WorldWideScience

Sample records for improved assessment approach

  1. Improvement of risk assessment by integrating toxicological and epidemiological approaches: the case of isoflavones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Islam, M.A.

    2015-01-01

    Improvement of risk assessment by integrating toxicological and epidemiological approaches: the case of isoflavones

    PhD-thesis Mohammed Ariful Islam

    This thesis describes the results of a research project that aimed at the improvement of

  2. New approaches for improving cardiovascular risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paredes, Simão; Rocha, Teresa; Mendes, Diana; Carvalho, Paulo; Henriques, Jorge; Morais, João; Ferreira, Jorge; Mendes, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Clinical guidelines recommend the use of cardiovascular risk assessment tools (risk scores) to predict the risk of events such as cardiovascular death, since these scores can aid clinical decision-making and thereby reduce the social and economic costs of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, despite their importance, risk scores present important weaknesses that can diminish their reliability in clinical contexts. This study presents a new framework, based on current risk assessment tools, that aims to minimize these limitations. Appropriate application and combination of existing knowledge is the main focus of this work. Two different methodologies are applied: (i) a combination scheme that enables data to be extracted and processed from various sources of information, including current risk assessment tools and the contributions of the physician; and (ii) a personalization scheme based on the creation of patient groups with the purpose of identifying the most suitable risk assessment tool to assess the risk of a specific patient. Validation was performed based on a real patient dataset of 460 patients at Santa Cruz Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal, diagnosed with non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome. Promising results were obtained with both approaches, which achieved sensitivity, specificity and geometric mean of 78.79%, 73.07% and 75.87%, and 75.69%, 69.79% and 72.71%, respectively. The proposed approaches present better performances than current CVD risk scores; however, additional datasets are required to back up these findings. Copyright © 2015 Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia. Published by Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  3. Training self-assessment and task-selection skills: A cognitive approach to improving self-regulated learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kostons, Danny; Van Gog, Tamara; Paas, Fred

    2012-01-01

    Kostons, D., Van Gog, T., & Paas, F. (2012). Training self-assessment and task-selection skills: A cognitive approach to improving self-regulated learning. Learning and Instruction, 22(2), 121-132. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2011.08.004

  4. Combined computational and experimental approach to improve the assessment of mitral regurgitation by echocardiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonntag, Simon J; Li, Wei; Becker, Michael; Kaestner, Wiebke; Büsen, Martin R; Marx, Nikolaus; Merhof, Dorit; Steinseifer, Ulrich

    2014-05-01

    Mitral regurgitation (MR) is one of the most frequent valvular heart diseases. To assess MR severity, color Doppler imaging (CDI) is the clinical standard. However, inadequate reliability, poor reproducibility and heavy user-dependence are known limitations. A novel approach combining computational and experimental methods is currently under development aiming to improve the quantification. A flow chamber for a circulatory flow loop was developed. Three different orifices were used to mimic variations of MR. The flow field was recorded simultaneously by a 2D Doppler ultrasound transducer and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations were conducted using the same geometry and boundary conditions. The resulting computed velocity field was used to simulate synthetic Doppler signals. Comparison between PIV and CFD shows a high level of agreement. The simulated CDI exhibits the same characteristics as the recorded color Doppler images. The feasibility of the proposed combination of experimental and computational methods for the investigation of MR is shown and the numerical methods are successfully validated against the experiments. Furthermore, it is discussed how the approach can be used in the long run as a platform to improve the assessment of MR quantification.

  5. Assessing approaches for dissemination of research information to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mo

    Assessing approaches for dissemination of research information to farmers within their ... to soil improvement, NAADS had a wide scope that included animal husbandry. Farmers .... the Problem Solving Approach that involves defining the approach ..... Assessing the Quality of Participation in Farmers' Research Groups.

  6. Improving detection and quality of assessment of child abuse and partner abuse is achievable with a formal organisational change approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wills, Russell; Ritchie, Miranda; Wilson, Mollie

    2008-03-01

    To improve detection and quality of assessment of child and partner abuse within a health service. A formal organisational change approach was used to implement the New Zealand Family Violence Intervention Guidelines in a mid-sized regional health service. The approach includes obtaining senior management support, community collaboration, developing resources to support practice, research, evaluation and training. Formal pre-post evaluations were conducted of the training. Barriers and enablers of practice change were assessed through 85 interviews with 60 staff. More than 6000 clinical records were audited to assess rates of questioning for partner abuse. Identifications of partner abuse and referrals made were counted through the Family Violence Accessory File. Referrals to the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services (CYFS) were recorded routinely by the CYFS. Audits assessed quality of assessment of child and partner abuse, when identified. More than 700 staff were trained in dual assessment for child and partner abuse. Evaluations demonstrate improved confidence following training, though staff still need support. Barriers and enablers to asking about partner abuse were identified. Referrals from the health service to the CYFS increased from 10 per quarter to 70 per quarter. Identification of partner abuse increased from 30 to 80 per 6-month period. Routine questioning rates for partner abuse vary between services. Achieving and sustaining improved rates of identification and quality of assessment of child and partner abuse is possible with a formal organisational change approach.

  7. Approaches to risk assessment in food allergy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Charlotte Bernhard; Hattersley, S.; Buck, J.

    2009-01-01

    modelling is considered to be the most promising approach for use in population risk assessment (which is a particular focus for risk managers). For all approaches, further improvement of input data is desirable, particularly data on consumption patterns/food choices in food allergic consumers, data...... models. The workshop concluded that all the three approaches to safety and risk assessment of allergenic foods should continue to be considered. A particular strength of the MoE and probabilistic approaches is that they do not rely on low-dose extrapolations with its inherent issues. Probabilistic......A workshop was organised to investigate whether risk assessment strategies and methodologies used in classical/conventional toxicology may be used for risk assessment of allergenic foods. to discuss the advantages and limitations of different approaches and to determine the research needed to move...

  8. A quality improvement approach to cognitive assessment on hospice admission: could we use the 4AT or Short CAM?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, Lucy; Spiller, Juliet Anne

    2017-01-01

    Background Prevalence studies show that 13%-42% of patients admitted to specialist palliative care inpatient units have delirium. Symptoms of delirium are often subtle and easily missed, or misdiagnosed as fatigue or depression, and so the use of a screening tool could improve early identification and management of delirium and lead to improved outcomes. Patients admitted to hospices are often frail and tired, therefore a quick and easy-to-use method of cognitive assessment is essential. Methods A quality improvement (QI) approach (PDSA: Plan, Do, Study, Act) was used to improve screening for delirium on admission to a hospice unit. A baseline measure was taken of the rate of performance of cognitive assessment on admission. Five PDSA cycles were then undertaken which involved implementing change and then evaluating results through auditing case notes and interviewing staff. Results The first cycle determined staff preference between two cognitive assessment methods: the Short Confusion Assessment Method and the four 'A's Test (4AT). Two further PDSA cycles embedded the 4AT (the preferred tool) into the admission process, establishing it as a usable tool in the hospice setting for up to 92% of admissions. A subsequent cycle showing poor sustainability prompted staff education and changes to admission documentation, resulting in an increase in cognitive assessment being performed, from 50% to 76%. Conclusion The 4AT is a usable tool in the hospice inpatient setting to assess patients' cognitive state on admission and can easily be incorporated into the admission process. The QI approach highlighted the need to link staff awareness of their use of the screening tool with perceived improvements in the treatment of delirium, which prompted the creation and implementation of a 'Delirium Checklist'. Some initial lack of sustainability was addressed by staff education and changes to the admission paperwork to ensure compliance with the use of the 4AT and sustained

  9. Feasibility assessment of a risk-based approach to technical specifications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Atefi, B.; Gallagher, D.W.

    1991-05-01

    The first phase of the assessment concentrates on (1) identification of selected risk-based approaches for improving current technical specifications, (2) appraisal of characteristics of each approach, including advantages and disadvantages, and (3) recommendation of one or more approaches that might result in improving current technical specification requirements. The second phase of the work concentrates on assessment of the feasibility of implementation of a pilot program to study detailed characteristics of the preferred approach. The real time risk-based approach was identified as the preferred approach to technical specifications for controlling plant operational risk. There do not appear to be any technical or institutional obstacles to prevent initiation of a pilot program to assess the characteristics and effectiveness of such an approach. 2 tabs

  10. Tiered Approach to Resilience Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linkov, Igor; Fox-Lent, Cate; Read, Laura; Allen, Craig R; Arnott, James C; Bellini, Emanuele; Coaffee, Jon; Florin, Marie-Valentine; Hatfield, Kirk; Hyde, Iain; Hynes, William; Jovanovic, Aleksandar; Kasperson, Roger; Katzenberger, John; Keys, Patrick W; Lambert, James H; Moss, Richard; Murdoch, Peter S; Palma-Oliveira, Jose; Pulwarty, Roger S; Sands, Dale; Thomas, Edward A; Tye, Mari R; Woods, David

    2018-04-25

    Regulatory agencies have long adopted a three-tier framework for risk assessment. We build on this structure to propose a tiered approach for resilience assessment that can be integrated into the existing regulatory processes. Comprehensive approaches to assessing resilience at appropriate and operational scales, reconciling analytical complexity as needed with stakeholder needs and resources available, and ultimately creating actionable recommendations to enhance resilience are still lacking. Our proposed framework consists of tiers by which analysts can select resilience assessment and decision support tools to inform associated management actions relative to the scope and urgency of the risk and the capacity of resource managers to improve system resilience. The resilience management framework proposed is not intended to supplant either risk management or the many existing efforts of resilience quantification method development, but instead provide a guide to selecting tools that are appropriate for the given analytic need. The goal of this tiered approach is to intentionally parallel the tiered approach used in regulatory contexts so that resilience assessment might be more easily and quickly integrated into existing structures and with existing policies. Published 2018. This article is a U.S. government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  11. Improving risk assessment of violence among military veterans: an evidence-based approach for clinical decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elbogen, Eric B; Fuller, Sara; Johnson, Sally C; Brooks, Stephanie; Kinneer, Patricia; Calhoun, Patrick S; Beckham, Jean C

    2010-08-01

    Increased media attention to post-deployment violence highlights the need to develop effective models to guide risk assessment among military Veterans. Ideally, a method would help identify which Veterans are most at risk for violence so that it can be determined what could be done to prevent violent behavior. This article suggests how empirical approaches to risk assessment used successfully in civilian populations can be applied to Veterans. A review was conducted of the scientific literature on Veteran populations regarding factors related to interpersonal violence generally and to domestic violence specifically. A checklist was then generated of empirically-supported risk factors for clinicians to consider in practice. To conceptualize how these known risk factors relate to a Veteran's violence potential, risk assessment scholarship was utilized to develop an evidence-based method to guide mental health professionals. The goals of this approach are to integrate science into practice, overcome logistical barriers, and permit more effective assessment, monitoring, and management of violence risk for clinicians working with Veterans, both in Department of Veteran Affairs settings and in the broader community. Research is needed to test the predictive validity of risk assessment models. Ultimately, the use of a systematic, empirical framework could lead to improved clinical decision-making in the area of risk assessment and potentially help prevent violence among Veterans. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. The Assessment Methodology RADAR – A Theoretical Approach of a Methodology for Coordinating the Efforts to Improve the Organizational Processes to Achieve Excellence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Raluca Popescu

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available In the paper “The Assessment Methodology RADAR – A Theoretical Approach of a Methodology for Coordinating the Efforts to Improve the Organizational Processes to Achieve Excellence” the authors present the basic features of the assessment methodology RADAR that is designed to coordinate the efforts to improve the organizational processes in order to achieve excellence.

  13. On the improvement of IT process maturity: assessment, recommendation and validation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dirgahayu Teduh

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of information technology (IT in enterprises must be governed and managed appropriately using IT processes. The notion of IT process maturity is useful to measure the actual performance and to define the desired performance of IT processes. Improvements are necessary when there are gaps between the actual and desired performance. Most literatures focus on IT process maturity assessment. They do not address how to improve IT process maturity. This paper proposes an approach to enterprise IT process maturity improvement for COBIT processes. The approach consists of three activities, i.e. IT process maturity assessment, recommendation, and validation. Assessment is to recognise the process’ control objectives maturity. From the assessment results, recommendation identifies control objectives that must be improved and then suggests improvement actions. The prescriptive nature of the control objectives facilitates in suggesting those actions. Recommendations for managements are defined by abstracting similar actions. Validation checks whether the recommendations match with the enterprise needs and capability. It includes a scale for validation, in which enterprise’s capability is categorized into (i not capable, (ii capable with great efforts, and (iii fully capable. The paper illustrates the approach with a case study.

  14. 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.

  15. Assessment of Clinical Risk Management System in Hospitals: An Approach for Quality Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farokhzadian, Jamileh; Dehghan Nayeri, Nahid; Borhani, Fariba

    2015-03-18

    Clinical risks have created major problems in healthcare system such as serious adverse effects on patient safety and enhancing the financial burden for the healthcare. Thus, clinical risk management (CRM) system has been introduced for improving the quality and safety of services to health care. The aim of this study was to assess the status of CRM in the hospitals. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 200 nursing staff from three teaching hospitals affiliated with the Kerman University of Medical Sciences in southeast of Iran. Data were collected from the participants using questionnaire and observational checklist in quality improvement offices and selected wards. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Almost, 57% of persons participated in at least one of training sessions on CRM. The status of CRM system was rated from weak to moderate (2.93±0.72- 3.18±0.66). Among the six domains of CRM system, the highest mean belonged to domain the monitoring of analysis, evaluation and risk control (3.18±0.72); the lowest mean belonged to domain the staff's knowledge, recognition and understanding of CRM (2.93±0.66). There were no integrated electronic systems for recording and analyzing clinical risks and incidents in the hospitals. Attempts have been made to establish CRM through improvement quality approach such as clinical governance and accreditation, but not enough, however, health care should move toward quality improvement and safe practice through the effective integration of CRM in organizational process.

  16. Suggestions for an improved HRA method for use in Probabilistic Safety Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parry, Gareth W.

    1995-01-01

    This paper discusses why an improved Human Reliability Analysis (HRA) approach for use in Probabilistic Safety Assessments (PSAs) is needed, and proposes a set of requirements on the improved HRA method. The constraints imposed by the need to embed the approach into the PSA methodology are discussed. One approach to laying the foundation for an improved method, using models from the cognitive psychology and behavioral science disciplines, is outlined

  17. Improving Scotland's health: time for a fresh approach?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, D H

    2012-05-01

    Scotland's health remains the worst in the UK. There are several probable reasons for this. Of those that are amenable to change, health improvement policy has been excessively preoccupied with targeting individuals perceived to be 'at risk' rather than adopting a whole population perspective. Environmental as opposed to behavioural approaches to health improvement have been relatively neglected. To meet the challenge of Scotland's poor health more effectively in the future, new strategic thinking is necessary. Three initial steps are required: recognize that current approaches are inadequate and that fresh ideas are needed; identify the principles that should underlie future strategy development; translate these principles into achievable operational objectives. Five principles of a revitalized strategy to improve the health of Scotland in the future are proposed. These are start early and sustain effort; create a healthy and safe environment; reduce geographical as well as social inequalities in health; adopt an evidence-based approach to public health interventions; use epidemiology to assess need, plan interventions and monitor progress. These principles may then be translated into achievable operational policy and practice objectives.

