WorldWideScience

Sample records for improve spectral quality

  1. Improving image quality in portal venography with spectral CT imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, Li-qin; He, Wen; Li, Jian-ying; Chen, Jiang-hong; Wang, Ke-yang; Tan, Li

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the effect of energy spectral CT on the image quality of CT portal venography in cirrhosis patients. Materials and methods: 30 portal hypertension patients underwent spectral CT examination using a single-tube, fast dual tube voltage switching technique. 101 sets of monochromatic images were generated from 40 keV to 140 keV. Image noise and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) for portal veins from the monochromatic images were measured. An optimal monochromatic image set was selected for obtaining the best CNR for portal veins. The image noise and CNR of the intra-hepatic portal vein and extra-hepatic main stem at the selected monochromatic level were compared with those from the conventional polychromatic images. Image quality was also assessed and compared. Results: The monochromatic images at 51 keV were found to provide the best CNR for both the intra-hepatic and extra-hepatic portal veins. At this energy level, the monochromatic images had about 100% higher CNR than the polychromatic images with a moderate 30% noise increase. The qualitative image quality assessment was also statistically higher with monochromatic images at 51 keV. Conclusion: Monochromatic images at 51 keV for CT portal venography could improve CNR for displaying hepatic portal veins and improve the overall image quality.

  2. Improving image quality in portal venography with spectral CT imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, Li-qin, E-mail: zhaolqzr@sohu.com [Department of Radiology, Beijing Friendship Hospital Affiliated to Capital Medical University, Beijing,100050 (China); He, Wen, E-mail: hewen1724@sina.com [Department of Radiology, Beijing Friendship Hospital Affiliated to Capital Medical University, Beijing,100050 (China); Li, Jian-ying, E-mail: jianying.li@med.ge.com [CT Advanced Application and Research, GE Healthcare, 100176 China (China); Chen, Jiang-hong, E-mail: chenjianghong1973@hotmail.com [Department of Radiology, Beijing Friendship Hospital Affiliated to Capital Medical University, Beijing,100050 (China); Wang, Ke-yang, E-mail: ke7ke@sina.com [Department of Radiology, Beijing Friendship Hospital Affiliated to Capital Medical University, Beijing,100050 (China); Tan, Li, E-mail: Litan@ge.com [CT product, GE Healthcare, 100176 China (China)

    2012-08-15

    Objective: To investigate the effect of energy spectral CT on the image quality of CT portal venography in cirrhosis patients. Materials and methods: 30 portal hypertension patients underwent spectral CT examination using a single-tube, fast dual tube voltage switching technique. 101 sets of monochromatic images were generated from 40 keV to 140 keV. Image noise and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) for portal veins from the monochromatic images were measured. An optimal monochromatic image set was selected for obtaining the best CNR for portal veins. The image noise and CNR of the intra-hepatic portal vein and extra-hepatic main stem at the selected monochromatic level were compared with those from the conventional polychromatic images. Image quality was also assessed and compared. Results: The monochromatic images at 51 keV were found to provide the best CNR for both the intra-hepatic and extra-hepatic portal veins. At this energy level, the monochromatic images had about 100% higher CNR than the polychromatic images with a moderate 30% noise increase. The qualitative image quality assessment was also statistically higher with monochromatic images at 51 keV. Conclusion: Monochromatic images at 51 keV for CT portal venography could improve CNR for displaying hepatic portal veins and improve the overall image quality.

  3. Selecting optimal monochromatic level with spectral CT imaging for improving imaging quality in hepatic venography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun Jun; Luo Xianfu; Wang Shou'an; Wang Jun; Sun Jiquan; Wang Zhijun; Wu Jingtao

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the effect of spectral CT monochromatic images for improving imaging quality in hepatic venography. Methods: Thirty patients underwent spectral CT examination on a GE Discovery CT 750 HD scanner. During portal phase, 1.25 mm slice thickness polychromatic images and optimal monochromatic images were obtained, and volume rendering and maximum intensity projection were created to show the hepatic veins respectively. The overall imaging quality was evaluated on a five-point scale by two radiologists. Inter-observer agreement in subjective image quality grading was assessed by Kappa statistics. Paired-sample t test were used to compare hepatic vein attenuation, hepatic parenchyma attenuation, CT value difference between the hepatic vein and the liver parenchyma, image noise, vein-to-liver contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), the image quality score of hepatic venography between the two image data sets. Results: The monochromatic images at 50 keV were found to demonstrate the best CNR for hepatic vein.The hepatic vein attenuation [(329 ± 47) HU], hepatic parenchyma attenuation [(178 ± 33) HU], CT value difference between the hepatic vein and the liver parenchyma [(151 ± 33) HU], image noise (17.33 ± 4.18), CNR (9.13 ± 2.65), the image quality score (4.2 ± 0.6) of optimal monochromatic images were significantly higher than those of polychromatic images [(149 ± 18) HU], [(107 ± 14) HU], [(43 ±11) HU], 12.55 ± 3.02, 3.53 ± 1.03, 3.1 ± 0.8 (t values were 24.79, 13.95, 18.85, 9.07, 13.25 and 12.04, respectively, P < 0.01). In the comparison of image quality, Kappa value was 0.81 with optimal monochromatic images and 0.69 with polychromatic images. Conclusion: Monochromatic images of spectral CT could improve CNR for displaying hepatic vein and improve the image quality compared to the conventional polychromatic images. (authors)

  4. Combined MRI and MRS in prostate cancer: improvement of spectral quality by susceptibility matching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheidler, J; Vogel, M; Gross, P; Heuck, A

    2009-06-01

    Local magnetic field inhomogeneity caused by susceptibility artifacts due to air in the endorectal coil substantially degrades the quality of 3D MR spectroscopic imaging (3D-MRSI). Perflubron (PFB) has magnetic susceptibility similar to that of human tissue. We prospectively assessed the effect of susceptibility matching using PFB on in vivo prostate (1)H-3D-MRSI. Ninety-one consecutive patients referred for 3D-MRSI were examined using air and PFB as the filling agent for endorectal coils at 1.5T with an identically placed PRESS box and sat bands. Solely auto-shim without additional manual shimming was used. The full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the water peak was statistically compared with a paired t-test. The spectral quality was visually evaluated for the definition of metabolite peaks and for the citrate peak split (duplet). The MR image quality was rated on a five-point scale. FWHM was significantly less (p PFB (mean 9.0 +/- 3.3, range 3 - 20) than air (mean 14.9 +/- 4.2, range 6 - 26) in 85/91 patients (93%). The spectral quality markedly improved using PFB and frequently the duplet of the citrate peak was able to be identified. Image quality ratings were similar (mean rating PFB 4.2, air 4.3 points). Omitting manual shimming led to a time savings of 4 min. per study. 3D-MRSI using PFB for susceptibility matching benefits from significantly better local field homogeneity, thus providing improved spectra quality. Combined with a substantial time savings in data acquisition, this may increase the clinical utilization of 3D-MRSI in patients with prostate cancer.

  5. Spectral Band Characterization for Hyperspectral Monitoring of Water Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermillion, Stephanie C.; Raqueno, Rolando; Simmons, Rulon

    2001-01-01

    A method for selecting the set of spectral characteristics that provides the smallest increase in prediction error is of interest to those using hyperspectral imaging (HSI) to monitor water quality. The spectral characteristics of interest to these applications are spectral bandwidth and location. Three water quality constituents of interest that are detectable via remote sensing are chlorophyll (CHL), total suspended solids (TSS), and colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM). Hyperspectral data provides a rich source of information regarding the content and composition of these materials, but often provides more data than an analyst can manage. This study addresses the spectral characteristics need for water quality monitoring for two reasons. First, determination of the greatest contribution of these spectral characteristics would greatly improve computational ease and efficiency. Second, understanding the spectral capabilities of different spectral resolutions and specific regions is an essential part of future system development and characterization. As new systems are developed and tested, water quality managers will be asked to determine sensor specifications that provide the most accurate and efficient water quality measurements. We address these issues using data from the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) and a set of models to predict constituent concentrations.

  6. Combined MRI and MRS in prostate cancer. Improvement of spectral quality by susceptibility matching

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scheidler, J.; Heuck, A. [Radiologisches Zentrum Muenchen-Pasing (Germany). Radiologie; Vogel, M.; Gross, P. [GE Global Research (Germany)

    2009-06-15

    Purpose: local magnetic field inhomogeneity caused by susceptibility artifacts due to air in the endorectal coil substantially degrades the quality of 3D MR spectroscopic imaging (3D-MRSI). Perflubron (PFB) has magnetic susceptibility similar to that of human tissue. We prospectively assessed the effect of susceptibility matching using PFB on in vivo prostate {sup 1}H-3D-MRSI. Materials and methods: ninety-one consecutive patients referred for 3D-MRSI were examined using air and PFB as the filling agent for endorectal coils at 1.5T with an identically placed PRESS box and sat bands. Solely auto-shim without additional manual shimming was used. The full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the water peak was statistically compared with a paired t-test. The spectral quality was visually evaluated for the definition of metabolite peaks and for the citrate peak split (duplet). The MR image quality was rated on a five-point scale. Results: FWHM was significantly less (p < 0.001) using PFB (mean 9.0 {+-} 3.3, range 3 - 20) than air (mean 14.9 {+-} 4.2, range 6 - 26) in 85/91 patients (93%). The spectral quality markedly improved using PFB and frequently the duplet of the citrate peak was able to be identified. Image quality ratings were similar (mean rating PFB 4.2, air 4.3 points). Omitting manual shimming led to a time savings of 4 min. per study. (orig.)

  7. Combined MRI and MRS in prostate cancer. Improvement of spectral quality by susceptibility matching

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scheidler, J.; Heuck, A.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: local magnetic field inhomogeneity caused by susceptibility artifacts due to air in the endorectal coil substantially degrades the quality of 3D MR spectroscopic imaging (3D-MRSI). Perflubron (PFB) has magnetic susceptibility similar to that of human tissue. We prospectively assessed the effect of susceptibility matching using PFB on in vivo prostate 1 H-3D-MRSI. Materials and methods: ninety-one consecutive patients referred for 3D-MRSI were examined using air and PFB as the filling agent for endorectal coils at 1.5T with an identically placed PRESS box and sat bands. Solely auto-shim without additional manual shimming was used. The full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the water peak was statistically compared with a paired t-test. The spectral quality was visually evaluated for the definition of metabolite peaks and for the citrate peak split (duplet). The MR image quality was rated on a five-point scale. Results: FWHM was significantly less (p < 0.001) using PFB (mean 9.0 ± 3.3, range 3 - 20) than air (mean 14.9 ± 4.2, range 6 - 26) in 85/91 patients (93%). The spectral quality markedly improved using PFB and frequently the duplet of the citrate peak was able to be identified. Image quality ratings were similar (mean rating PFB 4.2, air 4.3 points). Omitting manual shimming led to a time savings of 4 min. per study. (orig.)

  8. (LMRG): Microscope Resolution, Objective Quality, Spectral Accuracy and Spectral Un-mixing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayles, Carol J.; Cole, Richard W.; Eason, Brady; Girard, Anne-Marie; Jinadasa, Tushare; Martin, Karen; McNamara, George; Opansky, Cynthia; Schulz, Katherine; Thibault, Marc; Brown, Claire M.

    2012-01-01

    The second study by the LMRG focuses on measuring confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM) resolution, objective lens quality, spectral imaging accuracy and spectral un-mixing. Affordable test samples for each aspect of the study were designed, prepared and sent to 116 labs from 23 countries across the globe. Detailed protocols were designed for the three tests and customized for most of the major confocal instruments being used by the study participants. One protocol developed for measuring resolution and objective quality was recently published in Nature Protocols (Cole, R. W., T. Jinadasa, et al. (2011). Nature Protocols 6(12): 1929–1941). The first study involved 3D imaging of sub-resolution fluorescent microspheres to determine the microscope point spread function. Results of the resolution studies as well as point spread function quality (i.e. objective lens quality) from 140 different objective lenses will be presented. The second study of spectral accuracy looked at the reflection of the laser excitation lines into the spectral detection in order to determine the accuracy of these systems to report back the accurate laser emission wavelengths. Results will be presented from 42 different spectral confocal systems. Finally, samples with double orange beads (orange core and orange coating) were imaged spectrally and the imaging software was used to un-mix fluorescence signals from the two orange dyes. Results from 26 different confocal systems will be summarized. Time will be left to discuss possibilities for the next LMRG study.

  9. Color quality improvement of reconstructed images in color digital holography using speckle method and spectral estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funamizu, Hideki; Onodera, Yusei; Aizu, Yoshihisa

    2018-05-01

    In this study, we report color quality improvement of reconstructed images in color digital holography using the speckle method and the spectral estimation. In this technique, an object is illuminated by a speckle field and then an object wave is produced, while a plane wave is used as a reference wave. For three wavelengths, the interference patterns of two coherent waves are recorded as digital holograms on an image sensor. Speckle fields are changed by moving a ground glass plate in an in-plane direction, and a number of holograms are acquired to average the reconstructed images. After the averaging process of images reconstructed from multiple holograms, we use the Wiener estimation method for obtaining spectral transmittance curves in reconstructed images. The color reproducibility in this method is demonstrated and evaluated using a Macbeth color chart film and staining cells of onion.

  10. Spectral Slope as an Indicator of Pasture Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Lugassi

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we develop a spectral method for assessment of pasture quality based only on the spectral information obtained with a small number of wavelengths. First, differences in spectral behavior were identified across the near infrared–shortwave infrared spectral range that were indicative of changes in chemical properties. Then, slopes across different spectral ranges were calculated and correlated with the changes in crude protein (CP, neutral detergent fiber (NDF and metabolic energy concentration (MEC. Finally, partial least squares (PLS regression analysis was applied to identify the optimal spectral ranges for accurate assessment of CP, NDF and MEC. Six spectral domains and a set of slope criteria for real-time evaluation of pasture quality were suggested. The evaluation of three level categories (low, medium, high for these three parameters showed a success rate of: 73%–96% for CP, 72%–87% for NDF and 60%–85% for MEC. Moreover, only one spectral range, 1748–1764 nm, was needed to provide a good estimation of CP, NDF and MEC. Importantly, five of the six selected spectral regions were not affected by water absorbance. With some modifications, this rationale can be applied to further analyses of pasture quality from airborne sensors.

  11. [Study on the arc spectral information for welding quality diagnosis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhi-Yong; Gu, Xiao-Yan; Li, Huan; Yang, Li-Jun

    2009-03-01

    Through collecting the spectral signals of TIG and MIG welding arc with spectrometer, the arc light radiations were analyzed based on the basic theory of plasma physics. The radiation of welding arc distributes over a broad range of frequency, from infrared to ultraviolet. The arc spectrum is composed of line spectra and continuous spectra. Due to the variation of metal density in the welding arc, there is great difference between the welding arc spectra of TIG and MIG in both their intensity and distribution. The MIG welding arc provides more line spectra of metal and the intensity of radiation is greater than TIG. The arc spectrum of TIG welding is stable during the welding process, disturbance factors that cause the spectral variations can be reflected by the spectral line related to the corresponding element entering the welding arc. The arc spectrum of MIG welding will fluctuate severely due to droplet transfer, which produces "noise" in the line spectrum aggregation zone. So for MIG welding, the spectral zone lacking spectral line is suitable for welding quality diagnosis. According to the characteristic of TIG and MIG, special spectral zones were selected for welding quality diagnosis. For TIG welding, the selected zone is in ultraviolet zone (230-300 nm). For MIG welding, the selected zone is in visible zone (570-590 nm). With the basic theory provided for welding quality diagnosis, the integral intensity of spectral signal in the selected zone of welding process with disturbing factor was studied to prove the theory. The results show that the welding quality and disturbance factors can be diagnosed with good signal to noise ratio in the selected spectral zone compared with signal in other spectral zone. The spectral signal can be used for real-time diagnosis of the welding quality.

  12. Improving beam spectral and spatial quality by double-foil target in laser ion acceleration for ion-driven fast ignition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang, Chenkun; Albright, Brian J.

    2010-01-01

    Mid-Z ion driven fast ignition inertial fusion requires ion beams of 100s of MeV energy and < 10% energy spread. An overdense run-scale foil target driven by a high intensity laser pulse can produce an ion beam that has attractive properties for this application. The Break Out Afterburner (BOA) is one laser-ion acceleration mechanism proposed to generate such beams, however the late stages of the BOA tend to produce too large of an energy spread. The spectral and spatial qualities of the beam quickly evolve as the ion beam and co-moving electrons continue to interact with the laser. Here we show how use of a second target foil placed behind a nm-scale foil can substantially reduce the temperature of the co-moving electrons and improve the ion beam energy spread. Particle-In-Cell simulations reveal the dynamics of the ion beam under control. Optimal conditions for improving the spectral and spatial spread of the ion beam is explored for current laser and target parameters, leading to generation of ion beams of energy 100s of MeV and 6% energy spread, a vital step for realizing ion-driven fast ignition.

  13. The optimal monochromatic spectral computed tomographic imaging plus adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction algorithm can improve the superior mesenteric vessel image quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yin, Xiao-Ping; Zuo, Zi-Wei; Xu, Ying-Jin; Wang, Jia-Ning [CT/MRI room, Affiliated Hospital of Hebei University, Baoding, Hebei, 071000 (China); Liu, Huai-Jun, E-mail: hebeiliu@outlook.com [Department of Medical Imaging, The Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, 050000 (China); Liang, Guang-Lu [CT/MRI room, Affiliated Hospital of Hebei University, Baoding, Hebei, 071000 (China); Gao, Bu-Lang, E-mail: browngao@163.com [Department of Medical Research, Shijiazhuang First Hospital, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, 050011 (China)

    2017-04-15

    Objective: To investigate the effect of the optimal monochromatic spectral computed tomography (CT) plus adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction on the improvement of the image quality of the superior mesenteric artery and vein. Materials and methods: The gemstone spectral CT angiographic data of 25 patients were reconstructed in the following three groups: 70 KeV, the optimal monochromatic imaging, and the optimal monochromatic plus 40%iterative reconstruction mode. The CT value, image noises (IN), background CT value and noises, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and image scores of the vessels and surrounding tissues were analyzed. Results: In the 70 KeV, the optimal monochromatic and the optimal monochromatic images plus 40% iterative reconstruction group, the mean scores of image quality were 3.86, 4.24 and 4.25 for the superior mesenteric artery and 3.46, 3.78 and 3.81 for the superior mesenteric vein, respectively. The image quality scores for the optimal monochromatic and the optimal monochromatic plus 40% iterative reconstruction groups were significantly greater than for the 70 KeV group (P < 0.05). The vascular CT value, image noise, background noise, CNR and SNR were significantly (P < 0.001) greater in the optimal monochromatic and the optimal monochromatic images plus 40% iterative reconstruction group than in the 70 KeV group. The optimal monochromatic plus 40% iterative reconstruction group had significantly (P < 0.05) lower image and background noise but higher CNR and SNR than the other two groups. Conclusion: The optimal monochromatic imaging combined with 40% iterative reconstruction using low-contrast agent dosage and low injection rate can significantly improve the image quality of the superior mesenteric artery and vein.

  14. [Fast Detection of Camellia Sinensis Growth Process and Tea Quality Informations with Spectral Technology: A Review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Ji-yu; Song, Xing-lin; Liu, Fei; Bao, Yi-dan; He, Yong

    2016-03-01

    The research achievements and trends of spectral technology in fast detection of Camellia sinensis growth process information and tea quality information were being reviewed. Spectral technology is a kind of fast, nondestructive, efficient detection technology, which mainly contains infrared spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy. The rapid detection of Camellia sinensis growth process information and tea quality is helpful to realize the informatization and automation of tea production and ensure the tea quality and safety. This paper provides a review on its applications containing the detection of tea (Camellia sinensis) growing status(nitrogen, chlorophyll, diseases and insect pest), the discrimination of tea varieties, the grade discrimination of tea, the detection of tea internal quality (catechins, total polyphenols, caffeine, amino acid, pesticide residual and so on), the quality evaluation of tea beverage and tea by-product, the machinery of tea quality determination and discrimination. This paper briefly introduces the trends of the technology of the determination of tea growth process information, sensor and industrial application. In conclusion, spectral technology showed high potential to detect Camellia sinensis growth process information, to predict tea internal quality and to classify tea varieties and grades. Suitable chemometrics and preprocessing methods is helpful to improve the performance of the model and get rid of redundancy, which provides the possibility to develop the portable machinery. Future work is to develop the portable machinery and on-line detection system is recommended to improve the further application. The application and research achievement of spectral technology concerning about tea were outlined in this paper for the first time, which contained Camellia sinensis growth, tea production, the quality and safety of tea and by-produce and so on, as well as some problems to be solved

  15. Robust and transferable quantification of NMR spectral quality using IROC analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zambrello, Matthew A.; Maciejewski, Mark W.; Schuyler, Adam D.; Weatherby, Gerard; Hoch, Jeffrey C.

    2017-12-01

    Non-Fourier methods are increasingly utilized in NMR spectroscopy because of their ability to handle nonuniformly-sampled data. However, non-Fourier methods present unique challenges due to their nonlinearity, which can produce nonrandom noise and render conventional metrics for spectral quality such as signal-to-noise ratio unreliable. The lack of robust and transferable metrics (i.e. applicable to methods exhibiting different nonlinearities) has hampered comparison of non-Fourier methods and nonuniform sampling schemes, preventing the identification of best practices. We describe a novel method, in situ receiver operating characteristic analysis (IROC), for characterizing spectral quality based on the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve. IROC utilizes synthetic signals added to empirical data as "ground truth", and provides several robust scalar-valued metrics for spectral quality. This approach avoids problems posed by nonlinear spectral estimates, and provides a versatile quantitative means of characterizing many aspects of spectral quality. We demonstrate applications to parameter optimization in Fourier and non-Fourier spectral estimation, critical comparison of different methods for spectrum analysis, and optimization of nonuniform sampling schemes. The approach will accelerate the discovery of optimal approaches to nonuniform sampling experiment design and non-Fourier spectrum analysis for multidimensional NMR.

  16. An integrated scheme to improve pan-sharpening visual quality of satellite images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.K. Helmy

    2015-03-01

    In experiments with IKONOS, Quick Bird and GeoEye satellite data, we demonstrated that our scheme has good spectral quality and efficiency. Spectral and spatial quality metrics in terms of SAM, RASE, RMSE, CC, ERGAS and QNR are used in our experiments. We compared our scheme with the state-of-the-art pan-sharpening techniques and found that our new scheme improved quantitative and qualitative results.

  17. [An improved low spectral distortion PCA fusion method].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Shi; Zhang, Ai-Wu; Li, Han-Lun; Hu, Shao-Xing; Meng, Xian-Gang; Sun, Wei-Dong

    2013-10-01

    Aiming at the spectral distortion produced in PCA fusion process, the present paper proposes an improved low spectral distortion PCA fusion method. This method uses NCUT (normalized cut) image segmentation algorithm to make a complex hyperspectral remote sensing image into multiple sub-images for increasing the separability of samples, which can weaken the spectral distortions of traditional PCA fusion; Pixels similarity weighting matrix and masks were produced by using graph theory and clustering theory. These masks are used to cut the hyperspectral image and high-resolution image into some sub-region objects. All corresponding sub-region objects between the hyperspectral image and high-resolution image are fused by using PCA method, and all sub-regional integration results are spliced together to produce a new image. In the experiment, Hyperion hyperspectral data and Rapid Eye data were used. And the experiment result shows that the proposed method has the same ability to enhance spatial resolution and greater ability to improve spectral fidelity performance.

  18. Spectral characterization in deep UV of an improved imaging KDP acousto-optic tunable filter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gupta, Neelam; Voloshinov, Vitaly

    2014-01-01

    Recently, we developed a number of high quality noncollinear acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF) cells in different birefringent materials with UV imaging capability. Cells based on a single crystal of KDP (potassium dihydrophosphate) had the best transmission efficiency and the optical throughput needed to acquire high quality spectral images at wavelengths above 220 nm. One of the main limitations of these imaging filters was their small angular aperture in air, limited to about 1.0°. In this paper, we describe an improved imaging KDP AOTF operating from the deep UV to the visible region of the spectrum. The linear and angular apertures of the new filter are 10 × 10 mm 2 and 1.8°, respectively. The spectral tuning range is 205–430 nm with a 60 cm −1 spectral resolution. We describe the filter and present experimental results on imaging using both a broadband source and a number of light emitting diodes (LEDs) in the UV, and include the measured spectra of these LEDs obtained with a collinear SiO 2 filter-based spectrometer operating above 255 nm. (paper)

  19. Regulation of assimilate partitioning by daylength and spectral quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Britz, S.J. [USDA-Climate Stress Lab., Beltsville, MD (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Photosynthesis is the process by which plants utilize light energy to assimilate and transform carbon dioxide into products that support growth and development. The preceding review provides an excellent summary of photosynthetic mechanisms and diurnal patterns of carbon metabolism with emphasis on the importance of gradual changes in photosynthetically-active radiation at dawn and dusk. In addition to these direct effects of irradiance, there are indirect effects of light period duration and spectral quality on carbohydrate metabolism and assimilate partitioning. Both daylength and spectral quality trigger developmental phenomena such as flowering (e.g., photoperiodism) and shade avoidance responses, but their effects on partitioning of photoassimilates in leaves are less well known. Moreover, the adaptive significance to the plants of such effects is sometimes not clear.

  20. [An Improved Spectral Quaternion Interpolation Method of Diffusion Tensor Imaging].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yonghong; Gao, Shangce; Hao, Xiaofei

    2016-04-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging(DTI)is a rapid development technology in recent years of magnetic resonance imaging.The diffusion tensor interpolation is a very important procedure in DTI image processing.The traditional spectral quaternion interpolation method revises the direction of the interpolation tensor and can preserve tensors anisotropy,but the method does not revise the size of tensors.The present study puts forward an improved spectral quaternion interpolation method on the basis of traditional spectral quaternion interpolation.Firstly,we decomposed diffusion tensors with the direction of tensors being represented by quaternion.Then we revised the size and direction of the tensor respectively according to different situations.Finally,we acquired the tensor of interpolation point by calculating the weighted average.We compared the improved method with the spectral quaternion method and the Log-Euclidean method by the simulation data and the real data.The results showed that the improved method could not only keep the monotonicity of the fractional anisotropy(FA)and the determinant of tensors,but also preserve the tensor anisotropy at the same time.In conclusion,the improved method provides a kind of important interpolation method for diffusion tensor image processing.

  1. Quality assurance of the Brewer spectral UV measurements in Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Lakkala

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The quality assurance of the two Brewer spectrophotometers of the Finnish Meteorological Institute is discussed in this paper. The complete data processing chain from raw signal to high quality spectra is presented. The quality assurance includes daily maintenance, laboratory characterizations, calculation of long-term spectral responsivity, data processing and quality assessment. The cosine correction of the measurements is based on a new method, and is included in the data processing software. The results showed that the actual cosine correction factor of the two Finnish Brewers can vary between 1.08–1.13 and 1.08–1.12, respectively, depending on the sky radiance distribution and wavelength. The temperature characterization showed a linear temperature dependence between the instruments' internal temperature and the photon counts per cycle, and a temperature correction was used for correcting the measurements. The long-term spectral responsivity was calculated using the time series of several lamps using two slightly different methods. The long-term spectral responsivity was scaled to the irradiance scale of the Helsinki University of Technology (HUT for the whole of the measurement time-periods 1990–2006 and 1995–2006 for Sodankylä and Jokioinen, respectively. Both Brewers have participated in many international spectroradiometer comparisons, and have shown good stability. The differences between the Brewers and the portable reference spectroradiometer QASUME have been within 5% during 2002–2007.

  2. Quantitative research versus quality assurance, quality improvement, total quality management, and continuous quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogelsang, J

    1999-04-01

    The purpose of this report is to provide a review of the scientific method used in the quantitative research studies for consumers, evaluators, and applied nurse researchers. The fundamental characteristics of the problem-solving/ performance-improvement processes of quality assurance, quality improvement, total quality management, and continuous quality improvement are described. Research is compared with these processes, and is followed by a discussion about the publication of quantitative research findings.

  3. Heterogeneous sharpness for cross-spectral face recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Zhicheng; Schmid, Natalia A.

    2017-05-01

    Matching images acquired in different electromagnetic bands remains a challenging problem. An example of this type of comparison is matching active or passive infrared (IR) against a gallery of visible face images, known as cross-spectral face recognition. Among many unsolved issues is the one of quality disparity of the heterogeneous images. Images acquired in different spectral bands are of unequal image quality due to distinct imaging mechanism, standoff distances, or imaging environment, etc. To reduce the effect of quality disparity on the recognition performance, one can manipulate images to either improve the quality of poor-quality images or to degrade the high-quality images to the level of the quality of their heterogeneous counterparts. To estimate the level of discrepancy in quality of two heterogeneous images a quality metric such as image sharpness is needed. It provides a guidance in how much quality improvement or degradation is appropriate. In this work we consider sharpness as a relative measure of heterogeneous image quality. We propose a generalized definition of sharpness by first achieving image quality parity and then finding and building a relationship between the image quality of two heterogeneous images. Therefore, the new sharpness metric is named heterogeneous sharpness. Image quality parity is achieved by experimentally finding the optimal cross-spectral face recognition performance where quality of the heterogeneous images is varied using a Gaussian smoothing function with different standard deviation. This relationship is established using two models; one of them involves a regression model and the other involves a neural network. To train, test and validate the model, we use composite operators developed in our lab to extract features from heterogeneous face images and use the sharpness metric to evaluate the face image quality within each band. Images from three different spectral bands visible light, near infrared, and short

  4. Improving tomato seed quality- challenges and possibilities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shrestha, Santosh

    The thesis investigates the possibility of using single seed near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, multispectral imaging (MSI) and NIR hyperspectral imaging (NIR-HSI) in combination with chemometrics for rapid determination of the tomato seed quality. The results of the PhD study are compiled in four...... manuscripts (MS). These non-destructive methods show the potential of sorting tomato seeds as per their viability and varietal identity. The results are discussed in the context of possible contribution from these methods in the improvement of the seed quality in Nepal. In MS I, potential application of NIR...... spectroscopy in combination with chemometrics for prediction of tomato seed viability is demonstrated. The work in MS I also emphasises on identifying the important NIR spectral regions for the chemometric model that are relevant to the separation of viable and non-viable seeds. The NIR-HIS method was also...

  5. Collaborative quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luckenbaugh, Amy N; Miller, David C; Ghani, Khurshid R

    2017-07-01

    Quality improvement collaboratives were developed in many medical and surgical disciplines with the goal of measuring and improving the quality of care provided to patients. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of surgical quality improvement collaboratives, and in particular those aimed at improving urological care. Quality improvement collaboratives collect high-quality data using standardized methodologies, and use the data to provide feedback to physicians and practices, and then implement processes to improve patient outcomes. The largest regional collaborative in urology is the Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative (MUSIC). Recent efforts by this group have been focused at understanding variation in care, improving patient selection for treatment, reducing treatment morbidity and measuring and optimizing technical skill. The American Urological Association has also recently launched a national quality registry (AQUA), with an initial focus on prostate cancer care. By understanding factors that result in exemplary performance, quality improvement collaboratives are able to develop best practices around areas of care with high variation that have the potential to improve outcomes and reduce costs. These developments have been made possible by the unique model offered by the collaborative structure with the goal of improving patient care at a population level.

  6. Teaching quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Marry Ellen; Douglas, Stephen; Girdley, Diana; Jarzemsky, Paula

    2010-08-01

    Practicing nurses are required to engage in quality improvement work as a part of their clinical practice, but few undergraduate nursing education programs offer course work and applied experience in this area. This article presents a description of class content and teaching strategies, assignments, and evaluation strategies designed to achieve the Quality and Safety Education in Nursing competencies related to quality improvement and interdisciplinary teams. Students demonstrate their application of the quality improvement process by designing and implementing a small-scale quality improvement project that they report in storyboard format on a virtual conference Web site.

  7. An improved feature extraction algorithm based on KAZE for multi-spectral image

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jianping; Li, Jun

    2018-02-01

    Multi-spectral image contains abundant spectral information, which is widely used in all fields like resource exploration, meteorological observation and modern military. Image preprocessing, such as image feature extraction and matching, is indispensable while dealing with multi-spectral remote sensing image. Although the feature matching algorithm based on linear scale such as SIFT and SURF performs strong on robustness, the local accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, this paper proposes an improved KAZE algorithm, which is based on nonlinear scale, to raise the number of feature and to enhance the matching rate by using the adjusted-cosine vector. The experiment result shows that the number of feature and the matching rate of the improved KAZE are remarkably than the original KAZE algorithm.

  8. Improving high resolution retinal image quality using speckle illumination HiLo imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xiaolin; Bedggood, Phillip; Metha, Andrew

    2014-08-01

    Retinal image quality from flood illumination adaptive optics (AO) ophthalmoscopes is adversely affected by out-of-focus light scatter due to the lack of confocality. This effect is more pronounced in small eyes, such as that of rodents, because the requisite high optical power confers a large dioptric thickness to the retina. A recently-developed structured illumination microscopy (SIM) technique called HiLo imaging has been shown to reduce the effect of out-of-focus light scatter in flood illumination microscopes and produce pseudo-confocal images with significantly improved image quality. In this work, we adopted the HiLo technique to a flood AO ophthalmoscope and performed AO imaging in both (physical) model and live rat eyes. The improvement in image quality from HiLo imaging is shown both qualitatively and quantitatively by using spatial spectral analysis.

  9. Dual-camera design for coded aperture snapshot spectral imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lizhi; Xiong, Zhiwei; Gao, Dahua; Shi, Guangming; Wu, Feng

    2015-02-01

    Coded aperture snapshot spectral imaging (CASSI) provides an efficient mechanism for recovering 3D spectral data from a single 2D measurement. However, since the reconstruction problem is severely underdetermined, the quality of recovered spectral data is usually limited. In this paper we propose a novel dual-camera design to improve the performance of CASSI while maintaining its snapshot advantage. Specifically, a beam splitter is placed in front of the objective lens of CASSI, which allows the same scene to be simultaneously captured by a grayscale camera. This uncoded grayscale measurement, in conjunction with the coded CASSI measurement, greatly eases the reconstruction problem and yields high-quality 3D spectral data. Both simulation and experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  10. Combining Spectral Data and a DSM from UAS-Images for Improved Classification of Non-Submerged Aquatic Vegetation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Husson

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring of aquatic vegetation is an important component in the assessment of freshwater ecosystems. Remote sensing with unmanned aircraft systems (UASs can provide sub-decimetre-resolution aerial images and is a useful tool for detailed vegetation mapping. In a previous study, non-submerged aquatic vegetation was successfully mapped using automated classification of spectral and textural features from a true-colour UAS-orthoimage with 5-cm pixels. In the present study, height data from a digital surface model (DSM created from overlapping UAS-images has been incorporated together with the spectral and textural features from the UAS-orthoimage to test if classification accuracy can be improved further. We studied two levels of thematic detail: (a Growth forms including the classes of water, nymphaeid, and helophyte; and (b dominant taxa including seven vegetation classes. We hypothesized that the incorporation of height data together with spectral and textural features would increase classification accuracy as compared to using spectral and textural features alone, at both levels of thematic detail. We tested our hypothesis at five test sites (100 m × 100 m each with varying vegetation complexity and image quality using automated object-based image analysis in combination with Random Forest classification. Overall accuracy at each of the five test sites ranged from 78% to 87% at the growth-form level and from 66% to 85% at the dominant-taxon level. In comparison to using spectral and textural features alone, the inclusion of height data increased the overall accuracy significantly by 4%–21% for growth-forms and 3%–30% for dominant taxa. The biggest improvement gained by adding height data was observed at the test site with the most complex vegetation. Height data derived from UAS-images has a large potential to efficiently increase the accuracy of automated classification of non-submerged aquatic vegetation, indicating good possibilities

  11. Spectral quality requirements for effluent identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czerwinski, R. N.; Seeley, J. A.; Wack, E. C.

    2005-11-01

    We consider the problem of remotely identifying gaseous materials using passive sensing of long-wave infrared (LWIR) spectral features at hyperspectral resolution. Gaseous materials are distinguishable in the LWIR because of their unique spectral fingerprints. A sensor degraded in capability by noise or limited spectral resolution, however, may be unable to positively identify contaminants, especially if they are present in low concentrations or if the spectral library used for comparisons includes materials with similar spectral signatures. This paper will quantify the relative importance of these parameters and express the relationships between them in a functional form which can be used as a rule of thumb in sensor design or in assessing sensor capability for a specific task. This paper describes the simulation of remote sensing datacontaining a gas cloud.In each simulation, the spectra are degraded in spectral resolution and through the addition of noise to simulate spectra collected by sensors of varying design and capability. We form a trade space by systematically varying the number of sensor spectral channels and signal-to-noise ratio over a range of values. For each scenario, we evaluate the capability of the sensor for gas identification by computing the ratio of the F-statistic for the truth gas tothe same statistic computed over the rest of the library.The effect of the scope of the library is investigated as well, by computing statistics on the variability of the identification capability as the library composition is varied randomly.

  12. Improved documentation of spectral lines for inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doidge, Peter S.

    2018-05-01

    An approach to improving the documentation of weak spectral lines falling near the prominent analytical lines used in inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) is described. Measurements of ICP emission spectra in the regions around several hundred prominent lines, using concentrated solutions (up to 1% w/v) of some 70 elements, and comparison of the observed spectra with both recent published work and with the output of a computer program that allows calculation of transitions between the known energy levels, show that major improvements can be made in the coverage of spectral atlases for ICP-OES, with respect to "classical" line tables. It is argued that the atomic spectral data (wavelengths, energy levels) required for the reliable identification and documentation of a large majority of the weak interfering lines of the elements detectable by ICP-OES now exist, except for most of the observed lines of the lanthanide elements. In support of this argument, examples are provided from a detailed analysis of a spectral window centered on the prominent Pb II 220.353 nm line, and from a selected line-rich spectrum (W). Shortcomings in existing analyses are illustrated with reference to selected spectral interferences due to Zr. This approach has been used to expand the spectral-line library used in commercial ICP-ES instruments (Agilent 700-ES/5100-ES). The precision of wavelength measurements is evaluated in terms of the shot-noise limit, while the absolute accuracy of wavelength measurement is characterised through comparison with a small set of precise Ritz wavelengths for Sb I, and illustrated through the identification of Zr III lines; it is further shown that fractional-pixel absolute wavelength accuracies can be achieved. Finally, problems with the wavelengths and classifications of certain Au I lines are discussed.

  13. Assessment of modern spectral analysis methods to improve wavenumber resolution of F-K spectra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shirley, T.E.; Laster, S.J.; Meek, R.A.

    1987-01-01

    The improvement in wavenumber spectra obtained by using high resolution spectral estimators is examined. Three modern spectral estimators were tested, namely the Autoregressive/Maximum Entropy (AR/ME) method, the Extended Prony method, and an eigenstructure method. They were combined with the conventional Fourier method by first transforming each trace with a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). A high resolution spectral estimator was applied to the resulting complex spatial sequence for each frequency. The collection of wavenumber spectra thus computed comprises a hybrid f-k spectrum with high wavenumber resolution and less spectral ringing. Synthetic and real data records containing 25 traces were analyzed by using the hybrid f-k method. The results show an FFT-AR/ME f-k spectrum has noticeably better wavenumber resolution and more spectral dynamic range than conventional spectra when the number of channels is small. The observed improvement suggests the hybrid technique is potentially valuable in seismic data analysis

  14. Continuous quality improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bourne, P.B.

    1985-01-01

    This paper describes the various statistical tools used at the Hanford Engineering Development Laboratory to achieve continuous quality improvement in the development of Breeder Reactor Technology and in reactor operations. The role of the quality assurance professionals in this process, including quantifiable measurements using actual examples, is provided. The commitment to quality improvement through top management involvement is dramatically illustrated

  15. Quality improvement - the future begins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boissy, G.J.

    1987-01-01

    The comprehensive quality improvement program of the Florida Power and Light Co. is described: management commitment, quality improvement process, quality improvement teams, policy development, and quality in daily work are discussed

  16. Contrast-enhanced Spectral Mammography: Modality-Specific Artifacts and Other Factors Which May Interfere with Image Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhimani, Chandni; Li, Luna; Liao, Lydia; Roth, Robyn G; Tinney, Elizabeth; Germaine, Pauline

    2017-01-01

    Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM) uses full field digital mammography with the added benefit of intravenous contrast administration to significantly reduce false-positive and false-negative results and improve specificity while maintaining high sensitivity. For CESM to fulfill its purpose, one should be aware of possible artifacts and other factors which may interfere with image quality, and attention should be taken to minimize these factors. This pictorial demonstration will depict types of artifacts detected and other factors that interfere with image acquisition in our practice since CESM implementation. Many of the artifacts and other factors we have encountered while using CESM have simple solutions to resolve them. The illustrated artifacts and other factors interfering with image quality will serve as a useful reference to anyone using CESM. Copyright © 2017 The Association of University Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Improving the spectral measurement accuracy based on temperature distribution and spectra-temperature relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhe; Feng, Jinchao; Liu, Pengyu; Sun, Zhonghua; Li, Gang; Jia, Kebin

    2018-05-01

    Temperature is usually considered as a fluctuation in near-infrared spectral measurement. Chemometric methods were extensively studied to correct the effect of temperature variations. However, temperature can be considered as a constructive parameter that provides detailed chemical information when systematically changed during the measurement. Our group has researched the relationship between temperature-induced spectral variation (TSVC) and normalized squared temperature. In this study, we focused on the influence of temperature distribution in calibration set. Multi-temperature calibration set selection (MTCS) method was proposed to improve the prediction accuracy by considering the temperature distribution of calibration samples. Furthermore, double-temperature calibration set selection (DTCS) method was proposed based on MTCS method and the relationship between TSVC and normalized squared temperature. We compare the prediction performance of PLS models based on random sampling method and proposed methods. The results from experimental studies showed that the prediction performance was improved by using proposed methods. Therefore, MTCS method and DTCS method will be the alternative methods to improve prediction accuracy in near-infrared spectral measurement.

  18. A cluster-randomised quality improvement study to improve two inpatient stroke quality indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Linda; Daggett, Virginia; Slaven, James E; Yu, Zhangsheng; Sager, Danielle; Myers, Jennifer; Plue, Laurie; Woodward-Hagg, Heather; Damush, Teresa M

    2016-04-01

    Quality indicator collection and feedback improves stroke care. We sought to determine whether quality improvement training plus indicator feedback was more effective than indicator feedback alone in improving inpatient stroke indicators. We conducted a cluster-randomised quality improvement trial, randomising hospitals to quality improvement training plus indicator feedback versus indicator feedback alone to improve deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis and dysphagia screening. Intervention sites received collaborative-based quality improvement training, external facilitation and indicator feedback. Control sites received only indicator feedback. We compared indicators pre-implementation (pre-I) to active implementation (active-I) and post-implementation (post-I) periods. We constructed mixed-effect logistic models of the two indicators with a random intercept for hospital effect, adjusting for patient, time, intervention and hospital variables. Patients at intervention sites (1147 admissions), had similar race, gender and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale scores to control sites (1017 admissions). DVT prophylaxis improved more in intervention sites during active-I period (ratio of ORs 4.90, pimproved similarly in both groups during active-I, but control sites improved more in post-I period (ratio of ORs 0.67, p=0.04). In logistic models, the intervention was independently positively associated with DVT performance during active-I period, and negatively associated with dysphagia performance post-I period. Quality improvement training was associated with early DVT improvement, but the effect was not sustained over time and was not seen with dysphagia screening. External quality improvement programmes may quickly boost performance but their effect may vary by indicator and may not sustain over time. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  19. Teleophthalmology with optical coherence tomography imaging in community optometry. Evaluation of a quality improvement for macular patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly SP

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Simon P Kelly1, Ian Wallwork2, David Haider1, Kashif Qureshi11Ophthalmology Department, Royal Bolton Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust, Bolton, 2Wallwork Opticians, Salford, UKPurpose: To describe a quality improvement for referral of National Health Service patients with macular disorders from a community optometry setting in an urban area.Methods: Service evaluation of teleophthalmology consultation based on spectral domain optical coherence tomography images acquired by the community optometrist and transmitted to hospital eye services.Results: Fifty patients with suspected macular conditions were managed via telemedicine consultation over 1 year. Responses were provided by hospital eye service-based ophthalmologists to the community optometrist or patient within the next day in 48 cases (96% and in 34 (68% patients on the same day. In the consensus opinion of the optometrist and ophthalmologist, 33 (66% patients required further “face-to-face” medical examination and were triaged on clinical urgency. Seventeen cases (34% were managed in the community and are a potential cost improvement. Specialty trainees were supervised in telemedicine consultations.Conclusion: Innovation and quality improvement were demonstrated in both optometry to ophthalmology referrals and in primary optometric care by use of telemedicine with spectral domain optical coherence tomography images. E-referral of spectral domain optical coherence tomography images assists triage of macular patients and swifter care of urgent cases. Teleophthalmology is also, in the authors’ opinion, a tool to improve interdisciplinary professional working with community optometrists. Implications for progress are discussed.Keywords: telemedicine, teleophthalmology, innovation, community referral, optical coherence tomography, service evaluation

  20. Spectrally Consistent Satellite Image Fusion with Improved Image Priors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Allan Aasbjerg; Aanæs, Henrik; Jensen, Thomas B.S.

    2006-01-01

    Here an improvement to our previous framework for satellite image fusion is presented. A framework purely based on the sensor physics and on prior assumptions on the fused image. The contributions of this paper are two fold. Firstly, a method for ensuring 100% spectrally consistency is proposed......, even when more sophisticated image priors are applied. Secondly, a better image prior is introduced, via data-dependent image smoothing....

  1. Does quality improvement work in neonatology improve clinical outcomes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellsbury, Dan L; Clark, Reese H

    2017-04-01

    Quality improvement initiatives in neonatology have been promoted as an important way of improving outcomes of newborns. The purpose of this review is to examine the effectiveness of recent quality improvement work in improving the outcomes of infants requiring neonatal intensive care. Quality improvement collaboratives and single-center projects demonstrate improvement of clinical processes and outcomes in neonatology that impact both preterm and term infants. Declines in morbidities, resource use, and length of stay have been associated with reductions in healthcare costs. Recent quality improvement work has shown evidence of improvement in clinical outcomes in neonatal intensive care patients. These improvements have important implications for the reduction of healthcare costs in this population.

  2. Quality improvement: the nurse's role.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, M J; Johnson, J E

    1992-06-01

    Continuous quality improvement is a concept which includes: Quality assurance--the provision of services that meet an appropriate standard. Problem resolution--including all departments involved in the issue at hand. Quality improvement--a continuous process involving all levels of the organization working together across departmental lines to produce better services for health care clients. Deming (1982b) and others have espoused total system reform to achieve quality improvement--not merely altering the current system, but radically changing it. It must be assumed that those who provide services at the staff level are acting in good faith and are not willfully failing to do what is correct (Berwick, 1991). Those who perform direct services are in an excellent position to identify the need for change in service delivery processes. Based on this premise, the staff nurse--who is at the heart of the system--is the best person to assess the status of health care services and to work toward improving the processes by which these services are provided to clients in the health care setting. The nurse manager must structure the work setting to facilitate the staff nurse's ability to undertake constructive action for improving care. The use of quality circles, quality councils, or quality improvement forums to facilitate the coordination of quality improvement efforts is an effective way to achieve success. The QA coordinator assists departments in documenting that the quality improvement efforts are effective across all departments of the organization, and aggregates data to demonstrate that they meet the requirements of external regulatory agencies, insurers, and professional standards. The nurse executive provides the vision and secures the necessary resources to ensure that the organization's quality improvement efforts are successful. By inspiring and empowering the staff in their efforts to improve the process by which health care is provided, nurse managers

  3. Using Lean to Advance Quality Improvement Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackmore, Christopher Craig; Williams, Barbara L; Ching, Joan M; Chafetz, Lynne A; Kaplan, Gary S

    2016-01-01

    Quality improvement research skills are not commonplace among quality improvement practitioners, and research on the effectiveness of quality improvement has not always kept pace with improvement innovation. However, the Lean tools applied to quality improvement should be equally relevant to the advancement of quality improvement research. We applied the Lean methods to develop a simplified quality improvement publication pathway enabling a small research methodology group to increase quality improvement research throughout the institution. The key innovations of the pathway are horizontal integration of the quality improvement research methods group across the institution, implementation of a Lean quality improvement research pathway, and application of a just-in-time quality improvement research toolkit. This work provides a road map and tools for the acceleration of quality improvement research. At our institution, the Lean quality improvement research approach was associated with statistically significant increases in the number (annual mean increase from 3.0 to 8.5, p = .03) and breadth of published quality improvement research articles, and in the number of quality improvement research projects currently in process. Application of Lean methods to the quality improvement research process can aid in increasing publication of quality improvement articles from across the institution.

  4. Accelerate Water Quality Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPA is committed to accelerating water quality improvement and minimizing negative impacts to aquatic life from contaminants and other stressors in the Bay Delta Estuary by working with California Water Boards to strengthen water quality improvement plans.

  5. Chest CT using spectral filtration: radiation dose, image quality, and spectrum of clinical utility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Braun, Franziska M.; Johnson, Thorsten R.C.; Sommer, Wieland H.; Thierfelder, Kolja M.; Meinel, Felix G. [University Hospital Munich, Institute for Clinical Radiology, Munich (Germany)

    2015-06-01

    To determine the radiation dose, image quality, and clinical utility of non-enhanced chest CT with spectral filtration. We retrospectively analysed 25 non-contrast chest CT examinations acquired with spectral filtration (tin-filtered Sn100 kVp spectrum) compared to 25 examinations acquired without spectral filtration (120 kV). Radiation metrics were compared. Image noise was measured. Contrast-to-noise-ratio (CNR) and figure-of-merit (FOM) were calculated. Diagnostic confidence for the assessment of various thoracic pathologies was rated by two independent readers. Effective chest diameters were comparable between groups (P = 0.613). In spectral filtration CT, median CTDI{sub vol}, DLP, and size-specific dose estimate (SSDE) were reduced (0.46 vs. 4.3 mGy, 16 vs. 141 mGy*cm, and 0.65 vs. 5.9 mGy, all P < 0.001). Spectral filtration CT had higher image noise (21.3 vs. 13.2 HU, P < 0.001) and lower CNR (47.2 vs. 75.3, P < 0.001), but was more dose-efficient (FOM 10,659 vs. 2,231/mSv, P < 0.001). Diagnostic confidence for parenchymal lung disease and osseous pathologies was lower with spectral filtration CT, but no significant difference was found for pleural pathologies, pulmonary nodules, or pneumonia. Non-contrast chest CT using spectral filtration appears to be sufficient for the assessment of a considerable spectrum of thoracic pathologies, while providing superior dose efficiency, allowing for substantial radiation dose reduction. (orig.)

  6. "Rheum to Improve": Quality Improvement in Outpatient Rheumatology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chow, Shirley L; Shojania, Kaveh G

    2017-09-01

    The commitment to improve care processes and patient outcomes is a professional mandate for clinicians and is also seen as an operational priority for institutions. Quality improvement now figures in the accreditation of training programs, specialty examinations, and hospital scorecards. Rheumatologists have traditionally focused primarily on quality problems such as guideline adherence; however, improvement goals should also include other aspects of care that are helpful to patients and are professionally rewarding for practitioners. This review makes use of improvement projects in outlining tangible tools rheumatologists can use to resolve quality concerns in their practices.

  7. An Improved Spectral Analysis Method for Fatigue Damage Assessment of Details in Liquid Cargo Tanks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Peng-yuan; Huang, Xiao-ping

    2018-03-01

    Errors will be caused in calculating the fatigue damages of details in liquid cargo tanks by using the traditional spectral analysis method which is based on linear system, for the nonlinear relationship between the dynamic stress and the ship acceleration. An improved spectral analysis method for the assessment of the fatigue damage in detail of a liquid cargo tank is proposed in this paper. Based on assumptions that the wave process can be simulated by summing the sinusoidal waves in different frequencies and the stress process can be simulated by summing the stress processes induced by these sinusoidal waves, the stress power spectral density (PSD) is calculated by expanding the stress processes induced by the sinusoidal waves into Fourier series and adding the amplitudes of each harmonic component with the same frequency. This analysis method can take the nonlinear relationship into consideration and the fatigue damage is then calculated based on the PSD of stress. Take an independent tank in an LNG carrier for example, the accuracy of the improved spectral analysis method is proved much better than that of the traditional spectral analysis method by comparing the calculated damage results with the results calculated by the time domain method. The proposed spectral analysis method is more accurate in calculating the fatigue damages in detail of ship liquid cargo tanks.

  8. An Improved Variational Method for Hyperspectral Image Pansharpening with the Constraint of Spectral Difference Minimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Z.; Chen, Q.; Shen, Y.; Chen, Q.; Liu, X.

    2017-09-01

    Variational pansharpening can enhance the spatial resolution of a hyperspectral (HS) image using a high-resolution panchromatic (PAN) image. However, this technology may lead to spectral distortion that obviously affect the accuracy of data analysis. In this article, we propose an improved variational method for HS image pansharpening with the constraint of spectral difference minimization. We extend the energy function of the classic variational pansharpening method by adding a new spectral fidelity term. This fidelity term is designed following the definition of spectral angle mapper, which means that for every pixel, the spectral difference value of any two bands in the HS image is in equal proportion to that of the two corresponding bands in the pansharpened image. Gradient descent method is adopted to find the optimal solution of the modified energy function, and the pansharpened image can be reconstructed. Experimental results demonstrate that the constraint of spectral difference minimization is able to preserve the original spectral information well in HS images, and reduce the spectral distortion effectively. Compared to original variational method, our method performs better in both visual and quantitative evaluation, and achieves a good trade-off between spatial and spectral information.

  9. Structured data quality reports to improve EHR data quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taggart, Jane; Liaw, Siaw-Teng; Yu, Hairong

    2015-12-01

    To examine whether a structured data quality report (SDQR) and feedback sessions with practice principals and managers improve the quality of routinely collected data in EHRs. The intervention was conducted in four general practices participating in the Fairfield neighborhood electronic Practice Based Research Network (ePBRN). Data were extracted from their clinical information systems and summarised as a SDQR to guide feedback to practice principals and managers at 0, 4, 8 and 12 months. Data quality (DQ) metrics included completeness, correctness, consistency and duplication of patient records. Information on data recording practices, data quality improvement, and utility of SDQRs was collected at the feedback sessions at the practices. The main outcome measure was change in the recording of clinical information and level of meeting Royal Australian College of General Practice (RACGP) targets. Birth date was 100% and gender 99% complete at baseline and maintained. DQ of all variables measured improved significantly (pImprovement was greatest with allergies. There was no significant change in duplicate records. SDQRs and feedback sessions support general practitioners and practice managers to focus on improving the recording of patient information. However, improved practice DQ, was not sufficient to meet RACGP targets. Randomised controlled studies are required to evaluate strategies to improve data quality and any associated improved safety and quality of care. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. [Quality assurance and quality improvement. Personal experiences and intentions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roche, B G; Sommer, C

    1995-01-01

    In may 1994 we were selected by the surgical Swiss association to make a study about quality in USA. During our travel we visited 3 types of institutions: Hospitals, National Institute of standard and Technology, Industry, Johnson & Johnson. We appreciate to compare 2 types of quality programs: Quality Assurance (QA) and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). In traditional healthcare circles, QA is the process established to meet external regulatory requirements and to assure that patient care is consistent with established standards. In a modern quality terms, QA outside of healthcare means designing a product or service, as well as controlling its production, so well that quality is inevitable. The ideas of W. Edward Deming is that there is never improvement just by inspection. He developed a theory based on 14 principles. A productive work is accomplished through processes. Understanding the variability of processes is a key to improve quality. Quality management sees each person in an organisation as part of one or more processes. The job of every worker is to receive the work of others, add value to that work, and supply it to the next person in the process. This is called the triple role the workers as customer, processor, and supplier. The main source of quality defects is problems in the process. The old assumption is that quality fails when people do the right thing wrong; the new assumption is that, more often, quality failures arise when people do the wrong think right. Exhortation, incentives and discipline of workers are unlikely to improve quality. If quality is failing when people do their jobs as designed, then exhorting them to do better is managerial nonsense. Modern quality theory is customer focused. Customers are identified internally and externally. The modern approach to quality is thoroughly grounded in scientific and statistical thinking. Like in medicine, the symptom is a defect in quality. The therapist of process must perform diagnostic

  11. Single-energy pediatric chest computed tomography with spectral filtration at 100 kVp: effects on radiation parameters and image quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bodelle, Boris; Fischbach, Constanze; Booz, Christian; Yel, Ibrahim; Frellesen, Claudia; Kaup, Moritz; Beeres, Martin; Vogl, Thomas J.; Scholtz, Jan-Erik [Goethe University of Frankfurt, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Frankfurt (Germany)

    2017-06-15

    Most of the applied radiation dose at CT is in the lower photon energy range, which is of limited diagnostic importance. To investigate image quality and effects on radiation parameters of 100-kVp spectral filtration single-energy chest CT using a tin-filter at third-generation dual-source CT in comparison to standard 100-kVp chest CT. Thirty-three children referred for a non-contrast chest CT performed on a third-generation dual-source CT scanner were examined at 100 kVp with a dedicated tin filter with a tube current-time product resulting in standard protocol dose. We compared resulting images with images from children examined using standard single-source chest CT at 100 kVp. We assessed objective and subjective image quality and compared radiation dose parameters. Radiation dose was comparable for children 5 years old and younger, and it was moderately decreased for older children when using spectral filtration (P=0.006). Effective tube current increased significantly (P=0.0001) with spectral filtration, up to a factor of 10. Signal-to-noise ratio and image noise were similar for both examination techniques (P≥0.06). Subjective image quality showed no significant differences (P≥0.2). Using 100-kVp spectral filtration chest CT in children by means of a tube-based tin-filter on a third-generation dual-source CT scanner increases effective tube current up to a factor of 10 to provide similar image quality at equivalent dose compared to standard single-source CT without spectral filtration. (orig.)

