients, and a longer (20 min exposure period for age-matched controls. Backward stepping was unchanged, and adaptation to downward-shifting prisms with control participants showed no effect on forward or backward stepping. These results suggest that adaptation of arm proprioception in the vertical plane may generalise to anterior-posterior postural control, presenting new possibilities for the treatment of gait disturbance in basal ganglia disorders.

  19. Meeting Proceedings: Recommendations for Improved Acute Pain Services: Canadian Collaborative Acute Pain Initiative

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David H Goldstein

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The Canadian Collaborative Acute Pain Initiative, established in 2002, is a voluntary, multidisciplinary consortium of acute pain health professionals from across Canada whose goal is to improve acute pain management through discussion and consensus. The group met in January 2002 to define strategic areas related to the treatment of acute pain. The areas identified were: the definition of pain; the epidemiology of pain; the concept of an 'ideal' acute pain management service; education; therapeutic options; symptom management; and research and safety. In November 2002, a second meeting was held to develop objectives and recommendations for the management of acute pain based on the defined areas. The outcome of these discussions is summarized in this paper.

  20. Initial results from the Auto/Oil Air Quality Improvement Research Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCabe, L.J.

    1993-01-01

    The Auto/Air Quality Improvement Research Program (AQIRP), a cooperative effort by the three major US auto companies and fourteen oil companies, is the most comprehensive research effort ever undertaken to develop data on the air quality effects of the use of various motor fuels in various automotive systems and the relative cost-effectiveness of various fuel/vehicle combinations. Phase 1 of the Program, at a cost of about $15 million, is examining emissions and air quality impacts from current and older vehicles using reformulated gasolines with widely different values of aromatics content, olefin content, oxygenate content and type, sulfur content, vapor pressure (RVP) and 90% distillation temperature. Emissions from Flexible and Variable Fuel vehicles using methanol/gasoline mixtures are also being examined. A second phase with a $25 million budget over three years has also been approved. Initial findings for the Phase 1 study and Phase 2 plans are presented

  1. An improved and homogeneous altimeter sea level record from the ESA Climate Change Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legeais, Jean-François; Ablain, Michaël; Zawadzki, Lionel; Zuo, Hao; Johannessen, Johnny A.; Scharffenberg, Martin G.; Fenoglio-Marc, Luciana; Joana Fernandes, M.; Baltazar Andersen, Ole; Rudenko, Sergei; Cipollini, Paolo; Quartly, Graham D.; Passaro, Marcello; Cazenave, Anny; Benveniste, Jérôme

    2018-02-01

    Sea level is a very sensitive index of climate change since it integrates the impacts of ocean warming and ice mass loss from glaciers and the ice sheets. Sea level has been listed as an essential climate variable (ECV) by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). During the past 25 years, the sea level ECV has been measured from space by different altimetry missions that have provided global and regional observations of sea level variations. As part of the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) program of the European Space Agency (ESA) (established in 2010), the Sea Level project (SL_cci) aimed to provide an accurate and homogeneous long-term satellite-based sea level record. At the end of the first phase of the project (2010-2013), an initial version (v1.1) of the sea level ECV was made available to users (Ablain et al., 2015). During the second phase of the project (2014-2017), improved altimeter standards were selected to produce new sea level products (called SL_cci v2.0) based on nine altimeter missions for the period 1993-2015 (https://doi.org/10.5270/esa-sea_level_cci-1993_2015-v_2.0-201612; Legeais and the ESA SL_cci team, 2016c). Corresponding orbit solutions, geophysical corrections and altimeter standards used in this v2.0 dataset are described in detail in Quartly et al. (2017). The present paper focuses on the description of the SL_cci v2.0 ECV and associated uncertainty and discusses how it has been validated. Various approaches have been used for the quality assessment such as internal validation, comparisons with sea level records from other groups and with in situ measurements, sea level budget closure analyses and comparisons with model outputs. Compared with the previous version of the sea level ECV, we show that use of improved geophysical corrections, careful bias reduction between missions and inclusion of new altimeter missions lead to improved sea level products with reduced uncertainties on different spatial and temporal scales. However, there

  2. Assurance of Myeloid Growth Factor Administration in an Infusion Center: Pilot Quality Improvement Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Pamela Maree; Peterson, Barry; Holtshopple, Christine; Borja, Kristina; Torres, Vincent; Valdivia-Peppers, Lucille; Harriague, Julio; Joe, Melanie D

    2017-12-01

    Four incident reports involving missed doses of myeloid growth factors (MGFs) triggered the need for an outcome-driven initiative. From March 1, 2015, to February 29, 2016, at University of California Irvine Health Chao Infusion Center, 116 of 3,300 MGF doses were missed (3.52%), including pegfilgrastim, filgrastim, and sargramostim. We hypothesized that with the application of Lean Six Sigma methodology, we would achieve our primary objective of reducing the number of missed MGF doses to < 0.5%. This quality improvement initiative was conducted at Chao Infusion Center as part of a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification Program. Therefore, Lean Six Sigma principles and tools were used throughout each phase of the project. Retrospective and prospective medical record reviews and data analyses were performed to evaluate the extent of the identified problem and impact of the process changes. Improvements included systems applications, practice changes, process modifications, and safety-net procedures. Preintervention, 24 missed doses (20.7%) required patient supportive care measures, resulting in increased hospital costs and decreased quality of care. Postintervention, from June 8, 2016, to August 7, 2016, zero of 489 MGF doses were missed after 2 months of intervention ( P < .001). Chao Infusion Center reduced missed doses from 3.52% to 0%, reaching the goal of < 0.5%. The establishment of simplified and standardized processes with safety checks for error prevention increased quality of care. Lean Six Sigma methodology can be applied by other institutions to produce positive outcomes and implement similar practice changes.

  3. Initiating statistical process control to improve quality outcomes in colorectal surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Deborah S; Stulberg, Jonah J; Lawrence, Justin K; Samia, Hoda; Delaney, Conor P

    2015-12-01

    Unexpected variations in postoperative length of stay (LOS) negatively impact resources and patient outcomes. Statistical process control (SPC) measures performance, evaluates productivity, and modifies processes for optimal performance. The goal of this study was to initiate SPC to identify LOS outliers and evaluate its feasibility to improve outcomes in colorectal surgery. Review of a prospective database identified colorectal procedures performed by a single surgeon. Patients were grouped into elective and emergent categories and then stratified by laparoscopic and open approaches. All followed a standardized enhanced recovery protocol. SPC was applied to identify outliers and evaluate causes within each group. A total of 1294 cases were analyzed--83% elective (n = 1074) and 17% emergent (n = 220). Emergent cases were 70.5% open and 29.5% laparoscopic; elective cases were 36.8% open and 63.2% laparoscopic. All groups had a wide range in LOS. LOS outliers ranged from 8.6% (elective laparoscopic) to 10.8% (emergent laparoscopic). Evaluation of outliers demonstrated patient characteristics of higher ASA scores, longer operating times, ICU requirement, and temporary nursing at discharge. Outliers had higher postoperative complication rates in elective open (57.1 vs. 20.0%) and elective lap groups (77.6 vs. 26.1%). Outliers also had higher readmission rates for emergent open (11.4 vs. 5.4%), emergent lap (14.3 vs. 9.2%), and elective lap (32.8 vs. 6.9%). Elective open outliers did not follow trends of longer LOS or higher reoperation rates. SPC is feasible and promising for improving colorectal surgery outcomes. SPC identified patient and process characteristics associated with increased LOS. SPC may allow real-time outlier identification, during quality improvement efforts, and reevaluation of outcomes after introducing process change. SPC has clinical implications for improving patient outcomes and resource utilization.

  4. Improved xylose and arabinose utilization by an industrial recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain using evolutionary engineering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sanchez, R.G.; Karhumaa, Kaisa; Fonseca, C.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Cost-effective fermentation of lignocellulosic hydrolysate to ethanol by Saccharomyces cerevisiae requires efficient mixed sugar utilization. Notably, the rate and yield of xylose and arabinose co-fermentation to ethanol must be enhanced. Results: Evolutionary engineering was used...... to improve the simultaneous conversion of xylose and arabinose to ethanol in a recombinant industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain carrying the heterologous genes for xylose and arabinose utilization pathways integrated in the genome. The evolved strain TMB3130 displayed an increased consumption rate...... of our knowledge, this is the first report that characterizes the molecular mechanisms for improved mixed-pentose utilization obtained by evolutionary engineering of a recombinant S. cerevisiae strain. Increased transport of pentoses and increased activities of xylose converting enzymes contributed...

  5. Diesel Engine Convert to Port Injection CNG Engine Using Gaseous Injector Nozzle Multi Holes Geometries Improvement: A Review

    OpenAIRE

    Semin; Abdul R. Ismail; Rosli A. Bakar

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to review the previous research in the development of gaseous fuel injector for port injection CNG engine converted from diesel engine. Problem statement: The regular development of internal combustion engines change direction to answer the two most important problems determining the development trends of engines technology and in particular, their combustion systems. They were environmental protection against emission and noise, shortage of hydrocarbon fuels, ...

  6. Quality Improvement Initiative to Decrease Variability of Emergency Physician Opioid Analgesic Prescribing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John H. Burton

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Addressing pain is a crucial aspect of emergency medicine. Prescription opioids are commonly prescribed for moderate to severe pain in the emergency department (ED; unfortunately, prescribing practices are variable. High variability of opioid prescribing decisions suggests a lack of consensus and an opportunity to improve care. This quality improvement (QI initiative aimed to reduce variability in ED opioid analgesic prescribing. Methods: We evaluated the impact of a three-part QI initiative on ED opioid prescribing by physicians at seven sites. Stage 1: Retrospective baseline period (nine months. Stage 2: Physicians were informed that opioid prescribing information would be prospectively collected and feedback on their prescribing and that of the group would be shared at the end of the stage (three months. Stage 3: After physicians received their individual opioid prescribing data with blinded comparison to the group means (from Stage 2 they were informed that individual prescribing data would be unblinded and shared with the group after three months. The primary outcome was variability of the standard error of the mean and standard deviation of the opioid prescribing rate (defined as number of patients discharged with an opioid divided by total number of discharges for each provider. Secondary observations included mean quantity of pills per opioid prescription, and overall frequency of opioid prescribing. Results: The study group included 47 physicians with 149,884 ED patient encounters. The variability in prescribing decreased through each stage of the initiative as represented by the distributions for the opioid prescribing rate: Stage 1 mean 20%; Stage 2 mean 13% (46% reduction, p<0.01, and Stage 3 mean 8% (60% reduction, p<0.01. The mean quantity of pills prescribed per prescription was 16 pills in Stage 1, 14 pills in Stage 2 (18% reduction, p<0.01, and 13 pills in Stage 3 (18% reduction, p<0.01. The group mean

  7. Requirements Analysis and Course Improvements for EO3502 Telecommunications Systems Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-03-01

    electronic business technologist. The following courses are required: Digital Business Strategy Strategic Uses of IT and eCommerce IT For Business Capstone...network administration tools would be to your extreme advantage . Manual network engineering has all but disappeared, being replaced with highly...technological improvements, but the continued evolution of organizations and doctrine and the development of relevant training to sustain a comparative advantage

  8. Incorrect results in software engineering experiments: How to improve research practices

    OpenAIRE

    Jørgensen, Magne; Dybå, Tore; Liestøl, Knut; Sjøberg, Dag

    2016-01-01

    Context The trustworthiness of research results is a growing concern in many empirical disciplines. Aim The goals of this paper are to assess how much the trustworthiness of results reported in software engineering experiments is affected by researcher and publication bias, given typical statistical power and significance levels, and to suggest improved research practices. Method First, we conducted a small-scale survey to document the presence of researcher and publication biases in software...

  9. Closing the loop on improvement: Packaging experience in the Software Engineering Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waligora, Sharon R.; Landis, Linda C.; Doland, Jerry T.

    1994-01-01

    As part of its award-winning software process improvement program, the Software Engineering Laboratory (SEL) has developed an effective method for packaging organizational best practices based on real project experience into useful handbooks and training courses. This paper shares the SEL's experience over the past 12 years creating and updating software process handbooks and training courses. It provides cost models and guidelines for successful experience packaging derived from SEL experience.

  10. Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Can Guide and Improve Oncology Providers’ Training in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristiane Decat Bergerot

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: It has become crucial to translate scientific findings and to find ways by which to mobilize local resources to improve the quality and accessibility of cancer care in developing countries. This study seeks to provide insight into challenge through examining differences in clinician documentation of patients with cancer treated at a Brazilian Public University Hospital. Methods: ASCO Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI measures were used to examine the care provided in the departments of breast, colorectal, lymphoma, gynecology, and lung cancers. For this study, data from a representative sample of patients receiving chemotherapy in the previous month were extracted and quality of cancer care indicators examined. Results: Certain elements of medical care were consistently and appropriately documented, including cancer diagnosis and stage, chemotherapy planning, administration, and summary. In general, considering the specific cancer management measures, patients received recommended care in accordance with recognized guidelines. Despite this, a number of important gaps in care were identified, including the assessment and treatment of pain, documentation of chemotherapy intention, symptom and toxicity management, patients’ psychosocial status, and provision of a treatment summary at care completion. Conclusion: These findings are encouraging in terms of adherence to core treatment guidelines in cancer care in Brazil. However, results suggest important opportunities for improving care across a number of domains, many of which represent a challenge throughout both developing and developed countries. This study may also provide preliminary guidance for enhancing educational and training programs for professionals and students alike, to implement high-quality, comprehensive cancer care.

  11. Relationship between sustainable development initiatives and improved company financial performance: A South African perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darelle Groenewald

    2016-05-01

    Research purpose: The study analysed the relationship between sustainability performance and FP in South African listed companies. Motivation for the study: Some South African listed companies acknowledge in their sustainability reports that there is a link between sustainability development and long-term shareholder value. This implies that FP is linked to sustainable development performance. This relationship has not been researched for South African listed companies and therefore needs to be investigated. Research design, approach and method: A similar research method was used as for an international study. Forty-five listed South African companies were selected as the sample. Their sustainable development reports were used for analysis. Data were analysed with the use of content and a canonical correlation analysis. Main findings: The results of the study revealed that an overall positive relationship exists between sustainability performance and FP. Practical implications: South African companies that have a high involvement and focus on specific sustainable development initiatives that are integrated into overall sustainable development strategy can deliver improved FP for the organisation and deliver long-term value to its shareholders. Contribution: Six sustainable development aspects were found to be significantly correlated with improved FP and if incorporated into a company’s sustainable development strategy can lead to increased successes.

  12. Development of a simulation model for compression ignition engine running with ignition improved blend

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sudeshkumar Ponnusamy Moranahalli

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Department of Automobile Engineering, Anna University, Chennai, India. The present work describes the thermodynamic and heat transfer models used in a computer program which simulates the diesel fuel and ignition improver blend to predict the combustion and emission characteristics of a direct injection compression ignition engine fuelled with ignition improver blend using classical two zone approach. One zone consists of pure air called non burning zone and other zone consist of fuel and combustion products called burning zone. First law of thermodynamics and state equations are applied in each of the two zones to yield cylinder temperatures and cylinder pressure histories. Using the two zone combustion model the combustion parameters and the chemical equilibrium composition were determined. To validate the model an experimental investigation has been conducted on a single cylinder direct injection diesel engine fuelled with 12% by volume of 2- ethoxy ethanol blend with diesel fuel. Addition of ignition improver blend to diesel fuel decreases the exhaust smoke and increases the thermal efficiency for the power outputs. It was observed that there is a good agreement between simulated and experimental results and the proposed model requires low computational time for a complete run.

  13. Improvement of nuclear ship engineering simulation system. Hardware renewal and interface improvement of the integral type reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Takahashi, Hiroki; Kyoya, Masahiko; Shimazaki, Junya [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Tokai, Ibaraki (Japan). Tokai Research Establishment; Kano, Tadashi [KCS, Co., Mito, Ibaraki (Japan); Takahashi, Teruo [Energis, Co., Kobe, Hyogo (Japan)

    2001-10-01

    JAERI had carried out the design study about a lightweight and compact integral type reactor (an advanced marine reactor) with passive safety equipment as a power source for the future nuclear ships, and completed an engineering design. We have developed the simulator for the integral type reactor to confirm the design and operation performance and to utilize the study of automation of the reactor operation. The simulator can be used also for future research and development of a compact reactor. However, the improvement in a performance of hardware and a human machine interface of software of the simulator were needed for future research and development. Therefore, renewal of hardware and improvement of software have been conducted. The operability of the integral-reactor simulator has been improved. Furthermore, this improvement with the hardware and software on the market brought about better versatility, maintainability, extendibility and transfer of the system. This report mainly focuses on contents of the enhancement in a human machine interface, and describes hardware renewal and the interface improvement of the integral type reactor simulator. (author)

  14. The Michigan Spine Surgery Improvement Collaborative: a statewide Collaborative Quality Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Victor; Schwalb, Jason M; Nerenz, David R; Pietrantoni, Lisa; Jones, Sharon; Jankowski, Michelle; Oja-Tebbe, Nancy; Bartol, Stephen; Abdulhak, Muwaffak

    2015-12-01

    OBJECT Given the scrutiny of spine surgery by policy makers, spine surgeons are motivated to demonstrate and improve outcomes, by determining which patients will and will not benefit from surgery, and to reduce costs, often by reducing complications. Insurers are similarly motivated. In 2013, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and Blue Care Network (BCN) established the Michigan Spine Surgery Improvement Collaborative (MSSIC) as a Collaborative Quality Initiative (CQI). MSSIC is one of the newest of 21 other CQIs that have significantly improved-and continue to improve-the quality of patient care throughout the state of Michigan. METHODS MSSIC focuses on lumbar and cervical spine surgery, specifically indications such as stenosis, disk herniation, and degenerative disease. Surgery for tumors, traumatic fractures, deformity, scoliosis, and acute spinal cord injury are currently not within the scope of MSSIC. Starting in 2014, MSSIC consisted of 7 hospitals and in 2015 included another 15 hospitals, for a total of 22 hospitals statewide. A standardized data set is obtained by data abstractors, who are funded by BCBSM/BCN. Variables of interest include indications for surgery, baseline patient-reported outcome measures, and medical history. These are obtained within 30 days of surgery. Outcome instruments used include the EQ-5D general health state score (0 being worst and 100 being the best health one can imagine) and EQ-5D-3 L. For patients undergoing lumbar surgery, a 0 to 10 numeric rating scale for leg and back pain and the Oswestry Disability Index for back pain are collected. For patients undergoing cervical surgery, a 0 to 10 numeric rating scale for arm and neck pain, Neck Disability Index, and the modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association score are collected. Surgical details, postoperative hospital course, and patient-reported outcome measures are collected at 90-day, 1-year, and 2-year intervals. RESULTS As of July 1, 2015, a total of 6397 cases

  15. Implementation of an Emergency Department Sepsis Bundle and System Redesign: A Process Improvement Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McColl, Tamara; Gatien, Mathieu; Calder, Lisa; Yadav, Krishan; Tam, Ryan; Ong, Melody; Taljaard, Monica; Stiell, Ian

    2017-03-01

    In 2008-2009, the Canadian Institute for Health Information reported over 30,000 cases of sepsis hospitalizations in Canada, an increase of almost 4,000 from 2005. Mortality rates from severe sepsis and septic shock continue to remain greater than 30% in Canada and are significantly higher than other critical conditions treated in the emergency department (ED). Our group formed a multidisciplinary sepsis committee, conducted an ED process of care analysis, and developed a quality improvement protocol. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of this sepsis management bundle on patient mortality. This before and after study was conducted in two large Canadian tertiary care EDs and included adult patients with suspected severe infection that met at least two systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) criteria. We studied the implementation of a sepsis bundle including triage flagging, RN medical directive, education campaign, and a modified sepsis protocol. The primary outcomes were 30-day all-cause mortality and sepsis protocol use. We included a total of 167 and 185 patients in the pre- and post-intervention analysis, respectively. Compared to the pre-intervention group, mortality was significantly lower in the post-intervention group (30.7% versus 17.3%; absolute difference, 13.4%; 95% CI 9.8-17.0; p=0.006). There was also a higher rate of sepsis protocol use in the post-intervention group (20.3% versus 80.5%, absolute difference 60.2%; 95% CI 55.1-65.3; pimproved early identification and protocolized medical care, was associated with improved time to achieve key therapeutic interventions and a reduction in 30-day mortality. Similar low-cost initiatives could be implemented in other EDs to potentially improve outcomes for this high-risk group of patients.

  16. Filtering data from the collaborative initial glaucoma treatment study for improved identification of glaucoma progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schell, Greggory J; Lavieri, Mariel S; Stein, Joshua D; Musch, David C

    2013-12-21

    Open-angle glaucoma (OAG) is a prevalent, degenerate ocular disease which can lead to blindness without proper clinical management. The tests used to assess disease progression are susceptible to process and measurement noise. The aim of this study was to develop a methodology which accounts for the inherent noise in the data and improve significant disease progression identification. Longitudinal observations from the Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study (CIGTS) were used to parameterize and validate a Kalman filter model and logistic regression function. The Kalman filter estimates the true value of biomarkers associated with OAG and forecasts future values of these variables. We develop two logistic regression models via generalized estimating equations (GEE) for calculating the probability of experiencing significant OAG progression: one model based on the raw measurements from CIGTS and another model based on the Kalman filter estimates of the CIGTS data. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and associated area under the ROC curve (AUC) estimates are calculated using cross-fold validation. The logistic regression model developed using Kalman filter estimates as data input achieves higher sensitivity and specificity than the model developed using raw measurements. The mean AUC for the Kalman filter-based model is 0.961 while the mean AUC for the raw measurements model is 0.889. Hence, using the probability function generated via Kalman filter estimates and GEE for logistic regression, we are able to more accurately classify patients and instances as experiencing significant OAG progression. A Kalman filter approach for estimating the true value of OAG biomarkers resulted in data input which improved the accuracy of a logistic regression classification model compared to a model using raw measurements as input. This methodology accounts for process and measurement noise to enable improved discrimination between progression and nonprogression

  17. Analysis of Internet Usage Among Cancer Patients in a County Hospital Setting: A Quality Improvement Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilley, Lisa; Lodrigues, William; Dreadin-Pulliam, Julie; Xie, Xian-Jin; Mathur, Sakshi; Rao, Madhu; Harvey, Valorie; Leitch, Ann Marilyn; Rao, Roshni

    2014-01-01

    Background Cancer is one of the most common diseases that patients research on the Internet. The Commission on Cancer (CoC) recommended that Parkland Memorial Hospital (PMH) improve the oncology services website. PMH is Dallas County’s public health care facility, serving a largely uninsured, minority population. Most research regarding patient Internet use has been conducted in insured, Caucasian populations, raising concerns that the needs of PMH patients may not be extrapolated from available data. The PMH Cancer Committee, therefore, adopted a quality improvement initiative to understand patients’ Internet usage. Objective The objective of the study was to obtain and analyze data regarding patients’ Internet usage in order to make targeted improvements to the oncology services section of the institutional website. Methods A task force developed an 11-question survey to ascertain what proportion of our patients have Internet access and use the Internet to obtain medical information as well as determine the specific information sought. Between April 2011 and August 2011, 300 surveys were administered to newly diagnosed cancer patients. Multivariate analyses were performed. Results Of 300 surveys, 291 were included. Minorities, primarily African-American and Hispanic, represented 78.0% (227/291) of patients. Only 37.1% (108/291) of patients had Internet access, most (256/291, 87.9%) having access at home. Younger patients more commonly had Internet access, with a mean age of 47 versus 58 years for those without (PInternet research was to develop questions for discussion with one’s physician. Patients most frequently sought information regarding cancer treatment options, outcomes, and side effects. Conclusions Less than one-half of PMH oncology patients have Internet access. This is influenced by age, educational level, and ethnicity. Those with access use it to obtain information related to their cancer diagnosis. The most effective way of addressing our

  18. Using Deep Learning for Targeted Data Selection, Improving Satellite Observation Utilization for Model Initialization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Y. J.; Bonfanti, C. E.; Trailovic, L.; Etherton, B.; Govett, M.; Stewart, J.

    2017-12-01

    At present, a fraction of all satellite observations are ultimately used for model assimilation. The satellite data assimilation process is computationally expensive and data are often reduced in resolution to allow timely incorporation into the forecast. This problem is only exacerbated by the recent launch of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-16 satellite and future satellites providing several order of magnitude increase in data volume. At the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) we are researching the use of machine learning the improve the initial selection of satellite data to be used in the model assimilation process. In particular, we are investigating the use of deep learning. Deep learning is being applied to many image processing and computer vision problems with great success. Through our research, we are using convolutional neural network to find and mark regions of interest (ROI) to lead to intelligent extraction of observations from satellite observation systems. These targeted observations will be used to improve the quality of data selected for model assimilation and ultimately improve the impact of satellite data on weather forecasts. Our preliminary efforts to identify the ROI's are focused in two areas: applying and comparing state-of-art convolutional neural network models using the analysis data from the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS) weather model, and using these results as a starting point to optimize convolution neural network model for pattern recognition on the higher resolution water vapor data from GOES-WEST and other satellite. This presentation will provide an introduction to our convolutional neural network model to identify and process these ROI's, along with the challenges of data preparation, training the model, and parameter optimization.

  19. Why do employees take more initiatives to improve their performance after co-developing performance measures? A field study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, B.A.C.; Wouters, M.J.F.; Wilderom, C.P.M.

    2012-01-01

    Performance measurements may stimulate employee initiatives to improve operational performance, especially when employees themselves participate in the development of their own departmental performance measures. Using the theory of planned behavior, we examine why this occurs in a beverage

  20. Why do employees take more initiatives to improve their performance after co-developing performance measures? A field study.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, B.A.C.; Wouters, Marc; Wilderom, Celeste P.M.

    2012-01-01

    Performance measurements may stimulate employee initiatives to improve operational performance, especially when employees themselves participate in the development of their own departmental performance measures. Using the theory of planned behavior, we examine why this occurs in a beverage

  1. JT8D and JT9D jet engine performance improvement program. Task 1: Feasibility analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaffin, W. O.; Webb, D. E.

    1979-01-01

    JT8D and JT9D component performance improvement concepts which have a high probability of incorporation into production engines were identified and ranked. An evaluation method based on airline payback period was developed for the purpose of identifying the most promising concepts. The method used available test data and analytical models along with conceptual/preliminary designs to predict the performance improvements, weight, installation characteristics, cost for new production and retrofit, maintenance cost, and qualitative characteristics of candidate concepts. These results were used to arrive at the concept payback period, which is the time required for an airline to recover the investment cost of concept implementation.