  18. LEADING CHANGES IN ASSESSMENT USING AN EVIDENCE BASED APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. O. Macaulay

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction and objectivesIt is has been widely accepted that assessment of learning is a critical component of education and that assessment drives/guides student learning through shaping study habits and student approaches to learning. However, although most academics would agree that assessment is a critical aspect of their roles as teachers it is often an aspect of teaching that is regarded more as an additional task rather than an integral component of the teaching/learning continuum. An additional impediment to high quality assessment is the non-evidence based-approach to the decision making process. The overall aim of this project was to improve the quality of assessment in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology undergraduate education by promoting high quality assessment.Materials and methodsTo do this we developed and trialled an audit tool for mapping assessment practices. The audit tool was designed to gather data on current assessment practices and identify areas of good practice in which assessment aligned with the learning objectives and areas in need of improvement. This evidence base will then be used to drive change in assessment.Results and conclusionsUsing the assessment mapping tool we have mapped the assessment regime in a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at Monash University. Criteria used included: assessment type, format, timing, assessors, provision of feedback, level of learning (Bloom’s, approaches taken to planning assessment. We have mapped assessment of content and the systematic development of higher order learning and skills progression throughout the program of study. The data has enabled us to examine the assessment at unit (course level as well as the vertical development across the major. This information is now being used to inform a review of the units and the major.

  19. A Peer-Assessment Mobile Kung Fu Education Approach to Improving Students' Affective Performances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Fon-Chu; Chen, Jun-Ming; Chu, Hui-Chun; Yang, Kai-Hsiang; Chen, Yi-Hsuan

    2017-01-01

    Peer-assessment and video comment-sharing are effective learning strategies for students to receive feedback on their learning. Researchers have emphasized the need for well-designed peer involvement in order to improve students' abilities in the cognitive and affective domains. Although student perceptions of peer-assessment have been studied…

  20. Control room annunciation - problem assessment and selection of improvement priorities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, P.; Yaraskavitch, E.; Davey, E.

    1998-01-01

    In 1997, Pickering B undertook a project to examine current annunciation practice and identify improvement opportunities and priorities. The objectives and scope of the study were to: document the deficiencies with control room annunciation and the subsequent operational and financial impacts to station operations, develop an operations-based definition of the requirements for annunciation to adequately support control room staff, propose annunciation improvements based on a comparison of the annunciation deficiencies identified and the operational needs to be met, assess the relative operational impact, and financial benefits and costs of the improvement initiatives proposed, and recommend annunciation improvement priorities that offer a mix of operational and financial return for improvement investment. This paper discusses the rationale for the project, outlines the approaches applied in achieving the assessment objectives, reviews the key assessment findings and describes the improvement initiatives recommended. (author)

  1. A Mixed-Methods Analysis in Assessing Students' Professional Development by Applying an Assessment for Learning Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeters, Michael J; Vaidya, Varun A

    2016-06-25

    Objective. To describe an approach for assessing the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education's (ACPE) doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) Standard 4.4, which focuses on students' professional development. Methods. This investigation used mixed methods with triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data to assess professional development. Qualitative data came from an electronic developmental portfolio of professionalism and ethics, completed by PharmD students during their didactic studies. Quantitative confirmation came from the Defining Issues Test (DIT)-an assessment of pharmacists' professional development. Results. Qualitatively, students' development reflections described growth through this course series. Quantitatively, the 2015 PharmD class's DIT N2-scores illustrated positive development overall; the lower 50% had a large initial improvement compared to the upper 50%. Subsequently, the 2016 PharmD class confirmed these average initial improvements of students and also showed further substantial development among students thereafter. Conclusion. Applying an assessment for learning approach, triangulation of qualitative and quantitative assessments confirmed that PharmD students developed professionally during this course series.

  2. A practical approach to programmatic assessment design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmerman, A A; Dijkstra, J

    2017-12-01

    Assessment of complex tasks integrating several competencies calls for a programmatic design approach. As single instruments do not provide the information required to reach a robust judgment of integral performance, 73 guidelines for programmatic assessment design were developed. When simultaneously applying these interrelated guidelines, it is challenging to keep a clear overview of all assessment activities. The goal of this study was to provide practical support for applying a programmatic approach to assessment design, not bound to any specific educational paradigm. The guidelines were first applied in a postgraduate medical training setting, and a process analysis was conducted. This resulted in the identification of four steps for programmatic assessment design: evaluation, contextualisation, prioritisation and justification. Firstly, the (re)design process starts with sufficiently detailing the assessment environment and formulating the principal purpose. Key stakeholders with sufficient (assessment) expertise need to be involved in the analysis of strengths and weaknesses and identification of developmental needs. Central governance is essential to balance efforts and stakes with the principal purpose and decide on prioritisation of design decisions and selection of relevant guidelines. Finally, justification of assessment design decisions, quality assurance and external accountability close the loop, to ensure sound underpinning and continuous improvement of the assessment programme.

  3. [Improving job morale of nurses despite insurance cost control. 1: Organization assessment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haw, Mary Ann; Claus, Eleanor G; Durbin-Lafferty, Ellen; Iversen, Sharon M

    2003-04-01

    Faced with declining resources for health care and greater pressures to improve productivity of nursing staff, nursing administrators must act now to develop organizational responses to morale problems among nursing staff. As part of a two-part series for JONA, the authors describe low-cost organizational approaches that address nursing morale. Presented in Part 1 is a low-cost diagnostic process for assessing needs of staff and appraising organizational dimensions contributing to morale. Assessment findings provide clear direction for developing organizational approaches for improving morale.

  4. Assessing and Improving Children’s Rights in Hospitals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuttumuratova, Aigul; Monolbaev, Kubanychbek; Boderscova, Larisa; Pirova, Zulfiya; Weber, Martin W.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract There is a recognized need to raise evidence on how to adopt human rights-based approaches (HRBAs) to health and to assess their impact. In 2013 and 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe used a set of tools to assess and improve the situation of children’s rights in 11 hospitals in Kyrgyzstan, 10 hospitals in Tajikistan, and 21 hospitals in Moldova, by applying a HRBA to health, taking as a reference the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The assessment results show a similar situation across countries in some areas, and more or less significant variation in others. Common gaps include the need to improve adolescent-friendly health services, the rights to privacy and play; and infrastructure and equipment. In Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, a second round of assessment, was carried out, which showed an effective change in several areas, whilst other areas showed persistent gaps. Moldova did not carry out a second round of assessment. Involving children and parents in the assessment was crucial to obtain more reliable data; the project showed how to use the CRC as a framework to improve quality of care for children (QoC); and the tools were proven useful for self-assessment. PMID:27781013

  5. Feasibility assessment of a risk-based approach to technical specifications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Atefi, B.; Gallagher, D.W.

    1991-05-01

    To assess the potential use of risk and reliability techniques for improving the effectiveness of the technical specifications to control plant operational risk, the Technical Specifications Branch of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission initiated an effort to identify and evaluate alternative risk-based approaches that could bring greater risk perspective to these requirements. In the first phase four alternative approaches were identified and their characteristics were analyzed. Among these, the risk-based approach to technical specifications is the most promising approach for controlling plant operational risk using technical specifications. The second phase of the study concentrated on detailed characteristics of the real time risk-based approach. It is concluded that a real time risk-based approach to technical specifications has the potential to improve both plant safety and availability. 33 figs., 5 figs., 6 tabs

  6. A practical, systematic and structured approach to piping vibration assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sukaih, Naren

    2002-01-01

    The main aim of this paper is to present a systematic and structured approach to piping vibration assessment and control. Piping vibration assessment is a complex subject, since there are no general analytical methods for dealing with vibration problems. It was noted that most existing vibrating piping systems had poor or degraded support arrangements. This approach therefore focuses mainly on vibration control through assessing and improving the supporting systems. Vibration theory has not been covered in any detail. A simplified procedure is presented for the Integrity custodian to determine when a simple assessment may be carried out and when specialist/consultant services are required. The assessment techniques are based on simplifying assumptions, good rules of thumb and available literature and current practices. A typical case study is used to illustrate the use and the flexibility of the above approach. A standard sheet is proposed to record and document the assessment and recommendations

  7. Improving nursing morale in a climate of cost containment. Part 1. Organizational assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haw, M A; Claus, E G; Durbin-Lafferty, E; Iversen, S M

    1984-10-01

    Faced with declining resources for health care and greater pressures to improve productivity of nursing staff, nursing administrators must act now to develop organizational responses to morale problems among nursing staff. As part of a two-part series for JONA, the authors describe low-cost organizational approaches that address nursing morale. Presented in Part 1 is a low-cost diagnostic process for assessing needs of staff and appraising organizational dimensions contributing to morale. Assessment findings provide clear direction for developing organizational approaches for improving morale.

  8. Peer Assessment with Online Tools to Improve Student Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkins, Leslie J.

    2012-11-01

    Introductory physics courses often require students to develop precise models of phenomena and represent these with diagrams, including free-body diagrams, light-ray diagrams, and maps of field lines. Instructors expect that students will adopt a certain rigor and precision when constructing these diagrams, but we want that rigor and precision to be an aid to sense-making rather than meeting seemingly arbitrary requirements set by the instructor. By giving students the authority to develop their own models and establish requirements for their diagrams, the sense that these are arbitrary requirements diminishes and students are more likely to see modeling as a sense-making activity. The practice of peer assessment can help students take ownership; however, it can be difficult for instructors to manage. Furthermore, it is not without risk: students can be reluctant to critique their peers, they may view this as the job of the instructor, and there is no guarantee that students will employ greater rigor and precision as a result of peer assessment. In this article, we describe one approach for peer assessment that can establish norms for diagrams in a way that is student driven, where students retain agency and authority in assessing and improving their work. We show that such an approach does indeed improve students' diagrams and abilities to assess their own work, without sacrificing students' authority and agency.

  9. Representative Agricultural Pathways: A Trans-Disciplinary Approach to Agricultural Model Inter-comparison, Improvement, Climate Impact Assessment and Stakeholder Engagement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antle, J. M.; Valdivia, R. O.; Claessens, L.; Nelson, G. C.; Rosenzweig, C.; Ruane, A. C.; Vervoort, J.

    2013-12-01

    The global change research community has recognized that new pathway and scenario concepts are needed to implement impact and vulnerability assessment that is logically consistent across local, regional and global scales. For impact and vulnerability assessment, new socio-economic pathway and scenario concepts are being developed. Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs) are designed to extend global pathways to provide the detail needed for global and regional assessment of agricultural systems. In addition, research by the Agricultural Model Inter-comparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) shows that RAPs provide a powerful way to engage stakeholders in climate-related research throughout the research process and in communication of research results. RAPs are based on the integrated assessment framework developed by AgMIP. This framework shows that both bio-physical and socio-economic drivers are essential components of agricultural pathways and logically precede the definition of adaptation and mitigation scenarios that embody associated capabilities and challenges. This approach is based on a trans-disciplinary process for designing pathways and then translating them into parameter sets for bio-physical and economic models that are components of agricultural integrated assessments of climate impact, adaptation and mitigation. RAPs must be designed to be part of a logically consistent set of drivers and outcomes from global to regional and local. Global RAPs are designed to be consistent with higher-level global socio-economic pathways, but add key agricultural drivers such as agricultural growth trends that are not specified in more general pathways, as illustrated in a recent inter-comparison of global agricultural models. To create pathways at regional or local scales, further detail is needed. At this level, teams of scientists and other experts with knowledge of the agricultural systems and regions work together through a step-wise process. Experiences

  10. Approaches for assessing sustainable remediation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Søndergaard, Gitte Lemming; Binning, Philip John; Bjerg, Poul Løgstrup

    Sustainable remediation seeks to reduce direct contaminant point source impacts on the environment, while minimizing the indirect cost of remediation to the environment, society and economy. This paper presents an overview of available approaches for assessing the sustainability of alternative...... remediation strategies for a contaminated site. Most approaches use multi-criteria assessment methods (MCA) to structure a decision support process. Different combinations of environmental, social and economic criteria are employed, and are assessed either in qualitative or quantitative forms with various...... tools such as life cycle assessment and cost benefit analysis. Stakeholder involvement, which is a key component of sustainable remediation, is conducted in various ways. Some approaches involve stakeholders directly in the evaluation or weighting of criteria, whereas other approaches only indirectly...

  11. Assessing Online Discussions: A Holistic Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yu-mei; Chen, Der-Thanq

    2017-01-01

    This article reports a holistic approach to assessing online discussions. This holistic approach integrates three assessment methods: assessment of learning, assessment for learning, and assessment as learning. Assessment of learning directly examines students' learning products to decide whether they have achieved the expected learning through…

  12. Rapid Fishery Assessment by Market Survey (RFAMS--an improved rapid-assessment approach to characterising fish landings in developing countries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William T White

    Full Text Available The complex multi-gear, multi-species tropical fisheries in developing countries are poorly understood and characterising the landings from these fisheries is often impossible using conventional approaches. A rapid assessment method for characterising landings at fish markets, using an index of abundance and estimated weight within taxonomic groups, is described. This approach was developed for contexts where there are no detailed data collection protocols, and where consistent data collection across a wide range of fisheries types and geographic areas is required, regardless of the size of the site and scale of the landings. This methodology, which was demonstrated at seven fish landing sites/fish markets in southern Indonesia between July 2008 and January 2011, provides a rapid assessment of the abundance and diversity in the wild catch over a wide variety of taxonomic groups. The approach has wider application for species-rich fisheries in developing countries where there is an urgent need for better data collection protocols, monitoring future changes in market demographics, and evaluating health of fisheries.

  13. Towards e-Government project assessment: European approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Mates

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the paper is to analyse current approaches to the assessment of e-Government projects as the specifi c public projects and to suggest how to improve these approaches in order to eliminate their shortcomings. The nonnormative theoretical methods are used to analyse empirical results of previous researches; particularly the deduction method is used to prove that current approaches to the evaluation of e-Government projects have some inequalities, the analogy and comparison methods are used to create general typology of e-Government projects and the induction method is used to seek examples of the indicators and metrics. The results are based on analysis of extensive amount of e-Government projects, which have been realized in different European countries in the past twenty years. The basic result of the research is creation of the ten most common types of e-Government projects typology. The fundamental conclusion obtained from the results of this research is that this typology can be used as the core of new E-Government General Assessment Framework, which eliminates problems of previous approaches, allows adjusting metrics and indicators to each type of projects, keeps comparability of results and thus making possible the use of benchmarking methods.