  12. Single-energy pediatric chest computed tomography with spectral filtration at 100 kVp: effects on radiation parameters and image quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bodelle, Boris; Fischbach, Constanze; Booz, Christian; Yel, Ibrahim; Frellesen, Claudia; Kaup, Moritz; Beeres, Martin; Vogl, Thomas J.; Scholtz, Jan-Erik

    2017-01-01

    Most of the applied radiation dose at CT is in the lower photon energy range, which is of limited diagnostic importance. To investigate image quality and effects on radiation parameters of 100-kVp spectral filtration single-energy chest CT using a tin-filter at third-generation dual-source CT in comparison to standard 100-kVp chest CT. Thirty-three children referred for a non-contrast chest CT performed on a third-generation dual-source CT scanner were examined at 100 kVp with a dedicated tin filter with a tube current-time product resulting in standard protocol dose. We compared resulting images with images from children examined using standard single-source chest CT at 100 kVp. We assessed objective and subjective image quality and compared radiation dose parameters. Radiation dose was comparable for children 5 years old and younger, and it was moderately decreased for older children when using spectral filtration (P=0.006). Effective tube current increased significantly (P=0.0001) with spectral filtration, up to a factor of 10. Signal-to-noise ratio and image noise were similar for both examination techniques (P≥0.06). Subjective image quality showed no significant differences (P≥0.2). Using 100-kVp spectral filtration chest CT in children by means of a tube-based tin-filter on a third-generation dual-source CT scanner increases effective tube current up to a factor of 10 to provide similar image quality at equivalent dose compared to standard single-source CT without spectral filtration. (orig.)

  13. Solutions to Improve Educational Management Quality

    OpenAIRE

    Ramezan Jahanian; Masoomeh Motahari

    2013-01-01

    Nowadays, enhancing the quality in educational systems of different countries has gained especial importance and stand. Improving utilizing and increasing the quality in our country’s educational system is felt too. One of the utilizing factors in education system is to improve the educational management quality.In this article, effective factors in educational management quality and one of its improving solutions, thorough management quality, is analyzed.

  14. Improved classification accuracy of powdery mildew infection levels of wine grapes by spatial-spectral analysis of hyperspectral images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knauer, Uwe; Matros, Andrea; Petrovic, Tijana; Zanker, Timothy; Scott, Eileen S; Seiffert, Udo

    2017-01-01

    Hyperspectral imaging is an emerging means of assessing plant vitality, stress parameters, nutrition status, and diseases. Extraction of target values from the high-dimensional datasets either relies on pixel-wise processing of the full spectral information, appropriate selection of individual bands, or calculation of spectral indices. Limitations of such approaches are reduced classification accuracy, reduced robustness due to spatial variation of the spectral information across the surface of the objects measured as well as a loss of information intrinsic to band selection and use of spectral indices. In this paper we present an improved spatial-spectral segmentation approach for the analysis of hyperspectral imaging data and its application for the prediction of powdery mildew infection levels (disease severity) of intact Chardonnay grape bunches shortly before veraison. Instead of calculating texture features (spatial features) for the huge number of spectral bands independently, dimensionality reduction by means of Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) was applied first to derive a few descriptive image bands. Subsequent classification was based on modified Random Forest classifiers and selective extraction of texture parameters from the integral image representation of the image bands generated. Dimensionality reduction, integral images, and the selective feature extraction led to improved classification accuracies of up to [Formula: see text] for detached berries used as a reference sample (training dataset). Our approach was validated by predicting infection levels for a sample of 30 intact bunches. Classification accuracy improved with the number of decision trees of the Random Forest classifier. These results corresponded with qPCR results. An accuracy of 0.87 was achieved in classification of healthy, infected, and severely diseased bunches. However, discrimination between visually healthy and infected bunches proved to be challenging for a few samples

  15. Piecewise spectrally band-pass for compressive coded aperture spectral imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qian Lu-Lu; Lü Qun-Bo; Huang Min; Xiang Li-Bin

    2015-01-01

    Coded aperture snapshot spectral imaging (CASSI) has been discussed in recent years. It has the remarkable advantages of high optical throughput, snapshot imaging, etc. The entire spatial-spectral data-cube can be reconstructed with just a single two-dimensional (2D) compressive sensing measurement. On the other hand, for less spectrally sparse scenes, the insufficiency of sparse sampling and aliasing in spatial-spectral images reduce the accuracy of reconstructed three-dimensional (3D) spectral cube. To solve this problem, this paper extends the improved CASSI. A band-pass filter array is mounted on the coded mask, and then the first image plane is divided into some continuous spectral sub-band areas. The entire 3D spectral cube could be captured by the relative movement between the object and the instrument. The principle analysis and imaging simulation are presented. Compared with peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) and the information entropy of the reconstructed images at different numbers of spectral sub-band areas, the reconstructed 3D spectral cube reveals an observable improvement in the reconstruction fidelity, with an increase in the number of the sub-bands and a simultaneous decrease in the number of spectral channels of each sub-band. (paper)

  16. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, A. C.; Brown, C. S.; Sager, J. C. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  17. Improving the representation of clouds, radiation, and precipitation using spectral nudging in the Weather Research and Forecasting model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spero, Tanya L.; Otte, Martin J.; Bowden, Jared H.; Nolte, Christopher G.

    2014-10-01

    Spectral nudging—a scale-selective interior constraint technique—is commonly used in regional climate models to maintain consistency with large-scale forcing while permitting mesoscale features to develop in the downscaled simulations. Several studies have demonstrated that spectral nudging improves the representation of regional climate in reanalysis-forced simulations compared with not using nudging in the interior of the domain. However, in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, spectral nudging tends to produce degraded precipitation simulations when compared to analysis nudging—an interior constraint technique that is scale indiscriminate but also operates on moisture fields which until now could not be altered directly by spectral nudging. Since analysis nudging is less desirable for regional climate modeling because it dampens fine-scale variability, changes are proposed to the spectral nudging methodology to capitalize on differences between the nudging techniques and aim to improve the representation of clouds, radiation, and precipitation without compromising other fields. These changes include adding spectral nudging toward moisture, limiting nudging to below the tropopause, and increasing the nudging time scale for potential temperature, all of which collectively improve the representation of mean and extreme precipitation, 2 m temperature, clouds, and radiation, as demonstrated using a model-simulated 20 year historical period. Such improvements to WRF may increase the fidelity of regional climate data used to assess the potential impacts of climate change on human health and the environment and aid in climate change mitigation and adaptation studies.

  18. How to Improve the Quality of Screening Endoscopy in Korea: National Endoscopy Quality Improvement Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Yu Kyung

    2016-07-01

    In Korea, gastric cancer screening, either esophagogastroduodenoscopy or upper gastrointestinal series (UGIS), is performed biennially for adults aged 40 years or older. Screening endoscopy has been shown to be associated with localized cancer detection and better than UGIS. However, the diagnostic sensitivity of detecting cancer is not satisfactory. The National Endoscopy Quality Improvement (QI) program was initiated in 2009 to enhance the quality of medical institutions and improve the effectiveness of the National Cancer Screening Program (NCSP). The Korean Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy developed quality standards through a broad systematic review of other endoscopic quality guidelines and discussions with experts. The standards comprise five domains: qualifications of endoscopists, endoscopic unit facilities and equipment, endoscopic procedure, endoscopy outcomes, and endoscopic reprocessing. After 5 years of the QI program, feedback surveys showed that the perception of QI and endoscopic practice improved substantially in all domains of quality, but the quality standards need to be revised. How to avoid missing cancer in endoscopic procedures in daily practice was reviewed, which can be applied to the mass screening endoscopy. To improve the quality and effectiveness of NCSP, key performance indicators, acceptable quality standards, regular audit, and appropriate reimbursement are necessary.

  19. Workers' Objectives in Quality Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brossard, Michel

    1990-01-01

    A case study of quality circles in an appliance factory found that circle members and nonmembers obtained better working conditions by improving quality through the direct impact of their work on the company's market position. The study of the quality improvement process shows that workers seek more than psychological rewards for their…

  20. Creating Quality Improvement Culture in Public Health Agencies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahanna, Elizabeth; Joly, Brenda; Zelek, Michael; Riley, William; Verma, Pooja; Fisher, Jessica Solomon

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. We conducted case studies of 10 agencies that participated in early quality improvement efforts. Methods. The agencies participated in a project conducted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (2007–2008). Case study participants included health directors and quality improvement team leaders and members. We implemented multiple qualitative analysis processes, including cross-case analysis and logic modeling. We categorized agencies according to the extent to which they had developed a quality improvement culture. Results. Agencies were conducting informal quality improvement projects (n = 4), conducting formal quality improvement projects (n = 3), or creating a quality improvement culture (n = 4). Agencies conducting formal quality improvement and creating a quality improvement culture had leadership support for quality improvement, participated in national quality improvement initiatives, had a greater number of staff trained in quality improvement and quality improvement teams that met regularly with decision-making authority. Agencies conducting informal quality improvement were likely to report that accreditation is the major driver for quality improvement work. Agencies creating a quality improvement culture were more likely to have a history of evidence-based decision-making and use quality improvement to address emerging issues. Conclusions. Our findings support previous research and add the roles of national public health accreditation and emerging issues as factors in agencies’ ability to create and sustain a quality improvement culture. PMID:24228680

  1. Creating quality improvement culture in public health agencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Mary V; Mahanna, Elizabeth; Joly, Brenda; Zelek, Michael; Riley, William; Verma, Pooja; Fisher, Jessica Solomon

    2014-01-01

    We conducted case studies of 10 agencies that participated in early quality improvement efforts. The agencies participated in a project conducted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (2007-2008). Case study participants included health directors and quality improvement team leaders and members. We implemented multiple qualitative analysis processes, including cross-case analysis and logic modeling. We categorized agencies according to the extent to which they had developed a quality improvement culture. Agencies were conducting informal quality improvement projects (n = 4), conducting formal quality improvement projects (n = 3), or creating a quality improvement culture (n = 4). Agencies conducting formal quality improvement and creating a quality improvement culture had leadership support for quality improvement, participated in national quality improvement initiatives, had a greater number of staff trained in quality improvement and quality improvement teams that met regularly with decision-making authority. Agencies conducting informal quality improvement were likely to report that accreditation is the major driver for quality improvement work. Agencies creating a quality improvement culture were more likely to have a history of evidence-based decision-making and use quality improvement to address emerging issues. Our findings support previous research and add the roles of national public health accreditation and emerging issues as factors in agencies' ability to create and sustain a quality improvement culture.

  2. Spectral design flexibility of LED brings better life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Haiyan; Corell, Dennis; Ou, Yiyu; Poulsen, Peter B.; Dam-Hansen, Carsten; Petersen, Paul-Michael

    2012-03-01

    Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are penetrating into the huge market of general lighting because they are energy saving and environmentally friendly. The big advantage of LED light sources, compared to traditional incandescent lamps and fluorescent light tubes, is the flexible spectral design to make white light using different color mixing schemes. The spectral design flexibility of white LED light sources will promote them for novel applications to improve the life quality of human beings. As an initial exploration to make use of the spectral design flexibility, we present an example: 'no blue' white LED light source for sufferers of disease Porphyria. An LED light source prototype, made of high brightness commercial LEDs applying an optical filter, was tested by a patient suffering from Porphyria. Preliminary results have shown that the sufferer could withstand the light source for much longer time than the standard light source. At last future perspectives on spectral design flexibility of LED light sources improving human being's life will be discussed, with focus on the light and health. The good health is ensured by the spectrum optimized so that vital hormones (melatonin and serotonin) are produced during times when they support human daily rhythm.

  3. Optical spectral signatures of liquids by means of fiber optic technology for product and quality parameter identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mignani, A. G.; Ciaccheri, L.; Mencaglia, A. A.; Diaz-Herrera, N.; Garcia-Allende, P. B.; Ottevaere, H.; Thienpont, H.; Attilio, C.; Cimato, A.; Francalanci, S.; Paccagnini, A.; Pavone, F. S.

    2009-01-01

    Absorption spectroscopy in the wide 200-1700 nm spectral range is carried out by means of optical fiber instrumentation to achieve a digital mapping of liquids for the prediction of important quality parameters. Extra virgin olive oils from Italy and lubricant oils from turbines with different degrees of degradation were considered as "case studies". The spectral data were processed by means of multivariate analysis so as to obtain a correlation to quality parameters. In practice, the wide range absorption spectra were considered as an optical signature of the liquids from which to extract product quality information. The optical signatures of extra virgin olive oils were used to predict the content of the most important fatty acids. The optical signatures of lubricant oils were used to predict the concentration of the most important parameters for indicating the oil's degree of degradation, such as TAN, JOAP anti-wear index, and water content.

  4. Spectral reconstruction for a 6 MV linear accelerator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hernandez-Bojorquez, M.; Martinez-Davalos, A.; Larraga, J. M.

    2004-01-01

    In this work we present the first results of an x-ray spectral reconstruction for a 6 MV Varian LINAC. The shape of the spectrum will be used in Monte Carlo treatment planning in order to improve the quality and accuracy of the calculated dose distributions. We based our simulation method on the formalism proposed by Francois et al. In this method the spectrum is reconstructed from transmission measurements under narrow beam geometry for multiple attenuator thicknesses. These data allowed us to reconstruct the x-ray spectrum through direct solution of matrix systems using spectral algebra formalism

  5. ULTRAVIOLET RAMAN SPECTRAL SIGNATURE ACQUISITION: UV RAMAN SPECTRAL FINGERPRINTS.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    SEDLACEK,III, A.J.FINFROCK,C.

    2002-09-01

    As a member of the science-support part of the ITT-lead LISA development program, BNL is tasked with the acquisition of UV Raman spectral fingerprints and associated scattering cross-sections for those chemicals-of-interest to the program's sponsor. In support of this role, the present report contains the first installment of UV Raman spectral fingerprint data on the initial subset of chemicals. Because of the unique nature associated with the acquisition of spectral fingerprints for use in spectral pattern matching algorithms (i.e., CLS, PLS, ANN) great care has been undertaken to maximize the signal-to-noise and to minimize unnecessary spectral subtractions, in an effort to provide the highest quality spectral fingerprints. This report is divided into 4 sections. The first is an Experimental section that outlines how the Raman spectra are performed. This is then followed by a section on Sample Handling. Following this, the spectral fingerprints are presented in the Results section where the data reduction process is outlined. Finally, a Photographs section is included.

  6. Programs and procedures for assessing quality of spectral gamma-ray borehole data for the UGTA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Conaway, J.G.

    1998-01-01

    This report describes the procedures and computer programs used to process spectral gamma-ray borehole logging data in the UGTA (UnderGround Test Area) program at the NTS (Nevada Test Site) to assess data quality. These programs and procedures were used to analyze data from five boreholes in the UGTA program. Development of these computer programs and procedures required considerable effort and the primary purpose of this report is to provide continuity with future activities related to spectral gamma-ray borehole logging in the UGTA program. This is especially important because of the long time interval between cessation of logging in April, 1996 and the next round of activity, which has not yet occurred. This report should also be useful if any quality control issues arise regarding past or forthcoming spectral gamma-ray log analyses. In the characterization work underway at the Nevada Test Site Underground Test Area, the logging contractor, Western Atlas, agreed to identify five artificial nuclides based on their gamma-ray signatures. Those nuclides are 60 Co, 106 Ru, 125 Sb, 134 Cs, and 137 Cs. In the case of 106 Ru, which is not a gamma emitter, any detected gamma rays come from the daughter nuclide 106 Rh which has a half-life of 30 s. With such a short half-life, 106 Rh can be considered to be in equilibrium with 106 Ru under most conditions so the result is the same as if the gamma rays were emitted by the 106 Ru. The Western Atlas spectral gamma-ray curve plots from a given borehole present detailed qualitative information on the apparent distribution of natural and artificial nuclides with depth in the borehole. The computer programs and procedures described in this report were used to provide a quality analysis of the contractor's processed data and to work with the contractor to validate and/or refine their existing automatic processing. This was done using a procedure that was developed and tested successfully in earlier work at the NTS; the revised

  7. Do Clinical Practice Guidelines Improve Quality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldassari, Cristina M

    2017-07-01

    Controversy exists surrounding how to best define and assess quality in the health care setting. Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) have been developed to improve the quality of medical care by highlighting key clinical recommendations based on recent evidence. However, data linking CPGs to improvements in outcomes in otolaryngology are lacking. Numerous barriers contribute to difficulties in translating CPGs to improvements in quality. Future initiatives are needed to improve CPG adherence and define the impact of CPG recommendations on the quality of otolaryngologic care provided to our patients.

  8. SQIMSO: Quality Improvement for Small Software Organizations

    OpenAIRE

    Rabih Zeineddine; Nashat Mansour

    2005-01-01

    Software quality improvement process remains incomplete if it is not initiated and conducted through a wide improvement program that considers process quality improvement, product quality improvement and evolution of human resources. But, small software organizations are not capable of bearing the cost of establishing software process improvement programs. In this work, we propose a new software quality improvement model for small organizations, SQIMSO, based on three ...

  9. Improvement of and Parameter Identification for the Bimodal Time-Varying Modified Kanai-Tajimi Power Spectral Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huiguo Chen

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on the Kanai-Tajimi power spectrum filtering method proposed by Du Xiuli et al., a genetic algorithm and a quadratic optimization identification technique are employed to improve the bimodal time-varying modified Kanai-Tajimi power spectral model and the parameter identification method proposed by Vlachos et al. Additionally, a method for modeling time-varying power spectrum parameters for ground motion is proposed. The 8244 Orion and Chi-Chi earthquake accelerograms are selected as examples for time-varying power spectral model parameter identification and ground motion simulations to verify the feasibility and effectiveness of the improved bimodal time-varying modified Kanai-Tajimi power spectral model. The results of this study provide important references for designing ground motion inputs for seismic analyses of major engineering structures.

  10. IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF NEAR-INFRARED IMAGING OF IN VIVOBLOOD VESSELS USING IMAGE FUSION METHODS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Andreas Kryger; Savarimuthu, Thiusius Rajeeth; Sørensen, Anders Stengaard

    2009-01-01

    We investigate methods for improving the visual quality of in vivo images of blood vessels in the human forearm. Using a near-infrared light source and a dual CCD chip camera system capable of capturing images at visual and nearinfrared spectra, we evaluate three fusion methods in terms...... of their capability of enhancing the blood vessels while preserving the spectral signature of the original color image. Furthermore, we investigate a possibility of removing hair in the images using a fusion rule based on the "a trous" stationary wavelet decomposition. The method with the best overall performance...... with both speed and quality in mind is the Intensity Injection method. Using the developed system and the methods presented in this article, it is possible to create images of high visual quality with highly emphasized blood vessels....

  11. Improved spectral kurtosis with adaptive redundant multiwavelet packet and its applications for rotating machinery fault detection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Jinglong; Zi, Yanyang; He, Zhengjia; Yuan, Jing

    2012-01-01

    Rotating machinery fault detection is significant to avoid serious accidents and huge economic losses effectively. However, due to the vibration signal with the character of non-stationarity and nonlinearity, the detection and extraction of the fault feature turn into a challenging task. Therefore, a novel method called improved spectral kurtosis (ISK) with adaptive redundant multiwavelet packet (ARMP) is proposed for this task. Spectral kurtosis (SK) has been proved to be a powerful tool to detect and characterize the non-stationary signal. To improve the SK in filter limitation and enhance the resolution of spectral analysis as well as match fault feature optimally, the ARMP is introduced into the SK. Moreover, since kurtosis does not reflect the actual trend of periodic impulses, the SK is improved by incorporating an evaluation index called envelope spectrum entropy as supplement. The proposed method is applied to the rolling element bearing and gear fault detection to validate its reliability and effectiveness. Compared with the conventional frequency spectrum, envelope spectrum, original SK and some single wavelet methods, the results indicate that it could improve the accuracy of frequency-band selection and enhance the ability of rotating machinery fault detection. (paper)

  12. Improving a Spectral Bin Microphysical Scheme Using TRMM Satellite Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaowen; Tao, Wei-Kuo; Matsui, Toshihisa; Liu, Chuntao; Masunaga, Hirohiko

    2010-01-01

    Comparisons between cloud model simulations and observations are crucial in validating model performance and improving physical processes represented in the mod Tel.hese modeled physical processes are idealized representations and almost always have large rooms for improvements. In this study, we use data from two different sensors onboard TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission) satellite to improve the microphysical scheme in the Goddard Cumulus Ensemble (GCE) model. TRMM observed mature-stage squall lines during late spring, early summer in central US over a 9-year period are compiled and compared with a case simulation by GCE model. A unique aspect of the GCE model is that it has a state-of-the-art spectral bin microphysical scheme, which uses 33 different bins to represent particle size distribution of each of the seven hydrometeor species. A forward radiative transfer model calculates TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR) reflectivity and TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) 85 GHz brightness temperatures from simulated particle size distributions. Comparisons between model outputs and observations reveal that the model overestimates sizes of snow/aggregates in the stratiform region of the squall line. After adjusting temperature-dependent collection coefficients among ice-phase particles, PR comparisons become good while TMI comparisons worsen. Further investigations show that the partitioning between graupel (a high-density form of aggregate), and snow (a low-density form of aggregate) needs to be adjusted in order to have good comparisons in both PR reflectivity and TMI brightness temperature. This study shows that long-term satellite observations, especially those with multiple sensors, can be very useful in constraining model microphysics. It is also the first study in validating and improving a sophisticated spectral bin microphysical scheme according to long-term satellite observations.

  13. Quality improvement education to improve performance on ulcerative colitis quality measures and care processes aligned with National Quality Strategy priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Laurence; Moreo, Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    Studies on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have reported suboptimal approaches to patient care. In the United States, the findings have motivated leading gastroenterology organizations to call for initiatives that support clinicians in aligning their practices with quality measures for IBD and priorities of the National Quality Strategy (NQS). We designed and implemented a quality improvement (QI) education program on ulcerative colitis in which patient charts were audited for 30 gastroenterologists before (n = 300 charts) and after (n = 290 charts) they participated in QI-focused educational activities. Charts were audited for nine measures, selected for their alignment with four NQS priorities: making care safer, ensuring patient engagement, promoting communication, and promoting effective treatment practices. Four of the measures, including guideline-directed vaccinations and assessments of disease type and activity, were part of the CMS Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). The other five measures involved counseling patients on various topics in ulcerative colitis management, documentation of side effects, assessment of adherence status, and simplification of dosing. The gastroenterologists also completed baseline and post-education surveys designed to assess qualitative outcomes. One of the educational interventions was a private audit feedback session conducted for each gastroenterologist. The sessions were designed to support participants in identifying measures reflecting suboptimal care quality and developing action plans for improvement. In continuous improvement cycles, follow-up interventions included QI tools and educational monographs. Across the nine chart variables, post-education improvements ranged from 0% to 48%, with a mean improvement of 15.9%. Survey findings revealed improvements in self-reported understanding of quality measures and intentions to apply them to practice, and lower rates of perceived significant barriers to high-quality

  14. Quality improvement and emerging global health priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mensah Abrampah, Nana; Syed, Shamsuzzoha Babar; Hirschhorn, Lisa R; Nambiar, Bejoy; Iqbal, Usman; Garcia-Elorrio, Ezequiel; Chattu, Vijay Kumar; Devnani, Mahesh; Kelley, Edward

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Quality improvement approaches can strengthen action on a range of global health priorities. Quality improvement efforts are uniquely placed to reorient care delivery systems towards integrated people-centred health services and strengthen health systems to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This article makes the case for addressing shortfalls of previous agendas by articulating the critical role of quality improvement in the Sustainable Development Goal era. Quality improvement can stimulate convergence between health security and health systems; address global health security priorities through participatory quality improvement approaches; and improve health outcomes at all levels of the health system. Entry points for action include the linkage with antimicrobial resistance and the contentious issue of the health of migrants. The work required includes focussed attention on the continuum of national quality policy formulation, implementation and learning; alongside strengthening the measurement-improvement linkage. Quality improvement plays a key role in strengthening health systems to achieve UHC. PMID:29873793

  15. Improving Segmentation of 3D Retina Layers Based on Graph Theory Approach for Low Quality OCT Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stankiewicz Agnieszka

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents signal processing aspects for automatic segmentation of retinal layers of the human eye. The paper draws attention to the problems that occur during the computer image processing of images obtained with the use of the Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography (SD OCT. Accuracy of the retinal layer segmentation for a set of typical 3D scans with a rather low quality was shown. Some possible ways to improve quality of the final results are pointed out. The experimental studies were performed using the so-called B-scans obtained with the OCT Copernicus HR device.

  16. How to Begin a Quality Improvement Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, Samuel A; Harel, Ziv; McQuillan, Rory; Weizman, Adam V; Thomas, Alison; Chertow, Glenn M; Nesrallah, Gihad; Bell, Chaim M; Chan, Christopher T

    2016-05-06

    Quality improvement involves a combined effort among health care staff and stakeholders to diagnose and treat problems in the health care system. However, health care professionals often lack training in quality improvement methods, which makes it challenging to participate in improvement efforts. This article familiarizes health care professionals with how to begin a quality improvement project. The initial steps involve forming an improvement team that possesses expertise in the quality of care problem, leadership, and change management. Stakeholder mapping and analysis are useful tools at this stage, and these are reviewed to help identify individuals who might have a vested interest in the project. Physician engagement is a particularly important component of project success, and the knowledge that patients/caregivers can offer as members of a quality improvement team should not be overlooked. After a team is formed, an improvement framework helps to organize the scientific process of system change. Common quality improvement frameworks include Six Sigma, Lean, and the Model for Improvement. These models are contrasted, with a focus on the Model for Improvement, because it is widely used and applicable to a variety of quality of care problems without advanced training. It involves three steps: setting aims to focus improvement, choosing a balanced set of measures to determine if improvement occurs, and testing new ideas to change the current process. These new ideas are evaluated using Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles, where knowledge is gained by testing changes and reflecting on their effect. To show the real world utility of the quality improvement methods discussed, they are applied to a hypothetical quality improvement initiative that aims to promote home dialysis (home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis). This provides an example that kidney health care professionals can use to begin their own quality improvement projects. Copyright © 2016 by the American

  17. IMPROVING CONCEPTUAL DESIGN QUALITY

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bush, Stuart; Robotham, Antony John

    1999-01-01

    designer to identify clear targets for design improvement and to measure the effectiveness of any new solution, whilst attention to QFD ensures customer requirements are still being satisfied.Often, SME's are not aware of many of the best design practices and so are not able to meet the demand......This paper will consider how Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) processes can be used to improve the design quality of products at the concept stage. We appreciate that both QFD and DFMA are techniques that have been used for some time by mature product...... quality is maintained in design project work. The projects described have been carried out with products manufactured by small to medium sized enterprises (SME's), where we have found significant opportunities for product improvement. The quantitative nature of DFMA analysis results allows the novice...

  18. Continuous quality improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rohlin, Madeleine; Schaub, Rob M.H.; Holbrook, Peter; Leibur, Edvitar; Lévy, Gérard; Roubalikova, Lenka; Nilner, Maria; Roger-Leroi, Valerie; Danner, Gunter; Iseri, Haluk; Feldman, Cecile

    2002-01-01

    Versch. in: Eur J Dent Educ; 6 (Suppl. 3): 67–77 Continuous quality improvement (CQI) can be envisaged as a circular process of goal-setting, followed by external and internal evaluations resulting in improvements that can serve as goals for a next cycle. The need for CQI is apparent, because of

  19. Linear correlation for identification of materials by laser induced breakdown spectroscopy: Improvement via spectral filtering and masking

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gornushkin, I.B., E-mail: igor.gornushkin@bam.d [BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Berlin (Germany); Panne, U. [BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Berlin (Germany); Winefordner, J.D. [University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida (United States)

    2009-10-15

    The purpose of this work is to improve the performance of a linear correlation method used for material identification in laser induced breakdown spectroscopy. The improved correlation procedure is proposed based on the selection and use of only essential spectral information and ignoring empty spectral fragments. The method is tested on glass samples of forensic interest. The 100% identification capability of the new method is demonstrated in contrast to the traditional approach where the identification rate falls below 100% for many samples.

  20. Improved mid infrared detector for high spectral or spatial resolution and synchrotron radiation use

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Faye, Mbaye; Bordessoule, Michel; Kanouté, Brahim; Brubach, Jean-Blaise; Roy, Pascale [Synchrotron SOLEIL, L’Orme des Merisiers, F-91192 Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Manceron, Laurent [Synchrotron SOLEIL, L’Orme des Merisiers, F-91192 Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Laboratoire MONARIS, CNRS-Université Pierre et Marie Curie, UMR 8233, 4 Place Jussieu, F-75252 Paris Cedex (France)

    2016-06-15

    When using bright, small effective size sources, such as synchrotron radiation light beam, for broadband spectroscopy at spectral or spatial high resolution for mid-IR FTIR measurements, a marked detectivity improvement can be achieved by setting up a device matching the detector optical étendue to that of the source. Further improvement can be achieved by reducing the background unmodulated flux and other intrinsic noise sources using a lower temperature cryogen, such as liquid helium. By the combined use of cooled apertures, cold reimaging optics, filters and adapted detector polarization, and preamplification electronics, the sensitivity of a HgCdTe photoconductive IR detector can be improved by a significant factor with respect to standard commercial devices (more than one order of magnitude on average over 6–20 μm region) and the usable spectral range extended to longer wavelengths. The performances of such an optimized detector developed on the AILES Beamline at SOLEIL are presented here.

  1. Does competition improve health care quality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, Dennis P; Swaminathan, Shailender; Lee, Woolton; Chernew, Michael

    2008-12-01

    To identify the effect of competition on health maintenance organizations' (HMOs) quality measures. Longitudinal analysis of a 5-year panel of the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) and Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey(R) (CAHPS) data (calendar years 1998-2002). All plans submitting data to the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) were included regardless of their decision to allow NCQA to disclose their results publicly. NCQA, Interstudy, the Area Resource File, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fixed-effects models were estimated that relate HMO competition to HMO quality controlling for an unmeasured, time-invariant plan, and market traits. Results are compared with estimates from models reliant on cross-sectional variation. Estimates suggest that plan quality does not improve with increased levels of HMO competition (as measured by either the Herfindahl index or the number of HMOs). Similarly, increased HMO penetration is generally not associated with improved quality. Cross-sectional models tend to suggest an inverse relationship between competition and quality. The strategies that promote competition among HMOs in the current market setting may not lead to improved HMO quality. It is possible that price competition dominates, with purchasers and consumers preferring lower premiums at the expense of improved quality, as measured by HEDIS and CAHPS. It is also possible that the fragmentation associated with competition hinders quality improvement.

  2. Optimization of spectral printer modeling based on a modified cellular Yule-Nielsen spectral Neugebauer model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Qiang; Wan, Xiaoxia; Xie, Dehong

    2014-06-01

    The study presented here optimizes several steps in the spectral printer modeling workflow based on a cellular Yule-Nielsen spectral Neugebauer (CYNSN) model. First, a printer subdividing method was developed that reduces the number of sub-models while maintaining the maximum device gamut. Second, the forward spectral prediction accuracy of the CYNSN model for each subspace of the printer was improved using back propagation artificial neural network (BPANN) estimated n values. Third, a sequential gamut judging method, which clearly reduced the complexity of the optimal sub-model and cell searching process during printer backward modeling, was proposed. After that, we further modified the use of the modeling color metric and comprehensively improved the spectral and perceptual accuracy of the spectral printer model. The experimental results show that the proposed optimization approaches provide obvious improvements in aspects of the modeling accuracy or efficiency for each of the corresponding steps, and an overall improvement of the optimized spectral printer modeling workflow was also demonstrated.

  3. Potential applications of near infrared auto-fluorescence spectral polarized imaging for assessment of food quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Kenneth J.; Chen, Jun

    2016-03-01

    The current growing of food industry for low production costs and high efficiency needs for maintenance of high-quality standards and assurance of food safety while avoiding liability issues. Quality and safety of food depend on physical (texture, color, tenderness etc.), chemical (fat content, moisture, protein content, pH, etc.), and biological (total bacterial count etc.) features. There is a need for a rapid (less than a few minutes) and accurate detection system in order to optimize quality and assure safety of food. However, the fluorescence ranges for known fluorophores are limited to ultraviolet emission bands, which are not in the tissue near infrared (NIR) "optical window". Biological tissues excited by far-red or NIR light would exhibit strong emission in spectral range of 650-1,100 nm although no characteristic peaks show the emission from which known fluorophores. The characteristics of the auto-fluorescence emission of different types of tissues were found to be different between different tissue components such as fat, high quality muscle food. In this paper, NIR auto-fluorescence emission from different types of muscle food and fat was measured. The differences of fluorescence intensities of the different types of muscle food and fat emissions were observed. These can be explained by the change of the microscopic structure of physical, chemical, and biological features in meat. The difference of emission intensities of fat and lean meat tissues was applied to monitor food quality and safety using spectral polarized imaging, which can be detect deep depth fat under the muscle food up to several centimeter.

  4. Improved crop residue cover estimates by coupling spectral indices for residue and moisture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remote sensing assessment of soil residue cover (fR) and tillage intensity will improve our predictions of the impact of agricultural practices and promote sustainable management. Spectral indices for estimating fR are sensitive to soil and residue water content, therefore, the uncertainty of estima...

  5. Moving up the Ladder: How Do States Deliver Quality Improvement Supports within Their Quality Rating and Improvement Systems? Brief

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holod, Aleksandra; Faria, Ann-Marie; Weinberg, Emily; Howard, Eboni

    2015-01-01

    As national attention has increasingly focused on the potential for high-quality early childhood education (ECE) to improve children's school readiness, states have developed quality rating and improvement systems (QRISs) to document the quality of ECE programs, support systematic quality improvement, and provide clear information to families…

  6. Using Quality Tools and Methodologies to Improve a Hospital's Quality Position.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branco, Daniel; Wicks, Angela M; Visich, John K

    2017-01-01

    The authors identify the quality tools and methodologies most frequently used by quality-positioned hospitals versus nonquality hospitals. Northeastern U.S. hospitals in both groups received a brief, 12-question survey. The authors found that 93.75% of the quality hospitals and 81.25% of the nonquality hospitals used some form of process improvement methodologies. However, there were significant differences between the groups regarding the impact of quality improvement initiatives on patients. The findings indicate that in quality hospitals the use of quality improvement initiatives had a significantly greater positive impact on patient satisfaction and patient outcomes when compared to nonquality hospitals.

  7. Improving Soft X-Ray Spectral Irradiance Models for Use Throughout the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eparvier, F. G.; Thiemann, E.; Woods, T. N.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the effects of solar variability on planetary atmospheres has been hindered by the lack of accurate models and measurements of the soft x-ray (SXR) spectral irradiance (0-6 nm). Most measurements of the SXR have been broadband and are difficult to interpret due to changing spectral distribution under the pass band of the instruments. Models that use reference spectra for quiet sun, active region, and flaring contributions to irradiance have been made, but with limited success. The recent Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS) CubeSat made spectral measurements in the 0.04 - 3 nm range from June 2016 to May 2017, observing the Sun at many different levels of activity. In addition, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) EUV Variability Experiment (EVE) has observed the Sun since May 2010, in both broad bands (including a band at 0-7 nm) and spectrally resolved (6-105 nm at 0.1 nm resolution). We will present an improved model of the SXR based on new reference spectra from MinXSS and SDO-EVE. The non-flaring portion of the model is driven by broadband SXR measurements for determining activity level and relative contributions of quiet and active sun. Flares are modeled using flare temperatures from the GOES X-Ray Sensors. The improved SXR model can be driven by any sensors that provide a measure of activity level and flare temperature from any vantage point in the solar system. As an example, a version of the model is using the broadband solar irradiance measurements from the MAVEN EUV Monitor at Mars will be presented.

  8. The impact of leadership qualities on quality management improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ph. D. Radoslaw Wolniak

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Currently, the importance of leadership is considered more and more often in quality management. The need of an appropriate leader has been already emphasized in ISO 9000 standards, in TQM philosophy as well as in different models of improvement which are used in the methodologies of prizing quality. Yet, it is in the concept of TQL where the attitude based on the need of leadership in an organization has achieved its best-developed, full shape. On the basis of the conducted studies, the following publication presents the analysis of the dependence between leadership qualities of managers and the improvement of quality management. There has been an attempt to define the qualities, which a manager being responsible for quality management, should have.

  9. The impact of leadership qualities on quality management improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radoslaw Wolniak

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Currently, the importance of leadership is considered more and more often in quality management. The need of an appropriate leader has been already emphasized in ISO 9000 standards, in TQM philosophy as well as in different models of improvement which are used in the methodologies of prizing quality. Yet, it is in the concept of TQL where the attitude based on the need of leadership in an organization has achieved its best-developed, full shape. On the basis of the conducted studies, the following publication presents the analysis of the dependence between leadership qualities of managers and the improvement of quality management. There has been an attempt to define the qualities, which a manager being responsible for quality management, should have.

  10. Achieving Improvement Through Nursing Home Quality Measurement

    OpenAIRE

    Harris, Yael; Clauser, Steven B.

    2002-01-01

    CMS has initiated the Nursing Home Quality Initiative (NHQI) to improve the quality of nursing home care. Central to the NHQI is the public reporting of nursing home quality measures that serve as the basis for the Initiative's communication and quality improvement program. This article provides an overview of the NHQI, focusing on the role of nursing home quality measures in achieving improvements in nursing home care. We also describe the evolution of quality measurement in nursing homes, a...

  11. The quality of tumor size assessment by contrast-enhanced spectral mammography and the benefit of additional breast MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobbes, Marc B I; Lalji, Ulrich C; Nelemans, Patty J; Houben, Ivo; Smidt, Marjolein L; Heuts, Esther; de Vries, Bart; Wildberger, Joachim E; Beets-Tan, Regina G

    2015-01-01

    Background - Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM) is a promising new breast imaging modality that is superior to conventional mammography for breast cancer detection. We aimed to evaluate correlation and agreement of tumor size measurements using CESM. As additional analysis, we evaluated whether measurements using an additional breast MRI exam would yield more accurate results. Methods - Between January 1(st) 2013 and April 1(st) 2014, 87 consecutive breast cancer cases that underwent CESM were collected and data on maximum tumor size measurements were gathered. In 57 cases, tumor size measurements were also available for breast MRI. Histopathological results of the surgical specimen served as gold standard in all cases. Results - The Pearson's correlation coefficients (PCC) of CESM versus histopathology and breast MRI versus histopathology were all >0.9, p1 cm between the two imaging modalities and histopathological results, we did not observe any advantage of performing an additional breast MRI after CESM in any of the cases. Conclusion - Quality of tumor size measurement using CESM is good and matches the quality of these measurement assessed by breast MRI. Additional measurements using breast MRI did not improve the quality of tumor size measurements.

  12. Improving the quality of care for patients with hypertension in Moshupa District, Botswana: Quality improvement cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathy Kande

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Although there are no prevalence studies on hypertension in Botswana, this condition is thought to be common and the quality of care to be poor.Aim: The aim of this project was to assess and improve the quality of primary care forhypertension.Setting: Moshupa clinic and catchment area, Botswana.Methods: Quality improvement cycle.Results: Two hundred participants were included in the audit. Sixty-eight per cent were women with a mean age of 55 years. In the baseline audit none of the target standards were met. During the re-audit six months later, six out of nine structural target standards, five out of 11 process target standards and one out of two outcome target standards were achieved. Statistically-significant improvement in performance (p < 0.05 was shown in 10 criteria although the target standard was not always met. In the re-audit, the target of achieving blood pressure control (< 140/90 in 70% of patients was achieved.Conclusion: The quality of care for hypertension was suboptimal in our setting. Simple interventions were designed and implemented to improve the quality of care. These interventions led to significant improvement in structural and process criteria. A corresponding significant improvement in the control of blood pressure was also seen.

  13. Spectrally adapted red flare tracers with superior spectral performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramy Sadek

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The production of bright light, with vivid color, is the primary purpose of signaling, illuminating devices, and fire control purposes. This study, reports on the development of red flame compositions with enhanced performance in terms of luminous intensity, and color quality. The light intensity and the imprint spectra of developed red flame compositions to standard NATO red tracer (R-284 NATO were measured using digital luxmeter, and UV–Vis. spectrometer. The main giving of this study is that the light intensity of standard NATO red tracer was increased by 72%, the color quality was also improved by 60% (over the red band from 650 to 780 nm. This enhanced spectral performance was achieved by means of deriving the combustion process to maximize the formation of red color emitting species in the combustion flame. Thanks to the optimum ratio of color source to color intensifier using aluminum metal fuel; this approach offered the highest intensity and color quality. Upon combustion, aluminum was found to maximize the formation SrCL (the main reactive red color emitting species and to minimize the interfering incandescent emission resulted from MgO and SrO. Quantification of active red color emitting species in the combustion flame was conducted using chemical equilibrium thermodynamic code named ICT. The improvement in red flare performance, established the rule that the color intensifier should be in the range from 10 to 15 Wt % of the total composition.

  14. Recent progress of push-broom infrared hyper-spectral imager in SITP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yueming; Hu, Weida; Shu, Rong; Li, Chunlai; Yuan, Liyin; Wang, Jianyu

    2017-02-01

    In the past decades, hyper-spectral imaging technologies were well developed in SITP, CAS. Many innovations for system design and key parts of hyper-spectral imager were finished. First airborne hyper-spectral imager operating from VNIR to TIR in the world was emerged in SITP. It is well known as OMIS(Operational Modular Imaging Spectrometer). Some new technologies were introduced to improve the performance of hyper-spectral imaging system in these years. A high spatial space-borne hyper-spectral imager aboard Tiangong-1 spacecraft was launched on Sep.29, 2011. Thanks for ground motion compensation and high optical efficiency prismatic spectrometer, a large amount of hyper-spectral imagery with high sensitivity and good quality were acquired in the past years. Some important phenomena were observed. To diminish spectral distortion and expand field of view, new type of prismatic imaging spectrometer based curved prism were proposed by SITP. A prototype of hyper-spectral imager based spherical fused silica prism were manufactured, which can operate from 400nm 2500nm. We also made progress in the development of LWIR hyper-spectral imaging technology. Compact and low F number LWIR imaging spectrometer was designed, manufactured and integrated. The spectrometer operated in a cryogenically-cooled vacuum box for background radiation restraint. The system performed well during flight experiment in an airborne platform. Thanks high sensitivity FPA and high performance optics, spatial resolution and spectral resolution and SNR of system are improved enormously. However, more work should be done for high radiometric accuracy in the future.

  15. Practical Approaches to Quality Improvement for Radiologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Aine Marie; Cronin, Paul

    2015-10-01

    Continuous quality improvement is a fundamental attribute of high-performing health care systems. Quality improvement is an essential component of health care, with the current emphasis on adding value. It is also a regulatory requirement, with reimbursements increasingly being linked to practice performance metrics. Practice quality improvement efforts must be demonstrated for credentialing purposes and for certification of radiologists in practice. Continuous quality improvement must occur for radiologists to remain competitive in an increasingly diverse health care market. This review provides an introduction to the main approaches available to undertake practice quality improvement, which will be useful for busy radiologists. Quality improvement plays multiple roles in radiology services, including ensuring and improving patient safety, providing a framework for implementing and improving processes to increase efficiency and reduce waste, analyzing and depicting performance data, monitoring performance and implementing change, enabling personnel assessment and development through continued education, and optimizing customer service and patient outcomes. The quality improvement approaches and underlying principles overlap, which is not surprising given that they all align with good patient care. The application of these principles to radiology practices not only benefits patients but also enhances practice performance through promotion of teamwork and achievement of goals. © RSNA, 2015.

  16. High-precision solution to the moving load problem using an improved spectral element method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Shu-Rui; Wu, Zhi-Jing; Lu, Nian-Li

    2018-02-01

    In this paper, the spectral element method (SEM) is improved to solve the moving load problem. In this method, a structure with uniform geometry and material properties is considered as a spectral element, which means that the element number and the degree of freedom can be reduced significantly. Based on the variational method and the Laplace transform theory, the spectral stiffness matrix and the equivalent nodal force of the beam-column element are established. The static Green function is employed to deduce the improved function. The proposed method is applied to two typical engineering practices—the one-span bridge and the horizontal jib of the tower crane. The results have revealed the following. First, the new method can yield extremely high-precision results of the dynamic deflection, the bending moment and the shear force in the moving load problem. In most cases, the relative errors are smaller than 1%. Second, by comparing with the finite element method, one can obtain the highly accurate results using the improved SEM with smaller element numbers. Moreover, the method can be widely used for statically determinate as well as statically indeterminate structures. Third, the dynamic deflection of the twin-lift jib decreases with the increase in the moving load speed, whereas the curvature of the deflection increases. Finally, the dynamic deflection, the bending moment and the shear force of the jib will all increase as the magnitude of the moving load increases.

  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. Image quality of conventional images of dual-layer SPECTRAL CT: a phantom study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Ommen, F; Bennink, E; Vlassenbroek, A; Dankbaar, J W; Schilham, A M R; Viergever, M A; de Jong, H W A M

    2018-05-10

    Spectral CT using a dual layer detector offers the possibility of retrospectively introducing spectral information to conventional CT images. In theory, the dual-layer technology should not come with a dose or image quality penalty for conventional images. In this study, we evaluate the influence of a dual-layer detector (IQon Spectral CT, Philips) on the image quality of conventional CT images, by comparing these images with those of a conventional but otherwise technically comparable single-layer CT scanner (Brilliance iCT, Philips), by means of phantom experiments. For both CT scanners conventional CT images were acquired using four adult scanning protocols: i) body helical, ii) body axial, iii) head helical and iv) head axial. A CATPHAN 600 phantom was scanned to conduct an assessment of image quality metrics at equivalent (CTDI) dose levels. Noise was characterized by means of noise power spectra (NPS) and standard deviation (SD) of a uniform region, and spatial resolution was evaluated with modulation transfer functions (MTF) of a tungsten wire. In addition, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), image uniformity, CT number linearity, slice thickness, slice spacing, and spatial linearity were measured and evaluated. Additional measurements of CNR, resolution and noise were performed in two larger phantoms. The resolution levels at 50%, 10% and 5% MTF of the iCT and IQon showed small but significant differences up to 0.25 lp/cm for body scans, and up to 0.2 lp/cm for head scans in favor of the IQon. The iCT and IQon showed perfect CT linearity for body scans, but for head scans both scanners showed an underestimation of the CT numbers of materials with a high opacity. Slice thickness was slightly overestimated for both scanners. Slice spacing was comparable and reconstructed correctly. In addition, spatial linearity was excellent for both scanners, with a maximum error of 0.11 mm. CNR was higher on the IQon compared to the iCT for both normal and larger phantoms with

  19. Process safety improvement-Quality and target zero

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Scyoc, Karl [Det Norske Veritas (U.S.A.) Inc., DNV Energy Solutions, 16340 Park Ten Place, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77084 (United States)], E-mail: karl.van.scyoc@dnv.com

    2008-11-15

    Process safety practitioners have adopted quality management principles in design of process safety management systems with positive effect, yet achieving safety objectives sometimes remain a distant target. Companies regularly apply tools and methods which have roots in quality and productivity improvement. The 'plan, do, check, act' improvement loop, statistical analysis of incidents (non-conformities), and performance trending popularized by Dr. Deming are now commonly used in the context of process safety. Significant advancements in HSE performance are reported after applying methods viewed as fundamental for quality management. In pursuit of continual process safety improvement, the paper examines various quality improvement methods, and explores how methods intended for product quality can be additionally applied to continual improvement of process safety. Methods such as Kaizen, Poke yoke, and TRIZ, while long established for quality improvement, are quite unfamiliar in the process safety arena. These methods are discussed for application in improving both process safety leadership and field work team performance. Practical ways to advance process safety, based on the methods, are given.

  20. Process safety improvement-Quality and target zero

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Scyoc, Karl

    2008-01-01

    Process safety practitioners have adopted quality management principles in design of process safety management systems with positive effect, yet achieving safety objectives sometimes remain a distant target. Companies regularly apply tools and methods which have roots in quality and productivity improvement. The 'plan, do, check, act' improvement loop, statistical analysis of incidents (non-conformities), and performance trending popularized by Dr. Deming are now commonly used in the context of process safety. Significant advancements in HSE performance are reported after applying methods viewed as fundamental for quality management. In pursuit of continual process safety improvement, the paper examines various quality improvement methods, and explores how methods intended for product quality can be additionally applied to continual improvement of process safety. Methods such as Kaizen, Poke yoke, and TRIZ, while long established for quality improvement, are quite unfamiliar in the process safety arena. These methods are discussed for application in improving both process safety leadership and field work team performance. Practical ways to advance process safety, based on the methods, are given

  1. Process safety improvement--quality and target zero.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Scyoc, Karl

    2008-11-15

    Process safety practitioners have adopted quality management principles in design of process safety management systems with positive effect, yet achieving safety objectives sometimes remain a distant target. Companies regularly apply tools and methods which have roots in quality and productivity improvement. The "plan, do, check, act" improvement loop, statistical analysis of incidents (non-conformities), and performance trending popularized by Dr. Deming are now commonly used in the context of process safety. Significant advancements in HSE performance are reported after applying methods viewed as fundamental for quality management. In pursuit of continual process safety improvement, the paper examines various quality improvement methods, and explores how methods intended for product quality can be additionally applied to continual improvement of process safety. Methods such as Kaizen, Poke yoke, and TRIZ, while long established for quality improvement, are quite unfamiliar in the process safety arena. These methods are discussed for application in improving both process safety leadership and field work team performance. Practical ways to advance process safety, based on the methods, are given.

  2. Using GIS servers and interactive maps in spectral data sharing and administration: Case study of Ahvaz Spectral Geodatabase Platform (ASGP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karami, Mojtaba; Rangzan, Kazem; Saberi, Azim

    2013-10-01

    With emergence of air-borne and space-borne hyperspectral sensors, spectroscopic measurements are gaining more importance in remote sensing. Therefore, the number of available spectral reference data is constantly increasing. This rapid increase often exhibits a poor data management, which leads to ultimate isolation of data on disk storages. Spectral data without precise description of the target, methods, environment, and sampling geometry cannot be used by other researchers. Moreover, existing spectral data (in case it accompanied with good documentation) become virtually invisible or unreachable for researchers. Providing documentation and a data-sharing framework for spectral data, in which researchers are able to search for or share spectral data and documentation, would definitely improve the data lifetime. Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) are main candidates for spectral data management and their efficiency is proven by many studies and applications to date. In this study, a new approach to spectral data administration is presented based on spatial identity of spectral samples. This method benefits from scalability and performance of RDBMS for storage of spectral data, but uses GIS servers to provide users with interactive maps as an interface to the system. The spectral files, photographs and descriptive data are considered as belongings of a geospatial object. A spectral processing unit is responsible for evaluation of metadata quality and performing routine spectral processing tasks for newly-added data. As a result, by using internet browser software the users would be able to visually examine availability of data and/or search for data based on descriptive attributes associated to it. The proposed system is scalable and besides giving the users good sense of what data are available in the database, it facilitates participation of spectral reference data in producing geoinformation.

  3. AN EMPIRICAL METHOD FOR IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF RXTE HEXTE SPECTRA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia, Javier A.; Steiner, James F.; McClintock, Jeffrey E. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Grinberg, Victoria [MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, MIT, 70 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Pottschmidt, Katja [Department of Physics and Center for Space Science and Technology, UMBC, Baltimore, MD 21250 (United States); Rothschild, Richard E., E-mail: javier@head.cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: jem@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: jsteiner@mit.edu, E-mail: grinberg@space.mit.edu, E-mail: katja@milkyway.gsfc.nasa.gov, E-mail: rrothschild@ucsd.edu [Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA (United States)

    2016-03-01

    We have developed a correction tool to improve the quality of Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) High Energy X-ray Timing Experiment (HEXTE) spectra by employing the same method we used earlier to improve the quality of RXTE Proportional Counter Array (PCA) spectra. We fit all of the hundreds of HEXTE spectra of the Crab individually to a simple power-law model, some 37 million counts in total for Cluster A and 39 million counts for Cluster B, and we create for each cluster a combined spectrum of residuals. We find that the residual spectrum of Cluster A is free of instrumental artifacts while that of Cluster B contains significant features with amplitudes ∼1%; the most prominent is in the energy range 30–50 keV, which coincides with the iodine K edge. Starting with the residual spectrum for Cluster B, via an iterative procedure we created the calibration tool hexBcorr for correcting any Cluster B spectrum of interest. We demonstrate the efficacy of the tool by applying it to Cluster B spectra of two bright black holes, which contain several million counts apiece. For these spectra, application of the tool significantly improves the goodness of fit, while affecting only slightly the broadband fit parameters. The tool may be important for the study of spectral features, such as cyclotron lines, a topic that is beyond the scope of this paper.

  4. Quality Improvement and Learning in Productive Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Charles H. Fine

    1986-01-01

    Recent interest in product quality suggests that effort devoted to improving the quality of manufactured products may reduce unit costs. This conjecture---that improving quality can lower costs---challenges the traditional assumption that unit costs increase with increased quality assurance activities and has significant implications for quality management. By introducing the idea of a quality-based learning curve, this paper links the previously disjoint literatures of quality control and le...

  5. Improving care at cystic fibrosis centers through quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraynack, Nathan C; McBride, John T

    2009-10-01

    Quality improvement (QI) using a clinical microsystems approach provides cystic fibrosis (CF) centers the opportunity to make a significant positive impact on the health of their patients. The availability of center-specific outcomes data and the support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation are important advantages for these quality improvement efforts. This article illustrates how the clinical microsystems methodology can improve care delivery and outcomes by describing the gradual application of quality improvement principles over the past 5 years by the CF team at the Lewis Walker Cystic Fibrosis Center at Akron Children's Hospital in Akron, Ohio. Using the example of a project to improve the pulmonary function of the pediatric patients at our center as a framework, we describe the QI process from the initial team-building phase, through the assessment of care processes, standardization of care, and developing a culture of continuous improvement. We outline how enthusiastic commitment from physician leadership, clinical managers and central administration, the availability of coaches, and an appreciation of the importance of measurement, patient involvement, communication, and standardization are critical components for successful process improvement. Copyright Thieme Medical Publishers.

  6. Statistical methods for quality improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ryan, Thomas P

    2011-01-01

    ...."-TechnometricsThis new edition continues to provide the most current, proven statistical methods for quality control and quality improvementThe use of quantitative methods offers numerous benefits...

  7. Improving Spectral Image Classification through Band-Ratio Optimization and Pixel Clustering

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, M.; Burt, C.; McKenna, I.; Kimblin, C.

    2017-12-01

    The Underground Nuclear Explosion Signatures Experiment (UNESE) seeks to characterize non-prompt observables from underground nuclear explosions (UNE). As part of this effort, we evaluated the ability of DigitalGlobe's WorldView-3 (WV3) to detect and map UNE signatures. WV3 is the current state-of-the-art, commercial, multispectral imaging satellite; however, it has relatively limited spectral and spatial resolutions. These limitations impede image classifiers from detecting targets that are spatially small and lack distinct spectral features. In order to improve classification results, we developed custom algorithms to reduce false positive rates while increasing true positive rates via a band-ratio optimization and pixel clustering front-end. The clusters resulting from these algorithms were processed with standard spectral image classifiers such as Mixture-Tuned Matched Filter (MTMF) and Adaptive Coherence Estimator (ACE). WV3 and AVIRIS data of Cuprite, Nevada, were used as a validation data set. These data were processed with a standard classification approach using MTMF and ACE algorithms. They were also processed using the custom front-end prior to the standard approach. A comparison of the results shows that the custom front-end significantly increases the true positive rate and decreases the false positive rate.This work was done by National Security Technologies, LLC, under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25946 with the U.S. Department of Energy. DOE/NV/25946-3283.

  8. Spectral signature verification using statistical analysis and text mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeCoster, Mallory E.; Firpi, Alexe H.; Jacobs, Samantha K.; Cone, Shelli R.; Tzeng, Nigel H.; Rodriguez, Benjamin M.

    2016-05-01

    In the spectral science community, numerous spectral signatures are stored in databases representative of many sample materials collected from a variety of spectrometers and spectroscopists. Due to the variety and variability of the spectra that comprise many spectral databases, it is necessary to establish a metric for validating the quality of spectral signatures. This has been an area of great discussion and debate in the spectral science community. This paper discusses a method that independently validates two different aspects of a spectral signature to arrive at a final qualitative assessment; the textual meta-data and numerical spectral data. Results associated with the spectral data stored in the Signature Database1 (SigDB) are proposed. The numerical data comprising a sample material's spectrum is validated based on statistical properties derived from an ideal population set. The quality of the test spectrum is ranked based on a spectral angle mapper (SAM) comparison to the mean spectrum derived from the population set. Additionally, the contextual data of a test spectrum is qualitatively analyzed using lexical analysis text mining. This technique analyzes to understand the syntax of the meta-data to provide local learning patterns and trends within the spectral data, indicative of the test spectrum's quality. Text mining applications have successfully been implemented for security2 (text encryption/decryption), biomedical3 , and marketing4 applications. The text mining lexical analysis algorithm is trained on the meta-data patterns of a subset of high and low quality spectra, in order to have a model to apply to the entire SigDB data set. The statistical and textual methods combine to assess the quality of a test spectrum existing in a database without the need of an expert user. This method has been compared to other validation methods accepted by the spectral science community, and has provided promising results when a baseline spectral signature is

  9. Quality improvement in neurological surgery graduate medical education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Scott L; McGirt, Matthew J; Asher, Anthony L; Selden, Nathan R

    2015-04-01

    There has been no formal, standardized curriculum for neurosurgical resident education in quality improvement. There are at least 2 reasons to integrate a formalized quality improvement curriculum into resident education: (1) increased emphasis on the relative quality and value (cost-effectiveness) of health care provided by individual physicians, and (2) quality improvement principles empower broader lifelong learning. An integrated quality improvement curriculum should comprise specific goals and milestones at each level of residency training. This article discusses the role and possible implementation of a national program for quality improvement in neurosurgical resident education. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Adaptive Spectral Doppler Estimation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gran, Fredrik; Jakobsson, Andreas; Jensen, Jørgen Arendt

    2009-01-01

    . The methods can also provide better quality of the estimated power spectral density (PSD) of the blood signal. Adaptive spectral estimation techniques are known to pro- vide good spectral resolution and contrast even when the ob- servation window is very short. The 2 adaptive techniques are tested......In this paper, 2 adaptive spectral estimation techniques are analyzed for spectral Doppler ultrasound. The purpose is to minimize the observation window needed to estimate the spectrogram to provide a better temporal resolution and gain more flexibility when designing the data acquisition sequence...... and compared with the averaged periodogram (Welch’s method). The blood power spectral capon (BPC) method is based on a standard minimum variance technique adapted to account for both averaging over slow-time and depth. The blood amplitude and phase estimation technique (BAPES) is based on finding a set...