  2. Evolutionary Engineering in Chemostat Cultures for Improved Maltotriose Fermentation Kinetics in Saccharomyces pastorianus Lager Brewing Yeast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Brickwedde

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The lager brewing yeast Saccharomyces pastorianus, an interspecies hybrid of S. eubayanus and S. cerevisiae, ferments maltotriose, maltose, sucrose, glucose and fructose in wort to ethanol and carbon dioxide. Complete and timely conversion (“attenuation” of maltotriose by industrial S. pastorianus strains is a key requirement for process intensification. This study explores a new evolutionary engineering strategy for improving maltotriose fermentation kinetics. Prolonged carbon-limited, anaerobic chemostat cultivation of the reference strain S. pastorianus CBS1483 on a maltotriose-enriched sugar mixture was used to select for spontaneous mutants with improved affinity for maltotriose. Evolved populations exhibited an up to 5-fold lower residual maltotriose concentration and a higher ethanol concentration than the parental strain. Uptake studies with 14C-labeled sugars revealed an up to 4.75-fold higher transport capacity for maltotriose in evolved strains. In laboratory batch cultures on wort, evolved strains showed improved attenuation and higher ethanol concentrations. These improvements were also observed in pilot fermentations at 1,000-L scale with high-gravity wort. Although the evolved strain exhibited multiple chromosomal copy number changes, analysis of beer made from pilot fermentations showed no negative effects on flavor compound profiles. These results demonstrate the potential of evolutionary engineering for strain improvement of hybrid, alloploid brewing strains.

  3. Evolutionary Engineering in Chemostat Cultures for Improved Maltotriose Fermentation Kinetics in Saccharomyces pastorianus Lager Brewing Yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brickwedde, Anja; van den Broek, Marcel; Geertman, Jan-Maarten A; Magalhães, Frederico; Kuijpers, Niels G A; Gibson, Brian; Pronk, Jack T; Daran, Jean-Marc G

    2017-01-01

    The lager brewing yeast Saccharomyces pastorianus , an interspecies hybrid of S. eubayanus and S. cerevisiae , ferments maltotriose, maltose, sucrose, glucose and fructose in wort to ethanol and carbon dioxide. Complete and timely conversion ("attenuation") of maltotriose by industrial S. pastorianus strains is a key requirement for process intensification. This study explores a new evolutionary engineering strategy for improving maltotriose fermentation kinetics. Prolonged carbon-limited, anaerobic chemostat cultivation of the reference strain S. pastorianus CBS1483 on a maltotriose-enriched sugar mixture was used to select for spontaneous mutants with improved affinity for maltotriose. Evolved populations exhibited an up to 5-fold lower residual maltotriose concentration and a higher ethanol concentration than the parental strain. Uptake studies with 14 C-labeled sugars revealed an up to 4.75-fold higher transport capacity for maltotriose in evolved strains. In laboratory batch cultures on wort, evolved strains showed improved attenuation and higher ethanol concentrations. These improvements were also observed in pilot fermentations at 1,000-L scale with high-gravity wort. Although the evolved strain exhibited multiple chromosomal copy number changes, analysis of beer made from pilot fermentations showed no negative effects on flavor compound profiles. These results demonstrate the potential of evolutionary engineering for strain improvement of hybrid, alloploid brewing strains.

  4. Validating continuous digital light processing (cDLP) additive manufacturing accuracy and tissue engineering utility of a dye-initiator package.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Jonathan; Wang, Martha O; Thompson, Paul; Busso, Mallory; Belle, Vaijayantee; Mammoser, Nicole; Kim, Kyobum; Fisher, John P; Siblani, Ali; Xu, Yueshuo; Welter, Jean F; Lennon, Donald P; Sun, Jiayang; Caplan, Arnold I; Dean, David

    2014-03-01

    This study tested the accuracy of tissue engineering scaffold rendering via the continuous digital light processing (cDLP) light-based additive manufacturing technology. High accuracy (i.e., <50 µm) allows the designed performance of features relevant to three scale spaces: cell-scaffold, scaffold-tissue, and tissue-organ interactions. The biodegradable polymer poly (propylene fumarate) was used to render highly accurate scaffolds through the use of a dye-initiator package, TiO2 and bis (2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phenylphosphine oxide. This dye-initiator package facilitates high accuracy in the Z dimension. Linear, round, and right-angle features were measured to gauge accuracy. Most features showed accuracies between 5.4-15% of the design. However, one feature, an 800 µm diameter circular pore, exhibited a 35.7% average reduction of patency. Light scattered in the x, y directions by the dye may have reduced this feature's accuracy. Our new fine-grained understanding of accuracy could be used to make further improvements by including corrections in the scaffold design software. Successful cell attachment occurred with both canine and human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Highly accurate cDLP scaffold rendering is critical to the design of scaffolds that both guide bone regeneration and that fully resorb. Scaffold resorption must occur for regenerated bone to be remodeled and, thereby, achieve optimal strength.

  5. Validating continuous digital light processing (cDLP) additive manufacturing accuracy and tissue engineering utility of a dye-initiator package

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallace, Jonathan; Wang, Martha O; Kim, Kyobum

    2014-01-01

    This study tested the accuracy of tissue engineering scaffold rendering via the continuous digital light processing (cDLP) light-based additive manufacturing technology. High accuracy (i.e., <50 µm) allows the designed performance of features relevant to three scale spaces: cell-scaffold, scaffold-tissue, and tissue-organ interactions. The biodegradable polymer poly (propylene fumarate) was used to render highly accurate scaffolds through the use of a dye-initiator package, TiO 2  and bis (2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phenylphosphine oxide. This dye-initiator package facilitates high accuracy in the Z dimension. Linear, round, and right-angle features were measured to gauge accuracy. Most features showed accuracies between 5.4–15% of the design. However, one feature, an 800 µm diameter circular pore, exhibited a 35.7% average reduction of patency. Light scattered in the x, y directions by the dye may have reduced this feature's accuracy. Our new fine-grained understanding of accuracy could be used to make further improvements by including corrections in the scaffold design software. Successful cell attachment occurred with both canine and human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Highly accurate cDLP scaffold rendering is critical to the design of scaffolds that both guide bone regeneration and that fully resorb. Scaffold resorption must occur for regenerated bone to be remodeled and, thereby, achieve optimal strength. (paper)

  6. Polio Eradication Initiative: Contribution to improved communicable diseases surveillance in WHO African region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mwengee, William; Okeibunor, Joseph; Poy, Alain; Shaba, Keith; Mbulu Kinuani, Leon; Minkoulou, Etienne; Yahaya, Ali; Gaturuku, Peter; Landoh, Dadja Essoya; Nsubuga, Peter; Salla, Mbaye; Mihigo, Richard; Mkanda, Pascal

    2016-10-10

    Since the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988, there has been a tremendous progress in the reduction of cases of poliomyelitis. The world is on the verge of achieving global polio eradication and in May 2013, the 66th World Health Assembly endorsed the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan (PEESP) 2013-2018. The plan provides a timeline for the completion of the GPEI by eliminating all paralytic polio due to both wild and vaccine-related polioviruses. We reviewed how GPEI supported communicable disease surveillance in seven of the eight countries that were documented as part of World Health Organization African Region best practices documentation. Data from WHO African region was also reviewed to analyze the performance of measles cases based surveillance. All 7 countries (100%) which responded had integrated communicable diseases surveillance core functions with AFP surveillance. The difference is on the number of diseases included based on epidemiology of diseases in a particular country. The results showed that the polio eradication infrastructure has supported and improved the implementation of surveillance of other priority communicable diseases under integrated diseases surveillance and response strategy. As we approach polio eradication, polio-eradication initiative staff, financial resources, and infrastructure can be used as one strategy to build IDSR in Africa. As we are now focusing on measles and rubella elimination by the year 2020, other disease-specific programs having similar goals of eradicating and eliminating diseases like malaria, might consider investing in general infectious disease surveillance following the polio example. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  7. In situ crosslinking of surface-initiated ring opening metathesis polymerization of polynorbornene for improved stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fursule, Ishan A; Abtahi, Ashkan; Watkins, Charles B; Graham, Kenneth R; Berron, Brad J

    2018-01-15

    In situ crosslinking is expected to increase the solvent stability of coatings formed by surface-initiated ring opening metathesis polymerization (SI ROMP). Solvent-associated degradation limits the utility of SI ROMP coatings. SI ROMP coatings have a unique capacity for post-functionalization through reaction of the unsaturated site on the polymer backbone. Any post-reaction scheme which requires a liquid solvent has the potential to degrade the coating and lower the thickness of the resulting film. We designed a macromolecular crosslinking group based on PEG dinorbornene. The PEG length is tailored to the expected mean chain to chain distance during surface-initiated polymerization. This crosslinking macromer is randomly copolymerized with norbornene through SI ROMP on a gold coated substrate. The solvent stability of polynorbornene coatings with and without PEG dinorbornene is quantitatively determined, and the mechanism of degradation is further supported through XPS and AFM analyses. The addition of the 0.25mol% PEG dinorbornene significantly increases the solvent stability of the SI ROMP coatings. The crosslinker presence in the more stable films is supported with observable PEG absorbances by FTIR and an increase in contact angle hysteresis when compared to non-crosslinked coatings. The oxidation of the SI ROMP coatings is supported by the observation of carbonyl oxygen in the polynorbornene coatings. The rapid loss of the non-crosslinked SI ROMP coating corresponds to nanoscale pitting across the surface and micron-scale regions of widespread film loss. The crosslinked coatings have uniform nanoscale pitting, but the crosslinked films show no evidence of micron-scale film damage. In all, the incorporation of minimal crosslinking content is a simple strategy for improving the solvent stability of SI ROMP coatings. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Safety of a DVT chemoprophylaxis protocol following traumatic brain injury: a single center quality improvement initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nickele, Christopher M; Kamps, Timothy K; Medow, Joshua E

    2013-04-01

    Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a complication that affects approximately 30 % of moderate and severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients when pharmacologic prophylaxis is not used. Following TBI, specifically in the case of contusions, the safety and efficacy of pharmacologic thromboembolism prophylaxis (PTP) has been studied only in small sample sizes. In this study, we attempt to assess the safety and efficacy of a PTP protocol for TBI patients, as a quality improvement (QI) initiative, in the neuroscience intensive care unit (NSICU). Between January 1st and December 31st, 2009, consecutive patients discharged from the University of Wisconsin NSICU after >a 48 h minimum stay were evaluated as part of a QI project. A protocol for the initiation of PTP was designed and implemented for NSICU patients. The protocol did not vary based on type of intracranial injury. The rate of VTE was reported as was heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and PTP-related expansion of intracranial hemorrhage (IH) requiring reoperation. The number of patients receiving PTP and the timing of therapy were tracked. Patients were excluded for persistent coagulopathy, other organ system bleeding (such as the gastrointestinal tract), or pregnancy. Faculty could opt out of the protocol without reason. Using the same criteria, patients discharged during the preceding 6 months, from July 1st to December 31st, 2008, were evaluated as controls as the PTP protocol was not in effect during this time. During the control period, there were 48 head trauma admissions who met the inclusion criteria. In 22 patients (45.8 %), PTP was initiated at an average of 4.9 ± 5.4 days after admission. During the protocol period, there were 87 head trauma admissions taken from 1,143 total NSICU stays who met criteria. In 63 patients (72.4 %), the care team in the NSICU successfully initiated PTP, at an average of 3.4 ± 2.8 days after admission. All 87 trauma patients were analyzed, and the rate of clinically

  9. Current progress of targetron technology: development, improvement and application in metabolic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ya-Jun; Zhang, Jie; Cui, Gu-Zhen; Cui, Qiu

    2015-06-01

    Targetrons are mobile group II introns that can recognize their DNA target sites by base-pairing RNA-DNA interactions with the aid of site-specific binding reverse transcriptases. Targetron technology stands out from recently developed gene targeting methods because of the flexibility, feasibility, and efficiency, and is particularly suitable for the genetic engineering of difficult microorganisms, including cellulolytic bacteria that are considered promising candidates for biomass conversion via consolidated bioprocessing. Along with the development of the thermotargetron method for thermophiles, targetron technology becomes increasingly important for the metabolic engineering of industrial microorganisms aiming at biofuel/chemical production. To summarize the current progress of targetron technology and provide new insights on the use of the technology, this paper reviews the retrohoming mechanisms of both mesophilic and thermophilic targetron methods based on various group II introns, investigates the improvement of targetron tools for high target efficiency and specificity, and discusses the current applications in the metabolic engineering for bacterial producers. Although there are still intellectual property and technical restrictions in targetron applications, we propose that targetron technology will contribute to both biochemistry research and the metabolic engineering for industrial productions. Copyright © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Engineered Photorespiratory Bypass Pathways Improve Photosynthetic Efficiency and Growth as Temperature Increases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavanagh, A. P.; South, P. F.; Ort, D. R.; Bernacchi, C.

    2017-12-01

    In C3 plants grown under ambient [CO2] at 25°C, 23% of the fixed carbon dioxide is lost to photorespiration, the energy expensive metabolic pathway that recycles toxic compounds produced by Rubisco oxygenation reactions. Furthermore, rates of photorespiration increase with rising temperature, as higher temperatures favor increased Rubisco oxygenation. Modelling suggests that the absence of photorespiration could improve gross photosynthesis by 12-55% under projected climate conditions; however, this is difficult to measure empirically, as photorespiration interacts with several metabolic pathways and is an essential process for all C3 plants grown at ambient [O2]. Introduced biochemical bypasses to the native photorespiration pathway hold promise as a strategy to mitigate the impact of temperature on photorespiratory losses. We grew tobacco containing engineered pathways to bypass photorespiration under ambient and elevated temperatures (+5°C) in the field to determine if bypassing photorespiration could mitigate high temperature induced losses in growth and physiology. Our preliminary results show that engineered plants have a higher quantum efficiency under heated conditions than do non-engineered plants, resulting in up to 20% lower yield losses under heated conditions compared to non-engineered plants. These results support the theoretical modelling of temperature impacts on photorespiratory losses, and suggest the bypassing photorespiration could be an important strategy to increase crop yields.

  11. Combining Capability Assessment and Value Engineering: a New Two-dimensional Method for Software Process Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pasi Ojala

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available During the last decades software process improvement (SPI has been recognized as a usable possibility to increase the quality of software development. Implemented SPI investments have often indicated increased process capabilities as well. Recently more attention has been focused on the costs of SPI as well as on the cost-effectiveness and productivity of software development, although the roots of economic-driven software engineering originate from the very early days of software engineering research. This research combines Value Engineering and capability assessment into usable new method in order to better respond to the challenges that cost-effectiveness and productivity has brought to software companies. This is done in part by defining the concepts of value, worth and cost and in part by defining the Value Engineering process and different enhancements it has seen to offer to software assessment. The practical industrial cases show that proposed two-dimensional method works in practise and is useful to assessed companies.

  12. Improving the Teaching of ICT Engineering using Flipped Learning: a personalized model and a case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdelhak Aqqal

    Full Text Available Abstract In recent years, Flipped Classroom started to be used as an effective way of teaching Engineering among various strategies in higher education. However, enabling and using the flipped learning is a complicated task, not a straightforward goal that can be simply achieved through a combination of face-to-face and online activities. It requires a more sophisticated understanding of effective teaching methods to manage the shift from the traditional to the flipped learning and the optimum adaptation of technology as part of this change. Given this challenge, this research work provides a personalized model of the flipped classroom and investigates through a case study in an Engineering School how our approach can be used to improve teaching of Information and Communication Technology (ICT Engineering. It assesses by using empirically data related to the interaction of the various actors at different levels of abstraction, particularly from a gender perspective, the relevance and the impact of the flipped classroom on student learning and achievement in ICT Engineering Education.

  13. Reduction of hyperthermia in pediatric patients with severe traumatic brain injury: a quality improvement initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovett, Marlina E; Moore-Clingenpeel, Melissa; Ayad, Onsy; O'Brien, Nicole

    2018-02-01

    OBJECTIVE Severe traumatic brain injury remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the pediatric population. Providers focus on reducing secondary brain injury by avoiding hypoxemia, avoiding hypotension, providing normoventilation, treating intracranial hypertension, and reducing cerebral metabolic demand. Hyperthermia is frequently present in patients with severe traumatic brain injury, contributes to cerebral metabolic demand, and is associated with prolonged hospital admission as well as impaired neurological outcome. The objective of this quality improvement initiative was to reduce the duration of hyperthermia for pediatric patients with severe traumatic brain injury during the initial 72 hours of admission to the pediatric intensive care unit. METHODS A retrospective chart review was performed to evaluate the incidence and duration of hyperthermia within a preintervention cohort. The retrospective phase was followed by three 6-month intervention periods (intervention Phase 1, the maintenance phase, and intervention Phase 2). Intervention Phase 1 entailed placement of a cooling blanket on the bed prior to patient arrival and turning it on once the patient's temperature rose above normothermia. The maintenance phase focused on sustaining the results of Phase 1. Intervention Phase 2 focused on total prevention of hyperthermia by initiating cooling blanket use immediately upon patient arrival to the intensive care unit. RESULTS The median hyperthermia duration in the preintervention cohort (n = 47) was 135 minutes. This was reduced in the Phase 1 cohort (n = 9) to 45 minutes, increased in the maintenance phase cohort (n = 6) to 88.5 minutes, and decreased again in the Phase 2 cohort (n = 9) to a median value of 0 minutes. Eight percent of patients in the intervention cohorts required additional sedation to tolerate the cooling blanket. Eight percent of patients in the intervention cohorts became briefly hypothermic while on the cooling blanket. No

  14. Chitosan fibers with improved biological and mechanical properties for tissue engineering applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albanna, Mohammad Z; Bou-Akl, Therese H; Blowytsky, Oksana; Walters, Henry L; Matthew, Howard W T

    2013-04-01

    The low mechanical properties of hydrogel materials such as chitosan hinder their broad utility for tissue engineering applications. Previous research efforts improved the mechanical properties of chitosan fiber through chemical and physical modifications; however, unfavorable toxicity effects on cells were reported. In this paper, we report the preparation of chitosan fibers with improved mechanical and biocompatibility properties. The structure-property relationships of extruded chitosan fibers were explored by varying acetic acid (AA) concentration, ammonia concentration, annealing temperature and degree of heparin crosslinking. Results showed that optimizing AA concentration to 2vol% improved fiber strength and stiffness by 2-fold. Extruding chitosan solution into 25wt% of ammonia solution reduced fiber diameters and improved fiber strength by 2-fold and stiffness by 3-fold, due to an increase in crystallinity as confirmed by XRD. Fiber annealing further reduced fiber diameter and improved fiber strength and stiffness as temperature increased. Chitosan fibers crosslinked with heparin had increased diameter but lower strength and stiffness properties and higher breaking strain values. When individual parameters were combined, further improvement in fiber mechanical properties was achieved. All mechanically improved fibers and heparin crosslinked fibers promoted valvular interstitial cells (VIC) attachment and growth over 10 day cultures. Our results demonstrate the ability to substantially improve the mechanical properties of chitosan fibers without adversely affecting their biological properties. The investigated treatments offer numerous advantages over previous physical/chemical modifications and thus are expected to expand the utility of chitosan fibers with tunable mechanical properties in various tissue engineering applications. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. An integrated approach to engineering curricula improvement with multi-objective decision modeling and linear programming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shea, John E.

    The structure of engineering curricula currently in place at most colleges and universities has existed since the early 1950's, and reflects an historical emphasis on a solid foundation in math, science, and engineering science. However, there is often not a close match between elements of the traditional engineering education, and the skill sets that graduates need to possess for success in the industrial environment. Considerable progress has been made to restructure engineering courses and curricula. What is lacking, however, are tools and methodologies that incorporate the many dimensions of college courses, and how they are structured to form a curriculum. If curriculum changes are to be made, the first objective must be to determine what knowledge and skills engineering graduates need to possess. To accomplish this, a set of engineering competencies was developed from existing literature, and used in the development of a comprehensive mail survey of alumni, employers, students and faculty. Respondents proposed some changes to the topics in the curriculum and recommended that work to improve the curriculum be focused on communication, problem solving and people skills. The process of designing a curriculum is similar to engineering design, with requirements that must be met, and objectives that must be optimized. From this similarity came the idea for developing a linear, additive, multi-objective model that identifies the objectives that must be considered when designing a curriculum, and contains the mathematical relationships necessary to quantify the value of a specific alternative. The model incorporates the three primary objectives of engineering topics, skills, and curriculum design principles and uses data from the survey. It was used to design new courses, to evaluate various curricula alternatives, and to conduct sensitivity analysis to better understand their differences. Using the multi-objective model to identify the highest scoring curriculum

  16. Results of a Medicare Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Readmissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, Surya P; Wells, J Michael; Iyer, Anand S; Kirkpatrick, deNay P; Parekh, Trisha M; Leach, Lauren T; Anderson, Erica M; Sanders, J Greg; Nichols, Jessica K; Blackburn, Cindy C; Dransfield, Mark T

    2017-05-01

    Approximately 20% of Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are readmitted within 30 days of discharge. In addition to implementing penalties for excess readmissions, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has developed Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiatives to improve outcomes and control costs. To evaluate whether a comprehensive COPD multidisciplinary intervention focusing on inpatient, transitional, and outpatient care as part of our institution's BPCI participation would reduce 30-day all-cause readmission rates for COPD exacerbations and reduce overall costs. We performed a pre-postintervention study comparing all-cause readmissions and costs after index hospitalization for Medicare-only patients with acute exacerbation of COPD. The primary outcome was the difference in 30-day all-cause readmission rate compared with historical control subjects; secondary outcomes included the 90-day all-cause readmission rate and also health care costs compared with BPCI target prices. Seventy-eight consecutive Medicare patients were prospectively enrolled in the BPCI intervention in 2014 and compared with 109 patients in the historical group from 2012. Patients in BPCI were more likely to receive regular follow-up phone calls, pneumococcal and influenza vaccines, home health care, durable medical equipment, and pulmonary rehabilitation, and to attend pulmonary clinic. There was no difference in all-cause readmission rates at 30 days (BPCI, 12 events [15.4%] vs. non-BPCI, 19 events [17.4%]; P = 0.711), and 90 days (21 [26.9%] vs. 37 [33.9%]; P = 0.306). Compared with BPCI target prices, we incurred 4.3% lower 90-day costs before accounting for significant investment from the health system. A Medicare BPCI intervention did not reduce 30-day all-cause readmission rates or overall costs after hospitalization for acute exacerbation of COPD. Although additional studies

  17. Anemia among HIV-Infected Patients Initiating Antiretroviral Therapy in South Africa: Improvement in Hemoglobin regardless of Degree of Immunosuppression and the Initiating ART Regimen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simbarashe Takuva

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Among those with HIV, anemia is a strong risk factor for disease progression and death independent of CD4 count and viral load. Understanding the role of anemia in HIV treatment is critical to developing strategies to reduce morbidity and mortality. We conducted a prospective analysis among 10,259 HIV-infected adults initiating first-line ART between April 2004 and August 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The prevalence of anemia at ART initiation was 25.8%. Mean hemoglobin increased independent of baseline CD4. Females, lower BMI, WHO stage III/IV, lower CD4 count, and zidovudine use were associated with increased risk of developing anemia during follow-up. After initiation of ART, hemoglobin improved, regardless of regimen type and the degree of immunosuppression. Between 0 and 6 months on ART, the magnitude of hemoglobin increase was linearly related to CD4 count. However, between 6 and 24 months on ART, hemoglobin levels showed a sustained overall increase, the magnitude of which was similar regardless of baseline CD4 level. This increase in hemoglobin was seen even among patients on zidovudine containing regimens. Since low hemoglobin is an established adverse prognostic marker, prompt identification of anemia may result in improved morbidity and mortality of patients initiating ART.

  18. Improved Traceability of a Small Satellite Mission Concept to Requirements Using Model Based System Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reil, Robin L.

    2014-01-01

    Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) has recently been gaining significant support as a means to improve the "traditional" document-based systems engineering (DBSE) approach to engineering complex systems. In the spacecraft design domain, there are many perceived and propose benefits of an MBSE approach, but little analysis has been presented to determine the tangible benefits of such an approach (e.g. time and cost saved, increased product quality). This paper presents direct examples of how developing a small satellite system model can improve traceability of the mission concept to its requirements. A comparison of the processes and approaches for MBSE and DBSE is made using the NASA Ames Research Center SporeSat CubeSat mission as a case study. A model of the SporeSat mission is built using the Systems Modeling Language standard and No Magic's MagicDraw modeling tool. The model incorporates mission concept and requirement information from the mission's original DBSE design efforts. Active dependency relationships are modeled to demonstrate the completeness and consistency of the requirements to the mission concept. Anecdotal information and process-duration metrics are presented for both the MBSE and original DBSE design efforts of SporeSat.

  19. Improved Traceability of Mission Concept to Requirements Using Model Based Systems Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reil, Robin

    2014-01-01

    Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) has recently been gaining significant support as a means to improve the traditional document-based systems engineering (DBSE) approach to engineering complex systems. In the spacecraft design domain, there are many perceived and propose benefits of an MBSE approach, but little analysis has been presented to determine the tangible benefits of such an approach (e.g. time and cost saved, increased product quality). This thesis presents direct examples of how developing a small satellite system model can improve traceability of the mission concept to its requirements. A comparison of the processes and approaches for MBSE and DBSE is made using the NASA Ames Research Center SporeSat CubeSat mission as a case study. A model of the SporeSat mission is built using the Systems Modeling Language standard and No Magics MagicDraw modeling tool. The model incorporates mission concept and requirement information from the missions original DBSE design efforts. Active dependency relationships are modeled to analyze the completeness and consistency of the requirements to the mission concept. Overall experience and methodology are presented for both the MBSE and original DBSE design efforts of SporeSat.

  20. Virtual Telemedicine Visits in Pediatric Home Parenteral Nutrition Patients: A Quality Improvement Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raphael, Bram P; Schumann, Caitlin; Garrity-Gentille, Sara; McClelland, Jennifer; Rosa, Carolyn; Tascione, Christina; Gallotto, Mary; Takvorian-Bené, Melissa; Carey, Alexandra N; McCarthy, Patrick; Duggan, Christopher; Ozonoff, Al

    2018-05-04

    Despite being less costly than prolonged hospitalization, home parenteral nutrition (HPN) is associated with high rates of post-discharge complications, including frequent readmissions and central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). Telemedicine has been associated with improved outcomes and reduced healthcare utilization in other high-risk populations, but no studies to date have supported effectiveness of telemedicine in pediatric HPN. We prospectively collected data on pediatric patients managed at a single HPN program who participated in postdischarge telemedicine visits from March 1, 2014 to March 30, 2016. We excluded patients with a history of HPN and strictly palliative care goals. Univariate analysis was performed for primary outcomes: Community-acquired CLABSI and 30-day readmission rate. Twenty-six families participated in the pilot initiative with median (interquartile range) patient age 1.5 (5.7) years old, diagnosis of short bowel syndrome in 16 (62%), and in-state residence in 17 (55%). Ishikawa (fishbone) diagram identified causes of post-discharge HPN complications. Areas of focus during telemedicine visit included central venous catheter care methods, materials, clinical concerns, and equipment. Compared to historical comparison group, the telemedicine group experienced CLABSI rates of 1.0 versus 2.7 per 1,000 line days and readmission rates of 38% versus 17% (p = 0.03, 0.02, respectively). Telemedicine visits identified opportunities for improvement for families newly discharged on HPN. In a small cohort of patients who experienced telemedicine visits, we found lower CLABSI rates alongside higher readmission rates compared with a historical comparison group. Further studies are needed to optimize telemedicine in delivering care to this high-risk population.