  14. A TIERED APPROACH TO LIFE STAGES TESTING FOR AGRICULTURAL CHEMICAL SAFERY ASSESSMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    A proposal has been developed by the Agricultural Chemical Safety Assessment (ACSA) Technical Committee of the ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) for an improved approach to assessing the safety of crop protection chemicals. The goal is to ensure that studie...

  15. Self-assessment as an approach to improvement of efficient implementation of Ukrainian NPP operational experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pecheritsya, L.M.; Lyigots'kij, O.Yi.; Pecheritsya, O.V.; Tarasenko, V.M.

    2012-01-01

    the paper contains a brief description of the procedure for implementation of operational experience, focuses on the role of self -assessment in efficient use of operational experience, presents a review of international and national practices of self-assessment and review of the main features, issues and ways to improve self-assessment of efficient use of operational experience in Ukraine

  16. Risk assessment of mixtures of pesticides. Current approaches and future strategies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reffstrup, Trine Klein; Larsen, John Christian; Meyer, Otto A.

    2010-01-01

    The risk assessment of pesticide residues in food is based on toxicological evaluation of the single compounds and no internationally accepted procedure exists for evaluation of cumulative exposure to multiple residues of pesticides in crops, except for a few groups of pesticides sharing a group...... several approaches are available for the risk assessment of mixtures of pesticides. However, no single simple approach is available to judge upon potential interactions at the low doses that humans are exposed to from pesticide residues in food. In these cases, PBTK models could be useful as tools...... to assess combined tissue doses and to help predict potential interactions including thresholds for such effects. This would improve the quality of the risk assessment....

  17. Implementation of the systems approach to improve a pharmacist-managed vancomycin dosing service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagnon, David J; Roberts, Russel; Sylvia, Lynne

    2014-12-01

    Quality improvements achieved by applying the systems approach to assess the clinical effectiveness, operational efficiency, and financial feasibility of a pharmacist-managed vancomycin dosing service are described. Faced with increased patient volumes and resource demands, the pharmacy department at Tufts Medical Center conducted an evaluation of its adult inpatient vancomycin dosing service using the systems approach, which emphasizes multidisciplinary assessment of system inputs, processes, and outcomes and consensus-building methods to identify needed changes and recommended action steps. A multidisciplinary committee composed of representatives of the medical center's pharmacy, internal medicine, infectious diseases, nursing, phlebotomy, and clinical laboratory services was assembled; in a series of three moderated monthly sessions, committee members deliberated and ultimately reached consensus on a list of action items. Relative to a concurrent intradepartmental assessment of the vancomycin dosing service based solely on pharmacist feedback, the systems approach identified a greater number and wider array of needed improvements in key program areas. Quality improvements implemented as a direct result of the systems-based analysis included a policy change authorizing pharmacists to order serum vancomycin determinations without physician cosignature and inclusion of a vancomycin dosing algorithm in the institutional antibiotic dosing guide. Future changes based on deliverable action items will result in a structured process to help direct program resources toward the patients most in need of pharmacist-managed vancomycin dosing services. The systems approach allowed for a comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluation of the service, as indicated by the identification of process improvements not identified by the department of pharmacy alone. Copyright © 2014 by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. The Rule-Assessment Approach and Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegler, Robert S.

    1982-01-01

    This paper describes the rule-assessment approach to cognitive development. The basic question that motivated the rule-assessment approach is how people's existing knowledge influences their ability to learn. Research using the rule-assessment approach is summarized in terms of eight conclusions, each illustrated with empirical examples.…

  19. Risk assessment of nanomaterials and nanoproducts – adaptation of traditional approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jahnel, J; Fleischer, T; Seitz, S B

    2013-01-01

    Different approaches have been adopted for assessing the potential risks of conventional chemicals and products for human health. In general, the traditional paradigm is a toxicological-driven chemical-by-chemical approach, focusing on single toxic endpoints. Scope and responsibilities for the development and implementation of a risk assessment concept vary across sectors and areas and depends on the specific regulatory environment and the specific protection goals. Thus, risk assessment implication is a complex task based not only on science based knowledge but also on the regulatory context involving different parties and stakeholders. Questions have been raised whether standard paradigms for conventional chemicals would be applicable and adequate for new materials, products and applications of nanotechnology. Most scientists and stakeholders assume that current standard methods are in principle applicable to nanomaterials, but specific aspects require further development. The paper presents additional technical improvements like the complementary use of the life cycle methodology and the support of risk-based classification systems. But also aspects improving the utility of risk assessment with regard to societal impacts on risk governance are discussed.

  20. Integrating bioassays and analytical chemistry as an improved approach to support safety assessment of food contact materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veyrand, Julien; Marin-Kuan, Maricel; Bezencon, Claudine; Frank, Nancy; Guérin, Violaine; Koster, Sander; Latado, Hélia; Mollergues, Julie; Patin, Amaury; Piguet, Dominique; Serrant, Patrick; Varela, Jesus; Schilter, Benoît

    2017-10-01

    Food contact materials (FCM) contain chemicals which can migrate into food and result in human exposure. Although it is mandatory to ensure that migration does not endanger human health, there is still no consensus on how to pragmatically assess the safety of FCM since traditional approaches would require extensive toxicological and analytical testing which are expensive and time consuming. Recently, the combination of bioassays, analytical chemistry and risk assessment has been promoted as a new paradigm to identify toxicologically relevant molecules and address safety issues. However, there has been debate on the actual value of bioassays in that framework. In the present work, a FCM anticipated to release the endocrine active chemical 4-nonyphenol (4NP) was used as a model. In a migration study, the leaching of 4NP was confirmed by LC-MS/MS and GC-MS. This was correlated with an increase in both estrogenic and anti-androgenic activities as measured with bioassays. A standard risk assessment indicated that according to the food intake scenario applied, the level of 4NP measured was lower, close or slightly above the acceptable daily intake. Altogether these results show that bioassays could reveal the presence of an endocrine active chemical in a real-case FCM migration study. The levels reported were relevant for safety assessment. In addition, this work also highlighted that bioactivity measured in migrate does not necessarily represent a safety issue. In conclusion, together with analytics, bioassays contribute to identify toxicologically relevant molecules leaching from FCM and enable improved safety assessment.

  1. Automobile Tire Assessment: A Multi-Criteria Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ateekh-Ur-Rehman

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available In response to the present dynamic market, automobile manufacturing industries are constantly evaluating and improving their manufacturing strategies to stay competitive. It is also evident that they evaluate those strategies considering multiple criteria. In one such case, an automobile project manager has to ensure that the selected tire (among the available alternatives complies with the prospective automobile’s performance. This paper presents an approach for the assessment of alternative automobile tires taking into account multiple criteria, such as tire sustainability, tire road performance, environmental issues, tire purchase cost and tire road grip. The presented approach is quite helpful to any decision maker who is interested not only in ranking alternatives but also in establishing the superiority of an alternative over others. The approach also helps to specify the position of each alternative with respect to ideal solution. A case illustration is used to demonstrate an application of the approach.

  2. Improving the relevance and efficiency of human exposure assessments within the process of regulatory risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Money, Chris

    2018-01-24

    The process for undertaking exposure assessments varies dependent on its purpose. But for exposure assessments to be relevant and accurate, they are reliant on access to reliable information on key exposure determinants. Acquiring such information is seldom straightforward and can take significant time and resources. This articles examines how the application of tiered and targeted approaches to information acquisition, within the context of European human health risk assessments, can not only lead to improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of the process but also in the confidence of stakeholders in its outputs. The article explores how the benefits might be further improved through the coordination of such activities, as well as those areas that represent barriers to wider international harmonisation.

  3. Conceptualizing strategic environmental assessment: Principles, approaches and research directions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noble, Bram; Nwanekezie, Kelechi

    2017-01-01

    Increasing emphasis has been placed in recent years on transitioning strategic environmental assessment (SEA) away from its environmental impact assessment (EIA) roots. Scholars have argued the need to conceptualize SEA as a process designed to facilitate strategic thinking, thus enabling transitions toward sustainability. The practice of SEA, however, remains deeply rooted in the EIA tradition and scholars and practitioners often appear divided on the nature and purpose of SEA. This paper revisits the strategic principles of SEA and conceptualizes SEA as a multi-faceted and multi-dimensional assessment process. It is suggested that SEA can be conceptualized as series of approaches operating along a spectrum from less to more strategic – from impact assessment-based to strategy-based – with each approach to SEA differentiated by the specific objectives of SEA application and the extent to which strategic principles are reflected in its design and implementation. Advancing the effectiveness of SEA requires a continued research agenda focused on improving the traditional SEA approach, as a tool to assess the impacts of policies, plans and programs (PPPs). Realizing the full potential of SEA, however, requires a new research agenda — one focused on the development and testing of a deliberative governance approach to SEA that can facilitate strategic innovations in PPP formulation and drive transitions in short-term policy and initiatives based on longer-term thinking. - Highlights: • SEA facilitates strategic thinking, enabling transitions toward sustainability. • SEA is conceptualized as a spectrum of approaches, from IA-based to strategy-based. • Each approach variably emphasizes strategic principles in its design and practice. • There is no one conceptualization of SEA that is best, SEA is fit for PPP purpose. • Research is needed to advance SEA to facilitate strategic PPP transformations.

  4. Conceptualizing strategic environmental assessment: Principles, approaches and research directions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noble, Bram, E-mail: b.noble@usask.ca [Department of Geography and Planning, and School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, 117 Science Place, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A5 (Canada); Nwanekezie, Kelechi [Department of Geography and Planning, University of Saskatchewan, 117 Science Place, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A5 (Canada)

    2017-01-15

    Increasing emphasis has been placed in recent years on transitioning strategic environmental assessment (SEA) away from its environmental impact assessment (EIA) roots. Scholars have argued the need to conceptualize SEA as a process designed to facilitate strategic thinking, thus enabling transitions toward sustainability. The practice of SEA, however, remains deeply rooted in the EIA tradition and scholars and practitioners often appear divided on the nature and purpose of SEA. This paper revisits the strategic principles of SEA and conceptualizes SEA as a multi-faceted and multi-dimensional assessment process. It is suggested that SEA can be conceptualized as series of approaches operating along a spectrum from less to more strategic – from impact assessment-based to strategy-based – with each approach to SEA differentiated by the specific objectives of SEA application and the extent to which strategic principles are reflected in its design and implementation. Advancing the effectiveness of SEA requires a continued research agenda focused on improving the traditional SEA approach, as a tool to assess the impacts of policies, plans and programs (PPPs). Realizing the full potential of SEA, however, requires a new research agenda — one focused on the development and testing of a deliberative governance approach to SEA that can facilitate strategic innovations in PPP formulation and drive transitions in short-term policy and initiatives based on longer-term thinking. - Highlights: • SEA facilitates strategic thinking, enabling transitions toward sustainability. • SEA is conceptualized as a spectrum of approaches, from IA-based to strategy-based. • Each approach variably emphasizes strategic principles in its design and practice. • There is no one conceptualization of SEA that is best, SEA is fit for PPP purpose. • Research is needed to advance SEA to facilitate strategic PPP transformations.

  5. European project SARGEN IV: safety approach and assessment of GEN IV reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ammirabile, L.

    2013-01-01

    • SARGEN I V has elaborated a proposal for the harmonization of safety assessment practices for GEN IV NPP. • An overall reinforcement of DiD is expected for GEN I V NPP, including improved independence between all levels of DiD. • An inherent approach should reinforce the fulfillment of fundamental safety functions e.g. the consequences for some situations should be reduced and the grace periods should be extended. For the same reason, the use of passive systems can be envisaged. • The need of complementary and integrated deterministic and probabilistic approaches is reiterated. • Methodologies: Some of them are not yet applied. • Assessment of hazards would be a challenging aspect of next generation of NPP safety assessment and should be improved, which is confirmed by the first insights of Fukushima Daiichi TEPCO reactors accidents. • Provisions to cope with extreme events notably to improve the grace period before cliff-edge effects and thus allowing back-up measures to be implemented have to be defined and should be considered as hardened equipments

  6. SOFTWARE PROCESS ASSESSMENT AND IMPROVEMENT USING MULTICRITERIA DECISION AIDING - CONSTRUCTIVIST

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Ensslin

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Software process improvement and software process assessment have received special attention since the 1980s. Some models have been created, but these models rest on a normative approach, where the decision-maker’s participation in a software organization is limited to understanding which process is more relevant to each organization. The proposal of this work is to present the MCDA-C as a constructivist methodology for software process improvement and assessment. The methodology makes it possible to visualize the criteria that must be taken into account according to the decision-makers’ values in the process improvement actions, making it possible to rank actions in the light of specific organizational needs. This process helped the manager of the company studied to focus on and prioritize process improvement actions. This paper offers an empirical understanding of the application of performance evaluation to software process improvement and identifies complementary tools to the normative models presented today.

  7. Validation of a method for assessing resident physicians' quality improvement proposals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leenstra, James L; Beckman, Thomas J; Reed, Darcy A; Mundell, William C; Thomas, Kris G; Krajicek, Bryan J; Cha, Stephen S; Kolars, Joseph C; McDonald, Furman S

    2007-09-01

    Residency programs involve trainees in quality improvement (QI) projects to evaluate competency in systems-based practice and practice-based learning and improvement. Valid approaches to assess QI proposals are lacking. We developed an instrument for assessing resident QI proposals--the Quality Improvement Proposal Assessment Tool (QIPAT-7)-and determined its validity and reliability. QIPAT-7 content was initially obtained from a national panel of QI experts. Through an iterative process, the instrument was refined, pilot-tested, and revised. Seven raters used the instrument to assess 45 resident QI proposals. Principal factor analysis was used to explore the dimensionality of instrument scores. Cronbach's alpha and intraclass correlations were calculated to determine internal consistency and interrater reliability, respectively. QIPAT-7 items comprised a single factor (eigenvalue = 3.4) suggesting a single assessment dimension. Interrater reliability for each item (range 0.79 to 0.93) and internal consistency reliability among the items (Cronbach's alpha = 0.87) were high. This method for assessing resident physician QI proposals is supported by content and internal structure validity evidence. QIPAT-7 is a useful tool for assessing resident QI proposals. Future research should determine the reliability of QIPAT-7 scores in other residency and fellowship training programs. Correlations should also be made between assessment scores and criteria for QI proposal success such as implementation of QI proposals, resident scholarly productivity, and improved patient outcomes.

  8. Ergonomics and simulation-based approach in improving facility layout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abad, Jocelyn D.

    2018-02-01

    The use of the simulation-based technique in facility layout has been a choice in the industry due to its convenience and efficient generation of results. Nevertheless, the solutions generated are not capable of addressing delays due to worker's health and safety which significantly impact overall operational efficiency. It is, therefore, critical to incorporate ergonomics in facility design. In this study, workstation analysis was incorporated into Promodel simulation to improve the facility layout of a garment manufacturing. To test the effectiveness of the method, existing and improved facility designs were measured using comprehensive risk level, efficiency, and productivity. Results indicated that the improved facility layout generated a decrease in comprehensive risk level and rapid upper limb assessment score; an increase of 78% in efficiency and 194% increase in productivity compared to existing design and thus proved that the approach is effective in attaining overall facility design improvement.