  11. Preanalytical quality improvement: in quality we trust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippi, Giuseppe; Becan-McBride, Kathleen; Behúlová, Darina; Bowen, Raffick A; Church, Stephen; Delanghe, Joris; Grankvist, Kjell; Kitchen, Steve; Nybo, Mads; Nauck, Matthias; Nikolac, Nora; Palicka, Vladimir; Plebani, Mario; Sandberg, Sverre; Simundic, Ana-Maria

    2013-01-01

    Total quality in laboratory medicine should be defined as the guarantee that each activity throughout the total testing process is correctly performed, providing valuable medical decision-making and effective patient care. In the past decades, a 10-fold reduction in the analytical error rate has been achieved thanks to improvements in both reliability and standardization of analytical techniques, reagents, and instrumentation. Notable advances in information technology, quality control and quality assurance methods have also assured a valuable contribution for reducing diagnostic errors. Nevertheless, several lines of evidence still suggest that most errors in laboratory diagnostics fall outside the analytical phase, and the pre- and postanalytical steps have been found to be much more vulnerable. This collective paper, which is the logical continuum of the former already published in this journal 2 years ago, provides additional contribution to risk management in the preanalytical phase and is a synopsis of the lectures of the 2nd European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)-Becton Dickinson (BD) European Conference on Preanalytical Phase meeting entitled "Preanalytical quality improvement: in quality we trust" (Zagreb, Croatia, 1-2 March 2013). The leading topics that will be discussed include quality indicators for preanalytical phase, phlebotomy practices for collection of blood gas analysis and pediatric samples, lipemia and blood collection tube interferences, preanalytical requirements of urinalysis, molecular biology hemostasis and platelet testing, as well as indications on best practices for safe blood collection. Auditing of the preanalytical phase by ISO assessors and external quality assessment for preanalytical phase are also discussed.

  12. Improve strategic supplier performance using DMAIC to develop a Quality Improvement Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jardim, Kevin P.

    Supplier performance that meets the requirements of the customer has long plagued quality professionals. Despite the vast efforts by organizations to improve supplier performance, little has been done to standardize the plan to improve performance. This project presents a guideline and problem-solving strategy using a Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) structured tool that will assist in the management and improvement of supplier performance. An analysis of benchmarked Quality Improvement Plans indicated that this topic needs more focus on how to accomplish improved supplier performance. This project is part of a growing body of supplier continuous improvement efforts. With the input of Zodiac Aerospace quality professionals this project's results provide a solution to Quality Improvement Plans and show objective evidence of its benefits. This project contributes to the future research on similar topics.

  13. Improving Family Meetings in Intensive Care Units: A Quality Improvement Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruenewald, David A; Gabriel, Michelle; Rizzo, Dorothy; Luhrs, Carol A

    2017-07-01

    Family meetings in the intensive care unit are associated with beneficial outcomes for patients, their families, and health care systems, yet these meetings often do not occur in a timely, effective, reliable way. The Department of Veterans Affairs Comprehensive End-of-Life Care Implementation Center sponsored a national initiative to improve family meetings in Veterans Affairs intensive care units across the United States. Process measures of success for the initiative were identified, including development of a curriculum to support facility-based quality improvement projects to implement high-quality family meetings. Identified curriculum requirements included suitability for distance learning and applicability to many clinical intensive care units. Curriculum modules were cross-mapped to the "Plan-Do-Study-Act" model to aid in planning quality improvement projects. A questionnaire was e-mailed to users to evaluate the curriculum's effectiveness. Users rated the curriculum's effectiveness in supporting and achieving aims of the initiative as 3.6 on a scale of 0 (not effective) to 4 (very effective). Users adapted the curriculum to meet local needs. The number of users increased from 6 to 17 quality improvement teams in 2 years. All but 3 teams progressed to implementation of an action plan. Users were satisfied with the effectiveness and adaptability of a family-meeting quality improvement curriculum to support implementation of a quality improvement project in Veterans Affairs intensive care units. This tool may be useful in facilitating projects to improve the quality of family meetings in other intensive care units. ©2017 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

  14. Terrain Extraction by Integrating Terrestrial Laser Scanner Data and Spectral Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, C. L.; Halim, S.; Zulkepli, M.; Azwan, A. M.; Tang, W. L.; Chong, A. K.

    2015-10-01

    The extraction of true terrain points from unstructured laser point cloud data is an important process in order to produce an accurate digital terrain model (DTM). However, most of these spatial filtering methods just utilizing the geometrical data to discriminate the terrain points from nonterrain points. The point cloud filtering method also can be improved by using the spectral information available with some scanners. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of using the three-channel (red, green and blue) of the colour image captured from built-in digital camera which is available in some Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) for terrain extraction. In this study, the data acquisition was conducted at a mini replica landscape in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai campus using Leica ScanStation C10. The spectral information of the coloured point clouds from selected sample classes are extracted for spectral analysis. The coloured point clouds which within the corresponding preset spectral threshold are identified as that specific feature point from the dataset. This process of terrain extraction is done through using developed Matlab coding. Result demonstrates that a higher spectral resolution passive image is required in order to improve the output. This is because low quality of the colour images captured by the sensor contributes to the low separability in spectral reflectance. In conclusion, this study shows that, spectral information is capable to be used as a parameter for terrain extraction.

  15. Initial analyses of surface spectral radiance between observations and Line-By-Line calculations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, P.D.; Clough, S.A. [Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., Cambridge, MA (United States); Miller, N.E.; Shippert, T.R.; Turner, D.D. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States)] [and others

    1996-04-01

    The evaluation an improvement of radiative transfer calculations are essential to attain improved performance of general circulation models (GCMs) for climate change applications. A Quality Measurement Experiment (QME) is being conducted to analyze the spectral residuals between the downwelling longwave radiance measured by the University of Wisconsin Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) and spectral radiance calculated by the Line-By-Line Radiative Transfer Model (LBLRTM). The three critical components of this study are (1) the assessment of the quality of the high resolution AERI measurements, (2) the assessment of the ability to define the atmospheric state in the radiating column, and (3) the evaluation of the capability of LBLRTM. Validations have been performed on spectral radiance data, obtained from April 1994 through July 1994, through the analysis of the spectral interval and physical process. The results are archived as a function of time, enabling the retrieval of specific data and facilitating investigations and diurnal effects, seasonal effects, and longer-term trends. While the initial focus is restricted to clear-sky analyses, efforts are under way to include the effects of clouds and aerosols. Plans are well formulated for the extension of the current approach to the shortwave. An overview of the concept of the QME is described by Miller et al. (1994), and a detailed description of this study is provided by Clough et al. (1994).

  16. Quality improvement through multiple response optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noorossana, R.; Alemzad, H.

    2003-01-01

    The performance of a product is often evaluated by several quality characteristics. Optimizing the manufacturing process with respect to only one quality characteristic will not always lead to the optimum values for other characteristics. Hence, it would be desirable to improve the overall quality of a product by improving quality characteristics, which are considered to be important. The problem consists of optimizing several responses using multiple objective decision making approach and design of experiments. A case study will be discussed to show the application of the proposal method

  17. Power theories for improved power quality

    CERN Document Server

    Pasko, Marian

    2012-01-01

    Power quality describes a set of parameters of electric power and the load’s ability to function properly under specific conditions. It is estimated that problems relating to power quality costs the European industry hundreds of billions of Euros annually. In contrast, financing for the prevention of these problems amount to fragments of these costs. Power Theories for Improved Power Quality addresses this imbalance by presenting and assessing a range of methods and problems related to improving the quality of electric power supply. Focusing particularly on active compensators and the DSP based control algorithms, Power Theories for Improved Power Quality introduces the fundamental problems of electrical power. This introduction is followed by chapters which discuss: •‘Power theories’ including their historical development and application to practical problems, •operational principles of active compensator’s DSP control based algorithms using examples and results from laboratory research, and •t...

  18. Spectral CT imaging in patients with Budd-Chiari syndrome: investigation of image quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Lei; Dong, Junqiang; Sun, Qiang; Liu, Jie; Lv, Peijie; Hu, Lili; Yan, Liangliang; Gao, Jianbo

    2014-11-01

    To assess the image quality of monochromatic imaging from spectral CT in patients with Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS), fifty patients with BCS underwent spectral CT to generate conventional 140 kVp polychromatic images (group A) and monochromatic images, with energy levels from 40 to 80, 40 + 70, and 50 + 70 keV fusion images (group B) during the portal venous phase (PVP) and the hepatic venous phase (HVP). Two-sample t tests compared vessel-to-liver contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for the portal vein (PV), hepatic vein (HV), inferior vena cava. Readers' subjective evaluations of the image quality were recorded. The highest SNR values in group B were distributed at 50 keV; the highest CNR values in group B were distributed at 40 keV. The higher CNR values and SNR values were obtained though PVP of PV (SNR 18.39 ± 6.13 vs. 10.56 ± 3.31, CNR 7.81 ± 3.40 vs. 3.58 ± 1.31) and HVP of HV (3.89 ± 2.08 vs. 1.27 ± 1.55) in the group B; the lower image noise for group B was at 70 keV and 50 + 70 keV (15.54 ± 8.39 vs. 18.40 ± 4.97, P = 0.0004 and 18.97 ± 7.61 vs. 18.40 ± 4.97, P = 0.0691); the results show that the 50 + 70 keV fusion image quality was better than that in group A. Monochromatic energy levels of 40-70, 40 + 70, and 50 + 70 keV fusion image can increase vascular contrast and that will be helpful for the diagnosis of BCS, we select the 50 + 70 keV fusion image to acquire the best BCS images.

  19. Preanalytical quality improvement : in quality we trust

    OpenAIRE

    Lippi, Giuseppe; Becan-McBride, Kathleen; Behulova, Darina; Bowen, Raffick A.; Church, Stephen; Delanghe, Joris; Grankvist, Kjell; Kitchen, Steve; Nybo, Mads; Nauck, Matthias; Nikolac, Nora; Palicka, Vladimir; Plebani, Mario; Sandberg, Sverre; Simundic, Ana-Maria

    2013-01-01

    Total quality in laboratory medicine should be defined as the guarantee that each activity throughout the total testing process is correctly performed, providing valuable medical decision-making and effective patient care. In the past decades, a 10-fold reduction in the analytical error rate has been achieved thanks to improvements in both reliability and standardization of analytical techniques, reagents, and instrumentation. Notable advances in information technology, quality control and qu...

  20. Quality improvement in pediatrics: past, present, and future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Stephanie P; Rehder, Kyle J

    2017-01-01

    Almost two decades ago, the landmark report "To Err is Human" compelled healthcare to address the large numbers of hospitalized patients experiencing preventable harm. Concurrently, it became clear that the rapidly rising cost of healthcare would be unsustainable in the long-term. As a result, quality improvement methodologies initially rooted in other high-reliability industries have become a primary focus of healthcare. Multiple pediatric studies demonstrate remarkable quality and safety improvements in several domains including handoffs, catheter-associated blood stream infections, and other serious safety events. While both quality improvement and research are data-driven processes, significant differences exist between the two. Research utilizes a hypothesis driven approach to obtain new knowledge while quality improvement often incorporates a cyclic approach to translate existing knowledge into clinical practice. Recent publications have provided guidelines and methods for effectively reporting quality and safety work and improvement implementations. This review examines not only how quality improvement in pediatrics has led to improved outcomes, but also looks to the future of quality improvement in healthcare with focus on education and collaboration to ensure best practice approaches to caring for children.

  1. Observer model optimization of a spectral mammography system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredenberg, Erik; Åslund, Magnus; Cederström, Björn; Lundqvist, Mats; Danielsson, Mats

    2010-04-01

    Spectral imaging is a method in medical x-ray imaging to extract information about the object constituents by the material-specific energy dependence of x-ray attenuation. Contrast-enhanced spectral imaging has been thoroughly investigated, but unenhanced imaging may be more useful because it comes as a bonus to the conventional non-energy-resolved absorption image at screening; there is no additional radiation dose and no need for contrast medium. We have used a previously developed theoretical framework and system model that include quantum and anatomical noise to characterize the performance of a photon-counting spectral mammography system with two energy bins for unenhanced imaging. The theoretical framework was validated with synthesized images. Optimal combination of the energy-resolved images for detecting large unenhanced tumors corresponded closely, but not exactly, to minimization of the anatomical noise, which is commonly referred to as energy subtraction. In that case, an ideal-observer detectability index could be improved close to 50% compared to absorption imaging. Optimization with respect to the signal-to-quantum-noise ratio, commonly referred to as energy weighting, deteriorated detectability. For small microcalcifications or tumors on uniform backgrounds, however, energy subtraction was suboptimal whereas energy weighting provided a minute improvement. The performance was largely independent of beam quality, detector energy resolution, and bin count fraction. It is clear that inclusion of anatomical noise and imaging task in spectral optimization may yield completely different results than an analysis based solely on quantum noise.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vink JP

    2016-06-01

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

  3. An improved pulse coupled neural network with spectral residual for infrared pedestrian segmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Fuliang; Guo, Yongcai; Gao, Chao

    2017-12-01

    Pulse coupled neural network (PCNN) has become a significant tool for the infrared pedestrian segmentation, and a variety of relevant methods have been developed at present. However, these existing models commonly have several problems of the poor adaptability of infrared noise, the inaccuracy of segmentation results, and the fairly complex determination of parameters in current methods. This paper presents an improved PCNN model that integrates the simplified framework and spectral residual to alleviate the above problem. In this model, firstly, the weight matrix of the feeding input field is designed by the anisotropic Gaussian kernels (ANGKs), in order to suppress the infrared noise effectively. Secondly, the normalized spectral residual saliency is introduced as linking coefficient to enhance the edges and structural characteristics of segmented pedestrians remarkably. Finally, the improved dynamic threshold based on the average gray values of the iterative segmentation is employed to simplify the original PCNN model. Experiments on the IEEE OTCBVS benchmark and the infrared pedestrian image database built by our laboratory, demonstrate that the superiority of both subjective visual effects and objective quantitative evaluations in information differences and segmentation errors in our model, compared with other classic segmentation methods.

  4. Improving and monitoring air quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DuPont, André

    2018-05-01

    Since the authorization of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the air quality in the USA has significantly improved because of strong public support. The lessons learned over the last 25 years are being shared with the policy analysts, technical professionals, and scientist who endeavor to improve air quality in their communities. This paper will review how the USA has achieved the "high" standard of air quality that was envisioned in the early 1990s. This document will describe SO 2 gas emission reduction technology and highlight operation of emission monitoring technology. This paper describes the basic process operation of an air pollution control scrubber. A technical review of measures required to operate and maintain a large-scale pollution control system will be described. Also, the author explains how quality assurance procedures in performance of continuous emission monitoring plays a significant role in reducing air pollution.

  5. The potential of Sentinel-2 spectral configuration to assess rangeland quality

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ramoelo, Abel

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available was measured using the analytical spectral device (ASD) in concert with leaf sample collections for leaf N chemical analysis. ASD reflectance data were resampled to the spectral bands of Sentinel-2 using published spectral response functions. Random forest (RF...

  6. [QUIPS: quality improvement in postoperative pain management].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meissner, Winfried

    2011-01-01

    Despite the availability of high-quality guidelines and advanced pain management techniques acute postoperative pain management is still far from being satisfactory. The QUIPS (Quality Improvement in Postoperative Pain Management) project aims to improve treatment quality by means of standardised data acquisition, analysis of quality and process indicators, and feedback and benchmarking. During a pilot phase funded by the German Ministry of Health (BMG), a total of 12,389 data sets were collected from six participating hospitals. Outcome improved in four of the six hospitals. Process indicators, such as routine pain documentation, were only poorly correlated with outcomes. To date, more than 130 German hospitals use QUIPS as a routine quality management tool. An EC-funded parallel project disseminates the concept internationally. QUIPS demonstrates that patient-reported outcomes in postoperative pain management can be benchmarked in routine clinical practice. Quality improvement initiatives should use outcome instead of structural and process parameters. The concept is transferable to other fields of medicine. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier GmbH.

  7. Michelson mode selector for spectral range stabilization in a self-sweeping fiber laser.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkachenko, A Yu; Vladimirskaya, A D; Lobach, I A; Kablukov, S I

    2018-04-01

    We report on spectral range stabilization in a self-sweeping laser by adding a narrowband fiber Bragg grating (FBG) to the output mirror in the Michelson configuration. The effects of FBG reflectivity and optical path difference in the Michelson interferometer on the laser spectral dynamics are investigated. Optimization of the interferometer allows us to demonstrate broadband (over 16 nm) self-sweeping operation and reduction of the start and stop wavelength fluctuations by two orders and one order of magnitude (∼100 and 15 times) for start and stop bounds, respectively (down to several picometers). The proposed approaches significantly improve quality of the spectral dynamics and facilitate application of the self-sweeping lasers.

  8. Near-diffraction-limited segmented broad area diode laser based on off-axis spectral beam combining

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, O.B.; Thestrup Nielsen, Birgitte; Andersen, Peter E.

    2006-01-01

    -feedback scheme we are able to improve the beam quality of the laser by a factor of 23 from M-2 = 55 for the free-running diode laser to M-2 = 2.4 for the laser with feedback at a drive current of 2.2 A. The improved M-2 value is a factor of 3.4 below M-2 = 8.2 for a single free-running segment. This is the first......The beam quality of a 500-mu m-wide broad area diode laser with five active segments has been improved beyond the beam quality of the individual segments. The principle of this new laser system is based on off-axis feedback in combination with spectral beam combining. By using a double...... time that the beam quality of a segmented broad area diode laser has been improved beyond the beam quality of the individual segments....

  9. 42 CFR 441.474 - Quality assurance and improvement plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Quality assurance and improvement plan. 441.474... improvement plan. (a) The State must provide a quality assurance and improvement plan that describes the State... pursue opportunities for system improvement. (b) The quality assurance and improvement plan shall also...

  10. Methodology of quality improvement projects for the Texas Medicare population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendergrass, P W; Abel, R L; Bing, M; Vaughn, R; McCauley, C

    1998-07-01

    The Texas Medical Foundation, the quality improvement organization for the state of Texas, develops local quality improvement projects for the Medicare population. These projects are developed as part of the Health Care Quality Improvement Program undertaken by the Health Care Financing Administration. The goal of a local quality improvement project is to collaborate with providers to identify and reduce the incidence of unintentional variations in the delivery of care that negatively impact outcomes. Two factors are critical to the success of a quality improvement project. First, as opposed to peer review that is based on implicit criteria, quality improvement must be based on explicit criteria. These criteria represent key steps in the delivery of care that have been shown to improve outcomes for a specific disease. Second, quality improvement must be performed in partnership with the health care community. As such, the health care community must play an integral role in the design and evaluation of a quality improvement project and in the design and implementation of the resulting quality improvement plan. Specifically, this article provides a historical perspective for the transition from peer review to quality improvement. It discusses key steps used in developing and implementing local quality improvement projects including topic selection, quality indicator development, collaborator recruitment, and measurement of performance/improvement. Two Texas Medical Foundation projects are described to highlight the current methodology and to illustrate the impact of quality improvement projects.

  11. Assessing the impact of continuous quality improvement/total quality management: concept versus implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shortell, S M; O'Brien, J L; Carman, J M; Foster, R W; Hughes, E F; Boerstler, H; O'Connor, E J

    1995-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This study examines the relationships among organizational culture, quality improvement processes and selected outcomes for a sample of up to 61 U. S. hospitals. DATA SOURCES AND STUDY SETTING: Primary data were collected from 61 U. S. hospitals (located primarily in the midwest and the west) on measures related to continuous quality improvement/total quality management (CQI/TQM), organizational culture, implementation approaches, and degree of quality improvement implementation based on the Baldrige Award criteria. These data were combined with independently collected data on perceived impact and objective measures of clinical efficiency (i.e., charges and length of stay) for six clinical conditions. STUDY DESIGN: The study involved cross-sectional examination of the named relationships. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: Reliable and valid scales for the organizational culture and quality improvement implementation measures were developed based on responses from over 7,000 individuals across the 61 hospitals with an overall completion rate of 72 percent. Independent data on perceived impact were collected from a national survey and independent data on clinical efficiency from a companion study of managed care. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A participative, flexible, risk-taking organizational culture was significantly related to quality improvement implementation. Quality improvement implementation, in turn, was positively associated with greater perceived patient outcomes and human resource development. Larger-size hospitals experienced lower clinical efficiency with regard to higher charges and higher length of stay, due in part to having more bureaucratic and hierarchical cultures that serve as a barrier to quality improvement implementation. CONCLUSIONS: What really matters is whether or not a hospital has a culture that supports quality improvement work and an approach that encourages flexible implementation. Larger-size hospitals face more difficult

  12. Spectral Collection of Polyethylene Pellets at nearly Cryogenic Temperature to Improve Selectivity of Raman Measurement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Saetbyeol; Lee, Sanguk; Hwang, Jinyoung; Chung, Hoeil

    2010-01-01

    Raman spectroscopy has been extensively used for analysis of diverse polymer samples. Normally, Raman spectral collection of samples is routinely performed at room temperature for convenience. However, the feasibility of improving spectral selectivity and the resulting quantitative accuracy, when samples are measured at nearly cryogenic temperature, has not been investigated. For this purpose, we attempted to measure the density of polyethylene (PE) pellets at cryogenic temperatures and the resulting accuracies were compared with that from room temperature measurement. Initially, each of 25 PE sample was allowed to cool down to cryogenic temperature and the corresponding Raman spectra were continuously collected while the temperature of sample increased. When the temperature of sample was at cryogenic temperature, the resulting band widths were narrower compared to those at room temperature, thereby improving the accuracy of density measurement. In overall, the proposed Raman scheme is simple and efficient; therefore, it could be further applied for analysis of other polymers.

  13. Can Quality Improvement System Improve Childcare Site Performance in School Readiness?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xin; Shen, Jianping; Lu, Xuejin; Brandi, Karen; Goodman, Jeff; Watson, Grace

    2013-01-01

    The authors evaluated the effectiveness of the Quality Improvement System (QIS) developed and implemented by Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County (Florida) as a voluntary initiative to improve the quality of childcare and education. They adopted a growth model approach to investigate whether childcare sites that participated in QIS…

  14. Optimization of NIR Spectral Data Management for Quality Control of Grape Bunches during On-Vine Ripening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María-Teresa Sánchez

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available NIR spectroscopy was used as a non-destructive technique for the assessment of chemical changes in the main internal quality properties of wine grapes (Vitis vinifera L. during on-vine ripening and at harvest. A total of 363 samples from 25 white and red grape varieties were used to construct quality-prediction models based on reference data and on NIR spectral data obtained using a commercially-available diode-array spectrophotometer (380–1,700 nm. The feasibility of testing bunches of intact grapes was investigated and compared with the more traditional must-based method. Two regression approaches (MPLS and LOCAL algorithms were tested for the quantification of changes in soluble solid content (SSC, reducing sugar content, pH-value, titratable acidity, tartaric acid, malic acid and potassium content. Cross-validation results indicated that NIRS technology provided excellent precision for sugar-related parameters (r2 = 0.94 for SSC and reducing sugar content and good precision for acidity-related parameters (r2 ranging between 0.73 and 0.87 for the bunch-analysis mode assayed using MPLS regression. At validation level, comparison of LOCAL and MPLS algorithms showed that the non-linear strategy improved the predictive capacity of the models for all study parameters, with particularly good results for acidity-related parameters and potassium content.

  15. Improving Indoor Air Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of pollution or to reduce their emissions. Some sources, like those that contain asbestos, can be sealed or enclosed.

  16. Improving PSA quality of KSNP PSA model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Joon Eon; Ha, Jae Joo

    2004-01-01

    In the RIR (Risk-informed Regulation), PSA (Probabilistic Safety Assessment) plays a major role because it provides overall risk insights for the regulatory body and utility. Therefore, the scope, the level of details and the technical adequacy of PSA, i.e. the quality of PSA is to be ensured for the successful RIR. To improve the quality of Korean PSA, we evaluate the quality of the KSNP (Korean Standard Nuclear Power Plant) internal full-power PSA model based on the 'ASME PRA Standard' and the 'NEI PRA Peer Review Process Guidance.' As a working group, PSA experts of the regulatory body and industry also participated in the evaluation process. It is finally judged that the overall quality of the KSNP PSA is between the ASME Standard Capability Category I and II. We also derive some items to be improved for upgrading the quality of the PSA up to the ASME Standard Capability Category II. In this paper, we show the result of quality evaluation, and the activities to improve the quality of the KSNP PSA model

  17. Modalities of hemodialysis: Quality improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayman Karkar

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Hemodialysis (HD treatment had, over many years, improved the survival rate of patients with end-stage renal disease. However, standard or conventional HD prescription is far from being optimal in replacing the function of normal kidneys. Its unphysiologic clearance pattern and inability to remove all types and sizes of uremic toxins results in inter- and intra-dialysis complications and an unacceptably high rate of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Efficiency of HD can be improved by increasing blood and dialysate flow rates, dialyzer size and surface area and duration and frequency of dialysis sessions. Home HD, where short daily or long slow nocturnal HD sessions can conveniently be performed, provides an excellent option for quality of life improvement and reduction in morbidity and mortality. Recent innovations in the specifications of HD machines and improvement in dialysis membranes characteristics and water treatment technology paved the way for achieving quality HD. These advancements have resulted in efficient implementation of adsorption, diffusion and/or convection principles using adsorption HD, hemofiltration, hemodiafiltration (HDF and online HDF modalities in order to achieve optimum HD. Implementation of these innovations resulted in better quality care achievements in clinical practice and reduction in morbidity and mortality rates among HD patients.

  18. A quality improvement management model for renal care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlchek, D L; Day, L M

    1991-04-01

    The purpose of this article is to explore the potential for applying the theory and tools of quality improvement (total quality management) in the renal care setting. We believe that the coupling of the statistical techniques used in the Deming method of quality improvement, with modern approaches to outcome and process analysis, will provide the renal care community with powerful tools, not only for improved quality (i.e., reduced morbidity and mortality), but also for technology evaluation and resource allocation.

  19. Modified fuzzy c-means applied to a Bragg grating-based spectral imager for material clustering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Aida; Nieves, Juan Luis; Valero, Eva; Garrote, Estíbaliz; Hernández-Andrés, Javier; Romero, Javier

    2012-01-01

    We have modified the Fuzzy C-Means algorithm for an application related to segmentation of hyperspectral images. Classical fuzzy c-means algorithm uses Euclidean distance for computing sample membership to each cluster. We have introduced a different distance metric, Spectral Similarity Value (SSV), in order to have a more convenient similarity measure for reflectance information. SSV distance metric considers both magnitude difference (by the use of Euclidean distance) and spectral shape (by the use of Pearson correlation). Experiments confirmed that the introduction of this metric improves the quality of hyperspectral image segmentation, creating spectrally more dense clusters and increasing the number of correctly classified pixels.

  20. 45 CFR 1304.60 - Deficiencies and quality improvement plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Deficiencies and quality improvement plans. 1304... must correct the deficiency either immediately or pursuant to a Quality Improvement Plan. (c) An Early... Improvement Plan must submit to the responsible HHS official a Quality Improvement Plan specifying, for each...

  1. Fat saturation in dynamic breast MRI at 3 Tesla: is the Dixon technique superior to spectral fat saturation? A visual grading characteristics study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clauser, P. [University of Udine, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria ' ' S.Maria della Misericordia' ' , Institute of Diagnostic Radiology, Udine (Italy); Medical University of Vienna, Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided interventions, Division of Molecular and Gender Imaging, Vienna (Austria); Pinker, K.; Helbich, T.H.; Kapetas, P.; Bernathova, M.; Baltzer, P.A.T. [Medical University of Vienna, Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided interventions, Division of Molecular and Gender Imaging, Vienna (Austria)

    2014-09-15

    To intra-individually compare the diagnostic image quality of Dixon and spectral fat suppression at 3 T. Fifty consecutive patients (mean age 55.1 years) undergoing 3 T breast MRI were recruited for this prospective study. The image protocol included pre-contrast and delayed post-contrast spectral and Dixon fat-suppressed T1w series. Two independent blinded readers compared spectral and Dixon fat-suppressed series by evaluating six ordinal (1 worst to 5 best) image quality criteria (image quality, delineation of anatomical structures, fat suppression in the breast and axilla, lesion delineation and internal enhancement). Breast density and size were assessed. Data analysis included Spearman's rank correlation coefficient and visual grading characteristics (VGC) analysis. Four examinations were excluded; 48 examinations in 46 patients were evaluated. In VGC analysis, the Dixon technique was superior regarding image quality criteria analysed (P < 0.01). Smaller breast size and lower breast density were significantly (P < 0.01) correlated with impaired spectral fat suppression quality. No such correlation was identified for the Dixon technique, which showed reconstruction-based water-fat mixups leading to insufficient image quality in 20.8 %. The Dixon technique outperformed spectral fat suppression in all evaluated criteria (P < 0.01). Non-diagnostic examinations can be avoided by fat and water image reconstruction. The superior image quality of the Dixon technique can improve breast MRI interpretation. (orig.)

  2. Improving patient safety through quality assurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raab, Stephen S

    2006-05-01

    Anatomic pathology laboratories use several quality assurance tools to detect errors and to improve patient safety. To review some of the anatomic pathology laboratory patient safety quality assurance practices. Different standards and measures in anatomic pathology quality assurance and patient safety were reviewed. Frequency of anatomic pathology laboratory error, variability in the use of specific quality assurance practices, and use of data for error reduction initiatives. Anatomic pathology error frequencies vary according to the detection method used. Based on secondary review, a College of American Pathologists Q-Probes study showed that the mean laboratory error frequency was 6.7%. A College of American Pathologists Q-Tracks study measuring frozen section discrepancy found that laboratories improved the longer they monitored and shared data. There is a lack of standardization across laboratories even for governmentally mandated quality assurance practices, such as cytologic-histologic correlation. The National Institutes of Health funded a consortium of laboratories to benchmark laboratory error frequencies, perform root cause analysis, and design error reduction initiatives, using quality assurance data. Based on the cytologic-histologic correlation process, these laboratories found an aggregate nongynecologic error frequency of 10.8%. Based on gynecologic error data, the laboratory at my institution used Toyota production system processes to lower gynecologic error frequencies and to improve Papanicolaou test metrics. Laboratory quality assurance practices have been used to track error rates, and laboratories are starting to use these data for error reduction initiatives.

  3. Spectral Estimation of UV-Vis Absorbance Time Series for Water Quality Monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Plazas-Nossa

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Context: Signals recorded as multivariate time series by UV-Vis absorbance captors installed in urban sewer systems, can be non-stationary, yielding complications in the analysis of water quality monitoring. This work proposes to perform spectral estimation using the Box-Cox transformation and differentiation in order to obtain stationary multivariate time series in a wide sense. Additionally, Principal Component Analysis (PCA is applied to reduce their dimensionality. Method: Three different UV-Vis absorbance time series for different Colombian locations were studied: (i El-Salitre Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP in Bogotá; (ii Gibraltar Pumping Station (GPS in Bogotá; and (iii San-Fernando WWTP in Itagüí. Each UV-Vis absorbance time series had equal sample number (5705. The esti-mation of the spectral power density is obtained using the average of modified periodograms with rectangular window and an overlap of 50%, with the 20 most important harmonics from the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT and Inverse Fast Fourier Transform (IFFT. Results: Absorbance time series dimensionality reduction using PCA, resulted in 6, 8 and 7 principal components for each study site respectively, altogether explaining more than 97% of their variability. Values of differences below 30% for the UV range were obtained for the three study sites, while for the visible range the maximum differences obtained were: (i 35% for El-Salitre WWTP; (ii 61% for GPS; and (iii 75% for San-Fernando WWTP. Conclusions: The Box-Cox transformation and the differentiation process applied to the UV-Vis absorbance time series for the study sites (El-Salitre, GPS and San-Fernando, allowed to reduce variance and to eliminate ten-dency of the time series. A pre-processing of UV-Vis absorbance time series is recommended to detect and remove outliers and then apply the proposed process for spectral estimation. Language: Spanish.

  4. Spectral Subtraction Approach for Interference Reduction of MIMO Channel Wireless Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomohiro Ono

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a generalized spectral subtraction approach for reducing additive impulsive noise, narrowband signals, white Gaussian noise and DS-CDMA interferences in MIMO channel DS-CDMA wireless communication systems is investigated. The interference noise reduction or suppression is essential problem in wireless mobile communication systems to improve the quality of communication. The spectrum subtraction scheme is applied to the interference noise reduction problems for noisy MIMO channel systems. The interferences in space and time domain signals can effectively be suppressed by selecting threshold values, and the computational load with the FFT is not large. Further, the fading effects of channel are compensated by spectral modification with the spectral subtraction process. In the simulations, the effectiveness of the proposed methods for the MIMO channel DS-CDMA is shown to compare with the conventional MIMO channel DS-CDMA.

  5. LED Lighting – Modification of Growth, Metabolism, Yield and Flour Composition in Wheat by Spectral Quality and Intensity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    István Monostori

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The use of light-emitting diode (LED technology for plant cultivation under controlled environmental conditions can result in significant reductions in energy consumption. However, there is still a lack of detailed information on the lighting conditions required for optimal growth of different plant species and the effects of light intensity and spectral composition on plant metabolism and nutritional quality. In the present study, wheat plants were grown under six regimens designed to compare the effects of LED and conventional fluorescent lights on growth and development, leaf photosynthesis, thiol and amino acid metabolism as well as grain yield and flour quality of wheat. Benefits of LED light sources over fluorescent lighting were manifested in both yield and quality of wheat. Elevated light intensities made possible with LEDs increased photosynthetic activity, the number of tillers, biomass and yield. At lower light intensities, blue, green and far-red light operated antagonistically during the stem elongation period. High photosynthetic activity was achieved when at least 50% of red light was applied during cultivation. A high proportion of blue light prolonged the juvenile phase, while the shortest flowering time was achieved when the blue to red ratio was around one. Blue and far-red light affected the glutathione- and proline-dependent redox environment in leaves. LEDs, especially in Blue, Pink and Red Low Light (RedLL regimens improved flour quality by modifying starch and protein content, dough strength and extensibility as demonstrated by the ratios of high to low molecular weight glutenins, ratios of glutenins to gliadins and gluten spread values. These results clearly show that LEDs are efficient for experimental wheat cultivation, and make it possible to optimize the growth conditions and to manipulate metabolism, yield and quality through modification of light quality and quantity.

  6. WE-FG-207B-02: Material Reconstruction for Spectral Computed Tomography with Detector Response Function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, J; Gao, H

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Different from the conventional computed tomography (CT), spectral CT based on energy-resolved photon-counting detectors is able to provide the unprecedented material composition. However, an important missing piece for accurate spectral CT is to incorporate the detector response function (DRF), which is distorted by factors such as pulse pileup and charge-sharing. In this work, we propose material reconstruction methods for spectral CT with DRF. Methods: The polyenergetic X-ray forward model takes the DRF into account for accurate material reconstruction. Two image reconstruction methods are proposed: a direct method based on the nonlinear data fidelity from DRF-based forward model; a linear-data-fidelity based method that relies on the spectral rebinning so that the corresponding DRF matrix is invertible. Then the image reconstruction problem is regularized with the isotropic TV term and solved by alternating direction method of multipliers. Results: The simulation results suggest that the proposed methods provided more accurate material compositions than the standard method without DRF. Moreover, the proposed method with linear data fidelity had improved reconstruction quality from the proposed method with nonlinear data fidelity. Conclusion: We have proposed material reconstruction methods for spectral CT with DRF, whichprovided more accurate material compositions than the standard methods without DRF. Moreover, the proposed method with linear data fidelity had improved reconstruction quality from the proposed method with nonlinear data fidelity. Jiulong Liu and Hao Gao were partially supported by the NSFC (#11405105), the 973 Program (#2015CB856000), and the Shanghai Pujiang Talent Program (#14PJ1404500).

  7. Improving organizational climate for quality and quality of care: does membership in a collaborative help?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nembhard, Ingrid M; Northrup, Veronika; Shaller, Dale; Cleary, Paul D

    2012-11-01

    The lack of quality-oriented organizational climates is partly responsible for deficiencies in patient-centered care and poor quality more broadly. To improve their quality-oriented climates, several organizations have joined quality improvement collaboratives. The effectiveness of this approach is unknown. To evaluate the impact of collaborative membership on organizational climate for quality and service quality. Twenty-one clinics, 4 of which participated in a collaborative sponsored by the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. Pre-post design. Preassessments occurred 2 months before the collaborative began in January 2009. Postassessments of service quality and climate occurred about 6 months and 1 year, respectively, after the collaborative ended in January 2010. We surveyed clinic employees (eg, physicians, nurses, receptionists, etc.) about the organizational climate and patients about service quality. Prioritization of quality care, high-quality staff relationships, and open communication as indicators of quality-oriented climate and timeliness of care, staff helpfulness, doctor-patient communication, rating of doctor, and willingness to recommend doctor's office as indicators of service quality. There was no significant effect of collaborative membership on quality-oriented climate and mixed effects on service quality. Doctors' ratings improved significantly more in intervention clinics than in control clinics, staff helpfulness improved less, and timeliness of care declined more. Ratings of doctor-patient communication and willingness to recommend doctor were not significantly different between intervention and comparison clinics. Membership in the collaborative provided no significant advantage for improving quality-oriented climate and had equivocal effects on service quality.

  8. Toward optimal spatial and spectral quality in widefield infrared spectromicroscopy of IR labelled single cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattson, Eric C; Unger, Miriam; Clède, Sylvain; Lambert, François; Policar, Clotilde; Imtiaz, Asher; D'Souza, Roshan; Hirschmugl, Carol J

    2013-10-07

    Advancements in widefield infrared spectromicroscopy have recently been demonstrated following the commissioning of IRENI (InfraRed ENvironmental Imaging), a Fourier Transform infrared (FTIR) chemical imaging beamline at the Synchrotron Radiation Center. The present study demonstrates the effects of magnification, spatial oversampling, spectral pre-processing and deconvolution, focusing on the intracellular detection and distribution of an exogenous metal tris-carbonyl derivative 1 in a single MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell. We demonstrate here that spatial oversampling for synchrotron-based infrared imaging is critical to obtain accurate diffraction-limited images at all wavelengths simultaneously. Resolution criteria and results from raw and deconvoluted images for two Schwarzschild objectives (36×, NA 0.5 and 74×, NA 0.65) are compared to each other and to prior reports for raster-scanned, confocal microscopes. The resolution of the imaging data can be improved by deconvolving the instrumental broadening that is determined with the measured PSFs, which is implemented with GPU programming architecture for fast hyperspectral processing. High definition, rapidly acquired, FTIR chemical images of respective spectral signatures of the cell 1 and shows that 1 is localized next to the phosphate- and Amide-rich regions, in agreement with previous infrared and luminescence studies. The infrared image contrast, localization and definition are improved after applying proven spectral pre-processing (principal component analysis based noise reduction and RMie scattering correction algorithms) to individual pixel spectra in the hyperspectral cube.

  9. Electronic health records improve clinical note quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Harry B; Sessums, Laura L; Hoang, Albert; Becher, Dorothy A; Fontelo, Paul; Liu, Fang; Stephens, Mark; Pangaro, Louis N; O'Malley, Patrick G; Baxi, Nancy S; Bunt, Christopher W; Capaldi, Vincent F; Chen, Julie M; Cooper, Barbara A; Djuric, David A; Hodge, Joshua A; Kane, Shawn; Magee, Charles; Makary, Zizette R; Mallory, Renee M; Miller, Thomas; Saperstein, Adam; Servey, Jessica; Gimbel, Ronald W

    2015-01-01

    The clinical note documents the clinician's information collection, problem assessment, clinical management, and its used for administrative purposes. Electronic health records (EHRs) are being implemented in clinical practices throughout the USA yet it is not known whether they improve the quality of clinical notes. The goal in this study was to determine if EHRs improve the quality of outpatient clinical notes. A five and a half year longitudinal retrospective multicenter quantitative study comparing the quality of handwritten and electronic outpatient clinical visit notes for 100 patients with type 2 diabetes at three time points: 6 months prior to the introduction of the EHR (before-EHR), 6 months after the introduction of the EHR (after-EHR), and 5 years after the introduction of the EHR (5-year-EHR). QNOTE, a validated quantitative instrument, was used to assess the quality of outpatient clinical notes. Its scores can range from a low of 0 to a high of 100. Sixteen primary care physicians with active practices used QNOTE to determine the quality of the 300 patient notes. The before-EHR, after-EHR, and 5-year-EHR grand mean scores (SD) were 52.0 (18.4), 61.2 (16.3), and 80.4 (8.9), respectively, and the change in scores for before-EHR to after-EHR and before-EHR to 5-year-EHR were 18% (pquality scores significantly improved over the 5-year time interval. The EHR significantly improved the overall quality of the outpatient clinical note and the quality of all its elements, including the core and non-core elements. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that the EHR significantly improves the quality of clinical notes. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association.

  10. How Quality Improvement Practice Evidence Can Advance the Knowledge Base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    OʼRourke, Hannah M; Fraser, Kimberly D

    2016-01-01

    Recommendations for the evaluation of quality improvement interventions have been made in order to improve the evidence base of whether, to what extent, and why quality improvement interventions affect chosen outcomes. The purpose of this article is to articulate why these recommendations are appropriate to improve the rigor of quality improvement intervention evaluation as a research endeavor, but inappropriate for the purposes of everyday quality improvement practice. To support our claim, we describe the differences between quality improvement interventions that occur for the purpose of practice as compared to research. We then carefully consider how feasibility, ethics, and the aims of evaluation each impact how quality improvement interventions that occur in practice, as opposed to research, can or should be evaluated. Recommendations that fit the evaluative goals of practice-based quality improvement interventions are needed to support fair appraisal of the distinct evidence they produce. We describe a current debate on the nature of evidence to assist in reenvisioning how quality improvement evidence generated from practice might complement that generated from research, and contribute in a value-added way to the knowledge base.

  11. Data Quality Assessment and Recommendations to Improve the Quality of Hemodialysis Database

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neda Firouraghi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Since clinical data contain abnormalities, quality assessment and reporting of data errors are necessary. Data quality analysis consists of developing strategies, making recommendations to avoid future errors and improving the quality of data entry by identifying error types and their causes. Therefore, this approach can be extremely useful to improve the quality of the databases. The aim of this study was to analyze hemodialysis (HD patients’ data in order to improve the quality of data entry and avoid future errors. Method: The study was done on Shiraz University of Medical Sciences HD database in 2015. The database consists of 2367 patients who had at least 12 months follow up (22.34±11.52 months in 2012-2014. Duplicated data were removed; outliers were detected based on statistical methods, expert opinion and the relationship between variables; then, the missing values were handled in 72 variables by using IBM SPSS Statistics 22 in order to improve the quality of the database. According to the results, some recommendations were given to improve the data entry process. Results: The variables had outliers in the range of 0-9.28 percent. Seven variables had missing values over 20 percent and in the others they were between 0 and 19.73 percent. The majority of missing values belong to serum alkaline phosphatase, uric acid, high and low density lipoprotein, total iron binding capacity, hepatitis B surface antibody titer, and parathyroid hormone. The variables with displacement (the values of two or more variables were recorded in the wrong attribute were weight, serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. These variables may lead to decreased data quality. Conclusion: According to the results and expert opinion, applying some data entry principles, such as defining ranges of values, using the relationship between hemodialysis features, developing alert systems about empty or duplicated data and

  12. Continuous quality improvement in the ambulatory endoscopy center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johanson, John F

    2002-04-01

    What does quality assessment have to do with the practicing gastroenterologist? Why should one spend the time and effort to incorporate CQI activities into an already busy practice? First and foremost, quality improvement should directly benefit the patient by ensuring that they receive the highest quality of care possible. For example, comparing endoscopic use or outcomes, such as procedure success or complications, with national standards or other endoscopists in the same community may identify physicians who could benefit from additional training. Similar analyses may likewise identify outstanding physicians who might serve as resources for other physicians. Surveys of patient satisfaction may reveal deficiencies, which might be unknown to a physician who is otherwise technically excellent; deficiencies that would never have been uncovered by traditional measures of quality. Second, applying the techniques of CQI to study one's own practice can provide a competitive edge when vying for managed care or corporate contracts. In this regard, CQI can be used to document physician or practice performance through tracking of endoscopic use, procedure success and complication rates, and patient satisfaction. Finally, the rising concern among various patient advocacy groups has led to an increased emphasis on quality improvement, and in most cases it is a required activity as part of the accreditation process. Steps to quality improvement There is more to quality improvement than simply selecting and implementing a performance improvement plan. A number of steps have been suggested to achieve fundamental improvement in the quality of medical care [3]. The first is to use outcomes management for improvement rather than for judgment. One of the major criticisms of QA is that it will be used to judge physicians providing care. It is feared that CQI will be used to identify poor performers who will then be punished. This strategy leads to fear and inhibits an honest pursuit

  13. Technological measures to improve automotive product quality

    OpenAIRE

    Gladkov, V.; Kruglov, S.

    2010-01-01

    The paper examines the basic technological measures aimed at improving product quality in automotive industry. While paying due attention to solving organizational and technological problems, including the development of certification systems for production processes, it is also necessary to improve the technical standards of specific technologies, equipment and materials as they largely determine product quality. Special emphasis is given to the importance of improving the production of auto...

  14. Framing quality improvement tools and techniques in healthcare the case of improvement leaders' guides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millar, Ross

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to present a study of how quality improvement tools and techniques are framed within healthcare settings. The paper employs an interpretive approach to understand how quality improvement tools and techniques are mobilised and legitimated. It does so using a case study of the NHS Modernisation Agency Improvement Leaders' Guides in England. Improvement Leaders' Guides were framed within a service improvement approach encouraging the use of quality improvement tools and techniques within healthcare settings. Their use formed part of enacting tools and techniques across different contexts. Whilst this enactment was believed to support the mobilisation of tools and techniques, the experience also illustrated the challenges in distributing such approaches. The paper provides an important contribution in furthering our understanding of framing the "social act" of quality improvement. Given the ongoing emphasis on quality improvement in health systems and the persistent challenges involved, it also provides important information for healthcare leaders globally in seeking to develop, implement or modify similar tools and distribute leadership within health and social care settings.

  15. QUALITY IMPROVEMENT MODEL AT THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS PREPARATION LEVEL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dusko Pavletic

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The paper expresses base for an operational quality improvement model at the manufacturing process preparation level. A numerous appropriate related quality assurance and improvement methods and tools are identified. Main manufacturing process principles are investigated in order to scrutinize one general model of manufacturing process and to define a manufacturing process preparation level. Development and introduction of the operational quality improvement model is based on a research conducted and results of methods and tools application possibilities in real manufacturing processes shipbuilding and automotive industry. Basic model structure is described and presented by appropriate general algorithm. Operational quality improvement model developed lays down main guidelines for practical and systematic application of quality improvements methods and tools.

  16. Bringing quality improvement into the intensive care unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMillan, Tracy R; Hyzy, Robert C

    2007-02-01

    During the last several years, many governmental and nongovernmental organizations have championed the application of the principles of quality improvement to the practice of medicine, particularly in the area of critical care. To review the breadth of approaches to quality improvement in the intensive care unit, including measures such as mortality and length of stay, and the use of protocols, bundles, and the role of large, multiple-hospital collaboratives. Several agencies have participated in the application of the quality movement to medicine, culminating in the development of standards such as the intensive care unit core measures of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Although "zero defects" may not be possible in all measurable variables of quality in the intensive care unit, several measures, such as catheter-related bloodstream infections, can be significantly reduced through the implementation of improved processes of care, such as care bundles. Large, multiple-center, quality improvement collaboratives, such as the Michigan Keystone Intensive Care Unit Project, may be particularly effective in improving the quality of care by creating a "bandwagon effect" within a geographic region. The quality revolution is having a significant effect in the critical care unit and is likely to be facilitated by the transition to the electronic medical record.

  17. Integrating empowerment evaluation and quality improvement to achieve healthcare improvement outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wandersman, Abraham; Alia, Kassandra Ann; Cook, Brittany; Ramaswamy, Rohit

    2015-01-01

    While the body of evidence-based healthcare interventions grows, the ability of health systems to deliver these interventions effectively and efficiently lags behind. Quality improvement approaches, such as the model for improvement, have demonstrated some success in healthcare but their impact has been lessened by implementation challenges. To help address these challenges, we describe the empowerment evaluation approach that has been developed by programme evaluators and a method for its application (Getting To Outcomes (GTO)). We then describe how GTO can be used to implement healthcare interventions. An illustrative healthcare quality improvement example that compares the model for improvement and the GTO method for reducing hospital admissions through improved diabetes care is described. We conclude with suggestions for integrating GTO and the model for improvement. PMID:26178332

  18. Quality evaluation of tandem mass spectral libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberacher, Herbert; Weinmann, Wolfgang; Dresen, Sebastian

    2011-06-01

    Tandem mass spectral libraries are gaining more and more importance for the identification of unknowns in different fields of research, including metabolomics, forensics, toxicology, and environmental analysis. Particularly, the recent invention of reliable, robust, and transferable libraries has increased the general acceptance of these tools. Herein, we report on results obtained from thorough evaluation of the match reliabilities of two tandem mass spectral libraries: the MSforID library established by the Oberacher group in Innsbruck and the Weinmann library established by the Weinmann group in Freiburg. Three different experiments were performed: (1) Spectra of the libraries were searched against their corresponding library after excluding either this single compound-specific spectrum or all compound-specific spectra prior to searching; (2) the libraries were searched against each other using either library as reference set or sample set; (3) spectra acquired on different mass spectrometric instruments were matched to both libraries. Almost 13,000 tandem mass spectra were included in this study. The MSforID search algorithm was used for spectral matching. Statistical evaluation of the library search results revealed that principally both libraries enable the sensitive and specific identification of compounds. Due to higher mass accuracy of the QqTOF compared with the QTrap instrument, matches to the MSforID library were more reliable when comparing spectra with both libraries. Furthermore, only the MSforID library was shown to be efficiently transferable to different kinds of tandem mass spectrometers, including "tandem-in-time" instruments; this is due to the coverage of a large range of different collision energy settings-including the very low range-which is an outstanding characteristics of the MSforID library.

  19. The ReACH Collaborative--improving quality home care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyce, Patricia Simino; Pace, Karen B; Lauder, Bonnie; Solomon, Debra A

    2007-08-01

    Research on quality of care has shown that vigorous leadership, clear goals, and compatible incentive systems are critical factors in influencing successful change (Institute of Medicine, 2001). Quality improvement is a complex process, and clinical quality improvement applications are more likely to be effective in organizations that are ready for change and have strong leaders, who are committed to creating and reinforcing a work environment that supports quality goals (Shortell, 1998). Key leadership roles include providing clear and sustained direction, articulating a coherent set of values and incentives to guide group and individual activities, aligning and integrating improvement efforts into organizational priorities, obtaining or freeing up resources to implement improvement activities, and creating a culture of "continuous improvement" that encourages and rewards the pursuit and achievement of shared quality aims (Institute of Medicine, 2001, 70-71). In summary, home health care is a significant and growing sector of the health care system that provides care to millions of vulnerable patients. There seems little doubt that home health agencies want to focus on quality of care issues and provide optimal care to home-based patients. Furthermore, there is a growing awareness of the value for adapting innovative, effective models for improving the culture of home care practice. This awareness stems from the notion that some agencies see quality improvement activities as a way for them to distinguish themselves not only to regulators and customers, but also to meet the cultural and transformational needs to remain viable in a constantly evolving and competitive health care industry.

  20. Color camera computed tomography imaging spectrometer for improved spatial-spectral image accuracy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Daniel W. (Inventor); Bearman, Gregory H. (Inventor); Johnson, William R. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    Computed tomography imaging spectrometers ("CTIS"s) having color focal plane array detectors are provided. The color FPA detector may comprise a digital color camera including a digital image sensor, such as a Foveon X3.RTM. digital image sensor or a Bayer color filter mosaic. In another embodiment, the CTIS includes a pattern imposed either directly on the object scene being imaged or at the field stop aperture. The use of a color FPA detector and the pattern improves the accuracy of the captured spatial and spectral information.

  1. Image quality improvements using adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction for evaluating chronic myocardial infarction using iodine density images with spectral CT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishimoto, Junichi; Ohta, Yasutoshi; Kitao, Shinichiro; Watanabe, Tomomi; Ogawa, Toshihide

    2018-04-01

    Single-source dual-energy CT (ssDECT) allows the reconstruction of iodine density images (IDIs) from projection based computing. We hypothesized that adding adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASiR) could improve image quality. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect and determine the optimal blend percentages of ASiR for IDI of myocardial late iodine enhancement (LIE) in the evaluation of chronic myocardial infarction using ssDECT. A total of 28 patients underwent cardiac LIE using a ssDECT scanner. IDIs between 0 and 100% of ASiR contributions in 10% increments were reconstructed. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of remote myocardia and the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of infarcted myocardia were measured. Transmural extent of infarction was graded using a 5-point scale. The SNR, CNR, and transmural extent were assessed for each ASiR contribution ratio. The transmural extents were compared with MRI as a reference standard. Compared to 0% ASiR, the use of 20-100% ASiR resulted in a reduction of image noise (p ASiR images, reconstruction with 100% ASiR image showed the highest improvement in SNR (229%; p ASiR above 80% showed the highest ratio (73.7%) of accurate transmural extent classification. In conclusion, ASiR intensity of 80-100% in IDIs can improve image quality without changes in signal and maximizes the accuracy of transmural extent in infarcted myocardium.

  2. [Quality assurance and quality improvement in medical practice. Part 3: Clinical audit in medical practice].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godény, Sándor

    2012-02-05

    The first two articles in the series were about the definition of quality in healthcare, the quality approach, the importance of quality assurance, the advantages of quality management systems and the basic concepts and necessity of evidence based medicine. In the third article the importance and basic steps of clinical audit are summarised. Clinical audit is an integral part of quality assurance and quality improvement in healthcare, that is the responsibility of any practitioner involved in medical practice. Clinical audit principally measures the clinical practice against clinical guidelines, protocols and other professional standards, and sometimes induces changes to ensure that all patients receive care according to principles of the best practice. The clinical audit can be defined also as a quality improvement process that seeks to identify areas for service improvement, develop and carry out plans and actions to improve medical activity and then by re-audit to ensure that these changes have an effect. Therefore, its aims are both to stimulate quality improvement interventions and to assess their impact in order to develop clinical effectiveness. At the end of the article key points of quality assurance and improvement in medical practice are summarised.

  3. 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

  4. Improved hadronic measurements and spectral sums on the lattice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hagen, Christian

    2008-05-15

    In this thesis we address several topics of lattice QCD. As a first project we perform calculations of ground and excited states of light mesons. Especially the extraction of the excited states turns out be very difficult. Therefore we utilize the variational method, which requires the construction of a rich basis of different interpolating fields, i.e., lattice discretized operators which have the same quantum number as the desired states. To build such a basis we consider quarks with different spatial wavefunctions, including some that mimic orbital excitations. In the second project, we develop a new improvement scheme to compute estimates of all-to-all quark propagators, i.e., quark propagators which connect each point on the lattice to all others. For that purpose we decompose the lattice in two disjoint regions or domains which allows to significantly reduce the amount of random variables used in the estimation process. As a first major application of this improvement scheme, we compute the spectrum of heavy-light hadrons, i.e., hadrons containing one very heavy quark (bottom) and one or more light quarks (up, down, strange). To reduce the computational costs for the heavy quark, we describe it by means of the lowest order of heavy quark effective theory and thus treat it as infinitely heavy. From our calculations we are able to extract several ground and excited meson states and even a number of baryon ground states. In the last project, we study two very important features of QCD: Confinement and spontaneous breaking of chiral symmetry. Both of them are temperature dependent: As the temperature is increased above a critical value, the theory becomes deconfined and chiral symmetry is restored. The temperature, at which these phase transitions take place, is approximately the same at least for zero baryon density. To study a possible connection between these phenomena, we try to relate the order parameters of the phase transitions. In pure Yang-Mills theory

  5. Improved hadronic measurements and spectral sums on the lattice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hagen, Christian

    2008-05-01

    In this thesis we address several topics of lattice QCD. As a first project we perform calculations of ground and excited states of light mesons. Especially the extraction of the excited states turns out be very difficult. Therefore we utilize the variational method, which requires the construction of a rich basis of different interpolating fields, i.e., lattice discretized operators which have the same quantum number as the desired states. To build such a basis we consider quarks with different spatial wavefunctions, including some that mimic orbital excitations. In the second project, we develop a new improvement scheme to compute estimates of all-to-all quark propagators, i.e., quark propagators which connect each point on the lattice to all others. For that purpose we decompose the lattice in two disjoint regions or domains which allows to significantly reduce the amount of random variables used in the estimation process. As a first major application of this improvement scheme, we compute the spectrum of heavy-light hadrons, i.e., hadrons containing one very heavy quark (bottom) and one or more light quarks (up, down, strange). To reduce the computational costs for the heavy quark, we describe it by means of the lowest order of heavy quark effective theory and thus treat it as infinitely heavy. From our calculations we are able to extract several ground and excited meson states and even a number of baryon ground states. In the last project, we study two very important features of QCD: Confinement and spontaneous breaking of chiral symmetry. Both of them are temperature dependent: As the temperature is increased above a critical value, the theory becomes deconfined and chiral symmetry is restored. The temperature, at which these phase transitions take place, is approximately the same at least for zero baryon density. To study a possible connection between these phenomena, we try to relate the order parameters of the phase transitions. In pure Yang-Mills theory

  6. Quality Rating and Improvement System State Evaluations and Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    A quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) is a method used by states and local jurisdictions to assess the level of quality of child care and early education programs, improve quality, and convey quality ratings to parents and other consumers. A typical QRIS incorporates the following components: quality standards for participating providers;…

  7. Nationwide quality improvement in lung cancer care

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jakobsen, Erik Winther; Green, Anders; Oesterlind, Kell

    2013-01-01

    To improve prognosis and quality of lung cancer care the Danish Lung Cancer Group has developed a strategy consisting of national clinical guidelines and a clinical quality and research database. The first edition of our guidelines was published in 1998 and our national lung cancer registry...... was opened for registrations in 2000. This article describes methods and results obtained by multidisciplinary collaboration and illustrates how quality of lung cancer care can be improved by establishing and monitoring result and process indicators....