  1. Criteria for evaluating programme theory diagrams in quality improvement initiatives: a structured method for appraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Issen, Laurel; Woodcock, Thomas; McNicholas, Christopher; Lennox, Laura; Reed, Julie E

    2018-04-09

    Despite criticisms that many quality improvement (QI) initiatives fail due to incomplete programme theory, there is no defined way to evaluate how programme theory has been articulated. The objective of this research was to develop, and assess the usability and reliability of scoring criteria to evaluate programme theory diagrams. Criteria development was informed by published literature and QI experts. Inter-rater reliability was tested between two evaluators. About 63 programme theory diagrams (42 driver diagrams and 21 action-effect diagrams) were reviewed to establish whether the criteria could support comparative analysis of different approaches to constructing diagrams. Components of the scoring criteria include: assessment of overall aim, logical overview, clarity of components, cause-effect relationships, evidence and measurement. Independent reviewers had 78% inter-rater reliability. Scoring enabled direct comparison of different approaches to developing programme theory; action-effect diagrams were found to have had a statistically significant but moderate improvement in programme theory quality over driver diagrams; no significant differences were observed based on the setting in which driver diagrams were developed. The scoring criteria summarise the necessary components of programme theory that are thought to contribute to successful QI projects. The viability of the scoring criteria for practical application was demonstrated. Future uses include assessment of individual programme theory diagrams and comparison of different approaches (e.g. methodological, teaching or other QI support) to produce programme theory. The criteria can be used as a tool to guide the production of better programme theory diagrams, and also highlights where additional support for QI teams could be needed.

  2. Improvement of medical content in the curriculum of biomedical engineering based on assessment of students outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdulhay, Enas; Khnouf, Ruba; Haddad, Shireen; Al-Bashir, Areen

    2017-08-04

    Improvement of medical content in Biomedical Engineering curricula based on a qualitative assessment process or on a comparison with another high-standard program has been approached by a number of studies. However, the quantitative assessment tools have not been emphasized. The quantitative assessment tools can be more accurate and robust in cases of challenging multidisciplinary fields like that of Biomedical Engineering which includes biomedicine elements mixed with technology aspects. The major limitations of the previous research are the high dependence on surveys or pure qualitative approaches as well as the absence of strong focus on medical outcomes without implicit confusion with the technical ones. The proposed work presents the development and evaluation of an accurate/robust quantitative approach to the improvement of the medical content in the challenging multidisciplinary BME curriculum. The work presents quantitative assessment tools and subsequent improvement of curriculum medical content applied, as example for explanation, to the ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, USA) accredited biomedical engineering BME department at Jordan University of Science and Technology. The quantitative results of assessment of curriculum/course, capstone, exit exam, course assessment by student (CAS) as well as of surveys filled by alumni, seniors, employers and training supervisors were, first, mapped to the expected students' outcomes related to the medical field (SOsM). The collected data were then analyzed and discussed to find curriculum weakness points by tracking shortcomings in every outcome degree of achievement. Finally, actions were taken to fill in the gaps of the curriculum. Actions were also mapped to the students' medical outcomes (SOsM). Weighted averages of obtained quantitative values, mapped to SOsM, indicated accurately the achievement levels of all outcomes as well as the necessary improvements to be performed in curriculum

  3. The impact of improved sparse linear solvers on industrial engineering applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heroux, M. [Cray Research, Inc., Eagan, MN (United States); Baddourah, M.; Poole, E.L.; Yang, Chao Wu

    1996-12-31

    There are usually many factors that ultimately determine the quality of computer simulation for engineering applications. Some of the most important are the quality of the analytical model and approximation scheme, the accuracy of the input data and the capability of the computing resources. However, in many engineering applications the characteristics of the sparse linear solver are the key factors in determining how complex a problem a given application code can solve. Therefore, the advent of a dramatically improved solver often brings with it dramatic improvements in our ability to do accurate and cost effective computer simulations. In this presentation we discuss the current status of sparse iterative and direct solvers in several key industrial CFD and structures codes, and show the impact that recent advances in linear solvers have made on both our ability to perform challenging simulations and the cost of those simulations. We also present some of the current challenges we have and the constraints we face in trying to improve these solvers. Finally, we discuss future requirements for sparse linear solvers on high performance architectures and try to indicate the opportunities that exist if we can develop even more improvements in linear solver capabilities.

  4. Tissue Engineering Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-08-01

    forefoot with the foot in the neutral position, and (b) similar to (a) but with heel landing. Although the authors reported no absolute strain values...diameter of sensors (or, in the case of a rectangular sensor, width as measured along pin axis). Worst case : Strike line from inside edges of sensors...potoroo it is just prior to "toe strike ". The locomotion of the potoroo is described as digitigrade, unlike humans, who walk in a plantigrade manner

  5. Tissue Engineering Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-08-01

    plane within a DUV gel, at a depth of 20 gxm. The hylan gel appears red due it’s autofluorescence . Cells in green were labeled for smooth muscle cell... Retinaic acid incrc’aves d’astin in neonatal rat lung fibroblast cultures5. Am Physiol. 1993. 265(5 Pt 1): p. L-130-7. 23. MlcGowan. S.E.. Inf~luences of

  6. Uplifting Leadership for Real School Improvement--The North Coast Initiative for School Improvement: An Australian Telling of a Canadian Story

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaseling, Marilyn; Boyd, William Edgar; Smith, Robert; Boyd, Wendy; Shipway, Bradley; Foster, Alan; Lembke, Cathy

    2017-01-01

    This paper reports on a preliminary Australian adoption and adaptation, in the North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia, of the Townsend and Adams' model of leadership growth for school improvement in Alberta. The Australian adaptation of this Alberta model has been named the North Coast Initiative for School Improvement (NCISI). The…

  7. Session 4: On-board exhaust gas reforming for improved performance of natural gas HCCI engines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amieiro, A.; Golunski, S.; James, D. [Johnson Matthey Technology Centre, Sonning Common, Reading (United Kingdom); Miroslaw, Wyszynski; Athanasios, Megaritis; Peucheret, S. [Birmingham Univ., School of Engineering, Future Power Systems Research Group (United Kingdom); Hongming, Xu [Jaguar Cars Ltd, W/2/021 Engineering Centre, Whitley, Coventry (United Kingdom)

    2004-07-01

    Although natural gas (NG) is a non-renewable energy source, it is still a very attractive alternative fuel for transportation - it is inexpensive, abundant, and easier to refine than petroleum. Unfortunately the minimum spark energy required for NG ignition is higher than for liquid fuels, and engine performance is reduced since the higher volume of NG limits the air breathing capacity of the cylinders. On the other hand, the flammability range of NG is wider than for other hydrocarbons, so the engine can operate under leaner conditions. Environmentally, the use of NG is particularly attractive since it has a low flame temperature (resulting in reduced NO{sub x} emissions) and a low carbon content compared to diesel or gasoline (resulting in less CO, CO{sub 2} and particulate). In addition, NG is easily made sulphur-free, and has a high octane rating (RON = 110-130) which makes it suitable for high compression engine applications. Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) into an engine is known to reduce both flame temperature and speed, and therefore produce lower NO{sub x} emissions. In general, a given volume of exhaust gas has a greater effect on flame speed and NO{sub x} emissions than the same quantity of excess air, although there is a limit to the amount of exhaust gas recirculation that can be used without inhibiting combustion. However, hydrogen addition to exhaust gas recirculation has been proved to reduce emissions while increasing flame speed, so improving both the emissions and the thermal efficiency of the engine. On-board reforming of some of the fuel, by reaction with exhaust gas during EGR, is a novel way of adding hydrogen to an engine. We have carried out reforming tests on mixtures of natural gas and exhaust gas at relatively low temperatures (400-600 C), to mimic the low availability of external heat within the integrated system. The reforming catalyst is a nickel-free formulation, containing precious metals promoted by metal oxides. The roles of

  8. New high expansion ratio gasoline engine for the TOYOTA hybrid system. Improving engine efficiency with high expansion ratio cycle; Hybrid system yo kobochohi gasoline engine. Kobochohi cycle ni yoru engine no kokoritsuka

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hirose, K; Takaoka, T; Ueda, T; Kobayashi, Y [Toyota Motor Corp., Aichi (Japan)

    1997-10-01

    50% reduction of CO2 and fuel consumption have been achieved with the newly developed gasoline engine for the Toyota Hybrid System. This is achieved due to the combination of electric motors and the internal combustion engine which is optimized in the size, swept volume and heat cycle. By delaying the intake valve close timing a high expansion ratio (13.5:1) cycle has been realized. Electricmotor assist enable to cut the maximum engine speed, and friction loss. A best fuel consumption figure better than 230 g/kWh has been achieved. Elimination of lightload firing, motor assisted quick start and improvement of catalyst warm up makes to achieve the clean emission level such as 1/10 of Japanese `78 regulation limit. 10 refs., 16 figs., 1 tab.

  9. The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Quality Improvement Initiative: developing performance measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutter, Matthew D; Senore, Carlo; Bisschops, Raf; Domagk, Dirk; Valori, Roland; Kaminski, Michal F; Spada, Cristiano; Bretthauer, Michael; Bennett, Cathy; Bellisario, Cristina; Minozzi, Silvia; Hassan, Cesare; Rees, Colin; Dinis-Ribeiro, Mário; Hucl, Tomas; Ponchon, Thierry; Aabakken, Lars; Fockens, Paul

    2016-02-01

    The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) and United European Gastroenterology (UEG) have a vision to create a thriving community of endoscopy services across Europe, collaborating with each other to provide high quality, safe, accurate, patient-centered and accessible endoscopic care. Whilst the boundaries of what can be achieved by advanced endoscopy are continually expanding, we believe that one of the most fundamental steps to achieving our goal is to raise the quality of everyday endoscopy. The development of robust, consensus- and evidence-based key performance measures is the first step in this vision. ESGE and UEG have identified quality of endoscopy as a major priority. This paper explains the rationale behind the ESGE Quality Improvement Initiative and describes the processes that were followed. We recommend that all units develop mechanisms for audit and feedback of endoscopist and service performance using the ESGE performance measures that will be published in future issues of this journal over the next year. We urge all endoscopists and endoscopy services to prioritize quality and to ensure that these performance measures are implemented and monitored at a local level, so that we can provide the highest possible care for our patients.

  10. A Pilot Physical Activity Initiative to Improve Mental Health Status amongst Iranian Institutionalized Older People

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein Matlabi

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Sufficient level of physical activity may promote overall and mental health of old people. This study was carried out to investigate the practicability of a physical activity promotion initiative amongst institutionalized older people in Tabriz, Iran. Methods: Purposive sampling method was used in this semi-experimental study to recruit 31 older people living in a selected residential care in Tabriz. Moderate-intensity aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity was planned for those who had not severe baseline cognitive impairment or were not too frail to undertake the survey. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28 was used to measure mental health status before and after intervention through a face-to-face interview. Descriptive statistics, Wilkcoxon rank-sum, Mann–Whitney U and Chi-Square tests were employed to analyses the data. Results: The applied intervention was significantly improved status of physical health, anxiety and insomnia, social dysfunction and severe depression. Conclusion: Incorporation of physical activity promotion programs into routines of older people residential care homes in Iran is feasible but may need training of physical activity specialists to work with older people based on their physical endurance and limitations.

  11. Pleural mesothelioma: management updates and nursing initiatives to improve patient care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lehto RH

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Rebecca H LehtoCollege of Nursing, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USAAbstract: Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a relatively rare but aggressive malignancy that is primarily associated with occupational asbestos exposure. While treatment options for mesothelioma have expanded, the disease carries a poor prognosis, with a median of 8 months to 1 year of survival postdiagnosis. This article synthesizes current disease-management practices, including the diagnostic workup, treatment modalities, emerging therapies, and symptom management, and identifies comprehensive nursing strategies that result in the best care based on updated evidence. Multidisciplinary coordination, palliative care initiation, survivorship, and end-of-life care are discussed. Findings may be applied in clinical environments as a resource to help nurses better understand treatment options and care for patients facing malignant pleural mesothelioma. Recommendations for future research are made to move nursing science forward and to improve patient well-being and health-related quality-of-life outcomes for patients and their family members.Keywords: pleural mesothelioma, cancer, symptom management, evidence-based care

  12. Measuring the value of process improvement initiatives in a preoperative assessment center using time-driven activity-based costing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Katy E; Albright, Heidi W; Frenzel, John C; Incalcaterra, James R; Rubio, Augustin C; Jones, Jessica F; Feeley, Thomas W

    2013-12-01

    The value and impact of process improvement initiatives are difficult to quantify. We describe the use of time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) in a clinical setting to quantify the value of process improvements in terms of cost, time and personnel resources. Difficulty in identifying and measuring the cost savings of process improvement initiatives in a Preoperative Assessment Center (PAC). Use TDABC to measure the value of process improvement initiatives that reduce the costs of performing a preoperative assessment while maintaining the quality of the assessment. Apply the principles of TDABC in a PAC to measure the value, from baseline, of two phases of performance improvement initiatives and determine the impact of each implementation in terms of cost, time and efficiency. Through two rounds of performance improvements, we quantified an overall reduction in time spent by patient and personnel of 33% that resulted in a 46% reduction in the costs of providing care in the center. The performance improvements resulted in a 17% decrease in the total number of full time equivalents (FTE's) needed to staff the center and a 19% increase in the numbers of patients assessed in the center. Quality of care, as assessed by the rate of cancellations on the day of surgery, was not adversely impacted by the process improvements. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. Identifying criteria for multimodel software process improvement solutions : based on a review of current problems and initiatives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kelemen, Z.D.; Kusters, R.J.; Trienekens, J.J.M.

    2012-01-01

    In this article, we analyze current initiatives in multimodel software process improvement and identify criteria for multimodel solutions. With multimodel, we mean the simultaneous usage of more than one quality approach (e.g. standards, methods, techniques to improve software processes). This paper

  14. Improving the performance of LOX/kerosene upper stage rocket engines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    IgorN. Nikischenko

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Improved liquid rocket engine cycles were proposed and analyzed via comparison with existing staged combustion and gas-generator cycles. The key features of the proposed cycles are regenerative cooling of thrust chamber by oxygen and subsequent use of this oxygen for driving one or two oxygen pumps. The fuel pump(s are driven in a conventional manner, for example, using a fuel-rich gas-generator cycle. Comparison with staged combustion cycle based on oxygen-rich pre-burner showed that one of the proposed semi-expander cycles has a specific impulse only on 0.4% lower while providing much lower oxygen temperature, more efficient tank pressurizing system and built-in roll control. This semi-expander cycle can be considered as a more reliable and cost-effective alternative of staged combustion cycle. Another semi-expander cycle can be considered as an improvement of gas-generator cycle. All proposed semi-expander cycles were developed as a derivative of thrust chamber regenerative cooling performed by oxygen. Analysis of existing oxygen/kerosene engines showed that replacing of kerosene regenerative cooling with oxygen allows a significant increase of achievable specific impulse, via optimization of mixture ratio. It is especially the case for upper stage engines. The increasing of propellants average density can be considered as an additional benefit of mixture ratio optimization. It was demonstrated that oxygen regenerative cooling of thrust chamber is a feasible and the most promising option for oxygen/kerosene engines. Combination of oxygen regenerative cooling and semi-expander cycles potentially allows creating the oxygen/kerosene propulsion systems with minimum specific impulse losses. It is important that such propulsion systems can be fully based on inherited and well-proven technical solutions. A hypothetic upper stage engine with thrust 19.6 kN was chosen as a prospective candidate for theoretical analysis of the proposed semi

  15. An improved particle filtering algorithm for aircraft engine gas-path fault diagnosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qihang Wang

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available In this article, an improved particle filter with electromagnetism-like mechanism algorithm is proposed for aircraft engine gas-path component abrupt fault diagnosis. In order to avoid the particle degeneracy and sample impoverishment of normal particle filter, the electromagnetism-like mechanism optimization algorithm is introduced into resampling procedure, which adjusts the position of the particles through simulating attraction–repulsion mechanism between charged particles of the electromagnetism theory. The improved particle filter can solve the particle degradation problem and ensure the diversity of the particle set. Meanwhile, it enhances the ability of tracking abrupt fault due to considering the latest measurement information. Comparison of the proposed method with three different filter algorithms is carried out on a univariate nonstationary growth model. Simulations on a turbofan engine model indicate that compared to the normal particle filter, the improved particle filter can ensure the completion of the fault diagnosis within less sampling period and the root mean square error of parameters estimation is reduced.

  16. Pullulan-based composite scaffolds for bone tissue engineering: Improved osteoconductivity by pore wall mineralization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amrita; Arora, Aditya; Sharma, Poonam; Katti, Dhirendra S

    2015-06-05

    Porous hydrogels have been explored for bone tissue engineering; however their poor mechanical properties make them less suitable as bone graft substitutes. Since incorporation of fillers is a well-accepted method for improving mechanical properties of hydrogels, in this work pullulan hydrogels were reinforced with nano-crystalline hydroxyapatite (nHAp) (5 wt% nHAp in hydrogel) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) fibers (3 wt% fibers in hydrogel) containing nHAp (3 wt% nHAp in fibers). Addition of these fillers to pullulan hydrogel improved compressive modulus of the scaffold by 10 fold. However, the hydrophilicity of pullulan did not support adhesion and spreading of cells. To overcome this limitation, porous composite scaffolds were modified using a double diffusion method that enabled deposition of hydroxyapatite on pore walls. This method resulted in rapid and uniform coating of HAp throughout the three-dimensional scaffolds which not only rendered them osteoconductive in vitro but also led to an improvement in their compressive modulus. These results demonstrate the potential of mineralized pullulan-based composite scaffolds in non-load bearing bone tissue engineering. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Improving itaconic acid production through genetic engineering of an industrial Aspergillus terreus strain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xuenian; Lu, Xuefeng; Li, Yueming; Li, Xia; Li, Jian-Jun

    2014-08-11

    Itaconic acid, which has been declared to be one of the most promising and flexible building blocks, is currently used as monomer or co-monomer in the polymer industry, and produced commercially by Aspergillus terreus. However, the production level of itaconic acid hasn't been improved in the past 40 years, and mutagenesis is still the main strategy to improve itaconate productivity. The genetic engineering approach hasn't been applied in industrial A. terreus strains to increase itaconic acid production. In this study, the genes closely related to itaconic acid production, including cadA, mfsA, mttA, ATEG_09969, gpdA, ATEG_01954, acoA, mt-pfkA and citA, were identified and overexpressed in an industrial A. terreus strain respectively. Overexpression of the genes cadA (cis-aconitate decarboxylase) and mfsA (Major Facilitator Superfamily Transporter) enhanced the itaconate production level by 9.4% and 5.1% in shake flasks respectively. Overexpression of other genes showed varied effects on itaconate production. The titers of other organic acids were affected by the introduced genes to different extent. Itaconic acid production could be improved through genetic engineering of the industrially used A. terreus strain. We have identified some important genes such as cadA and mfsA, whose overexpression led to the increased itaconate productivity, and successfully developed a strategy to establish a highly efficient microbial cell factory for itaconate protuction. Our results will provide a guide for further enhancement of the itaconic acid production level through genetic engineering in future.

  18. Growth factor stimulation improves the structure and properties of scaffold-free engineered auricular cartilage constructs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata G Rosa

    Full Text Available The reconstruction of the external ear to correct congenital deformities or repair following trauma remains a significant challenge in reconstructive surgery. Previously, we have developed a novel approach to create scaffold-free, tissue engineering elastic cartilage constructs directly from a small population of donor cells. Although the developed constructs appeared to adopt the structural appearance of native auricular cartilage, the constructs displayed limited expression and poor localization of elastin. In the present study, the effect of growth factor supplementation (insulin, IGF-1, or TGF-β1 was investigated to stimulate elastogenesis as well as to improve overall tissue formation. Using rabbit auricular chondrocytes, bioreactor-cultivated constructs supplemented with either insulin or IGF-1 displayed increased deposition of cartilaginous ECM, improved mechanical properties, and thicknesses comparable to native auricular cartilage after 4 weeks of growth. Similarly, growth factor supplementation resulted in increased expression and improved localization of elastin, primarily restricted within the cartilaginous region of the tissue construct. Additional studies were conducted to determine whether scaffold-free engineered auricular cartilage constructs could be developed in the 3D shape of the external ear. Isolated auricular chondrocytes were grown in rapid-prototyped tissue culture molds with additional insulin or IGF-1 supplementation during bioreactor cultivation. Using this approach, the developed tissue constructs were flexible and had a 3D shape in very good agreement to the culture mold (average error <400 µm. While scaffold-free, engineered auricular cartilage constructs can be created with both the appropriate tissue structure and 3D shape of the external ear, future studies will be aimed assessing potential changes in construct shape and properties after subcutaneous implantation.

  19. Improving Performance to Engineering Students through Virtual Labs and its Monitoring in Cockpit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro Rosniak Tibola

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Modern education needs use all resources to improve teaching-learning process. To achieve this goal, technology can be a sharp allied. Especially to the engineering education, which seeks the balance among theoretical and practice lessons. Thus, many universities are using the virtual labs and virtual worlds 3D like way to support the student's learning and enrich the teaching methods. High tech classes, broadband communication, mobility and ubiquity aren't enough if the student's engagement can't be measured. This work presents a proposal to monitor the virtual lab use by students, showing the educational parameters in a graphical interface, following the suitable pedagogical concepts.

  20. The Global Tracheostomy Collaborative: one institution's experience with a new quality improvement initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavin, Jennifer; Shah, Rahul; Greenlick, Hannah; Gaudreau, Philip; Bedwell, Joshua

    2016-01-01

    Given the low frequency of adverse events after tracheostomy, individual institutions struggle to collect outcome data to generate effective quality improvement protocols. The Global Tracheostomy Collaborative (GTC) is a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary organization that utilizes a prospective database to collect data on patients undergoing tracheostomy. We describe our institution's preliminary experience with this collaborative. It was hypothesized that entry into the database would be non-burdensome and could be easily and accurately initiated by skilled specialists at the time of tracheostomy placement and completed at time of patient discharge. Demographic, diagnostic, and outcome data on children undergoing tracheostomy at our institution from January 2013 to June 2015 were entered into the GTC database, a database collected and managed by REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture). All data entry was performed by pediatric otolaryngology fellows and all post-operative updates were completed by a skilled tracheostomy nurse. Tracked outcomes included accidental decannulation, failed decannulation, tracheostomy tube obstruction, bleeding/tracheoinnominate fistula, and tracheocutaneous fistula. Data from 79 patients undergoing tracheostomy at our institution were recorded. Database entry was straightforward and entry of patient demographic information, medical comorbidities, surgical indications, and date of tracheostomy placement was completed in less than 5min per patient. The most common indication for surgery was facilitation of ventilation in 65 patients (82.3%). Average time from admission to tracheostomy was 62.6 days (range 0-246). Stomal breakdown was seen in 1 patient. A total of 72 patients were tracked to hospital discharge with 53 patients surviving (88.3%). No mortalities were tracheostomy-related. The Global Tracheostomy Collaborative is a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary collaborative that collects data on patients undergoing

  1. Strategic laparoscopic surgery for improved cosmesis in general and bariatric surgery: analysis of initial 127 cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Ninh T; Smith, Brian R; Reavis, Kevin M; Nguyen, Xuan-Mai T; Nguyen, Brian; Stamos, Michael J

    2012-05-01

    Strategic laparoscopic surgery for improved cosmesis (SLIC) is a less invasive surgical approach than conventional laparoscopic surgery. The aim of this study was to examine the feasibility and safety of SLIC for general and bariatric surgical operations. Additionally, we compared the outcomes of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy with those performed by the SLIC technique. In an academic medical center, from April 2008 to December 2010, 127 patients underwent SLIC procedures: 38 SLIC cholecystectomy, 56 SLIC gastric banding, 26 SLIC sleeve gastrectomy, 1 SLIC gastrojejunostomy, and 6 SLIC appendectomy. SLIC sleeve gastrectomy was initially performed through a single 4.0-cm supraumbilical incision with extraction of the gastric specimen through the same incision. The technique evolved to laparoscopic incisions that were all placed within the umbilicus and suprapubic region. There were no 30-day or in-hospital mortalities or 30-day re-admissions or re-operations. For SLIC cholecystectomy, gastric banding, appendectomy, and gastrojejunostomy, conversion to conventional laparoscopy occurred in 5.3%, 5.4%, 0%, and 0%, respectively; there were no major or minor postoperative complications. For SLIC sleeve gastrectomy, there were no significant differences in mean operative time and length of hospital stay compared with laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy; 1 (3.8%) of 26 SLIC patients required conversion to five-port laparoscopy. There were no major complications. Minor complications occurred in 7.7% in the SLIC sleeve group versus 8.3% in the laparoscopic sleeve group. SLIC in general and bariatric operations is technically feasible, safe, and associated with a low rate of conversion to conventional laparoscopy. Compared with laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, SLIC sleeve gastrectomy can be performed without a prolonged operative time with comparable perioperative outcomes.

  2. Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into Geoscience (IUSE: GEOPATHS) - A National Science Foundation Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, B.; Patino, L. C.

    2016-12-01

    Preparation of the future professional geoscience workforce includes increasing numbers as well as providing adequate education, exposure and training for undergraduates once they enter geoscience pathways. It is important to consider potential career trajectories for geoscience students, as these inform the types of education and skill-learning required. Recent reports have highlighted that critical thinking and problem-solving skills, spatial and temporal abilities, strong quantitative skills, and the ability to work in teams are among the priorities for many geoscience work environments. The increasing focus of geoscience work on societal issues (e.g., climate change impacts) opens the door to engaging a diverse population of students. In light of this, one challenge is to find effective strategies for "opening the world of possibilities" in the geosciences for these students and supporting them at the critical junctures where they might choose an alternative pathway to geosciences or otherwise leave altogether. To address these and related matters, The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) has supported two rounds of the IUSE: GEOPATHS Program, to create and support innovative and inclusive projects to build the future geoscience workforce. This program is one component in NSF's Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) initiative, which is a comprehensive, Foundation-wide effort to accelerate the quality and effectiveness of the education of undergraduates in all of the STEM fields. The two tracks of IUSE: GEOPATHS (EXTRA and IMPACT) seek to broaden and strengthen connections and activities that will engage and retain undergraduate students in geoscience education and career pathways, and help prepare them for a variety of careers. The long-term goal of this program is to dramatically increase the number and diversity of students earning undergraduate degrees or enrolling in graduate programs in geoscience fields, as well as

  3. Two-dimensional sonographic cine imaging improves confidence in the initial evaluation of the fetal heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poole, Patricia Sims; Chung, Romy; Lacoursiere, Yvette; Palmieri, Carolina Rossi; Hull, Andrew; Engelkemier, Dawn; Rochelle, Michele; Trivedi, Neha; Pretorius, Dolores H

    2013-06-01

    Initial screening sonography of the fetal heart with static images is often inadequate, resulting in repeated imaging or failure to detect abnormalities. We hypothesized that the addition of short cine clips would reduce the need for repeated imaging. Two-dimensional (2D) static sonograms and short 2D cine clips of the 4-chamber view and left and right ventricular outflow tracts were obtained from 342 patients with gestational ages of greater than 16 weeks. A diagnostic radiologist and a perinatologist retrospectively reviewed the static and cine images independently and graded them as normal, abnormal, or suboptimal. A statistically significant increase in the number of structures called normal was seen when 2D cine clips were added to static imaging for both observers (P cine images versus 61.9% with static images alone, whereas the perinatologist recorded 68.1% as normal versus 58.8%, respectively. The radiologist called 77.8% of structures normal with cine images only versus 61.9% with static images only (P cine images alone (38.9%) versus static images alone (58.8%). The use of cine loops alone resulted in no significant increase in the ability to clear the heart as normal. The maternal body mass index was inversely associated with the ability to clear structures when 2D cine images were added to static images (P cine clips to standard 2D static imaging of the fetal heart significantly improves the number of structures cleared as normal. Two-dimensional cine clips are easily obtained, add little time to a study, and require minimal archival space.