  9. Tensions between Knowledge Transmission and Student-Focused Teaching Approaches to Assessment Purposes: Helping Students Improve through Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Junjun; Brown, Gavin T. L.

    2016-01-01

    This study surveyed 1064 Chinese school teachers' approaches to teaching and conceptions of assessment, and examined their inter-relationship using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling. Three approaches to teaching (i.e. Knowledge Transmission, Student-Focused, and Examination Preparation) and six conceptions of assessment…

  10. A systematic approach to training: A training needs assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, Margaret H.

    1989-01-01

    In an effort to determine the gap between the actual performance and the necessary performance of employees for the effective and efficient accomplishment of an organization's mission and goals, an organization-wide Training Needs Assessment must be conducted. The purpose of this work was to conduct a training needs analysis and prepare a NASA Langley Catalog of On-Site Training programs. The work included developing a Training Needs Assessment Survey, implementing the survey, analyzing and researching the training needs, identifying the courses to meet the needs, and preparing and designing an On-Site Training Catalog. This needs analysis attempted to identify performance weaknesses and deficits; seek out and provide opportunities for improved performance; anticipate and avoid future problems; enhance and create new strengths. The end product is a user-friendly catalog of on-site training available. The results include: top-down approach to needs assessment; improved communication with training coordinators; 98 percent return rate of the Training Needs Assessment survey; complete, newly designed, user-friendly catalog; 167 catalog descriptions advertised; 82 new courses advertised; training logo; and request for the training application form.

  11. Life cycle reliability assessment of new products—A Bayesian model updating approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peng, Weiwen; Huang, Hong-Zhong; Li, Yanfeng; Zuo, Ming J.; Xie, Min

    2013-01-01

    The rapidly increasing pace and continuously evolving reliability requirements of new products have made life cycle reliability assessment of new products an imperative yet difficult work. While much work has been done to separately estimate reliability of new products in specific stages, a gap exists in carrying out life cycle reliability assessment throughout all life cycle stages. We present a Bayesian model updating approach (BMUA) for life cycle reliability assessment of new products. Novel features of this approach are the development of Bayesian information toolkits by separately including “reliability improvement factor” and “information fusion factor”, which allow the integration of subjective information in a specific life cycle stage and the transition of integrated information between adjacent life cycle stages. They lead to the unique characteristics of the BMUA in which information generated throughout life cycle stages are integrated coherently. To illustrate the approach, an application to the life cycle reliability assessment of a newly developed Gantry Machining Center is shown

  12. Improving the risk assessment of lipophilic persistent environmental chemicals in breast milk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmann, Geniece M; Verner, Marc-André; Luukinen, Bryan; Henning, Cara; Assimon, Sue Anne; LaKind, Judy S; McLanahan, Eva D; Phillips, Linda J; Davis, Matthew H; Powers, Christina M; Hines, Erin P; Haddad, Sami; Longnecker, Matthew P; Poulsen, Michael T; Farrer, David G; Marchitti, Satori A; Tan, Yu-Mei; Swartout, Jeffrey C; Sagiv, Sharon K; Welsh, Clement; Campbell, Jerry L; Foster, Warren G; Yang, Raymond S H; Fenton, Suzanne E; Tornero-Velez, Rogelio; Francis, Bettina M; Barnett, John B; El-Masri, Hisham A; Simmons, Jane Ellen

    2014-08-01

    Lipophilic persistent environmental chemicals (LPECs) have the potential to accumulate within a woman's body lipids over the course of many years prior to pregnancy, to partition into human milk, and to transfer to infants upon breastfeeding. As a result of this accumulation and partitioning, a breastfeeding infant's intake of these LPECs may be much greater than his/her mother's average daily exposure. Because the developmental period sets the stage for lifelong health, it is important to be able to accurately assess chemical exposures in early life. In many cases, current human health risk assessment methods do not account for differences between maternal and infant exposures to LPECs or for lifestage-specific effects of exposure to these chemicals. Because of their persistence and accumulation in body lipids and partitioning into breast milk, LPECs present unique challenges for each component of the human health risk assessment process, including hazard identification, dose-response assessment, and exposure assessment. Specific biological modeling approaches are available to support both dose-response and exposure assessment for lactational exposures to LPECs. Yet, lack of data limits the application of these approaches. The goal of this review is to outline the available approaches and to identify key issues that, if addressed, could improve efforts to apply these approaches to risk assessment of lactational exposure to these chemicals.

  13. Improving Assessment: Creating a Culture of Assessment with a Change Management Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Michael R.; Lane, Peggy L.; Rich, John; Wheeling, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    For more than twenty years accrediting agencies have required assessment as part of their initial accreditation or reaffirmation processes. During that period of time thousands of institutions have successfully prepared plans to achieve or maintain their accreditation. Why then does a culture of assessment not exist? And why is assessment still an…

  14. Assessment of Working Scientifically--The TAPS Focused Assessment Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Kendra

    2018-01-01

    The Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS) Focused Assessment approach embeds assessment within normal classroom science activities. Essentially, a Focused Assessment is a lesson plan for a science inquiry, with an identified focus for assessment and guidance on how to interpret the children's responses in relation to expectations for that…

  15. A whole-of-curriculum approach to improving nursing students' applied numeracy skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Mortel, Thea F; Whitehair, Leeann P; Irwin, Pauletta M

    2014-03-01

    Nursing students often perform poorly on numeracy tests. Whilst one-off interventions have been trialled with limited success, a whole-of-curriculum approach may provide a better means of improving applied numeracy skills. The objective of the study is to assess the efficacy of a whole-of-curriculum approach in improving nursing students' applied numeracy skills. Two cycles of assessment, implementation and evaluation of strategies were conducted following a high fail rate in the final applied numeracy examination in a Bachelor of Nursing (BN) programme. Strategies included an early diagnostic assessment followed by referral to remediation, setting the pass mark at 100% for each of six applied numeracy examinations across the programme, and employing a specialist mathematics teacher to provide consistent numeracy teaching. The setting of the study is one Australian university. 1035 second and third year nursing students enrolled in four clinical nursing courses (CNC III, CNC IV, CNC V and CNC VI) were included. Data on the percentage of students who obtained 100% in their applied numeracy examination in up to two attempts were collected from CNCs III, IV, V and VI between 2008 and 2011. A four by two χ(2) contingency table was used to determine if the differences in the proportion of students achieving 100% across two examination attempts in each CNC were significantly different between 2008 and 2011. The percentage of students who obtained 100% correct answers on the applied numeracy examinations was significantly higher in 2011 than in 2008 in CNC III (χ(2)=272, 3; p<0.001), IV (χ(2)=94.7, 3; p<0.001) and VI (χ(2)=76.3, 3; p<0.001). A whole-of-curriculum approach to developing applied numeracy skills in BN students resulted in a substantial improvement in these skills over four years. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Improvement of medical content in the curriculum of biomedical engineering based on assessment of students outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdulhay, Enas; Khnouf, Ruba; Haddad, Shireen; Al-Bashir, Areen

    2017-08-04

    Improvement of medical content in Biomedical Engineering curricula based on a qualitative assessment process or on a comparison with another high-standard program has been approached by a number of studies. However, the quantitative assessment tools have not been emphasized. The quantitative assessment tools can be more accurate and robust in cases of challenging multidisciplinary fields like that of Biomedical Engineering which includes biomedicine elements mixed with technology aspects. The major limitations of the previous research are the high dependence on surveys or pure qualitative approaches as well as the absence of strong focus on medical outcomes without implicit confusion with the technical ones. The proposed work presents the development and evaluation of an accurate/robust quantitative approach to the improvement of the medical content in the challenging multidisciplinary BME curriculum. The work presents quantitative assessment tools and subsequent improvement of curriculum medical content applied, as example for explanation, to the ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, USA) accredited biomedical engineering BME department at Jordan University of Science and Technology. The quantitative results of assessment of curriculum/course, capstone, exit exam, course assessment by student (CAS) as well as of surveys filled by alumni, seniors, employers and training supervisors were, first, mapped to the expected students' outcomes related to the medical field (SOsM). The collected data were then analyzed and discussed to find curriculum weakness points by tracking shortcomings in every outcome degree of achievement. Finally, actions were taken to fill in the gaps of the curriculum. Actions were also mapped to the students' medical outcomes (SOsM). Weighted averages of obtained quantitative values, mapped to SOsM, indicated accurately the achievement levels of all outcomes as well as the necessary improvements to be performed in curriculum

  17. An integrated sampling and analysis approach for improved biodiversity monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeWan, Amielle A.; Zipkin, Elise F.

    2010-01-01

    Successful biodiversity conservation requires high quality monitoring data and analyses to ensure scientifically defensible policy, legislation, and management. Although monitoring is a critical component in assessing population status and trends, many governmental and non-governmental organizations struggle to develop and implement effective sampling protocols and statistical analyses because of the magnitude and diversity of species in conservation concern. In this article we describe a practical and sophisticated data collection and analysis framework for developing a comprehensive wildlife monitoring program that includes multi-species inventory techniques and community-level hierarchical modeling. Compared to monitoring many species individually, the multi-species approach allows for improved estimates of individual species occurrences, including rare species, and an increased understanding of the aggregated response of a community to landscape and habitat heterogeneity. We demonstrate the benefits and practicality of this approach to address challenges associated with monitoring in the context of US state agencies that are legislatively required to monitor and protect species in greatest conservation need. We believe this approach will be useful to regional, national, and international organizations interested in assessing the status of both common and rare species.

  18. Improving the Assessment of Regional Economic Potential (on Example of Rostov Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolai A. Kurianov

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The article discusses a number of problematic issues concerning the possibility of improving existing approaches to assessing regional economic potential. Based on the analysis of existing approaches it is concluded that presence of a number of inherent common disadvantages, which include the exclusion of complex assessment elements of intangible resources, isolation from development goals in the region, ignoring the possibility of incremental reserves development static evaluation results. To overcome these ambiguities the authors' approach to improving assessment procedures based on the allocation of the essential nature of the category «regional economic potential», which unites, on the one hand, the resources available for regional development (actual potential, and on the other hand, resources in respect of which the region has the opportunity to attract them as a tool for further development of (stochastic potential. As the degree of implementation of this option is determined by the quality of regional governance, the most important element of the economic potential of the region is also an effective mechanism for management of existing and potential resources of various types. The practical implementation of the proposed methodology suppose, for example, estimate the economic potential of the Rostov region. At the first stage of the evaluation determine the most important elements of this potential and their ranking, on the second – assessment of the status of these elements from the point of view of their availability, ability to attract and management efficiency, and the third – the normalized assessment of regional economic potential.

  19. Assessing confidence in management adaptation approaches for climate-sensitive ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    West, J M; Julius, S H; Weaver, C P

    2012-01-01

    A number of options are available for adapting ecosystem management to improve resilience in the face of climatic changes. However, uncertainty exists as to the effectiveness of these options. A report prepared for the US Climate Change Science Program reviewed adaptation options for a range of federally managed systems in the United States. The report included a qualitative uncertainty analysis of conceptual approaches to adaptation derived from the review. The approaches included reducing anthropogenic stressors, protecting key ecosystem features, maintaining representation, replicating, restoring, identifying refugia and relocating organisms. The results showed that the expert teams had the greatest scientific confidence in adaptation options that reduce anthropogenic stresses. Confidence in other approaches was lower because of gaps in understanding of ecosystem function, climate change impacts on ecosystems, and management effectiveness. This letter discusses insights gained from the confidence exercise and proposes strategies for improving future assessments of confidence for management adaptations to climate change. (letter)

  20. Multicriteria approach for the improvement of energy systems design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giannantoni, C.; Lazzaretto, A.; Macor, A.; Mirandola, A.; Stoppato, A.; Tonon, S.; Ulgiati, S.

    2005-01-01

    An iterative procedure is suggested to evaluate and improve the energy system design. The procedure considers the information deriving from complementary evaluation approaches, each applied within its appropriate time-space window of interest: (a) Process-related, local-scale methods (Energy, Exergy and Thermoeconomic analyses); (b) Environmental assessment methods (Impact Assessment, Emergy Synthesis); (c) Economic methods (Micro- and Macro-Economic and Externality Evaluations). Process-related methods are applied first, in order to provide local-scale performance indicators able to suggest optimization procedures from a user-side point of view. Environmental evaluation approaches are then used to judge the overall environmental quality of the design, in the largest regional and biosphere scales. Finally, micro- and macro-economic evaluation approaches are applied in order to ascertain the soundness of the proposed solution as far as the economic return on the investment as well as global benefits to the Society are concerned. New choices for the design configuration and parameters may be suggested by implementing the iterative procedure. A cogeneration system working in a town of Northern Italy is used as a case study: starting from the present configuration of the plant, modifications are suggested and evaluated, thus identifying the way for improving the performance under various viewpoints. A proposal for plant transformation from Steam Cycle to Combined Cycle is suggested, capable of increasing the plant electric power from 136 to 332 MWe, increasing the energy efficiency from 60 to 63%, increasing the exergy efficiency from 37 to 49%, and decreasing the overall demand for environmental support (transformity) from 1.84x10 5 to 1.27x10 5 seJ/J. The paper points out several benefits and bottlenecks of the existing plant and of the proposed solutions

  1. Interpreting the CMMI a process improvement approach

    CERN Document Server

    Kulpa, Margaret K

    2008-01-01

    Written by experienced process improvement professionals who have developed and implemented computer based systems in organizations around the world, Interpreting the CMMI®: A Process Improvement Approach, Second Edition provides you with specific techniques for performing process improvement. Employing everyday language and supported by real world examples, the authors describe the fundamental concepts of the CMMI model, covering goals, practices, architecture, and definitions, and provide a structured approach for implementing the concepts of the CMMI into any organization. They discuss gett

  2. Teacher coaching supported by formative assessment for improving classroom practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabiano, Gregory A; Reddy, Linda A; Dudek, Christopher M

    2018-06-01

    The present study is a wait-list controlled, randomized study investigating a teacher coaching approach that emphasizes formative assessment and visual performance feedback to enhance elementary school teachers' classroom practices. The coaching model targeted instructional and behavioral management practices as measured by the Classroom Strategies Assessment System (CSAS) Observer and Teacher Forms. The sample included 89 general education teachers, stratified by grade level, and randomly assigned to 1 of 2 conditions: (a) immediate coaching, or (b) waitlist control. Results indicated that, relative to the waitlist control, teachers in immediate coaching demonstrated significantly greater improvements in observations of behavior management strategy use but not for observations of instructional strategy use. Observer- and teacher-completed ratings of behavioral management strategy use at postassessment were significantly improved by both raters; ratings of instructional strategy use were significantly improved for teacher but not observer ratings. A brief coaching intervention improved teachers' use of observed behavior management strategies and self-reported use of behavior management and instructional strategies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. How can LCA approaches contribute to improve geo-cycles management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carreiras, M.; Ferreira, A. J. D.; Esteves, T. C. J.; Delgado, F.; Andrade, F.; Franco, J.; Pereira, C. D.