  8. Laboratory quality improvement in Thailand's northernmost provinces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanitvittaya, S; Suksai, U; Suksripanich, O; Pobkeeree, V

    2010-01-01

    In Thailand nearly 1000 public health laboratories serve 65 million people. A qualified indicator of a good quality laboratory is Thailand Medical Technology Council certification. Consequently, Chiang Rai Regional Medical Sciences Center established a development program for laboratory certification for 29 laboratories in the province. This paper seeks to examine this issue. The goal was to improve laboratory service quality by voluntary participation, peer review, training and compliance with standards. The program consisted of specific activities. Training and workshops to update laboratory staffs' quality management knowledge were organized. Staff in each laboratory performed a self-assessment using a standard check-list to evaluate ten laboratory management areas. Chiang Rai Regional Medical Sciences Center staff supported the distribution of quality materials and documents. They provided calibration services for laboratory equipment. Peer groups performed an internal audit and successful laboratories received Thailand Medical Technology Council certification. By December 2007, eight of the 29 laboratories had improved quality sufficiently to be certified. Factors that influenced laboratories' readiness for quality improvement included the number of staff, their knowledge, budget and staff commitment to the process. Moreover, the support of each hospital's laboratory working group or network was essential for success. There was no clear policy for supporting the program. Laboratories voluntarily conducted quality management using existing resources. A bottom-up approach to this kind of project can be difficult to accomplish. Laboratory professionals can work together to illustrate and highlight outcomes for top-level health officials. A top-down, practical approach would be much less difficult to implement. Quality certification is a critical step for laboratory staff, which also encourages them to aspire to international quality standards like ISO. The

  9. Key interventions and quality indicators for quality improvement of STEMI care: a RAND Delphi survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aeyels, Daan; Sinnaeve, Peter R; Claeys, Marc J; Gevaert, Sofie; Schoors, Danny; Sermeus, Walter; Panella, Massimiliano; Coeckelberghs, Ellen; Bruyneel, Luk; Vanhaecht, Kris

    2017-12-13

    Identification, selection and validation of key interventions and quality indicators for improvement of in hospital quality of care for ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients. A structured literature review was followed by a RAND Delphi Survey. A purposively selected multidisciplinary expert panel of cardiologists, nurse managers and quality managers selected and validated key interventions and quality indicators prior for quality improvement for STEMI. First, 34 experts (76% response rate) individually assessed the appropriateness of items to quality improvement on a nine point Likert scale. Twenty-seven key interventions, 16 quality indicators at patient level and 27 quality indicators at STEMI care programme level were selected. Eighteen additional items were suggested. Experts received personal feedback, benchmarking their score with group results (response rate, mean, median and content validity index). Consequently, 32 experts (71% response rate) openly discussed items with an item-content validity index above 75%. By consensus, the expert panel validated a final set of 25 key interventions, 13 quality indicators at patient level and 20 quality indicators at care programme level prior for improvement of in hospital care for STEMI. A structured literature review and multidisciplinary expertise was combined to validate a set of key interventions and quality indicators prior for improvement of care for STEMI. The results allow researchers and hospital staff to evaluate and support quality improvement interventions in a large cohort within the context of a health care system.

  10. Quality Function Deployment Application for Improving Quality of Education in Business Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagnak, Muhittin; Ada, Nesrin; Kazancoglu, Yigit; Tayaksi, Cansu

    2017-01-01

    There is an increasing competition between universities globally to attract students. At this point, to compete, it is imperative for the universities to improve the quality of education provided for their stakeholders, including students, parents, and employers. For improving the quality of education, first of all, the universities should make…

  11. IMPROVING QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN PANIFICATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Petroman

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Consumers of panification products (as well as consumers of any other type of product or service are concerned about the quality of the products they purchase. Implementing the quality management system in the food industry is not compulsory, but it can bring about numerous, palpable benefits, particularly in reducing the amount of acryl amide. It is a modern system allowing the management analysis aiming at checking and reaching the goals to define new objectives, and the continuous improvement of the quality of processes and products.

  12. Teaching Quality Improvement Through a Book Club

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Doolittle

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Quality Improvement projects are an important part of residency education in the United States and are required for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Participation in standard chart-based quality improvement had failed to generate excitement among residents in our program. The objective of our innovation was to inspire interest in quality improvement among our residents. Methods: Our residency program instituted a book discussion group. Attendance and participation of attendees was recorded, and residents were sent a follow-up survey one month after the activity to gauge their impressions. Results: Out of 16 residents in the program, 12 attended the discussion group, and all attendees participated in the discussion. The follow-up survey revealed that 10/11 (91% of respondents had read at least part of the book and 11/11 (100% wanted to have another book discussion group in the upcoming year. Conclusion: We believe that the use of a book discussion group can be a novel, inspiring strategy to teach quality improvement in a residency program.

  13. Title IV Quality Control Project, Stage II. Management Option II: Delivery System Quality Improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Advanced Technology, Inc., Reston, VA.

    Stage Two of the Title IV Quality Control Project is an integrated study of quality in five related Federal financial aid programs for postsecondary students. Section 1 of the paper establishes a framework for defining quality improvements, in order to identify the types of changes that would tend to improve quality across all facets of the…

  14. Using quality measures for quality improvement: the perspective of hospital staff.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asgar Aghaei Hashjin

    Full Text Available RESEARCH OBJECTIVE: This study examines the perspectives of a range of key hospital staff on the use, importance, scientific background, availability of data, feasibility of data collection, cost benefit aspects and availability of professional personnel for measurement of quality indicators among Iranian hospitals. The study aims to facilitate the use of quality indicators to improve quality of care in hospitals. STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional study was conducted over the period 2009 to 2010. Staff at Iranian hospitals completed a self-administered questionnaire eliciting their views on organizational, clinical process, and outcome (clinical effectiveness, patient safety and patient centeredness indicators. POPULATION STUDIED: 93 hospital frontline staff including hospital/nursing managers, medical doctors, nurses, and quality improvement/medical records officers in 48 general and specialized hospitals in Iran. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: On average, only 69% of respondents reported using quality indicators in practice at their affiliated hospitals. Respondents varied significantly in their reported use of organizational, clinical process and outcome quality indicators. Overall, clinical process and effectiveness indicators were reported to be least used. The reported use of indicators corresponded with their perceived level of importance. Quality indicators were reported to be used among clinical staff significantly more than among managerial staff. In total, 74% of the respondents reported to use obligatory indicators, while this was 68% for voluntary indicators (p<0.05. CONCLUSIONS: There is a general awareness of the importance and usability of quality indicators among hospital staff in Iran, but their use is currently mostly directed towards external accountability purposes. To increase the formative use of quality indicators, creation of a common culture and feeling of shared ownership, alongside an increased uptake of clinical process and

  15. Engaging Clinical Nurses in Quality Improvement Projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Susan; Stichler, Jaynelle F

    2015-10-01

    Clinical nurses have the knowledge and expertise required to provide efficient and proficient patient care. Time and knowledge deficits can prevent nurses from developing and implementing quality improvement or evidence-based practice projects. This article reviews a process for professional development of clinical nurses that helped them to define, implement, and analyze quality improvement or evidence-based practice projects. The purpose of this project was to educate advanced clinical nurses to manage a change project from inception to completion, using the Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) Change Acceleration Process as a framework. One-to-one mentoring and didactic in-services advanced the knowledge, appreciation, and practice of advanced practice clinicians who completed multiple change projects. The projects facilitated clinical practice changes, with improved patient outcomes; a unit cultural shift, with appreciation of quality improvement and evidence-based projects; and engagement with colleagues. Project outcomes were displayed in poster presentations at a hospital exposition for knowledge dissemination. Copyright 2015, SLACK Incorporated.

  16. 40 CFR 63.175 - Quality improvement program for valves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 9 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Quality improvement program for valves... alternative quality improvement programs specified in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section. The decision to... § 63.168 and § 63.175. (1) If the owner or operator elects to continue the quality improvement program...

  17. Quality measurement and improvement in liver transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathur, Amit K; Talwalkar, Jayant

    2018-06-01

    There is growing interest in the quality of health care delivery in liver transplantation. Multiple stakeholders, including patients, transplant providers and their hospitals, payers, and regulatory bodies have an interest in measuring and monitoring quality in the liver transplant process, and understanding differences in quality across centres. This article aims to provide an overview of quality measurement and regulatory issues in liver transplantation performed within the United States. We review how broader definitions of health care quality should be applied to liver transplant care models. We outline the status quo including the current regulatory agencies, public reporting mechanisms, and requirements around quality assurance and performance improvement (QAPI) activities. Additionally, we further discuss unintended consequences and opportunities for growth in quality measurement. Quality measurement and the integration of quality improvement strategies into liver transplant programmes hold significant promise, but multiple challenges to successful implementation must be addressed to optimise value. Copyright © 2018 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Increased office productivity through improved indoor air quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fanger, Povl Ole

    2002-01-01

    Control of indoor pollution sources and ventilation are both means of improving indoor air quality. Three independent experiments have recently documented that removing a pollution source or increasing the ventilation rate will improve perceived air quality, reduce the intensity of several Sick...... with the air quality was reduced by either measure. The quantitative relationsh8ip was 1.1% change in performance per 10% dissatisfied, in the range 25-70% dissatisifed, or 0.5% change in performance per 1 decipol (dp), in the range 2-13 dp. Significant improvements in performance occurred only when......, future developments in HVCAC technology may include "personalized air ", new ways of improving the quality of supply air (e.g., by filtration), more extensive use of heat recovery from exhaust air and systematic selection of low-polluting building and furnishing materials....

  19. Evaluation of a Quality Improvement Resource for Public Health Practitioners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porterfield, Deborah S; Marcial, Laura H; Brown, Stephen; Throop, Cynthia; Pina, Jamie

    Quality improvement is a critical mechanism to manage public health agency performance and to strengthen accountability for public funds. The objective of this study was to evaluate a relatively new quality improvement resource, the Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange (PHQIX), a free online communication platform dedicated to making public health quality improvement information accessible to practitioners. We conducted an internet-based survey of registered PHQIX users (n = 536 respondents) in 2013 and key informant interviews with PHQIX frequent users (n = 21) in 2014, in the United States. We assessed use of the PHQIX website, user engagement and satisfaction, communication and knowledge exchange, use of information, and impact on quality improvement capacity and accreditation readiness. Of 462 respondents, 369 (79.9%) browsed quality improvement initiatives, making it the most commonly used site feature, and respondents described PHQIX as a near-unique source for real-world quality improvement examples. Respondents were satisfied with the quality and breadth of topics and relevance to their settings (average satisfaction scores, 3.9-4.1 [where 5 was the most satisfied]). Of 407 respondents, 237 (58.2%) said that they had put into practice information learned on PHQIX, and 209 of 405 (51.6%) said that PHQIX had helped to improve quality improvement capacity. Fewer than half of respondents used the commenting function, the Community Forum, and the Ask an Expert feature. Findings suggest that PHQIX, particularly descriptions of the quality improvement initiatives, is a valued resource for public health practitioners. Users reported sharing information with colleagues and applying what they learned to their own work. These findings may relate to other efforts to disseminate quality improvement knowledge.

  20. Improving Power Quality in AC Supply Grids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piotr Fabijański

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes a digital and actual model of the UPQC (Unified Power Quality Conditioner integrated system for power quality improvement. The UPQC’s design and its connection to an AC supply grid, 1-phase and 3-phase alike, provide effective compensation of unwanted interferences in the waveforms of load supply voltages and non-linear load currents. This article presents an overview of topologies and control strategies. The study of the UPQC confirmed its positive impact on the power quality. The electricity parameters were significantly improved. Total harmonic distortion in supply voltage THDu decreased six-fold to 1.89%, and total harmonic distortion in load current THDi decreased more than ten-fold to 2.38% for a non-linear load (uncontrolled bridge rectifier with load L. Additionally, symmetrisation of supply voltages and reactive power compensation Q of linear load was obtained. The UPQC integrated system for power quality improvement can be used wherever high-quality and PN-EN 50160 standard – compliant electricity is required.

  1. 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

    Although the patient-centered medical home endorses quality improvement principles, methods for supporting ongoing, systematic primary care quality improvement have not been evaluated. We introduced primary care quality councils at six Veterans Health Administration sites as an organizational intervention with three key design elements: (a) fostering interdisciplinary quality improvement leadership, (b) establishing a structured quality improvement process, and (c) facilitating organizationally aligned frontline quality improvement innovation. Our evaluation objectives were to (a) assess design element implementation, (b) describe implementation barriers and facilitators, and (c) assess successful quality improvement project completion and spread. We analyzed administrative records and conducted interviews with 85 organizational leaders. We developed and applied criteria for assessing design element implementation using hybrid deductive/inductive analytic techniques. All quality councils implemented interdisciplinary leadership and a structured quality improvement process, and all but one completed at least one quality improvement project and a toolkit for spreading improvements. Quality councils were perceived as most effective when service line leaders had well-functioning interdisciplinary communication. Matching positions within leadership hierarchies with appropriate supportive roles facilitated frontline quality improvement efforts. Two key resources were (a) a dedicated internal facilitator with project management, data collection, and presentation skills and (b) support for preparing customized data reports for identifying and addressing practice level quality issues. Overall, quality councils successfully cultivated interdisciplinary, multilevel primary care quality improvement leadership with accountability mechanisms and generated frontline innovations suitable for spread. Practice level performance data and quality improvement project management support

  2. A Search Complexity Improvement of Vector Quantization to Immittance Spectral Frequency Coefficients in AMR-WB Speech Codec

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bing-Jhih Yao

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available An adaptive multi-rate wideband (AMR-WB code is a speech codec developed on the basis of an algebraic code-excited linear-prediction (ACELP coding technique, and has a double advantage of low bit rates and high speech quality. This coding technique is widely used in modern mobile communication systems for a high speech quality in handheld devices. However, a major disadvantage is that a vector quantization (VQ of immittance spectral frequency (ISF coefficients occupies a significant computational load in the AMR-WB encoder. Hence, this paper presents a triangular inequality elimination (TIE algorithm combined with a dynamic mechanism and an intersection mechanism, abbreviated as the DI-TIE algorithm, to remarkably improve the complexity of ISF coefficient quantization in the AMR-WB speech codec. Both mechanisms are designed in a way that recursively enhances the performance of the TIE algorithm. At the end of this work, this proposal is experimentally validated as a superior search algorithm relative to a conventional TIE, a multiple TIE (MTIE, and an equal-average equal-variance equal-norm nearest neighbor search (EEENNS approach. With a full search algorithm as a benchmark for search load comparison, this work provides a search load reduction above 77%, a figure far beyond 36% in the TIE, 49% in the MTIE, and 68% in the EEENNS approach.

  3. Pre-physical treatment: an important procedure to improve spectral resolution in polymers microstructure studies using 13C solution NMR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pedroza, Oscar J.O.; Tavares, Maria I.B.

    2004-01-01

    Changes in physical properties of polymeric materials can be evaluated from their microstructures, which can be investigated using solution carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). In this type of study spectral resolution is very important, which obviously depend on the sample and solvent. A pre physical treatment allows for an improvement in the spectral resolution. Consequently, more information on chain linking can be obtained, thus facilitating the determination of the stereo sequences. (author)

  4. Improvements in geomagnetic observatory data quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reda, Jan; Fouassier, Danielle; Isac, Anca

    2011-01-01

    between observatories and the establishment of observatory networks has harmonized standards and practices across the world; improving the quality of the data product available to the user. Nonetheless, operating a highquality geomagnetic observatory is non-trivial. This article gives a record...... of the current state of observatory instrumentation and methods, citing some of the general problems in the complex operation of geomagnetic observatories. It further gives an overview of recent improvements of observatory data quality based on presentation during 11th IAGA Assembly at Sopron and INTERMAGNET...

  5. PROCESS VARIABILITY REDUCTION THROUGH STATISTICAL PROCESS CONTROL FOR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.P. Mahesh

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Quality has become one of the most important customer decision factors in the selection among the competing product and services. Consequently, understanding and improving quality is a key factor leading to business success, growth and an enhanced competitive position. Hence quality improvement program should be an integral part of the overall business strategy. According to TQM, the effective way to improve the Quality of the product or service is to improve the process used to build the product. Hence, TQM focuses on process, rather than results as the results are driven by the processes. Many techniques are available for quality improvement. Statistical Process Control (SPC is one such TQM technique which is widely accepted for analyzing quality problems and improving the performance of the production process. This article illustrates the step by step procedure adopted at a soap manufacturing company to improve the Quality by reducing process variability using Statistical Process Control.

  6. Improving lateral resolution and image quality of optical coherence tomography by the multi-frame superresolution technique for 3D tissue imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Kai; Lu, Hui; Baig, Sarfaraz; Wang, Michael R

    2017-11-01

    The multi-frame superresolution technique is introduced to significantly improve the lateral resolution and image quality of spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). Using several sets of low resolution C-scan 3D images with lateral sub-spot-spacing shifts on different sets, the multi-frame superresolution processing of these sets at each depth layer reconstructs a higher resolution and quality lateral image. Layer by layer processing yields an overall high lateral resolution and quality 3D image. In theory, the superresolution processing including deconvolution can solve the diffraction limit, lateral scan density and background noise problems together. In experiment, the improved lateral resolution by ~3 times reaching 7.81 µm and 2.19 µm using sample arm optics of 0.015 and 0.05 numerical aperture respectively as well as doubling the image quality has been confirmed by imaging a known resolution test target. Improved lateral resolution on in vitro skin C-scan images has been demonstrated. For in vivo 3D SD-OCT imaging of human skin, fingerprint and retina layer, we used the multi-modal volume registration method to effectively estimate the lateral image shifts among different C-scans due to random minor unintended live body motion. Further processing of these images generated high lateral resolution 3D images as well as high quality B-scan images of these in vivo tissues.

  7. Physical Activity Improves Quality of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... It Works Healthy Workplace Food and Beverage Toolkit Physical activity improves quality of life Updated:Mar 2,2015 ... proven to improve both mental and physical health. Physical activity boosts mental wellness. Regular physical activity can relieve ...

  8. Quality improvement in neurology: AAN Parkinson disease quality measures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, E.M.; Tonn, S.; Swain-Eng, R.; Factor, S.A.; Weiner, W.J.; Bever, C.T.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Measuring the quality of health care is a fundamental step toward improving health care and is increasingly used in pay-for-performance initiatives and maintenance of certification requirements. Measure development to date has focused on primary care and common conditions such as diabetes; thus, the number of measures that apply to neurologic care is limited. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) identified the need for neurologists to develop measures of neurologic care and to establish a process to accomplish this. Objective: To adapt and test the feasibility of a process for independent development by the AAN of measures for neurologic conditions for national measurement programs. Methods: A process that has been used nationally for measure development was adapted for use by the AAN. Topics for measure development are chosen based upon national priorities, available evidence base from a systematic literature search, gaps in care, and the potential impact for quality improvement. A panel composed of subject matter and measure development methodology experts oversees the development of the measures. Recommendation statements and their corresponding level of evidence are reviewed and considered for development into draft candidate measures. The candidate measures are refined by the expert panel during a 30-day public comment period and by review by the American Medical Association for Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) II codes. All final AAN measures are approved by the AAN Board of Directors. Results: Parkinson disease (PD) was chosen for measure development. A review of the medical literature identified 258 relevant recommendation statements. A 28-member panel approved 10 quality measures for PD that included full specifications and CPT II codes. Conclusion: The AAN has adapted a measure development process that is suitable for national measurement programs and has demonstrated its capability to independently develop quality measures. GLOSSARY

  9. Improvement of material decomposition and image quality in dual-energy radiography by reducing image noise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, D.; Choi, S.; Kim, H.; Kim, H.-J.; Kim, Y.-S.; Choi, S.; Lee, H.; Jo, B.D.; Jeon, P.-H.; Kim, H.; Kim, D.

    2016-01-01

    Although digital radiography has been widely used for screening human anatomical structures in clinical situations, it has several limitations due to anatomical overlapping. To resolve this problem, dual-energy imaging techniques, which provide a method for decomposing overlying anatomical structures, have been suggested as alternative imaging techniques. Previous studies have reported several dual-energy techniques, each resulting in different image qualities. In this study, we compared three dual-energy techniques: simple log subtraction (SLS), simple smoothing of a high-energy image (SSH), and anti-correlated noise reduction (ACNR) with respect to material thickness quantification and image quality. To evaluate dual-energy radiography, we conducted Monte Carlo simulation and experimental phantom studies. The Geant 4 Application for Tomographic Emission (GATE) v 6.0 and tungsten anode spectral model using interpolation polynomials (TASMIP) codes were used for simulation studies and digital radiography, and human chest phantoms were used for experimental studies. The results of the simulation study showed improved image contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and coefficient of variation (COV) values and bone thickness estimation accuracy by applying the ACNR and SSH methods. Furthermore, the chest phantom images showed better image quality with the SSH and ACNR methods compared to the SLS method. In particular, the bone texture characteristics were well-described by applying the SSH and ACNR methods. In conclusion, the SSH and ACNR methods improved the accuracy of material quantification and image quality in dual-energy radiography compared to SLS. Our results can contribute to better diagnostic capabilities of dual-energy images and accurate material quantification in various clinical situations.

  10. Nuclear fuel assembly with improved spectral shift-producing rods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferrari, H.M.

    1987-01-01

    This patent describes a nuclear reactor having fuel assemblies and a moderator-coolant liquid flowing through the fuel assemblies, each fuel assembly including an organized array of nuclear fuel rods wherein the moderator-coolant liquid flows along the fuel rods, at least one improved spectral shift-producing rod disposed among the fuel rods. The spectra shift-producing rod consists of: (a) an elongated hollow hermetically-sealed tubular member; (b) a weakened region formed in a portion of the member, the portion being subject to rupture at a given level of internal pressure; and (c) burnable poison material contained in the member which generates gas in the member as operation of the reactor proceeds normally, the material being soluble in the moderator-coolant liquid when brought into contact therewith; (d) the given level of internal pressure being less than the maximum level of internal pressure normally expected to be generated within the member by the poison material by normal operation of the reactor

  11. Ninety to Nothing: a PDSA quality improvement project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prybutok, Gayle Linda

    2018-05-14

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present a case study of a successful quality improvement project in an acute care hospital focused on reducing the time of the total patient visit in the emergency department. Design/methodology/approach A multidisciplinary quality improvement team, using the PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) Cycle, analyzed the emergency department care delivery process and sequentially made process improvements that contributed to project success. Findings The average turnaround time goal of 90 minutes or less per visit was achieved in four months, and the organization enjoyed significant collateral benefits both internal to the organization and for its customers. Practical implications This successful PDSA process can be duplicated by healthcare organizations of all sizes seeking to improve a process related to timely, high-quality patient care delivery. Originality/value Extended wait time in hospital emergency departments is a universal problem in the USA that reduces the quality of the customer experience and that delays necessary patient care. This case study demonstrates that a structured quality improvement process implemented by a multidisciplinary team with the authority to make necessary process changes can successfully redefine the norm.

  12. Using Quality Improvement to Improve Internal and External Coordination and Referrals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cain, Katherine L; Collins, Ragan P

    As part of accreditation, Public Health Accreditation Board site visitors recommended that the New Orleans Health Department strengthen its quality improvement program. With support from the Public Health Accreditation Board, the New Orleans Health Department subsequently embarked on a data-driven planning process through which it prioritized quality improvement projects for 2016. One of these projects aimed to improve referrals to New Orleans Health Department's direct services programs from local clinics and hospitals to better provide our most vulnerable residents with a continuum of care. After completing a cause-and-effect analysis, we implemented a solution involving increased outreach to health care institutions and saw annual participation increase in 3 out of 4 of our programs. We leveraged this work to successfully apply for funding to create a centralized referral system, which will facilitate partnerships among local health and human service agencies and improve access to services. This is one example of how accreditation has benefited our health department and our community. We have found that the accreditation process promotes a culture of quality and helps health departments identify and address areas for improvement.

  13. Improving Recommendations in Tag-based Systems with Spectral Clustering of Tag Neighbors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pan, Rong; Xu, Guandong; Dolog, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Tag as a useful metadata reflects the collaborative and conceptual features of documents in social collaborative annotation systems. In this paper, we propose a collaborative approach for expanding tag neighbors and investigate the spectral clustering algorithm to filter out noisy tag neighbors...... in order to get appropriate recommendation for users. The preliminary experiments have been conducted on MovieLens dataset to compare our proposed approach with the traditional collaborative filtering recommendation approach and naive tag neighbors expansion approach in terms of precision, and the result...... demonstrates that our approach could considerably improve the performance of recommendations....

  14. ISO certification pays off in quality improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vermeer, F.J.G.

    1992-01-01

    This paper reports that by obtaining and maintaining International Standards Organization (ISO) 9001 certification, a company can improve its quality control system, cut waste, and motivate its employees. In so doing it improves its competitive position in both international and domestic markets. The success of a number of countries (notably Japan) in the world markets has focused the attention of the industrialized countries on improving quality levels and striving for a unified, worldwide quality standard. This has been particularly true in Europe; with several countries competing in a single market, a common quality standard has been a highly desirable goal for decades. One of the first multinational quality standards evolved in the European Community, which is estimated to become a single market with a gross national product of $4.5 trillion by 1992. As a consequence, in 1987 the International Standards Organization created ISO 9000, a single standard to ensure uniform quality in products and services offered with this growing market. U.S. petroleum and natural gas companies must recognize and implement the ISO 9000 standards or possibly lose international markets. If the present worldwide trend towards ISO 9000 continues (and there is no reason to believe that it will not), the standards will be just as important in the domestic market

  15. Investigating organizational quality improvement systems, patient empowerment, organizational culture, professional involvement and the quality of care in European hospitals: the 'Deepening our Understanding of Quality Improvement in Europe (DUQuE)' project

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groene, O.; Klazinga, N.; Wagner, C.; Arah, O.A.; Thompson, A.; Bruneau, C.; Suñol, R.

    2010-01-01

    Hospitals in European countries apply a wide range of quality improvement strategies. Knowledge of the effectiveness of these strategies, implemented as part of an overall hospital quality improvement system, is limited. We propose to study the relationships among organisational quality improvement

  16. Prioritizing quality improvement in general surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schilling, Peter L; Dimick, Justin B; Birkmeyer, John D

    2008-11-01

    Despite growing interest in quality improvement, uncertainty remains about which procedures offer the most room for improvement in general surgery. In this context, we sought to describe the relative contribution of different procedures to overall morbidity, mortality, and excess length of stay in general surgery. Using data from the American College of Surgeons' National Surgery Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP), we identified all patients undergoing a general surgery procedure in 2005 and 2006 (n=129,233). Patients were placed in 36 distinct procedure groups based on Current Procedural Terminology codes. We first examined procedure groups according to their relative contribution to overall morbidity and mortality. We then assessed procedure groups according to their contribution to overall excess length of stay. Ten procedure groups alone accounted for 62% of complications and 54% of excess hospital days. Colectomy accounted for the greatest share of adverse events, followed by small intestine resection, inpatient cholecystectomy, and ventral hernia repair. In contrast, several common procedures contributed little to overall morbidity and mortality. For example, outpatient cholecystectomy, breast procedures, thyroidectomy, parathyroidectomy, and outpatient inguinal hernia repair together accounted for 34% of procedures, but only 6% of complications (and only 4% of major complications). These same procedures accounted for surgery. Focusing quality improvement efforts on these procedures may be an effective strategy for improving patient care and reducing cost.

  17. Quality Improvement Practices and Trends

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahlgaard, Jens J.; Hartz, Ove; Edgeman, Rick L.

    1998-01-01

    professor, as well as key individuals from various industries. In addition to the above activities, Rick will be working with the European Foundation for Quality Management on their "European Master's Programme in Total Quality Management." That program involves a consortium of European universities. Rick......The following article, "Quality Improvement Practices and Trends in Denmark," is the first in a series of papers arranged for and co-authored by Dr. Rick L. Edgeman. Rick is a member of QE's Editorial Board and is on sabbatical from Colorado State University. During the year, Rick and his family...... has begun the process of developing a comparable consortium of American universities for the same purpose-- an activity which is cosponsored by the Education Division of the American Society for Quality (ASQ)....

  18. The quality improvement attitude survey: Development and preliminary psychometric characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunagan, Pamela B

    2017-12-01

    To report the development of a tool to measure nurse's attitudes about quality improvement in their practice setting and to examine preliminary psychometric characteristics of the Quality Improvement Nursing Attitude Scale. Human factors such as nursing attitudes of complacency have been identified as root causes of sentinel events. Attitudes of nurses concerning use of Quality and Safety Education for nurse's competencies can be most challenging to teach and to change. No tool has been developed measuring attitudes of nurses concerning their role in quality improvement. A descriptive study design with preliminary psychometric evaluation was used to examine the preliminary psychometric characteristics of the Quality Improvement Nursing Attitude Scale. Registered bedside clinical nurses comprised the sample for the study (n = 57). Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics and Cronbach's alpha reliability. Total score and individual item statistics were evaluated. Two open-ended items were used to collect statements about nurses' feelings regarding their experience in quality improvement efforts. Strong support for the internal consistency reliability and face validity of the Quality Improvement Nursing Attitude Scale was found. Total scale scores were high indicating nurse participants valued Quality and Safety Education for Nurse competencies in practice. However, item-level statistics indicated nurses felt powerless when other nurses deviate from care standards. Additionally, the sample indicated they did not consistently report patient safety issues and did not have a feeling of value in efforts to improve care. Findings suggested organisational culture fosters nurses' reporting safety issues and feeling valued in efforts to improve care. Participants' narrative comments and item analysis revealed the need to generate new items for the Quality Improvement Nursing Attitude Scale focused on nurses' perception of their importance in quality and

  19. An integrated approach to hospital strategic planning, quality assurance, and continuous quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, G; Gardner, S; Herba, C

    1995-01-01

    Like many other healthcare organizations today, the authors' facility, a 306-bed acute care community hospital in Michigan, strives to visualize and make a transition from traditional quality assurance to continuous quality improvement. The Juran Trilogy provided the insight that strategic planning, measurement, and continuous improvement must exist side by side. At the authors' facility, this realization resulted in the hospital quality plan, which treats each of these components as part of the foundation for quality. The authors explain this model and the reporting and communication mechanisms that support it.

  20. Context in Quality of Care: Improving Teamwork and Resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tawfik, Daniel S; Sexton, John Bryan; Adair, Kathryn C; Kaplan, Heather C; Profit, Jochen

    2017-09-01

    Quality improvement in health care is an ongoing challenge. Consideration of the context of the health care system is of paramount importance. Staff resilience and teamwork climate are key aspects of context that drive quality. Teamwork climate is dynamic, with well-established tools available to improve teamwork for specific tasks or global applications. Similarly, burnout and resilience can be modified with interventions such as cultivating gratitude, positivity, and awe. A growing body of literature has shown that teamwork and burnout relate to quality of care, with improved teamwork and decreased burnout expected to produce improved patient quality and safety. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Quality improvement teaching at medical school: a student perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Nair, Pooja; Barai, Ishani; Prasad, Sunila; Gadhvi, Karishma

    2016-01-01

    Pooja Nair, Ishani Barai, Sunila Prasad, Karishma Gadhvi Department of Medicine, Imperial College School of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK Abstract: Guidelines in the UK require all doctors to actively take part in quality improvement. To ease future doctors into the process, formal quality improvement teaching can be delivered during medical school. Keywords: quality improvement, medical school, patient safety, patient satisfaction, medical student, clinical audit

  2. How to Sustain Change and Support Continuous Quality Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, Samuel A; McQuillan, Rory; Harel, Ziv; Weizman, Adam V; Thomas, Alison; Nesrallah, Gihad; Bell, Chaim M; Chan, Christopher T; Chertow, Glenn M

    2016-05-06

    To achieve sustainable change, quality improvement initiatives must become the new way of working rather than something added on to routine clinical care. However, most organizational change is not maintained. In this next article in this Moving Points in Nephrology feature on quality improvement, we provide health care professionals with strategies to sustain and support quality improvement. Threats to sustainability may be identified both at the beginning of a project and when it is ready for implementation. The National Health Service Sustainability Model is reviewed as one example to help identify issues that affect long-term success of quality improvement projects. Tools to help sustain improvement include process control boards, performance boards, standard work, and improvement huddles. Process control and performance boards are methods to communicate improvement results to staff and leadership. Standard work is a written or visual outline of current best practices for a task and provides a framework to ensure that changes that have improved patient care are consistently and reliably applied to every patient encounter. Improvement huddles are short, regular meetings among staff to anticipate problems, review performance, and support a culture of improvement. Many of these tools rely on principles of visual management, which are systems transparent and simple so that every staff member can rapidly distinguish normal from abnormal working conditions. Even when quality improvement methods are properly applied, the success of a project still depends on contextual factors. Context refers to aspects of the local setting in which the project operates. Context affects resources, leadership support, data infrastructure, team motivation, and team performance. For these reasons, the same project may thrive in a supportive context and fail in a different context. To demonstrate the practical applications of these quality improvement principles, these principles are

  3. USGS Digital Spectral Library splib06a

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Roger N.; Swayze, Gregg A.; Wise, Richard A.; Livo, K. Eric; Hoefen, Todd M.; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Sutley, Stephen J.

    2007-01-01

    Introduction We have assembled a digital reflectance spectral library that covers the wavelength range from the ultraviolet to far infrared along with sample documentation. The library includes samples of minerals, rocks, soils, physically constructed as well as mathematically computed mixtures, plants, vegetation communities, microorganisms, and man-made materials. The samples and spectra collected were assembled for the purpose of using spectral features for the remote detection of these and similar materials. Analysis of spectroscopic data from laboratory, aircraft, and spacecraft instrumentation requires a knowledge base. The spectral library discussed here forms a knowledge base for the spectroscopy of minerals and related materials of importance to a variety of research programs being conducted at the U.S. Geological Survey. Much of this library grew out of the need for spectra to support imaging spectroscopy studies of the Earth and planets. Imaging spectrometers, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Airborne Visible/Infra Red Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) or the NASA Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) which is currently orbiting Saturn, have narrow bandwidths in many contiguous spectral channels that permit accurate definition of absorption features in spectra from a variety of materials. Identification of materials from such data requires a comprehensive spectral library of minerals, vegetation, man-made materials, and other subjects in the scene. Our research involves the use of the spectral library to identify the components in a spectrum of an unknown. Therefore, the quality of the library must be very good. However, the quality required in a spectral library to successfully perform an investigation depends on the scientific questions to be answered and the type of algorithms to be used. For example, to map a mineral using imaging spectroscopy and the mapping algorithm of Clark and others (1990a, 2003b

  4. 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.

  5. Improvement of LOD in Fluorescence Detection with Spectrally Nonuniform Background by Optimization of Emission Filtering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galievsky, Victor A; Stasheuski, Alexander S; Krylov, Sergey N

    2017-10-17

    The limit-of-detection (LOD) in analytical instruments with fluorescence detection can be improved by reducing noise of optical background. Efficiently reducing optical background noise in systems with spectrally nonuniform background requires complex optimization of an emission filter-the main element of spectral filtration. Here, we introduce a filter-optimization method, which utilizes an expression for the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) as a function of (i) all noise components (dark, shot, and flicker), (ii) emission spectrum of the analyte, (iii) emission spectrum of the optical background, and (iv) transmittance spectrum of the emission filter. In essence, the noise components and the emission spectra are determined experimentally and substituted into the expression. This leaves a single variable-the transmittance spectrum of the filter-which is optimized numerically by maximizing SNR. Maximizing SNR provides an accurate way of filter optimization, while a previously used approach based on maximizing a signal-to-background ratio (SBR) is the approximation that can lead to much poorer LOD specifically in detection of fluorescently labeled biomolecules. The proposed filter-optimization method will be an indispensable tool for developing new and improving existing fluorescence-detection systems aiming at ultimately low LOD.

  6. MO-DE-207A-05: Dictionary Learning Based Reconstruction with Low-Rank Constraint for Low-Dose Spectral CT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu, Q; Liu, H; Xing, L; Yu, H; Wang, G

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Spectral CT enabled by an energy-resolved photon-counting detector outperforms conventional CT in terms of material discrimination, contrast resolution, etc. One reconstruction method for spectral CT is to generate a color image from a reconstructed component in each energy channel. However, given the radiation dose, the number of photons in each channel is limited, which will result in strong noise in each channel and affect the final color reconstruction. Here we propose a novel dictionary learning method for spectral CT that combines dictionary-based sparse representation method and the patch based low-rank constraint to simultaneously improve the reconstruction in each channel and to address the inter-channel correlations to further improve the reconstruction. Methods: The proposed method has two important features: (1) guarantee of the patch based sparsity in each energy channel, which is the result of the dictionary based sparse representation constraint; (2) the explicit consideration of the correlations among different energy channels, which is realized by patch-by-patch nuclear norm-based low-rank constraint. For each channel, the dictionary consists of two sub-dictionaries. One is learned from the average of the images in all energy channels, and the other is learned from the average of the images in all energy channels except the current channel. With average operation to reduce noise, these two dictionaries can effectively preserve the structural details and get rid of artifacts caused by noise. Combining them together can express all structural information in current channel. Results: Dictionary learning based methods can obtain better results than FBP and the TV-based method. With low-rank constraint, the image quality can be further improved in the channel with more noise. The final color result by the proposed method has the best visual quality. Conclusion: The proposed method can effectively improve the image quality of low-dose spectral

  7. MO-DE-207A-05: Dictionary Learning Based Reconstruction with Low-Rank Constraint for Low-Dose Spectral CT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Q [Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an (China); Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA (United States); Liu, H; Xing, L [Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA (United States); Yu, H [University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA (United States); Wang, G [Rensselaer Polytechnic Instute., Troy, NY (United States)

    2016-06-15

    Purpose: Spectral CT enabled by an energy-resolved photon-counting detector outperforms conventional CT in terms of material discrimination, contrast resolution, etc. One reconstruction method for spectral CT is to generate a color image from a reconstructed component in each energy channel. However, given the radiation dose, the number of photons in each channel is limited, which will result in strong noise in each channel and affect the final color reconstruction. Here we propose a novel dictionary learning method for spectral CT that combines dictionary-based sparse representation method and the patch based low-rank constraint to simultaneously improve the reconstruction in each channel and to address the inter-channel correlations to further improve the reconstruction. Methods: The proposed method has two important features: (1) guarantee of the patch based sparsity in each energy channel, which is the result of the dictionary based sparse representation constraint; (2) the explicit consideration of the correlations among different energy channels, which is realized by patch-by-patch nuclear norm-based low-rank constraint. For each channel, the dictionary consists of two sub-dictionaries. One is learned from the average of the images in all energy channels, and the other is learned from the average of the images in all energy channels except the current channel. With average operation to reduce noise, these two dictionaries can effectively preserve the structural details and get rid of artifacts caused by noise. Combining them together can express all structural information in current channel. Results: Dictionary learning based methods can obtain better results than FBP and the TV-based method. With low-rank constraint, the image quality can be further improved in the channel with more noise. The final color result by the proposed method has the best visual quality. Conclusion: The proposed method can effectively improve the image quality of low-dose spectral

  8. Strategies to improve quality of childbirth care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    farahnaz Changaee

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Access to affordable and quality health care is one of the most important ways for reducing maternal and child mortality. The purpose of this study was to provide strategies to promote the quality of care during childbirth in Lorestan province in 2011. Materials and Methods: This research was a mixed method (quantitative, qualitative, study in which quality of 200 care during childbirth in hospitals of Lorestan Province were evaluated. Data gathered through self-made tools (Checklists prepared according to the guidelines of the ministry of health. Descriptive statistics and SPSS software were used to data analysis.In the second part of the study which was qualitative, interview with service providers, hospital officials and high-ranking officials of Lorestan university of medical sciences (decision makers was used to discuss strategies to improve the quality of care. Results: The results showed that the care of the first stage delivery in %54.5, second stage %57 and third stage 66% were in accordance with the desired status and care in this three stages was of moderate quality. Based on the interviews, the officials who are in charge of Lorestan university of medical sciences, proposed strategies such as financial incentives and in-service training of midwives as suitable strategies to improve quality of services. Conclusion: According to the results, strategies such as financial incentives, increased use of private sector services to reduce the workload of the public sector and increase of quality and use of more in-service training, to improve the quality of services, are recommended.

  9. High Spectral Resolution LIDAR as a Tool for Air Quality Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eloranta, E. W.; Spuler, S.; Hayman, M. M.

    2017-12-01

    Many aspects of air quality research require information on the vertical distribution of pollution. Traditional measurements, obtained from surface based samplers, or passive satellite remote sensing, do not provide vertical profiles. Lidar can provide profiles of aerosol properties. However traditional backscatter lidar suffers from uncertain calibrations with poorly constrained algorithms. These problems are avoided using High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) which provides absolutely calibrated vertical profiles of aerosol properties. The University of Wisconsin HSRL systems measure 532 nm wavelength aerosol backscatter cross-sections, extinction cross-sections, depolarization, and attenuated 1064 nm backscatter. These instruments are designed for long-term deployment at remote sites with minimal local support. Processed data is provided for public viewing and download in real-time on our web site "http://hsrl.ssec.wisc.edu". Air pollution applications of HSRL data will be illustrated with examples acquired during air quality field programs including; KORUS-AQ, DISCOVER-AQ, LAMOS and FRAPPE. Observations include 1) long range transport of dust, air pollution and smoke. 2) Fumigation episodes where elevated pollution is mixed down to the surface. 3) visibility restrictions by aerosols and 4) diurnal variations in atmospheric optical depth. While HSRL is powerful air quality research tool, its application in routine measurement networks is hindered by the high cost of current systems. Recent technical advances promise a next generation HSRL using telcom components to greatly reduce system cost. This paper will present data generated by a prototype low cost system constructed at NCAR. In addition to lower cost, operation at a non-visible near 780 nm infrared wavelength removes all FAA restrictions on the operation.

  10. Does Medical Malpractice Law Improve Health Care Quality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frakes, Michael; Jena, Anupam B.

    2016-01-01

    We assess the potential for medical liability forces to deter medical errors and improve health care treatment quality, identifying liability’s influence by drawing on variations in the manner by which states formulate the negligence standard facing physicians. Using hospital discharge records from the National Hospital Discharge Survey and clinically-validated quality metrics inspired by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, we find evidence suggesting that treatment quality may improve upon reforms that expect physicians to adhere to higher quality clinical standards. We do not find evidence, however, suggesting that treatment quality may deteriorate following reforms to liability standards that arguably condone the delivery of lower quality care. Similarly, we do not find evidence of deterioration in health care quality following remedy-focused liability reforms such as caps on non-economic damages awards. PMID:28479642

  11. Rare-earth doped transparent ceramics for spectral filtering and quantum information processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunkel, Nathalie; Ferrier, Alban; Thiel, Charles W.; Ramírez, Mariola O.; Bausá, Luisa E.; Cone, Rufus L.; Ikesue, Akio; Goldner, Philippe

    2015-09-01

    Homogeneous linewidths below 10 kHz are reported for the first time in high-quality Eu3+ doped Y 2O3 transparent ceramics. This result is obtained on the 7F0→5D0 transition in Eu3+ doped Y 2O3 ceramics and corresponds to an improvement of nearly one order of magnitude compared to previously reported values in transparent ceramics. Furthermore, we observed spectral hole lifetimes of ˜15 min that are long enough to enable efficient optical pumping of the nuclear hyperfine levels. Additionally, different Eu3+ concentrations (up to 1.0%) were studied, resulting in an increase of up to a factor of three in the peak absorption coefficient. These results suggest that transparent ceramics can be useful in applications where narrow and deep spectral holes can be burned into highly absorbing lines, such as quantum information processing and spectral filtering.

  12. Spectral characterization of natural backgrounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkelmann, Max

    2017-10-01

    As the distribution and use of hyperspectral sensors is constantly increasing, the exploitation of spectral features is a threat for camouflaged objects. To improve camouflage materials at first the spectral behavior of backgrounds has to be known to adjust and optimize the spectral reflectance of camouflage materials. In an international effort, the NATO CSO working group SCI-295 "Development of Methods for Measurements and Evaluation of Natural Background EO Signatures" is developing a method how this characterization of backgrounds has to be done. It is obvious that the spectral characterization of a background will be quite an effort. To compare and exchange data internationally the measurements will have to be done in a similar way. To test and further improve this method an international field trial has been performed in Storkow, Germany. In the following we present first impressions and lessons learned from this field campaign and describe the data that has been measured.

  13. Quality improvement teaching at medical school: a student perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nair P

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Pooja Nair, Ishani Barai, Sunila Prasad, Karishma Gadhvi Department of Medicine, Imperial College School of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK Abstract: Guidelines in the UK require all doctors to actively take part in quality improvement. To ease future doctors into the process, formal quality improvement teaching can be delivered during medical school. Keywords: quality improvement, medical school, patient safety, patient satisfaction, medical student, clinical audit

  14. Arc-welding quality assurance by means of embedded fiber sensor and spectral processing combining feature selection and neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirapeix, J.; García-Allende, P. B.; Cobo, A.; Conde, O.; López-Higuera, J. M.

    2007-07-01

    A new spectral processing technique designed for its application in the on-line detection and classification of arc-welding defects is presented in this paper. A non-invasive fiber sensor embedded within a TIG torch collects the plasma radiation originated during the welding process. The spectral information is then processed by means of two consecutive stages. A compression algorithm is first applied to the data allowing real-time analysis. The selected spectral bands are then used to feed a classification algorithm, which will be demonstrated to provide an efficient weld defect detection and classification. The results obtained with the proposed technique are compared to a similar processing scheme presented in a previous paper, giving rise to an improvement in the performance of the monitoring system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brousseau, Holli; Pohl, Dieter

    2017-03-01

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

  16. Integrating empowerment evaluation and quality improvement to achieve healthcare improvement outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wandersman, Abraham; Alia, Kassandra Ann; Cook, Brittany; Ramaswamy, Rohit

    2015-10-01

    While the body of evidence-based healthcare interventions grows, the ability of health systems to deliver these interventions effectively and efficiently lags behind. Quality improvement approaches, such as the model for improvement, have demonstrated some success in healthcare but their impact has been lessened by implementation challenges. To help address these challenges, we describe the empowerment evaluation approach that has been developed by programme evaluators and a method for its application (Getting To Outcomes (GTO)). We then describe how GTO can be used to implement healthcare interventions. An illustrative healthcare quality improvement example that compares the model for improvement and the GTO method for reducing hospital admissions through improved diabetes care is described. We conclude with suggestions for integrating GTO and the model for improvement. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  17. Approaching the Practice Quality Improvement Project in Interventional Radiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Stephen P; White, Benjamin; Sutphin, Patrick D; Pillai, Anil K; Kalva, Sanjeeva P; Toomay, Seth M

    2015-12-01

    An important component of maintenance of certification and quality improvement in radiology is the practice quality improvement (PQI) project. In this article, the authors describe several methodologies for initiating and completing PQI projects. Furthermore, the authors illustrate several tools that are vital in compiling, analyzing, and presenting data in an easily understandable and reproducible manner. Last, they describe two PQI projects performed in an interventional radiology division that have successfully improved the quality of care for patients. Using the DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) quality improvement framework, interventional radiology throughput has been increased, to lessen mediport wait times from 43 to 8 days, and mediport infection rates have decreased from more than 2% to less than 0.4%. Copyright © 2015 American College of Radiology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. A Novel Mesh Quality Improvement Method for Boundary Elements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hou-lin Liu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In order to improve the boundary mesh quality while maintaining the essential characteristics of discrete surfaces, a new approach combining optimization-based smoothing and topology optimization is developed. The smoothing objective function is modified, in which two functions denoting boundary and interior quality, respectively, and a weight coefficient controlling boundary quality are taken into account. In addition, the existing smoothing algorithm can improve the mesh quality only by repositioning vertices of the interior mesh. Without destroying boundary conformity, bad elements with all their vertices on the boundary cannot be eliminated. Then, topology optimization is employed, and those elements are converted into other types of elements whose quality can be improved by smoothing. The practical application shows that the worst elements can be eliminated and, with the increase of weight coefficient, the average quality of boundary mesh can also be improved. Results obtained with the combined approach are compared with some common approach. It is clearly shown that it performs better than the existing approach.

  19. Systematic Quality Improvement in Medicine: Everyone Can Do It

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark L. Zeidel

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available In this brief review, written from the perspective of a physician-leader who has fostered the development of comprehensive quality improvement efforts at two academic medical centers, I review the need for improvement, some conceptual barriers that must be overcome, the goals of a comprehensive quality improvement (QI effort, some of the results we have obtained, and some observations on how to develop a culture of continuous improvement in an academic medical center. The mandate for quality improvement is clear; current healthcare is wasteful and error-prone, leading to excessive morbidity and mortality and unsustainably high costs. Successful quality improvement requires the abandonment of two paradigms: the craft model of medical practice and the notion that many forms of harm to patients are not preventable. I will describe how dramatic improvement has been achieved in reducing, by up to 10-fold, rates of central line infections, ventilator-associated pneumonias, peritonitis in peritoneal dialysis patients, and mortality due to cardiac arrest in hospital. I will describe as well how these methods can improve access to out-patient clinics dramatically and enhance the reliability and safety of hand-offs between covering physicians. To develop and maintain systematic quality improvement in all phases of medical care we must articulate a culture in which: everyone working at the medical center makes improvements every day; front-line staff, who know best how the work is done, are empowered to improve the processes of care; and multidisciplinary teams create the protocols that reduce variation that is due to physician preference, leaving only the variation required by the individual needs of patients. I will review as well the crucial elements of education of trainees and faculty members needed to guide and sustain a culture of quality. Finally, I will add some observations on how oversight boards and medical center leaders can help create

  20. Systematic quality improvement in medicine: everyone can do it.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidel, Mark L

    2011-07-01

    In this brief review, written from the perspective of a physician-leader who has fostered the development of comprehensive quality improvement efforts at two academic medical centers, I review the need for improvement, some conceptual barriers that must be overcome, the goals of a comprehensive quality improvement (QI) effort, some of the results we have obtained, and some observations on how to develop a culture of continuous improvement in an academic medical center. The mandate for quality improvement is clear; current healthcare is wasteful and error-prone, leading to excessive morbidity and mortality and unsustainably high costs. Successful quality improvement requires the abandonment of two paradigms: the craft model of medical practice and the notion that many forms of harm to patients are not preventable. I will describe how dramatic improvement has been achieved in reducing, by up to 10-fold, rates of central line infections, ventilator-associated pneumonias, peritonitis in peritoneal dialysis patients, and mortality due to cardiac arrest in hospital. I will describe as well how these methods can improve access to out-patient clinics dramatically and enhance the reliability and safety of hand-offs between covering physicians. To develop and maintain systematic quality improvement in all phases of medical care we must articulate a culture in which: everyone working at the medical center makes improvements every day; front-line staff, who know best how the work is done, are empowered to improve the processes of care; and multidisciplinary teams create the protocols that reduce variation that is due to physician preference, leaving only the variation required by the individual needs of patients. I will review as well the crucial elements of education of trainees and faculty members needed to guide and sustain a culture of quality. Finally, I will add some observations on how oversight boards and medical center leaders can help create systematic quality

  1. Accounting for quality: on the relationship between accounting and quality improvement in healthcare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pflueger, Dane

    2015-04-23

    Accounting-that is, standardized measurement, public reporting, performance evaluation and managerial control-is commonly seen to provide the core infrastructure for quality improvement in healthcare. Yet, accounting successfully for quality has been a problematic endeavor, often producing dysfunctional effects. This has raised questions about the appropriate role for accounting in achieving quality improvement. This paper contributes to this debate by contrasting the specific way in which accounting is understood and operationalized for quality improvement in the UK National Health Service (NHS) with findings from the broadly defined 'social studies of accounting' literature and illustrative examples. This paper highlights three significant differences between the way that accounting is understood to operate in the dominant health policy discourse and recent healthcare reforms, and in the social studies of accounting literature. It shows that accounting does not just find things out, but makes them up. It shows that accounting is not simply a matter of substance, but of style. And it shows that accounting does not just facilitate, but displaces, control. The illumination of these differences in the way that accounting is conceptualized helps to diagnose why accounting interventions often fail to produce the quality improvements that were envisioned. This paper concludes that accounting is not necessarily incompatible with the ambition of quality improvement, but that it would need to be understood and operationalized in new ways in order to contribute to this end. Proposals for this new way of advancing accounting are discussed. They include the cultivation of overlapping and even conflicting measures of quality, the evaluation of accounting regimes in terms of what they do to practice, and the development of distinctively skeptical calculative cultures.

  2. 40 CFR 64.8 - Quality improvement plan (QIP) requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 15 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Quality improvement plan (QIP... PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) COMPLIANCE ASSURANCE MONITORING § 64.8 Quality improvement plan (QIP) requirements. (a.... (iii) Appropriate improvements to control methods. (iv) Other steps appropriate to correct control...

  3. Improving embryo quality in assisted reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mantikou, E.

    2013-01-01

    The goal of this thesis was to improve embryo quality in assisted reproductive technologies by gaining more insight into human preimplantation embryo development and by improving in vitro culture conditions. To do so, we investigated an intriguing feature of the human preimplantation embryo, i.e.

  4. Sleep Quality Improvement During Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsawh, Holly J; Bomyea, Jessica; Stein, Murray B; Cissell, Shadha H; Lang, Ariel J

    2016-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of sleep complaints among individuals with anxiety disorders, few prior studies have examined whether sleep quality improves during anxiety treatment. The current study examined pre- to posttreatment sleep quality improvement during cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for panic disorder (PD; n = 26) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; n = 24). Among sleep quality indices, only global sleep quality and sleep latency improved significantly (but modestly) during CBT. Sleep quality improvement was greater for treatment responders, but did not vary by diagnosis. Additionally, poor baseline sleep quality was independently associated with worse anxiety treatment outcome, as measured by higher intolerance of uncertainty. Additional intervention targeting sleep prior to or during CBT for anxiety may be beneficial for poor sleepers.

  5. Voltage Quality Improvement Using Solar Photovoltaic Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denisa Galzina

    2015-06-01

    This paper briefly shows the methods of power quality improvement, and then the results of on-site power quality measurements in the grid before and after the connection of the solar photovoltaic system.

  6. Spectral mixture analysis for water quality assessment over the Amazon floodplain using Hyperion/EO-1 images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lênio Soares Galvão

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Water composition undergoes complex spatial and temporal variations throughout the central Amazon floodplain. This study analyzed the spectral mixtures of the optically active substances (OASs in water with spaceborne hyperspectral images. The test site was located upstream the confluence of Amazon (white water and Tapajós (clear-water rivers, where two Hyperion images were acquired from the Earth Observing One (EO-1 satellite. The first image was acquired on September 16, 2001, during the falling water period of the Amazon River. The second image was acquired on June 23, 2005, at the end of the high water period. The images were pre-processed to remove stripes of anomalous pixels, convert radiance-calibrated data to surface reflectance, mask land, clouds and macrophytes targets, and spectral subset the data within the range of 457-885nm. A sequential procedure with the techniques Minimum Noise Fraction (MNF, Pixel Purity Index (PPI and n-dimensional visualization of the MNF feature space was employed to select end-members from both images. A single set of end-members was gathered to represent the following spectrally unique OASs: clear-water; dissolved organic matter; suspended sediments; and phytoplankton. The Linear Spectral Unmixing algorithm was applied to each Hyperion image in order to map the spatial distribution of these constituents, in terms of sub-pixel fractional abundances. Results showed three patterns of changes in the water quality from high to falling flood periods: decrease of suspended inorganic matter concentration in the Amazon River; increase of suspended inorganic matter and phytoplankton concentrations in varzea lakes; and increase of phytoplankton concentration in the Tapajós River.

  7. Spectral mixture analysis for water quality assessment over the Amazon floodplain using Hyperion/EO-1 images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lênio Soares Galvão

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Water composition undergoes complex spatial and temporal variations throughout the central Amazon floodplain. This study analyzed the spectral mixtures of the optically active substances (OASs in water with spaceborne hyperspectral images. The test site was located upstream the confluence of Amazon (white water and Tapajós (clear-water rivers, where two Hyperion images were acquired from the Earth Observing One (EO-1 satellite. The first image was acquired on September 16, 2001, during the falling water period of the Amazon River. The second image was acquired on June 23, 2005, at the end of the high water period. The images were pre-processed to remove stripes of anomalous pixels, convert radiance-calibrated data to surface reflectance, mask land, clouds and macrophytes targets, and spectral subset the data within the range of 457-885nm. A sequential procedure with the techniques Minimum Noise Fraction (MNF, Pixel Purity Index (PPI and n-dimensional visualization of the MNF feature space was employed to select end-members from both images. A single set of end-members was gathered to represent the following spectrally unique OASs: clear-water; dissolved organic matter; suspended sediments; and phytoplankton. The Linear Spectral Unmixing algorithm was applied to each Hyperion image in order to map the spatial distribution of these constituents, in terms of sub-pixel fractional abundances. Results showed three patterns of changes in the water quality from high to falling flood periods: decrease of suspended inorganic matter concentration in the Amazon River; increase of suspended inorganic matter and phytoplankton concentrations in varzea lakes; and increase of phytoplankton concentration in the Tapajós River.