  4. Does 8-methacryloxyoctyl trimethoxy silane (8-MOTS) improve initial bond strength on lithium disilicate glass ceramic?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruo, Yukinori; Nishigawa, Goro; Yoshihara, Kumiko; Minagi, Shogo; Matsumoto, Takuya; Irie, Masao

    2017-03-01

    Dental ceramic surfaces are modified with silane coupling agents, such as γ-methacryloxypropyl trimethoxy silane (γ-MPTS), to improve bond strength. For bonding between lithium disilicate glass ceramic and resin cement, the objective was to investigate if 8-methacryloxyoctyl trimethoxy silane (8-MOTS) could yield a similar performance as the widely used γ-MPTS. One hundred and ten lithium disilicate glass ceramic specimens were randomly divided into 11 groups (n=10) according to pretreatment regime. All specimens were pretreated with a different solution composed of one or a combination of these agents: 10 or 20wt% silane coupling agent of γ-MPTS or 8-MOTS, followed by a hydrolysis solution of acetic acid or 10-methacryloyloxydecyl dihydrogen phosphate (10-MDP). Each pretreated surface was luted to a stainless steel rod of 3.6mm diameter and 2.0mm height with resin cement. Shear bond strength between ceramic and cement was measured after 24-h storage in 37°C distilled water. 8-MOTS produced the same bonding performance as γ-MPTS. Both silane coupling agents significantly increased the bond strength of resin cement, depending on their concentration. When activated by 10-MDP hydrolysis solution, 20wt% concentration produced the highest values (γ-MPTS: 24.9±5.1MPa; 8-MOTS: 24.6±7.4MPa). Hydrolysis with acetic acid produced lower bond strengths than with 10-MDP. Silane coupling pretreatment with 8-MOTS increased the initial bond strength between lithium disilicate glass ceramic and resin cement, rendering the same bonding effect as the conventional γ-MPTS. Copyright © 2016 The Academy of Dental Materials. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections: a quality-improvement initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Katherine Finn; Colebaugh, Ann M; Eithun, Benjamin L; Klieger, Sarah B; Meredith, Dennis J; Plachter, Natalie; Sammons, Julia Shaklee; Thompson, Allison; Coffin, Susan E

    2014-09-01

    Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are among the most common health care-associated infections in the United States, yet little is known about the prevention and epidemiology of pediatric CAUTIs. An observational study was conducted to assess the impact of a CAUTI quality improvement prevention bundle that included institution-wide standardization of and training on urinary catheter insertion and maintenance practices, daily review of catheter necessity, and rapid review of all CAUTIs. Poisson regression was used to determine the impact of the bundle on CAUTI rates. A retrospective cohort study was performed to describe the epidemiology of incident pediatric CAUTIs at a tertiary care children's hospital over a 3-year period (June 2009 to June 2012). Implementation of the CAUTI prevention bundle was associated with a 50% reduction in the mean monthly CAUTI rate (95% confidence interval: -1.28 to -0.12; P = .02) from 5.41 to 2.49 per 1000 catheter-days. The median monthly catheter utilization ratio remained unchanged; ∼90% of patients had an indication for urinary catheterization. Forty-four patients experienced 57 CAUTIs over the study period. Most patients with CAUTIs were female (75%), received care in the pediatric or cardiac ICUs (70%), and had at least 1 complex chronic condition (98%). Nearly 90% of patients who developed a CAUTI had a recognized indication for initial catheter placement. CAUTI is a common pediatric health care-associated infection. Implementation of a prevention bundle can significantly reduce CAUTI rates in children. Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  6. Using Software Product Line to improve ERP Engineering: Literature Review and Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Mazo

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available On the one hand, getting advantages of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP systems largely depends on their capacity to be configured and adapted to fit the customer and domain requirements. On the other hand, product line engineering (PLE is a promising approach for configuring and adapting products by means of configuration and derivation processes. While the literature and industrial experiences show the benefits of PLE methods, techniques and tools, there is still a lack of interest in addressing ERP engineering issues with the product line strategy. Objective: The aim of this paper is to identify and analyze the different ways presented in the literature to improve ERP engineering issues with the methods, techniques and tools provided by PLE. Method: To achieve that objective, we reviewed the literature and analyzed available publications. Results: This literature review analyzes six research papers at the intersection between ERP and PLE. It shows that the product line strategy can indeed be applied for ERP configuration and customization. It further shows the evolving interest on this topic and discusses existing contributions.

  7. Improved Triacylglycerol Production in Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1 by Metabolic Engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karp Matti

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Triacylglycerols are used in various purposes including food applications, cosmetics, oleochemicals and biofuels. Currently the main sources for triacylglycerol are vegetable oils, and microbial triacylglycerol has been suggested as an alternative for these. Due to the low production rates and yields of microbial processes, the role of metabolic engineering has become more significant. As a robust model organism for genetic and metabolic studies, and for the natural capability to produce triacylglycerol, Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1 serves as an excellent organism for modelling the effects of metabolic engineering for energy molecule biosynthesis. Results Beneficial gene deletions regarding triacylglycerol production were screened by computational means exploiting the metabolic model of ADP1. Four deletions, acr1, poxB, dgkA, and a triacylglycerol lipase were chosen to be studied experimentally both separately and concurrently by constructing a knock-out strain (MT with three of the deletions. Improvements in triacylglycerol production were observed: the strain MT produced 5.6 fold more triacylglycerol (mg/g cell dry weight compared to the wild type strain, and the proportion of triacylglycerol in total lipids was increased by 8-fold. Conclusions In silico predictions of beneficial gene deletions were verified experimentally. The chosen single and multiple gene deletions affected beneficially the natural triacylglycerol metabolism of A. baylyi ADP1. This study demonstrates the importance of single gene deletions in triacylglycerol metabolism, and proposes Acinetobacter sp. ADP1 as a model system for bioenergetic studies regarding metabolic engineering.

  8. Community-based MDR-TB care project improves treatment initiation in patients diagnosed with MDR-TB in Myanmar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wai, Pyae Phyo; Shewade, Hemant Deepak; Kyaw, Nang Thu Thu; Thein, Saw; Si Thu, Aung; Kyaw, Khine Wut Yee; Aye, Nyein Nyein; Phyo, Aye Mon; Maung, Htet Myet Win; Soe, Kyaw Thu; Aung, Si Thu

    2018-01-01

    The Union in collaboration with national TB programme (NTP) started the community-based MDR-TB care (CBMDR-TBC) project in 33 townships of upper Myanmar to improve treatment initiation and treatment adherence. Patients with MDR-TB diagnosed/registered under NTP received support through the project staff, in addition to the routine domiciliary care provided by NTP staff. Each township had a project nurse exclusively for MDR-TB and 30 USD per month (max. for 4 months) were provided to the patient as a pre-treatment support. To assess whether CBMDR-TBC project's support improved treatment initiation. In this cohort study (involving record review) of all diagnosed MDR-TB between January 2015 and June 2016 in project townships, CBMDR-TBC status was categorized as "receiving support" if date of project initiation in patient's township was before the date of diagnosis and "not receiving support", if otherwise. Cox proportional hazards regression (censored on 31 Dec 2016) was done to identify predictors of treatment initiation. Of 456 patients, 57% initiated treatment: 64% and 56% among patients "receiving support (n = 208)" and "not receiving support (n = 228)" respectively (CBMDR-TBC status was not known in 20 (4%) patients due to missing diagnosis dates). Among those initiated on treatment (n = 261), median (IQR) time to initiate treatment was 38 (20, 76) days: 31 (18, 50) among patients "receiving support" and 50 (26,101) among patients "not receiving support". After adjusting other potential confounders (age, sex, region, HIV, past history of TB treatment), patients "receiving support" had 80% higher chance of initiating treatment [aHR (0.95 CI): 1.8 (1.3, 2.3)] when compared to patients "not receiving support". In addition, age 15-54 years, previous history of TB and being HIV negative were independent predictors of treatment initiation. Receiving support under CBMDR-TBC project improved treatment initiation: it not only improved the proportion initiated but also

  9. Integrating enzyme immobilization and protein engineering: An alternative path for the development of novel and improved industrial biocatalysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernal, Claudia; Rodríguez, Karen; Martínez, Ronny

    2018-06-09

    Enzyme immobilization often achieves reusable biocatalysts with improved operational stability and solvent resistance. However, these modifications are generally associated with a decrease in activity or detrimental modifications in catalytic properties. On the other hand, protein engineering aims to generate enzymes with increased performance at specific conditions by means of genetic manipulation, directed evolution and rational design. However, the achieved biocatalysts are generally generated as soluble enzymes, -thus not reusable- and their performance under real operational conditions is uncertain. Combined protein engineering and enzyme immobilization approaches have been employed as parallel or consecutive strategies for improving an enzyme of interest. Recent reports show efforts on simultaneously improving both enzymatic and immobilization components through genetic modification of enzymes and optimizing binding chemistry for site-specific and oriented immobilization. Nonetheless, enzyme engineering and immobilization are usually performed as separate workflows to achieve improved biocatalysts. In this review, we summarize and discuss recent research aiming to integrate enzyme immobilization and protein engineering and propose strategies to further converge protein engineering and enzyme immobilization efforts into a novel "immobilized biocatalyst engineering" research field. We believe that through the integration of both enzyme engineering and enzyme immobilization strategies, novel biocatalysts can be obtained, not only as the sum of independently improved intrinsic and operational properties of enzymes, but ultimately tailored specifically for increased performance as immobilized biocatalysts, potentially paving the way for a qualitative jump in the development of efficient, stable biocatalysts with greater real-world potential in challenging bioprocess applications. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. Interface engineering in inorganic hybrid structures towards improved photocatalysis (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Yujie

    2016-10-01

    Designing new photocatalytic materials for improving photoconversion efficiency is a promising route to alleviate the steadily worsening environmental issues and energy crisis. Despite the invention of a large number of catalytic materials with well-defined structures, their overall efficiency in photocatalysis is still quite limited as the three key steps - light harvesting, charge generation and separation, and charge transfer to surface for redox reactions - have not been substantially improved. To improve each step in the complex process, there is a major trend to develop materials based on inorganic hybrid structures. In this case, interface engineering holds the promise for boosting the overall efficiency, given the key roles of interface structures in charge and energy transfer. In this talk, I will demonstrate several different approaches to designing inorganic hybrid structures with improved photocatalytic performance via interface engineering. The typical demonstrations include semiconductor-plasmonics systems for broad-spectrum light harvesting, metal-semiconductor interfaces for improved charge separation, semiconductor-MOF (metal-organic framework) configurations for activated surface reactions. It is anticipated that this series of works open a new window to rationally designing inorganic hybrid materials for photo-induced applications. References: (1) Bai, S.; Yang, L.; Wang, C.; Lin, Y.; Lu, J.; Jiang, J. and Xiong, Y.*, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 54, 14810-14814 (2015). (2) Bai, S.; Jiang, J.; Zhang, Q. and Xiong, Y.*, Chem. Soc. Rev. 44, 2893-2939 (2015). (3) Bai, S.; Li, X.; Kong, Q.; Long, R.; Wang, C.; Jiang, J. and Xiong, Y.*, Adv. Mater. 27, 3444-3452 (2015). (4) Bai, S.; Ge, J.; Wang, L.; Gong, M.; Deng, M.; Kong, Q.; Song, L.; Jiang, J.;* Zhang, Q.;* Luo, Y.; Xie, Y. and Xiong, Y.*, Adv. Mater. 26, 5689-5695 (2014). (5) Li, R.; Hu, J.; Deng, M.; Wang, H.; Wang, X.; Hu, Y.; Jiang, H. L.; Jiang, J.;* Zhang, Q.;* Xie, Y. and Xiong, Y.*, Adv. Mater

  11. Role of plant biotechnology and genetic engineering in crop-improvement, with special emphases on cotton: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akhtar, L.H.; Siddiq, S.Z.; Tariq, A.H.; Arshad, M.; Gorham, J.

    2003-01-01

    Plant biotechnology and genetic engineering offer novel approaches to plant-breeding, production, propagation and preservation of germplasm. In this manuscript, the population and food-requirements of Pakistan, role of biotechnology and genetic engineering in crop-improvement, along with potential uses in cotton, have been discussed. The latest position of plant biotechnology and genetic engineering in Pakistan and the advantages of biotechnology and genetic-engineering techniques over conventional plant-breeding techniques, along with critical views of various scientists have been reviewed. (author)

  12. A Study to Improve the Role of Nuclear Energy Technology for the National New Growth Engine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, H. J.; Oh, K. B.; Chung, W. S.; Yun, S. W.; Jeong, Ik; Lee, J. H.; Won, B. C.

    2006-04-01

    This Paper aimed at looking for the new growth engines in the nuclear R and D field which leads the national prosperity and people's welfare in the 21st Century. As new growth engines in the nuclear R and D field, 17 innovative technologies(eight nuclear energy innovation system technologies and nine radiation fusion technologies) were selected. Selected technologies were evaluated through a expert group's peer review in accordance with criteria such as the aspect of technology, economy, and national strategy. In accordance with the expected commercialization time of the innovative technologies in the leading countries, these were categorized into two or three groups and In the aspect of their technology development level, 20 ∼ 40% technological gaps were shown. According to the business aspect, it was expected that innovative nuclear technologies selected as the new growth engines would have world markets of the range of 0.01 ∼ 100 billion $/year and the sales of 0.001 ∼ 10 billion $/year. Technology development strategy was suggested through colligation of the expert survey and an innovation theory. From the viewpoint of innovation stage, most of new growth engines in the nuclear R and D field were in position of the transitional phase(world) and the adaption stage(home). It was required that process and product technologies should be standardization in accordance with each innovation stage. For the successful commercialization, it was more important that R and D capability in R and D institutions should be improved and that appropriate funding and R and D infra should be well established and supportive. The results of this study will contribute to the establishment of the effective technology development strategy in the nuclear R and D field

  13. Improving student-perceived benefit of academic advising within education of occupational and physical therapy in the United States: a quality improvement initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Lisa J; Parish, Robin

    2017-01-01

    Academic advising is a key role for faculty in the educational process of health professionals; however, the best practice of effective academic advising for occupational and physical therapy students has not been identified in the current literature. The purpose of this quality improvement initiative was to assess and improve the faculty/student advisor/advisee process within occupational and physical therapy programs within a school of allied health professions in the United States in 2015. A quality improvement initiative utilizing quantitative and qualitative information was gathered via survey focused on the assessment and improvement of an advisor/advisee process. The overall initiative utilized an adaptive iterative design incorporating the plan-do-study-act model which included a three-step process over a one year time frame utilizing 2 cohorts, the first with 80 students and the second with 88 students. Baseline data were gathered prior to initiating the new process. A pilot was conducted and assessed during the first semester of the occupational and physical therapy programs. Final information was gathered after one full academic year with final comparisons made to baseline. Defining an effective advisory program with an established framework led to improved awareness and participation by students and faculty. Early initiation of the process combined with increased frequency of interaction led to improved student satisfaction. Based on student perceptions, programmatic policies were initiated to promote advisory meetings early and often to establish a positive relationship. The policies focus on academic advising as one of proactivity in which the advisor serves as a portal which the student may access leading to a more successful academic experience.

  14. Improving student-perceived benefit of academic advising within education of occupational and physical therapy in the United States: a quality improvement initiative

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa J. Barnes

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Academic advising is a key role for faculty in the educational process of health professionals; however, the best practice of effective academic advising for occupational and physical therapy students has not been identified in the current literature. The purpose of this quality improvement initiative was to assess and improve the faculty/student advisor/advisee process within occupational and physical therapy programs within a school of allied health professions in the United States in 2015. A quality improvement initiative utilizing quantitative and qualitative information was gathered via survey focused on the assessment and improvement of an advisor/advisee process. The overall initiative utilized an adaptive iterative design incorporating the plan-do-study-act model which included a three-step process over a one year time frame utilizing 2 cohorts, the first with 80 students and the second with 88 students. Baseline data were gathered prior to initiating the new process. A pilot was conducted and assessed during the first semester of the occupational and physical therapy programs. Final information was gathered after one full academic year with final comparisons made to baseline. Defining an effective advisory program with an established framework led to improved awareness and participation by students and faculty. Early initiation of the process combined with increased frequency of interaction led to improved student satisfaction. Based on student perceptions, programmatic policies were initiated to promote advisory meetings early and often to establish a positive relationship. The policies focus on academic advising as one of proactivity in which the advisor serves as a portal which the student may access leading to a more successful academic experience.

  15. Improved initial guess with semi-subpixel level accuracy in digital image correlation by feature-based method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yunlu; Yan, Lei; Liou, Frank

    2018-05-01

    The quality initial guess of deformation parameters in digital image correlation (DIC) has a serious impact on convergence, robustness, and efficiency of the following subpixel level searching stage. In this work, an improved feature-based initial guess (FB-IG) scheme is presented to provide initial guess for points of interest (POIs) inside a large region. Oriented FAST and Rotated BRIEF (ORB) features are semi-uniformly extracted from the region of interest (ROI) and matched to provide initial deformation information. False matched pairs are eliminated by the novel feature guided Gaussian mixture model (FG-GMM) point set registration algorithm, and nonuniform deformation parameters of the versatile reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS) function are calculated simultaneously. Validations on simulated images and real-world mini tensile test verify that this scheme can robustly and accurately compute initial guesses with semi-subpixel level accuracy in cases with small or large translation, deformation, or rotation.

  16. Phosphorus doped and defects engineered graphene for improved electrochemical sensing: synergistic effect of dopants and defects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chu, Ke; Wang, Fan; Tian, Ye; Wei, Zhen

    2017-01-01

    Heteroatom-doped graphene materials emerged as promising metal-free catalysts have recently attracted a growing interest in electrochemical sensing applications. However, their catalytic activity and sensing performances still need to be further improved. Herein, we reported the development of unique phosphorus (P)-doped and plasma-etched graphene (denoted as PG-E) as an efficient metal-free electrocatalyst for dopamine (DA) sensing. It was demonstrated that introducing both P-dopants and plasma-engineered defects in graphene could synergistically improve the activity toward electrocatalytic oxidation of DA by increasing the accessible active sites and promoting the electron transport capability. The resulting PG-E modified electrode showed exceptional DA sensing performances with low detection limit, high selectivity and good stability. These results suggested that the synergistic effect of dopants and defects might be an important factor for developing the advanced graphene-based metal-free catalysts for electrochemical sensing.

  17. Improving the Teaching of Teamwork Skills in Engineering and Computer Science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert W. Lingard

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available It is important that engineering and computer science students learn teamwork skills as an integral part of their educational development. These skills are often not explicitly taught, but rather it is expected that students learn them on their own through participation in various team projects. Furthermore, the actual skills that students are expected to learn are usually not well articulated, or even understood. The approach outlined here attempts to address these problems by first establishing a process for defining what is meant by teamwork, by using this definition to assess the extent to which students are learning teamwork skills, and by using the assessment results to formulate approaches to improve student learning with respect to these skills. Specific attempts at the definition, assessment, and instruction improvement process are discussed.

  18. Understanding Innovation Engines: Automated Creativity and Improved Stochastic Optimization via Deep Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, A; Yosinski, J; Clune, J

    2016-01-01

    The Achilles Heel of stochastic optimization algorithms is getting trapped on local optima. Novelty Search mitigates this problem by encouraging exploration in all interesting directions by replacing the performance objective with a reward for novel behaviors. This reward for novel behaviors has traditionally required a human-crafted, behavioral distance function. While Novelty Search is a major conceptual breakthrough and outperforms traditional stochastic optimization on certain problems, it is not clear how to apply it to challenging, high-dimensional problems where specifying a useful behavioral distance function is difficult. For example, in the space of images, how do you encourage novelty to produce hawks and heroes instead of endless pixel static? Here we propose a new algorithm, the Innovation Engine, that builds on Novelty Search by replacing the human-crafted behavioral distance with a Deep Neural Network (DNN) that can recognize interesting differences between phenotypes. The key insight is that DNNs can recognize similarities and differences between phenotypes at an abstract level, wherein novelty means interesting novelty. For example, a DNN-based novelty search in the image space does not explore in the low-level pixel space, but instead creates a pressure to create new types of images (e.g., churches, mosques, obelisks, etc.). Here, we describe the long-term vision for the Innovation Engine algorithm, which involves many technical challenges that remain to be solved. We then implement a simplified version of the algorithm that enables us to explore some of the algorithm's key motivations. Our initial results, in the domain of images, suggest that Innovation Engines could ultimately automate the production of endless streams of interesting solutions in any domain: for example, producing intelligent software, robot controllers, optimized physical components, and art.

  19. Medication Errors in Pediatric Anesthesia: A Report From the Wake Up Safe Quality Improvement Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobaugh, Lauren M Y; Martin, Lizabeth D; Schleelein, Laura E; Tyler, Donald C; Litman, Ronald S

    2017-09-01

    Wake Up Safe is a quality improvement initiative of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia that contains a deidentified registry of serious adverse events occurring in pediatric anesthesia. The aim of this study was to describe and characterize reported medication errors to find common patterns amenable to preventative strategies. In September 2016, we analyzed approximately 6 years' worth of medication error events reported to Wake Up Safe. Medication errors were classified by: (1) medication category; (2) error type by phase of administration: prescribing, preparation, or administration; (3) bolus or infusion error; (4) provider type and level of training; (5) harm as defined by the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention; and (6) perceived preventability. From 2010 to the time of our data analysis in September 2016, 32 institutions had joined and submitted data on 2087 adverse events during 2,316,635 anesthetics. These reports contained details of 276 medication errors, which comprised the third highest category of events behind cardiac and respiratory related events. Medication errors most commonly involved opioids and sedative/hypnotics. When categorized by phase of handling, 30 events occurred during preparation, 67 during prescribing, and 179 during administration. The most common error type was accidental administration of the wrong dose (N = 84), followed by syringe swap (accidental administration of the wrong syringe, N = 49). Fifty-seven (21%) reported medication errors involved medications prepared as infusions as opposed to 1 time bolus administrations. Medication errors were committed by all types of anesthesia providers, most commonly by attendings. Over 80% of reported medication errors reached the patient and more than half of these events caused patient harm. Fifteen events (5%) required a life sustaining intervention. Nearly all cases (97%) were judged to be either likely or certainly preventable. Our findings

  20. Improving immediate newborn care practices in Philippine hospitals: impact of a national quality of care initiative 2008-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestre, Maria Asuncion A; Mannava, Priya; Corsino, Marie Ann; Capili, Donna S; Calibo, Anthony P; Tan, Cynthia Fernandez; Murray, John C S; Kitong, Jacqueline; Sobel, Howard L

    2018-03-31

    To determine whether intrapartum and newborn care practices improved in 11 large hospitals between 2008 and 2015. Secondary data analysis of observational assessments conducted in 11 hospitals in 2008 and 2015. Eleven large government hospitals from five regions in the Philippines. One hundred and seven randomly sampled postpartum mother-baby pairs in 2008 and 106 randomly sampled postpartum mothers prior to discharge from hospitals after delivery. A national initiative to improve quality of newborn care starting in 2009 through development of a standard package of intrapartum and newborn care services, practice-based training, formation of multidisciplinary hospital working groups, and regular assessments and meetings in hospitals to identify actions to improve practices, policies and environments. Quality improvement was supported by policy development, health financing packages, health facility standards, capacity building and health communication. Sixteen intrapartum and newborn care practices. Between 2008 and 2015, initiation of drying within 5 s of birth, delayed cord clamping, dry cord care, uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact, timing and duration of the initial breastfeed, and bathing deferred until 6 h after birth all vastly improved (P<0.001). The proportion of newborns receiving hygienic cord handling and the hepatitis B birth dose decreased by 11-12%. Except for reduced induction of labor, inappropriate maternal care practices persisted. Newborn care practices have vastly improved through an approach focused on improving hospital policies, environments and health worker practices. Maternal care practices remain outdated largely due to the ineffective didactic training approaches adopted for maternal care.

  1. Summary of activities at the Engineered Barriers Test Facility, October 1, 1995 to January 31, 1997, and initial data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Porro, I.; Keck, K.N.

    1997-03-01

    Replicates of two engineered barrier designs (a thick soil barrier and a bio/capillary barrier) were constructed in the test plots of the facility. Prior to placement of any soil in the test plots, instruments were calibrated and attached to plot instrument towers, which were then installed in the test plots. Soil from Spreading Area B was installed in the test plots in lifts and compacted. Instruments attached to the instrument tower were placed in shallow trenches dug in the lifts and buried. Each instrument was checked to make sure it functioned prior to installation of the next lift. Soil samples were collected from each lift in one plot during construction for later determination of physical and hydraulic properties. After completion of the test plots, the data acquisition system was finalized, and data collection began. Appropriate instrument calibration equations and equation coefficients are presented, and data reduction techniques are described. Initial data show test plot soils drying throughout the summer and early fall. This corresponds to low rainfall during this period. Infiltration of water into the test plots was first detected around mid-November with several subsequent episodes in December. Infiltration was verified by corresponding measurements from several different instruments ime domain reflectometry (TDR), neutron probe, thermocouple psychrometers, and heat dissipation sensors Tensiometer data does not appear to corroborate data from the other instruments. Test plots were warmer on the side closest to the access trench indicating a temperature effect from the trench. This resulted in greater soil moisture freezing with less and shallower infiltration on the far side of the plots than on the side closest to the trench. At the end of this monitoring period, infiltration in all but two of the test plots has reached the 155-cm depth. Infiltration in test plots B2 and S3 has reached only the 140-cm depth. The monitored infiltration events have not

  2. Integrated cell and process engineering for improved transient production of a "difficult-to-express" fusion protein by CHO cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johari, Yusuf B; Estes, Scott D; Alves, Christina S; Sinacore, Marty S; James, David C

    2015-12-01

    Based on an optimized electroporation protocol, we designed a rapid, milliliter-scale diagnostic transient production assay to identify limitations in the ability of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells to produce a model "difficult-to-express" homodimeric Fc-fusion protein, Sp35Fc, that exhibited very low volumetric titer and intracellular formation of disulfide-bonded oligomeric aggregates post-transfection. As expression of Sp35Fc induced an unfolded protein response in transfected host cells, we utilized the transient assay to compare, in parallel, multiple functionally diverse strategies to engineer intracellular processing of Sp35Fc in order to increase production and reduce aggregation as two discrete design objectives. Specifically, we compared the effect of (i) co-expression of ER-resident molecular chaperones (BiP, PDI, CypB) or active forms of UPR transactivators (ATF6c, XBP1s) at varying recombinant gene load, (ii) addition of small molecules known to act as chemical chaperones (PBA, DMSO, glycerol, betaine, TMAO) or modulate UPR signaling (PERK inhibitor GSK2606414) at varying concentration, (iii) a reduction in culture temperature to 32°C. Using this information, we designed a biphasic, Sp35Fc-specific transient manufacturing process mediated by lipofection that utilized CypB co-expression at an optimal Sp35Fc:CypB gene ratio of 5:1 to initially maximize transfected cell proliferation, followed by addition of a combination of PBA (0.5 mM) and glycerol (1% v/v) at the onset of stationary phase to maximize cell specific production and eliminate Sp35Fc aggregation. Using this optimal, engineered process transient Sp35Fc production was significantly increased sixfold over a 12 day production process with no evidence of disulfide-bonded aggregates. Finally, transient production in clonally derived sub-populations (derived from parental CHO host) screened for a heritably improved capability to produce Sp35Fc was also significantly improved by the optimized

  3. Pro-region engineering for improved yeast display and secretion of brain derived neurotrophic factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Michael L; Malott, Thomas M; Metcalf, Kevin J; Puguh, Arthya; Chan, Jonah R; Shusta, Eric V

    2016-03-01

    Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a promising therapeutic candidate for a variety of neurological diseases. However, it is difficult to produce as a recombinant protein. In its native mammalian context, BDNF is first produced as a pro-protein with subsequent proteolytic removal of the pro-region to yield mature BDNF protein. Therefore, in an attempt to improve yeast as a host for heterologous BDNF production, the BDNF pro-region was first evaluated for its effects on BDNF surface display and secretion. Addition of the wild-type pro-region to yeast BDNF production constructs improved BDNF folding both as a surface-displayed and secreted protein in terms of binding its natural receptors TrkB and p75, but titers remained low. Looking to further enhance the chaperone-like functions provided by the pro-region, two rounds of directed evolution were performed, yielding mutated pro-regions that further improved the display and secretion properties of BDNF. Subsequent optimization of the protease recognition site was used to control whether the produced protein was in pro- or mature BDNF forms. Taken together, we have demonstrated an effective strategy for improving BDNF compatibility with yeast protein engineering and secretion platforms. Copyright © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. Growth Factor Stimulation Improves the Structure and Properties of Scaffold-Free Engineered Auricular Cartilage Constructs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Renata G.; Joazeiro, Paulo P.; Bianco, Juares; Kunz, Manuela; Weber, Joanna F.; Waldman, Stephen D.