    2012-04-01

    Climate change and land use have become a major challenge for mankind and the natural environment. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions released into the atmosphere in ever rapidly growing volumes are most likely to be responsible for this change. Carbon dioxide gas (CO2) is suggested to be the main cause of global warming. Carbon reduction is the key to preventing this, for example, by enhancing energy efficiency and mitigating carbon emissions by means of green energy and adjusting the use of natural resources. Different activities produce distinguish impacts, and each product generates specific impacts on nature. The impact of man activities in the geo-cycles is of paramount importance in what concerns long term sustainability. Nevertheless, the environmental and sustainability impacts of different approaches and techniques of ecosystem management is a difficult question that can be assessed using LCA techniques LCA is a technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life from-cradle-to-grave. Based on that, LCA can be effective in supporting the assessment of decision making on complex sustainability issues because it can integrate the diversity of impacts categories guise and it can be adapted to a large variety of contexts. By incorporating quantitative data LCA allows decision makers to include a full range of economic, environmental, social and technical criteria. The integrated framework is configured such that the pros and cons of alternative environmental and energy strategies can be measured in terms of their ability to achieve the overall goals and objectives of the sustainable development, while satisfying the pollution control requirements. Because it is holistic, integrate and dynamic, this approach represents a state of the art tool for enhance the sustainable development of a sector, allowing a more transparent and participated management, a basic instrument for improved competitiveness. This approach may serve

  4. Work System Assessment to Facilitate the Dissemination of a Quality Improvement Program for Optimizing Blood Culture Use: A Case Study Using a Human Factors Engineering Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Anping; Woods-Hill, Charlotte Z; King, Anne F; Enos-Graves, Heather; Ascenzi, Judy; Gurses, Ayse P; Klaus, Sybil A; Fackler, James C; Milstone, Aaron M

    2017-11-20

    Work system assessments can facilitate successful implementation of quality improvement programs. Using a human factors engineering approach, we conducted a work system assessment to facilitate the dissemination of a quality improvement program for optimizing blood culture use in pediatric intensive care units at 2 hospitals. Semistructured face-to-face interviews were conducted with clinicians from Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital and University of Virginia Medical Center. Interview data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Blood culture-ordering practices are influenced by various work system factors, including people, tasks, tools and technologies, the physical environment, organizational conditions, and the external environment. A clinical decision-support tool could facilitate implementation by (1) standardizing blood culture-ordering practices, (2) ensuring that prescribing clinicians review the patient's condition before ordering a blood culture, (3) facilitating critical thinking, and (4) empowering nurses to communicate with physicians and advocate for adherence to blood culture-ordering guidelines. The success of interventions for optimizing blood culture use relies heavily on the local context. A work system analysis using a human factors engineering approach can identify key areas to be addressed for the successful dissemination of quality improvement interventions. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. A Dynamic Health Assessment Approach for Shearer Based on Artificial Immune Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhongbin Wang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In order to accurately identify the dynamic health of shearer, reducing operating trouble and production accident of shearer and improving coal production efficiency further, a dynamic health assessment approach for shearer based on artificial immune algorithm was proposed. The key technologies such as system framework, selecting the indicators for shearer dynamic health assessment, and health assessment model were provided, and the flowchart of the proposed approach was designed. A simulation example, with an accuracy of 96%, based on the collected data from industrial production scene was provided. Furthermore, the comparison demonstrated that the proposed method exhibited higher classification accuracy than the classifiers based on back propagation-neural network (BP-NN and support vector machine (SVM methods. Finally, the proposed approach was applied in an engineering problem of shearer dynamic health assessment. The industrial application results showed that the paper research achievements could be used combining with shearer automation control system in fully mechanized coal face. The simulation and the application results indicated that the proposed method was feasible and outperforming others.

  6. Can a multi-disciplinary assessment approach improve outcomes for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bor, William; Heath, Fiona; Heussler, Honey; Reuter, Rebecca; Perrett, Carmel; Lee, Erica

    2013-10-01

    Public, consumer and professional views about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, its assessment and treatment - especially with medication - remain a highly contested domain. Parents in particular express disquiet with services. One response to this tension is a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parental and education perceptions of this process have not been evaluated previously. A community multidisciplinary approach was assessed in terms of diagnostic outcomes and client satisfaction. A comprehensive multidisciplinary structured assessment of the first 50 referred children with severe attentional problems was documented. Demographic and symptom/behavioural profiles, developmental history and indicated multi-disciplinary evaluation were recorded. A team consensus process arrived at diagnostic classification. Post-assessment satisfaction of parents and school staff was surveyed. Thirteen children (26%) were diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and three commenced stimulants. The majority of parents and educators were satisfied with the service. A multidisciplinary assessment clinic for children presenting with attention problems resulted in minimal prescribing. Overall, education staff and parents were satisfied with the service. The model may be a suitable response to the multiple concerns in the community.

  7. Exploring a New Simulation Approach to Improve Clinical Reasoning Teaching and Assessment: Randomized Trial Protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennaforte, Thomas; Moussa, Ahmed; Loye, Nathalie; Charlin, Bernard; Audétat, Marie-Claude

    2016-02-17

    Helping trainees develop appropriate clinical reasoning abilities is a challenging goal in an environment where clinical situations are marked by high levels of complexity and unpredictability. The benefit of simulation-based education to assess clinical reasoning skills has rarely been reported. More specifically, it is unclear if clinical reasoning is better acquired if the instructor's input occurs entirely after or is integrated during the scenario. Based on educational principles of the dual-process theory of clinical reasoning, a new simulation approach called simulation with iterative discussions (SID) is introduced. The instructor interrupts the flow of the scenario at three key moments of the reasoning process (data gathering, integration, and confirmation). After each stop, the scenario is continued where it was interrupted. Finally, a brief general debriefing ends the session. System-1 process of clinical reasoning is assessed by verbalization during management of the case, and System-2 during the iterative discussions without providing feedback. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of Simulation with Iterative Discussions versus the classical approach of simulation in developing reasoning skills of General Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine residents. This will be a prospective exploratory, randomized study conducted at Sainte-Justine hospital in Montreal, Qc, between January and March 2016. All post-graduate year (PGY) 1 to 6 residents will be invited to complete one SID or classical simulation 30 minutes audio video-recorded complex high-fidelity simulations covering a similar neonatology topic. Pre- and post-simulation questionnaires will be completed and a semistructured interview will be conducted after each simulation. Data analyses will use SPSS and NVivo softwares. This study is in its preliminary stages and the results are expected to be made available by April, 2016. This will be the first study to explore a new

  8. Exploring Academics' Approaches to Managing Team Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augar, Naomi; Woodley, Carolyn J.; Whitefield, Despina; Winchester, Maxwell

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of academics' approaches to managing team assessment at an Australian University with a view to informing policy development and assessment design. Design/methodology/approach: The research was conducted using a single exploratory case study approach focussing on the team assessment…

  9. Improving Site-Specific Radiological Performance Assessments - 13431

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tauxe, John; Black, Paul; Catlett, Kate; Lee, Robert; Perona, Ralph; Stockton, Tom; Sully, Mike [Neptune and Company, Inc., Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544 (United States)

    2013-07-01

    An improved approach is presented for conducting complete and defensible radiological site-specific performance assessments (PAs) to support radioactive waste disposal decisions. The basic tenets of PA were initiated some thirty years ago, focusing on geologic disposals and evaluating compliance with regulations. Some of these regulations were inherently probabilistic (i.e., addressing uncertainty in a quantitative fashion), such as the containment requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) 40 CFR 191, Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level and Transuranic Radioactive Wastes, Chap. 191.13 [1]. Methods of analysis were developed to meet those requirements, but at their core early PAs used 'conservative' parameter values and modeling approaches. This limited the utility of such PAs to compliance evaluation, and did little to inform decisions about optimizing disposal, closure and long-term monitoring and maintenance, or, in general, maintaining doses 'as low as reasonably achievable' (ALARA). This basic approach to PA development in the United States was employed essentially unchanged through the end of the 20. century, principally by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Performance assessments developed in support of private radioactive waste disposal operations, regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its agreement states, were typically not as sophisticated. Discussion of new approaches to PA is timely, since at the time of this writing, the DOE is in the midst of revising its Order 435.1, Radioactive Waste Management [2], and the NRC is revising 10 CFR 61, Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste [3]. Over the previous decade, theoretical developments and improved computational technology have provided the foundation for integrating decision analysis (DA) concepts and objective-focused thinking, plus

  10. Improving Site-Specific Radiological Performance Assessments - 13431

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tauxe, John; Black, Paul; Catlett, Kate; Lee, Robert; Perona, Ralph; Stockton, Tom; Sully, Mike

    2013-01-01

    An improved approach is presented for conducting complete and defensible radiological site-specific performance assessments (PAs) to support radioactive waste disposal decisions. The basic tenets of PA were initiated some thirty years ago, focusing on geologic disposals and evaluating compliance with regulations. Some of these regulations were inherently probabilistic (i.e., addressing uncertainty in a quantitative fashion), such as the containment requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) 40 CFR 191, Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level and Transuranic Radioactive Wastes, Chap. 191.13 [1]. Methods of analysis were developed to meet those requirements, but at their core early PAs used 'conservative' parameter values and modeling approaches. This limited the utility of such PAs to compliance evaluation, and did little to inform decisions about optimizing disposal, closure and long-term monitoring and maintenance, or, in general, maintaining doses 'as low as reasonably achievable' (ALARA). This basic approach to PA development in the United States was employed essentially unchanged through the end of the 20. century, principally by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Performance assessments developed in support of private radioactive waste disposal operations, regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its agreement states, were typically not as sophisticated. Discussion of new approaches to PA is timely, since at the time of this writing, the DOE is in the midst of revising its Order 435.1, Radioactive Waste Management [2], and the NRC is revising 10 CFR 61, Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste [3]. Over the previous decade, theoretical developments and improved computational technology have provided the foundation for integrating decision analysis (DA) concepts and objective-focused thinking, plus a Bayesian approach to

  11. Methodological approaches to assessing of country’s financial capacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.Yu. Polchanov

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This research is devoted to the theoretical basis of country’s financial capacity assessment, its specificities and algorithm. The aim of the investigation is the generalization of methodological approaches to evaluating country’s financial capacity. The author determines that the assessment involves preparatory, analytical, and final stages. The special attention is paid to the information based on the analysis, demands on it, impact of changes in methodology, dynamics of macroeconomic indicators. The establishment of the united analytical center for assessment of financial capacity of the state for post-conflict recovery is proposed. The results of the critical review of the publications in this field have helped to improve the classification of country’s financial capacity assessment methods by providing some new attributes such as the focus of the evaluation and type of intelligence. The problem of using unlicensed software to assess the financial capacity of the state and the associated risk have not been left without attention.

  12. Assessing Probabilistic Risk Assessment Approaches for Insect Biological Control Introductions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, Leyla V; Wright, Mark G

    2017-07-07

    The introduction of biological control agents to new environments requires host specificity tests to estimate potential non-target impacts of a prospective agent. Currently, the approach is conservative, and is based on physiological host ranges determined under captive rearing conditions, without consideration for ecological factors that may influence realized host range. We use historical data and current field data from introduced parasitoids that attack an endemic Lepidoptera species in Hawaii to validate a probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) procedure for non-target impacts. We use data on known host range and habitat use in the place of origin of the parasitoids to determine whether contemporary levels of non-target parasitism could have been predicted using PRA. Our results show that reasonable predictions of potential non-target impacts may be made if comprehensive data are available from places of origin of biological control agents, but scant data produce poor predictions. Using apparent mortality data rather than marginal attack rate estimates in PRA resulted in over-estimates of predicted non-target impact. Incorporating ecological data into PRA models improved the predictive power of the risk assessments.

  13. Methodological approach to assessment of organizational resources of the productive activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Miller

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this article is to solve the problem connected with development of theoretical and methodological provisions of formation of the assessment procedure of organizational resources of the productive activity. Theoretical results of our research are: improvement of the concept of development of organizational resources of the productive activity; identifying the impact of organizational resources on the productive activity; justification of the basic principles of formation of the assessment system of efficiency of the organizational resources' use. We proposed a unified methodological approach allowing to combine the complexity of assessment of both quantity of core resources of the productive activity and organizational resources, which significantly develops traditional systems of the productive activity management based on identifying quantitative parameters of the subsystems, their assessment, comparison and analysis. We also substantiated our opinion on assessment of organizational resources' values. It is focused on the development of the productive activity and allows to use the developed tools of the methodological approach for forecast assessment of the impact of the quantity of core resources, used in the productive activity, and organizational resources of the productive activity on the economic results of the enterprise.