  8. Spectral mismatch and solar simulator quality factor in advanced LED solar simulators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherff, Maximilian L. D.; Nutter, Jason; Fuss-Kailuweit, Peter; Suthues, Jörn; Brammer, Torsten

    2017-08-01

    Solar cell simulators based on light emitting diodes (LED) have the potential to achieve a large potential market share in the next years. As advantages they can provide a short and long time stable spectrum, which fits very well to the global AM1.5g reference spectrum. This guarantees correct measurements during the flashes and throughout the light engines’ life span, respectively. Furthermore, a calibration with a solar cell type of different spectral response (SR) as well as the production of solar cells with varying SR in between two calibrations does not affect the correctness of the measurement result. A high quality 21 channel LED solar cell spectrum is compared to former study comprising a standard modified xenon spectrum light source. It is shown, that the spectrum of the 21-channel-LED light source performs best for all examined cases.

  9. Spectral methods. Fundamentals in single domains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Canuto, C.

    2006-01-01

    Since the publication of ''Spectral Methods in Fluid Dynamics'' 1988, spectral methods have become firmly established as a mainstream tool for scientific and engineering computation. The authors of that book have incorporated into this new edition the many improvements in the algorithms and the theory of spectral methods that have been made since then. This latest book retains the tight integration between the theoretical and practical aspects of spectral methods, and the chapters are enhanced with material on the Galerkin with numerical integration version of spectral methods. The discussion of direct and iterative solution methods is also greatly expanded. (orig.)

  10. Quality improvement in clinical documentation: does clinical governance work?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dehghan M

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Mahlegha Dehghan,1 Dorsa Dehghan,2 Akbar Sheikhrabori,3 Masoume Sadeghi,4 Mehrdad Jalalian5 1Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, 2Department of Pediatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Islamic Azad University Kerman Branch, Kerman, 3Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, 4Research Center for Modeling in Health, Institute of Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, 5Electronic Physician Journal, Mashhad, Iran Introduction: The quality of nursing documentation is still a challenge in the nursing profession and, thus, in the health care industry. One major quality improvement program is clinical governance, whose mission is to continuously improve the quality of patient care and overcome service quality problems. The aim of this study was to identify whether clinical governance improves the quality of nursing documentation. Methods: A quasi-experimental method was used to show nursing documentation quality improvement after a 2-year clinical governance implementation. Two hundred twenty random nursing documents were assessed structurally and by content using a valid and reliable researcher made checklist. Results: There were no differences between a nurse's demographic data before and after 2 years (P>0.05 and the nursing documentation score did not improve after a 2-year clinical governance program. Conclusion: Although some efforts were made to improve nursing documentation through clinical governance, these were not sufficient and more attempts are needed. Keywords: nursing documentation, clinical governance, quality improvement, nursing record

  11. Quality improvement tools and processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Catherine Y

    2015-04-01

    The Model for Improvement and the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle is a popular quality improvement (QI) tool for health care providers to successfully lead QI projects and redesign care processes. This tool has several distinct components that must be addressed in sequence to organize and critically evaluate improvement activities. Unlike other health sciences clinical research, QI projects and research are based on dynamic hypotheses that develop into observable, serial tests of change with continuous collection and feedback of performance data to stakeholders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowblis, John R; Roberts, Amy Restorick

    2018-06-01

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

  13. Quality Improvement in Athletic Health Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes Sauers, Andrea D; Sauers, Eric L; Valier, Alison R Snyder

    2017-11-01

    Quality improvement (QI) is a health care concept that ensures patients receive high-quality (safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, patient-centered) and affordable care. Despite its importance, the application of QI in athletic health care has been limited.   To describe the need for and define QI in health care, to describe how to measure quality in health care, and to present a QI case in athletic training.   As the athletic training profession continues to grow, a widespread engagement in QI efforts is necessary to establish the value of athletic training services for the patients that we serve. A review of the importance of QI in health care, historical perspectives of QI, tools to drive QI efforts, and examples of common QI initiatives is presented to assist clinicians in better understanding the value of QI for advancing athletic health care and the profession. Clinical and Research Advantages:  By engaging clinicians in strategies to measure outcomes and improve their patient care services, QI practice can help athletic trainers provide high-quality and affordable care to patients.

  14. Transferring skills in quality collaboratives focused on improving patient logistics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.W.M. Weggelaar-Jansen (Anne Marie); J.D.H. van Wijngaarden (Jeroen)

    2018-01-01

    textabstractA quality improvement collaborative, often used by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, is used to educate healthcare professionals and improve healthcare at the same time. Our research focused on quality improvement collaboratives aiming to improve patient logistics and tried to

  15. Room for improvement? Leadership, innovation culture and uptake of quality improvement methods in general practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apekey, Tanefa A; McSorley, Gerry; Tilling, Michelle; Siriwardena, A Niroshan

    2011-04-01

    Leadership and innovation are currently seen as essential elements for the development and maintenance of high-quality care. Little is known about the relationship between leadership and culture of innovation and the extent to which quality improvement methods are used in general practice. This study aimed to assess the relationship between leadership behaviour, culture of innovation and adoption of quality improvement methods in general practice. Self-administered postal questionnaires were sent to general practitioner quality improvement leads in one county in the UK between June and December 2007. The questionnaire consisted of background information, a 12-item scale to assess leadership behaviour, a seven-dimension self-rating scale for culture of innovation and questions on current use of quality improvement tools and techniques. Sixty-three completed questionnaires (62%) were returned. Leadership behaviours were not commonly reported. Most practices reported a positive culture of innovation, featuring relationship most strongly, followed by targets and information but rated lower on other dimensions of rewards, risk and resources. There was a significant positive correlation between leadership behaviour and the culture of innovation (r = 0.57; P improvement methods were not adopted by most participating practices. Leadership behaviours were infrequently reported and this was associated with a limited culture of innovation in participating general practices. There was little use of quality improvement methods beyond clinical and significant event audit. Practices need support to enhance leadership skills, encourage innovation and develop quality improvement skills if improvements in health care are to accelerate. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. Leadership, safety climate, and continuous quality improvement: impact on process quality and patient safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadden, Kathleen L; Stock, Gregory N; Gowen, Charles R

    2014-10-01

    Successful amelioration of medical errors represents a significant problem in the health care industry. There is a need for greater understanding of the factors that lead to improved process quality and patient safety outcomes in hospitals. We present a research model that shows how transformational leadership, safety climate, and continuous quality improvement (CQI) initiatives are related to objective quality and patient safety outcome measures. The proposed framework is tested using structural equation modeling, based on data collected for 204 hospitals, and supplemented with objective outcome data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The results provide empirical evidence that a safety climate, which is connected to the chief executive officer's transformational leadership style, is related to CQI initiatives, which are linked to improved process quality. A unique finding of this study is that, although CQI initiatives are positively associated with improved process quality, they are also associated with higher hospital-acquired condition rates, a measure of patient safety. Likewise, safety climate is directly related to improved patient safety outcomes. The notion that patient safety climate and CQI initiatives are not interchangeable or universally beneficial is an important contribution to the literature. The results confirm the importance of using CQI to effectively enhance process quality in hospitals, and patient safety climate to improve patient safety outcomes. The overall pattern of findings suggests that simultaneous implementation of CQI initiatives and patient safety climate produces greater combined benefits.

  17. Quality Improvement of Liver Ultrasound Images Using Fuzzy Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayani, Azadeh; Langarizadeh, Mostafa; Radmard, Amir Reza; Nejad, Ahmadreza Farzaneh

    2016-12-01

    Liver ultrasound images are so common and are applied so often to diagnose diffuse liver diseases like fatty liver. However, the low quality of such images makes it difficult to analyze them and diagnose diseases. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to improve the contrast and quality of liver ultrasound images. In this study, a number of image contrast enhancement algorithms which are based on fuzzy logic were applied to liver ultrasound images - in which the view of kidney is observable - using Matlab2013b to improve the image contrast and quality which has a fuzzy definition; just like image contrast improvement algorithms using a fuzzy intensification operator, contrast improvement algorithms applying fuzzy image histogram hyperbolization, and contrast improvement algorithms by fuzzy IF-THEN rules. With the measurement of Mean Squared Error and Peak Signal to Noise Ratio obtained from different images, fuzzy methods provided better results, and their implementation - compared with histogram equalization method - led both to the improvement of contrast and visual quality of images and to the improvement of liver segmentation algorithms results in images. Comparison of the four algorithms revealed the power of fuzzy logic in improving image contrast compared with traditional image processing algorithms. Moreover, contrast improvement algorithm based on a fuzzy intensification operator was selected as the strongest algorithm considering the measured indicators. This method can also be used in future studies on other ultrasound images for quality improvement and other image processing and analysis applications.

  18. How to Measure and Interpret Quality Improvement Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McQuillan, Rory Francis; Silver, Samuel Adam; Harel, Ziv; Weizman, Adam; Thomas, Alison; Bell, Chaim; Chertow, Glenn M; Chan, Christopher T; Nesrallah, Gihad

    2016-05-06

    This article will demonstrate how to conduct a quality improvement project using the change idea generated in "How To Use Quality Improvement Tools in Clinical Practice: How To Diagnose Solutions to a Quality of Care Problem" by Dr. Ziv Harel and colleagues in this Moving Points feature. This change idea involves the introduction of a nurse educator into a CKD clinic with a goal of increasing rates of patients performing dialysis independently at home (home hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis). Using this example, we will illustrate a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle in action and highlight the principles of rapid cycle change methodology. We will then discuss the selection of outcome, process, and balancing measures, and the practicalities of collecting these data in the clinic environment. We will also introduce the PDSA worksheet as a practical way to oversee the progress of a quality improvement project. Finally, we will demonstrate how run charts are used to visually illustrate improvement in real time, and how this information can be used to validate achievement, respond appropriately to challenges the project may encounter, and prove the significance of results. This article aims to provide readers with a clear and practical framework upon which to trial their own ideas for quality improvement in the clinical setting. Copyright © 2016 by the American Society of Nephrology.

  19. Internal Resources to Improve the Quality of Higher Education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatyana V. Zak

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with the situation in the Russian higher education system. The factors affecting the improvement of the quality of higher education are analyzed. The emphasis is on mass universities. The main obstacles to improving the quality of education in these institutions are the Institute of collective reputation and the high costs of the struggle for improving the quality of education.The necessity of focusing on the actuation of the internal resources to improve the quality associated with the change in the educational process: giving students the right to choose the timing exams and training period at university. The implementation of the proposed measures will reduce the opportunity costs associated with quality improvement activities. The proposed change in the organization of the learning process opens the possibility to estimate the activity of universities in terms of medium-term implementation of educational programs. The use of this indicator will not only combine the two different targets of universities, but also to minimize the costs of opportunistic behavior of teachers and management.

  20. Lower- Versus Higher-Income Populations In The Alternative Quality Contract: Improved Quality And Similar Spending.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zirui; Rose, Sherri; Chernew, Michael E; Safran, Dana Gelb

    2017-01-01

    As population-based payment models become increasingly common, it is crucial to understand how such payment models affect health disparities. We evaluated health care quality and spending among enrollees in areas with lower versus higher socioeconomic status in Massachusetts before and after providers entered into the Alternative Quality Contract, a two-sided population-based payment model with substantial incentives tied to quality. We compared changes in process measures, outcome measures, and spending between enrollees in areas with lower and higher socioeconomic status from 2006 to 2012 (outcome measures were measured after the intervention only). Quality improved for all enrollees in the Alternative Quality Contract after their provider organizations entered the contract. Process measures improved 1.2 percentage points per year more among enrollees in areas with lower socioeconomic status than among those in areas with higher socioeconomic status. Outcome measure improvement was no different between the subgroups; neither were changes in spending. Larger or comparable improvements in quality among enrollees in areas with lower socioeconomic status suggest a potential narrowing of disparities. Strong pay-for-performance incentives within a population-based payment model could encourage providers to focus on improving quality for more disadvantaged populations. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  1. 42 CFR 422.153 - Use of quality improvement organization review information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Use of quality improvement organization review... HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICARE PROGRAM MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PROGRAM Quality Improvement § 422.153 Use of quality improvement organization review information. CMS will acquire from quality...

  2. Effectiveness of a quality-improvement program in improving management of primary care practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szecsenyi, Joachim; Campbell, Stephen; Broge, Bjoern; Laux, Gunter; Willms, Sara; Wensing, Michel; Goetz, Katja

    2011-01-01

    Background: The European Practice Assessment program provides feedback and outreach visits to primary care practices to facilitate quality improvement in five domains (infrastructure, people, information, finance, and quality and safety). We examined the effectiveness of this program in improving management in primary care practices in Germany, with a focus on the domain of quality and safety. Methods: In a before–after study, 102 primary care practices completed a practice assessment using the European Practice Assessment instrument at baseline and three years later (intervention group). A comparative group of 102 practices was included that completed their first assessment using this instrument at the time of the intervention group’s second assessment. Mean scores were based on the proportion of indicators for which a positive response was achieved by all of the practices, on a scale of 0 to 100. Results: We found significant improvements in all domains between the first and second assessments in the intervention group. In the domain of quality and safety, improvements in scores (mean scores were based on the proportion of indicators for which a positive response was achieved by all of the practices, on a scale of 0 to 100) were observed in the following dimensions: complaint management (from a mean score of 51.2 at first assessment to 80.7 at second assessment); analysis of critical incidents (from 79.1 to 89.6); and quality development, quality policy (from 40.7 to 55.6). Overall scores at the time of the second assessment were significantly higher in the intervention group than in the comparative group. Interpretation: Primary care practices that completed the European Practice Assessment instrument twice over a three-year period showed improvements in practice management. Our findings show the value of the quality-improvement cycle in the context of practice assessment and the use of established organizational standards for practice management with the

  3. San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPAs grant program to protect and restore San Francisco Bay. The San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund (SFBWQIF) has invested in 58 projects along with 70 partners contributing to restore wetlands, water quality, and reduce polluted runoff.,

  4. MODERN CONCEPTS OF THE SIX SIGMA METHODOLOGY FOR IMPROVING THE QUALITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARGARITA JANESKA

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Product quality is generally accepted as being crucial in today’s industrial business. The traditional aspects of product quality are connected to product design (translating customer demands into attractive features and technical specifications and to the design and specification of high performance production processes with low defect rates. Quality management is the general expression for all actions leading to quality. Quality management is focused on improving customer satisfaction through continuous improvement of processes including the removal of uncertain activities, and continuous improvement of the quality of processes, products and services. The quality management includes four key processes, such as quality planning, quality assurance, quality control and quality costs. The main accent in this paper will be on quality control and the application of one of the quality control tools in order to improve it. Six Sigma is different from other quality improvement concepts in that its framework is comprised of many principles, tools and techniques, which, together with experience, are all integrated and translated into best practices. Bearing in mind that the goal of every company is to work effectively and effectively in the long run, this paper focuses on Six Sigma as a way to continuously improve quality. Namely, this paper emphasizes the key features of the quality of products / services, the Need for the application of Six Sigma for quality assurance, and also a detailed list of tools and techniques that can be used during the implementation of Six Sigma.

  5. SF Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund: Projects and Accomplishments

    Science.gov (United States)

    San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund (SFBWQIF) projects listed here are part of an EPA competitive grant program to improve SF Bay water quality focused on restoring impaired waters and enhancing aquatic resources.

  6. Infrastructure for large-scale quality-improvement projects: early lessons from North Carolina Improving Performance in Practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Warren P; Lefebvre, Ann; Donahue, Katrina E; Bacon, Thomas; Dobson, Allen

    2010-01-01

    Little is known regarding how to accomplish large-scale health care improvement. Our goal is to improve the quality of chronic disease care in all primary care practices throughout North Carolina. Methods for improvement include (1) common quality measures and shared data system; (2) rapid cycle improvement principles; (3) quality-improvement consultants (QICs), or practice facilitators; (4) learning networks; and (5) alignment of incentives. We emphasized a community-based strategy and developing a statewide infrastructure. Results are reported from the first 2 years of the North Carolina Improving Performance in Practice (IPIP) project. A coalition was formed to include professional societies, North Carolina AHEC, Community Care of North Carolina, insurers, and other organizations. Wave One started with 18 practices in 2 of 9 regions of the state. Quality-improvement consultants recruited practices. Over 80 percent of practices attended all quarterly regional meetings. In 9 months, almost all diabetes measures improved, and a bundled asthma measure improved from 33 to 58 percent. Overall, the magnitude of improvement was clinically and statistically significant (P = .001). Quality improvements were maintained on review 1 year later. Wave Two has spread to 103 practices in all 9 regions of the state, with 42 additional practices beginning the enrollment process. Large-scale health care quality improvement is feasible, when broadly supported by statewide leadership and community infrastructure. Practice-collected data and lack of a control group are limitations of the study design. Future priorities include maintaining improved sustainability for practices and communities. Our long-term goal is to transform all 2000 primary-care practices in our state.

  7. Quality improvement process pilot project at Gallagher station

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vondielingen, D.E.

    1992-01-01

    A Quality Improvement Process was piloted at Gallagher station in 1990 to address issues of two Electric System Strategy Group (ESSG) goals. Darrell McElravy headed a group to address quality, productivity and prove and Judy Rushing headed a group to address innovation and recognition. These groups combined when a process was identified that could address both issues. The process was designed for PSI Energy by Business Incentives and is an incentive-based quality improvement process that seeks employee involvement to identify inhibitors t performance and to establish a method to eliminate the problem. Performance goals were also established that help focus efforts to improve performance and reward employees for their efforts

  8. An Application of Spectral Kurtosis to Separate Hybrid Power Quality Events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan José González de la Rosa

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available For the development of the future smart grid, the detection of power quality events is a key issue for the power system monitoring. Voltage sags, swells, harmonics (variations and interruptions, which produce large losses for commercial and industrial consumers, are the main events to be considered due to the sensitivity of equipment to these electrical anomalies. The steady-state events are even more frequently accompanied by transients, the discrimination and localization being far more exigent and requiring advanced signal separating tools to be incorporated in the measurement equipment. This paper shows the event detection performance of the spectral kurtosis as a signal separating tool in the frequency domain. The disturbances under test are hybrid signals resulting from the coupling between amplitude defects and non-desired higher frequencies. Being a fourth-order spectrum, the kurtosis is confirmed as a noise-resistant tool that enhances impulsiveness, therefore characterizing the electrical anomalies. In the beginning of the analysis, the voltage sag is established as a reference; then, the disturbances (oscillatory transients and harmonics are coupled at the starting and ending instants of the sag, resulting in complex hybrid events. The results show that the spectral kurtosis enhances the detection Energies 2015, 8 9778 of both types of events (steady state and transients, which are outlined in a bump shape in the fourth-order frequency pattern and centered in the main carrier frequency. Indeed, while the oscillatory transients are associated with softer and lower-amplitude peaks, the harmonics correspond to crisper and higher ones. As these mixed electrical faults are very common in the actual power grid, the article postulates the higher-order spectra to be implemented in prospective online measurement instruments.

  9. Rare-earth doped transparent ceramics for spectral filtering and quantum information processing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kunkel, Nathalie, E-mail: nathalie.kunkel@chimie-paristech.fr; Goldner, Philippe, E-mail: philippe.goldner@chimie-paristech.fr [PSL Research University, Chimie ParisTech–CNRS, Institut de Recherche de Chimie Paris, 11 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75005 Paris (France); Ferrier, Alban [PSL Research University, Chimie ParisTech–CNRS, Institut de Recherche de Chimie Paris, 11 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75005 Paris (France); Sorbonnes Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, 75005 Paris (France); Thiel, Charles W.; Cone, Rufus L. [Department of Physics, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana 59717 (United States); Ramírez, Mariola O.; Bausá, Luisa E. [Departamento Física de Materiales and Instituto Nicolás Cabrera, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid (Spain); Ikesue, Akio [World Laboratory, Mutsuno, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya 456-0023 (Japan)

    2015-09-01

    Homogeneous linewidths below 10 kHz are reported for the first time in high-quality Eu{sup 3+} doped Y {sub 2}O{sub 3} transparent ceramics. This result is obtained on the {sup 7}F{sub 0}→{sup 5}D{sub 0} transition in Eu{sup 3+} doped Y {sub 2}O{sub 3} ceramics and corresponds to an improvement of nearly one order of magnitude compared to previously reported values in transparent ceramics. Furthermore, we observed spectral hole lifetimes of ∼15 min that are long enough to enable efficient optical pumping of the nuclear hyperfine levels. Additionally, different Eu{sup 3+} concentrations (up to 1.0%) were studied, resulting in an increase of up to a factor of three in the peak absorption coefficient. These results suggest that transparent ceramics can be useful in applications where narrow and deep spectral holes can be burned into highly absorbing lines, such as quantum information processing and spectral filtering.

  10. Coaching and Quality Assistance in Quality Rating Improvement Systems: Approaches Used by TA Providers to Improve Quality in Early Care and Education Programs and Home-Based Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Sheila; Robbins, Taylor; Schneider, Will; Kreader, J. Lee; Ong, Christine

    2012-01-01

    Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRISs) commonly offer on-site technical assistance (TA) and coaching to help early care and education settings achieve quality improvements and a higher QRIS rating. In surveys of administrators overseeing statewide QRISs, almost all states reported the use of on-site TA and coaching in both center-based and…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Sophie Yahui

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Quality Improvement with Trustee Commitment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaffee, Ellen Earle; Seymour, Daniel

    1991-01-01

    Total Quality Management is a comprehensive system for developing organizationwide participation in planning for and implementing continuous improvement in critical processes. In colleges, trustees can be central to the success of the method through their commitment and the development of supportive policy and procedures. (MSE)

  14. Online Multi-Spectral Meat Inspection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jannik Boll; Larsen, Anders Boesen Lindbo

    2013-01-01

    We perform an explorative study on multi-spectral image data from a prototype device developed for fast online quality inspection of meat products. Because the camera setup is built for speed, we sacrifice exact pixel correspondences between the different bands of the multi-spectral images. Our...... work is threefold as we 1) investigate the color distributions and construct a model to describe pork loins, 2) classify the different components in pork loins (meat, fat, membrane), and 3) detect foreign objects on the surface of pork loins. Our investigation shows that the color distributions can...

  15. Evolution and outcomes of a quality improvement program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thor, Johan; Herrlin, Bo; Wittlöv, Karin; Øvretveit, John; Brommels, Mats

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to examine the outcomes and evolution over a five-year period of a Swedish university hospital quality improvement program in light of enduring uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of such programs in healthcare and how best to evaluate it. The paper takes the form of a case study, using data collected as part of the program, including quality indicators from clinical improvement projects and participants' program evaluations. Overall, 58 percent of the program's projects (39/67) demonstrated success. A greater proportion of projects led by female doctors demonstrated success (91 percent, n=11) than projects led by male doctors (51 percent, n=55). Facilitators at the hospital continuously adapted the improvement methods to the local context. A lack of dedicated time for improvement efforts was the participants' biggest difficulty. The dominant benefits included an increased ability to see the "bigger picture" and the improvements achieved for patients and employees. Quality measurement, which is important for conducting and evaluating improvement efforts, was weak with limited reliability. Nevertheless, the present study adds evidence about the effectiveness of healthcare improvement programs. Gender differences in improvement team leadership merit further study. Improvement program evaluation should assess the extent to which improvement methods are locally adapted and applied. This case study reports the outcomes of all improvement projects undertaken in one healthcare organization over a five-year period and provides in-depth insight into an improvement program's changeable nature.

  16. Formalising medical quality indicators to improve guidelines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Gendt, Marjolein; Ten Teije, Annette; Serban, Radu; Van Harmelen, Frank

    2005-01-01

    Medical guidelines can significantly improve quality of medical care and reduce costs. But how do we get sound and well-structured guidelines? This paper investigates the use of quality indicators that are formulated by medical institutions to evaluate medical care. The main research questions are

  17. Systematic Review of International Colposcopy Quality Improvement Guidelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayeaux, Edward J; Novetsky, Akiva P; Chelmow, David; Choma, Kim; Garcia, Francisco; Liu, Angela H; Papasozomenos, Theognosia; Einstein, Mark H

    2017-10-01

    The American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology Colposcopy Standards Committee organized multiple working groups to draft colposcopy standards for the United States. As part of this project, international quality assurance and improvement measures were examined. The quality improvement working group performed a systematic review of the literature to collate international guidelines related to quality improvement. Source guidelines were collected using searches in Medline, Google Scholar, the International Federation of Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy Web site, other regional colposcopy group's Web sites, and communications with International Federation of Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy board of directors' members and other expert members of various national groups. Once identified, the sources were reviewed by multiple workgroup members for potential guideline materials. Fifty-six unique documents were identified, of which 18 met inclusion criteria and contributed data to the analysis. Information was abstracted and grouped by related subject. Wide variation exists in colposcopy guidance and quality indicators from regional and national colposcopy societies. Abstracted international guidelines are presented.

  18. Continuous improvement of software quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sivertsen, Terje

    1999-04-01

    The present report is the first Halden Work Report delivered from the OECD Halden Reactor Project's research activity on formal methods and software quality. Of particular concern in this activity is to reach a consensus between regulators, licensees and the nuclear industry on questions related to the effective, industrial use of formal methods. The report gives considerable attention to the importance of continuous improvement as a characteristic of a living software quality system, and to the need of providing a basis for software process/product quality integration. In particular, the report discusses these aspects from the perspectives of defect prevention, formal methods, Total Quality Management (TQM), and Bayesian Belief Nets. Another concern is to promote controlled experiments on the use of new methods, techniques, and tools. This is achieved partly by reviewing suggestions on the collection and experimental use of data, and by surveying a number of metrics believed to have some potential for comparison studies (author) (ml)

  19. Application of improved quality control technology to pressure vessels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kriedt, F.

    1985-01-01

    Within the last decade, ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Section VIII-1 instituted requirements for a formal written quality control system. The results, good and bad, of this requirement are discussed. The effects are far reaching from a national economic standpoint. Quality control technology has improved. These improvements are discussed and compared to existing requirements of the CODE. Recommended improvements are suggested

  20. International Accreditations as Drivers of Business School Quality Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Business schools are under pressure to implement continuous improvement and quality assurance processes to remain competitive in a globalized higher education market. Drivers for quality improvement include external, environmental pressures, regulatory bodies such as governments, and, increasingly, voluntary accreditation agencies such as AACSB…

  1. Combining clinical microsystems and an experiential quality improvement curriculum to improve residency education in internal medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tess, Anjala V; Yang, Julius J; Smith, C Christopher; Fawcett, Caitlin M; Bates, Carol K; Reynolds, Eileen E

    2009-03-01

    Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's internal medicine residency program was admitted to the new Education Innovation Project accreditation pathway of the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education to begin in July 2006. The authors restructured the inpatient medical service to create clinical microsystems in which residents practice throughout residency. Program leadership then mandated an active curriculum in quality improvement based in those microsystems. To provide the experience to every graduating resident, a core faculty in patient safety was trained in the basics of quality improvement. The authors hypothesized that such changes would increase the number of residents participating in quality improvement projects, improve house officer engagement in quality improvement work, enhance the culture of safety the residents perceive in their training environment, improve work flow on the general medicine ward rotations, and improve the overall educational experience for the residents on ward rotations.The authors describe the first 18 months of the intervention (July 2006 to January 2008). The authors assessed attitudes and the educational experience with surveys and evaluation forms. After the intervention, the authors documented residents' participation in projects that overlapped with hospital priorities. More residents reported roles in designing and implementing quality improvement changes. Residents also noted greater satisfaction with the quality of care they deliver. Fewer residents agreed or strongly agreed that the new admitting system interfered with communication. Ongoing residency program assessment showed an improved perception of workload, and educational ratings of rotations improved. The changes required few resources and can be transported to other settings.

  2. Clinical Performance Measures and Quality Improvement System Considerations for Dental Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkinson, Joseph W; Zeller, Gregory G

    2017-03-01

    Quality improvement and quality assurance programs are an integral part of providing excellence in health care delivery. The Dental Quality Alliance and the Commission on Dental Accreditation recognize this and have created standards and recommendations to advise health care providers and health care delivery systems, including dental schools, on measuring the quality of the care delivered to patients. Overall health care expenditures have increased, and the Affordable Care Act has made health care, including dentistry, available to more people in the United States. These increases in cost and in the number of patients accessing care contribute to a heightened interest in measurable quality improvement outcomes that reflect efficiency, effectiveness, and overall value. Practitioners and administrators, both in academia and in the "real world," need an understanding of various quality improvement methodologies available in order to select approaches that support effective monitoring of the quality of care delivered. This article compares and contrasts various quality improvement approaches, programs, and systems currently in use in order to assist dental providers and administrators in choosing quality improvement methodologies pertinent to their practice or institution.

  3. Coaching for Quality Improvement: Lessons Learned from Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). Research Brief

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tout, Kathryn; Isner, Tabitha; Zaslow, Martha

    2011-01-01

    Coaching and other on-site, individualized professional development strategies (consultation, mentoring, and technical assistance) are promising approaches to support the application of new teaching practices and overall quality improvement among practitioners in early care and education settings. This Research Brief summarizes a recent report…

  4. Reaching Rural Mammographers for Quality Improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Urban, Nicole

    1997-01-01

    The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington, and the Washington State Department of Health are collaborating to develop and implement a mammography quality improvement program (MQIP...

  5. Reaching Rural Mammographers for Quality Improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Urban, Nicole

    1998-01-01

    The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington, and the Washington State Department of Health are collaborating to develop and implement a mammography quality improvement. program (MQIP...

  6. Reaching Rural Mammographers for Quality Improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Urban, Nicole

    1999-01-01

    The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington, and the Washington State Department of Health are collaborating to develop and implement a mammography quality improvement program (MQIP...

  7. Interventions to improve water quality for preventing diarrhoea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clasen, Thomas F; Alexander, Kelly T; Sinclair, David; Boisson, Sophie; Peletz, Rachel; Chang, Howard H; Majorin, Fiona; Cairncross, Sandy

    2015-10-20

    Diarrhoea is a major cause of death and disease, especially among young children in low-income countries. In these settings, many infectious agents associated with diarrhoea are spread through water contaminated with faeces.In remote and low-income settings, source-based water quality improvement includes providing protected groundwater (springs, wells, and bore holes), or harvested rainwater as an alternative to surface sources (rivers and lakes). Point-of-use water quality improvement interventions include boiling, chlorination, flocculation, filtration, or solar disinfection, mainly conducted at home. To assess the effectiveness of interventions to improve water quality for preventing diarrhoea. We searched the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register (11 November 2014), CENTRAL (the Cochrane Library, 7 November 2014), MEDLINE (1966 to 10 November 2014), EMBASE (1974 to 10 November 2014), and LILACS (1982 to 7 November 2014). We also handsearched relevant conference proceedings, contacted researchers and organizations working in the field, and checked references from identified studies through 11 November 2014. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-RCTs, and controlled before-and-after studies (CBA) comparing interventions aimed at improving the microbiological quality of drinking water with no intervention in children and adults. Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. We used meta-analyses to estimate pooled measures of effect, where appropriate, and investigated potential sources of heterogeneity using subgroup analyses. We assessed the quality of evidence using the GRADE approach. Forty-five cluster-RCTs, two quasi-RCTs, and eight CBA studies, including over 84,000 participants, met the inclusion criteria. Most included studies were conducted in low- or middle-income countries (LMICs) (50 studies) with unimproved water sources (30 studies) and unimproved or unclear sanitation (34 studies). The primary

  8. 42 CFR 494.110 - Condition: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... facility must maintain and demonstrate evidence of its quality improvement and performance improvement... RENAL DISEASE FACILITIES Patient Care § 494.110 Condition: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The dialysis facility must develop, implement, maintain, and evaluate an effective, data-driven...

  9. Spatial-Spectral Approaches to Edge Detection in Hyperspectral Remote Sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Cary M.

    This dissertation advances geoinformation science at the intersection of hyperspectral remote sensing and edge detection methods. A relatively new phenomenology among its remote sensing peers, hyperspectral imagery (HSI) comprises only about 7% of all remote sensing research - there are five times as many radar-focused peer reviewed journal articles than hyperspectral-focused peer reviewed journal articles. Similarly, edge detection studies comprise only about 8% of image processing research, most of which is dedicated to image processing techniques most closely associated with end results, such as image classification and feature extraction. Given the centrality of edge detection to mapping, that most important of geographic functions, improving the collective understanding of hyperspectral imagery edge detection methods constitutes a research objective aligned to the heart of geoinformation sciences. Consequently, this dissertation endeavors to narrow the HSI edge detection research gap by advancing three HSI edge detection methods designed to leverage HSI's unique chemical identification capabilities in pursuit of generating accurate, high-quality edge planes. The Di Zenzo-based gradient edge detection algorithm, an innovative version of the Resmini HySPADE edge detection algorithm and a level set-based edge detection algorithm are tested against 15 traditional and non-traditional HSI datasets spanning a range of HSI data configurations, spectral resolutions, spatial resolutions, bandpasses and applications. This study empirically measures algorithm performance against Dr. John Canny's six criteria for a good edge operator: false positives, false negatives, localization, single-point response, robustness to noise and unbroken edges. The end state is a suite of spatial-spectral edge detection algorithms that produce satisfactory edge results against a range of hyperspectral data types applicable to a diverse set of earth remote sensing applications. This work

  10. Evaluation of low-energy contrast-enhanced spectral mammography images by comparing them to full-field digital mammography using EUREF image quality criteria

    OpenAIRE

    Lalji, U. C.; Jeukens, C. R. L. P. N.; Houben, I.; Nelemans, P. J.; van Engen, R. E.; van Wylick, E.; Beets-Tan, R. G. H.; Wildberger, J. E.; Paulis, L. E.; Lobbes, M. B. I.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM) examination results in a low-energy (LE) and contrast-enhanced image. The LE appears similar to a full-field digital mammogram (FFDM). Our aim was to evaluate LE CESM image quality by comparing it to FFDM using criteria defined by the European Reference Organization for Quality Assured Breast Screening and Diagnostic Services (EUREF). Methods A total of 147 cases with both FFDM and LE images were independently scored by two experienced r...

  11. Spectral CT of the extremities with a silicon strip photon counting detector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sisniega, A.; Zbijewski, W.; Stayman, J. W.; Xu, J.; Taguchi, K.; Siewerdsen, J. H.

    2015-03-01

    Purpose: Photon counting x-ray detectors (PCXDs) are an important emerging technology for spectral imaging and material differentiation with numerous potential applications in diagnostic imaging. We report development of a Si-strip PCXD system originally developed for mammography with potential application to spectral CT of musculoskeletal extremities, including challenges associated with sparse sampling, spectral calibration, and optimization for higher energy x-ray beams. Methods: A bench-top CT system was developed incorporating a Si-strip PCXD, fixed anode x-ray source, and rotational and translational motions to execute complex acquisition trajectories. Trajectories involving rotation and translation combined with iterative reconstruction were investigated, including single and multiple axial scans and longitudinal helical scans. The system was calibrated to provide accurate spectral separation in dual-energy three-material decomposition of soft-tissue, bone, and iodine. Image quality and decomposition accuracy were assessed in experiments using a phantom with pairs of bone and iodine inserts (3, 5, 15 and 20 mm) and an anthropomorphic wrist. Results: The designed trajectories improved the sampling distribution from 56% minimum sampling of voxels to 75%. Use of iterative reconstruction (viz., penalized likelihood with edge preserving regularization) in combination with such trajectories resulted in a very low level of artifacts in images of the wrist. For large bone or iodine inserts (>5 mm diameter), the error in the estimated material concentration was errors of 20-40% were observed and motivate improved methods for spectral calibration and optimization of the edge-preserving regularizer. Conclusion: Use of PCXDs for three-material decomposition in joint imaging proved feasible through a combination of rotation-translation acquisition trajectories and iterative reconstruction with optimized regularization.

  12. Infrastructure for Large-Scale Quality-Improvement Projects: Early Lessons from North Carolina Improving Performance in Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Warren P.; Lefebvre, Ann; Donahue, Katrina E.; Bacon, Thomas; Dobson, Allen

    2010-01-01

    Introduction: Little is known regarding how to accomplish large-scale health care improvement. Our goal is to improve the quality of chronic disease care in all primary care practices throughout North Carolina. Methods: Methods for improvement include (1) common quality measures and shared data system; (2) rapid cycle improvement principles; (3)…

  13. Research on construction quality and improvement of assembly construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Fei

    2017-11-01

    Based on the acceleration of the urbanization process and the improvement of the quality of life of our residents, the demand for building construction has been increasing. In this context, the construction industry in order to promote the construction efficiency, quality improvement, to meet the needs of the development of the times to strengthen the new technology, the use of new technologies. At present, China’s engineering construction units in the process of carrying out the project to strengthen the use of assembly-type construction technology, which thus achieved for the traditional construction work low-level, high time-consuming issues, and promote the steady improvement of production efficiency. Based on this, this paper focuses on the analysis of the connotation of the assembly structure and analyzes the quality problems in the construction process of the construction projects and puts forward the improvement measures to promote the improvement of the building quality and the construction of the building Construction speed. Based on this, this paper analyzes the structural system and design of prefabricated building.

  14. Spectral integration in speech and non-speech sounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacewicz, Ewa

    2005-04-01

    Spectral integration (or formant averaging) was proposed in vowel perception research to account for the observation that a reduction of the intensity of one of two closely spaced formants (as in /u/) produced a predictable shift in vowel quality [Delattre et al., Word 8, 195-210 (1952)]. A related observation was reported in psychoacoustics, indicating that when the components of a two-tone periodic complex differ in amplitude and frequency, its perceived pitch is shifted toward that of the more intense tone [Helmholtz, App. XIV (1875/1948)]. Subsequent research in both fields focused on the frequency interval that separates these two spectral components, in an attempt to determine the size of the bandwidth for spectral integration to occur. This talk will review the accumulated evidence for and against spectral integration within the hypothesized limit of 3.5 Bark for static and dynamic signals in speech perception and psychoacoustics. Based on similarities in the processing of speech and non-speech sounds, it is suggested that spectral integration may reflect a general property of the auditory system. A larger frequency bandwidth, possibly close to 3.5 Bark, may be utilized in integrating acoustic information, including speech, complex signals, or sound quality of a violin.

  15. Trinity of Quality Improvement : Studies on structure, process and outcome related to quality improvement in long-term care in the Netherlands between 2007 and 2011

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.C.M. Winters-van der Meer (Sjenny)

    2014-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ This thesis discusses quality improvement in long-term care organisations in the Netherlands. It explores the influencing factors on quality improvement and aims at identifying opportunities for long-term care organisations to ‘improve their improvement’. This

  16. Measures to improve the quality of hotel services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anca MADAR

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available This article aims to exemplify how, starting from the evaluation of customer satisfaction on service quality, the hotel units’ management, can apply different measures and strategies to improve it. To achieve the target, a marketing research survey is conducted based on a sample of 120 customers of Hotel „Kronwell” at the end of 2013. After analysing customer’ responses a series of measures have been taken to improve the quality of services offered by this hotel, then at the end of 2015 a new research was achieved, based on the same questionnaire. The results of this research highlight the increasing of customer satisfaction as a result of improving the quality of hotel services, supported by growth in net profit, turnover and decrease of employees’ number.

  17. [Audit and feedback, and continuous quality improvement strategies to improve the quality of care for type 2 diabetes: a systematic review of literature].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vecchi, Simona; Agabiti, Nera; Mitrova, Susanna; Cacciani, Laura; Amato, Laura; Davoli, Marina; Bargagli, Anna Maria

    2016-01-01

    we analysed evidence on effective interventions to improve the quality of care and management in patients with diabetes type 2. This review focuses particularly on audit and feedback intervention, targeted to healthcare providers, and continuous quality improvement (CQI) involving health professionals and health care systems, respectively. we searched The Cochrane Library, PubMed, and EMBASE (search period: January 2005-December 2015) to identify systematic reviews (SR) and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) considering patients' outcomes and process measures as quality indicators in diabetes care. Selection of studies and data extraction were carried out independently by two reviewers. Methodological quality of individual studies was assessed using the checklist «Assessment of methodological quality of systematic review» (AMSTAR) and the Cochrane's tool, respectively. We produced summaries of results for each study design. the search process resulted in 810 citations. One SR and 7 RCTs that compared any intervention in which audit and feedback and CQI was a component vs. other interventions were selected. The SR found that audit and feedback activity was associated with improvements of glycaemic (mean difference: 0.26; 95%CI 0.08;0.44) and cholesterol control (mean difference: 0.03; 95%CI -0.04;0.10). CQI interventions were not associated with an improvement of quality of diabetes care. The RCTs considered in this review compared a broad range of interventions including feedback as unique activity or as part of more complex strategies. The methodological quality was generally poor in all the included trials. the available evidence suggests that audit and feedback and CQI improve quality of care in diabetic patients, although the effect is small and heterogeneous among process and outcomes indicators.

  18. Software process improvement, quality assurance and measurement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trienekens, J.J.M.; Kusters, R.J.; Balla, K.; Kontogiannis, K.; Zou, Y.; Di Penta, M.

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this workshop was to present and discuss emergent software quality improvement approaches, with an emphasis on practical applications. Different views on the improvement of software processes, software products, and their interrelations, have been addressed during the workshop.

  19. Effective interventions on service quality improvement in a physiotherapy clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gharibi, Farid; Tabrizi, JafarSadegh; Eteraf Oskouei, MirAli; AsghariJafarabadi, Mohammad

    2014-01-01

    Service quality is considered as a main domain of quality associ-ated with non-clinical aspect of healthcare. This study aimed to survey and im-proves service quality of delivered care in the Physiotherapy Clinic affiliated with the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran. A quasi experimental interventional study was conducted in the Physiotherapy Clinic, 2010-2011. Data were collected using a validated and reli-able researcher made questionnaire with participation of 324 patients and their coadjutors. The study questionnaire consisted of 7 questions about demographic factors and 38 questions for eleven aspects of service quality. Data were then analyzed using paired samples t-test by SPSS16. In the pre intervention phase, six aspects of service quality including choice of provider, safety, prevention and early detection, dignity, autonomy and availability achieved non-acceptable scores. Following interventions, all aspects of the service quality improved and also total service quality score improved from 8.58 to 9.83 (PService quality can be improved by problem implementation of appropriate interventions. The acquired results can be used in health system fields to create respectful environments for healthcare customers.

  20. How changing quality management influenced PGME accreditation: a focus on decentralization and quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akdemir, Nesibe; Lombarts, Kiki M J M H; Paternotte, Emma; Schreuder, Bas; Scheele, Fedde

    2017-06-02

    Evaluating the quality of postgraduate medical education (PGME) programs through accreditation is common practice worldwide. Accreditation is shaped by educational quality and quality management. An appropriate accreditation design is important, as it may drive improvements in training. Moreover, accreditors determine whether a PGME program passes the assessment, which may have major consequences, such as starting, continuing or discontinuing PGME. However, there is limited evidence for the benefits of different choices in accreditation design. Therefore, this study aims to explain how changing views on educational quality and quality management have impacted the design of the PGME accreditation system in the Netherlands. To determine the historical development of the Dutch PGME accreditation system, we conducted a document analysis of accreditation documents spanning the past 50 years and a vision document outlining the future system. A template analysis technique was used to identify the main elements of the system. Four themes in the Dutch PGME accreditation system were identified: (1) objectives of accreditation, (2) PGME quality domains, (3) quality management approaches and (4) actors' responsibilities. Major shifts have taken place regarding decentralization, residency performance and physician practice outcomes, and quality improvement. Decentralization of the responsibilities of the accreditor was absent in 1966, but this has been slowly changing since 1999. In the future system, there will be nearly a maximum degree of decentralization. A focus on outcomes and quality improvement has been introduced in the current system. The number of formal documents striving for quality assurance has increased enormously over the past 50 years, which has led to increased bureaucracy. The future system needs to decrease the number of standards to focus on measurable outcomes and to strive for quality improvement. The challenge for accreditors is to find the right

  1. Improvement of cassava cooking quality through mutation breeding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asare, E; Safo-Kantanka, O [Department of Crop Science, Univ. of Science and Technology, Kumasi (Ghana)

    1997-07-01

    Many high-yielding cassava varieties do not have the desired cooking quality. The objective of this project was to induce mutations to produce varieties with improved cooking quality while maintaining the disease-resistance and high-yielding characteristics. A cassava mutant (ISU-W) was obtained after irradiation of a variety from IITA with gamma rays and selection. Cuttings of the mutant were grown for 12 months in a field trial and investigated for tuber yield and cooking quality. Pest and disease incidence were monitored during the entire growth period. The results showed that the mutant retained the high-yield and disease resistant characters of the parent, and had improved cooking quality based on increased smoothness, mealiness and elasticity of the flour. (author). 7 refs, 5 tabs.

  2. Improvement of cassava cooking quality through mutation breeding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asare, E.; Safo-Kantanka, O.

    1997-01-01

    Many high-yielding cassava varieties do not have the desired cooking quality. The objective of this project was to induce mutations to produce varieties with improved cooking quality while maintaining the disease-resistance and high-yielding characteristics. A cassava mutant (ISU-W) was obtained after irradiation of a variety from IITA with gamma rays and selection. Cuttings of the mutant were grown for 12 months in a field trial and investigated for tuber yield and cooking quality. Pest and disease incidence were monitored during the entire growth period. The results showed that the mutant retained the high-yield and disease resistant characters of the parent, and had improved cooking quality based on increased smoothness, mealiness and elasticity of the flour. (author). 7 refs, 5 tabs

  3. How changing quality management influenced PGME accreditation: a focus on decentralization and quality improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akdemir, Nesibe; Lombarts, Kiki M. J. M. H.; Paternotte, Emma; Schreuder, Bas; Scheele, Fedde

    2017-01-01

    Background: Evaluating the quality of postgraduate medical education (PGME) programs through accreditation is common practice worldwide. Accreditation is shaped by educational quality and quality management. An appropriate accreditation design is important, as it may drive improvements in training.

  4. Current concept review: quality and process improvement in orthopedics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinney SJ

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Stephen J Pinney,1 Alexandra E Page,2 David S Jevsevar,3 Kevin J Bozic4 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, St Mary's Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, USA; 2Orthopaedic Surgery, AAOS Health Care Systems Committee, San Diego, CA, USA; 3Department of Orthopaedics, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth University, Hanover, NH, USA; 4Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, Dell Medical School at the University of Texas, Austin, TX, USAAbstract: Multiple health care stakeholders are increasingly scrutinizing musculoskeletal care to optimize quality and cost efficiency. This has led to greater emphasis on quality and process improvement. There is a robust set of business strategies that are increasingly being applied to health care delivery. These quality and process improvement tools (QPITs have specific applications to segments of, or the entire episode of, patient care. In the rapidly changing health care world, it will behoove all orthopedic surgeons to have an understanding of the manner in which care delivery processes can be evaluated and improved. Many of the commonly used QPITs, including checklist initiatives, standardized clinical care pathways, lean methodology, six sigma strategies, and total quality management, embrace basic principles of quality improvement. These principles include focusing on outcomes, optimizing communication among health care team members, increasing process standardization, and decreasing process variation. This review summarizes the common QPITs, including how and when they might be employed to improve care delivery. Keywords: clinical care pathway, musculoskeletal care, outcomes, quality management, six sigma, lean thinking

  5. Nurse managers' experiences in continuous quality improvement in resource-poor healthcare settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kakyo, Tracy Alexis; Xiao, Lily Dongxia

    2017-06-01

    Ensuring safe and quality care for patients in hospitals is an important part of a nurse manager's role. Continuous quality improvement has been identified as one approach that leads to the delivery of quality care services to patients and is widely used by nurse managers to improve patient care. Nurse managers' experiences in initiating continuous quality improvement activities in resource-poor healthcare settings remain largely unknown. Research evidence is highly demanded in these settings to address disease burden and evidence-based practice. This interpretive qualitative study was conducted to gain an understanding of nurse managers' Continuous Quality Improvement experiences in rural hospitals in Uganda. Nurse managers in rural healthcare settings used their role to prioritize quality improvement activities, monitor the Continuous Quality Improvement process, and utilize in-service education to support continuous quality improvement. The nurse managers in our sample encountered a number of barriers during the implementation of Continuous Quality Improvement, including: limited patient participation, lack of materials, and limited human resources. Efforts to address the challenges faced through good governance and leadership development require more attention. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  6. Continuous quality improvement program for hip and knee replacement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Deborah A; Christiansen, Tanya; Smith, Christopher; Squire Howden, Jane; Werle, Jason; Faris, Peter; Frank, Cy

    2015-01-01

    Improving quality of care and maximizing efficiency are priorities in hip and knee replacement, where surgical demand and costs increase as the population ages. The authors describe the integrated structure and processes from the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Program for Hip and Knee Replacement Surgical Care and summarize lessons learned from implementation. The Triple Aim framework and 6 dimensions of quality care are overarching constructs of the CQI program. A validated, evidence-based clinical pathway that measures quality across the continuum of care was adopted. Working collaboratively, multidisciplinary experts embedded the CQI program into everyday practices in clinics across Alberta. Currently, 83% of surgeons participate in the CQI program, representing 95% of the total volume of hip and knee surgeries. Biannual reports provide feedback to improve care processes, infrastructure planning, and patient outcomes. CQI programs evaluating health care services inform choices to optimize care and improve efficiencies through continuous knowledge translation. © The Author(s) 2014.

  7. Measured Polarized Spectral Responsivity of JPSS J1 VIIRS Using the NIST T-SIRCUS

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntire, Jeff; Young, James B.; Moyer, David; Waluschka, Eugene; Xiong, Xiaoxiong

    2015-01-01

    Recent pre-launch measurements performed on the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) J1 Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) using the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Traveling Spectral Irradiance and Radiance Responsivity Calibrations Using Uniform Sources (T-SIRCUS) monochromatic source have provided wavelength dependent polarization sensitivity for select spectral bands and viewing conditions. Measurements were made at a number of input linear polarization states (twelve in total) and initially at thirteen wavelengths across the bandpass (later expanded to seventeen for some cases). Using the source radiance information collected by an external monitor, a spectral responsivity function was constructed for each input linear polarization state. Additionally, an unpolarized spectral responsivity function was derived from these polarized measurements. An investigation of how the centroid, bandwidth, and detector responsivity vary with polarization state was weighted by two model input spectra to simulate both ground measurements as well as expected on-orbit conditions. These measurements will enhance our understanding of VIIRS polarization sensitivity, improve the design for future flight models, and provide valuable data to enhance product quality in the post-launch phase.

  8. RESEARCH Improving access and quality of care in a TB control ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    or treatment. Improving access and quality of care in a. TB control programme. Vera Scott, Virginia Azevedo, Judy Caldwell. Objectives. To use a quality improvement approach to improve access to and quality of tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis and care in. Cape Town. Methods. Five HIV/AIDS/sexually transmitted infections/TB.

  9. Pediatric CT quality management and improvement program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Larson, David B.; Chan, Frandics P.; Newman, Beverley; Fleischmann, Dominik; Molvin, Lior Z.; Wang, Jia

    2014-01-01

    Modern CT is a powerful yet increasingly complex technology that continues to rapidly evolve; optimal clinical implementation as well as appropriate quality management and improvement in CT are challenging but attainable. This article outlines the organizational structure on which a CT quality management and improvement program can be built, followed by a discussion of common as well as pediatric-specific challenges. Organizational elements of a CT quality management and improvement program include the formulation of clear objectives; definition of the roles and responsibilities of key personnel; implementation of a technologist training, coaching and feedback program; and use of an efficient and accurate monitoring system. Key personnel and roles include a radiologist as the CT director, a qualified CT medical physicist, as well as technologists with specific responsibilities and adequate time dedicated to operation management, CT protocol management and CT technologist education. Common challenges in managing a clinical CT operation are related to the complexity of newly introduced technology, of training and communication and of performance monitoring. Challenges specific to pediatric patients include the importance of including patient size in protocol and dose considerations, a lower tolerance for error in these patients, and a smaller sample size from which to learn and improve. (orig.)

  10. Pediatric CT quality management and improvement program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Larson, David B.; Chan, Frandics P.; Newman, Beverley; Fleischmann, Dominik [Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Radiology, Stanford, CA (United States); Molvin, Lior Z. [Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford, CA (United States); Wang, Jia [Stanford University, Environmental Health and Safety, Stanford, CA (United States)

    2014-10-15

    Modern CT is a powerful yet increasingly complex technology that continues to rapidly evolve; optimal clinical implementation as well as appropriate quality management and improvement in CT are challenging but attainable. This article outlines the organizational structure on which a CT quality management and improvement program can be built, followed by a discussion of common as well as pediatric-specific challenges. Organizational elements of a CT quality management and improvement program include the formulation of clear objectives; definition of the roles and responsibilities of key personnel; implementation of a technologist training, coaching and feedback program; and use of an efficient and accurate monitoring system. Key personnel and roles include a radiologist as the CT director, a qualified CT medical physicist, as well as technologists with specific responsibilities and adequate time dedicated to operation management, CT protocol management and CT technologist education. Common challenges in managing a clinical CT operation are related to the complexity of newly introduced technology, of training and communication and of performance monitoring. Challenges specific to pediatric patients include the importance of including patient size in protocol and dose considerations, a lower tolerance for error in these patients, and a smaller sample size from which to learn and improve. (orig.)

  11. Criteria for the Evaluation of Quality Improvement Programs and the Use of Quality Improvement Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    American Psychologist, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This document provides a set of criteria to be used by psychologists in evaluating quality improvement programs (QIPs) that have been promulgated by health care organizations, government agencies, professional associations, or other entities. These criteria also address the privacy and confidentiality issues evoked by the intended use of patient…

  12. Sustainability in the AAP Bronchiolitis Quality Improvement Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shadman, Kristin A; Ralston, Shawn L; Garber, Matthew D; Eickhoff, Jens; Mussman, Grant M; Walley, Susan C; Rice-Conboy, Elizabeth; Coller, Ryan J

    2017-11-01

    Adherence to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) bronchiolitis clinical practice guideline recommendations improved significantly through the AAP's multiinstitutional collaborative, the Bronchiolitis Quality Improvement Project (BQIP). We assessed sustainability of improvements at participating institutions for 1 year following completion of the collaborative. Twenty-one multidisciplinary hospital-based teams provided monthly data for key inpatient bronchiolitis measures during baseline and intervention bronchiolitis seasons. Nine sites provided data in the season following completion of the collaborative. Encounters included children younger than 24 months who were hospitalized for bronchiolitis without comorbid chronic illness, prematurity, or intensive care. Changes between baseline-, intervention-, and sustainability-season data were assessed using generalized linear mixed-effects models with site-specific random effects. Differences between hospital characteristics, baseline performance, and initial improvement between sites that did and did not participate in the sustainability season were compared. A total of 2275 discharges were reviewed, comprising 995 baseline, 877 intervention, and 403 sustainability- season encounters. Improvements in all key bronchiolitis quality measures achieved during the intervention season were maintained during the sustainability season, and orders for intermittent pulse oximetry increased from 40.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 22.8-61.1) to 79.2% (95% CI, 58.0- 91.3). Sites that did and did not participate in the sustainability season had similar characteristics. BQIP participating sites maintained improvements in key bronchiolitis quality measures for 1 year following the project's completion. This approach, which provided an evidence-based best-practice toolkit while building the quality-improvement capacity of local interdisciplinary teams, may support performance gains that persist beyond the active phase of the

  13. E-MSD: improving data deposition and structure quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tagari, M; Tate, J; Swaminathan, G J; Newman, R; Naim, A; Vranken, W; Kapopoulou, A; Hussain, A; Fillon, J; Henrick, K; Velankar, S

    2006-01-01

    The Macromolecular Structure Database (MSD) (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/msd/) [H. Boutselakis, D. Dimitropoulos, J. Fillon, A. Golovin, K. Henrick, A. Hussain, J. Ionides, M. John, P. A. Keller, E. Krissinel et al. (2003) E-MSD: the European Bioinformatics Institute Macromolecular Structure Database. Nucleic Acids Res., 31, 458-462.] group is one of the three partners in the worldwide Protein DataBank (wwPDB), the consortium entrusted with the collation, maintenance and distribution of the global repository of macromolecular structure data [H. Berman, K. Henrick and H. Nakamura (2003) Announcing the worldwide Protein Data Bank. Nature Struct. Biol., 10, 980.]. Since its inception, the MSD group has worked with partners around the world to improve the quality of PDB data, through a clean up programme that addresses inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the legacy archive. The improvements in data quality in the legacy archive have been achieved largely through the creation of a unified data archive, in the form of a relational database that stores all of the data in the wwPDB. The three partners are working towards improving the tools and methods for the deposition of new data by the community at large. The implementation of the MSD database, together with the parallel development of improved tools and methodologies for data harvesting, validation and archival, has lead to significant improvements in the quality of data that enters the archive. Through this and related projects in the NMR and EM realms the MSD continues to improve the quality of publicly available structural data.

  14. Student laboratory reports: an approach to improving feedback and quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellingsen, Pål Gunnar; Støvneng, Jon Andreas

    2018-05-01

    We present an ongoing effort in improving the quality of laboratory reports written by first and second year physics students. The effort involves a new approach where students are given the opportunity to submit reports at intermediate deadlines, receive feedback, and then resubmit for the final deadline. In combination with a differential grading system, instead of pass/fail, the improved feedback results in higher quality reports. Improvement in the quality of the reports is visible through the grade statistics.

  15. Quality and Efficiency Improvement Tools for Every Radiologist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudla, Alexei U; Brook, Olga R

    2018-03-20

    In an era of value-based medicine, data-driven quality improvement is more important than ever to ensure safe and efficient imaging services. Familiarity with high-value tools enables all radiologists to successfully engage in quality and efficiency improvement. In this article, we review the model for improvement, strategies for measurement, and common practical tools with real-life examples that include Run chart, Control chart (Shewhart chart), Fishbone (Cause-and-Effect or Ishikawa) diagram, Pareto chart, 5 Whys, and Root Cause Analysis. Copyright © 2018 The Association of University Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. 42 CFR 460.132 - Quality assessment and performance improvement plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Quality assessment and performance improvement plan... assessment and performance improvement plan. (a) Basic rule. A PACE organization must have a written quality assessment and performance improvement plan. (b) Annual review. The PACE governing body must review the plan...