    2014-01-01

    The reconstruction of the external ear to correct congenital deformities or repair following trauma remains a significant challenge in reconstructive surgery. Previously, we have developed a novel approach to create scaffold-free, tissue engineering elastic cartilage constructs directly from a small population of donor cells. Although the developed constructs appeared to adopt the structural appearance of native auricular cartilage, the constructs displayed limited expression and poor localization of elastin. In the present study, the effect of growth factor supplementation (insulin, IGF-1, or TGF-β1) was investigated to stimulate elastogenesis as well as to improve overall tissue formation. Using rabbit auricular chondrocytes, bioreactor-cultivated constructs supplemented with either insulin or IGF-1 displayed increased deposition of cartilaginous ECM, improved mechanical properties, and thicknesses comparable to native auricular cartilage after 4 weeks of growth. Similarly, growth factor supplementation resulted in increased expression and improved localization of elastin, primarily restricted within the cartilaginous region of the tissue construct. Additional studies were conducted to determine whether scaffold-free engineered auricular cartilage constructs could be developed in the 3D shape of the external ear. Isolated auricular chondrocytes were grown in rapid-prototyped tissue culture molds with additional insulin or IGF-1 supplementation during bioreactor cultivation. Using this approach, the developed tissue constructs were flexible and had a 3D shape in very good agreement to the culture mold (average error tissue structure and 3D shape of the external ear, future studies will be aimed assessing potential changes in construct shape and properties after subcutaneous implantation. PMID:25126941

  5. The Last State to Grant Nurse Practitioners DEA Licensure: An Education Improvement Initiative on the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellams, Joni R; Maye, John P

    Nurse practitioners (NPs) now have prescriptive authority for controlled substances in all 50 states in the United States. Florida, the last state to grant NPs DEA licensure, has been wrought with prescription diversion practices for a number of years as pill mills, doctor shopping, and overprescribing proliferated. Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) help curb drug diversion activity and play a key role in reducing the abuse of controlled substances. The primary objective of this education improvement initiative was to increase knowledge of actively licensed NPs in the state of Florida regarding the state's PDMP. The main themes included the drug abuse problem, description and progression of the PDMP, and how to use the Florida PDMP. Upon approval from the institutional review board, this education improvement initiative gauged NP knowledge of the PDMP and main themes before and after an educational PowerPoint intervention. A pretest/posttest questionnaire was administered for assessment of all knowledge questions. One hundred forty-five NPs with active advanced registered NP licenses in Florida completed both the pretest and posttest questionnaires. Descriptive statistics and paired t tests were used for statistical significance testing. Knowledge of the PDMP and the main themes of the education improvement initiative significantly increased (p < .001) from pretest to posttest results. This education improvement initiative had positive effects for NPs on the knowledge of the Florida PDMP and the main themes. This indicated that Florida NPs are able to acquire greater comprehension of the PDMP by an education intervention.

  6. A nurse-initiated pain protocol in the ED improves pain treatment in patients with acute musculoskeletal pain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pierik, J.G.; Berben, S.A.A.; IJzerman, M.J.; Gaakeer, M.I.; Eenennaam, F.L. van; Vugt, A.B. van; Doggen, C.J.

    2016-01-01

    While acute musculoskeletal pain is a frequent complaint, its management is often neglected. An implementation of a nurse-initiated pain protocol based on the algorithm of a Dutch pain management guideline in the emergency department might improve this. A pre-post intervention study was performed as

  7. The Association between Quality Improvement Initiatives in Dementia Care and Supportive Psychosocial Work Environments in Nursing Homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakanishi, Miharu; Tei-Tominaga, Maki

    2018-05-08

    Background : Quality improvement initiatives can help nursing homes strengthen psychosocial work environments. The aim of the present study was to examine the association between supportive psychosocial work environment, and professional and organizational characteristics regarding quality improvement initiatives in dementia care. Methods : A paper questionnaire survey was administered to a convenience sample of 365 professional caregivers in 12 special nursing homes in Japan. Psychosocial work environment was assessed using the Social Capital and Ethical Climate at the Workplace Scale to calculate a score of social capital in the workplace, ethical leadership, and exclusive workplace climate. Variables for quality improvement initiatives included type of home (unit-type or traditional), presence of additional benefit for dementia care, and professionalism in dementia care among caregivers evaluated using the Japanese version of the Sense of Competence in Dementia Care Staff Scale. Results : Elevated professionalism and unit-type home were significantly associated with high social capital, strong ethical leadership, and low exclusive workplace climate. The presence of dementia care benefit was not associated with any subscale of psychosocial work environment. Conclusions : Quality improvement initiatives to foster supportive psychosocial work environment should enhance professionalism in dementia care with unit-based team building of professional caregivers in special nursing homes.

  8. A nurse-initiated pain protocol in the ED improves pain treatment in patients with acute musculoskeletal pain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pierik, Jorien; Berben, Sivera A.; IJzerman, Maarten Joost; Gaakeer, Menno I.; Eenennaam, Fred L.; van Vugt, Arie B.; Doggen, Catharina Jacoba Maria

    2016-01-01

    While acute musculoskeletal pain is a frequent complaint, its management is often neglected. An implementation of a nurse-initiated pain protocol based on the algorithm of a Dutch pain management guideline in the emergency department might improve this. A pre–post intervention study was performed as

  9. A Legacy of Leadership and Lessons Learned: Results from the Rural Systemic Initiatives for Improving Mathematics and Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmon, Hobart L.; Smith, Keith

    2007-01-01

    This report pays tribute to the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Rural Systemic Initiatives (RSIs), an investment of more than $140 million to improve mathematics and science education in some of rural America's most impoverished communities. The report illustrates the impact of NSF's RSI program on a national scale. Each RSI planned a project…

  10. Improved sea level record over the satellite altimetry era (1993-2010) from the Climate Change Initiative project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ablain, M.; Cazenave, A.; Larnicol, G.

    2015-01-01

    .6 and 1-2 mm year(-1)). Similarly, interannual global mean sea level variations (currently uncertain to 2-3 mm) need to be monitored with better accuracy. In this paper, we present various data improvements achieved within the European Space Agency (ESA) Climate Change Initiative (ESA CCI) project on "Sea...

  11. The Association between Quality Improvement Initiatives in Dementia Care and Supportive Psychosocial Work Environments in Nursing Homes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miharu Nakanishi

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Quality improvement initiatives can help nursing homes strengthen psychosocial work environments. The aim of the present study was to examine the association between supportive psychosocial work environment, and professional and organizational characteristics regarding quality improvement initiatives in dementia care. Methods: A paper questionnaire survey was administered to a convenience sample of 365 professional caregivers in 12 special nursing homes in Japan. Psychosocial work environment was assessed using the Social Capital and Ethical Climate at the Workplace Scale to calculate a score of social capital in the workplace, ethical leadership, and exclusive workplace climate. Variables for quality improvement initiatives included type of home (unit-type or traditional, presence of additional benefit for dementia care, and professionalism in dementia care among caregivers evaluated using the Japanese version of the Sense of Competence in Dementia Care Staff Scale. Results: Elevated professionalism and unit-type home were significantly associated with high social capital, strong ethical leadership, and low exclusive workplace climate. The presence of dementia care benefit was not associated with any subscale of psychosocial work environment. Conclusions: Quality improvement initiatives to foster supportive psychosocial work environment should enhance professionalism in dementia care with unit-based team building of professional caregivers in special nursing homes.

  12. Long-term persistence of quality improvements for an intensive care unit communication initiative using the VALUE strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wysham, Nicholas G; Mularski, Richard A; Schmidt, David M; Nord, Shirley C; Louis, Deborah L; Shuster, Elizabeth; Curtis, J Randall; Mosen, David M

    2014-06-01

    Communication in the intensive care unit (ICU) is an important component of quality ICU care. In this report, we evaluate the long-term effects of a quality improvement (QI) initiative, based on the VALUE communication strategy, designed to improve communication with family members of critically ill patients. We implemented a multifaceted intervention to improve communication in the ICU and measured processes of care. Quality improvement components included posted VALUE placards, templated progress note inclusive of communication documentation, and a daily rounding checklist prompt. We evaluated care for all patients cared for by the intensivists during three separate 3 week periods, pre, post, and 3 years following the initial intervention. Care delivery was assessed in 38 patients and their families in the pre-intervention sample, 27 in the post-intervention period, and 41 in follow-up. Process measures of communication showed improvement across the evaluation periods, for example, daily updates increased from pre 62% to post 76% to current 84% of opportunities. Our evaluation of this quality improvement project suggests persistence and continued improvements in the delivery of measured aspects of ICU family communication. Maintenance with point-of-care-tools may account for some of the persistence and continued improvements. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. An improved initialization center k-means clustering algorithm based on distance and density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Yanling; Liu, Qun; Xia, Shuyin

    2018-04-01

    Aiming at the problem of the random initial clustering center of k means algorithm that the clustering results are influenced by outlier data sample and are unstable in multiple clustering, a method of central point initialization method based on larger distance and higher density is proposed. The reciprocal of the weighted average of distance is used to represent the sample density, and the data sample with the larger distance and the higher density are selected as the initial clustering centers to optimize the clustering results. Then, a clustering evaluation method based on distance and density is designed to verify the feasibility of the algorithm and the practicality, the experimental results on UCI data sets show that the algorithm has a certain stability and practicality.

  14. Communication technologies to improve HPV vaccination initiation and completion: A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Diane B; Cates, Joan R; Wagner, Kyla P Garrett; Zola, Tracey; Fitter, Jenny E; Coyne-Beasley, Tamera

    2017-07-01

    This systematic review examines the effectiveness of communication technology interventions on HPV vaccination initiation and completion. A comprehensive search strategy was used to identify existing randomized controlled trials testing the impact of computer-, mobile- or internet-based interventions on receipt of any dose of the HPV vaccine. Twelve relevant studies were identified with a total of 38,945 participants. The interventions were delivered using several different methods, including electronic health record (i.e. recall/reminder) prompts, text messaging, automated phone calls, interactive computer videos, and email. Vaccine initiation and completion was greater for technology-based studies relative to their control conditions. There is evidence that interventions utilizing communication technologies as their sole or primary mode for HPV vaccination intervention delivery may increase vaccination coverage. Communication technologies hold much promise for the future of HPV vaccination efforts, especially initiatives in practice-based settings. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Supply Chains in the Apparel Industry: Do Transnational Initiatives for Social Sustainability Improve Workers’ Situation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claude Meier

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Non-state driven Transnational Initiatives for Social Sustainability (TISSs have increasingly attempted to approach social issues like labour laws in global supply chains. The reason is that state-laws are territorially confined. But can TISSs contribute to effective solutions of issues on which they are focused? This examination presents a theoretical framework explaining the effectiveness of TISSs. For the empirical case study, the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI and the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF were selected. Data was collected from expert interviews and documents. The results led to the conclusion that stakeholder-involving approaches are adequate to support social sustainability in the future.

  16. Investigation of Surface Treatments to Improve the Friction and Wear of Titanium Alloys for Diesel Engine Components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blau, Peter J. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Cooley, Kevin M. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Kirkham, Melanie J. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Bansal, Dinesh G. [Oak Ridge Associated Universities, TN (United States)

    2012-09-20

    This final report summarizes experimental and analytical work performed under an agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Transportation Technologies, and UT-Battelle LLC. The project was directed by Jerry Gibbs, of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Propulsion Materials Program, with management by D. P. Stinton and J. A. Haynes of ORNL. Participants included Peter J. Blau (Principal Investigator), Kevin M. Cooley (senior technician), Melanie J. Kirkham (materials scientist) of the Materials Science and Technology Division or ORNL, and Dinesh G. Bansal, a post doctoral fellow employed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) and who, at the time of this writing, is an engineer with Cummins, Inc. This report covers a three-year effort that involved two stages. In the first stage, and after a review of the literature and discussions with surface treatment experts, a series of candidate alloys and surface treatments for titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V) was selected for initial screening. After pre-screening using an ASTM standard test method, the more promising surface treatments were tested in Phase 2 using a variable loading apparatus that was designed and built to simulate the changing load patterns in a typical connecting rod bearing. Information on load profiles from the literature was supplemented with the help of T.C. Chen and Howard Savage of Cummins, Inc. Considering the dynamic and evolving nature of materials technology, this report presents a snapshot of commercial and experimental bearing surface technologies for titanium alloys that were available during the period of this work. Undoubtedly, further improvements in surface engineering methods for titanium will evolve.

  17. [Examination of safety improvement by failure record analysis that uses reliability engineering].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Kyoichi; Sato, Hisaya; Abe, Yoshihisa; Ishimori, Yoshiyuki; Hirano, Hiroshi; Higashimura, Kyoji; Amauchi, Hiroshi; Yanakita, Takashi; Kikuchi, Kei; Nakazawa, Yasuo

    2010-08-20

    How the maintenance checks of the medical treatment system, including start of work check and the ending check, was effective for preventive maintenance and the safety improvement was verified. In this research, date on the failure of devices in multiple facilities was collected, and the data of the trouble repair record was analyzed by the technique of reliability engineering. An analysis of data on the system (8 general systems, 6 Angio systems, 11 CT systems, 8 MRI systems, 8 RI systems, and the radiation therapy system 9) used in eight hospitals was performed. The data collection period assumed nine months from April to December 2008. Seven items were analyzed. (1) Mean time between failures (MTBF) (2) Mean time to repair (MTTR) (3) Mean down time (MDT) (4) Number found by check in morning (5) Failure generation time according to modality. The classification of the breakdowns per device, the incidence, and the tendency could be understood by introducing reliability engineering. Analysis, evaluation, and feedback on the failure generation history are useful to keep downtime to a minimum and to ensure safety.

  18. Improvement of Swirl Chamber Structure of Swirl-Chamber Diesel Engine Based on Flow Field Characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenhua Yuan

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In order to improve combustion characteristic of swirl chamber diesel engine, a simulation model about a traditional cylindrical flat-bottom swirl chamber turbulent combustion diesel engine was established within the timeframe of the piston motion from the bottom dead centre (BDC to the top dead centre (TDC with the fluent dynamic mesh technique and flow field vector of gas in swirl chamber and cylinder; the pressure variation and temperature variation were obtained and a new type of swirl chamber structure was proposed. The results reveal that the piston will move from BDC; air in the cylinder is compressed into the swirl chamber by the piston to develop a swirl inside the chamber, with the ongoing of compression; the pressure and temperature are also rising gradually. Under this condition, the demand of diesel oil mixing and combusting will be better satisfied. Moreover, the new structure will no longer forma small fluid retention zone at the lower end outside the chamber and will be more beneficial to the mixing of fuel oil and air, which has presented a new idea and theoretical foundation for the design and optimization of swirl chamber structure and is thus of good significance of guiding in this regard.

  19. Improving the mechanical properties of collagen-based membranes using silk fibroin for corneal tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Kai; Liu, Yang; Li, Weichang; Wang, Lin; Liu, Sa; Wang, Yingjun; Wang, Zhichong; Ren, Li

    2015-03-01

    Although collagen with outstanding biocompatibility has promising application in corneal tissue engineering, the mechanical properties of collagen-based scaffolds, especially suture retention strength, must be further improved to satisfy the requirements of clinical applications. This article describes a toughness reinforced collagen-based membrane using silk fibroin. The collagen-silk fibroin membranes based on collagen [silk fibroin (w/w) ratios of 100:5, 100:10, and 100:20] were prepared by using silk fibroin and cross-linking by 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide. These membranes were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and their optical property, and NaCl and tryptophan diffusivity had been tested. The water content was found to be dependent on the content of silk fibroin, and CS10 membrane (loading 10 wt % of silk fibroin) performed the optimal mechanical properties. Also the suture experiments have proved CS10 has high suture retention strength, which can be sutured in rabbit eyes integrally. Moreover, the composite membrane proved good biocompatibility for the proliferation of human corneal epithelial cells in vitro. Lamellar keratoplasty shows that CS10 membrane promoted complete epithelialization in 35 ± 5 days, and their transparency is restored quickly in the first month. Corneal rejection reaction, neovascularization, and keratoconus are not observed. The composite films show potential for use in the field of corneal tissue engineering. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. THE ENSURING FUNCTIONAL INTERCHANGEABILITY WHEN FORMING THE CONTROL COMPLEX OF INDICATORS OF THE INITIAL CONDITION OF THE CONSUMER OF SPORTS AND IMPROVING SERVICES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Khorloohiyn

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available One of key elements of an engineering component quality management system of process of provision of sports and improving services in gyms is the subsystem of diagnostics of physical client state. The aim of the study was to increase in efficiency of functioning of a quality management system of process of provision of sports and improving services in gyms due to development of techniques of incorrect estimation of the initial client state.The task of formation of a complex of indices of the initial status by criterion of necessary informtiveness is formulated. The principle of the functional interchangeability as a methodological basis for its decision is reasonable. The hierarchical structure of an integral assessment of the initial client state of gym is offered. On its basis the hierarchical model of rating of informtiveness of a complex of the single (measured indices, the providing objectivity of an integral assessment of the initial status is developed. The correctness of model is provided at the expense of a formulation of a complex of assumptions and original technology of application of different methods of expert estimation.The result of simulation of informtiveness of an integral assessment of the initial client state for a specific type of service and the purposes of physical enhancement includes: 1 library of sets of single indices, for each of which the technique and a monitoring aid, and also an informtiveness assessment in points, 2 the rules of support of the functional interchangeability of alternative complexes of indices by criterion of sufficiency of informtiveness of a complex based on additive models and the accepted restrictions is defined.The concept of a technique of formation of a complex of the measured and (or evaluated indices of the initial client state for the specific type of sports and improving service adapted under material opportunities of gym on the one hand, and responding to criterion of necessary

  1. 76 FR 53137 - Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative: Request for Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-25

    ... organizations to participate in one or more of the initial four models under the Bundled Payments for Care... organizations must submit a nonbinding letter of intent by September 22, 2011 for Model 1 and November 4, 2011... environments that stimulate rapid development of new evidence-based knowledge. The models to be tested based on...

  2. Improving grade 7 students’ achievement in initial algebra through a technology-based intervention.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jupri, A.; Drijvers, P.H.M.; Van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, M.

    2015-01-01

    Digital technology plays an increasingly important role in daily life, mathematics education and algebra education in particular. To investigate the effect of a technology-rich intervention related to initial algebra on the achievement of 12–13 year old Indonesian students, we set up an experiment.

  3. Quality Improvement Initiative in School-Based Health Centers across New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booker, John M.; Schluter, Janette A.; Carrillo, Kris; McGrath, Jane

    2011-01-01

    Background: Quality improvement principles have been applied extensively to health care organizations, but implementation of quality improvement methods in school-based health centers (SBHCs) remains in a developmental stage with demonstration projects under way in individual states and nationally. Rural areas, such as New Mexico, benefit from the…

  4. Improving early detection initiatives: a qualitative study exploring perspectives of older people and professionals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lette, Manon; Stoop, Annerieke; Lemmens, Lidwien C; Buist, Yvette; Baan, Caroline A; de Bruin, Simone R

    2017-06-23

    A wide range of initiatives on early detection and intervention have been developed to proactively identify problems related to health and wellbeing in (frail) older people, with the aim of supporting them to live independently for as long as possible. Nevertheless, it remains unclear what the best way is to design such initiatives and how older people's needs and preferences can be best addressed. This study aimed to address this gap in the literature by exploring: 1) older people's perspectives on health and living environment in relation to living independently at home; 2) older people's needs and preferences in relation to initiating and receiving care and support; and 3) professionals' views on what would be necessary to enable the alignment of early detection initiatives with older people's own needs and preferences. In this qualitative study, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 36 older people and 19 professionals in proactive elderly care. Data were analysed using the framework analysis method. From the interviews with older people important themes in relation to health and living environment emerged, such as maintaining independence, appropriate housing, social relationships, a supporting network and a sense of purpose and autonomy. Older people preferred to remain self-sufficient, and they would rather not ask for help for psychological or social problems. However, the interviews also highlighted that they were not always able or willing to anticipate future needs, which can hinder early detection or early intervention. At the same time, professionals indicated that older people tend to over-estimate their self-reliance and therefore advocated for early detection and intervention, including social and psychological issues. Older people have a broad range of needs in different domains of life. Discrepancies exist between older people and professionals with regard to their views on timing and scope of early detection initiatives. This study aimed

  5. Improvement of Waste Tire Pyrolysis Oil and Performance Test with Diesel in CI Engine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. N. Islam

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The standard of living, quality of life, and development of a nation depend on its per capita energy consumption. Global energy supply that mainly depends on fossil fuel is decreasing day by day. It is estimated that the energy demand will be increased five times by the year 2021 from present scenario. Due to the fossil fuel crisis, the development of alternative fuel technologies has drawn more attraction to deliver the replacement of fossil fuel. Pyrolysis is one of the promising alternative fuel technologies which produces valuable oil, char, and gas product from organic waste. Early investigations report that tire pyrolysis oil extracted from vacuum pyrolysis method seemed to have properties similar to diesel fuel. The main concern of this paper is to produce and improve the properties of crude tire pyrolysis oil by desulfurizing, distilling, and utilizing it with diesel in CI engine to analyze the efficiency for various compositions.

  6. Cause-effect analysis: improvement of a first year engineering students' calculus teaching model

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Hoff, Quay; Harding, Ansie

    2017-01-01

    This study focuses on the mathematics department at a South African university and in particular on teaching of calculus to first year engineering students. The paper reports on a cause-effect analysis, often used for business improvement. The cause-effect analysis indicates that there are many factors that impact on secondary school teaching of mathematics, factors that the tertiary sector has no control over. The analysis also indicates the undesirable issues that are at the root of impeding success in the calculus module. Most important is that students are not encouraged to become independent thinkers from an early age. This triggers problems in follow-up courses where students are expected to have learned to deal with the work load and understanding of certain concepts. A new model was designed to lessen the impact of these undesirable issues.

  7. Engineering the heart: Evaluation of conductive nanomaterials for improving implant integration and cardiac function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jin; Chen, Jun; Sun, Hongyu; Qiu, Xiaozhong; Mou, Yongchao; Liu, Zhiqiang; Zhao, Yuwei; Li, Xia; Han, Yao; Duan, Cuimi; Tang, Rongyu; Wang, Chunlan; Zhong, Wen; Liu, Jie; Luo, Ying; (Mengqiu) Xing, Malcolm; Wang, Changyong

    2014-01-01

    Recently, carbon nanotubes together with other types of conductive materials have been used to enhance the viability and function of cardiomyocytes in vitro. Here we demonstrated a paradigm to construct ECTs for cardiac repair using conductive nanomaterials. Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) were incorporated into gelatin hydrogel scaffolds to construct three-dimensional ECTs. We found that SWNTs could provide cellular microenvironment in vitro favorable for cardiac contraction and the expression of electrochemical associated proteins. Upon implantation into the infarct hearts in rats, ECTs structurally integrated with the host myocardium, with different types of cells observed to mutually invade into implants and host tissues. The functional measurements showed that SWNTs were essential to improve the performance of ECTs in inhibiting pathological deterioration of myocardium. This work suggested that conductive nanomaterials hold therapeutic potential in engineering cardiac tissues to repair myocardial infarction. PMID:24429673

  8. Application of 3D CADDS model to design and engineering for constructability improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cho, U.Y.; Park, C.C.; Choy, E.

    1998-01-01

    The use of three dimensional (3D) computer-aided design and drafting system (CADDS) model along with the associated information management system in engineering phases of large projects is well established and yielding significant improvements in project cost, schedule and quality. The information contained in these models can also be utilized in plant construction site for construction schedule review, installation procedure review, interference check, and visual communication tool to the utility owner when the visual and spatial information contained in the 3D models is integrated with other plant information. This paper will describe the application of 3D models and the associated databases in the construction process of CANDU HWR heavy water reactors. Some examples on the use of 3D CADD models in CANDU projects will be presented

  9. Cameco engineered tailings program: linking applied research with industrial processes for improved tailings performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kotzer, T.G.