  14. Innovative approaches for improving maternal and newborn health--A landscape analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunze, Karsten; Higgins-Steele, Ariel; Simen-Kapeu, Aline; Vesel, Linda; Kim, Julia; Dickson, Kim

    2015-12-17

    Essential interventions can improve maternal and newborn health (MNH) outcomes in low- and middle-income countries, but their implementation has been challenging. Innovative MNH approaches have the potential to accelerate progress and to lead to better health outcomes for women and newborns, but their added value to health systems remains incompletely understood. This study's aim was to analyze the landscape of innovative MNH approaches and related published evidence. Systematic literature review and descriptive analysis based on the MNH continuum of care framework and the World Health Organization health system building blocks, analyzing the range and nature of currently published MNH approaches that are considered innovative. We used 11 databases (MedLine, Web of Science, CINAHL, Cochrane, Popline, BLDS, ELDIS, 3ie, CAB direct, WHO Global Health Library and WHOLIS) as data source and extracted data according to our study protocol. Most innovative approaches in MNH are iterations of existing interventions, modified for contexts in which they had not been applied previously. Many aim at the direct organization and delivery of maternal and newborn health services or are primarily health workforce interventions. Innovative approaches also include health technologies, interventions based on community ownership and participation, and novel models of financing and policy making. Rigorous randomized trials to assess innovative MNH approaches are rare; most evaluations are smaller pilot studies. Few studies assessed intervention effects on health outcomes or focused on equity in health care delivery. Future implementation and evaluation efforts need to assess innovations' effects on health outcomes and provide evidence on potential for scale-up, considering cost, feasibility, appropriateness, and acceptability. Measuring equity is an important aspect to identify and target population groups at risk of service inequity. Innovative MNH interventions will need innovative

  15. Turning education into action: Impact of a collective social education approach to improve nurses' ability to recognize and accurately assess delirium in hospitalized older patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travers, Catherine; Henderson, Amanda; Graham, Fred; Beattie, Elizabeth

    2018-03-01

    Although cognitive impairment including dementia and delirium is common in older hospital patients, it is not well recognized or managed by hospital staff, potentially resulting in adverse events. This paper describes, and reports on the impact of a collective social education approach to improving both nurses' knowledge of, and screening for delirium. Thirty-four experienced nurses from six hospital wards, became Cognition Champions (CogChamps) to lead their wards in a collective social education process about cognitive impairment and the assessment of delirium. At the outset, the CogChamps were provided with comprehensive education about dementia and delirium from a multidisciplinary team of clinicians. Their knowledge was assessed to ascertain they had the requisite understanding to engage in education as a collective social process, namely, with each other and their local teams. Following this, they developed ward specific Action Plans in collaboration with their teams aimed at educating and evaluating ward nurses' ability to accurately assess and care for patients for delirium. The plans were implemented over five months. The broader nursing teams' knowledge was assessed, together with their ability to accurately assess patients for delirium. Each ward implemented their Action Plan to varying degrees and key achievements included the education of a majority of ward nurses about delirium and the certification of the majority as competent to assess patients for delirium using the Confusion Assessment Method. Two wards collected pre-and post-audit data that demonstrated a substantial improvement in delirium screening rates. The education process led by CogChamps and supported by educators and clinical experts provides an example of successfully educating nurses about delirium and improving screening rates of patients for delirium. ACTRN 12617000563369. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Sustainability impact assessment to improve food security of smallholders in Tanzania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schindler, Jana; Graef, Frieder; König, Hannes Jochen; Mchau, Devotha; Saidia, Paul; Sieber, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this paper was to assess the sustainability impacts of planned agricultural development interventions, so called upgrading strategies (UPS), to enhance food security and to identify what advantages and risks are assessed from the farmer's point of view in regards to social life, the economy and the environment. We developed a participatory methodological procedure that links food security and sustainable development. Farmers in four different case study villages in rural Tanzania chose their priority UPS. For these UPS, they assessed the impacts on locally relevant food security criteria. The positive impacts identified were mainly attributed to increased agricultural production and its related positive impacts such as increased income and improved access to necessary means to diversify the diet. However, several risks of certain UPS were also indicated by farmers, such as increased workload, high maintenance costs, higher competition among farmers, loss of traditional knowledge and social conflicts. We discussed the strong interdependence of socio-economic and environmental criteria to improve food security for small-scale farmers and analysed several trade-offs in regards to UPS choices and food security criteria. We also identified and discussed the advantages and challenges of our methodological approach. In conclusion, the participatory impact assessment on the farmer level allowed a locally specific analysis of the various positive and negative impacts of UPS on social life, the economy and the environment. We emphasize that only a development approach that considers social, economic and environmental challenges simultaneously can enhance food security.

  17. Improving environmental impact and cost assessment for supplier evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beucker, Severin; Lang, Claus

    2004-02-01

    Improving a company"s environmental and financial performance necessitates the evaluation of environmental impacts deriving from the production and cost effects of corporate actions. These effects have to be made transparent and concrete targets have to be developed. Such an evaluation has to be done on a regular basis but with limited expenses. To achieve this, different instruments of environmental controlling such as LCA and environmental performance indicators have to be combined with methods from cost accounting. Within the research project CARE (Computer Aided Resource Efficiency Accounting for Medium-Sized Enterprises), the method Resource Efficiency Accounting (REA) is used to give the participating companies new insights into hidden costs and environmental effects of their production and products. The method combines process based cost accounting with environmental impact assessment methodology and offers results that can be integrated into a company"s environmental controlling system and business processes like cost accounting, supplier assessment, etc. Much of the data necessary for the combined assessment can be available within a company"s IT system and therefore can be efficiently used for the assessment process. The project CARE puts a strong focus on the use of company data and information systems for the described assessment process and offers a methodological background for the evaluation and the structuring of such data. Besides the general approach of the project CARE the paper will present results from a case study in which the described approach is used for the evaluation of suppliers.

  18. An integrated approach to improved toxicity prediction for the safety assessment during preclinical drug development using Hep G2 cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noor, Fozia; Niklas, Jens; Mueller-Vieira, Ursula; Heinzle, Elmar

    2009-01-01

    Efficient and accurate safety assessment of compounds is extremely important in the preclinical development of drugs especially when hepatotoxicty is in question. Multiparameter and time resolved assays are expected to greatly improve the prediction of toxicity by assessing complex mechanisms of toxicity. An integrated approach is presented in which Hep G2 cells and primary rat hepatocytes are compared in frequently used cytotoxicity assays for parent compound toxicity. The interassay variability was determined. The cytotoxicity assays were also compared with a reliable alternative time resolved respirometric assay. The set of training compounds consisted of well known hepatotoxins; amiodarone, carbamazepine, clozapine, diclofenac, tacrine, troglitazone and verapamil. The sensitivity of both cell systems in each tested assay was determined. Results show that careful selection of assay parameters and inclusion of a kinetic time resolved assay improves prediction for non-metabolism mediated toxicity using Hep G2 cells as indicated by a sensitivity ratio of 1. The drugs with EC 50 values 100 μM or lower were considered toxic. The difference in the sensitivity of the two cell systems to carbamazepine which causes toxicity via reactive metabolites emphasizes the importance of human cell based in-vitro assays. Using the described system, primary rat hepatocytes do not offer advantage over the Hep G2 cells in parent compound toxicity evaluation. Moreover, respiration method is non invasive, highly sensitive and allows following the time course of toxicity. Respiration assay could serve as early indicator of changes that subsequently lead to toxicity.

  19. An integrated approach to risk assessment and mitigating the CBRN threat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bokan, S.

    2009-01-01

    CBRN mass casualty events threat mitigation remains today the highest international priority. Although significant progress has been made, the national security requirements for efforts to combat Weapons of Mass Destruction and Weapons of Mass Disruption will be of the highest national priority in the near future. An integration of a number of approaches is essential in the risk assessment and mitigating the CBRN treat. Preparedness measures and procedures, engineering, science and technology, policy, medical, and emergency response are essential to reduce the threat from the proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Improved coordination between international, public and private security entities is also essential task to hopefully prevent the terrorist attacks. In this lecture, it will be presented very important scientific approach to risk assessment of potential use of nuclear, radiological, biological or chemical weapons in terrorist actions. An integrated approach for mitigating the CBRN threat, crisis management and preparedness measures for prevention and reduction of potential consequences, will be presented.(author)

  20. A collaborative approach to improve the assessment of physical health in adult consumers with schizophrenia in Queensland mental health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plever, Sally; McCarthy, Irene; Anzolin, Melissa; Emmerson, Brett; Khatun, Mohsina

    2016-02-01

    The objective of this study was to apply a quality improvement collaborative to increase the number of physical health assessments conducted with consumers diagnosed with schizophrenia in adult community mental health services across Queensland. Sixteen adult mental health service organisations voluntarily took part in the statewide collaborative initiative to increase the number of physical health assessments completed on persons with a diagnosis of schizophrenia spectrum disorders managed through the community mental health service. Improvement in the physical health assessment clinical indicator was demonstrated across the state over a 3-year period with an increase in the number of physical health assessments recorded from 12% to 58%. Significant improvements were made over a 3-year period by all mental health services involved in the collaborative, supporting the application of a quality improvement methodology to drive change across mental health services. © The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2015.

  1. Approach to reliability assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Green, A.E.; Bourne, A.J.

    1975-01-01

    Experience has shown that reliability assessments can play an important role in the early design and subsequent operation of technological systems where reliability is at a premium. The approaches to and techniques for such assessments, which have been outlined in the paper, have been successfully applied in variety of applications ranging from individual equipments to large and complex systems. The general approach involves the logical and systematic establishment of the purpose, performance requirements and reliability criteria of systems. This is followed by an appraisal of likely system achievment based on the understanding of different types of variational behavior. A fundamental reliability model emerges from the correlation between the appropriate Q and H functions for performance requirement and achievement. This model may cover the complete spectrum of performance behavior in all the system dimensions

  2. Evaluate to Improve: Useful Approaches to Student Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golding, Clinton; Adam, Lee

    2016-01-01

    Many teachers in higher education use feedback from students to evaluate their teaching, but only some use these evaluations to improve their teaching. One important factor that makes the difference is the teacher's approach to their evaluations. In this article, we identify some useful approaches for improving teaching. We conducted focus groups…

  3. An approach to risk assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, L.; Lund, S. P.; Hass, Ulla

    1998-01-01

    of Ministers with the task to propose criteria for neurotoxicity. Functional effects on the nervous system, such as reduction in memory and learning ability, decrease in attention, and alteration of behavior due to toxic chemicals in the environment is now being acknowledged as an important public health...... indicate that numerous persons are exposed in the working as well as in the general environment to several chemicals, for which almost no data on the effect on subtle neurophysiological functions are available. Development of an approach to risk assessment dealing with this problem is a major challenge...... in the nineties. Different approaches to risk assessment are discussed, the quality of the databases available for hazard assessment are evaluated, and the needs for further research are identified. (C) 1996 Intox Press, Inc....

  4. A Web-Based Peer-Assessment Approach to Improving Junior High School Students' Performance, Self-Efficacy and Motivation in Performing Arts Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsia, Lu-Ho; Huang, Iwen; Hwang, Gwo-Jen

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, a web-based peer-assessment approach is proposed for conducting performing arts activities. A peer-assessment system was implemented and applied to a junior high school performing arts course to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed approach. A total of 163 junior high students were assigned to an experimental group and a…

  5. Current approaches to assessing intangible assets

    OpenAIRE

    Урусова, Зінаїда Петрівна

    2013-01-01

    The article analyzes methods of assessing intangible assets in Ukraine as well as in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards. Contemporary approaches to assessing intangible assets have been researched.

  6. Common and Critical Components Among Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Planning Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennel, Cara L; Burdine, James N; Prochaska, John D; McLeroy, Kenneth R

    Community health assessment and community health improvement planning are continuous, systematic processes for assessing and addressing health needs in a community. Since there are different models to guide assessment and planning, as well as a variety of organizations and agencies that carry out these activities, there may be confusion in choosing among approaches. By examining the various components of the different assessment and planning models, we are able to identify areas for coordination, ways to maximize collaboration, and strategies to further improve community health. We identified 11 common assessment and planning components across 18 models and requirements, with a particular focus on health department, health system, and hospital models and requirements. These common components included preplanning; developing partnerships; developing vision and scope; collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data; identifying community assets; identifying priorities; developing and implementing an intervention plan; developing and implementing an evaluation plan; communicating and receiving feedback on the assessment findings and/or the plan; planning for sustainability; and celebrating success. Within several of these components, we discuss characteristics that are critical to improving community health. Practice implications include better understanding of different models and requirements by health departments, hospitals, and others involved in assessment and planning to improve cross-sector collaboration, collective impact, and community health. In addition, federal and state policy and accreditation requirements may be revised or implemented to better facilitate assessment and planning collaboration between health departments, hospitals, and others for the purpose of improving community health.

  7. Sustainability impact assessment to improve food security of smallholders in Tanzania

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schindler, Jana, E-mail: jana.schindler@zalf.de [Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Institute of Land Use Systems, Eberswalder Straße 84, 15374 Müncheberg (Germany); Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture, Invalidenstr. 42, 10099 Berlin (Germany); Graef, Frieder, E-mail: graef@zalf.de [Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Institute of Land Use Systems, Eberswalder Straße 84, 15374 Müncheberg (Germany); König, Hannes Jochen, E-mail: hkoenig@zalf.de [Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Institute of Land Use Systems, Eberswalder Straße 84, 15374 Müncheberg (Germany); Mchau, Devotha, E-mail: dvtmchau@yahoo.com [Agricultural Research Institute (ARI Hombolo/Makutupora), P. O. Box 1676, Dodoma (Tanzania, United Republic of); Saidia, Paul, E-mail: saidiapaul@gmail.com [Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) Morogoro, Department of Crop Science and Production, P O. Box 3005, Morogoro (Tanzania, United Republic of); Sieber, Stefan, E-mail: stefan.sieber@zalf.de [Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Institute of Socio-Economics, Eberswalder Straße 84, 15374 Müncheberg (Germany)

    2016-09-15

    The objective of this paper was to assess the sustainability impacts of planned agricultural development interventions, so called upgrading strategies (UPS), to enhance food security and to identify what advantages and risks are assessed from the farmer's point of view in regards to social life, the economy and the environment. We developed a participatory methodological procedure that links food security and sustainable development. Farmers in four different case study villages in rural Tanzania chose their priority UPS. For these UPS, they assessed the impacts on locally relevant food security criteria. The positive impacts identified were mainly attributed to increased agricultural production and its related positive impacts such as increased income and improved access to necessary means to diversify the diet. However, several risks of certain UPS were also indicated by farmers, such as increased workload, high maintenance costs, higher competition among farmers, loss of traditional knowledge and social conflicts. We discussed the strong interdependence of socio-economic and environmental criteria to improve food security for small-scale farmers and analysed several trade-offs in regards to UPS choices and food security criteria. We also identified and discussed the advantages and challenges of our methodological approach. In conclusion, the participatory impact assessment on the farmer level allowed a locally specific analysis of the various positive and negative impacts of UPS on social life, the economy and the environment. We emphasize that only a development approach that considers social, economic and environmental challenges simultaneously can enhance food security.

  8. Improving immunization approaches to cholera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Amit; Rosewell, Alexander; Hayen, Andrew; MacIntyre, C Raina; Qadri, Firdausi

    2017-03-01

    Cholera's impact is greatest in resource-limited countries. In the last decade several large epidemics have led to a global push to improve and implement the tools for cholera prevention and control. Areas covered: PubMed, Google Scholar and the WHO website were searched to review the literature and summarize the current status of cholera vaccines to make recommendations on improving immunization approaches to cholera. Oral cholera vaccines (OCVs) have demonstrated their effectiveness in endemic, outbreak response and emergency settings, highlighting their potential for wider adoption. While two doses of the currently available OCVs are recommended by manufacturers, a single dose would be easier to implement. Encouragingly, recent studies have shown that cold chain requirements may no longer be essential. The establishment of the global OCV stockpile in 2013 has been a major advance in cholera preparedness. New killed and live-attenuated vaccines are being actively explored as candidate vaccines for endemic settings and/or as a traveller's vaccine. The recent advances in cholera vaccination approaches should be considered in the global cholera control strategy. Expert commentary: The development of affordable cholera vaccines is a major success to improve cholera control. New vaccines and country specific interventions will further reduce the burden of this disease globally.