  17. Improving Quality Higher Education in Nigeria: The Roles of Stakeholders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asiyai, Romina Ifeoma

    2015-01-01

    This paper discusses the roles of stakeholders in improving quality of university education in Nigeria. Internal and external stakeholders are identified and the various roles they could play in improving the quality of university education are discussed. The paper contends that continuous and holistic improvement in university education system…

  18. Are hospital quality improvement and public accountability compatible?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panzer, R J

    1994-07-01

    The goals of public accountability and quality improvement are compatible in theory but not necessarily in practice. Both concepts emphasize the customer. However, those working toward these two goals design systems with quite different roles and relationships between the providers and consumers of health care. Superficial interactions obstruct meaningful dialogue about how to build a better system meeting both sets of goals. Current practices of public accountability and quality improvement have fundamentally different paradigms concerning the roles and responsibilities of those who provide and those who consume health care. There are at least three ways to improve the current relationship between public accountability and quality improvement. First, optimizing the design and performance of each effort would be an improvement since the goals are highly compatible. Neither ideal currently meets its own expectations, creating distrust among the proponents of each when reality falls short. Second, the two efforts could be coordinated through joint community-level planning and sharing. Finally and optimally, the two concepts could be made part of the same community-level cooperative system, an approach that offers the greatest opportunity for achieving shared goals.

  19. Canny Edge Detection in Cross-Spectral Fused Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Suárez

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Considering that the images of different spectra provide an ample information that helps a lo in the process of identification and distinction of objects that have unique spectral signatures. In this paper, the use of cross-spectral images in the process of edge detection is evaluated. This study aims to assess the Canny edge detector with two variants. The first relates to the use of merged cross-spectral images and the second the inclusion of morphological filters. To ensure the quality of the data used in this study the GQM (Goal-Question- Metrics, framework, was applied to reduce noise and increase the entropy on images. The metrics obtained in the experiments confirm that the quantity and quality of the detected edges increases significantly after the inclusion of a morphological filter and a channel of near infrared spectrum in the merged images.

  20. Semen quality improves marginally during young adulthood

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perheentupa, Antti; Sadov, Sergey; Rönkä, Riitta

    2016-01-01

    STUDY QUESTION: Does semen quality improve during early adulthood? SUMMARY ANSWER: Semen variables change little during the third decade of life, however some improvement in sperm morphology and motility may occur. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: A suspicion of deteriorating semen quality has been raised...... in several studies. The longitudinal development of semen quality in early adulthood is insufficiently understood. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: A longitudinal follow-up of two cohorts of volunteer young adult Finnish men representing the general population was carried out. Cohorts A (discovery cohort, born...... 1979-1981, n = 336) and B (validation cohort, born 1983, n = 197) were followed up from the age of 19 years onward for 10 years. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Inclusion criteria included that both the men and their mothers were born in Finland. Semen analysis was performed in cohorts...

  1. Transferring skills in quality collaboratives focused on improving patient logistics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weggelaar-Jansen, Anne Marie; van Wijngaarden, Jeroen

    2018-04-02

    A quality improvement collaborative, often used by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, is used to educate healthcare professionals and improve healthcare at the same time. However, no prior research has been done on the knowledge and skills healthcare professionals need to achieve improvements or the extent to which quality improvement collaboratives help enhance both knowledge and skills. Our research focused on quality improvement collaboratives aiming to improve patient logistics and tried to identify which knowledge and skills are required and to what extent these were enhanced during the QIC. We defined skills important for logistic improvements in a three-phase Delphi study. Based on the Delphi results we made a questionnaire. We surveyed participants in a national quality improvement collaborative to assess the skills rated as 1) important, 2) available and 3) improved during the collaborative. At two sense-making meetings, experts reflected on our findings and hypothesized on how to improve (logistics) collaboratives. The Delphi study found 18 skills relevant for reducing patient access time and 21 for reducing throughput time. All skills retrieved from the Delphi study were scored as 'important' in the survey. Teams especially lacked soft skills connected to project and change management. Analytical skills increased the most, while more reflexive skills needed for the primary goal of the collaborative (reduce access and throughput times) increased modestly. At two sense-making meetings, attendees suggested four improvements for a quality improvement collaborative: 1) shift the focus to project- and change management skills; 2) focus more on knowledge transfer to colleagues; 3) teach participants to adapt the taught principles to their own situations; and 4) foster intra-project reflexive learning to translate gained insights to other projects (inter-project learning). Our findings seem to suggest that Quality collaboratives could benefit if more

  2. Improving data quality in the linked open data: a survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadhiatma, A.

    2018-03-01

    The Linked Open Data (LOD) is “web of data”, a different paradigm from “web of document” commonly used today. However, the huge LOD still suffers from data quality problems such as completeness, consistency, and accuracy. Data quality problems relate to designing effective methods both to manage and to retrieve information at various data quality levels. Based on review from papers and journals, addressing data quality requires some standards functioning to (1) identification of data quality problems, (2) assessment of data quality for a given context, and (3) correction of data quality problems. However, mostly the methods and strategies dealing with the LOD data quality were not as an integrative approach. Hence, based on those standards and an integrative approach, there are opportunities to improve the LOD data quality in the term of incompleteness, inaccuracy and inconsistency, considering to its schema and ontology, namely ontology refinement. Moreover, the term of the ontology refinement means that it copes not only to improve data quality but also to enrich the LOD. Therefore, it needs (1) a standard for data quality assessment and evaluation which is more appropriate to the LOD; (2) a framework of methods based on statistical relational learning that can improve the correction of data quality problems as well as enrich the LOD.

  3. Spectrally-Selective Photonic Structures for PV Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedikt Bläsi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available We review several examples of how spectrally-selective photonic structures may be used to improve solar cell systems. Firstly, we introduce different spectrally-selective structures that are based on interference effects. Examples shown include Rugate filter, edge filter and 3D photonic crystals such as artificial opals. In the second part, we discuss several examples of photovoltaic (PV concepts that utilize spectral selectivity such as fluorescence collectors, upconversion systems, spectrum splitting concepts and the intermediate reflector concept. The potential of spectrally selective filters in the context of solar cells is discussed.

  4. Improving the Quality of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision through Use of the Continuous Quality Improvement Approach: A Pilot in 30 PEPFAR-Supported Sites in Uganda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opio, Alex; Calnan, Jacqueline; Njeuhmeli, Emmanuel

    2015-01-01

    Background Uganda adopted voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) (also called Safe Male Circumcision in Uganda), as part of its HIV prevention strategy in 2010. Since then, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has implemented VMMC mostly with support from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through its partners. In 2012, two PEPFAR-led external quality assessments evaluated compliance of service delivery sites with minimum quality standards. Quality gaps were identified, including lack of standardized forms or registers, lack of documentation of client consent, poor preparedness for emergencies and use of untrained service providers. In response, PEPFAR, through a USAID-supported technical assistance project, provided support in quality improvement to the MOH and implementing partners to improve quality and safety in VMMC services and build capacity of MOH staff to continuously improve VMMC service quality. Methods and Findings Sites were supported to identify barriers in achieving national standards, identify possible solutions to overcome the barriers and carry out improvement plans to test these changes, while collecting performance data to objectively measure whether they had bridged gaps. A 53-indicator quality assessment tool was used by teams as a management tool to measure progress; teams also measured client-level indicators through self-assessment of client records. At baseline (February-March 2013), less than 20 percent of sites scored in the “good” range (>80%) for supplies and equipment, patient counseling and surgical procedure; by November 2013, the proportion of sites scoring “good” rose to 67 percent, 93 percent and 90 percent, respectively. Significant improvement was noted in post-operative follow-up at 48 hours, sexually transmitted infection assessment, informed consent and use of local anesthesia but not rate of adverse events. Conclusion Public sector providers can be engaged to address the quality of

  5. Improving the Quality of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision through Use of the Continuous Quality Improvement Approach: A Pilot in 30 PEPFAR-Supported Sites in Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byabagambi, John; Marks, Pamela; Megere, Humphrey; Karamagi, Esther; Byakika, Sarah; Opio, Alex; Calnan, Jacqueline; Njeuhmeli, Emmanuel

    2015-01-01

    Uganda adopted voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) (also called Safe Male Circumcision in Uganda), as part of its HIV prevention strategy in 2010. Since then, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has implemented VMMC mostly with support from the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through its partners. In 2012, two PEPFAR-led external quality assessments evaluated compliance of service delivery sites with minimum quality standards. Quality gaps were identified, including lack of standardized forms or registers, lack of documentation of client consent, poor preparedness for emergencies and use of untrained service providers. In response, PEPFAR, through a USAID-supported technical assistance project, provided support in quality improvement to the MOH and implementing partners to improve quality and safety in VMMC services and build capacity of MOH staff to continuously improve VMMC service quality. Sites were supported to identify barriers in achieving national standards, identify possible solutions to overcome the barriers and carry out improvement plans to test these changes, while collecting performance data to objectively measure whether they had bridged gaps. A 53-indicator quality assessment tool was used by teams as a management tool to measure progress; teams also measured client-level indicators through self-assessment of client records. At baseline (February-March 2013), less than 20 percent of sites scored in the "good" range (>80%) for supplies and equipment, patient counseling and surgical procedure; by November 2013, the proportion of sites scoring "good" rose to 67 percent, 93 percent and 90 percent, respectively. Significant improvement was noted in post-operative follow-up at 48 hours, sexually transmitted infection assessment, informed consent and use of local anesthesia but not rate of adverse events. Public sector providers can be engaged to address the quality of VMMC using a continuous quality improvement approach.

  6. Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography improves diagnostic accuracy in the symptomatic setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennant, S L; James, J J; Cornford, E J; Chen, Y; Burrell, H C; Hamilton, L J; Girio-Fragkoulakis, C

    2016-11-01

    To assess the diagnostic accuracy of contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM), and gauge its "added value" in the symptomatic setting. A retrospective multi-reader review of 100 consecutive CESM examinations was performed. Anonymised low-energy (LE) images were reviewed and given a score for malignancy. At least 3 weeks later, the entire examination (LE and recombined images) was reviewed. Histopathology data were obtained for all cases. Differences in performance were assessed using receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis. Sensitivity, specificity, and lesion size (versus MRI or histopathology) differences were calculated. Seventy-three percent of cases were malignant at final histology, 27% were benign following standard triple assessment. ROC analysis showed improved overall performance of CESM over LE alone, with area under the curve of 0.93 versus 0.83 (p<0.025). CESM showed increased sensitivity (95% versus 84%, p<0.025) and specificity (81% versus 63%, p<0.025) compared to LE alone, with all five readers showing improved accuracy. Tumour size estimation at CESM was significantly more accurate than LE alone, the latter tending to undersize lesions. In 75% of cases, CESM was deemed a useful or significant aid to diagnosis. CESM provides immediately available, clinically useful information in the symptomatic clinic in patients with suspicious palpable abnormalities. Radiologist sensitivity, specificity, and size accuracy for breast cancer detection and staging are all improved using CESM as the primary mammographic investigation. Copyright © 2016 The Royal College of Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Quantity-quality measuring method possibilities in improving operator's learning quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zvonarev, V.P.

    1984-01-01

    Possibilities of obtainnjng qualitative-quantitative estimations of different aspects of learning process and their application in determination of learning purposes, substantiation of the training program choice of types and forms of studies directed at quality improvement of operator learning are considered

  8. MDSplus quality improvement project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fredian, Thomas W., E-mail: twf@psfc.mit.edu [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 175 Albany Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Stillerman, Joshua [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 175 Albany Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Manduchi, Gabriele; Rigoni, Andrea [Consorzio RFX, Euratom-ENEA Association, Corso Stati Uniti 4, Padova 35127 (Italy); Erickson, Keith [Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ 08543 (United States)

    2016-11-15

    Highlights: • Project to improve the quality of the MDSplus software package. • Use of modern software technology, compiler options, automake. • Refactoring of older code. • Use of testing tools. - Abstract: MDSplus is a data acquisition and analysis system used worldwide predominantly in the fusion research community. Development began 29 years ago on the OpenVMS operating system. Since that time there have been many new features added and the code has been ported to many different operating systems. There have been contributions to the MDSplus development from the fusion community in the way of feature suggestions, feature implementations, documentation and porting to different operating systems. The bulk of the development and support of MDSplus, however, has been provided by a relatively small core developer group of three or four members. Given the size of the development team and the large number of users much more effort was focused on providing new features for the community than on keeping the underlying code and documentation up to date with the evolving software development standards. To ensure that MDSplus will continue to provide the needs of the community in the future, the MDSplus development team along with other members of the MDSplus user community has commenced on a major quality improvement project. The planned improvements include changes to software build scripts to better use GNU Autoconf and Automake tools, refactoring many of the source code modules using new language features available in modern compilers, using GNU MinGW-w64 to create MS Windows distributions, migrating to a more modern source code management system, improvement of source documentation as well as improvements to the (www.mdsplus.org) web site documentation and layout, and the addition of more comprehensive test suites to apply to MDSplus code builds prior to releasing installation kits to the community. This work should lead to a much more robust product and

  9. MDSplus quality improvement project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fredian, Thomas W.; Stillerman, Joshua; Manduchi, Gabriele; Rigoni, Andrea; Erickson, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Project to improve the quality of the MDSplus software package. • Use of modern software technology, compiler options, automake. • Refactoring of older code. • Use of testing tools. - Abstract: MDSplus is a data acquisition and analysis system used worldwide predominantly in the fusion research community. Development began 29 years ago on the OpenVMS operating system. Since that time there have been many new features added and the code has been ported to many different operating systems. There have been contributions to the MDSplus development from the fusion community in the way of feature suggestions, feature implementations, documentation and porting to different operating systems. The bulk of the development and support of MDSplus, however, has been provided by a relatively small core developer group of three or four members. Given the size of the development team and the large number of users much more effort was focused on providing new features for the community than on keeping the underlying code and documentation up to date with the evolving software development standards. To ensure that MDSplus will continue to provide the needs of the community in the future, the MDSplus development team along with other members of the MDSplus user community has commenced on a major quality improvement project. The planned improvements include changes to software build scripts to better use GNU Autoconf and Automake tools, refactoring many of the source code modules using new language features available in modern compilers, using GNU MinGW-w64 to create MS Windows distributions, migrating to a more modern source code management system, improvement of source documentation as well as improvements to the (www.mdsplus.org) web site documentation and layout, and the addition of more comprehensive test suites to apply to MDSplus code builds prior to releasing installation kits to the community. This work should lead to a much more robust product and

  10. Combined quality function deployment and logical framework analysis to improve quality of emergency care in Malta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttigieg, Sandra Catherine; Dey, Prasanta Kumar; Cassar, Mary Rose

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to develop an integrated patient-focused analytical framework to improve quality of care in accident and emergency (A & E) unit of a Maltese hospital. The study adopts a case study approach. First, a thorough literature review has been undertaken to study the various methods of healthcare quality management. Second, a healthcare quality management framework is developed using combined quality function deployment (QFD) and logical framework approach (LFA). Third, the proposed framework is applied to a Maltese hospital to demonstrate its effectiveness. The proposed framework has six steps, commencing with identifying patients' requirements and concluding with implementing improvement projects. All the steps have been undertaken with the involvement of the concerned stakeholders in the A & E unit of the hospital. The major and related problems being faced by the hospital under study were overcrowding at A & E and shortage of beds, respectively. The combined framework ensures better A & E services and patient flow. QFD identifies and analyses the issues and challenges of A & E and LFA helps develop project plans for healthcare quality improvement. The important outcomes of implementing the proposed quality improvement programme are fewer hospital admissions, faster patient flow, expert triage and shorter waiting times at the A & E unit. Increased emergency consultant cover and faster first significant medical encounter were required to start addressing the problems effectively. Overall, the combined QFD and LFA method is effective to address quality of care in A & E unit. PRACTICAL/IMPLICATIONS: The proposed framework can be easily integrated within any healthcare unit, as well as within entire healthcare systems, due to its flexible and user-friendly approach. It could be part of Six Sigma and other quality initiatives. Although QFD has been extensively deployed in healthcare setup to improve quality of care, very little has been

  11. Post-disaster psychosocial support and quality improvement: A conceptual framework for understanding and improving the quality of psychosocial support programs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dückers, Michel L. A.; Thormar, Sigridur B.

    2015-01-01

    This article is original in that it addresses post-disaster psychosocial support programs from a quality-improvement perspective, not from the traditional viewpoint of mental health services. Based on a combination of renowned quality models, a framework is sketched that offers chances to better

  12. Evaluation of low-energy contrast-enhanced spectral mammography images by comparing them to full-field digital mammography using EUREF image quality criteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalji, U C; Jeukens, C R L P N; Houben, I; Nelemans, P J; van Engen, R E; van Wylick, E; Beets-Tan, R G H; Wildberger, J E; Paulis, L E; Lobbes, M B I

    2015-10-01

    Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM) examination results in a low-energy (LE) and contrast-enhanced image. The LE appears similar to a full-field digital mammogram (FFDM). Our aim was to evaluate LE CESM image quality by comparing it to FFDM using criteria defined by the European Reference Organization for Quality Assured Breast Screening and Diagnostic Services (EUREF). A total of 147 cases with both FFDM and LE images were independently scored by two experienced radiologists using these (20) EUREF criteria. Contrast detail measurements were performed using a dedicated phantom. Differences in image quality scores, average glandular dose, and contrast detail measurements between LE and FFDM were tested for statistical significance. No significant differences in image quality scores were observed between LE and FFDM images for 17 out of 20 criteria. LE scored significantly lower on one criterion regarding the sharpness of the pectoral muscle (p < 0.001), and significantly better on two criteria on the visualization of micro-calcifications (p = 0.02 and p = 0.034). Dose and contrast detail measurements did not reveal any physical explanation for these observed differences. Low-energy CESM images are non-inferior to FFDM images. From this perspective FFDM can be omitted in patients with an indication for CESM. • Low-energy CESM images are non-inferior to FFDM images. • Micro-calcifications are significantly more visible on LE CESM than on FFDM. • There is no physical explanation for this improved visibility of micro-calcifications. • There is no need for an extra FFDM when CESM is indicated.

  13. Building a Culture of Continuous Quality Improvement in an Academic Radiology Department.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katzman, Gregory L; Paushter, David M

    2016-04-01

    As we enter a new era of health care in the United States, radiologists must be adequately prepared to prove, and continually improve, our value to our customers. This goal can be achieved in large part by providing high-quality services. Although quality efforts on the national and international levels provide a framework for improving radiologic quality, some of the greatest opportunities for quality improvement can be found at the departmental level, through the implementation of total quality management programs. Establishing such a program requires not only strong leadership and employee engagement, but also a firm understanding of the multiple total quality management tools and continuous quality improvement strategies available. In this article, we discuss key tools and strategies required to build a culture of continuous quality improvement in an academic department, based on our experience. Copyright © 2016 American College of Radiology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Combination of Multiple Spectral Libraries Improves the Current Search Methods Used to Identify Missing Proteins in the Chromosome-Centric Human Proteome Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Jin-Young; Lee, Hyoung-Joo; Jeong, Seul-Ki; Kim, Kwang-Youl; Kwon, Kyung-Hoon; Yoo, Jong Shin; Omenn, Gilbert S; Baker, Mark S; Hancock, William S; Paik, Young-Ki

    2015-12-04

    Approximately 2.9 billion long base-pair human reference genome sequences are known to encode some 20 000 representative proteins. However, 3000 proteins, that is, ~15% of all proteins, have no or very weak proteomic evidence and are still missing. Missing proteins may be present in rare samples in very low abundance or be only temporarily expressed, causing problems in their detection and protein profiling. In particular, some technical limitations cause missing proteins to remain unassigned. For example, current mass spectrometry techniques have high limits and error rates for the detection of complex biological samples. An insufficient proteome coverage in a reference sequence database and spectral library also raises major issues. Thus, the development of a better strategy that results in greater sensitivity and accuracy in the search for missing proteins is necessary. To this end, we used a new strategy, which combines a reference spectral library search and a simulated spectral library search, to identify missing proteins. We built the human iRefSPL, which contains the original human reference spectral library and additional peptide sequence-spectrum match entries from other species. We also constructed the human simSPL, which contains the simulated spectra of 173 907 human tryptic peptides determined by MassAnalyzer (version 2.3.1). To prove the enhanced analytical performance of the combination of the human iRefSPL and simSPL methods for the identification of missing proteins, we attempted to reanalyze the placental tissue data set (PXD000754). The data from each experiment were analyzed using PeptideProphet, and the results were combined using iProphet. For the quality control, we applied the class-specific false-discovery rate filtering method. All of the results were filtered at a false-discovery rate of libraries, iRefSPL and simSPL, were designed to ensure no overlap of the proteome coverage. They were shown to be complementary to spectral library

  15. Getting started with the model for improvement: psychology and leadership in quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratap, J Nick; Varughese, Anna M; Adler, Elena; Kurth, C Dean

    2013-02-01

    Although the case for quality in hospitals is compelling, doctors are often uncertain how to achieve it. This article forms the third and final part of a series providing practical guidance on getting started with a first quality improvement project. Introduction.

  16. Imaging Food Quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Flemming

    Imaging and spectroscopy have long been established methods for food quality control both in the laboratories and online. An ever increasing number of analytical techniques are being developed into imaging methods and existing imaging methods to contain spectral information. Images and especially...... spectral images contain large amounts of data which should be analysed appropriately by techniques combining structure and spectral information. This dissertation deals with how different types of food quality can be measured by imaging techniques, analysed with appropriate image analysis techniques...... and finally use the image data to predict or visualise food quality. A range of different food quality parameters was addressed, i.e. water distribution in bread throughout storage, time series analysis of chocolate milk stability, yoghurt glossiness, graininess and dullness and finally structure and meat...

  17. 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.

  18. Improving the Curie depth estimation through optimizing the spectral block dimensions of the aeromagnetic data in the Sabalan geothermal field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbar, Somaieh; Fathianpour, Nader

    2016-12-01

    The Curie point depth is of great importance in characterizing geothermal resources. In this study, the Curie iso-depth map was provided using the well-known method of dividing the aeromagnetic dataset into overlapping blocks and analyzing the power spectral density of each block separately. Determining the optimum block dimension is vital in improving the resolution and accuracy of estimating Curie point depth. To investigate the relation between the optimal block size and power spectral density, a forward magnetic modeling was implemented on an artificial prismatic body with specified characteristics. The top, centroid, and bottom depths of the body were estimated by the spectral analysis method for different block dimensions. The result showed that the optimal block size could be considered as the smallest possible block size whose corresponding power spectrum represents an absolute maximum in small wavenumbers. The Curie depth map of the Sabalan geothermal field and its surrounding areas, in the northwestern Iran, was produced using a grid of 37 blocks with different dimensions from 10 × 10 to 50 × 50 km2, which showed at least 50% overlapping with adjacent blocks. The Curie point depth was estimated in the range of 5 to 21 km. The promising areas with the Curie point depths less than 8.5 km are located around Mountain Sabalan encompassing more than 90% of known geothermal resources in the study area. Moreover, the Curie point depth estimated by the improved spectral analysis is in good agreement with the depth calculated from the thermal gradient data measured in one of the exploratory wells in the region.

  19. Improving Indicators in a Brazilian Hospital Through Quality-Improvement Programs Based on STS Database Reports

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Gabriel Melo de Barros e Silva

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: To report the initial changes after quality-improvement programs based on STS-database in a Brazilian hospital. METHODS: Since 2011 a Brazilian hospital has joined STS-Database and in 2012 multifaceted actions based on STS reports were implemented aiming reductions in the time of mechanical ventilation and in the intensive care stay and also improvements in evidence-based perioperative therapies among patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft surgeries. RESULTS: All the 947 patients submitted to coronary artery bypass graft surgeries from July 2011 to June 2014 were analyzed and there was an improvement in all the three target endpoints after the implementation of the quality-improvement program but the reduction in time on mechanical ventilation was not statistically significant after adjusting for prognostic characteristics. CONCLUSION: The initial experience with STS registry in a Brazilian hospital was associated with improvement in most of targeted quality-indicators.

  20. Approaches to quality improvement in nursing homes: Lessons learned from the six-state pilot of CMS's Nursing Home Quality Initiative

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Palmer Laura

    2003-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In November 2002, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS launched a Nursing Home Quality Initiative that included publicly reporting a set of Quality Measures for all nursing homes in the country, and providing quality improvement assistance to nursing homes nationwide. A pilot of this initiative occurred in six states for six months prior to the launch. Methods Review and analysis of the lessons learned from the six Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs that led quality improvement efforts in nursing homes from the six pilot states. Results QIOs in the six pilot states found several key outcomes of the Nursing Home Quality Initiative that help to maximize the potential of public reporting to leverage effective improvement in nursing home quality of care. First, public reporting focuses the attention of all stakeholders in the nursing home industry on achieving good quality outcomes on a defined set of measures, and creates an incentive for partnership formation. Second, publicly reported quality measures motivate nursing home providers to improve in certain key clinical areas, and in particular to seek out new ways of changing processes of care, such as engaging physicians and the medical director more directly. Third, the lessons learned by QIOs in the pilot of this Initiative indicate that certain approaches to providing quality improvement assistance are key to guiding nursing home providers' desire and enthusiasm to improve towards a using a systematic approach to quality improvement. Conclusion The Nursing Home Quality Initiative has already demonstrated the potential of public reporting to foster collaboration and coordination among nursing home stakeholders and to heighten interest of nursing homes in quality improvement techniques. The lessons learned from this pilot project have implications for any organizations or individuals planning quality improvement projects in the nursing home setting.

  1. Sorting in-shell walnuts using near infrared spectroscopy for improved drying efficiency and product quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the current walnut drying practice, dryers comingle nuts with varying moisture contents (MC) which results in over drying of nuts with low MC and thereby decrease product quality. The objectives of this research were to investigate correlations among near infrared (NIR) spectral data and MC of fr...

  2. Superharmonic imaging with chirp coded excitation: filtering spectrally overlapped harmonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harput, Sevan; McLaughlan, James; Cowell, David M J; Freear, Steven

    2014-11-01

    Superharmonic imaging improves the spatial resolution by using the higher order harmonics generated in tissue. The superharmonic component is formed by combining the third, fourth, and fifth harmonics, which have low energy content and therefore poor SNR. This study uses coded excitation to increase the excitation energy. The SNR improvement is achieved on the receiver side by performing pulse compression with harmonic matched filters. The use of coded signals also introduces new filtering capabilities that are not possible with pulsed excitation. This is especially important when using wideband signals. For narrowband signals, the spectral boundaries of the harmonics are clearly separated and thus easy to filter; however, the available imaging bandwidth is underused. Wideband excitation is preferable for harmonic imaging applications to preserve axial resolution, but it generates spectrally overlapping harmonics that are not possible to filter in time and frequency domains. After pulse compression, this overlap increases the range side lobes, which appear as imaging artifacts and reduce the Bmode image quality. In this study, the isolation of higher order harmonics was achieved in another domain by using the fan chirp transform (FChT). To show the effect of excitation bandwidth in superharmonic imaging, measurements were performed by using linear frequency modulated chirp excitation with varying bandwidths of 10% to 50%. Superharmonic imaging was performed on a wire phantom using a wideband chirp excitation. Results were presented with and without applying the FChT filtering technique by comparing the spatial resolution and side lobe levels. Wideband excitation signals achieved a better resolution as expected, however range side lobes as high as -23 dB were observed for the superharmonic component of chirp excitation with 50% fractional bandwidth. The proposed filtering technique achieved >50 dB range side lobe suppression and improved the image quality without

  3. Avoiding failure: tools for successful and sustainable quality-improvement projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Donnelly, Lane F.

    2017-01-01

    Involvement in successful and sustained quality improvement can be a very rewarding experience. However, it can be very difficult work. Up to 70% of attempted organizational change is not sustained. There are many reasons why quality-improvement projects might not be successful. In this article, the author reviews items associated with an increased or decreased likelihood of success. Such items have been categorized as structural issues, human issues and environmental context. This paper is intended to serve those embarking on quality-improvement projects as a resource to help position them for success. (orig.)

  4. Avoiding failure: tools for successful and sustainable quality-improvement projects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donnelly, Lane F. [Texas Children' s Hospital, Department of Radiology, Houston, TX (United States)

    2017-06-15

    Involvement in successful and sustained quality improvement can be a very rewarding experience. However, it can be very difficult work. Up to 70% of attempted organizational change is not sustained. There are many reasons why quality-improvement projects might not be successful. In this article, the author reviews items associated with an increased or decreased likelihood of success. Such items have been categorized as structural issues, human issues and environmental context. This paper is intended to serve those embarking on quality-improvement projects as a resource to help position them for success. (orig.)

  5. Quality Improvement Policies in a Supply Chain with Stackelberg Games

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang Xie

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We first analyze quality and price decisions in a supply chain with two Stackelberg games: Manufacturer’s Stackelberg (MS and Supplier’s Stackelberg (SS. Then, we investigate how equilibrium solutions are influenced by proposed quality improvement policies: coordination and manufacturer’s involvement. Also, we derive the conditions under which the policies can be implemented in both MS and SS strategies. Numerical experiments illustrate the problems and several related issues are discussed. The results suggest that proposed quality improvement policies can realize Pareto improvement for the supply chain performance.

  6. Avoiding failure: tools for successful and sustainable quality-improvement projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Lane F

    2017-06-01

    Involvement in successful and sustained quality improvement can be a very rewarding experience. However, it can be very difficult work. Up to 70% of attempted organizational change is not sustained. There are many reasons why quality-improvement projects might not be successful. In this article, the author reviews items associated with an increased or decreased likelihood of success. Such items have been categorized as structural issues, human issues and environmental context. This paper is intended to serve those embarking on quality-improvement projects as a resource to help position them for success.

  7. Basic tasks for improving spectral-acoustic forecasting of dynamic phenomena in coal mines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shadrin, A. V.; Kontrimas, A. A.

    2017-09-01

    A number of tasks for improving the spectral-acoustic method for forecasting dynamic phenomena and controlling stress condition in coalmines is considered. They are: considering the influence of a gas factor on the danger indicator, dependence of a relative pressure coefficient on the distance between the source and the receiver of the probing acoustic signal, correct selection of operating frequencies, the importance of developing the techniques for defining the critical value of the outburst danger index The influence of the rock mass stress condition ahead of the preliminary opening face on the relative pressure coefficient defined for installing the sound receiver in the wall of the opening behind the opening face is also justified in the article.

  8. Software metrics to improve software quality in HEP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lancon, E.

    1996-01-01

    The ALEPH reconstruction program maintainability has been evaluated with a case tool implementing an ISO standard methodology based on software metrics. It has been found that the overall quality of the program is good and has shown improvement over the past five years. Frequently modified routines exhibits lower quality; most buys were located in routines with particularly low quality. Implementing from the beginning a quality criteria could have avoided time losses due to bug corrections. (author)

  9. Improved target detection and bearing estimation utilizing fast orthogonal search for real-time spectral analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osman, Abdalla; El-Sheimy, Naser; Nourledin, Aboelamgd; Theriault, Jim; Campbell, Scott

    2009-01-01

    The problem of target detection and tracking in the ocean environment has attracted considerable attention due to its importance in military and civilian applications. Sonobuoys are one of the capable passive sonar systems used in underwater target detection. Target detection and bearing estimation are mainly obtained through spectral analysis of received signals. The frequency resolution introduced by current techniques is limited which affects the accuracy of target detection and bearing estimation at a relatively low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This research investigates the development of a bearing estimation method using fast orthogonal search (FOS) for enhanced spectral estimation. FOS is employed in this research in order to improve both target detection and bearing estimation in the case of low SNR inputs. The proposed methods were tested using simulated data developed for two different scenarios under different underwater environmental conditions. The results show that the proposed method is capable of enhancing the accuracy for target detection as well as bearing estimation especially in cases of a very low SNR

  10. Systematic wavelength selection for improved multivariate spectral analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Edward V.; Robinson, Mark R.; Haaland, David M.

    1995-01-01

    Methods and apparatus for determining in a biological material one or more unknown values of at least one known characteristic (e.g. the concentration of an analyte such as glucose in blood or the concentration of one or more blood gas parameters) with a model based on a set of samples with known values of the known characteristics and a multivariate algorithm using several wavelength subsets. The method includes selecting multiple wavelength subsets, from the electromagnetic spectral region appropriate for determining the known characteristic, for use by an algorithm wherein the selection of wavelength subsets improves the model's fitness of the determination for the unknown values of the known characteristic. The selection process utilizes multivariate search methods that select both predictive and synergistic wavelengths within the range of wavelengths utilized. The fitness of the wavelength subsets is determined by the fitness function F=.function.(cost, performance). The method includes the steps of: (1) using one or more applications of a genetic algorithm to produce one or more count spectra, with multiple count spectra then combined to produce a combined count spectrum; (2) smoothing the count spectrum; (3) selecting a threshold count from a count spectrum to select these wavelength subsets which optimize the fitness function; and (4) eliminating a portion of the selected wavelength subsets. The determination of the unknown values can be made: (1) noninvasively and in vivo; (2) invasively and in vivo; or (3) in vitro.

  11. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities. 460.136 Section 460.136 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES....136 Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities. (a) Quality assessment and...

  12. The 'Alternative Quality Contract,' based on a global budget, lowered medical spending and improved quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zirui; Safran, Dana Gelb; Landon, Bruce E; Landrum, Mary Beth; He, Yulei; Mechanic, Robert E; Day, Matthew P; Chernew, Michael E

    2012-08-01

    Seven provider organizations in Massachusetts entered the Blue Cross Blue Shield Alternative Quality Contract in 2009, followed by four more organizations in 2010. This contract, based on a global budget and pay-for-performance for achieving certain quality benchmarks, places providers at risk for excessive spending and rewards them for quality, similar to the new Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations in Medicare. We analyzed changes in spending and quality associated with the Alternative Quality Contract and found that the rate of increase in spending slowed compared to control groups, more so in the second year than in the first. Overall, participation in the contract over two years led to savings of 2.8 percent (1.9 percent in year 1 and 3.3 percent in year 2) compared to spending in nonparticipating groups. Savings were accounted for by lower prices achieved through shifting procedures, imaging, and tests to facilities with lower fees, as well as reduced utilization among some groups. Quality of care also improved compared to control organizations, with chronic care management, adult preventive care, and pediatric care within the contracting groups improving more in year 2 than in year 1. These results suggest that global budgets with pay-for-performance can begin to slow underlying growth in medical spending while improving quality of care.

  13. The application of the piecewise linear approximation to the spectral neighborhood of soil line for the analysis of the quality of normalization of remote sensing materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulyanitsa, A. L.; Rukhovich, A. D.; Rukhovich, D. D.; Koroleva, P. V.; Rukhovich, D. I.; Simakova, M. S.

    2017-04-01

    The concept of soil line can be to describe the temporal distribution of spectral characteristics of the bare soil surface. In this case, the soil line can be referred to as the multi-temporal soil line, or simply temporal soil line (TSL). In order to create TSL for 8000 regular lattice points for the territory of three regions of Tula oblast, we used 34 Landsat images obtained in the period from 1985 to 2014 after their certain transformation. As Landsat images are the matrices of the values of spectral brightness, this transformation is the normalization of matrices. There are several methods of normalization that move, rotate, and scale the spectral plane. In our study, we applied the method of piecewise linear approximation to the spectral neighborhood of soil line in order to assess the quality of normalization mathematically. This approach allowed us to range normalization methods according to their quality as follows: classic normalization > successive application of the turn and shift > successive application of the atmospheric correction and shift > atmospheric correction > shift > turn > raw data. The normalized data allowed us to create the maps of the distribution of a and b coefficients of the TSL. The map of b coefficient is characterized by the high correlation with the ground-truth data obtained from 1899 soil pits described during the soil surveys performed by the local institute for land management (GIPROZEM).

  14. New pulsating casing collar to improve cementing quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, P. [Southwest Petroleum Inst., Nanchong, Sichuan (China); He, K. [JiangHan Petroleum Administration Bureau, Qianjiang, Hubei (China); Wu, J. [Chevron Petroleum Tech. Co., Houston, TX (United States)

    1998-12-31

    This paper presents the design and test results of a new pulsating casing collar which improves cementing quality. The new pulsating casing collar (PCC) is designed according to the Helmholtz oscillator to generate a pulsating jet flow by self-excitation in the cementing process. By placing this new pulsating casing collar at the bottom of casing string, the generated pulsating jet flow transmits vibrating pressure waves up through the annulus and helps remove drilling mud in the annulus. It can therefore improve cementing quality, especially when eccentric annulus exists due to casing eccentricity where the mud is difficult to remove. The new pulsating casing collar consists of a top nozzle, a resonant chamber, and a bottom nozzle. It can be manufactured easily and is easy to use in the field. It has been tested in Jianghan oil-field, P.R. China. The field-test results support the theoretical analysis and laboratory test, and the cementing quality is shown greatly improved by using the new pulsating casing collar.

  15. The Impact of Soft Factors on Quality Improvement in Manufacturing Industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Shiau Wei; Fauzi Ahmad, Md; Kong, Mei Wan

    2017-08-01

    Nowadays, soft factors have become the key factors of success in quality improvement of an organisation. Many organisations have neglected the importance of soft factors, this may influence the organisational performance. Hence, the purpose of this research is to examine the impact of soft factors on quality improvement in manufacturing industries. Six hypotheses were examined while considering six dimensions of soft factors including management commitment, customer focus, supplier relationship, employee involvement, training and education, and reward and recognition that have a positive impact on quality improvement. In this study, eighty one managers from the quality department were randomly selected in the manufacturing industry in Batu Pahat, Johor. The questionnaires were distributed to them. The researcher analysed the quantitatively collected data using descriptive analysis and correlation analysis. The findings of this study revealed that all soft factors are correlated to the quality improvement in an organisation with a high significant value but the regression analysis shows that the supplier relationship and employee involvement has more significant impact on quality improvement as compared to other soft factors which contributes of this study.

  16. Has compliance with CLIA requirements really improved quality in US clinical laboratories?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrmeyer, Sharon S; Laessig, Ronald H

    2004-08-02

    The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA'88) mandate universal requirements for all U.S. clinical laboratory-testing sites. The intent of CLIA'88 is to ensure quality testing through a combination of minimum quality practices that incorporate total quality management concepts. These regulations do not contain established, objective indicators or measures to assess quality. However, there is an implicit assumption that compliance with traditionally accepted good laboratory practices--following manufacturers' directions, routinely analysing quality control materials, applying quality assurance principles, employing and assessing competent testing personnel, and participating in external quality assessment or proficiency testing (PT)--will result in improved test quality. The CLIA'88 regulations do include PT performance standards, which intentionally or unintentionally, define intra-laboratory performance. Passing PT has become a prime motivation for improving laboratory performance; it can also be used as an objective indicator to assess whether compliance to CLIA has improved intra-laboratory quality. Data from 1994 through 2002 indicate that the percentage of laboratories passing PT has increased. In addition to PT performance, subjective indicators of improved quality--frequency of inspection deficiencies, the number of government sanctions for non-compliance, and customer satisfaction--were evaluated. The results from these subjective indicators are more difficult to interpret but also seem to show improved quality in US clinical laboratories eleven years post-CLIA'88.

  17. Literally better : Analyzing and improving the quality of literals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beek, Wouter; Ilievski, Filip; Debattista, Jeremy; Schlobach, Stefan; Wielemaker, Jan

    2018-01-01

    Quality is a complicated and multifarious topic in contemporary Linked Data research. The aspect of literal quality in particular has not yet been rigorously studied. Nevertheless, analyzing and improving the quality of literals is important since literals form a substantial (one in seven

  18. Soil quality improvement through conversion to sprinkler irrigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conversion from furrow to sprinkler irrigation is a recommended conservation practice for improved water use efficiency (and/or erosion control), but effects on soil quality indicators were unknown. Several soil quality indicators were therefore quantified within a northwestern U.S. Conservation Eff...

  19. Improving Reference Service: The Case for Using a Continuous Quality Improvement Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aluri, Rao

    1993-01-01

    Discusses the evaluation of library reference service; examines problems with past evaluations, including the lack of long-term planning and a systems perspective; and suggests a method for continuously monitoring and improving reference service using quality improvement tools such as checklists, cause and effect diagrams, Pareto charts, and…

  20. Interactional Resources for Quality Improvement: Learning From Participants Through a Qualitative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Joanna Veazey; Gorbenko, Ksenia; Bosk, Charles

    Implementing quality improvement in hospitals requires a multifaceted commitment from leaders, including financial, material, and personnel resources. However, little is known about the interactional resources needed for project implementation. The aim of this analysis was to identify the types of interactional support hospital teams sought in a surgical quality improvement project. Hospital site visits were conducted using a combination of observations, interviews, and focus groups to explore the implementation of a surgical quality improvement project. Twenty-six site visits were conducted between October 2012 and August 2014 at a total of 16 hospitals that agreed to participate. All interviews were recorded, transcribed, and coded for themes using inductive analysis. We interviewed 321 respondents and conducted an additional 28 focus groups. Respondents reported needing the following types of interactional support during implementation of quality improvement interventions: (1) a critical outside perspective on their implementation progress; (2) opportunities to learn from peers, especially around clinical innovations; and (3) external validation to help establish visibility for and commitment to the project. Quality improvement in hospitals is both a clinical endeavor and a social endeavor. Our findings show that teams often desire interactional resources as they implement quality improvement initiatives. In-person site visits can provide these resources while also activating emotional energy for teams, which builds momentum and sustainability for quality improvement work. Policymakers and quality improvement leaders will benefit from developing strategies to maximize interactional learning and feedback for quality improvement teams. Further research should investigate the most effective methods for meeting these needs.

  1. QUALITY IMPROVEMENT MODEL OF NURSING EDUCATION IN MUHAMMADIYAH UNIVERSITIES TOWARD COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdul Aziz Alimul Hidayat

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Most of (90,6% nursing education quality in East Java was still low (BAN-PT, 2012. It was because the quality improvement process in nursing education generally was conducted partially (random performance improvement. The solution which might be done was through identifying proper quality improvement model in Nursing Education toward competitive advantage. Method: This research used survey to gain the data. The research sample was 16 Muhammadiyah Universities chosen using simple random sampling. The data were collected with questionnaires of 174 questions and documentation study. Data analysis used was Partial Least Square (PLS analysis technique. Result: Nursing education department profile in Muhammadiyah Universities in Indonesia showed of 10 years establishment, accredited B and the competition level in one city/regency was averagely more than three Universities becoming the competitors. Based on the quality improvement model analysis of nursing education toward competitive advantage on Muhammadiyah Universities, it was directly affected by the focus of learning and operasional process through human resources management improvement, on the other hand information system also directly affected on quality improvement, also affected quality process components; leadership, human resources, focus of learning and operational process. In improving human resources would be directly influenced with proper strategic planning. Strategic planning was directly influenced with leadership. Thus, in improving quality of nursing education, the leadership role of department, proper information system, and thehuman resources management improvement must be implemented.  Conclusion: Quality improvement model in nursing education was directly determined with learning and operational process through human resources management along with information system, strategic planning factors, and leadership. The research finding could be developed in quality

  2. Rhinology-specific priority setting for quality improvement: a modified Delphi study from the Quality Improvement Committee of the American Rhinologic Society.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudmik, Luke; Mattos, Jose L; Stokken, Janalee K; Soler, Zachary M; Manes, R Peter; Higgins, Thomas S; Setzen, Michael; Lee, Jivianne; Schneider, John

    2017-10-01

    Improving the quality of healthcare is a complex and resource intensive process. To optimize the allocation of scarce resources, quality improvement (QI) should focus on high-value diseases that will produce the largest improvement in health system performance. Given the breadth and multidisciplinary nature of sinonasal disease management, the purpose of this study was to transparently develop a prioritized list of sinonasal diseases for QI from the perspective of the specialty of rhinology and the American Rhinologic Society (ARS). The RAND modified Delphi methodology was used to rank the priority of nine sinonasal disease categories from 1 (lowest priority) to 9 (highest priority). Two rounds of ranking along with a teleconference meeting was performed by a panel of 9 experts from the ARS Quality Improvement Committee. The final QI-prioritized list of sinonasal diseases are as follows: chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) (mean score = 8.9), recurrent acute rhinosinusitis (RARS) (mean score = 7.9), sinonasal neoplasms (mean score = 7.0), anatomic nasal obstruction (mean score = 5.9), refractory epistaxis (mean score = 5.2), complicated acute rhinosinusitis (mean score = 5.2), chronic nonallergic rhinitis (mean score = 4.4), orbital disease (mean score = 4.3), uncomplicated acute rhinosinusitis (mean score = 4.1), and allergy/allergic rhinitis (mean score = 3.7). The three most important disease categories for QI from the perspective of the specialty of rhinology were CRS, RARS, and sinonasal neoplasms. Future studies need to define and validate quality metrics for each of these important disease categories in order to facilitate appropriate measurement and improvement initiatives. © 2017 ARS-AAOA, LLC.

  3. Technical Note: Continuity of MIPAS-ENVISAT operational ozone data quality from full- to reduced-spectral-resolution operation mode

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Ceccherini

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available MIPAS (Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding is operating on the ENVIronmental SATellite (ENVISAT since March 2002. After two years of nearly continuous limb scanning measurements, at the end of March 2004, the instrument was stopped due to problems with the mirror drive of the interferometer. Operations with reduced maximum path difference, corresponding to both a reduced-spectral-resolution and a shorter measurement time, were resumed on January 2005. In order to exploit the reduction in measurement time, the measurement scenario was changed adopting a finer vertical limb scanning. The change of spectral resolution and of measurement scenario entailed an update of the data processing strategy. The aim of this paper is the assessment of the differences in the quality of the MIPAS ozone data acquired before and after the stop of the operations. Two sets of MIPAS ozone profiles acquired in 2003–2004 (full-resolution measurements and in 2005–2006 (reduced-resolution measurements are compared with collocated ozone profiles obtained by GOMOS (Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars, itself also onboard ENVISAT. The continuity of the GOMOS data quality allows to assess a possible discontinuity of the MIPAS performances. The relative bias and precision of MIPAS ozone profiles with respect to the GOMOS ones have been compared for the measurements acquired before and after the stop of the MIPAS operations. The results of the comparison show that, in general, the quality of the MIPAS ozone profiles retrieved from reduced-resolution measurements is comparable or better than that obtained from the full-resolution dataset. The only significant change in MIPAS performances is observed at pressures around 2 unit{hPa}, where the relative bias of the instruments increases by a factor of 2 from the 2003–2004 to 2005–2006 measurements.

  4. Improving quality of care among COPD outpatients in Denmark 2008-2011

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tøttenborg, Sandra Søgaard; Lange, P.; Thomsen, R.W.

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To examine whether the quality of care among Danish patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has improved since the initiation of a national multidisciplinary quality improvement program. METHODS: We conducted a nationwide, population-based prospective cohort study...... a substantial improvement in the quality of care of COPD in Danish hospitals following the initiation of a national multidisciplinary quality improvement program in 2008. In the forthcoming years, it will be interesting to observe if this will translate into a better prognosis of Danish patients with COPD....... using data from the Danish Clinical Register of COPD (DrCOPD). Since 2008 the register has systematically monitored and audited the use of recommended processes of COPD care. RESULTS: Substantial improvements were observed for all processes of care and registration fulfillment increased to well above 85...

  5. Quality-based financial incentives in health care: can we improve quality by paying for it?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Douglas A; Perry, Lisa

    2009-01-01

    This article asks whether financial incentives can improve the quality of health care. A conceptual framework drawn from microeconomics, agency theory, behavioral economics, and cognitive psychology motivates a set of propositions about incentive effects on clinical quality. These propositions are evaluated through a synthesis of extant peer-reviewed empirical evidence. Comprehensive financial incentives--balancing rewards and penalties; blending structure, process, and outcome measures; emphasizing continuous, absolute performance standards; tailoring the size of incremental rewards to increasing marginal costs of quality improvement; and assuring certainty, frequency, and sustainability of incentive payoffs--offer the prospect of significantly enhancing quality beyond the modest impacts of prevailing pay-for-performance (P4P) programs. Such organizational innovations as the primary care medical home and accountable health care organizations are expected to catalyze more powerful quality incentive models: risk- and quality-adjusted capitation, episode of care payments, and enhanced fee-for-service payments for quality dimensions (e.g., prevention) most amenable to piece-rate delivery.

  6. Using SQUIRE 2.0 as a Guide for Planning Your Quality Improvement Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stausmire, Julie M; Ulrich, Charla

    2017-12-01

    This article is the third of a 4-part quality improvement resource series for critical care nurses interested in implementing system process or performance improvement projects. Part 1 defined the differences between research and quality improvement. Part 2 discussed how nurses and managers could identify meaningful quality improvement projects that will make a real difference in their critical care unit while fitting within their time constraints and resources. Part 3 uses the recently revised Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence guidelines as a basis for designing, implementing, documenting, and publishing quality improvement projects. © 2017 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

  7. Economic implications of neonatal intensive care unit collaborative quality improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rogowski, JA; Horbar, JD; Plsek, PE; Baker, LS; Deterding, J; Edwards, WH; Hocker, J; Kantak, AD; Lewallen, P; Lewis, W; Lewit, E; McCarroll, CJ; Mujsce, D; Payne, NR; Shiono, P; Soll, RF; Leahy, K

    Objective. To make measurable improvements in the quality and cost of neonatal intensive care using a multidisciplinary collaborative quality improvement model. Design. Interventional study. Data on treatment costs were collected for infants with birth weight 501 to 1500 g for the period of January

  8. The History and State of Neonatal Nursing Quality Improvement Practice and Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kukla, Aniko; Dowling, Donna A; Dolansky, Mary A

    2018-03-01

    Quality improvement has evolved rapidly in neonatal nursing. This review outlines the history and current state of quality improvement practice and education in neonatal nursing. The future of neonatal nursing includes a stronger emphasis on quality improvement in advanced practice education that promotes doctoral projects that result in clinical improvements. A collective focus will ensure that neonatal nurses not only deliver evidence-based care, but also continually improve the care they deliver.

  9. CONTRIBUTION TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF PRODUCTS QUALITY IN BAKING INDUSTRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandar Marić

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Food industry occupies special place in the processing industry, especially when we talk on the manufacturing of bakery products. Variable products quality on the market initiated the authors of this study to make an attempt, using comparative analysis of methods for quality control that are at most applied in bakery plants and other "convenient" methods to indicate the shortcomings and to argue convenience of using of methods that would improve testing of the quality. That approach could create a base for designing of model of quality improvement the baking industry.

  10. Strategies for improving quality and methods for innovation services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bajić Milan

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary concepts of business of service organisations, focus their researches on measuring quality of the services and identification of mistakes. The aim of strategies is the improvement of quality. Marketing concepts shows that the constant creation of new products and the modification of characteristics on the old products, makes possible market strategy that stimulates development of activities. This paper is focusing on the improving of service using the strategies that can innovate and improve the services. Paper seeks to demonstrate one of possible observations and importance of performance, combined with blueprinting of services and benchmarking as a useful strategies for improving and innovation of services.

  11. Spectral gamuts and spectral gamut mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, Mitchell R.; Derhak, Maxim W.

    2006-01-01

    All imaging devices have two gamuts: the stimulus gamut and the response gamut. The response gamut of a print engine is typically described in CIE colorimetry units, a system derived to quantify human color response. More fundamental than colorimetric gamuts are spectral gamuts, based on radiance, reflectance or transmittance units. Spectral gamuts depend on the physics of light or on how materials interact with light and do not involve the human's photoreceptor integration or brain processing. Methods for visualizing a spectral gamut raise challenges as do considerations of how to utilize such a data-set for producing superior color reproductions. Recent work has described a transformation of spectra reduced to 6-dimensions called LabPQR. LabPQR was designed as a hybrid space with three explicit colorimetric axes and three additional spectral reconstruction axes. In this paper spectral gamuts are discussed making use of LabPQR. Also, spectral gamut mapping is considered in light of the colorimetric-spectral duality of the LabPQR space.

  12. Explaining variation in perceived team effectiveness: results from eleven quality improvement collaboratives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strating, Mathilde M H; Nieboer, Anna P

    2013-06-01

    Explore effectiveness of 11 collaboratives focusing on 11 different topics, as perceived by local improvement teams and to explore associations with collaborative-, organisational- and team-level factors. Evidence underlying the effectiveness of quality improvement collaboratives is inconclusive and few studies investigated determinants of implementation success. Moreover, most evaluation studies on quality improvement collaboratives are based on one specific topic or quality problem, making it hard to compare across collaboratives addressing different topics. A multiple-case cross-sectional study. Quality improvement teams in 11 quality improvement collaboratives focusing on 11 different topics. Team members received a postal questionnaire at the end of each collaborative. Of the 283 improvement teams, 151 project leaders and 362 team members returned the questionnaire. Analysis of variance revealed that teams varied widely on perceived effectiveness. Especially, members in the Prevention of Malnutrition and Prevention of Medication Errors collaboratives perceived a higher effectiveness than other groups. Multilevel regression analyses showed that educational level of professionals, innovation attributes, organisational support, innovative culture and commitment to change were all significant predictors of perceived effectiveness. In total, 27·9% of the individual-level variance, 57·6% of the team-level variance and 80% of the collaborative-level variance could be explained. The innovation's attributes, organisational support, an innovative team culture and professionals' commitment to change are instrumental to perceived effectiveness. The results support the notion that a layered approach is necessary to achieve improvements in quality of care and provides further insight in the determinants of success of quality improvement collaboratives. Understanding which factors enhance the impact of quality improvement initiatives can help professionals to achieve

  13. Domains associated with successful quality improvement in healthcare - a nationwide case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandrud, Aleidis Skard; Nyen, Bjørnar; Hjortdahl, Per; Sandvik, Leiv; Helljesen Haldorsen, Gro Sævil; Bergli, Maria; Nelson, Eugene C; Bretthauer, Michael

    2017-09-13

    There is a distinct difference between what we know and what we do in healthcare: a gap that is impairing the quality of the care and increasing the costs. Quality improvement efforts have been made worldwide by learning collaboratives, based on recognized continual improvement theory with limited scientific evidence. The present study of 132 quality improvement projects in Norway explores the conditions for improvement from the perspectives of the frontline healthcare professionals, and evaluates the effectiveness of the continual improvement method. An instrument with 25 questions was developed on prior focus group interviews with improvement project members who identified features that may promote or inhibit improvement. The questionnaire was sent to 189 improvement projects initiated by the Norwegian Medical Association, and responded by 70% (132) of the improvement teams. A sub study of their final reports by a validated instrument, made us able to identify the successful projects and compare their assessments with the assessments of the other projects. A factor analysis with Varimax rotation of the 25 questions identified five domains. A multivariate regression analysis was used to evaluate the association with successful quality improvements. Two of the five domains were associated with success: Measurement and Guidance (p = 0.011), and Professional environment (p = 0.015). The organizational leadership domain was not associated with successful quality improvements (p = 0.26). Our findings suggest that quality improvement projects with good guidance and focus on measurement for improvement have increased likelihood of success. The variables in these two domains are aligned with improvement theory and confirm the effectiveness of the continual improvement method provided by the learning collaborative. High performing professional environments successfully engaged in patient-centered quality improvement if they had access to: (a) knowledge of best

  14. 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.

  15. Lean management systems: creating a culture of continuous quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, David M; Silvester, Kate; Knowles, Simon

    2013-08-01

    This is the first in a series of articles describing the application of Lean management systems to Laboratory Medicine. Lean is the term used to describe a principle-based continuous quality improvement (CQI) management system based on the Toyota production system (TPS) that has been evolving for over 70 years. Its origins go back much further and are heavily influenced by the work of W Edwards Deming and the scientific method that forms the basis of most quality management systems. Lean has two fundamental elements--a systematic approach to process improvement by removing waste in order to maximise value for the end-user of the service and a commitment to respect, challenge and develop the people who work within the service to create a culture of continuous improvement. Lean principles have been applied to a growing number of Healthcare systems throughout the world to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of services for patients and a number of laboratories from all the pathology disciplines have used Lean to shorten turnaround times, improve quality (reduce errors) and improve productivity. Increasingly, models used to plan and implement large scale change in healthcare systems, including the National Health Service (NHS) change model, have evidence-based improvement methodologies (such as Lean CQI) as a core component. Consequently, a working knowledge of improvement methodology will be a core skill for Pathologists involved in leadership and management.

  16. Practice-level quality improvement interventions in primary care: a review of systematic reviews.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, Ryan; Stokes, Tim; Marshall, Tom

    2015-11-01

    To present an overview of effective interventions for quality improvement in primary care at the practice level utilising existing systematic reviews. Quality improvement in primary care involves a range of approaches from the system-level to patient-level improvement. One key setting in which quality improvement needs to occur is at the level of the basic unit of primary care--the individual general practice. Therefore, there is a need for practitioners to have access to an overview of the effectiveness of quality improvement interventions available in this setting. A tertiary evidence synthesis was conducted (a review of systematic reviews). A systematic approach was used to identify and summarise published literature relevant to understanding primary-care quality improvement at the practice level. Quality assessment was via the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool for systematic reviews, with data extraction identifying evidence of effect for the examined interventions. Included reviews had to be relevant to quality improvement at the practice level and relevant to the UK primary-care context. Reviews were excluded if describing system-level interventions. A range of measures across care structure, process and outcomes were defined and interpreted across the quality improvement interventions. Audit and feedback, computerised advice, point-of-care reminders, practice facilitation, educational outreach and processes for patient review and follow-up all demonstrated evidence of a quality improvement effect. Evidence of an improvement effect was higher where baseline performance was low and was particularly demonstrated across process measures and measures related to prescribing. Evidence was not sufficient to suggest that multifaceted approaches were more effective than single interventions. Evidence exists for a range of quality improvement interventions at the primary-care practice level. More research is required to determine the use and impact of quality

  17. 39 CFR 3050.42 - Proceedings to improve the quality of financial data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 39 Postal Service 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Proceedings to improve the quality of financial... § 3050.42 Proceedings to improve the quality of financial data. The Commission may, on its own motion or on request of an interested party, initiate proceedings to improve the quality, accuracy, or...