    2010-01-01

    'Full text:' Mine tailings at Cameco's operations are by-products of milling uranium ore having variable concentrations of uranium, metals, oxyanions and trace elements or elements of concern (EOC). Cameco has undertaken an Engineered Tailings (ET) program to optimize tailings performance and minimize environmental EOC impacts, regardless of the milled ore source. Applied geochemical and geotechnical tailings research is key within the ET program. In-situ drilling and experimental programs are used to understand long-term tailings behaviour and help validate source term predictions. Within this, the ET program proactively aids in the development of mill-based processes for production of tailings having improved long-term stability. (author)

  10. Evaluation of the Healthy Lifestyles Initiative for Improving Community Capacity for Childhood Obesity Prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berman, Marcie; Bozsik, Frances; Shook, Robin P; Meissen-Sebelius, Emily; Markenson, Deborah; Summar, Shelly; DeWit, Emily; Carlson, Jordan A

    2018-02-22

    Policy, systems, and environmental approaches are recommended for preventing childhood obesity. The objective of our study was to evaluate the Healthy Lifestyles Initiative, which aimed to strengthen community capacity for policy, systems, and environmental approaches to healthy eating and active living among children and families. The Healthy Lifestyles Initiative was developed through a collaborative process and facilitated by community organizers at a local children's hospital. The initiative supported 218 partners from 170 community organizations through training, action planning, coalition support, one-on-one support, and the dissemination of materials and sharing of resources. Eighty initiative partners completed a brief online survey on implementation strategies engaged in, materials used, and policy, systems, and environmental activities implemented. In accordance with frameworks for implementation science, we assessed associations among the constructs by using linear regression to identify whether and which of the implementation strategies were associated with materials used and implementation of policy, systems, and environmental activities targeted by the initiative. Each implementation strategy was engaged in by 30% to 35% of the 80 survey respondents. The most frequently used materials were educational handouts (76.3%) and posters (66.3%). The most frequently implemented activities were developing or continuing partnerships (57.5%) and reviewing organizational wellness policies (46.3%). Completing an action plan and the number of implementation strategies engaged in were positively associated with implementation of targeted activities (action plan, effect size = 0.82; number of strategies, effect size = 0.51) and materials use (action plan, effect size = 0.59; number of strategies, effect size = 0.52). Materials use was positively associated with implementation of targeted activities (effect size = 0.35). Community-capacity-building efforts can be

  11. Application of powder metallurgy techniques to produce improved bearing elements for liquid rocket engines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moracz, D. J.; Shipley, R. J.; Moxson, V. S.; Killman, R. J.; Munson, H. E.

    1992-01-01

    The objective was to apply powder metallurgy techniques for the production of improved bearing elements, specifically balls and races, for advanced cryogenic turbopump bearings. The materials and fabrication techniques evaluated were judged on the basis of their ability to improve fatigue life, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance of Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) propellant bearings over the currently used 440C. An extensive list of candidate bearing alloys in five different categories was considered: tool/die steels, through hardened stainless steels, cobalt-base alloys, and gear steels. Testing of alloys for final consideration included hardness, rolling contact fatigue, cross cylinder wear, elevated temperature wear, room and cryogenic fracture toughness, stress corrosion cracking, and five-ball (rolling-sliding element) testing. Results of the program indicated two alloys that showed promise for improved bearing elements. These alloys were MRC-2001 and X-405. 57mm bearings were fabricated from the MRC-2001 alloy for further actual hardware rig testing by NASA-MSFC.

  12. Integrating knowledge representation/engineering, the multivariant PNN, and machine learning to improve breast cancer diagnosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Land, Walker H., Jr.; Embrechts, Mark J.; Anderson, Frances R.; Smith, Tom; Wong, Lut; Fahlbusch, Steve; Choma, Robert

    2005-03-01

    Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer as a tumor-related cause of death in women. Currently, the method of choice for the early detection of breast cancer is mammography. While sensitive to the detection of breast cancer, its positive predictive value (PPV) is low. One of the main deterrents to achieving high computer aided diagnostic (CAD) accuracy is carelessly developed databases. These "noisy" data sets have always appeared to disrupt learning agents from learning correctly. A new statistical method for cleaning data sets was developed that improves the performance of CAD systems. Initial research efforts showed the following: PLS Az value improved by 8.79% and partial Az improved by 49.71%. The K-PLS Az value at Sigma 4.1 improved by 9.18% and the partial Az by 43.47%. The K-PLS at Sigma 3.6 (best fit sigma with this data set) Az value improved by 9.24% and the partial Az by 44.29%. With larger data sets, the ROC curves potentially could look much better than they do now. The Az value for K-PLS (0.892565) is better than PLS, PNN, and most SVMs. The SVM-rbf kernel was the only agent that out performed the K-PLS with an Az value of 0.895362. However, K-PLS runs much faster and appears to be just as accurate as the SVM-rbf kernel.

  13. Use of automated reminder letters to improve diabetes management in primary care: outcomes of a quality improvement initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berryman, Sally H; Sick, Brian T; Wang, Qi; Swan, Paul J; Weber-Main, Anne Marie

    2013-01-01

    Effective management of patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) can be time-consuming and costly. One patient-centred quality improvement strategy is to generate reminder letters to prompt patient action(s), but this strategy's effect on DM outcomes is uncertain. To determine whether using the electronic medical record to automatically generate reminder letters for patients not meeting recommended DM targets is associated with improvement in practice level quality metrics for DM management. Over 15 months, letters were sent monthly to all patients with DM in a large, urban, primary care teaching practice whose records for haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or blood pressure (BP) indicated non-compliance with recommended levels and testing intervals. Logistic regression was used to analyse cross-sectional, practice-level differences in the proportion of patients meeting DM quality metrics (HbA1c < 7%, LDL < 100 mg/dl and BP < 130/80 mmHg; rates of checking each value within the last 12 months; and a composite of these five measures) across four time points: six months before the intervention, start of the intervention, end of the 15-month intervention period and six months after the intervention. The number of letters sent per month ranged from 284 to 392, representing 28-38% of all patients with DM. At the end of the intervention, patients' odds of being at goal were higher than before the intervention began for LDL < 100 mg/dl, and for HbA1c and LDL tested once within the last 12 months (or 1.24, P = 0.005; or 1.35, P = 0.03; or 1.48, P < 0.001, respectively). Post intervention, declines were seen in LDL checked within the last 12 months (or 0.76, P = 0.003) and in the composite endpoint (or 0.78, P = 0.005). The automated patient-reminder letter intervention was associated with modest improvements in several, but not all DM measures. This approach may be an effective tool for improving quality of care for patients with DM.

  14. Implementing resilience engineering for healthcare quality improvement using the CARE model: a feasibility study protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, J E; Ross, A J; Back, J; Duncan, M; Snell, P; Walsh, K; Jaye, P

    2016-01-01

    Resilience engineering (RE) is an emerging perspective on safety in complex adaptive systems that emphasises how outcomes emerge from the complexity of the clinical environment. Complexity creates the need for flexible adaptation to achieve outcomes. RE focuses on understanding the nature of adaptations, learning from success and increasing adaptive capacity. Although the philosophy is clear, progress in applying the ideas to quality improvement has been slow. The aim of this study is to test the feasibility of translating RE concepts into practical methods to improve quality by designing, implementing and evaluating interventions based on RE theory. The CARE model operationalises the key concepts and their relationships to guide the empirical investigation. The settings are the Emergency Department and the Older Person's Unit in a large London teaching hospital. Phases 1 and 2 of our work, leading to the development of interventions to improve the quality of care, are described in this paper. Ethical approval has been granted for these phases. Phase 1 will use ethnographic methods, including observation of work practices and interviews with staff, to understand adaptations and outcomes. The findings will be used to collaboratively design, with clinical staff in interactive design workshops, interventions to improve the quality of care. The evaluation phase will be designed and submitted for ethical approval when the outcomes of phases 1 and 2 are known. Study outcomes will be knowledge about the feasibility of applying RE to improve quality, the development of RE theory and a validated model of resilience in clinical work which can be used to guide other applications. Tools, methods and practical guidance for practitioners will also be produced, as well as specific knowledge of the potential effectiveness of the implemented interventions in emergency and older people's care. Further studies to test the application of RE at a larger scale will be required

  15. Engineering and introduction of de novo disulphide bridges in organophosphorus hydrolase enzyme for thermostability improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farnoosh, Gholamreza; Khajeh, Khosro; Latifi, Ali Mohammad; Aghamollaei, Hossein

    2016-12-01

    The organophosphorus hydrolase (OPH) has been used to degrade organophosphorus chemicals, as one of the most frequently used decontamination methods. Under chemical and thermal denaturing conditions, the enzyme has been shown to unfold. To utilize this enzyme in various applications, the thermal stability is of importance. The engineering of de novo disulphide bridges has been explored as a means to increase the thermal stability of enzymes in the rational method of protein engineering. In this study, Disulphide by Design software, homology modelling and molecular dynamics simulations were used to select appropriate amino acid pairs for the introduction of disulphide bridge to improve protein thermostability. The thermostability of the wild-type and three selected mutant enzymes were evaluated by half-life, delta G inactivation (ΔGi) and structural studies (fluorescence and far-UV CD analysis). Data analysis showed that half-life of A204C/T234C and T128C/E153C mutants were increased up to 4 and 24 min, respectively; however, for the G74C/A78C mutant, the half-life was decreased up to 9 min. For the T128C/E124C mutant, both thermal stability and Catalytic efficiency (kcat) were also increased. The half-life and ΔGi results were correlated to the obtained information from structural studies by circular dichroism (CD) spectrometry and extrinsic fluorescence experiments; as rigidity increased in A204C/T2234C and T128C/E153C mutants, half-life and ΔGi also increased. For G74C/A78C mutant, these parameters decreased due to its higher flexibility. The results were submitted a strong evidence for the possibility to improve the thermostability of OPH enzyme by introducing a disulphide bridge after bioinformatics design, even though this design would not be always successful.

  16. Benefits of sequential turbocharging in improving high torque/low speed operation of medium speed diesel engines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Danyluk, P.; Gutoski, G. [Coltec Industries Inc., Fairbanks Morse Engine Division (United States); Chen, S.K. [PEI Consultants (United States)

    1998-12-31

    This paper describes the benefits of sequential turbocharging in improving the operating envelope of a medium speed diesel engine. In particular, the high torque, low speed performance envelope can be greatly extended over that of a standard medium speed engine and, in addition, can offer improved operating range over what has been achieved with compressor air bypass/waste gate systems. This paper compares the three approaches on the basis of possible operating envelopes for a specific application, the new U.S. Navy LPD-17 amphibious assault ship, which has a very demanding requirement for high torque at low engine speed and low ambient temperatures. Comparison is made to the earlier approach to extend the operating envelope on the U.S. Navy LSD-41 class engines. The LSD-41 fleet has been in service since 1985 running with a compressor air bypass system developed jointly by Lockheed Shipyard and Coltec Industries for the U.S. Navy. (au)

  17. Completion of an Online Library Module Improves Engineering Student Performance on Information Literacy Skills Tests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel E. Scott

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available A Review of: Zhang, Q., Goodman, M., & Xie, S. (2015. Integrating library instruction into the Course Management System for a first-year engineering class: An evidence-based study measuring the effectiveness of blended learning on students’ information literacy levels. College & Research Libraries, 76(7, 934-958. http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/crl.76.7.934 Objective – To assess the efficacy of an online library module and of blended learning methods on students’ information literacy skills. Design – Multi-modal, pre- and posttests, survey questionnaire, and focus groups. Setting – Public research university in London, Ontario, Canada. Subjects – First-year engineering students. Methods – Of 413 students enrolled in Engineering Science (ES 1050, 252 volunteered to participate in the study. Participants were asked to complete the online module, a pretest, a posttest, an online follow-up survey, and to take part in a focus group. Researchers generated a pretest and a posttest, each comprised of 15 questions:; multiple choice, true or false, and matching questions which tested students’ general and engineering-specific information literacy skills. The pretest and posttest had different, but similarly challenging, questions to ensure that students involved in the study would not have an advantage over those who had opted out. While all components of the study were voluntary, the posttest was a graded course assignment. In-person tutorials were offered on 4 occasions, with only 15 students participating. Both tutorial and module content were designed to cover all questions and competencies tested in the pretest and the posttest, including Boolean operators, peer review, identifying plagiarism, engineering standards, engineering handbooks, search strategies, patents, article citations, identifying reliable sources, and how to read journal articles. The posttest survey was delivered in the CMS immediately after the posttest was completed. It

  18. How can we improve Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education to encourage careers in Biomedical and Pathology Informatics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uppal, Rahul; Mandava, Gunasheil; Romagnoli, Katrina M; King, Andrew J; Draper, Amie J; Handen, Adam L; Fisher, Arielle M; Becich, Michael J; Dutta-Moscato, Joyeeta

    2016-01-01

    The Computer Science, Biology, and Biomedical Informatics (CoSBBI) program was initiated in 2011 to expose the critical role of informatics in biomedicine to talented high school students.[1] By involving them in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) training at the high school level and providing mentorship and research opportunities throughout the formative years of their education, CoSBBI creates a research infrastructure designed to develop young informaticians. Our central premise is that the trajectory necessary to be an expert in the emerging fields of biomedical informatics and pathology informatics requires accelerated learning at an early age.In our 4(th) year of CoSBBI as a part of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) Academy (http://www.upci.upmc.edu/summeracademy/), and our 2nd year of CoSBBI as an independent informatics-based academy, we enhanced our classroom curriculum, added hands-on computer science instruction, and expanded research projects to include clinical informatics. We also conducted a qualitative evaluation of the program to identify areas that need improvement in order to achieve our goal of creating a pipeline of exceptionally well-trained applicants for both the disciplines of pathology informatics and biomedical informatics in the era of big data and personalized medicine.

  19. How can we improve Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education to encourage careers in Biomedical and Pathology Informatics?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahul Uppal

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Computer Science, Biology, and Biomedical Informatics (CoSBBI program was initiated in 2011 to expose the critical role of informatics in biomedicine to talented high school students.[1] By involving them in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM training at the high school level and providing mentorship and research opportunities throughout the formative years of their education, CoSBBI creates a research infrastructure designed to develop young informaticians. Our central premise is that the trajectory necessary to be an expert in the emerging fields of biomedical informatics and pathology informatics requires accelerated learning at an early age.In our 4th year of CoSBBI as a part of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI Academy (http://www.upci.upmc.edu/summeracademy/, and our 2nd year of CoSBBI as an independent informatics-based academy, we enhanced our classroom curriculum, added hands-on computer science instruction, and expanded research projects to include clinical informatics. We also conducted a qualitative evaluation of the program to identify areas that need improvement in order to achieve our goal of creating a pipeline of exceptionally well-trained applicants for both the disciplines of pathology informatics and biomedical informatics in the era of big data and personalized medicine.

  20. Evaluating the Coding and Workload Accounting Improvement Initiative of Madigan Army Medical Center

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bewley, Lee W; Bender, Brian J

    2007-01-01

    ... documentation, provider coding accuracy and education, and clinic electronic medical record (AHLTA) usage. The desired end state of the CWAI is improved medical documentation and coding accuracy at MAMC...

  1. Engineering product storage under the advanced fuel cycle initiative. Part I: An iterative thermal transport modeling scheme for high-heat-generating radioactive storage forms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaminski, Michael D.

    2005-01-01

    The US Department of Energy is developing an integrated nuclear fuel cycle technology under its Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI). Under the AFCI, waste minimization is stressed. Engineered product storage materials will be required to store concentrated radioactive cesium, strontium, americium, and curium for periods of tens to hundreds of years. The fabrication of such engineered products has some precedence but the concept is largely novel. We thus present a theoretical model used to calculate the maximum radial dimensions of right cylinder storage forms under several scenarios. Maximum dimensions are small, comparable to nuclear fuel pins in some cases, to avoid centerline melting temperatures; this highlights the need for a careful strategy for engineered product storage fabrication and storage

  2. Quality initiatives: planning, setting up, and carrying out radiology process improvement projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamm, Eric P; Szklaruk, Janio; Puthooran, Leejo; Stone, Danna; Stevens, Brian L; Modaro, Cathy

    2012-01-01

    In the coming decades, those who provide radiologic imaging services will be increasingly challenged by the economic, demographic, and political forces affecting healthcare to improve their efficiency, enhance the value of their services, and achieve greater customer satisfaction. It is essential that radiologists master and consistently apply basic process improvement skills that have allowed professionals in many other fields to thrive in a competitive environment. The authors provide a step-by-step overview of process improvement from the perspective of a radiologic imaging practice by describing their experience in conducting a process improvement project: to increase the daily volume of body magnetic resonance imaging examinations performed at their institution. The first step in any process improvement project is to identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement in the work process. Next, an effective project team must be formed that includes representatives of all participants in the process. An achievable aim must be formulated, appropriate measures selected, and baseline data collected to determine the effects of subsequent efforts to achieve the aim. Each aspect of the process in question is then analyzed by using appropriate tools (eg, flowcharts, fishbone diagrams, Pareto diagrams) to identify opportunities for beneficial change. Plans for change are then established and implemented with regular measurements and review followed by necessary adjustments in course. These so-called PDSA (planning, doing, studying, and acting) cycles are repeated until the aim is achieved or modified and the project closed.

  3. Fostering evidence-based quality improvement for patient-centered medical homes: Initiating local quality councils to transform primary care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockdale, Susan E; Zuchowski, Jessica; Rubenstein, Lisa V; Sapir, Negar; Yano, Elizabeth M; Altman, Lisa; Fickel, Jacqueline J; McDougall, Skye; Dresselhaus, Timothy; Hamilton, Alison B

    were critical. In order to successfully facilitate systematic, sustainable primary care quality improvement, regional and executive health care system leaders should engage interdisciplinary practice level leadership in a priority-setting process that encourages frontline innovation and establish local structures such as quality councils to coordinate quality improvement initiatives, ensure accountability, and promote spread of best practices.

  4. Co-cultures and cell sheet engineering as relevant tools to improve the outcome of bone tissue engineering strategies

    OpenAIRE

    Pirraco, Rogério

    2011-01-01

    Taking into consideration the complex biology of bone tissue it is quite clear that the understanding of the cellular interactions that regulate the homeostasis and regeneration of this remarkable tissue is essential for a successful Tissue Engineering strategy. The in vitro study of these cellular interactions relies on co-culture systems, a tremendously useful methodology where two or more cell types are cultured at the same time. Such strategy increases the complexity of typ...

  5. Fuel conversion efficiency improvements in a highly boosted spark-ignition engine with ultra-expansion cycle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Tie; Zheng, Bin; Yin, Tao

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Ultra-expansion cycle SI engine is investigated. • An improvement of 9–26% in BSFC at most frequently operated conditions is obtained. • At high and medium loads, BSFC improvement is attributed to the increased combustion efficiency and reduced exhaust energy. • At low loads, reduction in pumping loss and exhaust energy is the primary contributors to BSFC improvement. • Technical challenge in practical application of this type of engine is discussed. - Abstract: A four-cylinder, intake boosted, port fuel injection (PFI), spark-ignition (SI) engine is modified to a three-cylinder engine with the outer two cylinders working in the conventional four stroke cycle and with the inner cylinder working only with the expansion and exhausting strokes. After calibration and validation of the engine cycle simulation models using the experimental data in the original engine, the performance of the three-cylinder engine with the ultra-expansion cycle is numerically studied. Compared to the original engine, the fuel consumptions under the most-frequently operated conditions are improved by 9–26% and the low fuel consumption area on the operating map are drastically enlarged for the ultra-expansion cycle engine with the proper design. Nonetheless, a higher intake boosting is needed for the ultra-expansion cycle engine to circumvent the significant drop in the wide-open-throttle (WOT) performance, and compression ratio of the combustion cylinder must be reduced to avoid knocking combustion. Despite of the reduced compression ratio, however, the total expansion ratio is increased to 13.8 with the extra expansion of the working gas in the inner cylinder. Compared to the conventional engine, the theoretical thermal efficiency is therefore increased by up to above 4.0% with the ultra-expansion cycle over the most load range. The energy balance analysis shows that the increased combustion efficiency, reduced exhaust energy and the extra expansion work in the

  6. Knowledge Translation Interventions to Improve the Timing of Dialysis Initiation: Protocol for a Cluster Randomized Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chau, Elaine M T; Manns, Braden J; Garg, Amit X; Sood, Manish M; Kim, S Joseph; Naimark, David; Nesrallah, Gihad E; Soroka, Steven D; Beaulieu, Monica; Dixon, Stephanie; Alam, Ahsan; Tangri, Navdeep

    2016-01-01

    Early initiation of chronic dialysis (starting dialysis with higher vs lower kidney function) has risen rapidly in the past 2 decades in Canada and internationally, despite absence of established health benefits and higher costs. In 2014, a Canadian guideline on the timing of dialysis initiation, recommending an intent-to-defer approach, was published. The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a knowledge translation intervention to promote the intent-to-defer approach in clinical practice. This study is a multicenter, 2-arm parallel, cluster randomized trial. The study involves 55 advanced chronic kidney disease clinics across Canada. Patients older than 18 years who are managed by nephrologists for more than 3 months, and initiate dialysis in the follow-up period are included in the study. Outcomes will be measured at the patient-level and enumerated within a cluster. Data on characteristics of each dialysis start will be determined by linkages with the Canadian Organ Replacement Register. Primary outcomes include the proportion of patients who start dialysis early with an estimated glomerular filtration rate greater than 10.5 mL/min/1.73 m 2 and start dialysis in hospital as inpatients or in an emergency room setting. Secondary outcomes include the rate of change in early dialysis starts; rates of hospitalizations, deaths, and cost of predialysis care (wherever available); quarterly proportion of new starts; and acceptability of the knowledge translation materials. We randomized 55 multidisciplinary chronic disease clinics (clusters) in Canada to receive either an active knowledge translation intervention or no intervention for the uptake of the guideline on the timing of dialysis initiation. The active knowledge translation intervention consists of audit and feedback as well as patient- and provider-directed educational tools delivered at a comprehensive in-person medical detailing visit. Control clinics are only exposed to guideline

  7. Biaxial Stretch Improves Elastic Fiber Maturation, Collagen Arrangement, and Mechanical Properties in Engineered Arteries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Angela H; Balestrini, Jenna L; Udelsman, Brooks V; Zhou, Kevin C; Zhao, Liping; Ferruzzi, Jacopo; Starcher, Barry C; Levene, Michael J; Humphrey, Jay D; Niklason, Laura E

    2016-06-01

    Tissue-engineered blood vessels (TEVs) are typically produced using the pulsatile, uniaxial circumferential stretch to mechanically condition and strengthen the arterial grafts. Despite improvements in the mechanical integrity of TEVs after uniaxial conditioning, these tissues fail to achieve critical properties of native arteries such as matrix content, collagen fiber orientation, and mechanical strength. As a result, uniaxially loaded TEVs can result in mechanical failure, thrombus, or stenosis on implantation. In planar tissue equivalents such as artificial skin, biaxial loading has been shown to improve matrix production and mechanical properties. To date however, multiaxial loading has not been examined as a means to improve mechanical and biochemical properties of TEVs during culture. Therefore, we developed a novel bioreactor that utilizes both circumferential and axial stretch that more closely simulates loading conditions in native arteries, and we examined the suture strength, matrix production, fiber orientation, and cell proliferation. After 3 months of biaxial loading, TEVs developed a formation of mature elastic fibers that consisted of elastin cores and microfibril sheaths. Furthermore, the distinctive features of collagen undulation and crimp in the biaxial TEVs were absent in both uniaxial and static TEVs. Relative to the uniaxially loaded TEVs, tissues that underwent biaxial loading remodeled and realigned collagen fibers toward a more physiologic, native-like organization. The biaxial TEVs also showed increased mechanical strength (suture retention load of 303 ± 14.53 g, with a wall thickness of 0.76 ± 0.028 mm) and increased compliance. The increase in compliance was due to combinatorial effects of mature elastic fibers, undulated collagen fibers, and collagen matrix orientation. In conclusion, biaxial stretching is a potential means to regenerate TEVs with improved matrix production, collagen organization, and mechanical

  8. Parallax barrier engineering for image quality improvement in an autostereoscopic 3D display.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sung-Kyu; Yoon, Ki-Hyuk; Yoon, Seon Kyu; Ju, Heongkyu

    2015-05-18

    We present a image quality improvement in a parallax barrier (PB)-based multiview autostereoscopic 3D display system under a real-time tracking of positions of a viewer's eyes. The system presented exploits a parallax barrier engineered to offer significantly improved quality of three-dimensional images for a moving viewer without an eyewear under the dynamic eye tracking. The improved image quality includes enhanced uniformity of image brightness, reduced point crosstalk, and no pseudoscopic effects. We control the relative ratio between two parameters i.e., a pixel size and the aperture of a parallax barrier slit to improve uniformity of image brightness at a viewing zone. The eye tracking that monitors positions of a viewer's eyes enables pixel data control software to turn on only pixels for view images near the viewer's eyes (the other pixels turned off), thus reducing point crosstalk. The eye tracking combined software provides right images for the respective eyes, therefore producing no pseudoscopic effects at its zone boundaries. The viewing zone can be spanned over area larger than the central viewing zone offered by a conventional PB-based multiview autostereoscopic 3D display (no eye tracking). Our 3D display system also provides multiviews for motion parallax under eye tracking. More importantly, we demonstrate substantial reduction of point crosstalk of images at the viewing zone, its level being comparable to that of a commercialized eyewear-assisted 3D display system. The multiview autostereoscopic 3D display presented can greatly resolve the point crosstalk problem, which is one of the critical factors that make it difficult for previous technologies for a multiview autostereoscopic 3D display to replace an eyewear-assisted counterpart.

  9. Importance of Performance Measurement and MCH Epidemiology Leadership to Quality Improvement Initiatives at the National, State and Local Levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rankin, Kristin M; Gavin, Loretta; Moran, John W; Kroelinger, Charlan D; Vladutiu, Catherine J; Goodman, David A; Sappenfield, William M

    2016-11-01

    Purpose In recognition of the importance of performance measurement and MCH epidemiology leadership to quality improvement (QI) efforts, a plenary session dedicated to this topic was presented at the 2014 CityMatCH Leadership and MCH Epidemiology Conference. This paper summarizes the session and provides two applications of performance measurement to QI in MCH. Description Performance measures addressing processes of care are ubiquitous in the current health system landscape and the MCH community is increasingly applying QI processes, such as Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles, to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of systems impacting MCH populations. QI is maximally effective when well-defined performance measures are used to monitor change. Assessment MCH epidemiologists provide leadership to QI initiatives by identifying population-based outcomes that would benefit from QI, defining and implementing performance measures, assessing and improving data quality and timeliness, reporting variability in measures throughout PDSA cycles, evaluating QI initiative impact, and translating findings to stakeholders. MCH epidemiologists can also ensure that QI initiatives are aligned with MCH priorities at the local, state and federal levels. Two examples of this work, one highlighting use of a contraceptive service performance measure and another describing QI for peripartum hemorrhage prevention, demonstrate MCH epidemiologists' contributions throughout. Challenges remain in applying QI to complex community and systems-level interventions, including those aimed at improving access to quality care. Conclusion MCH epidemiologists provide leadership to QI initiatives by ensuring they are data-informed and supportive of a common MCH agenda, thereby optimizing the potential to improve MCH outcomes.

  10. Engineering of the glycerol decomposition pathway and cofactor regulation in an industrial yeast improves ethanol production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Liang; Tang, Yan; Guo, Zhongpeng; Shi, Guiyang

    2013-10-01

    Glycerol is a major by-product of industrial ethanol production and its formation consumes up to 4 % of the sugar substrate. This study modified the glycerol decomposition pathway of an industrial strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to optimize the consumption of substrate and yield of ethanol. This study is the first to couple glycerol degradation with ethanol formation, to the best of our knowledge. The recombinant strain overexpressing GCY1 and DAK1, encoding glycerol dehydrogenase and dihydroxyacetone kinase, respectively, in glycerol degradation pathway, exhibited a moderate increase in ethanol yield (2.9 %) and decrease in glycerol yield (24.9 %) compared to the wild type with the initial glucose concentration of 15 % under anaerobic conditions. However, when the mhpF gene, encoding acetylating NAD⁺-dependent acetaldehyde dehydrogenase from Escherichia coli, was co-expressed in the aforementioned recombinant strain, a further increase in ethanol yield by 5.5 % and decrease in glycerol yield by 48 % were observed for the resultant recombinant strain GDMS1 when acetic acid was added into the medium prior to inoculation compared to the wild type. The process outlined in this study which enhances glycerol consumption and cofactor regulation in an industrial yeast is a promising metabolic engineering strategy to increase ethanol production by reducing the formation of glycerol.