  9. A root cause analysis approach to risk assessment of a pipeline network for Kuwait Oil Company

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davies, Ray J.; Alfano, Tony D. [Det Norske Veritas (DNV), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Waheed, Farrukh [Kuwait Oil Company, Ahmadi (Kuwait); Komulainen, Tiina [Kongsberg Oil and Gas Technologies, Sandvika (Norway)

    2009-07-01

    A large scale risk assessment was performed by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) for the entire Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) pipeline network. This risk assessment was unique in that it incorporated the assessment of all major sources of process related risk faced by KOC and included root cause management system related risks in addition to technical risks related to more immediate causes. The assessment was conducted across the entire pipeline network with the scope divided into three major categories:1. Integrity Management 2. Operations 3. Management Systems Aspects of integrity management were ranked and prioritized using a custom algorithm based on critical data sets. A detailed quantitative risk assessment was then used to further evaluate those issues deemed unacceptable, and finally a cost benefit analysis approach was used to compare and select improvement options. The operations assessment involved computer modeling of the entire pipeline network to assess for bottlenecks, surge and erosion analysis, and to identify opportunities within the network that could potentially lead to increased production. The management system assessment was performed by conducting a gap analysis on the existing system and by prioritizing those improvement actions that best aligned with KOC's strategic goals for pipelines. Using a broad and three-pronged approach to their overall risk assessment, KOC achieved a thorough, root cause analysis-based understanding of risks to their system as well as a detailed list of recommended remediation measures that were merged into a 5-year improvement plan. (author)

  10. Natural science modules with SETS approach to improve students’ critical thinking ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budi, A. P. S.; Sunarno, W.; Sugiyarto

    2018-05-01

    SETS (Science, Environment, Technology and Society) approach for learning is important to be developed for middle school, since it can improve students’ critical thinking ability. This research aimed to determine feasibility and the effectiveness of Natural Science Module with SETS approach to increase their critical thinking ability. The module development was done by invitation, exploration, explanation, concept fortifying, and assessment. Questionnaire and test performed including pretest and posttest with control group design were used as data collection technique in this research. Two classes were selected randomly as samples and consisted of 32 students in each group. Descriptive data analysis was used to analyze the module feasibility and t-test was used to analyze their critical thinking ability. The results showed that the feasibility of the module development has a very good results based on assessment of the experts, practitioners and peers. Based on the t-test results, there was significant difference between control class and experiment class (0.004), with n-gain score of control and the experiment class respectively 0.270 (low) and 0.470 (medium). It showed that the module was more effective than the textbook. It was able to improve students’ critical thinking ability and appropriate to be used in learning process.

  11. Selective critique of risk assessments with recommendations for improving methodology and practise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aven, Terje

    2011-01-01

    Risk assessments are often criticised for defending activities that could harm the environment and human health. The risk assessments produce numbers which are used to prove that the risk associated with the activity is acceptable. In this way, risk assessments seem to be a tool generally serving business. Government agencies have based their regulations on the use of risk assessment and the prevailing practise is supported by the regulations. In this paper, we look more closely into this critique. Are risk assessments being misused or are risk assessments simply not a suitable tool for guiding decision-making in the face of risks and uncertainties? Is the use of risk assessments not servicing public interests? We argue that risk assessments may provide useful decision support but the quality of the risk assessments and the associated risk assessment processes need to be improved. In this paper, three main improvement areas (success factors) are identified and discussed: (1) the scientific basis of the risk assessments needs to be strengthened, (2) the risk assessments need to provide a much broader risk picture than what is typically the case today. Separate uncertainty analyses should be carried out, extending the traditional probabilistic-based analyses and (3) the cautionary and precautionary principles need to be seen as rational risk management approaches, and their application would, to a large extent, be based on risk and uncertainty assessments.

  12. Assessing Probabilistic Risk Assessment Approaches for Insect Biological Control Introductions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leyla V. Kaufman

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The introduction of biological control agents to new environments requires host specificity tests to estimate potential non-target impacts of a prospective agent. Currently, the approach is conservative, and is based on physiological host ranges determined under captive rearing conditions, without consideration for ecological factors that may influence realized host range. We use historical data and current field data from introduced parasitoids that attack an endemic Lepidoptera species in Hawaii to validate a probabilistic risk assessment (PRA procedure for non-target impacts. We use data on known host range and habitat use in the place of origin of the parasitoids to determine whether contemporary levels of non-target parasitism could have been predicted using PRA. Our results show that reasonable predictions of potential non-target impacts may be made if comprehensive data are available from places of origin of biological control agents, but scant data produce poor predictions. Using apparent mortality data rather than marginal attack rate estimates in PRA resulted in over-estimates of predicted non-target impact. Incorporating ecological data into PRA models improved the predictive power of the risk assessments.

  13. Adverse Outcome Pathways can drive non-animal approaches for safety assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burden, Natalie; Sewell, Fiona; Andersen, Melvin E; Boobis, Alan; Chipman, J Kevin; Cronin, Mark T D; Hutchinson, Thomas H; Kimber, Ian; Whelan, Maurice

    2015-09-01

    Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) provide an opportunity to develop new and more accurate safety assessment processes for drugs and other chemicals, and may ultimately play an important role in regulatory decision making. Not only can the development and application of AOPs pave the way for the development of improved evidence-based approaches for hazard and risk assessment, there is also the promise of a significant impact on animal welfare, with a reduced reliance on animal-based methods. The establishment of a useable and coherent knowledge framework under which AOPs will be developed and applied has been a first critical step towards realizing this opportunity. This article explores how the development of AOPs under this framework, and their application in practice, could benefit the science and practice of safety assessment, while in parallel stimulating a move away from traditional methods towards an increased acceptance of non-animal approaches. We discuss here the key areas where current, and future initiatives should be focused to enable the translation of AOPs into routine chemical safety assessment, and lasting 3Rs benefits. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Applied Toxicology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Mathematical Safety Assessment Approaches for Thermal Power Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zong-Xiao Yang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available How to use system analysis methods to identify the hazards in the industrialized process, working environment, and production management for complex industrial processes, such as thermal power plants, is one of the challenges in the systems engineering. A mathematical system safety assessment model is proposed for thermal power plants in this paper by integrating fuzzy analytical hierarchy process, set pair analysis, and system functionality analysis. In the basis of those, the key factors influencing the thermal power plant safety are analyzed. The influence factors are determined based on fuzzy analytical hierarchy process. The connection degree among the factors is obtained by set pair analysis. The system safety preponderant function is constructed through system functionality analysis for inherence properties and nonlinear influence. The decision analysis system is developed by using active server page technology, web resource integration, and cross-platform capabilities for applications to the industrialized process. The availability of proposed safety assessment approach is verified by using an actual thermal power plant, which has improved the enforceability and predictability in enterprise safety assessment.

  15. Increasing the Number of Outpatients Receiving Spiritual Assessment: A Pain and Palliative Care Service Quality Improvement Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Castillo, Blanca J; Hirsch, Rosemarie; Groninger, Hunter; Baker, Karen; Cheng, M Jennifer; Phillips, Jayne; Pollack, John; Berger, Ann M

    2015-11-01

    Spirituality is a patient need that requires special attention from the Pain and Palliative Care Service team. This quality improvement project aimed to provide spiritual assessment for all new outpatients with serious life-altering illnesses. Percentage of new outpatients receiving spiritual assessment (Faith, Importance/Influence, Community, Address/Action in care, psychosocial evaluation, chaplain consults) at baseline and postinterventions. Interventions included encouraging clinicians to incorporate adequate spiritual assessment into patient care and implementing chaplain covisits for all initial outpatient visits. The quality improvement interventions increased spiritual assessment (baseline vs. postinterventions): chaplain covisits (25.5% vs. 50%), Faith, Importance/Influence, Community, Address/Action in care completion (49% vs. 72%), and psychosocial evaluation (89% vs. 94%). Improved spiritual assessment in an outpatient palliative care clinic setting can occur with a multidisciplinary approach. This project also identifies data collection and documentation processes that can be targeted for improvement. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  16. Methodical approaches to assessment of quality of the bank loan portfolio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tysyachna Yunna S.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The goal of the article lies in the study of basic methodical approaches to assessment of the quality of the bank loan portfolio, identification of specific features of their practical application and justification of selection of the most appropriate for the modern economic conditions. The article considers three main groups of methods of assessment of the quality of the bank loan portfolio: expert evaluation methods and statistical and analytical methods. It goes without saying that in order to obtain an objective assessment of quality of the bank loan portfolio it is necessary to apply a complex approach, however, due to some advantages and shortcomings of the studied methods, the author marks expediency of building an integral indicator, taxonomic in particular, in order to obtain a complex, objective and efficient assessment of the bank loan portfolio. Prospects of further studies in this direction are assessment of the quality of the loan portfolio of the first group banks by the size of their assets through building integral taxonomic indicators and identification, on this basis, of factors that influence the quality of the loan portfolio with the aim of improvement of the mechanism of management of the bank lending activity.

  17. Methodological approach to organizational performance improvement process

    OpenAIRE

    Buble, Marin; Dulčić, Želimir; Pavić, Ivan

    2017-01-01

    Organizational performance improvement is one of the fundamental enterprise tasks. This especially applies to the case when the term “performance improvement” implies efficiency improvement measured by indicators, such as ROI, ROE, ROA, or ROVA/ROI. Such tasks are very complex, requiring implementation by means of project management. In this paper, the authors propose a methodological approach to improving the organizational performance of a large enterprise.

  18. Evaluation of speech and language assessment approaches with bilingual children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Lamo White, Caroline; Jin, Lixian

    2011-01-01

    British society is multicultural and multilingual, thus for many children English is not their main or only language. Speech and language therapists are required to assess accurately the speech and language skills of bilingual children if they are suspected of having a disorder. Cultural and linguistic diversity means that a more complex assessment procedure is needed and research suggests that bilingual children are at risk of misdiagnosis. Clinicians have identified a lack of suitable assessment instruments for use with this client group. This paper highlights the challenges of assessing bilingual children and reviews available speech and language assessment procedures and approaches for use with this client group. It evaluates different approaches for assessing bilingual children to identify approaches that may be more appropriate for carrying out assessments effectively. This review discusses and evaluates the efficacy of norm-referenced standardized measures, criterion-referenced measures, language-processing measures, dynamic assessment and a sociocultural approach. When all named procedures and approaches are compared, the sociocultural approach appears to hold the most promise for accurate assessment of bilingual children. Research suggests that language-processing measures are not effective indicators for identifying speech and language disorders in bilingual children, but further research is warranted. The sociocultural approach encompasses some of the other approaches discussed, including norm-referenced measures, criterion-referenced measures and dynamic assessment. The sociocultural approach enables the clinician to interpret results in the light of the child's linguistic and cultural background. In addition, combining approaches mitigates the weaknesses inherent in each approach. © 2011 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

  19. Developing TheoreticalMethodological Approaches to Assessment of Export Potential of Ukrainian Enterprises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matyushenko Igor Yu.

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The article is aimed at studying the existing theoretical-methodological approaches to the analysis and assessment of export potential. The opinions by scientists regarding the disclosure of the categorial content of the concept of «export potential» have been considered, an own definition of the indicated economic category has been suggested. The main types of analytical procedures for assessment have been classified, some authorial methodical approaches to determine the level of export potential have been analyzed. The export potential of a hypothetical enterprise has been calculated by the selected methodologies of assessment. The urgency of improving and refining existing methods to implement more detailed and quantitative analysis has been substantiated. It has been suggested to implement a prognosis assessment of export potential of enterprises by combining the results of several methodologies in the aggregate indicator of export potential efficiency. A prognosis model for the dynamics of export potential of a hypothetical enterprise has been built, value of the aggregate indicator has been calculated on the basis of three selected valuation methodologies.

  20. Approach for assessing the effectiveness of regulatory control in Peru using performance indicators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramirez Quijada, R.

    1998-01-01

    The paper is intended to make an approach for assessing the effectiveness of regulatory activities in Peru by using of performance indicators for each of the activities developed pursuant their responsibilities. So inspections, authorizations, enforcement and regulation activities are qualified by levels of attainments and then assessed independently to rise specific issues. The general conclusion is that regulatory activities seems to be acceptable but some improvements are needed in order to reach a good level of performance. (author)

  1. Integrated Metrics for Improving the Life Cycle Approach to Assessing Product System Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wesley Ingwersen

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Life cycle approaches are critical for identifying and reducing environmental burdens of products. While these methods can indicate potential environmental impacts of a product, current Life Cycle Assessment (LCA methods fail to integrate the multiple impacts of a system into unified measures of social, economic or environmental performance related to sustainability. Integrated metrics that combine multiple aspects of system performance based on a common scientific or economic principle have proven to be valuable for sustainability evaluation. In this work, we propose methods of adapting four integrated metrics for use with LCAs of product systems: ecological footprint, emergy, green net value added, and Fisher information. These metrics provide information on the full product system in land, energy, monetary equivalents, and as a unitless information index; each bundled with one or more indicators for reporting. When used together and for relative comparison, integrated metrics provide a broader coverage of sustainability aspects from multiple theoretical perspectives that is more likely to illuminate potential issues than individual impact indicators. These integrated metrics are recommended for use in combination with traditional indicators used in LCA. Future work will test and demonstrate the value of using these integrated metrics and combinations to assess product system sustainability.

  2. Improvement of methodical approaches to higher schools' marketing activity assessment on the basis of Internet technologies application

    OpenAIRE

    Elizaveta E. Tarasova; Evgeny A. Shein

    2014-01-01

    The paper substantiates the necessity of higher schools marketing activity developing on the basis of Internet technologies; suggests the technique of comprehensive assessment of functioning and quality of the site as the main tool of marketing activity on the Internet, substantiates the stages of its implementation and provides the approbation results; suggests strategic directions for the improvement of functioning and quality improvement of a higher school site, which makes it possible to ...

  3. Exploring approaches to dietetic assessment of a common task across different universities through assessment moderation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palermo, C; Volders, E; Gibson, S; Kennedy, M; Wray, A; Thomas, J; Hannan-Jones, M; Gallegos, D; Beck, E

    2018-02-01

    Assessment presents one of the greatest challenges to evaluating health professional trainee performance, as a result of the subjectivity of judgements and variability in assessor standards. The present study aimed to test a moderation procedure for assessment across four independent universities and explore approaches to assessment and the factors that influence assessment decisions. Assessment tasks designed independently by each of the four universities to assess student readiness for placement were chosen for the present study. Each university provided four student performance recordings for moderation. Eight different academic assessors viewed the student performances and assessed them using the corresponding university assessment instrument. Assessment results were collated and presented back to the assessors, together with the original university assessment results. Results were discussed with assessors to explore variations. The discussion was recorded, transcribed, thematically analysed and presented back to all assessors to achieve consensus on the emerging major learnings. Although there were differences in absolute scores, there was consistency (12 out of 16 performances) in overall judgement decisions regarding placement readiness. Proficient communication skills were considered a key factor when determining placement readiness. The discussion revealed: (i) assessment instruments; (ii) assessor factors; and (iii) the subjectivity of judgement as the major factors influencing assessment. Assessment moderation is a useful method for improving the quality of assessment decisions by sharing understanding and aligning standards of performance. © 2017 The British Dietetic Association Ltd.

  4. Efficacy of a Template Creation Approach for Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    This article presents the training and performance improvement approach, performance templates (P-T), and provides empirical evidence to support the efficacy of P-T. This approach involves a partnership among managers, trainers, and employees in the creation, use, and improvement of guides to affect the performance of critical tasks in the…

  5. Methodological approach to organizational performance improvement process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marin Buble

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Organizational performance improvement is one of the fundamental enterprise tasks. This especially applies to the case when the term “performance improvement” implies efficiency improvement measured by indicators, such as ROI, ROE, ROA, or ROVA/ROI. Such tasks are very complex, requiring implementation by means of project management. In this paper, the authors propose a methodological approach to improving the organizational performance of a large enterprise.