  18. Improving quality of care among patients hospitalised with schizophrenia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Mette; Mainz, Jan; Svendsen, Marie Louise

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The effectiveness of systematic quality improvement initiatives in psychiatric care remains unclear. AIMS: To examine whether quality of care has changed following implementation of a systematic monitoring programme of hospital performance measures. METHOD: In a nationwide population.......27-1.62), psychoeducation (RR: 1.33, 95% CI: 1.19-1.48), psychiatric aftercare (RR: 1.06, 95% CI: 1.01-1.11) and suicide risk assessment (RR: 1.31, 95% CI: 1.21-1.42). CONCLUSIONS: Quality of care improved from 2004 to 2011 among patients hospitalised with schizophrenia in Denmark. DECLARATION OF INTEREST: None. COPYRIGHT...

  19. Alpha spectral analysis via artificial neural networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kangas, L.J.; Hashem, S.; Keller, P.E.; Kouzes, R.T.; Troyer, G.L.

    1994-10-01

    An artificial neural network system that assigns quality factors to alpha particle energy spectra is discussed. The alpha energy spectra are used to detect plutonium contamination in the work environment. The quality factors represent the levels of spectral degradation caused by miscalibration and foreign matter affecting the instruments. A set of spectra was labeled with a quality factor by an expert and used in training the artificial neural network expert system. The investigation shows that the expert knowledge of alpha spectra quality factors can be transferred to an ANN system

  20. Total quality drives nuclear plant improvements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Richey, R.B.

    1991-01-01

    Total quality (TQ) at Carolina Power and Light (CP and L) is fulfilling a 1985 vision of Sherwood H. Smith, Jr., CP and L's chairman, president, and chief executive officer. The TQ concept has provided a way for employees to align their creative energies toward meeting the business needs of the company. Throughout CP and L, TQ has been recognized as the vehicle for reducing operating costs and improving customer satisfaction. Within the nuclear organization, application of the TQ process has helped to improve communications, resolve challenges, and provide more consistent work practices among CP and L's three nuclear plants. Total quality was introduced from the top down, with initial benefits coming from team interactions. Senior management at CP and L defined the corporate expectations and outlined the training requirements for implementing TQ. Management staffs at each organizational level became steering committees for TQ team activities within their departments. Teams of employees most knowledgeable about a given work area were empowered to solve problems or overcome obstacles related to that work area. Employees learned to become better team players and to appreciate the quality of decisions reached through group consensus. Now, formalized methods that started TQ are becoming part of the day-to-day work ethic

  1. Image quality characteristics for virtual monoenergetic images using dual-layer spectral detector CT: Comparison with conventional tube-voltage images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakabe, Daisuke; Funama, Yoshinori; Taguchi, Katsuyuki; Nakaura, Takeshi; Utsunomiya, Daisuke; Oda, Seitaro; Kidoh, Masafumi; Nagayama, Yasunori; Yamashita, Yasuyuki

    2018-05-01

    To investigate the image quality characteristics for virtual monoenergetic images compared with conventional tube-voltage image with dual-layer spectral CT (DLCT). Helical scans were performed using a first-generation DLCT scanner, two different sizes of acrylic cylindrical phantoms, and a Catphan phantom. Three different iodine concentrations were inserted into the phantom center. The single-tube voltage for obtaining virtual monoenergetic images was set to 120 or 140 kVp. Conventional 120- and 140-kVp images and virtual monoenergetic images (40-200-keV images) were reconstructed from slice thicknesses of 1.0 mm. The CT number and image noise were measured for each iodine concentration and water on the 120-kVp images and virtual monoenergetic images. The noise power spectrum (NPS) was also calculated. The iodine CT numbers for the iodinated enhancing materials were similar regardless of phantom size and acquisition method. Compared with the iodine CT numbers of the conventional 120-kVp images, those for the monoenergetic 40-, 50-, and 60-keV images increased by approximately 3.0-, 1.9-, and 1.3-fold, respectively. The image noise values for each virtual monoenergetic image were similar (for example, 24.6 HU at 40 keV and 23.3 HU at 200 keV obtained at 120 kVp and 30-cm phantom size). The NPS curves of the 70-keV and 120-kVp images for a 1.0-mm slice thickness over the entire frequency range were similar. Virtual monoenergetic images represent stable image noise over the entire energy spectrum and improved the contrast-to-noise ratio than conventional tube voltage using the dual-layer spectral detector CT. Copyright © 2018 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Quality improvement primer part 1: Preparing for a quality improvement project in the emergency department.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chartier, Lucas B; Cheng, Amy H Y; Stang, Antonia S; Vaillancourt, Samuel

    2018-01-01

    Emergency medicine (EM) providers work in a fast-paced and often hectic environment that has a high risk for patient safety incidents and gaps in the quality of care. These challenges have resulted in opportunities for frontline EM providers to play a role in quality improvement (QI) projects. QI has developed into a mature field with methodologies that can dramatically improve the odds of having a successful project with a sustainable impact. However, this expertise is not yet commonly taught during professional training. In this first of three articles meant as a QI primer for EM clinicians, we will introduce QI methodology and strategic planning using a fictional case study as an example. We will review how to identify a QI problem, define components of an effective problem statement, and identify stakeholders and core change team members. We will also describe three techniques used to perform root cause analyses-Ishikawa diagrams, Pareto charts and process mapping-and how they relate to preparing for a QI project. The next two papers in this series will focus on the execution of the QI project itself using rapid-cycle testing and on the evaluation and sustainability of QI projects.

  3. A divisive spectral method for network community detection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cheng, Jianjun; Li, Longjie; Yao, Yukai; Chen, Xiaoyun; Leng, Mingwei; Lu, Weiguo

    2016-01-01

    Community detection is a fundamental problem in the domain of complex network analysis. It has received great attention, and many community detection methods have been proposed in the last decade. In this paper, we propose a divisive spectral method for identifying community structures from networks which utilizes a sparsification operation to pre-process the networks first, and then uses a repeated bisection spectral algorithm to partition the networks into communities. The sparsification operation makes the community boundaries clearer and sharper, so that the repeated spectral bisection algorithm extract high-quality community structures accurately from the sparsified networks. Experiments show that the combination of network sparsification and a spectral bisection algorithm is highly successful, the proposed method is more effective in detecting community structures from networks than the others. (paper: interdisciplinary statistical mechanics)

  4. Does the EUA Institutional Evaluation Programme Contribute to Quality Improvement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavares, Diana Amado; Rosa, Maria Joao; Amaral, Alberto

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: This paper aims to reflect on the relevance of the Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP) of the European University Association (EUA) to universities' quality improvement. It aims to analyse IEP follow-up reports to determine whether the programme contributes to the development of a quality improvement culture.…

  5. Novel yellow colored flame compositions with superior spectral performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramy Sadek

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The production of colored flames is the primary purpose of military signaling, projectile tracing, and illuminating devices. Certain elements and compounds when heated to high temperature have the unique property of emitting lines or narrow bands in the visible region (380–780 nm. This study, reports on the development of novel yellow colored flame compositions with enhanced spectral performance in terms of luminous intensity, and color quality to standard Russian yellow tracer. The light intensity and the imprint spectra of developed yellow flares were measured using digital luxmeter and UV–Vis. spectrometer respectively. The main giving of this study is that the light intensity, and color quality of Russian yellow tracer were improved by 287%, and 170% respectively. This was accomplished by means of optimizing the ratio of novel binder to color source using aluminum metal fuel. Aluminum-based formulations were found to maximize the formation of yellow reactive emitting specimens, and to eliminate any interfering incandescent emission resulted from MgO. Quantification of yellow color emitting specimens in the combustion gaseous products was achieved using chemical equilibrium thermodynamic code named ICT (Institute of Chemical Technology in Germany, Virgin 2008; in an attempt to judge the light quality. This improvement in yellow flare performance established the rule that the emission intensity increases as the reaction temperature increases. In the meantime upper limit of temperature was avoided to maximize the color quality.

  6. How improving practice relationships among clinicians and nonclinicians can improve quality in primary care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanham, Holly J; McDaniel, Reuben R; Crabtree, Benjamin F; Miller, William L; Stange, Kurt C; Tallia, Alfred F; Nutting, Paula

    2009-09-01

    Understanding the role of relationships health care organizations (HCOs) offers opportunities for shaping health care delivery. When quality is treated as a property arising from the relationships within HCOs, then different contributors of quality can be investigated and more effective strategies for improvement can be developed. Data were drawn from four large National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded studies, and an iterative analytic strategy and a grounded theory approach were used to understand the characteristics of relationships within primary care practices. This multimethod approach amassed rich and comparable data sets in all four studies, which were all aimed at primary care practice improvement. The broad range of data included direct observation of practices during work activities and of patient-clinician interactions, in-depth interviews with physicians and other key staff members, surveys, structured checklists of office environments, and chart reviews. Analyses focused on characteristics of relationships in practices that exhibited a range of success in achieving practice improvement. Complex adaptive systems theory informed these analyses. Trust, mindfulness, heedfulness, respectful interaction, diversity, social/task relatedness, and rich/lean communication were identified as important in practice improvement. A model of practice relationships was developed to describe how these characteristics work together and interact with reflection, sensemaking, and learning to influence practice-level quality outcomes. Although this model of practice relationships was developed from data collected in primary care practices, which differ from other HCOs in some important ways, the ideas that quality is emergent and that relationships influence quality of care are universally important for all HCOs and all medical specialties.

  7. Perceptual Adaptation of Voice Gender Discrimination with Spectrally Shifted Vowels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tianhao; Fu, Qian-Jie

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: To determine whether perceptual adaptation improves voice gender discrimination of spectrally shifted vowels and, if so, which acoustic cues contribute to the improvement. Method: Voice gender discrimination was measured for 10 normal-hearing subjects, during 5 days of adaptation to spectrally shifted vowels, produced by processing the…

  8. Improving the ignition quality of fuels

    KAUST Repository

    Sarathy, Mani

    2017-06-08

    Provided herein are compounds and methods of producing compounds for improving ignition quality and combustion efficiency of fuels, for example fossil fuels. In various aspects we generate highly oxygenated compounds from hydrocarbon feedstocks. The feedstock can be a branched alkane or n-alkane having a chain length greater than or equal to 6, a cycloalkane with a 5 or 6 membered ring structure, or a alkylated cycloalkane with 5 or more carbon atoms. The reactant can be fed in the gas- phase to a partial oxidation reactor (with or without a catalyst), and at a fixed temperature, mixture composition, and residence time. The reactant can be converted to a mixture of products including keto hydroperoxides, diketo hydroperoxides, keto dihydroperoxides, hydroperoxyl cyclic ethers, and alkenyl hydroperoxides. The compounds are inherently unstable and can quickly decompose to highly reactive radical species that can be used to improve the ignition quality of a fuel and advance ignition in an engine.

  9. Improving the ignition quality of fuels

    KAUST Repository

    Sarathy, Mani; Wang, Zhandong; Shankar, Vijai Shankar Bhavani

    2017-01-01

    Provided herein are compounds and methods of producing compounds for improving ignition quality and combustion efficiency of fuels, for example fossil fuels. In various aspects we generate highly oxygenated compounds from hydrocarbon feedstocks. The feedstock can be a branched alkane or n-alkane having a chain length greater than or equal to 6, a cycloalkane with a 5 or 6 membered ring structure, or a alkylated cycloalkane with 5 or more carbon atoms. The reactant can be fed in the gas- phase to a partial oxidation reactor (with or without a catalyst), and at a fixed temperature, mixture composition, and residence time. The reactant can be converted to a mixture of products including keto hydroperoxides, diketo hydroperoxides, keto dihydroperoxides, hydroperoxyl cyclic ethers, and alkenyl hydroperoxides. The compounds are inherently unstable and can quickly decompose to highly reactive radical species that can be used to improve the ignition quality of a fuel and advance ignition in an engine.

  10. Improved radionuclide bone imaging agent injection needle withdrawal method can improve image quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qin Yongmei; Wang Laihao; Zhao Lihua; Guo Xiaogang; Kong Qingfeng

    2009-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the improvement of radionuclide bone imaging agent injection needle withdrawal method on whole body bone scan image quality. Methods: Elbow vein injection syringe needle directly into the bone imaging agent in the routine group of 117 cases, with a cotton swab needle injection method for the rapid pull out the needle puncture point pressing, pressing moment. Improvement of 117 cases of needle injection method to put two needles into the skin swabs and blood vessels, pull out the needle while pressing two or more entry point 5min. After 2 hours underwent whole body bone SPECT imaging plane. Results: The conventional group at the injection site imaging agents uptake rate was 16.24%, improved group was 2.56%. Conclusion: The modified bone imaging agent injection needle withdrawal method, injection-site imaging agent uptake were significantly decreased whole body bone imaging can improve image quality. (authors)

  11. Quality Improvement Cycles that Reduced Waiting Times at ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    It was decided to undertake quality improvement (QI) cycles to analyse and improve the situation, using waiting time as a measure of improvement. Methods: A QI team was chosen to conduct two QI cycles. The allocated time for QI cycle 1 was from May to August 2006 and for QI cycle 2 from September to December 2006.

  12. In Brief: Improving Mississippi River water quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2007-10-01

    If water quality in the Mississippi River and the northern Gulf of Mexico is to improve, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) needs to take a stronger leadership role in implementing the federal Clean Water Act, according to a 16 October report from the U.S. National Research Council. The report notes that EPA has failed to use its authority to coordinate and oversee activities along the river. In addition, river states need to be more proactive and cooperative in efforts to monitor and improve water quality, and the river should be monitored and evaluated as a single system, the report indicates. Currently, the 10 states along the river conduct separate and widely varying water quality monitoring programs. ``The limited attention being given to monitoring and managing the Mississippi's water quality does not match the river's significant economic, ecological, and cultural importance,'' said committee chair David A. Dzombak, director of the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa. The report notes that while measures taken under the Clean Water Act have successfully reduced much point source pollution, nutrient and sediment loads from nonpoint sources continue to be significant problems. For more information, visit the Web site: http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12051.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  14. Implications of Continuous Quality Improvement for Program Evaluation and Evaluators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark, Melvin M.; Pines, Edward

    1995-01-01

    Explores the implications that continuous quality improvement (CQI) programs are likely to have for evaluation. CQI, often known as total quality management, offers a structured approach to the analysis of an organization's processes and improvement that should provide advantages to evaluators once they have gained experience with the approach.…

  15. The Role of Staff in Quality Improvement in Early Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sims, Margaret; Waniganayake, Manjula

    2015-01-01

    There is international recognition of the importance of high quality services for young children with a consensus that three pillars contribute to quality improvement: adult: child ratios, staff qualifications and group size. In Australia over the past 5 years, early childhood policy has attempted to drive improvements in early childhood service…

  16. Financial incentives and measurement improved physicians' quality of care in the Philippines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peabody, John; Shimkhada, Riti; Quimbo, Stella; Florentino, Jhiedon; Bacate, Marife; McCulloch, Charles E; Solon, Orville

    2011-04-01

    The merits of using financial incentives to improve clinical quality have much appeal, yet few studies have rigorously assessed the potential benefits. The uncertainty surrounding assessments of quality can lead to poor policy decisions, possibly resulting in increased cost with little or no quality improvement, or missed opportunities to improve care. We conducted an experiment involving physicians in thirty Philippine hospitals that overcomes many of the limitations of previous studies. We measured clinical performance and then examined whether modest bonuses equal to about 5 percent of a physician's salary, as well as system-level incentives that increased compensation to hospitals and across groups of physicians, led to improvements in the quality of care. We found that both the bonus and system-level incentives improved scores in a quality measurement system used in our study by ten percentage points. Our findings suggest that when careful measurement is combined with the types of incentives we studied, there may be a larger impact on quality than previously recognized.

  17. GENETICS AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND PIG MEAT QUALITY IMPROVEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. BULLA

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The main goals in pig breeding have for many years been to improve growth rate, feedconversion and carcass composition. There have been less efforts to improve meat qualityparameters (WHC, pH, tenderness, colour etc. but the main contribution has been areduction of stress susceptibility and PSE meat. Unfortunately, the quantitative geneticapproach has yielded few clues regarding the fundamental genetic changes that accompaniedthe selection of animal for superior carcass attributes. While mapping efforts are makingsignificant major effects on carcass and his quality composition DNA test would be availableto detect some positive or negative alleles. There are clear breed effects on meat quality,which in some cases are fully related to the presence of a single gene with major effect (RYR1,MYF4, H-FABP, LEPR, IGF2. Molecular biology methods provides excellent opportunitiesto improve meat quality in selection schemes within breeds and lines. Selection on majorgenes will not only increase average levels of quality but also decrease variability (ei increaseuniformity. The aim of this paper is to discuss there genetic and non-genetic opportunities.

  18. GENETICS AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND PIG MEAT QUALITY IMPROVEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BULLA, J.

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The main goals in pig breeding have for many years been to improve growth rate, feedconversion and carcass composition. There have been less efforts to improve meat qualityparameters (WHC, pH, tenderness, colour etc. but the main contribution has been areduction of stress susceptibility and PSE meat. Unfortunately, the quantitative geneticapproach has yielded few clues regarding the fundamental genetic changes that accompaniedthe selection of animal for superior carcass attributes. While mapping efforts are makingsignificant major effects on carcass and his quality composition DNA test would be availableto detect some positive or negative alleles. There are clear breed effects on meat quality,which in some cases are fully related to the presence of a single gene with major effect (RYR1,MYF4, H-FABP, LEPR, IGF2. Molecular biology methods provides excellent opportunitiesto improve meat quality in selection schemes within breeds and lines. Selection on majorgenes will not only increase average levels of quality but also decrease variability (ei increaseuniformity. The aim of this paper is to discuss there genetic and non-genetic opportunities.

  19. Health benefits from improved outdoor air quality and intervention in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Shanshan; Williams, Gail; Guo, Yuming

    2016-01-01

    China is at its most critical stage of outdoor air quality management. In order to prevent further deterioration of air quality and to protect human health, the Chinese government has made a series of attempts to reduce ambient air pollution. Unlike previous literature reviews on the widespread hazards of air pollution on health, this review article firstly summarized the existing evidence of human health benefits from intermittently improved outdoor air quality and intervention in China. Contents of this paper provide concrete and direct clue that improvement in outdoor air quality generates various health benefits in China, and confirm from a new perspective that it is worthwhile for China to shift its development strategy from economic growth to environmental economic sustainability. Greater emphasis on sustainable environment design, consistently strict regulatory enforcement, and specific monitoring actions should be regarded in China to decrease the health risks and to avoid long-term environmental threats. - Highlights: • Firstly reviews the health benefits of improvement in outdoor air quality in China. • Reduction in air pollution generates various health benefits in China. • Chinese government should consider environmental economic sustainability. • Future research on health benefits of air quality improvement is proposed. - Improvement in outdoor air quality generates various health benefits in China. It is worthwhile for China to consider environmental economic sustainability.

  20. SPECTRAL QUALITY AFFECTS MORPHOGENESIS ON ANTHURIUM PLANTLET DURING IN VITRO CULTURE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurniawan Budiarto

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper elucidates the effects of LEDs spectral on callus induction, proliferation and shoot development of anthurium plantlet derived from leaf explants. The research was conducted at the Ornamental Research Station, Fukuyama, Japan from January to August 2008. Three experimental series were designed to determine the effects of LED-based spectral compositions i.e. 100% red, 75% red + 25% blue, 50% red + 50% blue, 25% red + 75% blue and 100% blue LEDs on morphogenetic process of callus formation derived from leaf explants up to plantlet formation on two anthurium cultivars, Violeta and Pink Lady. The results showed no differences among cultivars tested but interaction of factors studied were found in all parameters observed. LEDs spectral gave significant influence on the morphogenetic processes from callus induction to complete plantlet formation. Progressive initial callus was promoted with the decrease of blue LEDs portion. Conversely, to proliferate globose to torpedo callus formation, more blue light was required than red LEDs. During shoot induction and formation, hastened shoot initiation and number of shoots were achieved in higher blue LEDs portions, but not in root formations.

  1. Improving coal quality and service

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2001-06-01

    Russia's new coal export industry has quickly produced a generation of extremely experienced operators. While improvements are happening, can buyers also expect the service, flexibility and quality control that they get from other export sources? In the light of the first-ever Coaltrans Russia conference held in April the article reports on developments in Russia's coal industry, quoting from many of the papers presented. 5 photos.

  2. Involving patients in care decisions improves satisfaction: an outcomes-based quality improvement project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leff, Ellen W

    2004-05-01

    A home care agency used quality improvement processes to improve patient satisfaction survey ratings. The focus was on involving patients in decisions about their care. A multidisciplinary team developed creative strategies to increase staff awareness and enhance customer service skills, which had dramatic results.

  3. 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.

  4. APPLICATION OF SENSOR FUSION TO IMPROVE UAV IMAGE CLASSIFICATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Jabari

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Image classification is one of the most important tasks of remote sensing projects including the ones that are based on using UAV images. Improving the quality of UAV images directly affects the classification results and can save a huge amount of time and effort in this area. In this study, we show that sensor fusion can improve image quality which results in increasing the accuracy of image classification. Here, we tested two sensor fusion configurations by using a Panchromatic (Pan camera along with either a colour camera or a four-band multi-spectral (MS camera. We use the Pan camera to benefit from its higher sensitivity and the colour or MS camera to benefit from its spectral properties. The resulting images are then compared to the ones acquired by a high resolution single Bayer-pattern colour camera (here referred to as HRC. We assessed the quality of the output images by performing image classification tests. The outputs prove that the proposed sensor fusion configurations can achieve higher accuracies compared to the images of the single Bayer-pattern colour camera. Therefore, incorporating a Pan camera on-board in the UAV missions and performing image fusion can help achieving higher quality images and accordingly higher accuracy classification results.

  5. Application of Sensor Fusion to Improve Uav Image Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabari, S.; Fathollahi, F.; Zhang, Y.

    2017-08-01

    Image classification is one of the most important tasks of remote sensing projects including the ones that are based on using UAV images. Improving the quality of UAV images directly affects the classification results and can save a huge amount of time and effort in this area. In this study, we show that sensor fusion can improve image quality which results in increasing the accuracy of image classification. Here, we tested two sensor fusion configurations by using a Panchromatic (Pan) camera along with either a colour camera or a four-band multi-spectral (MS) camera. We use the Pan camera to benefit from its higher sensitivity and the colour or MS camera to benefit from its spectral properties. The resulting images are then compared to the ones acquired by a high resolution single Bayer-pattern colour camera (here referred to as HRC). We assessed the quality of the output images by performing image classification tests. The outputs prove that the proposed sensor fusion configurations can achieve higher accuracies compared to the images of the single Bayer-pattern colour camera. Therefore, incorporating a Pan camera on-board in the UAV missions and performing image fusion can help achieving higher quality images and accordingly higher accuracy classification results.

  6. Improving Quality of Shoe Soles Product using Six Sigma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesslyn Wijaya, Athalia; Trusaji, Wildan; Akbar, Muhammad; Ma’ruf, Anas; Irianto, Dradjad

    2018-03-01

    A manufacture in Bandung produce kind of rubber-based product i.e. trim, rice rollers, shoe soles, etc. After penetrating the shoe soles market, the manufacture has met customer with tight quality control. Based on the past data, defect level of this product was 18.08% that caused the manufacture’s loss of time and money. Quality improvement effort was done using six sigma method that included phases of define, measure, analyse, improve, and control (DMAIC). In the design phase, the object’s problem and definition were defined. Delphi method was also used in this phase to identify critical factors. In the measure phase, the existing process stability and sigma quality level were measured. Fishbone diagram and failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) were used in the next phase to analyse the root cause and determine the priority issues. Improve phase was done by designing alternative improvement strategy using 5W1H method. Some improvement efforts were identified, i.e. (i) modifying design of the hanging rack, (ii) create pantone colour book and check sheet, (iii) provide pedestrian line at compound department, (iv) buying stop watch, and (v) modifying shoe soles dies. Some control strategies for continuous improvement were proposed such as SOP or reward and punishment system.

  7. Perceptual adaptation of voice gender discrimination with spectrally shifted vowels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tianhao; Fu, Qian-Jie

    2011-08-01

    To determine whether perceptual adaptation improves voice gender discrimination of spectrally shifted vowels and, if so, which acoustic cues contribute to the improvement. Voice gender discrimination was measured for 10 normal-hearing subjects, during 5 days of adaptation to spectrally shifted vowels, produced by processing the speech of 5 male and 5 female talkers with 16-channel sine-wave vocoders. The subjects were randomly divided into 2 groups; one subjected to 50-Hz, and the other to 200-Hz, temporal envelope cutoff frequencies. No preview or feedback was provided. There was significant adaptation in voice gender discrimination with the 200-Hz cutoff frequency, but significant improvement was observed only for 3 female talkers with F(0) > 180 Hz and 3 male talkers with F(0) gender discrimination under spectral shift conditions with perceptual adaptation, but spectral shift may limit the exclusive use of spectral information and/or the use of formant structure on voice gender discrimination. The results have implications for cochlear implant users and for understanding voice gender discrimination.

  8. Cochlear implant users' spectral ripple resolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Eun Kyung; Turner, Christopher W; Karsten, Sue A; Henry, Belinda A; Gantz, Bruce J

    2015-10-01

    This study revisits the issue of the spectral ripple resolution abilities of cochlear implant (CI) users. The spectral ripple resolution of recently implanted CI recipients (implanted during the last 10 years) were compared to those of CI recipients implanted 15 to 20 years ago, as well as those of normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners from previously published data from Henry, Turner, and Behrens [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 118, 1111-1121 (2005)]. More recently, implanted CI recipients showed significantly better spectral ripple resolution. There is no significant difference in spectral ripple resolution for these recently implanted subjects compared to hearing-impaired (acoustic) listeners. The more recently implanted CI users had significantly better pre-operative speech perception than previously reported CI users. These better pre-operative speech perception scores in CI users from the current study may be related to better performance on the spectral ripple discrimination task; however, other possible factors such as improvements in internal and external devices cannot be excluded.

  9. Study on Software Quality Improvement based on Rayleigh Model and PDCA Model

    OpenAIRE

    Ning Jingfeng; Hu Ming

    2013-01-01

    As the software industry gradually becomes mature, software quality is regarded as the life of a software enterprise. This article discusses how to improve the quality of software, applies Rayleigh model and PDCA model to the software quality management, combines with the defect removal effectiveness index, exerts PDCA model to solve the problem of quality management objectives when using the Rayleigh model in bidirectional quality improvement strategies of software quality management, a...

  10. A spatial-spectral approach for deriving high signal quality eigenvectors for remote sensing image transformations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rogge, Derek; Bachmann, Martin; Rivard, Benoit

    2014-01-01

    Spectral decorrelation (transformations) methods have long been used in remote sensing. Transformation of the image data onto eigenvectors that comprise physically meaningful spectral properties (signal) can be used to reduce the dimensionality of hyperspectral images as the number of spectrally...... distinct signal sources composing a given hyperspectral scene is generally much less than the number of spectral bands. Determining eigenvectors dominated by signal variance as opposed to noise is a difficult task. Problems also arise in using these transformations on large images, multiple flight...... and spectral subsampling to the data, which is accomplished by deriving a limited set of eigenvectors for spatially contiguous subsets. These subset eigenvectors are compiled together to form a new noise reduced data set, which is subsequently used to derive a set of global orthogonal eigenvectors. Data from...

  11. Fostering Quality Improvement in EHDI Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradham, Tamala S.; Hoffman, Jeff; Houston, K. Todd; Guignard, Gayla Hutsell

    2011-01-01

    State coordinators of early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) programs completed a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, or SWOT, analysis that consisted of 12 evaluative areas of EHDI programs. For the quality improvement area, a total of 218 items were listed by 47 EHDI coordinators, and themes were identified in each…

  12. IMPROVEMENT OF QUALITY ASSURANCE SYSTEM ACTIVITIES OF HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. M. Sultalieva

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. The aim of the article is the improvement of quality assessment system of higher education institutions in the aspect of management. The problems of quality improvement are revealed and classified. The analysis of criteria assessment sets used to define the efficiency of higher education institutions activity is carried out. The components of quality of higher education institutions activity are specified. The structural model of quality assessment system of higher education institutions activity is offered. The analysis of macro environment of a university based on the method of strategic management is carried out, i.e. PEST analysis. As a result of the research a new model of macro criteria model of quality assessment system of higher education institutions, characterizing quality management as an approach to university efficiency is offered, moreover, this system can define the level of its competitiveness in the aspect of quality management. 

  13. Engaging clinical nurses in quality and performance improvement activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albanese, Madeline P; Evans, Dietra A; Schantz, Cathy A; Bowen, Margaret; Disbot, Maureen; Moffa, Joseph S; Piesieski, Patricia; Polomano, Rosemary C

    2010-01-01

    Nursing performance measures are an integral part of quality initiatives in acute care; however, organizations face numerous challenges in developing infrastructures to support quality improvement processes and timely dissemination of outcomes data. At the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, a Magnet-designated organization, extensive work has been conducted to incorporate nursing-related outcomes in the organization's quality plan and to integrate roles for clinical nurses into the Department of Nursing and organization's core performance-based programs. Content and strategies that promote active involvement of nurses and prepare them to be competent and confident stakeholders in quality initiatives are presented. Engaging clinical nurses in the work of quality and performance improvement is essential to achieving excellence in clinical care. It is important to have structures and processes in place to bring meaningful data to the bedside; however, it is equally important to incorporate outcomes into practice. When nurses are educated about performance and quality measures, are engaged in identifying outcomes and collecting meaningful data, are active participants in disseminating quality reports, and are able to recognize the value of these activities, data become one with practice.

  14. Goal hierarchy: Improving asset data quality by improving motivation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Unsworth, Kerrie, E-mail: Kerrie.unsworth@uwa.edu.au [UWA Business School, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009 (Australia); Adriasola, Elisa; Johnston-Billings, Amber; Dmitrieva, Alina [UWA Business School, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009 (Australia); Hodkiewicz, Melinda [School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009 (Australia)

    2011-11-15

    Many have recognized the need for high quality data on assets and the problems in obtaining them, particularly when there is a need for human observation and manual recording. Yet very few have looked at the role of the data collectors themselves in the data quality process. This paper argues that there are benefits to more fully understanding the psychological factors that lay behind data collection and we use goal hierarchy theory to understand these factors. Given the myriad of potential reasons for poor-quality data it has previously proven difficult to identify and successfully deploy employee-driven interventions; however, the goal hierarchy approach looks at all of the goals that an individual has in their life and the connections between them. For instance, does collecting data relate to whether or not they get a promotion? Stay safe? Get a new job? and so on. By eliciting these goals and their connections we can identify commonalities across different groups, sites or organizations that can influence the quality of data collection. Thus, rather than assuming what the data collectors want, a goal hierarchy approach determines that empirically. Practically, this supports the development of customized interventions that will be much more effective and sustainable than previous efforts. - Highlights: > We need to consider psychological aspects of data collectors to improve data quality. > We show how goal hierarchy theory furthers understanding. > Looks at the multiple goals of each individual to determine their behavior.

  15. Goal hierarchy: Improving asset data quality by improving motivation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Unsworth, Kerrie; Adriasola, Elisa; Johnston-Billings, Amber; Dmitrieva, Alina; Hodkiewicz, Melinda

    2011-01-01

    Many have recognized the need for high quality data on assets and the problems in obtaining them, particularly when there is a need for human observation and manual recording. Yet very few have looked at the role of the data collectors themselves in the data quality process. This paper argues that there are benefits to more fully understanding the psychological factors that lay behind data collection and we use goal hierarchy theory to understand these factors. Given the myriad of potential reasons for poor-quality data it has previously proven difficult to identify and successfully deploy employee-driven interventions; however, the goal hierarchy approach looks at all of the goals that an individual has in their life and the connections between them. For instance, does collecting data relate to whether or not they get a promotion? Stay safe? Get a new job? and so on. By eliciting these goals and their connections we can identify commonalities across different groups, sites or organizations that can influence the quality of data collection. Thus, rather than assuming what the data collectors want, a goal hierarchy approach determines that empirically. Practically, this supports the development of customized interventions that will be much more effective and sustainable than previous efforts. - Highlights: → We need to consider psychological aspects of data collectors to improve data quality. → We show how goal hierarchy theory furthers understanding. → Looks at the multiple goals of each individual to determine their behavior.

  16. Numerical solution of the unsteady diffusion-convection-reaction equation based on improved spectral Galerkin method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Jiaqi; Zeng, Cheng; Yuan, Yupeng; Zhang, Yuzhe; Zhang, Ye

    2018-04-01

    The aim of this paper is to present an explicit numerical algorithm based on improved spectral Galerkin method for solving the unsteady diffusion-convection-reaction equation. The principal characteristics of this approach give the explicit eigenvalues and eigenvectors based on the time-space separation method and boundary condition analysis. With the help of Fourier series and Galerkin truncation, we can obtain the finite-dimensional ordinary differential equations which facilitate the system analysis and controller design. By comparing with the finite element method, the numerical solutions are demonstrated via two examples. It is shown that the proposed method is effective.

  17. Deciphering the imperative: translating public health quality improvement into organizational performance management gains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beitsch, Leslie M; Yeager, Valerie A; Moran, John

    2015-03-18

    With the launching of the national public health accreditation program under the auspices of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), health department momentum around quality improvement adoption has accelerated. Domain 9 of the PHAB standards (one of 12 domains) focuses on evaluation and improvement of performance and is acting as a strong driver for quality improvement and performance management implementation within health departments. Widespread adoption of quality improvement activities in public health trails that in other US sectors. Several performance management models have received broad acceptance, including models among government and nonprofits. A model specifically for public health has been developed and is presented herein. All models in current use reinforce customer focus; streamlined, value-added processes; and strategic alignment. All are structured to steer quality improvement efforts toward organizational priorities, ensuring that quality improvement complements performance management. High-performing health departments harness the synergy of quality improvement and performance management, providing powerful tools to achieve public health strategic imperatives.

  18. Improving health care quality and safety: the role of collective learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Sara J; Benzer, Justin K; Hamdan, Sami U

    2015-01-01

    Despite decades of effort to improve quality and safety in health care, this goal feels increasingly elusive. Successful examples of improvement are infrequently replicated. This scoping review synthesizes 76 empirical or conceptual studies (out of 1208 originally screened) addressing learning in quality or safety improvement, that were published in selected health care and management journals between January 2000 and December 2014 to deepen understanding of the role that collective learning plays in quality and safety improvement. We categorize learning activities using a theoretical model that shows how leadership and environmental factors support collective learning processes and practices, and in turn team and organizational improvement outcomes. By focusing on quality and safety improvement, our review elaborates the premise of learning theory that leadership, environment, and processes combine to create conditions that promote learning. Specifically, we found that learning for quality and safety improvement includes experimentation (including deliberate experimentation, improvisation, learning from failures, exploration, and exploitation), internal and external knowledge acquisition, performance monitoring and comparison, and training. Supportive learning environments are characterized by team characteristics like psychological safety, appreciation of differences, openness to new ideas social motivation, and team autonomy; team contextual factors including learning resources like time for reflection, access to knowledge, organizational capabilities; incentives; and organizational culture, strategy, and structure; and external environmental factors including institutional pressures, environmental dynamism and competitiveness and learning collaboratives. Lastly learning in the context of quality and safety improvement requires leadership that reinforces learning through actions and behaviors that affect people, such as coaching and trust building, and through

  19. Rating the strength of scientific evidence: relevance for quality improvement programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohr, Kathleen N

    2004-02-01

    To summarize an extensive review of systems for grading the quality of research articles and rating the strength of bodies of evidence, and to highlight for health professionals and decision-makers concerned with quality measurement and improvement the available "best practices" tools by which these steps can be accomplished. Drawing on an extensive review of checklists, questionnaires, and other tools in the field of evidence-based practice, this paper discusses clinical, management, and policy rationales for rating strength of evidence in a quality improvement context, and documents best practices methods for these tasks. After review of 121 systems for grading the quality of articles, 19 systems, mostly specific, met a priori scientific standards for grading systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, observational studies, and diagnostic tests; eight systems (of 40 reviewed) met similar standards for rating the overall strength of evidence. All can be used as is or adapted for particular types of evidence reports or systematic reviews. Formally grading study quality and rating overall strength of evidence, using sound instruments and procedures, can produce reasonable levels of confidence about the science base for parts of quality improvement programs. With such information, health care professionals and administrators concerned with quality improvement can understand better the level of science (versus only clinical consensus or opinion) that supports practice guidelines, review criteria, and assessments that feed into quality assurance and improvement programs. New systems are appearing and research is needed to confirm the conceptual and practical underpinnings of these grading and rating systems, but the need for those developing systematic reviews, practice guidelines, and quality or audit criteria to understand and undertake these steps is becoming increasingly clear.

  20. Quality control by HyperSpectral Imaging (HSI) in solid waste recycling: logics, algorithms and procedures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonifazi, Giuseppe; Serranti, Silvia

    2014-03-01

    In secondary raw materials and recycling sectors, the products quality represents, more and more, the key issue to pursuit in order to be competitive in a more and more demanding market, where quality standards and products certification play a preheminent role. These goals assume particular importance when recycling actions are applied. Recovered products, resulting from waste materials, and/or dismissed products processing, are, in fact, always seen with a certain suspect. An adequate response of the industry to the market can only be given through the utilization of equipment and procedures ensuring pure, high-quality production, and efficient work and cost. All these goals can be reached adopting not only more efficient equipment and layouts, but also introducing new processing logics able to realize a full control of the handled material flow streams fulfilling, at the same time, i) an easy management of the procedures, ii) an efficient use of the energy, iii) the definition and set up of reliable and robust procedures, iv) the possibility to implement network connectivity capabilities finalized to a remote monitoring and control of the processes and v) a full data storage, analysis and retrieving. Furthermore the ongoing legislation and regulation require the implementation of recycling infrastructure characterised by high resources efficiency and low environmental impacts, both aspects being strongly linked to the waste materials and/or dismissed products original characteristics. For these reasons an optimal recycling infrastructure design primarily requires a full knowledge of the characteristics of the input waste. What previously outlined requires the introduction of a new important concept to apply in solid waste recycling, the recycling-oriented characterization, that is the set of actions addressed to strategically determine selected attributes, in order to get goaloriented data on waste for the development, implementation or improvement of recycling

  1. Hybrid Spectral Micro-CT: System Design, Implementation, and Preliminary Results

    CERN Document Server

    Bennett, James R; Xu, Qiong; Yu, Hengyong; Walsh, Michael; Butler, Anthony; Butler, Phillip; Cao, Guohua; Mohs, Aaron; Wang, Ge

    2014-01-01

    Spectral CT has proven an important development in biomedical imaging, and there have been several publications in the past years demonstrating its merits in pre-clinical and clinical applications. In 2012, Xu et al. reported that near-term implementation of spectral micro-CT could be enhanced by a hybrid architecture: a narrow-beam spectral "interior" imaging chain integrated with a traditional wide-beam "global" imaging chain. This hybrid integration coupled with compressive sensing (CS)-based interior tomography demonstrated promising results for improved contrast resolution, and decreased system cost and radiation dose. The motivation for the current study is implementation and evaluation of the hybrid architecture with a first-of-its-kind hybrid spectral micro-CT system. Preliminary results confirm improvements in both contrast and spatial resolution. This technology is shown to merit further investigation and potential application in future spectral CT scanner design.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. Quality Improvement in Anesthesiology - Leveraging Data and Analytics to Optimize Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentine, Elizabeth A; Falk, Scott A

    2018-03-01

    Quality improvement is at the heart of practice of anesthesiology. Objective data are critical for any quality improvement initiative; when possible, a combination of process, outcome, and balancing metrics should be evaluated to gauge the value of an intervention. Quality improvement is an ongoing process; iterative reevaluation of data is required to maintain interventions, ensure continued effectiveness, and continually improve. Dashboards can facilitate rapid analysis of data and drive decision making. Large data sets can be useful to establish benchmarks and compare performance against other providers, practices, or institutions. Audit and feedback strategies are effective in facilitating positive change. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Improving fuel utilization in SmAHTR with spectral shift control design: Proof of concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kotlyar, D.; Lindley, B.A.; Mohamed, H.

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • Improving the fuel utilization in a graphite moderated reactor by adopting the ‘spectral shift’ concept. • The feasibility of this concept was tested in the Small Advanced High-Temperature Reactor. • At BOL, the reactor is under-moderated, with excess neutrons being primarily breeding 239 Pu. • Graphite is continuously inserted thermalizing the neutron spectrum and increasing reactivity. • The extra 239 Pu bred during the cycle is then burned, allowing the cycle to be extended. - Abstract: This paper presents a spectral shift design based approach to improve the fuel utilization factor or alternatively to increase the cycle length in a graphite moderated reactor. The feasibility of this concept was tested in the Small Advanced High-Temperature Reactor (SmAHTR). This is a small sized Fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactor (FHR) that uses tri-isotropic (TRISO)-coated particle fuels and graphite moderator materials. A major benefit of the TRISO particles is the ability to mitigate fission product release in the case of an accident. However, the fabrication costs associated with TRISO particles are expected to be significantly higher than the traditional UO 2 fuel. The preliminary studies presented in the paper are focused on extending the achievable irradiation period without increasing the value of the enrichment. In order to increase the discharge burnup, the design includes graphite structures that are initially removed from the core. This imposes a harder spectrum, which enhances the breeding of 239 Pu. Then, the graphite structures are gradually and continuously inserted into the core to sustain criticality. This procedure shifts the hard spectrum into a more thermal one and enables a more efficient utilization of 239 Pu. The preliminary results indicate that this design achieves considerably longer irradiation periods and hence lower fuel cycle costs than the reference design.

  5. A Model to Improve the Quality Products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasan GOKKAYA

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The topic of this paper is to present a solution who can improve product qualityfollowing the idea: “Unlike people who have verbal skills, machines use "sign language"to communicate what hurts or what has invaded their system’. Recognizing the "signs"or symptoms that the machine conveys is a required skill for those who work withmachines and are responsible for their care and feeding. The acoustic behavior of technical products is predominantly defined in the design stage, although the acoustic characteristics of machine structures can be analyze and give a solution for the actual products and create a new generation of products. The paper describes the steps intechnological process for a product and the solution who will reduce the costs with the non-quality of product and improve the management quality.

  6. Innovating for quality and value: Utilizing national quality improvement programs to identify opportunities for responsible surgical innovation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Russell K; Skarsgard, Erik D

    2015-06-01

    Innovation in surgical techniques, technology, and care processes are essential for improving the care and outcomes of surgical patients, including children. The time and cost associated with surgical innovation can be significant, and unless it leads to improvements in outcome at equivalent or lower costs, it adds little or no value from the perspective of the patients, and decreases the overall resources available to our already financially constrained healthcare system. The emergence of a safety and quality mandate in surgery, and the development of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) allow needs-based surgical care innovation which leads to value-based improvement in care. In addition to general and procedure-specific clinical outcomes, surgeons should consider the measurement of quality from the patients' perspective. To this end, the integration of validated Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) into actionable, benchmarked institutional outcomes reporting has the potential to facilitate quality improvement in process, treatment and technology that optimizes value for our patients and health system. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Value for money of changing healthcare services? Economic evaluation of quality improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Severens, J

    2003-01-01

    

 There are many instances of perceived or real inefficiencies in health service delivery. Both healthcare providers and policy makers need to know the impact and cost of applying strategies to change the behaviour of individuals or organisations. Quality improvement or implementation research is concerned with evaluating the methods of behavioural change. Addressing inefficiencies in healthcare services raises a series of issues, beginning with how inefficiency itself should be defined. The basic concepts of cost analysis and economic evaluations are explained and a model for working through the economic issues of quality improvement is discussed. This model combines the costs and benefits of corrected inefficiency with the costs and degree of behavioural change achieved by a quality improvement method in the policy maker's locality. It shows why it may not always be cost effective for policy makers to address suboptimal behaviour. Both the interpretation of quality improvement research findings and their local application need careful consideration. The limited availability of applicable quality improvement research may make it difficult to provide robust advice on the value for money of many behavioural quality improvement strategies. PMID:14532369

  8. Measuring and improving quality in university hospitals in Canada: The Collaborative for Excellence in Healthcare Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backman, Chantal; Vanderloo, Saskia; Forster, Alan John

    2016-09-01

    Measuring and monitoring overall health system performance is complex and challenging but is crucial to improving quality of care. Today's health care organizations are increasingly being held accountable to develop and implement actions aimed at improving the quality of care, reducing costs, and achieving better patient-centered care. This paper describes the development of the Collaborative for Excellence in Healthcare Quality (CEHQ), a 5-year initiative to achieve higher quality of patient care in university hospitals across Canada. This bottom-up initiative took place between 2010 and 2015, and was successful in engaging health care leaders in the development of a common framework and set of performance measures for reporting and benchmarking, as well as working on initiatives to improve performance. Despite its successes, future efforts are needed to provide clear national leadership on standards for measuring performance. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. A Quality Improvement Collaborative Program for Neonatal Pain Management in Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokoo, Kyoko; Funaba, Yuuki; Fukushima, Sayo; Fukuhara, Rie; Uchida, Mieko; Aiba, Satoru; Doi, Miki; Nishimura, Akira; Hayakawa, Masahiro; Nishimura, Yutaka; Oohira, Mitsuko

    2017-01-01

    Background: Neonatal pain management guidelines have been released; however, there is insufficient systematic institutional support for the adoption of evidence-based pain management in Japan. Purpose: To evaluate the impact of a collaborative quality improvement program on the implementation of pain management improvements in Japanese neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Methods: Seven Japanese level III NICUs participated in a neonatal pain management quality improvement program based on an Institute for Healthcare Improvement collaborative model. The NICUs developed evidence-based practice points for pain management and implemented these over a 12-month period. Changes were introduced through a series of Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles, and throughout the process, pain management quality indicators were tracked as performance measures. Jonckheere's trend test and the Cochran-Armitage test for trend were used to examine the changes in quality indicator implementations over time (baseline, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months). Findings: Baseline pain management data from the 7 sites revealed substantial opportunities for improvement of pain management, and testing changes in the NICU setting resulted in measurable improvements in pain management. During the intervention phase, all participating sites introduced new pain assessment tools, and all sites developed electronic medical record forms to capture pain score, interventions, and infant responses to interventions. Implications for Practice: The use of collaborative quality improvement techniques played a key role in improving pain management in the NICUs. Implications for Research: Collaborative improvement programs provide an attractive strategy for solving evidence-practice gaps in the NICU setting. PMID:28114148

  10. Improved quality of image got through whole-body CT scanner

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asahina, Kiyotaka

    1980-01-01

    The quality of brain images taken with a whole-body CT scanner has so far been generally inferior in quality to those got through a CT scanner exclusively used for brains. In order to improve the whole-body CT scanner so as to get better brain image, its detection system has been made multichannel; the capacity of its X-ray tube, increased; and its software, innovated. As a result, the spatial resolution has been improved from 5.51 p/cm to 9.01 p/cm, the contrast resolution has been improved from 3.2 mm% to 1.5 mm%, with the noise maintained at 0.5%. In clinical examination, the image quality has been improved equally well for brains, abdomens and lungs. Especially high appreciation is given to the diagnosis information got through this new scanner. (author)

  11. Nationwide quality improvement of cholecystectomy: results from a national database

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harboe, Kirstine M; Bardram, Linda

    2011-01-01

    To evaluate whether quality improvements in the performance of cholecystectomy have been achieved in Denmark since 2006, after revision of the Danish National Guidelines for treatment of gallstones.......To evaluate whether quality improvements in the performance of cholecystectomy have been achieved in Denmark since 2006, after revision of the Danish National Guidelines for treatment of gallstones....

  12. Are data from national quality registries used in quality improvement at Swedish hospital clinics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredriksson, Mio; Halford, Christina; Eldh, Ann Catrine; Dahlström, Tobias; Vengberg, Sofie; Wallin, Lars; Winblad, Ulrika

    2017-11-01

    To investigate the use of data from national quality registries (NQRs) in local quality improvement as well as purported key factors for effective clinical use in Sweden. Comparative descriptive: a web survey of all Swedish hospitals participating in three NQRs with different levels of development (certification level). Heads of the clinics and physician(s) at clinics participating in the Swedish Stroke Register (Riksstroke), the Swedish National Registry of Gallstone Surgery and Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (GallRiks) and the Swedish Lung Cancer Registry (NLCR). Individual and unit level use of NQRs in local quality improvement, and perceptions on data quality, organizational conditions and user motivation. Riksstroke data were reported as most extensively used at individual and unit levels (x̅ 17.97 of 24 and x̅ 27.06 of 35). Data quality and usefulness was considered high for the two most developed NQRs (x̅ 19.86 for Riksstroke and x̅ 19.89 for GallRiks of 25). Organizational conditions were estimated at the same level for Riksstroke and GallRiks (x̅ 12.90 and x̅ 13.28 of 20) while the least developed registry, the NLCR, had lower estimates (x̅ 10.32). In Riksstroke, the managers requested registry data more often (x̅ 15.17 of 20). While there were significant differences between registries in key factors such as management interest, use of NQR data in local quality improvement seems rather prevalent, at least for Riksstroke. The link between the registry's level of development and factors important for routinization of innovations such as NQRs needs investigation. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press in association with the International Society for Quality in Health Care. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  13. Improving high quality, equitable maternal health services in Malawi ...

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

    Improving high quality, equitable maternal health services in Malawi (IMCHA) ... In response, the Ministry of Health implemented a Standards-Based Management and Recognition for Reproductive Health initiative to improve ... Total funding.

  14. Executing Quality: A Grounded Theory of Child Care Quality Improvement Engagement Process in Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Critchosin, Heather

    2014-01-01

    Executing Quality describes the perceived process experienced by participants while engaging in Keystone Standards, Training, Assistance, Resources, and Support (Keystone STARS) quality rating improvement system (QRIS). The purpose of this qualitative inquiry was to understand the process of Keystone STARS engagement in order to generate a…

  15. LAMOST OBSERVATIONS IN THE KEPLER FIELD: SPECTRAL CLASSIFICATION WITH THE MKCLASS CODE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gray, R. O. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608 (United States); Corbally, C. J. [Vatican Observatory Research Group, Steward Observatory, Tucson, AZ 85721-0065 (United States); Cat, P. De [Royal Observatory of Belgium, Ringlaan 3, B-1180 Brussel (Belgium); Fu, J. N.; Ren, A. B. [Department of Astronomy, Beijing Normal University, 19 Avenue Xinjiekouwai, Beijing 100875 (China); Shi, J. R.; Luo, A. L.; Zhang, H. T.; Wu, Y.; Cao, Z.; Li, G. [Key Laboratory for Optical Astronomy, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012 (China); Zhang, Y.; Hou, Y.; Wang, Y. [Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210042 (China)

    2016-01-15

    The LAMOST-Kepler project was designed to obtain high-quality, low-resolution spectra of many of the stars in the Kepler field with the Large Sky Area Multi Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) spectroscopic telescope. To date 101,086 spectra of 80,447 objects over the entire Kepler field have been acquired. Physical parameters, radial velocities, and rotational velocities of these stars will be reported in other papers. In this paper we present MK spectral classifications for these spectra determined with the automatic classification code MKCLASS. We discuss the quality and reliability of the spectral types and present histograms showing the frequency of the spectral types in the main table organized according to luminosity class. Finally, as examples of the use of this spectral database, we compute the proportion of A-type stars that are Am stars, and identify 32 new barium dwarf candidates.

  16. Using adapted quality-improvement approaches to strengthen community-based health systems and improve care in high HIV-burden sub-Saharan African countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwood, Christiane M; Youngleson, Michele S; Moses, Edward; Stern, Amy F; Barker, Pierre M

    2015-07-01

    Achieving long-term retention in HIV care is an important challenge for HIV management and achieving elimination of mother-to-child transmission. Sustainable, affordable strategies are required to achieve this, including strengthening of community-based interventions. Deployment of community-based health workers (CHWs) can improve health outcomes but there is a need to identify systems to support and maintain high-quality performance. Quality-improvement strategies have been successfully implemented to improve quality and coverage of healthcare in facilities and could provide a framework to support community-based interventions. Four community-based quality-improvement projects from South Africa, Malawi and Mozambique are described. Community-based improvement teams linked to the facility-based health system participated in learning networks (modified Breakthrough Series), and used quality-improvement methods to improve process performance. Teams were guided by trained quality mentors who used local data to help nurses and CHWs identify gaps in service provision and test solutions. Learning network participants gathered at intervals to share progress and identify successful strategies for improvement. CHWs demonstrated understanding of quality-improvement concepts, tools and methods, and implemented quality-improvement projects successfully. Challenges of using quality-improvement approaches in community settings included adapting processes, particularly data reporting, to the education level and first language of community members. Quality-improvement techniques can be implemented by CHWs to improve outcomes in community settings but these approaches require adaptation and additional mentoring support to be successful. More research is required to establish the effectiveness of this approach on processes and outcomes of care.

  17. Measuring, evaluating and improving hospital quality parameters/dimensions--an integrated healthcare quality approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zineldin, Mosad; Camgöz-Akdağ, Hatice; Vasicheva, Valiantsina

    2011-01-01

    This paper aims to examine the major factors affecting cumulative summation, to empirically examine the major factors affecting satisfaction and to address the question whether patients in Kazakhstan evaluate healthcare similarly or differently from patients in Egypt and Jordan. A questionnaire, adapted from previous research, was distributed to Kazakhstan inpatients. The questionnaire contained 39 attributes about five newly-developed quality dimensions (5Qs), which were identified to be the most relevant attributes for hospitals. The questionnaire was translated into Russian to increase the response rate and improve data quality. Almost 200 usable questionnaires were returned. Frequency distribution, factor analysis and reliability checks were used to analyze the data. The three biggest concerns for Kazakhstan patients are: infrastructure; atmosphere; and interaction. Hospital staffs concern for patients' needs, parking facilities for visitors, waiting time and food temperature were all common specific attributes, which were perceived as concerns. These were shortcomings in all three countries. Improving health service quality by applying total relationship management and the 5Qs model together with a customer-orientation strategy is recommended. Results can be used by hospital staff to reengineer and redesign creatively their quality management processes and help move towards more effective healthcare quality strategies. Patients in three countries have similar concerns and quality perceptions. The paper describes a new instrument and method. The study assures relevance, validity and reliability, while being explicitly change-oriented. The authors argue that patient satisfaction is a cumulative construct, summing satisfaction as five different qualities (5Qs): object; processes; infrastructure; interaction and atmosphere.

  18. A Systems Thinking Approach To The Sustainability Of Quality Improvement Programmes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Dyk, Dirk Johannes

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The challenge for organisations to continually provide the best return on investment for their shareholders has become increasingly difficult through globalisation of the market place. There are many responses a company could make to these challenges for example, new product development, increased market capitalisation, cost reduction initiatives, and quality management. This last response focuses on, but is not restricted to, customer satisfaction, continuous improvement, and environmental impact. Continuous improvement addresses waste in the business design and manufacturing processes, which could lead to improved profit margins. The sustainability of quality improvement programmes remains a challenge. Causality can be studied, using Six Sigma tools, to relate cause and effect. But these tools do not always allow the user to study and understand feedback from other factors, such as soft human issues, in the improvement process system, typically referred to as feedback causality. System dynamics may improve this understanding. Quality improvement programmes in the heavy engineering manufacturing environment are not researched to the same degree as those in the automotive manufacturing environment. The purpose of this paper is to share results from research into the sustainability of quality improvement programmes, and the development of an appropriate system dynamics model, using qualitative case study data gathered and coded in a heavy engineering manufacturing environment.

  19. The continuous improvement in quality management for nuclear fuel manufacturing in CNNC

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Xiaoling

    2004-01-01

    The nuclear fuel plant has been keeping good records in quality. Only one pot failure has been found in the fuels loaded in the reactors at more than ten years. The paper describes quality management in nuclear fuel manufacturing and focuses on the continuous improvement on quality system and process by running the quality management system, process by quality control group, and data analyze, the requirements and the improvements for the quality system, the measurement system and the standardization system, the importance of clearance system. It also describes the future plans in quality management

  20. Improving Quality of Care in Primary Health-Care Facilities in Rural Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugo, Okoli; Ezinne, Eze-Ajoku; Modupe, Oludipe; Nicole, Spieker; Kelechi, Ohiri

    2016-01-01

    Background: Nigeria has a high population density but a weak health-care system. To improve the quality of care, 3 organizations carried out a quality improvement pilot intervention at the primary health-care level in selected rural areas. Objective: To assess the change in quality of care in primary health-care facilities in rural Nigeria following the provision of technical governance support and to document the successes and challenges encountered. Method: A total of 6 states were selected across the 6 geopolitical zones of the country. However, assessments were carried out in 40 facilities in only 5 states. Selection was based on location, coverage, and minimum services offered. The facilities were divided randomly into 2 groups. The treatment group received quality-of-care assessment, continuous feedback, and improvement support, whereas the control group received quality assessment and no other support. Data were collected using the SafeCare Healthcare Standards and managed on the SafeCare Data Management System—AfriDB. Eight core areas were assessed at baseline and end line, and compliance to quality health-care standards was compared. Result: Outcomes from 40 facilities were accepted and analyzed. Overall scores increased in the treatment facilities compared to the control facilities, with strong evidence of improvement (t = 5.28, P = .0004) and 11% average improvement, but no clear pattern of improvement emerged in the control group. Conclusion: The study demonstrated governance support and active community involvement offered potential for quality improvement in primary health-care facilities. PMID:28462280

  1. Study on the Application of 6σ Method in Shoemaking Enterprise Quality Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Ting

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available With the development of science as well as technology and the influx of shoemaking companies abroad, our traditional shoemaking enterprises face greater pressure to survive, and product quality problems are in urgent need of improvement. Aiming at the quality problems of M shoemaking enterprise, DMAIC method is used to conduct the product quality improvement, and a mathematical statistics software Minitab is used to analyze the data. Moreover, the optimum combination of the key influencing factors is determined by orthogonal experiment design as well as a set of specific quality improvement plans are put forward. Finally, the production process capability of M enterprise is improved, the product bonding strength is enhanced, customer satisfaction is improved, and the thoughts of product quality improvement and reference are provided for domestic traditional shoemaking enterprises.