  11. Improving teamwork, trust and safety: an ethnographic study of an interprofessional initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Aled; Jones, Delyth

    2011-05-01

    This study explored the perceptions of staff in an interprofessional team based on a medical rehabilitation ward for older people, following the introduction of a service improvement programme designed to promote better teamworking. The study aimed to address a lack of in-depth qualitative research that could explain the day-to-day realities of interprofessional teamworking in healthcare. All members of the team participated, (e.g. nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, social worker, occupational therapists), and findings suggest that interprofessional teamworking improved over the 12-month period. Four themes emerged from the data offering insights into the development and effects of better interprofessional teamworking: the emergence of collegial trust within the team, the importance of team meetings and participative safety, the role of shared objectives in conflict management and the value of autonomy within the team. Reductions in staff sickness/absence levels and catastrophic/major patient safety incidents were also detected following the introduction of the service improvement programme.

  12. RFID-Based Multidisciplinary Educational Platform to Improve the Engineering and Technology Curriculums

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yelamarthi, Kumar

    2012-01-01

    Multidisciplinary projects involving electrical engineering (EE), mechanical engineering (ME), and computer engineering (CE) students are both exciting and difficult to conceptualize. Answering this challenge, this paper presents a multidisciplinary educational platform on radio frequency identification-based assistive devices. The combination of…

  13. Improving the Practical Education of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering Majors in Chinese Universities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Feng-qing; Yu, Yi-feng; Ren, Shao-feng; Liu, Shao-jie; Rong, Xin-yu

    2014-01-01

    Practical education in chemical engineering has drawn increasing attention in recent years. This paper discusses two approaches to teaching and learning about experiments among upper-level chemical and pharmaceutical engineering majors in China. On the basis of years of experience in teaching chemical and pharmaceutical engineering, we propose the…

  14. Provider-Initiated Patient Satisfaction Reporting Yields Improved Physician Ratings Relative to Online Rating Websites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricciardi, Benjamin F; Waddell, Brad S; Nodzo, Scott R; Lange, Jeffrey; Nocon, Allina A; Amundsen, Spencer; Tarity, T David; McLawhorn, Alexander S

    2017-09-01

    Recently, providers have begun to publicly report the results of patient satisfaction surveys from their practices. However, these outcomes have never been compared with the findings of commercial online physician rating websites. The goals of the current study were to (1) compare overall patient satisfaction ratings for orthopedic surgeons derived from provider-based third-party surveys with existing commercial physician rating websites and (2) determine the association between patient ratings and provider characteristics. The authors identified 12 institutions that provided publicly available patient satisfaction outcomes derived from third-party surveys for their orthopedic surgeons as of August 2016. Orthopedic surgeons at these institutions were eligible for inclusion (N=340 surgeons). Provider characteristics were recorded from publicly available data. Four high-traffic commercial online physician rating websites were identified: Healthgrades.com, UCompareHealthCare.com, Vitals.com, and RateMDs.com. For each surgeon, overall ratings (on a scale of 1-5), total number of ratings, and percentage of negative ratings were compared between provider-initiated internal ratings and each commercial online website. Associations between baseline factors and overall physician ratings and negative ratings were assessed. Provider-initiated internal patient satisfaction ratings showed a greater number of overall patient ratings, higher overall patient satisfaction ratings, and a lower percentage of negative comments compared with commercial online physician rating websites. A greater number of years in practice had a weak association with lower internal ratings, and an academic practice setting and a location in the Northeast were protective factors for negative physician ratings. Compared with commercial online physician rating websites, provider-initiated patient satisfaction ratings of orthopedic surgeons appear to be more favorable, with greater numbers of responses

  15. Investigating Engineered Ribonucleoprotein Particles to Improve Oral RNAi Delivery in Crop Insect Pests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François-Xavier Gillet

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Genetically modified (GM crops producing double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs are being investigated largely as an RNA interference (RNAi-based resistance strategy against crop insect pests. However, limitations of this strategy include the sensitivity of dsRNA to insect gut nucleases and its poor insect cell membrane penetration. Working with the insect pest cotton boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis, we showed that the chimeric protein PTD-DRBD (peptide transduction domain—dsRNA binding domain combined with dsRNA forms a ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP that improves the effectiveness of the RNAi mechanism in the insect. The RNP slows down nuclease activity, probably by masking the dsRNA. Furthermore, PTD-mediated internalization in insect gut cells is achieved within minutes after plasma membrane contact, limiting the exposure time of the RNPs to gut nucleases. Therefore, the RNP provides an approximately 2-fold increase in the efficiency of insect gene silencing upon oral delivery when compared to naked dsRNA. Taken together, these data demonstrate the role of engineered RNPs in improving dsRNA stability and cellular entry, representing a path toward the design of enhanced RNAi strategies in GM plants against crop insect pests.

  16. Investigating Engineered Ribonucleoprotein Particles to Improve Oral RNAi Delivery in Crop Insect Pests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillet, François-Xavier; Garcia, Rayssa A; Macedo, Leonardo L P; Albuquerque, Erika V S; Silva, Maria C M; Grossi-de-Sa, Maria F

    2017-01-01

    Genetically modified (GM) crops producing double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) are being investigated largely as an RNA interference (RNAi)-based resistance strategy against crop insect pests. However, limitations of this strategy include the sensitivity of dsRNA to insect gut nucleases and its poor insect cell membrane penetration. Working with the insect pest cotton boll weevil ( Anthonomus grandis ), we showed that the chimeric protein PTD-DRBD (peptide transduction domain-dsRNA binding domain) combined with dsRNA forms a ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP) that improves the effectiveness of the RNAi mechanism in the insect. The RNP slows down nuclease activity, probably by masking the dsRNA. Furthermore, PTD-mediated internalization in insect gut cells is achieved within minutes after plasma membrane contact, limiting the exposure time of the RNPs to gut nucleases. Therefore, the RNP provides an approximately 2-fold increase in the efficiency of insect gene silencing upon oral delivery when compared to naked dsRNA. Taken together, these data demonstrate the role of engineered RNPs in improving dsRNA stability and cellular entry, representing a path toward the design of enhanced RNAi strategies in GM plants against crop insect pests.

  17. Engineering CHO cells with an oncogenic KIT improves cells growth, resilience to stress, and productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahameed, Mohamed; Tirosh, Boaz

    2017-11-01

    An optimized biomanufacturing process in mammalian cells is contingent on the ability of the producing cells to reach high viable cell densities. In addition, at the peak of growth, cells need to continue producing the biological entity at a consistent quality. Thus, engineering cells with robust growth performance and resilience to variable stress conditions is highly desirable. The tyrosine kinase receptor, KIT, plays a key role in cell differentiation and the survival of several immune cell types. Its oncogenic mutant, D816V, endows cells with high proliferation capacity, and resistance to kinase inhibitors. Importantly, this onco-KIT mutant when introduced into various cell types is arrested in the endoplasmic reticulum in a constitutively active form. Here, we investigated the effect of oncogenic D816V KIT on the performance of CHO-K1 cells under conventional tissue culture growth settings and when adapted, to shaking conditions. The onco-KIT promoted global protein synthesis, elevated the expression of a secretable transgene, enhanced proliferation, and improved the overall titers of a model glycoprotein. Moreover, the expression of the onco-KIT endowed the cells with a remarkable resistance to various stress conditions. Our data suggest that the introduction of onco-KIT can serve as a strategy for improving glycoprotein biomanufacturing. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 2560-2570. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Improving xylitol production at elevated temperature with engineered Kluyveromyces marxianus through over-expressing transporters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jia; Zhang, Biao; Wang, Dongmei; Gao, Xiaolian; Hong, Jiong

    2015-01-01

    Three transporter genes including Kluyveromyces marxianus aquaglyceroporin gene (KmFPS1), Candida intermedia glucose/xylose facilitator gene (CiGXF1) or glucose/xylose symporter gene (CiGXS1) were over-expressed in K. marxianus YZJ017 to improve xylitol production at elevated temperatures. The xylitol production of YZJ074 that harbored CiGXF1 was improved to 147.62g/L in Erlenmeyer flask at 42°C. In fermenter, 99.29 and 149.60g/L xylitol were produced from 99.55 and 151.91g/L xylose with productivity of 4.14 and 3.40g/L/h respectively at 42°C. Even at 45°C, YZJ074 could produce 101.30g/L xylitol from 101.41g/L xylose with productivity of 2.81g/L/h. Using fed-batch fermentation through repeatedly adding non-sterilized substrate directly, YZJ074 could produce 312.05g/L xylitol which is the highest yield reported to date. The engineered strains YZJ074 which can produce xylitol at elevated temperatures is an excellent foundation for xylitol bioconversion. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Integrating Theory and Practice: Applying the Quality Improvement Paradigm to Product Line Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Michael; Hennessy, Joseph F. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    My assertion is that not only are product lines a relevant research topic, but that the tools used by empirical software engineering researchers can address observed practical problems. Our experience at NASA has been there are often externally proposed solutions available, but that we have had difficulties applying them in our particular context. We have also focused on return on investment issues when evaluating product lines, and while these are important, one can not attain objective data on success or failure until several applications from a product family have been deployed. The use of the Quality Improvement Paradigm (QIP) can address these issues: (1) Planning an adoption path from an organization's current state to a product line approach; (2) Constructing a development process to fit the organization's adoption path; (3) Evaluation of product line development processes as the project is being developed. The QIP consists of the following six steps: (1) Characterize the project and its environment; (2) Set quantifiable goals for successful project performance; (3) Choose the appropriate process models, supporting methods, and tools for the project; (4) Execute the process, analyze interim results, and provide real-time feedback for corrective action; (5) Analyze the results of completed projects and recommend improvements; and (6) Package the lessons learned as updated and refined process models. A figure shows the QIP in detail. The iterative nature of the QIP supports an incremental development approach to product lines, and the project learning and feedback provide the necessary early evaluations.

  20. Engineered P450 biocatalysts show improved activity and regio-promiscuity in aromatic nitration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuo, Ran; Zhang, Yi; Jiang, Chao; Hackett, John C; Loria, Rosemary; Bruner, Steven D; Ding, Yousong

    2017-04-12

    Nitroaromatics are among the most important and commonly used chemicals but their production often suffers from multiple unsolved challenges. We have previously described the development of biocatalytic nitration processes driven by an engineered P450 TxtE fusion construct. Herein we report the creation of improved nitration biocatalysts through constructing and characterizing fusion proteins of TxtE with the reductase domain of CYP102A1 (P450BM3, BM3R). The majority of constructs contained variable linker length while one was rationally designed for optimizing protein-protein interactions. Detailed biochemical characterization identified multiple active chimeras that showed improved nitration activity, increased coupling efficiency and higher total turnover numbers compared with TxtE. Substrate promiscuity of the most active chimera was further assessed with a substrate library. Finally, a biocatalytic nitration process was developed to nitrate 4-Me-DL-Trp. The production of both 4-Me-5-NO 2 -L-Trp and 4-Me-7-NO 2 -L-Trp uncovered remarkable regio-promiscuity of nitration biocatalysts.

  1. Providing Transthoracic Echocardiography Training for Intensive Care Unit Trainees: An Educational Improvement Initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuza, Catherine M; Hanifi, M Tariq; Koç, Melissa; Stopfkuchen-Evans, Matthias

    2018-04-09

    Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is important in the management of critically ill patients, yet it has not been incorporated into many residency programs' curricula. Our objective is to determine if trainees undergoing a 60-minute training session on TTE have improved knowledge, ultrasound skills, and increases the utilization of TTE during their rotation in the intensive care unit (ICU). We will also compare the results of participants with prior TTE exposure to TTE-naïve trainees. Our hypothesis is that after the training, participants' will have improved knowledge and ultrasound skills compared to before training. Our secondary hypotheses are that TTE-naïve trainees will have greater improvements in knowledge scores compared to those who have had prior TTE experience and trainees will increase their use of TTE in the ICU. Single-center, prospective trial. Brigham and Women's Hospital (academic hospital). Residents and fellows rotating through the ICU, at any level of postgraduate training. Forty-two trainees participated in the study. Statistically significant improvement after training was observed for all multiple choice questions (MCQ) and practical assessments (p < 0.001). When assessing the differences in score improvement between TTE-experienced versus TTE-naïve users, mean score improvements were notably higher for TTE-naïve participants (MCQ: 28.2 ± 11.6; echo clinical: 48.6 ± 23.4) compared to TTE-experienced users (MCQ: 18.6 ± 13.5, p = 0.01; echo clinical: 38.3 ± 30.2, p = 0.04). A short didactic presentation on TTE use may be useful in teaching ICU trainees basic TTE skills and encouraging the use of bedside TTE in the ICU. Copyright © 2018 Association of Program Directors in Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Obesity impedes functional improvement in youth with chronic pain: An initial investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoner, A M; Jastrowski Mano, K E; Weisman, S J; Hainsworth, K R

    2017-10-01

    Youth with chronic pain are at higher risk for obesity than the general population. In youth with chronic pain, obesity exacerbates pain-specific activity limitations, and in adults with chronic pain, obesity perpetuates a cycle of disability. The current study examined whether weight status predicts functional disability outcomes over time in youth with chronic pain. Data were obtained from a retrospective chart review of patients who consented to participate in a longitudinal outcomes study. The Child Activity Limitations Questionnaire was used to assess functional disability at intake, 1-, and 3-month follow-up. Height and weight were measured at intake. A linear mixed model was used to test whether weight status and time predicted functional disability. Trend analysis with polynomial contrasts was used to test whether improvements in functional disability showed a linear trend over time. The linear mixed model analysis showed a main effect of weight, suggesting that youth with higher BMI demonstrated less improvement in functional disability over time. The trend analysis suggested that improvements in functional disability were consistent with a linear trend for both healthy weight and overweight participants, but not for obese participants. These findings demonstrate that obesity impedes improvement in functioning for youth with chronic pain. Despite multidisciplinary pain treatment, youth with comorbid chronic pain and obesity demonstrate greater functional disability at follow-up and little improvement over time. These results support the need for interventions specifically tailored to the unique challenges faced by youth with comorbid chronic pain and obesity. This study shows that obesity impedes improvement in functioning for youth with chronic pain. On the basis of these findings, interventions should be tailored to the unique challenges of this population. © 2017 European Pain Federation - EFIC®.

  3. Initial measurement of assets produced in Bulgarian companies – current state and ways for improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mincho Minev

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The initial evaluation of the production is one of the most complex tasks that accounting specialists face in their practice. The quality of the accounting information provided to the various internal and external users depends to a great extent on the way in which this task is resolved. In this article, using the results of an undertaken research, the practice of leading Bulgarian companies will be analyzed with regard to the costing of their production. The main purpose is to make recommendations for optimizing the process of costing in Bulgarian companies and to increase the quality of the accounting information produced as a result of this process.

  4. A physician-led initiative to improve clinical documentation results in improved health care documentation, case mix index, and increased contribution margin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiello, Francesco A; Judelson, Dejah R; Durgin, Jonathan M; Doucet, Danielle R; Simons, Jessica P; Durocher, Dawn M; Flahive, Julie M; Schanzer, Andres

    2018-05-04

    Clinical documentation is the key determinant of inpatient acuity of illness and payer reimbursement. Every inpatient hospitalization is placed into a diagnosis related group with a relative value based on documented procedures, conditions, comorbidities and complications. The Case Mix Index (CMI) is an average of these diagnosis related groups and directly impacts physician profiling, medical center profiling, reimbursement, and quality reporting. We hypothesize that a focused, physician-led initiative to improve clinical documentation of vascular surgery inpatients results in increased CMI and contribution margin. A physician-led coding initiative to educate physicians on the documentation of comorbidities and conditions was initiated with concurrent chart review sessions with coding specialists for 3 months, and then as needed, after the creation of a vascular surgery documentation guide. Clinical documentation and billing for all carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and open infrainguinal procedures (OIPs) performed between January 2013 and July 2016 were stratified into precoding and postcoding initiative groups. Age, duration of stay, direct costs, actual reimbursements, contribution margin (CM), CMI, rate of complication or comorbidity, major complication or comorbidity, severity of illness, and risk of mortality assigned to each discharge were abstracted. Data were compared over time by standardizing Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) values for each diagnosis related group and using a CMS base rate reimbursement. Among 458 CEA admissions, postcoding initiative CEA patients (n = 253) had a significantly higher CMI (1.36 vs 1.25; P = .03), CM ($7859 vs $6650; P = .048), and CMS base rate reimbursement ($8955 vs $8258; P = .03) than precoding initiative CEA patients (n = 205). The proportion of admissions with a documented major complication or comorbidity and complication or comorbidity was significantly higher after the coding initiative (43% vs

  5. Optimization approach of background value and initial item for improving prediction precision of GM(1,1) model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yuhong Wang; Qin Liu; Jianrong Tang; Wenbin Cao; Xiaozhong Li

    2014-01-01

    A combination method of optimization of the back-ground value and optimization of the initial item is proposed. The sequences of the unbiased exponential distribution are simulated and predicted through the optimization of the background value in grey differential equations. The principle of the new information priority in the grey system theory and the rationality of the initial item in the original GM(1,1) model are ful y expressed through the improvement of the initial item in the proposed time response function. A numerical example is employed to il ustrate that the proposed method is able to simulate and predict sequences of raw data with the unbiased exponential distribution and has better simulation performance and prediction precision than the original GM(1,1) model relatively.

  6. Academics and Learners’ Perceptions on Blended Learning as a Strategic Initiative to Improve Student Learning Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Adeline Ng Ling

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The increasingly tighter shift of socio-economic constraints on higher education sectors in the recent years has called for greater flexibilities in student learning experience both locally and abroad. To this end, we have recently implemented a Blended Learning Initiative in an attempt to provide better learning support and greater flexibility to our students. This initiative is also in line with the University’s aim of having 50% of our learning and teaching delivered on-line by 2020. In this report, we present our findings on academics and learners’ perceptions on the approach which were obtained through surveys. Results showed that blended learning approach was new to the academics and the factors for successful blended learning implementation were identified. Results also showed that learners appreciated the approach as it made learning more accessible and flexible. Furthermore, they also enjoyed the interesting online activities incorporated into their units. In addition, learners were also able to review and pace their own learning. They also perceived that they have the access to the resources and technical ability to cope with online learning materials and activities. Nonetheless, the survey also revealed that learners still prefer to have academics delivering information to them directly rather than a flipped classroom model. In conclusion, findings from this study provide insights that blended learning could be effective to supplement courses offered by the faculty.

  7. A frequency-domain approach to improve ANNs generalization quality via proper initialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaari, Majdi; Fekih, Afef; Seibi, Abdennour C; Hmida, Jalel Ben

    2018-08-01

    The ability to train a network without memorizing the input/output data, thereby allowing a good predictive performance when applied to unseen data, is paramount in ANN applications. In this paper, we propose a frequency-domain approach to evaluate the network initialization in terms of quality of training, i.e., generalization capabilities. As an alternative to the conventional time-domain methods, the proposed approach eliminates the approximate nature of network validation using an excess of unseen data. The benefits of the proposed approach are demonstrated using two numerical examples, where two trained networks performed similarly on the training and the validation data sets, yet they revealed a significant difference in prediction accuracy when tested using a different data set. This observation is of utmost importance in modeling applications requiring a high degree of accuracy. The efficiency of the proposed approach is further demonstrated on a real-world problem, where unlike other initialization methods, a more conclusive assessment of generalization is achieved. On the practical front, subtle methodological and implementational facets are addressed to ensure reproducibility and pinpoint the limitations of the proposed approach. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Improving access to important recovery information for heart patients with low health literacy: reflections on practice-based initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naccarella, Lucio; Biuso, Catuscia; Jennings, Amanda; Patsamanis, Harry

    2018-05-29

    Evidence exists for the association between health literacy and heart health outcomes. Cardiac rehabilitation is critical for recovery from heart attack and reducing hospital readmissions. Despite this, literacy. This brief case study reflects and documents practice-based initiatives by Heart Foundation Victoria to improve access to recovery information for patients with low literacy levels. Three key initiatives, namely the Six Steps To Cardiac Recovery resource, the Love Your Heart book and the nurse ambassador program, were implemented informed by mixed methods that assessed need and capacity at the individual, organisational and systems levels. Key outcomes included increased access to recovery information for patients with low health literacy, nurse knowledge and confidence to engage with patients on recovery information, improved education of patients and improved availability and accessibility of information for patients in diverse formats. Given the challenges involved in addressing heart health literacy, multifaceted practice-based approaches are essential to improve access to recovery information for patients with low literacy levels. What is known about the topic? Significant challenges exist for patients with lower health literacy receiving recovery information after a heart attack in hospitals. What does this paper add? This case study provides insights into a practice-based initiative by Heart Foundation Victoria to improve access to recovery information for patients with low literacy levels. What are the implications for practitioners? Strategies to improve recovery through increased heart health literacy must address the needs of patients, nursing staff and the health system within hospitals. Such strategies need to be multifaceted and designed to build the capacity of nurses, heart patients and their carers, as well as support from hospital management.

  9. Improving Substance Abuse Treatment: The National Treatment Plan Initiative. Changing the Conversation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (DHHS/PHS), Rockville, MD. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

    This report is the result of five expert panels and six regional public hearings around the country that focused on key persistent issues that have characterized discussions of substance abuse over the years: closing the treatment gap; reducing stigma and changing attitudes; improving and strengthening treatment systems; connecting services and…

  10. Quality initiatives: lean approach to improving performance and efficiency in a radiology department.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruskal, Jonathan B; Reedy, Allen; Pascal, Laurie; Rosen, Max P; Boiselle, Phillip M

    2012-01-01

    Many hospital radiology departments are adopting "lean" methods developed in automobile manufacturing to improve operational efficiency, eliminate waste, and optimize the value of their services. The lean approach, which emphasizes process analysis, has particular relevance to radiology departments, which depend on a smooth flow of patients and uninterrupted equipment function for efficient operation. However, the application of lean methods to isolated problems is not likely to improve overall efficiency or to produce a sustained improvement. Instead, the authors recommend a gradual but continuous and comprehensive "lean transformation" of work philosophy and workplace culture. Fundamental principles that must consistently be put into action to achieve such a transformation include equal involvement of and equal respect for all staff members, elimination of waste, standardization of work processes, improvement of flow in all processes, use of visual cues to communicate and inform, and use of specific tools to perform targeted data collection and analysis and to implement and guide change. Many categories of lean tools are available to facilitate these tasks: value stream mapping for visualizing the current state of a process and identifying activities that add no value; root cause analysis for determining the fundamental cause of a problem; team charters for planning, guiding, and communicating about change in a specific process; management dashboards for monitoring real-time developments; and a balanced scorecard for strategic oversight and planning in the areas of finance, customer service, internal operations, and staff development. © RSNA, 2012.

  11. Science Teacher Education in Australia: Initiatives and Challenges to Improve the Quality of Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treagust, David F.; Won, Mihye; Petersen, Jacinta; Wynne, Georgie

    2015-01-01

    In this article, we describe how teachers in the Australian school system are educated to teach science and the different qualifications that teachers need to enter the profession. The latest comparisons of Australian students in international science assessments have brought about various accountability measures to improve the quality of science…

  12. What Research On Learning Transfer Can Teach About Improving The Impact of Leadership-Development Initiatives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Peter

    2017-01-01

    The worldwide effort to improve organizational performance through leadership Development has been impressive, with huge sums of money being devoted to it each year. Unfortunately, the evaluation of the impact of leadership development has not kept pace, resulting in little evidence-based guidanc...

  13. Engineering plastid fatty acid biosynthesis to improve food quality and biofuel production in higher plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogalski, Marcelo; Carrer, Helaine

    2011-06-01

    The ability to manipulate plant fatty acid biosynthesis by using new biotechnological approaches has allowed the production of transgenic plants with unusual fatty acid profile and increased oil content. This review focuses on the production of very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLCPUFAs) and the increase in oil content in plants using molecular biology tools. Evidences suggest that regular consumption of food rich in VLCPUFAs has multiple positive health benefits. Alternative sources of these nutritional fatty acids are found in cold-water fishes. However, fish stocks are in severe decline because of decades of overfishing, and also fish oils can be contaminated by the accumulation of toxic compounds. Recently, there is also an increase in oilseed use for the production of biofuels. This tendency is partly associated with the rapidly rising costs of petroleum, increased concern about the environmental impact of fossil oil and the attractive need to develop renewable sources of fuel. In contrast to this scenario, oil derived from crop plants is normally contaminant free and less environmentally aggressive. Genetic engineering of the plastid genome (plastome) offers a number of attractive advantages, including high-level foreign protein expression, marker-gene excision and transgene containment because of maternal inheritance of plastid genome in most crops. Here, we describe the possibility to improve fatty acid biosynthesis in plastids, production of new fatty acids and increase their content in plants by genetic engineering of plastid fatty acid biosynthesis via plastid transformation. © 2011 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal © 2011 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. Provincial development of a patient-reported outcome initiative to guide patient care, quality improvement, and research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Robert A; Howard, Fuchsia; Lapointe, Vincent; Schellenberg, Devin; Nichol, Alan; Bowering, Gale; Curtis, Susan; Walter, Allison; Brown, Steven; Thompson, Corinne; Bergin, Jackie; Lomas, Sheri; French, John; Halperin, Ross; Tyldesley, Scott; Beckham, Wayne

    2018-01-01

    The BC Cancer Agency Radiotherapy (RT) program started the Prospective Outcomes and Support Initiative (POSI) at all six centres to utilize patient-reported outcomes for immediate clinical care, quality improvement, and research. Patient-reported outcomes were collected at time of computed tomography simulation via tablet and 2 to 4 weeks post-RT via either tablet or over the phone by a registered nurse. From 2013 to 2016, patients were approached on 20,150 attempts by POSI for patients treated with RT for bone metastases (52%), brain metastases (11%), lung cancer (17%), gynecological cancer (16%), head and neck cancer (2%), and other pilots (2%). The accrual rate for all encounters was 85% (n = 17,101), with the accrual rate varying between the lowest and the highest accruing centre from 78% to 89% ( P < .001) and varying by tumour site ( P < .001). Using the POSI database, we have performed research and quality improvement initiatives that have changed practice.

  15. Alignment of an interprofessional student learning experience with a hospital quality improvement initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, Terri O; Wise, Holly H; Mauldin, Mary P; Ragucci, Kelly R; Scheurer, Danielle B; Su, Zemin; Mauldin, Patrick D; Bailey, Jennifer R; Borckardt, Jeffrey J

    2018-04-11

    Assessment of interprofessional education (IPE) frequently focuses on students' learning outcomes including changes in knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes. While a foundational education in the values and information of their chosen profession is critical, interprofessional learning follows a continuum from formal education to practice. The continuum increases in significance and complexity as learning becomes more relationship based and dependent upon the ability to navigate complex interactions with patients, families, communities, co-workers, and others. Integrating IPE into collaborative practice is critical to enhancing students' experiential learning, developing teamwork competencies, and understanding the complexity of teams. This article describes a project that linked students with a hospital-based quality-improvement effort to focus on the acquisition and practice of teamwork skills and to determine the impact of teamwork on patient and quality outcome measures. A hospital unit was identified with an opportunity for improvement related to quality care, patient satisfaction, employee engagement, and team behaviours. One hundred and thirty-seven students from six health profession colleges at the Medical University of South Carolina underwent TeamSTEPPS® training and demonstrated proficiency of their teamwork-rating skills with the TeamSTEPPS® Team Performance Observation Tool (T-TPO). Students observed real-time team behaviours of unit staff before and after staff attended formal TeamSTEPPS® training. The students collected a total of 778 observations using the T-TPO. Teamwork performance on the unit improved significantly across all T-TPO domains (team structure, communication, leadership, situation monitoring, and mutual support). Significant improvement in each domain continued post-intervention and at 15-month follow-up, improvement remained significant compared to baseline. Student engagement in TeamSTEPPS® training and demonstration of their

  16. Exercise-, nature- and socially interactive-based initiatives improve mood and self-esteem in the clinical population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Jo; Griffin, Murray; Pretty, Jules

    2012-03-01

    This study evaluated two existing group-based health promotion initiatives (a social club and a swimming group) and compared these to a new green exercise programme (weekly countryside and urban park walks). Participants represented a clinical population (N = 53) and were all experiencing a range of mental health problems. They only attended one of the three programmes and sessions were held once a week for six weeks in all initiatives. Composite questionnaires incorporating two standardized measures to analyse changes in self-esteem and mood were completed before and after all sessions. A significant main effect for self-esteem and mood pre and post activity (p self-esteem was significantly greater in the green exercise group compared with the social activities club (p self-esteem and mood levels improved over the six-week period and improvements were related to attendance in the green exercise group. Green exercise as a health-promoting initiative for people experiencing mental ill health is equally as effective as existing programmes. Combining exercise, nature and social components in future initiatives may play a key role in managing and supporting recovery from mental ill health, suggesting a potential 'green' approach to mental healthcare and promotion.

  17. Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency Needs to Improve Assessment and Documentation of Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Initiatives (Redacted)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-09

    E XC E L L E N C E Joint Improvised ‑Threat Defeat Agency Needs to Improve Assessment and Documentation of Counter‑ Improvised Explosive Device...USE ONLY DODIG-2016-120 (Project No. D2015-D000AE-0222.000) │ i Results in Brief Joint Improvised ‑Threat Defeat Agency Needs to Improve Assessment and...Documentation of Counter‑ Improvised Explosive Device Initiatives Visit us at www.dodig.mil Objective Our audit objective was to determine whether

  18. Job-demand for learning and job-related learning: the mediating effect of job performance improvement initiatives

    OpenAIRE

    Loon, M; Bartram, T

    2007-01-01

    This study examined whether job-performance-improvementinitiatives mediate the relationship between individuals’ job-demand for learning and job-related learning. Data were obtained from 115 full-time\\ud employees in a diverse range of occupations. A partial least squares analysis revealed that job-performance-improvement-initiatives mediate partially the effects of job-demand for learning on job-related learning. Several implications\\ud for future research and policy are drawn from the findi...

  19. Engineering melon plants with improved fruit shelf life using the TILLING approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatima Dahmani-Mardas

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Fruit ripening and softening are key traits that have an effect on food supply, fruit nutritional value and consequently, human health. Since ethylene induces ripening of climacteric fruit, it is one of the main targets to control fruit over ripening that leads to fruit softening and deterioration. The characterization of the ethylene pathway in Arabidopsis and tomato identified key genes that control fruit ripening.To engineer melon fruit with improved shelf-life, we conducted a translational research experiment. We set up a TILLING platform in a monoecious and climacteric melon line, cloned genes that control ethylene production and screened for induced mutations that lead to fruits with enhanced shelf life. Two missense mutations, L124F and G194D, of the ethylene biosynthetic enzyme, ACC oxidase 1, were identified and the mutant plants were characterized with respect to fruit maturation. The L124F mutation is a conservative mutation occurring away from the enzyme active site and thus was predicted to not affect ethylene production and thus fruit ripening. In contrast, G194D modification occurs in a highly conserved amino acid position predicted, by crystallographic analysis, to affect the enzymatic activity. Phenotypic analysis of the G194D mutant fruit showed complete delayed ripening and yellowing with improved shelf life and, as predicted, the L124F mutation did not have an effect.We constructed a mutant collection of 4023 melon M2 families. Based on the TILLING of 11 genes, we calculated the overall mutation rate of one mutation every 573 kb and identified 8 alleles per tilled kilobase. We also identified a TILLING mutant with enhanced fruit shelf life. This work demonstrates the effectiveness of TILLING as a reverse genetics tool to improve crop species. As cucurbits are model species in different areas of plant biology, we anticipate that the developed tool will be widely exploited by the scientific community.

  20. Redundancy, resilience, and host specificity of the ruminal microbiota: implications for engineering improved ruminal fermentations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weimer, Paul J.

    2015-01-01

    The ruminal microbial community is remarkably diverse, containing 100s of different bacterial and archaeal species, plus many species of fungi and protozoa. Molecular studies have identified a “core microbiome” dominated by phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, but also containing many other taxa. The rumen provides an ideal laboratory for studies on microbial ecology and the demonstration of ecological principles. In particular, the microbial community demonstrates both redundancy (overlap of function among multiple species) and resilience (resistance to, and capacity to recover from, perturbation). These twin properties provide remarkable stability that maintains digestive function for the host across a range of feeding and management conditions, but they also provide a challenge to engineering the rumen for improved function (e.g., improved fiber utilization or decreased methane production). Direct ruminal dosing or feeding of probiotic strains often fails to establish the added strains, due to intensive competition and amensalism from the indigenous residents that are well-adapted to the historical conditions within each rumen. Known exceptions include introduced strains that can fill otherwise unoccupied niches, as in the case of specialist bacteria that degrade phytotoxins such as mimosine or fluoroacetate. An additional complicating factor in manipulating the ruminal fermentation is the individuality or host specificity of the microbiota, in which individual animals contain a particular community whose species composition is capable of reconstituting itself, even following a near-total exchange of ruminal contents from another herd mate maintained on the same diet. Elucidation of the interactions between the microbial community and the individual host that establish and maintain this specificity may provide insights into why individual hosts vary in production metrics (e.g., feed efficiency or milk fat synthesis), and how to improve herd performance. PMID

  1. Combining metabolic and process engineering strategies to improve recombinant glycoprotein production and quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karengera, Eric; Durocher, Yves; De Crescenzo, Gregory; Henry, Olivier

    2017-11-01

    Increasing recombinant protein production while ensuring a high and consistent protein quality remains a challenge in mammalian cell culture process development. In this work, we combined a nutrient substitution approach with a metabolic engineering strategy that improves glucose utilization efficiency. This combination allowed us to tackle both lactate and ammonia accumulation and investigate on potential synergistic effects on protein production and quality. To this end, HEK293 cells overexpressing the pyruvate yeast carboxylase (PYC2) and their parental cells, both stably producing the therapeutic glycoprotein interferon α2b (IFNα2b), were cultured in media deprived of glutamine but containing chosen substitutes. Among the tested substitutes, pyruvate led to the best improvement in growth (integral of viable cell density) for both cell lines in batch cultures, whereas the culture of PYC2 cells without neither glutamine nor any substitute displayed surprisingly enhanced IFNα2b production. The drastic reduction in both lactate and ammonia in the cultures translated into extended high viability conditions and an increase in recombinant protein titer by up to 47% for the parental cells and the PYC2 cells. Product characterization performed by surface plasmon resonance biosensing using Sambucus nigra (SNA) lectin revealed that the increase in yield was however accompanied by a reduction in the degree of sialylation of the product. Supplementing cultures with glycosylation precursors and a cofactor were effective at counterbalancing the lack of glutamine and allowed improvement in IFNα2b quality as evaluated by lectin affinity. Our study provides a strategy to reconcile protein productivity and quality and highlights the advantages of PYC2-overexpressing cells in glutamine-free conditions.

  2. Leveraging the Partnership for Patients' Initiative to Improve Patient Safety and Quality Within the Military Health System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Heidi B; Kesling, Kimberly; Birk, Carmen; Walker, Theodore; Taylor, Heather; Datena, Michael; Burgess, Brittany; Bower, Lyndsay

    2017-03-01

    Partnership for Patients (PfP) was a national initiative sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to reduce preventable hospital acquired conditions (HACs) by 40% and readmissions (within 30 days) by 20%, by the end of 2013 (as compared to the baseline of CY2010). Along with partners across the nation, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Jonathan Woodson, pledged to support PfP in June 2011. Participation of the Military Health System (MHS) in PfP marked the implementation of the first enterprise-wide patient safety initiative. Three phases of the MHS initiative were developed to meet the aims of the national PfP initiative: (1) Planning and Design, (2) Implementation, and (3) Monitoring and Sustainment. The Planning and Design phase focused on the identification of evidence-based practices (Table III); the development of implementation guides; the implementation of various communication, education, and improvement strategies; and the development of methods by which to track progress and share successes. The implementation phase focused on identifying roles and responsibilities across all levels of care; creating, disseminating, and implementing evidence-based practices at participating military treatment facilities; and establishing a structured learning action network. Finally, during the monitoring and sustainment phase, per the guidance of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an overall HAC rate was developed for quarterly analysis. The HAC rate per 1,000 dispositions (i.e., discharges) was an aggregate of all PfP HACs. Using the HAC rate, the improvement rate was calculated by comparing the current quarter's HAC rate to the baseline (CY2010). This allowed the MHS to track the overall progress across the enterprise. The MHS achieved a number of accomplishments, including a 15.8% cumulative reduction in HACs by the end of 2013, an 11.1% reduction in readmissions

  3. Nonspecialty Nurse Education: Evaluation of the Oncology Intensives Initiative, an Oncology Curriculum to Improve Patient Care

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagley, Kimberly A; Dunn, Sarah E; Chuang, Eliseu Y; Dorr, Victoria J; Thompson, Julie A; Smith, Sophia K

    2018-04-01

    A community hospital combined its medical and surgical patients with cancer on one unit, which resulted in nurses not trained in oncology caring for this patient population. The Oncology Intensives Initiative (ONCii) involved the (a) design and implementation of a daylong didactic boot camp class and a four-hour simulation session and (b) the examination of nurses' worries, attitudes, self-efficacy, and perception of interdisciplinary teamwork. A two-group, pre-/post-test design was implemented. Group 1 consisted of nurses who attended the didactic boot camp classes alone, whereas group 2 was comprised of nurses who attended the didactic boot camp classes and the simulation sessions. Results of data analysis showed a decrease in worries and an increase in positive attitudes toward chemotherapy administration in both groups, as well as an increase in self-efficacy among members of group 2.

  4. The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative 3: Continued innovation for clinical trial improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weiner, Michael W. [Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, CA (United States); Univ. of California, San Francisco, CA (United States); Veitch, Dallas P. [Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, CA (United States); Aisen, Paul S. [Univ. of Southern California, San Diego, CA (United States); Beckett, Laurel A. [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States); Cairns, Nigel J. [Washington Univ. School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO (United States); Green, Robert C. [Brigham and Women' s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States); Harvey, Danielle [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States); Jack, Clifford R. [Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (United States); Jagust, William [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Morris, John C. [Univ. of Southern California, San Diego, CA (United States); Petersen, Ronald C. [Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (United States); Salazar, Jennifer [Univ. of Southern California, San Diego, CA (United States); Saykin, Andrew J. [Indiana Univ. School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN (United States); Shaw, Leslie M. [Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN (United States); Toga, Arthur W. [Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Trojanowski, John Q. [Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (United States)

    2016-12-05

    Overall, the goal of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) is to validate biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease (AD) clinical trials. ADNI-3, which began on August 1, 2016, is a 5-year renewal of the current ADNI-2 study. ADNI-3 will follow current and additional subjects with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment, and AD using innovative technologies such as tau imaging, magnetic resonance imaging sequences for connectivity analyses, and a highly automated immunoassay platform and mass spectroscopy approach for cerebrospinal fluid biomarker analysis. A Systems Biology/pathway approach will be used to identify genetic factors for subject selection/enrichment. Amyloid positron emission tomography scanning will be standardized using the Centiloid method. The Brain Health Registry will help recruit subjects and monitor subject cognition. Multimodal analyses will provide insight into AD pathophysiology and disease progression. Finally, ADNI-3 will aim to inform AD treatment trials and facilitate development of AD disease-modifying treatments.

  5. Overview of human performance improvement initiatives in Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs )

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharma, Ashok Kumar

    2006-01-01

    Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) are very complex systems. Diverse, multiple and redundant technological systems are used for effective control and safety of the NPPs. The increased numbers of such systems require increased operator attention. Additionally, the control stations (man-machine interfaces) are to be kept manageable in size. This sometimes reduces the scope for truly ergonomic design. These limitations, coupled with the shortcomings of human nature, led to unintended human performance problems and errors resulting into poor plant performance worldwide. Some organisational weaknesses, managerial decisions and latent errors also aided and abetted human errors. In view of this, a need was felt for development of performance culture at all levels in NPP organisations. Towards this end, ready-to-use performance improvement tools were developed and used for individual performers, supervisors and managers in the NPPs. This paper describes the experiences of the global nuclear electricity generating industry towards human performance improvement and error reduction. (author)

  6. Standardizing Care and Improving Quality under a Bundled Payment Initiative for Total Joint Arthroplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froemke, Cecily C; Wang, Lian; DeHart, Matthew L; Williamson, Ronda K; Ko, Laura Matsen; Duwelius, Paul J

    2015-10-01

    Increasing demands for episodic bundled payments in total hip and knee arthroplasty are motivating providers to wring out inefficiencies and coordinate services. This study describes a care pathway and gainshare arrangement as the mechanism by which improvements in efficiency were realized under a bundled payment pilot. Analysis of cut-to-close time, LOS, discharge destination, implant cost, and total allowed claims between pre-pilot and pilot cohorts showed an 18% reduction in average LOS (70.8 to 58.2 hours) and a shift from home health and skilled nursing facility discharge to home self-care (54.1% to 63.7%). No significant differences were observed for cut-to-close time and implant cost. Improvements resulted in a 6% reduction in the average total allowed claims per case. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. The application of a "6S Lean" initiative to improve workflow for emergency eye examination rooms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazarali, Samir; Rayat, Jaspreet; Salmonson, Hilary; Moss, Theodora; Mathura, Pamela; Damji, Karim F

    2017-10-01

    Ophthalmology residents on call at the Royal Alexandra Hospital identified workplace disorganization and lack of standardization in emergency eye examination rooms as an impediment to efficient patient treatment. The aim of the study was to use the "6S Lean" model to improve workflow in eye examination rooms at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. With the assistance of quality improvement consultants, the "6S Lean" model was applied to the current operation of the emergency eye clinic examination rooms. This model, considering 8 waste categories, was then used to recommend and implement changes to the examination rooms and to workplace protocols to enhance efficiency and safety. Eye examination rooms were improved with regards to setup, organization of supplies, inventory control, and maintenance. All targets were achieved, and the 5S audit checklist score increased by 33 points from 44 to 77. Implementation of the 6S methodology is a simple approach that removes inefficiencies from the workplace. The ophthalmology clinic removed waste from all 8 waste categories, increased audit results, mitigated patient and resident safety risks, and ultimately redirected resident time back to patient care delivery. Copyright © 2017 Canadian Ophthalmological Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Teaching and educational scholarship in Tanzania: faculty initiative to improve performance of health professions' students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mkony, Charles A; O'Sullivan, Patricia S; Owibingire, Sirra S; Fyfe, Molly V; Omer, Selma; Freeman, Phyllis; Makubi, Abel; Mloka, Doreen A; Portillo, Carmen J; Leyna, Germana H; Tarimo, Edith; Kaaya, Ephata E; Macfarlane, Sarah B

    2012-01-01

    Well-educated and competent health professionals influence the health system in which they work to improve health outcomes, through clinical care and community interventions, and by raising standards of practice and supervision. To prepare these individuals, training institutions must ensure that their faculty members, who design and deliver education, are effective teachers. We describe the experience of the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in encouraging improvements in the teaching capacity of its faculty and postgraduate students triggered by a major institutional transition to competency-based education. We employed a multi-stage process that started by identifying the teaching and learning needs and challenges of MUHAS students and faculty. Collaborating with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), MUHAS responded to these needs by introducing faculty to competency-based curricula and later to strategies for long term continuing improvement. We demonstrate that teaching faculty members are keen for local institutional support to enable them to enhance their skills as educators, and that they have been able to sustain a program of faculty development for their peers.

  9. Improving sensitivity in proteome studies by analysis of false discovery rates for multiple search engines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Andrew R; Siepen, Jennifer A; Hubbard, Simon J; Paton, Norman W

    2009-03-01

    LC-MS experiments can generate large quantities of data, for which a variety of database search engines are available to make peptide and protein identifications. Decoy databases are becoming widely used to place statistical confidence in result sets, allowing the false discovery rate (FDR) to be estimated. Different search engines produce different identification sets so employing more than one search engine could result in an increased number of peptides (and proteins) being identified, if an appropriate mechanism for combining data can be defined. We have developed a search engine independent score, based on FDR, which allows peptide identifications from different search engines to be combined, called the FDR Score. The results demonstrate that the observed FDR is significantly different when analysing the set of identifications made by all three search engines, by each pair of search engines or by a single search engine. Our algorithm assigns identifications to groups according to the set of search engines that have made the identification, and re-assigns the score (combined FDR Score). The combined FDR Score can differentiate between correct and incorrect peptide identifications with high accuracy, allowing on average 35% more peptide identifications to be made at a fixed FDR than using a single search engine.

  10. Application of thermal barrier coating for improving the suitability of Annona biodiesel in a diesel engine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramalingam Senthil

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Annona biodiesel was produced from Annona oil through transesterification process. The aim of the present study is to analyze the performance and emission characteristics of a single cylinder, direct injection, compression ignition engine using a annona methyl ester as a fuel. They are blended together with the Neat diesel fuel such as 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and Neat biodiesel. The performance, emission and combustion characteristics are evaluated by operating the engine at different loads. The performance parameters such as brake thermal efficiency, brake specific fuel consumption. The emission constituents such as carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, and smoke were recorded. Then the piston and both exhaust and intake valves of the test engine were coated with 100 µm of NiCrAl as lining layer. Later the same parts were coated with 400 µm material of coating that was the mixture of 88% of ZrO2, 4% of MgO, and 8% of Al2O3. After the engine coating process, the same fuels is tested in the engine at the same engine operation. The same performance and emission parameters were evaluated. Finally, these parameters are compared with uncoated engine in order to find out the changes in the performance and emission parameters of the coated engine. It is concluded that the coating engine resulting in better performance, especially in considerably lower brake specific fuel consumption values. The engine emissions are lowered both through coating and annona methyl ester biodiesel expect the nitrogen oxides emission.

  11. IMPLEMENTATION OF DIOXANE AND DIESEL FUEL BLENDS TO REDUCE EMISSION AND TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE OF THE COMPRESSION IGNITION ENGINE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SENDILVELAN S.

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Performance of a compression ignition engine fuelled with 1, 4 Dioxane- diesel blends is evaluated. A single-cylinder, air-cooled, direct injection diesel engine developing a power output of 5.2 kW at 1500 rev/min is used. Base data is generated with standard diesel fuel subsequently; five fuel blends namely 90:10, 80:20, 70:30, 60:40 and 50:50 percentages by volume of diesel and dioxane were prepared and tested in the diesel engine. Engine performance and emission data were used to optimize the blends for reducing emission and improving performance. Results show improved performance with B10 blends compared to neat fuel for all conditions of the engine. Other blends recorded marginal decrease in brake thermal efficiency. The maximum efficiency for B30, B50 blends at peak load are 26.3%, 25.2% respectively against 29.1% for sole fuel. NOx emissions were found to be high or the blends. Peak pressure and rate of pressure rise are increased with increase in dioxane ratio due to improved combustion rate. Heat release pattern shows higher premixed combustion rate with the blends. Higher ignition delay and lower combustion duration are found with all blends than neat diesel fuel.

  12. CALCULATION OF MAGNETIC CHARACTERISTICS OF TRACTION ELECTRIC ENGINE WITH THE USE OF IMPROVED UNIVERSAL MAGNETIC CHARACTERISTICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Y. Drubetskyi

    2017-06-01

    for determining the saturation coefficient for an improved UMC at any degree of attenuation of excitation is also proposed. Due to the introduction of an excitation winding as an argument, there is no need to determine the approximation coefficients for each specific TEM. Practical value. The developed methodology let calculate magnetic characteristics of uncompensated REMs for any degree of attenuation of excitation. On the basis of this technique, it is possible to develop a technique for determining the inductive parameters of the TEM, using the saturation coefficient of the machine as initial data.

  13. Postgraduate Education in Quality Improvement Methods: Initial Results of the Fellows' Applied Quality Training (FAQT) Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winchester, David E; Burkart, Thomas A; Choi, Calvin Y; McKillop, Matthew S; Beyth, Rebecca J; Dahm, Phillipp

    2016-06-01

    Training in quality improvement (QI) is a pillar of the next accreditation system of the Accreditation Committee on Graduate Medical Education and a growing expectation of physicians for maintenance of certification. Despite this, many postgraduate medical trainees are not receiving training in QI methods. We created the Fellows Applied Quality Training (FAQT) curriculum for cardiology fellows using both didactic and applied components with the goal of increasing confidence to participate in future QI projects. Fellows completed didactic training from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Open School and then designed and completed a project to improve quality of care or patient safety. Self-assessments were completed by the fellows before, during, and after the first year of the curriculum. The primary outcome for our curriculum was the median score reported by the fellows regarding their self-confidence to complete QI activities. Self-assessments were completed by 23 fellows. The majority of fellows (15 of 23, 65.2%) reported no prior formal QI training. Median score on baseline self-assessment was 3.0 (range, 1.85-4), which was significantly increased to 3.27 (range, 2.23-4; P = 0.004) on the final assessment. The distribution of scores reported by the fellows indicates that 30% were slightly confident at conducting QI activities on their own, which was reduced to 5% after completing the FAQT curriculum. An interim assessment was conducted after the fellows completed didactic training only; median scores were not different from the baseline (mean, 3.0; P = 0.51). After completion of the FAQT, cardiology fellows reported higher self-confidence to complete QI activities. The increase in self-confidence seemed to be limited to the applied component of the curriculum, with no significant change after the didactic component.

  14. A crisis management quality improvement initiative in a children's psychiatric hospital: design, implementation, and outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paccione-Dyszlewski, Margaret R; Conelea, Christine A; Heisler, Walter C; Vilardi, Jodie C; Sachs, Henry T

    2012-07-01

    Behavioral crisis management, including the use of seclusion and restraint, is the most high risk process in the psychiatric care of children and adolescents. The authors describe hospital-wide programmatic changes implemented at a children's psychiatric hospital that aimed to improve the quality of crisis management services. Pre/post quantitative and qualitative data suggest reduced restraint and seclusion use, reduced patient and staff injury related to crisis management, and increased patient satisfaction during the post-program period. Factors deemed beneficial in program implementation are discussed.

  15. The human milk project: a quality improvement initiative to increase human milk consumption in very low birth weight infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Laura; Auer, Christine; Smith, Carrie; Schoettker, Pamela J; Pruett, Raymond; Shah, Nilesh Y; Kotagal, Uma R

    2012-08-01

    Human milk has well-established health benefits for preterm infants. We conducted a multidisciplinary quality improvement effort aimed at providing at least 500 mL of human milk/kg in the first 14 days of life to very low birth weight (VLBW) (milk program, and twice-daily physician evaluation of infants' ability to tolerate feedings. The number of infants receiving at least 500 mL of human milk/kg in their first 14 days of life increased from 50% to 80% within 11 months of implementation, and this increase has been sustained for 4 years. Infants who met the feeding goal because they received donor milk increased each year. Since September 2007, infants have received, on average, 1,111 mL of human milk/kg. Approximately 4% of infants did not receive any human milk. Respiratory instability was the most frequent physiological reason given by clinicians for not initiating or advancing feedings in the first 14 days of life. Our quality improvement initiative resulted in a higher consumption of human milk in VLBW infants in the first 14 days of life. Other clinicians can use these described quality improvement methods and techniques to improve their VLBW babies' consumption of human milk.

  16. Medical Image Visual Appearance Improvement Using Bihistogram Bezier Curve Contrast Enhancement: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, Hong-Seng; Swee, Tan Tian; Abdul Karim, Ahmad Helmy; Sayuti, Khairil Amir; Abdul Kadir, Mohammed Rafiq; Tham, Weng-Kit; Wong, Liang-Xuan; Chaudhary, Kashif T.; Yupapin, Preecha P.

    2014-01-01

    Well-defined image can assist user to identify region of interest during segmentation. However, complex medical image is usually characterized by poor tissue contrast and low background luminance. The contrast improvement can lift image visual quality, but the fundamental contrast enhancement methods often overlook the sudden jump problem. In this work, the proposed bihistogram Bezier curve contrast enhancement introduces the concept of “adequate contrast enhancement” to overcome sudden jump problem in knee magnetic resonance image. Since every image produces its own intensity distribution, the adequate contrast enhancement checks on the image's maximum intensity distortion and uses intensity discrepancy reduction to generate Bezier transform curve. The proposed method improves tissue contrast and preserves pertinent knee features without compromising natural image appearance. Besides, statistical results from Fisher's Least Significant Difference test and the Duncan test have consistently indicated that the proposed method outperforms fundamental contrast enhancement methods to exalt image visual quality. As the study is limited to relatively small image database, future works will include a larger dataset with osteoarthritic images to assess the clinical effectiveness of the proposed method to facilitate the image inspection. PMID:24977191

  17. Community pharmacy patient perceptions of a pharmacy-initiated mobile technology app to improve adherence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiDonato, Kristen L; Liu, Yifei; Lindsey, Cameron C; Hartwig, David Matthew; Stoner, Steven C

    2015-10-01

    To determine patient perceptions of using a demonstration application (app) of mobile technology to improve medication adherence and to identify desired features to assist in the management of medications. A qualitative study using key informant interviews was conducted in a community pharmacy chain for patients aged 50 and older, on statin therapy and owning a smart device. Three main themes emerged from 24 interviews at four pharmacy locations, which included benefits, barriers and desired features of the app. Benefits such as accessibility, privacy, pros of appearance and beneficiaries were more likely to lead to usage of the app. Barriers that might prevent usage of the app were related to concerns of appearance, the burden it might cause for others, cost, privacy, motivation and reliability. Specific features patients desired were categorized under appearance, customization, communication, functionality, input and the app platform. Patients provided opinions about using a mobile app to improve medication adherence and assist with managing medications. Patients envisioned the app within their lifestyle and expressed important considerations, identifying benefits to using this technology and voicing relevant concerns. App developers can use patient perceptions to guide development of a mobile app addressing patient medication-related needs. © 2015 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

  18. Medical Image Visual Appearance Improvement Using Bihistogram Bezier Curve Contrast Enhancement: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Seng Gan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Well-defined image can assist user to identify region of interest during segmentation. However, complex medical image is usually characterized by poor tissue contrast and low background luminance. The contrast improvement can lift image visual quality, but the fundamental contrast enhancement methods often overlook the sudden jump problem. In this work, the proposed bi