  2. Improving the Process of Education: Total Quality Management for the College Classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, James P.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    A systematic, institutional approach to continuous improvement in college instruction is outlined, based on the four main elements of Total Quality Management: quality defined by customer; top leadership responsibility; systematic analysis of work processes; and continuous quality improvement throughout the organization. Definitions and dimensions…

  3. QUALITY MANAGEMENT TOOLS APPLYING IN THE STRATEGY OF LOGISTICS SERVICES QUALITY IMPROVEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka Czajkowska

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Combination of factors such as: properly organized logistics process, lack of nonconformities, transport damages avoiding and transport in accordance Just In Time idea significantly reduces costs and streamlines the entire production process. This paper proposes the quality management tool for the logistics services assessment based on the results obtained in the selected company operating in Eastern Europe. Customers’ expectations and perceptions were compared using the SERVQUAL method that concerns the service quality assessment in five areas such as: materiality, reliability, promptness, competency and empathy. The research method SERVQUAL allows assessing the service quality level and identifying company areas that requires corrective actions within the improvement process.

  4. Improving the Quality of Think-Alouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ness, Molly; Kenny, MaryBeth

    2016-01-01

    An essential element in teaching children to effectively comprehend text is the use of teacher-led think alouds. This article presents a three-step model to improve the quality and quantity of think alouds in K-6 classrooms. The article follows elementary teachers who planned, implemented, transcribed, and reflected upon think aloud lessons to…

  5. Improvement of electrolaryngeal speech quality using a supraglottal voice source with compensation of vocal tract characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Liang; Wan, Congying; Wang, Supin; Wan, Mingxi

    2013-07-01

    Electrolarynx (EL) is a medical speech-recovery device designed for patients who have lost their original voice box due to laryngeal cancer. As a substitute for human larynx, the current commercial EL voice source cannot reconstruct natural EL speech under laryngectomy conditions. To eliminate the abnormal acoustic properties of EL speech, a supraglottal voice source with compensation of vocal tract characteristics was proposed and provided through an experimental EL(SGVS-EL) system. The acoustic analyses of simulated EL speech and reconstructed EL speech produced with different voice sources were performed in the normal subject and laryngectomee. The results indicated that the supraglottal voice source was successful in improving the acoustic properties of EL speech by enhancing low- frequency energy, correcting the shifted formants to normal range, and eliminating the visible spectral zeros. Both normal subject and laryngectomee also produced more natural vowels using SGVS-EL than commercial EL, even if the vocal tract parameter was substituted and the supraglottal voice source was biased to a certain degree. Therefore, supraglottal voice source is a feasible and effective approach to improving the acoustic quality of EL speech.

  6. Biospecimen Reporting for Improved Study Quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moore, Ph.D., Helen M.; Kelly, Ph.D., Andrea B.; Jewell, Ph.D., Scott D.; McShane, Ph.D., Lisa M.; Clark, M.D., Douglas P.; Greenspan, M.D., Renata; Hayes, M.D., Daniel F.; Hainaut, Ph.D., Pierre; Kim, Paula; Mansfield, Ph.D., Elizabeth A.; Potapova, Ph.D., Olga; Riegman, Ph.D., Peter; Rubinstein, Ph.D., Yaffa; Seijo, M.S., Edward; Somiari, Ph.D., Stella; Chir., B; Weier, Ph.D., Heinz-Ulrich; Zhu, Ph.D., Claire; Vaught, Ph.D., Jim; Watson,M.B., Peter

    2010-12-27

    Human biospecimens are subjected to collection, processing, and storage that can significantly alter their molecular composition and consistency. These biospecimen preanalytical factors, in turn, influence experimental outcomes and the ability to reproduce scientific results. Currently, the extent and type of information specific to the biospecimen preanalytical conditions reported in scientific publications and regulatory submissions varies widely. To improve the quality of research that uses human tissues, it is crucial that information on the handling of biospecimens be reported in a thorough, accurate, and standardized manner. The Biospecimen Reporting for Improved Study Quality (BRISQ) recommendations outlined herein are intended to apply to any study in which human biospecimens are used. The purpose of reporting these details is to supply others, from researchers to regulators, with more consistent and standardized information to better evaluate, interpret, compare, and reproduce the experimental results. The BRISQ guidelines are proposed as an important and timely resource tool to strengthen communication and publications on biospecimen-related research and to help reassure patient contributors and the advocacy community that their contributions are valued and respected.

  7. Ensuring and Improving Information Quality for Earth Science Data and Products: Role of the ESIP Information Quality Cluster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramapriyan, Hampapuram; Peng, Ge; Moroni, David; Shie, Chung-Lin

    2016-01-01

    Quality of products is always of concern to users regardless of the type of products. The focus of this paper is on the quality of Earth science data products. There are four different aspects of quality - scientific, product, stewardship and service. All these aspects taken together constitute Information Quality. With increasing requirement on ensuring and improving information quality, there has been considerable work related to information quality during the last several years. Given this rich background of prior work, the Information Quality Cluster (IQC), established within the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) has been active with membership from multiple organizations. Its objectives and activities, aimed at ensuring and improving information quality for Earth science data and products, are discussed briefly.

  8. Ensuring and Improving Information Quality for Earth Science Data and Products Role of the ESIP Information Quality Cluster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramapriyan, H. K. (Rama); Peng, Ge; Moroni, David; Shie, Chung-Lin

    2016-01-01

    Quality of products is always of concern to users regardless of the type of products. The focus of this paper is on the quality of Earth science data products. There are four different aspects of quality scientific, product, stewardship and service. All these aspects taken together constitute Information Quality. With increasing requirement on ensuring and improving information quality, there has been considerable work related to information quality during the last several years. Given this rich background of prior work, the Information Quality Cluster (IQC), established within the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) has been active with membership from multiple organizations. Its objectives and activities, aimed at ensuring and improving information quality for Earth science data and products, are discussed briefly.

  9. Sustained participation in annual continuous quality improvement activities improves quality of care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAullay, Daniel; McAuley, Kimberley; Bailie, Ross; Mathews, Veronica; Jacoby, Peter; Gardner, Karen; Sibthorpe, Beverly; Strobel, Natalie; Edmond, Karen

    2018-02-01

    To determine whether participation in the continuous quality improvement (CQI) Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease programme improved care and outcomes for Indigenous children. Data were collected from 59 Australian primary health-care centres providing services to Indigenous people and participating in the programme (February 2008 and December 2013). Indigenous children aged less than 2 years and centres that completed three or more consecutive annual audits within the 6-year study period were included. Crude and adjusted logistic generalised estimating equation models were used to examine the effect of year of audit on the delivery of care. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated. Outcomes were related to age-relevant health issues, including prevention and early intervention. These included administrative, health check, anticipatory guidance and specific health issues. During the audit period, there were 2360 files from 59 centres. Those that had a recall recorded, improved from 84 to 95% (OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.44-4.11). Hearing assessments improved from 52 to 89% (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.22-1.54). Improvement in anticipatory guidance, treatment and follow-up of medical conditions was almost universal. We documented significant improvements in quality of care of Indigenous children. Outcomes and their corresponding treatment and follow-ups improved over time. This appears to be related to services participating in annual CQI activities. However, these services may be more committed to CQI than others and therefore possibly better performing. © 2017 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (The Royal Australasian College of Physicians).

  10. Technical report for effective estimation and improvement of quality system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Kwan Hyun

    2000-06-01

    This technical report provides the methods on how to improve the Quality System, in R and D part. This report applies on the quality assurance(QA) programmes of the design, fabrication in nuclear projects. The organization having overall responsibility for the nuclear power item design, preservation, fabrication shall be described in this report in each stage of improvement of QA systems

  11. Using implementation tools to design and conduct quality improvement projects for faster and more effective improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ovretveit, John; Mittman, Brian; Rubenstein, Lisa; Ganz, David A

    2017-10-09

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to enable improvers to use recent knowledge from implementation science to carry out improvement changes more effectively. It also highlights the importance of converting research findings into practical tools and guidance for improvers so as to make research easier to apply in practice. Design/methodology/approach This study provides an illustration of how a quality improvement (QI) team project can make use of recent findings from implementation research so as to make their improvement changes more effective and sustainable. The guidance is based on a review and synthesis of improvement and implementation methods. Findings The paper illustrates how research can help a quality project team in the phases of problem definition and preparation, in design and planning, in implementation, and in sustaining and spreading a QI. Examples of the use of different ideas and methods are cited where they exist. Research limitations/implications The example is illustrative and there is little limited experimental evidence of whether using all the steps and tools in the one approach proposed do enable a quality team to be more effective. Evidence supporting individual guidance proposals is cited where it exists. Practical implications If the steps proposed and illustrated in the paper were followed, it is possible that quality projects could avoid waste by ensuring the conditions they need for success are in place, and sustain and spread improvement changes more effectively. Social implications More patients could benefit more quickly from more effective implementation of proven interventions. Originality/value The paper is the first to describe how improvement and implementation science can be combined in a tangible way that practical improvers can use in their projects. It shows how QI project teams can take advantage of recent advances in improvement and implementation science to make their work more effective and sustainable.

  12. Heat-Mirror Spectral Profile Optimization for TSC Hybrid Solar Conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soule, D. E.; Wood, S. E.

    1986-09-01

    The efficiencies for total solar cogeneration (TSC) can be optimized by tailoring the transparent heat-mirror (HM) beam splitter spectral profile shape. The entire output is cogenerated by photovoltaic/photothermal conversions into three energy forms: electricity (PV) 18V d.c./module, high-temperature heat (HT) 400°C, and low-temperature heat (LT) 70°C. The emphasis is to maximize the high-quality energy sum PV + HT, while maintaining PV at a high level. A generalized 5-parameter double Fermi model for the HM spectral profile is investigated allowing for a wide parametric range and profile asymmetry. The projected optimized TSC conversion efficiencies are: PV = 14.3%, HT = 43.5%, and LT = 42.2% with a high-quality energy sum of PV + HT = 57.8%. The approach to this optimum HM spectral profile by experimental HM films such as ITO are discussed.

  13. Bioethanol Quality Improvement of Coffee Fruit Leather

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edahwati Luluk

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, Indonesia’s dependence on petroleum is to be reduced and even eliminated. To overcome the problem of finding the needed alternative materials that can produce ethanol, in this case as a substitute material or a transport fuel mix, boosting the octane number, and gasoline ethanol (gasohol can be conducted. In the red coffee processing (cooking that will produce 65% and 35% of coffee beans, coffee leather waste is a source of organic material with fairly high cellulose content of 46.82%, 3.01% of pectin and 7.68% of lignin. In this case, its existence is abundant in Indonesia and optimally utilized. During the coffee fruit peeling, the peel waste is only used as a mixture of animal feed or simply left to rot. The purpose of this study was to produce and improve the quality of the fruit skin of bioethanol from coffee cellulose. However, to improve the quality of bioethanol, the production of the lignin content in the skin of the coffee fruit should be eliminated or reduced. Hydrolysis process using organosolve method is expected to improve the quality of bioethanol produced. In particular, the use of enzyme Saccharomyces and Zymmomonas will change the resulting sugar into bioethanol. On one hand, by using batch distillation process for 8 hours with Saccharomyces, bioethanol obtains high purity which is 39.79%; on the other hand, by using the same batch distillation process with Zymmomonas, the bioethanol obtains 38.78%.

  14. Effects of Spectral Overlays on Reading Performance of Brazilian Elementary School Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Ana Carla Oliveira; Momensohn-Santos, Teresa Maria; Vilhena, Douglas de Araújo

    2018-03-20

    To investigate the effects of spectral overlays on reading performance of Brazilian elementary school children. Sixty-eight children (aged 9-12 years) enrolled in the 5th and 6th grade were included in the study. The Rate of Reading Test (RRT - Brazilian Portuguese version) was used to evaluate reading speed and the Irlen Reading Perceptual Scale was used to allocate the sample according to reading difficulty/discomfort symptoms and to define the optimal spectral overlays. A total of 13% of the children presented an improvement of at least 15% in reading speed with the use of spectral overlays. Pupils with severe reading difficulties tended to have more improvement in RRT with spectral overlays. Children with severe reading discomfort obtained the highest gains in RRT, with an average of 9.6% improvement with intervention, compared to a decrease of -8.2% in the control group. Participants with severe discomfort had an odds ratio of 3.36 to improve reading speed with intervention compared to the control group. The use of spectral overlays can improve reading performance, particularly in those children with severe visual discomfort. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  15. Quality improvement "201": context-relevant quality improvement leadership training for the busy clinician-educator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stille, Christopher J; Savageau, Judith A; McBride, Jeanne; Alper, Eric J

    2012-01-01

    Development of quality improvement (QI) skills and leadership for busy clinician-educators in academic medical centers is increasingly necessary, although it is challenging given limited resources. In response, the authors developed the Quality Scholars program for primary care teaching faculty. They conducted a needs assessment, evaluated existing internal and national resources, and developed a 9-month, 20-session project-based curriculum that combines didactic and hands-on techniques with facilitated project discussion. They also conducted pre-post tests of knowledge and attitudes, and evaluations of each session, scholars' projects, and program sustainability and costs. In all, 10 scholars from all 3 generalist disciplines comprised the first class. A wide spectrum of previous experiences enhanced collaboration. QI knowledge increased slightly, and reported self-readiness to lead QI projects increased markedly. Protected time for project work and group discussion of QI topics was seen as essential. All 10 scholars completed projects and presented results. Institutional leadership agreed to sustain the program using institutional funds.

  16. Assessment of and Improvement Strategies for the Housing of Healthy Elderly: Improving Quality of Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I-Ming Feng

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Global population is aging, particularly in developed countries and cities. Through the “Friendly Elderly Cities” and “Aging in Place” initiatives, various countries are making great efforts to improve the welfare and quality of life of the elderly, with the aim of catering to the physical and spiritual health as well as social welfare of the elderly. In this regard, the improvement of the housing environment of the elderly is one of the key factors in their quality of life and health. This study aims to effectively assess and improve the housing environment of the elderly in order to enhance their quality of life; it also aims to contribute the knowledge about improving elderly housing by applying an assessment framework using expert interviews and data collected from relevant literature. Using a mixed Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis model, a combination of the DEMATEL (Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory-based ANP (Analytic Network Process (DANP and the modified VlseKriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR methods, and the investigations and assessments in the case study, this study proposes strategies and directions for improving elderly housing. The study results indicate that, as distinct from using traditional methodologies where the hypothesis criteria are mutually independent, the proposed hybrid model (examining real-life problems by considering the mutual influences of factors identifies a priority sequence wherein emphasis is placed on improving ventilation and air quality rather than adjustment of temperature. The systemic way of thinking shifts the focus from the most apparent problems to the root cause of the problems. Doing so avoids any mismatch of resource allocation in decision-making and thus maximizes the efficiency and sustainability of the improvement.

  17. Improved quality monitoring of multi-center acupuncture clinical trials in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng Hui

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In 2007, the Chinese Science Division of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM convened a special conference to discuss quality control for TCM clinical research. Control and assurance standards were established to guarantee the quality of clinical research. This paper provides practical guidelines for implementing strict and reproducible quality control for acupuncture randomized controlled trials (RCTs. Methods A standard quality control program (QCP was established to monitor the quality of acupuncture trials. Case report forms were designed; qualified investigators, study personnel and data management personnel were trained. Monitors, who were directly appointed by the project leader, completed the quality control programs. They guaranteed data accuracy and prevented or detected protocol violations. Clinical centers and clinicians were audited, the randomization system of the centers was inspected, and the treatment processes were audited as well. In addition, the case report forms were reviewed for completeness and internal consistency, the eligibility and validity of the patients in the study was verified, and data was monitored for compliance and accuracy. Results and discussion The monitors complete their reports and submit it to quality assurance and the sponsors. Recommendations and suggestions are made for improving performance. By holding regular meetings to discuss improvements in monitoring standards, the monitors can improve quality and efficiency. Conclusions Supplementing and improving the existed guidelines for quality monitoring will ensure that large multi-centre acupuncture clinical trials will be considered as valid and scientifically stringent as pharmaceutical clinical trials. It will also develop academic excellence and further promote the international recognition of acupuncture.

  18. Implementing a user-driven online quality improvement toolkit for cancer care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luck, Jeff; York, Laura S; Bowman, Candice; Gale, Randall C; Smith, Nina; Asch, Steven M

    2015-05-01

    Peer-to-peer collaboration within integrated health systems requires a mechanism for sharing quality improvement lessons. The Veterans Health Administration (VA) developed online compendia of tools linked to specific cancer quality indicators. We evaluated awareness and use of the toolkits, variation across facilities, impact of social marketing, and factors influencing toolkit use. A diffusion of innovations conceptual framework guided the collection of user activity data from the Toolkit Series SharePoint site and an online survey of potential Lung Cancer Care Toolkit users. The VA Toolkit Series site had 5,088 unique visitors in its first 22 months; 5% of users accounted for 40% of page views. Social marketing communications were correlated with site usage. Of survey respondents (n = 355), 54% had visited the site, of whom 24% downloaded at least one tool. Respondents' awareness of the lung cancer quality performance of their facility, and facility participation in quality improvement collaboratives, were positively associated with Toolkit Series site use. Facility-level lung cancer tool implementation varied widely across tool types. The VA Toolkit Series achieved widespread use and a high degree of user engagement, although use varied widely across facilities. The most active users were aware of and active in cancer care quality improvement. Toolkit use seemed to be reinforced by other quality improvement activities. A combination of user-driven tool creation and centralized toolkit development seemed to be effective for leveraging health information technology to spread disease-specific quality improvement tools within an integrated health care system. Copyright © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.

  19. THE CUBAN ENTERPRISE, COMPETITIVENESS, IMPROVEMENT BUSINESS AND QUALITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés Fernández-Companioni

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This article offers some reflections on the Cuban enterprise, its business process improvement and competitiveness that firms must have in entering the world market. It analyzes the economic policies of the last two Congresses of the Communist Party of Cuba that give importance to the role of the Cuban socialist state enterprise system. It conceptualizes the category: business. Knowledge of the categories: effectiveness, efficiency, effectiveness, competitiveness, quality and productivity must for Cuban entrepreneurs. To increase export capacity, we must address a number of factors such as quality and product innovation, the price level depends on the productivity of the inflation differential between countries and other factors with indirect effects on competitiveness, and service quality or corporate image. Are some of the mistakes made in business development in the country. Relate some of the quality awards granted in the world and which should aim to achieve the necessary visibility in international business. Relate some of the quality awards that are granted in the world and which should aim for Cuban entrepreneurs to achieve the necessary visibility in international business. It provides a table that lists the entities Award Winning Quality in Cuba until 2008. It shows a country ranking of the indicators of global competitiveness generated annually by The Global Competitiveness Report. Reasoning about the causes that led to the business improvement process (SPE (Legislative Decree 252 and Decree 281. 

  20. VISIBE AND INFRARED SPECTRAL CHARACTERISATION OF CHINESE CABBAGE (BRASSICA RAPA L. SUBSPECIES CHINENSIS, GROWN UNDER DIFFERENT NITROGEN, POTASSIUM AND PHOSPHORUS CONCENTRATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. B. Mokoatsi

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available There is a need to intensify research efforts on improving productivity of indigenous vegetables in South Africa. One research avenue is operationalizing remote sensing techniques to monitor crop health status. This study aimed at characterising the spectral properties of Chinese cabbage (Brassica Rapa L. subspecies Chinensis grown under varying fertilizer treatments: nitrogen (0 kg/ha, 75 kg/ha, 125 kg/ha, 175 kg/ha and 225 kg/ha, phosphorus (0 kg/ha, 9.4 kg/ha, 15.6, 21.9 kg/ha and 28.1 kg/ha and potassium (0 kg/ha, 9.4  kg/ha, 15.6 kg/ha, 21.9 kg/ha and 28.1 kg/ha. Visible and infrared spectral measurements were taken from a total of 60 samples inside the laboratory. Contiguous spectral regions were plotted to show spectral profiles of the different fertilizer treatments and then classified using gradient boosting and random forest classifiers. ANOVA revealed the potential of spectral reflectance data in discriminating different fertiliser treatments from crops. There was also a significant difference between the capabilities of the two classifiers. Gradient boost model (GBM yielded higher classification accuracies than random forest (RF. The important variables identified by each model improved the classification accuracy. Overall, the results indicate a potential for the use of spectroscopy in monitoring food quality parameters, thereby reducing the cost of traditional methods. Further research into advanced statistical analysis techniques is needed to improve the accuracy with which fertiliser concentrations in crops could be quantified. The random forest model particularly requires improvements.

  1. Does enhanced regulation improve EIA report quality? Lessons from South Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandham, L.A.; Heerden, A.J. van; Jones, C.E.; Retief, F.P.; Morrison-Saunders, A.N.

    2013-01-01

    Recently, various EIA systems have been subjected to system review processes with a view to improve performance. Many of these reviews resulted in some form of legislative reform. The South African Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations were modified in 2006 with the express intent to improve EIA effectiveness. In order to evaluate to what extent the desired outcome was achieved, the quality of EIA reports produced under the 2006 regulations was investigated for comparative analysis with the preceding regime. A sample of EIA reports from the two legislative regimes was reviewed using an adapted version of a well established method known colloquially as the “Lee and Colley” review package. Despite some improvements in certain aspects, overall report quality has decreased slightly from the 1997 EIA regime. It therefore appears that the modifications to the regulations, often heralded as the solution to improvements in performance have not resulted in improved quality of EIA reports. - Highlights: ► EIA regulations in South Africa were revised and became more comprehensive in 2006. ► The report quality of a sample of EIAs was reviewed using the Lee and Colley review package. ► Report quality showed a slight decline from the previous regulatory regime. ► EIA good practice needs flexibility rather than over-detailed regulation.

  2. Incentives for cooperation in quality improvement among hospitals--the impact of the reimbursement system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kesteloot, K; Voet, N

    1998-12-01

    Up to now, few analytical models have studied the incentives for cooperation in quality improvements among hospitals. Only those dealing with reimbursement systems have shown that, from the point of view of individual or competing hospitals, retrospective reimbursement is more likely to encourage quality improvements than prospective financing, while the reverse holds for efficiency improvements. This paper studies the incentives to improve the quality of hospital care, in an analytical model, taking into account the possibility of cooperative agreements, price besides non-price (quality) competition and quality improvements that may simultaneously increase demand, increase or reduce costs and spill over to rival hospitals. In this setting quality improvement efforts rise with the rate of prospective reimbursement, while the impact of the rate of retrospective reimbursement is ambiguous, but likely to be negative for quality improvements that are highly cost-reducting and create large spillovers. Cooperation may lead to more or less quality improvement than non-cooperative conduct, depending on the magnitude of spillovers and the degree of product market competition, relative to the net effect of quality on profits and the share of costs that is reimbursed retrospectively. Finally, the stability of cooperative agreements, supported by grim trigger strategies, is shown to depend upon exactly the opposite interaction between these factors.

  3. Receiver sensitivity improvement in spectrally-efficient guard-band twin-SSB-OFDM using an optical IQ modulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ming; Peng, Miao; Zhou, Hui; Zheng, Zhiwei; Tang, Xionggui; Maivan, Lap

    2017-12-01

    To further improve receiver sensitivity of spectrally-efficient guard-band direct-detection optical orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) with twin single-side-band (SSB) modulation technique, an optical IQ modulator (IQM) is employed to optimize optical carrier-to-signal power ratio (CSPR). The CSPRs for the guard-band twin-SSB-OFDM signal generated by using dual-drive Mach-Zehnder modulator (DD-MZM) and optical IQM are theoretically analyzed and supported by simulations. The optimal CSPR for the two types of guard-band twin-SSB-OFDM are identified. The simulations exhibit that the error vector magnitude (EVM) performance of the IQM-enabled guard-band twin-SSB-OFDM is improved by more than 4-dB compared to that of the twin-SSB-OFDM enabled by DD-MZM after 80-km single-mode fiber (SMF) transmission. In addition, more than 3-dB and 10 dB receiver sensitivity improvements in terms of received optical power (ROP) and optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) are also achieved, respectively.

  4. Technical progress report: Completion of spectral rotating shadowband radiometers and analysis of atmospheric radiation measurement spectral shortwave data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Michalsky, J.; Harrison, L. [State Univ. of New York, Albany, NY (United States)

    1996-04-01

    Our goal in the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program is the improvement of radiation models used in general circulation models (GCMs), especially in the shortwave, (1) by providing improved shortwave radiometric measurements for the testing of models and (2) by developing methods for retrieving climatologically sensitive parameters that serve as input to shortwave and longwave models. At the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC) in Albany, New York, we are acquiring downwelling direct and diffuse spectral irradiance, at six wavelengths, plus downwelling broadband longwave, and upwelling and downwelling broadband shortwave irradiances that we combine with National Weather Service surface and upper air data from the Albany airport as a test data set for ARM modelers. We have also developed algorithms to improve shortwave measurements made at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) ARM site by standard thermopile instruments and by the multifilter rotating shadowband radiometer (MFRSR) based on these Albany data sets. Much time has been spent developing techniques to retrieve column aerosol, water vapor, and ozone from the direct beam spectral measurements of the MFRSR. Additionally, we have had success in calculating shortwave surface albedo and aerosol optical depth from the ratio of direct to diffuse spectral reflectance.

  5. Employment of Active Learning at HEIs in Bangladesh to Improve Education Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowdhury, Faieza

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, education quality and quality assessment have received a great deal of attention at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Bangladesh. Most of the HEIs in Bangladesh face severe resource constraints and find it difficult to improve education quality by improving inputs, such as better infrastructure and modernized classroom…

  6. Activated charcoal-alum-zeolite improve the water quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saryati; Sutisna; Sumarjo; ZL, Wildan; Wahyuningsih; Suprapti, Siti

    2002-01-01

    The composite of charcoal-tawas-zeolite has been studied to improve a drinking water quality. This study was doing to find the optimum composition in preparation of a simple technology og bath and small volume drinking treatment this treatment consist of coagulation, floculation, precipitation, ion exchange and adsorption. The improvement of water quality has been observed from a turbidity, a permanganate number and a quality of Cu, Cd, Pb, Al ions and coli bactery containing in the water after processing. It has been concluded that the composite materials has an ability to decrease the turbidity more than its components. The starch addition in the composite can be accelerate water clarity process. By this composite the turbidity, the permanganate number and the coli bacteria in the water can be decreased significantly. The optimum composite composition is 1000 mg activated charcoal, 1000 mg zeolite, 60 mg tawas, 40 mg natrium bicarbonate and 50 mg starch with grains size less than 80 mesh

  7. Discussion: [of 'An overview of the Shainin System™ for quality improvement'

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Mast, J.; Does, R.J.M.M.

    2008-01-01

    The article by Steiner, MacKay and Ramberg [An overview of the Shainin System for quality improvement] offers a sound and an accurate description of the Shainin System for quality improvement. Therefore, our comments will not address their representation of the Shainin System, but concern the

  8. DOES QUALITY IMPROVEMENT IMPROVE PATIENTS’ HEALTH? A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF MEASURES OF EFFECT USED IN PDSA PROJECTS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hermansen, Nanna Kastrup; Vestergaard, Anne Sig; Ehlers, Lars Holger

    , and if the authors provide scientific evidence that their choice of effect measure, i.e. the quality indicator, is associated with patients’ health. Methods The basis of the present study was a systematic review of studies on PDSA quality improvement projects published in 2015-2017. For all identified papers...... as such. Conclusion Process indicators, rather than health-related outcome measures, appear to be used most often in quality improvement projects applying the PDSA method. Evidence-based indicators were only applied in four studies. Overall, this challenges the ability to show if, and how, interventions......Abstract Introduction Quality improvement is an inherent part of modern healthcare systems worldwide, used for the continuous advancement in effectiveness and safety. Amongst other approaches, the plan-do-study-act (PDSA) method, a four-step iterative method, is widely used for testing...

  9. Improving health care quality and safety: the role of collective learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Singer SJ

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Sara J Singer,1–4 Justin K Benzer,4–6 Sami U Hamdan4,6 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA; 2Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA; 3Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; 4Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA; 5VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans, Waco, TX, USA; 6Department of Health Policy and Management, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA Abstract: Despite decades of effort to improve quality and safety in health care, this goal feels increasingly elusive. Successful examples of improvement are infrequently replicated. This scoping review synthesizes 76 empirical or conceptual studies (out of 1208 originally screened addressing learning in quality or safety improvement, that were published in selected health care and management journals between January 2000 and December 2014 to deepen understanding of the role that collective learning plays in quality and safety improvement. We categorize learning activities using a theoretical model that shows how leadership and environmental factors support collective learning processes and practices, and in turn team and organizational improvement outcomes. By focusing on quality and safety improvement, our review elaborates the premise of learning theory that leadership, environment, and processes combine to create conditions that promote learning. Specifically, we found that learning for quality and safety improvement includes experimentation (including deliberate experimentation, improvisation, learning from failures, exploration, and exploitation, internal and external knowledge acquisition, performance monitoring and comparison, and training. Supportive learning environments are characterized by team characteristics like psychological

  10. Building Perinatal Case Manager Capacity Using Quality Improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Fitzgerald, Elaine

    2015-01-01

    Improving breastfeeding rates among Black women is a potential strategy to address disparities in health outcomes that disproportionately impact Black women and children. This quality improvement (QI) initiative aimed to improve perinatal case manager knowledge and self-efficacy to promote breastfeeding among Black, low-income women who use services through Boston Healthy Start Initiative. QI methodology was used to develop and test a two-part strategy for perinatal case managers to promote a...

  11. Results-driven approach to improving quality and productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Dramm

    2000-01-01

    Quality control (QC) programs do not often realize their full potential. Elaborate and expensive QC programs can easily get side tracked by the process of building a program with promises of “Someday, this will all pay off.” Training employees in QC methods is no guarantee that quality will improve. Several documented cases show that such activity-centered efforts...

  12. The influence of bread improvers and different technological parameters on bread quality

    OpenAIRE

    Duobienė, Lina

    2015-01-01

    Goal of the research: to analyse quality parameters of different types of bread, produced with or without improvers, also to evaluate intensity of microbiological spoilage of bread during storage. Results and findings: Different bread technologies have influence on bread quality parameters and in all cases bread improvers have positive influence on bread quality: „Lietuviškas ragaišis“ (Lithuanian whole wheat bread) using improvers the higher specific volume (21.27%) and porosity (9.02%...

  13. The ‘Alternative Quality Contract’ in Massachusetts, Based on Global Budgets, Lowered Medical Spending and Improved Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zirui; Safran, Dana Gelb; Landon, Bruce E.; Landrum, Mary Beth; He, Yulei; Mechanic, Robert E.; Day, Matthew P.; Chernew, Michael E.

    2012-01-01

    Seven provider organizations in Massachusetts entered the Blue Cross Blue Shield Alternative Quality Contract in 2009, followed by four more organizations in 2010. This contract, based on a global budget and pay-for-performance for achieving certain quality benchmarks, places providers at risk for excessive spending and rewards them for quality, similar to the new Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations in Medicare. We analyzed changes in spending and quality associated with the Alternative Quality Contract and found that the rate of increase in spending slowed compared to control groups. Overall, participation in the contract over two years led to a savings of 3.3% (1.9% in year-1, 3.3% in year-2) compared to spending in groups not participating in the contract. The savings were even higher for groups whose previous experience had been only in fee-for-service contracting. Such groups’ quarterly savings over two years averaged 8.2% (6.3% in year-1, 9.9% in year-2). Quality of care also improved within organizations participating in the Alternative Quality Contract compared to control organizations in both years. Chronic care management, adult preventive care, and pediatric care improved from year 1 to year 2 within the contracting groups. These results suggest that global budgets coupled with pay-for-performance can begin to slow the underlying growth in medical spending while improving quality. PMID:22786651

  14. Catalytic quality improvement of waste polyolefin originated fractions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tóth O.

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The demand for alternative fuels having low greenhouse gases emission is continuously growing worldwide. Therefore it is preferred to produce new, waste originated components. One option is the recycling of plastic waste with cracking. The produced hydrocarbon fraction is not suitable for fuels thus it is important to improve its quality. The aim of our experimental work was to study the quality improvement of this cracked fraction (PPCGO and crude oil based middle distillates (different composition with co-processing. Our goal was to produce high quality diesel fuel blending components. We studied the effect of process parameters on the quality of products. Ni (2.3% Mo (11.0% P (2.3%/Al2O3 catalyst was used. During the experiments we studied the hydrogenation of olefins, saturation of aromatics and desulphurization. The hydrogenation of olefins was practically complete at 300°C. It took place at significantly higher speed than the desulphurization reactions. In case of light gas oil feedstock the products had significantly lower sulphur contents; below 10 mg/kg already at 340°C. We determined that the cracked fraction had beneficial effect on the performance properties of the products. In case of all feedstock combinations, we found process parameters which can be used to produce high-quality diesel fuel blending components on the tested catalyst.

  15. Improve the teaching quality by two-way education mode

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongyan Shi

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Teaching activities contain teaching and learning, and both teachers and students have to work hard to improve the quality of teaching. This essay introduced the basic conception of “two-way and five-ring” mode first, and expatiated on the structure of this mode. The author used her own experiences to combine the teaching mode with the real situation of military school, emphasized teaching itself and talked about some spe-cific plans. This will give a certain extend help in improving the quality of teaching in military school.

  16. 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…

  17. Quality in-training initiative--a solution to the need for education in quality improvement: results from a survey of program directors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelz, Rachel R; Sellers, Morgan M; Reinke, Caroline E; Medbery, Rachel L; Morris, Jon; Ko, Clifford

    2013-12-01

    The Next Accreditation System and the Clinical Learning Environment Review Program will emphasize practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice. We present the results of a survey of general surgery program directors to characterize the current state of quality improvement in graduate surgical education and introduce the Quality In-Training Initiative (QITI). In 2012, a 20-item survey was distributed to 118 surgical residency program directors from ACS NSQIP-affiliated hospitals. The survey content was developed in collaboration with the QITI to identify program director opinions regarding education in practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice, to investigate the status of quality improvement education in their respective programs, and to quantify the extent of resident participation in quality improvement. There was a 57% response rate. Eighty-five percent of program directors (n = 57) reported that education in quality improvement is essential to future professional work in the field of surgery. Only 28% (n = 18) of programs reported that at least 50% of their residents track and analyze their patient outcomes, compare them with norms/benchmarks/published standards, and identify opportunities to make practice improvements. Program directors recognize the importance of quality improvement efforts in surgical practice. Subpar participation in basic practice-based learning and improvement activities at the resident level reflects the need for support of these educational goals. The QITI will facilitate programmatic compliance with goals for quality improvement education. Copyright © 2013 American College of Surgeons. All rights reserved.

  18. DESIGNING STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfian Nur Ubay

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available This research was aimed at designing strategies for improving total quality management at CV XYZ and PT HIJ. The research locations were selected intentionally with the consideration that the company is a middle class company that started to apply a study in line with the research topic. The experts were chosen using an approach method. This research used a descriptive approach and quantitative analysis through questionnaires using purposive sampling. The stages began with data processing, i.e. testing the questionnaire quality through validity and reliability tests, making a causality diagram, evaluating the implementation levels of each company by giving evaluation scales based on the existing condition, making House of Quality (HOQ using QFD methods, and then analyzing the problem solutions produced from the QFD methods with 5W + IH analysis, and finally determining the improvement priorities using Fuzzy AHP methods. The results were the strategies for improving total quality management /TQM of CV XYZ, namely the factor that plays the most important role was improving the quality management performance. The actor that has the competence to carry out the TQM improvement is the director. The prioritized goal to be achieved is a commitment to improve the quality of goods and services.  The prioritized strategy used in improving TQM is carrying out SOP consistently.Keywords: strategies, improvement, TQM, manufacturing company, fuzzy AHPABSTRAKPenelitian ini bertujuan merancang strategi peningkatan manajemen mutu terpadu pada CV XYZ dan PT HIJ. Pemilihan lokasi penelitian dilakukan secara sengaja dengan pertimbangan bahwa perusahaan tersebut merupakan perusahaan kelas menengah yang mulai menerapkan kajian sesuai dengan topik penelitian. Penentuan pakar dilakukan dengan metode pendekatan secara sengaja. Adapun penelitian ini menggunakan pendekatan deskriptif dan analisa kuantitatif dengan menyebarkan kuesioner secara sengaja (purposive sampling

  19. Service quality improvement of ground staff at Don Mueang International Airport

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sittichai Sricharoenpramong

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The purposes of this research were to: 1 evaluate the service quality of the ground staff at Don Mueang International Airport (DMK, 2 compare the ground staff quality service perception of Thai passengers at DMK, and 3 provide guidelines for service quality improvement of the DMK airlines ground staff. A sample size of 400 Thai domestic passengers was accidentally selected at DMK. A questionnaire was used as a research tool for data collection. Five dimensions of service quality were evaluated: reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles. It was found that the service quality of ground staff was moderate. The highest dimension of service quality realization was tangibles, followed successively by reliability, assurance, empathy, and responsiveness. The passengers' perception of the ground staff's service quality varied by gender and age group. Guidelines were proposed for the improvement of ground staff service quality at DMK based on the findings. Keywords: airport, ground staff, quality of service

  20. Improving the Quality of Radiographs in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Utilizing Educational Interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Ashish O; Rorke, Jeanne; Abubakar, Kabir

    2015-08-01

    We aimed to develop an educational tool to improve the radiograph quality, sustain this improvement overtime, and reduce the number of repeat radiographs. A three phase quality control study was conducted at a tertiary care NICU. A retrospective data collection (phase1) revealed suboptimal radiograph quality and led to an educational intervention and development of X-ray preparation checklist (primary intervention), followed by a prospective data collection for 4 months (phase 2). At the end of phase 2, interim analysis revealed a gradual decline in radiograph quality, which prompted a more comprehensive educational session with constructive feedback to the NICU staff (secondary intervention), followed by another data collection for 6 months (phase 3). There was a significant improvement in the quality of radiographs obtained after primary educational intervention (phase 2) compared with phase 1 (p quality declined but still remained significantly better than phase 1. Secondary intervention resulted in significant improvement in radiograph quality to > 95% in all domains of image quality. No radiographs were repeated in phase 3, compared with 5.8% (16/277) in phase 1. A structured, collaborated educational intervention successfully improves the radiograph quality and decreases the need for repeat radiographs and radiation exposure in the neonates. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

  1. Studying and improving blast furnace cast iron quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Т. К. Balgabekov

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In the article there are presented the results of studies to improve the quality of blast furnace cast iron. It was established that using fire clay suspension for increasing the mould covering heat conductivity improves significantly pig iron salable condition and filtration refining method decreases iron contamination by nonmetallic inclusions by 50 – 70 %.

  2. Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography with a photon-counting detector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredenberg, Erik; Hemmendorff, Magnus; Cederström, Björn; Aslund, Magnus; Danielsson, Mats

    2010-05-01

    Spectral imaging is a method in medical x-ray imaging to extract information about the object constituents by the material-specific energy dependence of x-ray attenuation. The authors have investigated a photon-counting spectral imaging system with two energy bins for contrast-enhanced mammography. System optimization and the potential benefit compared to conventional non-energy-resolved absorption imaging was studied. A framework for system characterization was set up that included quantum and anatomical noise and a theoretical model of the system was benchmarked to phantom measurements. Optimal combination of the energy-resolved images corresponded approximately to minimization of the anatomical noise, which is commonly referred to as energy subtraction. In that case, an ideal-observer detectability index could be improved close to 50% compared to absorption imaging in the phantom study. Optimization with respect to the signal-to-quantum-noise ratio, commonly referred to as energy weighting, yielded only a minute improvement. In a simulation of a clinically more realistic case, spectral imaging was predicted to perform approximately 30% better than absorption imaging for an average glandularity breast with an average level of anatomical noise. For dense breast tissue and a high level of anatomical noise, however, a rise in detectability by a factor of 6 was predicted. Another approximately 70%-90% improvement was found to be within reach for an optimized system. Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography is feasible and beneficial with the current system, and there is room for additional improvements. Inclusion of anatomical noise is essential for optimizing spectral imaging systems.

  3. Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography with a photon-counting detector

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fredenberg, Erik; Hemmendorff, Magnus; Cederstroem, Bjoern; Aaslund, Magnus; Danielsson, Mats [Department of Physics, Royal Institute of Technology, AlbaNova, SE-106 91 Stockholm (Sweden); Sectra Mamea AB, Smidesvaegen 5, SE-171 41 Solna (Sweden); Department of Physics, Royal Institute of Technology, AlbaNova, SE-106 91 Stockholm (Sweden); Sectra Mamea AB, Smidesvaegen 5, SE-171 41 Solna (Sweden); Department of Physics, Royal Institute of Technology, AlbaNova, SE-106 91 Stockholm (Sweden)

    2010-05-15

    Purpose: Spectral imaging is a method in medical x-ray imaging to extract information about the object constituents by the material-specific energy dependence of x-ray attenuation. The authors have investigated a photon-counting spectral imaging system with two energy bins for contrast-enhanced mammography. System optimization and the potential benefit compared to conventional non-energy-resolved absorption imaging was studied. Methods: A framework for system characterization was set up that included quantum and anatomical noise and a theoretical model of the system was benchmarked to phantom measurements. Results: Optimal combination of the energy-resolved images corresponded approximately to minimization of the anatomical noise, which is commonly referred to as energy subtraction. In that case, an ideal-observer detectability index could be improved close to 50% compared to absorption imaging in the phantom study. Optimization with respect to the signal-to-quantum-noise ratio, commonly referred to as energy weighting, yielded only a minute improvement. In a simulation of a clinically more realistic case, spectral imaging was predicted to perform approximately 30% better than absorption imaging for an average glandularity breast with an average level of anatomical noise. For dense breast tissue and a high level of anatomical noise, however, a rise in detectability by a factor of 6 was predicted. Another {approx}70%-90% improvement was found to be within reach for an optimized system. Conclusions: Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography is feasible and beneficial with the current system, and there is room for additional improvements. Inclusion of anatomical noise is essential for optimizing spectral imaging systems.

  4. [Quality assurance and quality improvement in medical practice. Part 1. Definition and importance of quality in medical practice].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godény, Sándor

    2012-01-22

    In Hungary, financing of healthcare has decreased relative to the GDP, while the health status of the population is still ranks among the worst in the European Union. Since healthcare financing is not expected to increase, the number of practicing doctors per capita is continuously decreasing. In the coming years, it is an important question that in this situation what methods can be used to prevent further deterioration of the health status of the Hungarian population, and within this is the role of the quality approach, and different methods of quality management. In the present and the forthcoming two articles those standpoints will be summarized which support the need for the integration of quality assurance in the everyday medical practice. In the first part the importance of quality thinking, quality management, quality assurance, necessity of quality measurement and improvement, furthermore, advantages of the quality systems will be discussed.

  5. Continuous quality improvement in a Maltese hospital using logical framework analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttigieg, Sandra C; Gauci, Dorothy; Dey, Prasanta

    2016-10-10

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present the application of logical framework analysis (LFA) for implementing continuous quality improvement (CQI) across multiple settings in a tertiary care hospital. Design/methodology/approach This study adopts a multiple case study approach. LFA is implemented within three diverse settings, namely, intensive care unit, surgical ward, and acute in-patient psychiatric ward. First, problem trees are developed in order to determine the root causes of quality issues, specific to the three settings. Second, objective trees are formed suggesting solutions to the quality issues. Third, project plan template using logical framework (LOGFRAME) is created for each setting. Findings This study shows substantial improvement in quality across the three settings. LFA proved to be effective to analyse quality issues and suggest improvement measures objectively. Research limitations/implications This paper applies LFA in specific, albeit, diverse settings in one hospital. For validation purposes, it would be ideal to analyse in other settings within the same hospital, as well as in several hospitals. It also adopts a bottom-up approach when this can be triangulated with other sources of data. Practical implications LFA enables top management to obtain an integrated view of performance. It also provides a basis for further quantitative research on quality management through the identification of key performance indicators and facilitates the development of a business case for improvement. Originality/value LFA is a novel approach for the implementation of CQI programs. Although LFA has been used extensively for project development to source funds from development banks, its application in quality improvement within healthcare projects is scant.

  6. Distributed power quality improvement in residential microgrids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naderi Zarnaghi, Yahya; Hosseini, Seyed Hossein; Ghassem Zadeh, Saeid

    2017-01-01

    The importance of power quality issue on micro grids and also the changing nature of power system distortions will lead the future power systems to use distributed power quality improvement (DPQI) devices. One possible choice of these DPQIs are multifunctional DGs that could compensate some...... harmonics in the location of generation and prevent the harmonics to enter main power grid. In this paper a control method based on virtual harmonic impedance is presented for these multifunctional DGs and the effect of the location of these DGs on compensation procedure is studied with simulating...

  7. Suggestions of Policy Direction to Improve the Housing Quality in South Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miyeon Park

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Following the recent global climate changes, many countries, including developed nations, are announcing greenhouse gas (GHG reduction targets and are actively participating in reducing GHG. Therefore, the role of the building sector on reducing GHG is being emphasized, and the establishment of policy structures for both making environmentally friendly capacity compulsory and improving the housing quality is being demanded. South Korea is also developing a policy for improving housing quality, but in order to achieve more competitive growth, this must be preceded by an analysis of current policy status within various countries on improving housing quality. This study aims to suggest direction about policies that will improve the housing quality in South Korea. For this, the policies of major countries were able to categorize and compare according to three major categories (performance, function, and aesthetics, and seven factors (safety, durability, cost and maintenance, response to residents’ needs, habitability, energy saving, and building design regarding housing quality. As a result, from the performance aspect, policy directions were suggested for safe housing, the urban environment, regeneration of quality stock, and the usage of existing stock; from the functional aspect, policies for improving housing quality that responds to the aging population and energy saving housing were suggested; from the aesthetic aspect, housing designs that consider the urban environment were suggested.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, S B

    1995-01-01

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

  9. Improving Our Ability to Assess Land Management and Disturbance by Linking Traditional Ecosystem Measurements with UAV Spectral Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, L., Jr.; Barron-Gafford, G.; Smith, W. K.; Minor, R. L.; Raub, H.; Jimenez, J. R.; Wolsiffer, S. K.; Escobedo, E. B.; Smith, J.

    2017-12-01

    Drylands are dynamic landscapes of mixed plant functional types that vary in their response to abiotic and biotic drivers of change. Within these regions, woody plant-herbaceous relationships have generally been viewed as negative: woody plants within these ecosystems have been shown to negatively impact herbaceous growth by taking advantage of both deeper stored water and intercepting near surface moisture after precipitation events. There has been a long-invested effort to eliminate woody plants in many areas of the world, and analyzing and assessing land management decisions has historically required high monetary and time inputs. Unfortunately, both management practices and disturbances from fire can leave a very heterogeneous landscape, making assessment of their impacts difficult to assess. This study has attempted to address the effectiveness of two commonly used treatments within woody plant invaded areas, fire and herbicide application, by linking plant physiological measurements with the emerging technology of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spectral analysis. Taking advantage of a USDA-ARS sponsored herbicide treatment in 2016 and the accidental Sawmill Fire of 2017, both within the Santa Rita Experimental Range (SRER) of Southern Arizona, USA, we linked spectral data collected via UAV with ground-based photosynthetic measurements. Given the high repeatability, and both spatial and spectral resolution of low-flying UAV measurements, we found that there are a variety of spectral indices that can be derived and accurately linked with traditional ecological measurements. Results and techniques from this study can be immediately applied to land management plans as well as be improved for other ecological parameters, such as those obtained from long-term study sites containing eddy covariance towers.

  10. Quality Improvement in Virtual Higher Education: A Grounded Theory Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdiuon, Rouhollah; Masoumi, Davoud; Farasatkhah, Maghsoud

    2017-01-01

    The article aims to explore the attributes of quality and quality improvement including the process and specific actions associated with these attributes--that contribute enhancing quality in Iranian Virtual Higher Education (VHE) institutions. A total of 16 interviews were conducted with experts and key actors in Iranian virtual higher education.…

  11. Improving Quality of Care in Patients with Liver Cirrhosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saberifiroozi, Mehdi

    2017-10-01

    Liver cirrhosis is a major chronic disease in the field of digestive diseases. It causes more than one million deaths per year. Despite established evidence based guidelines, the adherence to standard of care or quality indicators are variable. Complete adherence to the recommendations of guidelines is less than 50%. To improve the quality of care in patients with cirrhosis, we need a more holistic view. Because of high rate of death due to cardiovascular disease and neoplasms, the care of comorbid conditions and risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, high blood sugar or cholesterol, would be important in addition to the management of primary liver disease. Despite a holistic multidisciplinary approach for this goal, the management of such patients should be patient centered and individualized. The diagnosis of underlying etiology and its appropriate treatment is the most important step. Definition and customizing the quality indicators for quality measure in patients are needed. Because most suggested quality indicators are designed for measuring the quality of care in decompensated liver cirrhosis, we need special quality indicators for compensated and milder forms of chronic liver disease as well. Training the patients for participation in their own management, design of special clinics with dedicated health professionals in a form of chronic disease model, is suggested for improvement of quality of care in this group of patients. Special day care centers by a dedicated gastroenterologist and a trained nurse may be a practical model for better management of such patients.

  12. Training Psychiatry Residents in Quality Improvement: An Integrated, Year-Long Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbuckle, Melissa R.; Weinberg, Michael; Cabaniss, Deborah L.; Kistler; Susan C.; Isaacs, Abby J.; Sederer, Lloyd I.; Essock, Susan M.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: The authors describe a curriculum for psychiatry residents in Quality Improvement (QI) methodology. Methods: All PGY3 residents (N=12) participated in a QI curriculum that included a year-long group project. Knowledge and attitudes were assessed before and after the curriculum, using a modified Quality Improvement Knowledge Assessment…

  13. Linking Quality Assurance to Performance Improvement to Produce a High Reliability Organization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silvey, Andrea B.; Warrick, Louise H.

    2008-01-01

    Three basic change management models are currently used in healthcare to produce and sustain quality improvement. We have presented the context to determine where any particular organization stands within these paradigms. We also have introduced a change-management tool used to assess, plan, and monitor leadership effort and commitment to quality improvement and culture change activities, tracked as 'momentum for change.' This 'momentum' is measured at eight discrete levels, from recognizing a performance gap to officially implementing changes intended to improve quality

  14. Improvement to the PhytoDOAS method for identification of coccolithophores using hyper-spectral satellite data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Sadeghi

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this study was to improve PhytoDOAS, which is a new retrieval method for quantitative identification of major phytoplankton functional types (PFTs using hyper-spectral satellite data. PhytoDOAS is an extension of the Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS, a method for detection of atmospheric trace gases, developed for remote identification of oceanic phytoplankton groups. Thus far, PhytoDOAS has been successfully exploited to identify cyanobacteria and diatoms over the global ocean from SCIAMACHY (SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY hyper-spectral data. This study aimed to improve PhytoDOAS for remote identification of coccolithophores, another functional group of phytoplankton. The main challenge for retrieving more PFTs by PhytoDOAS is to overcome the correlation effects between different PFT absorption spectra. Different PFTs are composed of different types and amounts of pigments, but also have pigments in common, e.g. chl a, causing correlation effects in the usual performance of the PhytoDOAS retrieval. Two ideas have been implemented to improve PhytoDOAS for the PFT retrieval of more phytoplankton groups. Firstly, using the fourth-derivative spectroscopy, the peak positions of the main pigment components in each absorption spectrum have been derived. After comparing the corresponding results of major PFTs, the optimized fit-window for the PhytoDOAS retrieval of each PFT was determined. Secondly, based on the results from derivative spectroscopy, a simultaneous fit of PhytoDOAS has been proposed and tested for a selected set of PFTs (coccolithophores, diatoms and dinoflagellates within an optimized fit-window, proven by spectral orthogonality tests. The method was then applied to the processing of SCIAMACHY data over the year 2005. Comparisons of the PhytoDOAS coccolithophore retrievals in 2005 with other coccolithophore-related data showed similar patterns in their

  15. Beyond Measurement and Reward: Methods of Motivating Quality Improvement and Accountability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenson, Robert A; Rice, Thomas

    2015-12-01

    The article examines public policies designed to improve quality and accountability that do not rely on financial incentives and public reporting of provider performance. Payment policy should help temper the current "more is better" attitude of physicians and provider organizations. Incentive neutrality would better support health professionals' intrinsic motivation to act in their patients' best interests to improve overall quality than would pay-for-performance plans targeted to specific areas of clinical care. Public policy can support clinicians' intrinsic motivation through approaches that support systematic feedback to clinicians and provide concrete opportunities to collaborate to improve care. Some programs administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, including Partnership for Patients and Conditions of Participation, deserve more attention; they represent available, but largely ignored, approaches to support providers to improve quality and protect beneficiaries against substandard care. Public policies related to quality improvement should focus more on methods of enhancing professional intrinsic motivation, while recognizing the potential role of organizations to actively promote and facilitate that motivation. Actually achieving improvement, however, will require a reexamination of the role played by financial incentives embedded in payments and the unrealistic expectations placed on marginal incentives in pay-for-performance schemes. © Health Research and Educational Trust.

  16. Quality and productivity improvement program (PPKP) from alumni perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruza, Nadiah; Mustafa, Zainol

    2013-04-01

    Defining the quality of the university education system is not easy. Institutions of higher education, through curriculum are hoped to provide the knowledge, wisdom and personality of students. It is questionable of how far Quality and Productivity Improvement Program (PPKP) are capable to ensure the courses offered relevant and effective in preparing the students for job market. The effectiveness of a university to undertake responsibilities and the impact given to students even after they graduate can be a measure of education quality at university. So, the quality of education can be enhanced and improved from time to time. In general, this study is aims to determine the effectiveness of PPKP's education system from the perspective of their alumni as well as their satisfaction and the importance level based on how PPKP be able to meet their needs. In overall, summary of open-ended questions from the questionnaire, Importance-Performance analysis and correlation analysis were conducted for this study. Based on result, it appears that there are still some deficiencies that can be improve, particularly in terms of teaching skills and PPKP's relationships with external organizations to enable knowledge be channel effectively. Importance-Performance analysis highlights some topics or courses that should be offered by PPKP based on their importance in industrial practice. Summary of the results of correlation analysis was found that women are more positive and not too demanding compared to men. In addition, it is found that the responsibilities and workload of the older generations, higher income and a high level of experience demands them to use and practice what they have learned during their studies at PPKP. Results of this study are hoped could be used to improve the quality of education system at PPKP.

  17. Does enhanced regulation improve EIA report quality? Lessons from South Africa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandham, L.A., E-mail: luke.sandham@nwu.ac.za [Environmental Assessment Research Group, School of Geo and Spatial Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom, 2520 (South Africa); Heerden, A.J. van [Environmental Assessment Research Group, School of Geo and Spatial Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom, 2520 (South Africa); Jones, C.E. [School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL (United Kingdom); Retief, F.P.; Morrison-Saunders, A.N. [Environmental Assessment Research Group, School of Geo and Spatial Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom, 2520 (South Africa)

    2013-01-15

    Recently, various EIA systems have been subjected to system review processes with a view to improve performance. Many of these reviews resulted in some form of legislative reform. The South African Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations were modified in 2006 with the express intent to improve EIA effectiveness. In order to evaluate to what extent the desired outcome was achieved, the quality of EIA reports produced under the 2006 regulations was investigated for comparative analysis with the preceding regime. A sample of EIA reports from the two legislative regimes was reviewed using an adapted version of a well established method known colloquially as the 'Lee and Colley' review package. Despite some improvements in certain aspects, overall report quality has decreased slightly from the 1997 EIA regime. It therefore appears that the modifications to the regulations, often heralded as the solution to improvements in performance have not resulted in improved quality of EIA reports. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer EIA regulations in South Africa were revised and became more comprehensive in 2006. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The report quality of a sample of EIAs was reviewed using the Lee and Colley review package. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Report quality showed a slight decline from the previous regulatory regime. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer EIA good practice needs flexibility rather than over-detailed regulation.

  18. Increased Mercury Bioaccumulation Follows Water Quality Improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bogle, M.A.; Peterson, M.J.; Smith, J.G.; Southworth, G.R.

    1999-09-15

    Changes in physical and chemical characteristics of aquatic habitats made to reduce or eliminate ecological risks can sometimes have unforeseen consequences. Environmental management activities on the U.S. Dept. of Energy reservation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee,have succeeded in improving water quality in streams impacted by discharges fi-om industrial facilities and waste disposal sites. The diversity and abundance of pollution-sensitive components of the benthic macroinvertebrate communities of three streams improved after new waste treatment systems or remedial actions reduced inputs of various toxic chemicals. Two of the streams were known to be mercury-contaminated from historical spills and waste disposal practices. Waterborne mercury concentrations in the third were typical of uncontaminated systems. In each case, concentrations of mercury in fish, or the apparent biological availability of mercury increased over the period during which ecological metrics indicated improved water quality. In the system where waterborne mercury concentrations were at background levels, increased mercury bioaccumulation was probably a result of reduced aqueous selenium concentrations; however, the mechanisms for increased mercury accumulation in the other two streams remain under investigation. In each of the three systems, reduced inputs of metals and inorganic anions was followed by improvements in the health of aquatic invertebrate communities. However, this reduction in risk to aquatic invertebrates was accompanied by increased risk to humans and piscivorous wildlife related to increased mercury concentrations in fish.

  19. Increased Mercury Bioaccumulation Follows Water Quality Improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bogle, M.A.; Peterson, M.J.; Smith, J.G.; Southworth, G.R.

    1999-01-01

    Changes in physical and chemical characteristics of aquatic habitats made to reduce or eliminate ecological risks can sometimes have unforeseen consequences. Environmental management activities on the U.S. Dept. of Energy reservation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee,have succeeded in improving water quality in streams impacted by discharges fi-om industrial facilities and waste disposal sites. The diversity and abundance of pollution-sensitive components of the benthic macroinvertebrate communities of three streams improved after new waste treatment systems or remedial actions reduced inputs of various toxic chemicals. Two of the streams were known to be mercury-contaminated from historical spills and waste disposal practices. Waterborne mercury concentrations in the third were typical of uncontaminated systems. In each case, concentrations of mercury in fish, or the apparent biological availability of mercury increased over the period during which ecological metrics indicated improved water quality. In the system where waterborne mercury concentrations were at background levels, increased mercury bioaccumulation was probably a result of reduced aqueous selenium concentrations; however, the mechanisms for increased mercury accumulation in the other two streams remain under investigation. In each of the three systems, reduced inputs of metals and inorganic anions was followed by improvements