  6. Assessing and Improving Children's Rights in Hospitals: Case Studies from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Moldova.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isabel Fernandes Guerreiro, Ana; Kuttumuratova, Aigul; Monolbaev, Kubanychbek; Boderscova, Larisa; Pirova, Zulfiya; Weber, Martin W

    2016-06-01

    There is a recognized need to raise evidence on how to adopt human rights-based approaches (HRBAs) to health and to assess their impact. In 2013 and 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe used a set of tools to assess and improve the situation of children's rights in 11 hospitals in Kyrgyzstan, 10 hospitals in Tajikistan, and 21 hospitals in Moldova, by applying a HRBA to health, taking as a reference the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The assessment results show a similar situation across countries in some areas, and more or less significant variation in others. Common gaps include the need to improve adolescent-friendly health services, the rights to privacy and play; and infrastructure and equipment. In Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, a second round of assessment, was carried out, which showed an effective change in several areas, whilst other areas showed persistent gaps. Moldova did not carry out a second round of assessment. Involving children and parents in the assessment was crucial to obtain more reliable data; the project showed how to use the CRC as a framework to improve quality of care for children (QoC); and the tools were proven useful for self-assessment.

  7. Assessing dynamic postural control during exergaming in older adults: A probabilistic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soancatl Aguilar, V; Lamoth, C J C; Maurits, N M; Roerdink, J B T M

    2018-02-01

    Digital games controlled by body movements (exergames) have been proposed as a way to improve postural control among older adults. Exergames are meant to be played at home in an unsupervised way. However, only few studies have investigated the effect of unsupervised home-exergaming on postural control. Moreover, suitable methods to dynamically assess postural control during exergaming are still scarce. Dynamic postural control (DPC) assessment could be used to provide both meaningful feedback and automatic adjustment of exergame difficulty. These features could potentially foster unsupervised exergaming at home and improve the effectiveness of exergames as tools to improve balance control. The main aim of this study is to investigate the effect of six weeks of unsupervised home-exergaming on DPC as assessed by a recently developed probabilistic model. High probability values suggest 'deteriorated' postural control, whereas low probability values suggest 'good' postural control. In a pilot study, ten healthy older adults (average 77.9, SD 7.2 years) played an ice-skating exergame at home half an hour per day, three times a week during six weeks. The intervention effect on DPC was assessed using exergaming trials recorded by Kinect at baseline and every other week. Visualization of the results suggests that the probabilistic model is suitable for real-time DPC assessment. Moreover, linear mixed model analysis and parametric bootstrapping suggest a significant intervention effect on DPC. In conclusion, these results suggest that unsupervised exergaming for improving DPC among older adults is indeed feasible and that probabilistic models could be a new approach to assess DPC. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. An improved Hough transform-based fingerprint alignment approach

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mlambo, CS

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available An improved Hough Transform based fingerprint alignment approach is presented, which improves computing time and memory usage with accurate alignment parameter (rotation and translation) results. This is achieved by studying the strengths...

  9. A Systematic Approach to Programmatic Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moffit, Dani M.; Mansell, Jamie L.; Russ, Anne C.

    2016-01-01

    Context: Accrediting bodies and universities increasingly require evidence of student learning within courses and programs. Within athletic training, programmatic assessment has been a source of angst for program directors. While there are many ways to assess educational programs, this article introduces 1 systematic approach. Objective: This…

  10. A practical approach to competency assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claflin, N

    1997-01-01

    Assessing clinical performance is difficult. Members of the Nursing Service Clinical Practice Committee at the Carl T. Hayden Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Phoenix developed a comprehensive program of competency assessment based on performance measures. This article describes the committee's process of developing and implementing the program and includes a blueprint for competency assessment and selected performance measures for all nursing staff who provide patient care. The approach to competency assessment includes performance measures specific to patients' ages.

  11. Implementing a nationwide quality improvement approach in health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahel, Amina; DeBrouwere, Vincent; Dujardin, Bruno; Kegels, Guy; Belkaab, Nejoua; Alaoui Belghiti, Abdelali

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to present an innovative quality improvement intervention developed in Morocco and discuss its implementation. Until 2004, the Moroccan Ministry of Health (MoH) encouraged pilots of quality improvement approaches but none of them were revealed to be sustainable. Internal assessments pinpointed factors such as lack of recognition of the participating team's efforts and lack of pressure on managers to become more accountable. In 2005, Morocco opted for an intervention called "Quality Contest" (QC) targeting health centres, hospitals and health district offices and combining quality measurement with structures ranking, performance disclosure and reward system. The QC is organized every 18 months. After the self-assessment and external audit step, the participating structures are ranked according to their scores. Their performances are then disseminated and the highest performing structures are rewarded. The results showed an improvement in performance among participating structures, constructive exchange of successful experiences between structures, as well as communication of constraints, needs and expectations between MoH managers at central and local levels; the use of peer-auditors was appreciated as it enabled an exchange of best practices between auditors and audited teams but this was mitigated by the difficulty of ensuring their neutrality; and the recognition of efforts was appreciated but seemed insufficient to ensure a sense of justice and maintain motivation. This intervention is an example of MoH leadership that has succeeded in introducing transparency and accountability mechanisms (ranking and performance disclosure) as leverage to change the management culture of the public health services; setting up a reward system to reinforce motivation and adapting continuously the intervention to enhance its sustainability and acceptability.

  12. A rule induction approach to improve Monte Carlo system reliability assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rocco S, Claudio M.

    2003-01-01

    A Decision Tree (DT) approach to build empirical models for use in Monte Carlo reliability evaluation is presented. The main idea is to develop an estimation algorithm, by training a model on a restricted data set, and replacing the Evaluation Function (EF) by a simpler calculation, which provides reasonably accurate model outputs. The proposed approach is illustrated with two systems of different size, represented by their equivalent networks. The robustness of the DT approach as an approximated method to replace the EF is also analysed. Excellent system reliability results are obtained by training a DT with a small amount of information

  13. Risk assessment approach for Rokkasho reprocessing plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ootou, Y.; Tamauchi, Y.; Hayashi, Y.; Takebe, K.; Miyata, T.

    2006-01-01

    for various types of equipment and piping and for operations performed by operators, and was obtained through sensitivity analysis, such as the influence of change in the maintenance periods of the occurrence frequency. This information might be of use for operation management. On the other hand, in order to have grasp of the risk profile at a reprocessing plant and in order for us to make good use of the risk information, it is also necessary to conduct risk assessments for incidents other than major accidents. Since it is appropriate to use a Graded Approach to assess the risks of such a large number of incidents effectively and efficiently, a simplified method, called ''improved risk index method'' was developed. It based on the Risk Index Method recommended by U.S. NRC. The Risk Index Method is simple and is appropriate for fuel cycle facilities where a wide variety of accidents may occur, but it is characterized by the fact that it requires engineering judgments by analysts when assessing the occurrence frequency, and the common components between the safety measures (the subordinacy) are difficult to clarify. In order to solve the problems inherent in the Risk Index Method, quantification, flexibility and traceability have been improved while maintaining its advantages. Currently, risk assessments for a wide variety of incidents and accidents are being conducted using the above mentioned methods and their results will be used for the improvement of operation management. Furthermore, risk assessments for external incidents (earthquakes, etc.) are being planned

  14. A Practice Improvement Education Program Using a Mentored Approach to Improve Nursing Facility Depression Care-Preliminary Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chodosh, Joshua; Price, Rachel M; Cadogan, Mary P; Damron-Rodriguez, JoAnn; Osterweil, Dan; Czerwinski, Alfredo; Tan, Zaldy S; Merkin, Sharon S; Gans, Daphna; Frank, Janet C

    2015-11-01

    Depression is common in nursing facility residents. Depression data obtained using the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 offer opportunities for improving diagnostic accuracy and care quality. How best to integrate MDS 3.0 and other data into quality improvement (QI) activity is untested. The objective was to increase nursing home (NH) capability in using QI processes and to improve depression assessment and management through focused mentorship and team building. This was a 6-month intervention with five components: facilitated collection of MDS 3.0 nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and medication data for diagnostic interpretation; education and modeling on QI approaches, team building, and nonpharmacological depression care; mentored team meetings; educational webinars; and technical assistance. PHQ-9 and medication data were collected at baseline and 6 and 9 months. Progress was measured using team participation measures, attitude and care process self-appraisal, mentor assessments, and resident depression outcomes. Five NHs established interprofessional teams that included nursing (44.1%), social work (20.6%), physicians (8.8%), and other disciplines (26.5%). Members participated in 61% of eight offered educational meetings (three onsite mentored team meetings and five webinars). Competency self-ratings improved on four depression care measures (P = .05 to depression scores did not change while medication use declined, from 37.2% of residents at baseline to 31.0% at 9 months (P care processes, achieved medication reductions, and was well received. Application to other NH-prevalent syndromes is possible. © 2015, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2015, The American Geriatrics Society.

  15. Chemical Exposure Assessment Program at Los Alamos National Laboratory: A risk based approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stephenson, D.J.

    1996-01-01

    The University of California Contract And DOE Order 5480.10 require that Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) perform health hazard assessments/inventories of all employee workplaces. In response to this LANL has developed the Chemical Exposure Assessment Program. This program provides a systematic risk-based approach to anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of chemical workplace exposures. Program implementation focuses resources on exposures with the highest risks for causing adverse health effects. Implementation guidance includes procedures for basic characterization, qualitative risk assessment, quantitative validation, and recommendations and reevaluation. Each component of the program is described. It is shown how a systematic method of assessment improves documentation, retrieval, and use of generated exposure information

  16. Training simulated patients: evaluation of a training approach using self-assessment and peer/tutor feedback to improve performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdullah Juriah

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most medical schools use simulated patients (SPs for teaching. In this context the authenticity of role play and quality of feedback provided by SPs is of paramount importance. The available literature on SP training mostly addresses instructor led training where the SPs are given direction on their roles. This study focuses on the use of peer and self evaluation as a tool to train SPs. Methods SPs at the medical school participated in a staff development and training programme which included a self-assessment of their performance while observing video-tapes of their role play using a structured guide and b peer group assessment of their performance under tutor guidance. The pre and post training performance in relation to authenticity of role play and quality of feedback was blindly assessed by students and tutors using a validated instrument and the scores were compared. A focus group discussion and a questionnaire assessed acceptability of the training programme by the SPs. Results The post-training performance assessment scores were significantly higher (p Conclusion Use of structured self-reflective and peer-interactive, practice based methods of SP training is recommended to improve SP performance. More studies on these methods of training may further refine SP training and lead to improvement of SP performance which in turn may positively impact medical education.

  17. Approaches to quantitative risk assessment with applications to PP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geiger, G.; Schaefer, A.

    2002-01-01

    Full text: Experience with accidents such as Goiania in Brazil and indications of a considerable number of orphan sources suggest that improved protection would be desirable for some types of radioactive material of wide-spread use such as radiation sources for civil purposes. Regarding large potential health and economic consequences (in particular, if terrorists attacks cannot be excluded), significant costs of preventive actions, and large uncertainties about both the likelihood of occurrence and the potential consequences of PP safety and security incidents, an optimum relationship between preventive and mitigative efforts is likely to be a key issue for successful risk management in this field. Thus, possible violations of physical protection combined with threats of misuse of nuclear materials, including terrorist attack, pose considerable challenges to global security from various perspectives. In view of these challenges, recent advance in applied risk and decision analysis suggests methodological and procedural improvements in quantitative risk assessment, the demarcation of acceptable risk, and risk management. Advance is based on a recently developed model of optimal risky choice suitable for assessing and comparing the cumulative probability distribution functions attached to safety and security risks. Besides quantification of risk (e. g., in economic terms), the standardization of various risk assessment models frequently used in operations research can be approached on this basis. The paper explores possible applications of these improved methods to the safety and security management of nuclear materials, cost efficiency of risk management measures, and the establishment international safety and security standards of PP. Examples will be presented that are based on selected scenarios of misuse involving typical radioactive sources. (author)

  18. Improving Multi-Sensor Drought Monitoring, Prediction and Recovery Assessment Using Gravimetry Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aghakouchak, Amir; Tourian, Mohammad J.

    2015-04-01

    Development of reliable drought monitoring, prediction and recovery assessment tools are fundamental to water resources management. This presentation focuses on how gravimetry information can improve drought assessment. First, we provide an overview of the Global Integrated Drought Monitoring and Prediction System (GIDMaPS) which offers near real-time drought information using remote sensing observations and model simulations. Then, we present a framework for integration of satellite gravimetry information for improving drought prediction and recovery assessment. The input data include satellite-based and model-based precipitation, soil moisture estimates and equivalent water height. Previous studies show that drought assessment based on one single indicator may not be sufficient. For this reason, GIDMaPS provides drought information based on multiple drought indicators including Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), Standardized Soil Moisture Index (SSI) and the Multivariate Standardized Drought Index (MSDI) which combines SPI and SSI probabilistically. MSDI incorporates the meteorological and agricultural drought conditions and provides composite multi-index drought information for overall characterization of droughts. GIDMaPS includes a seasonal prediction component based on a statistical persistence-based approach. The prediction component of GIDMaPS provides the empirical probability of drought for different severity levels. In this presentation we present a new component in which the drought prediction information based on SPI, SSI and MSDI are conditioned on equivalent water height obtained from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE). Using a Bayesian approach, GRACE information is used to evaluate persistence of drought. Finally, the deficit equivalent water height based on GRACE is used for assessing drought recovery. In this presentation, both monitoring and prediction components of GIDMaPS will be discussed, and the results from 2014

  19. Improvement of Safety Assessment Methodologies for Near Surface Disposal Facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Batandjieva, B.; Torres-Vidal, C.

    2002-01-01

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Coordinated research program ''Improvement of Safety Assessment Methodologies for Near Surface Disposal Facilities'' (ISAM) has developed improved safety assessment methodology for near surface disposal facilities. The program has been underway for three years and has included around 75 active participants from 40 countries. It has also provided examples for application to three safety cases--vault, Radon type and borehole radioactive waste disposal facilities. The program has served as an excellent forum for exchange of information and good practices on safety assessment approaches and methodologies used worldwide. It also provided an opportunity for reaching broad consensus on the safety assessment methodologies to be applied to near surface low and intermediate level waste repositories. The methodology has found widespread acceptance and the need for its application on real waste disposal facilities has been clearly identified. The ISAM was finalized by the end of 2000, working material documents are available and an IAEA report will be published in 2002 summarizing the work performed during the three years of the program. The outcome of the ISAM program provides a sound basis for moving forward to a new IAEA program, which will focus on practical application of the safety assessment methodologies to different purposes, such as licensing radioactive waste repositories, development of design concepts, upgrading existing facilities, reassessment of operating repositories, etc. The new program will also provide an opportunity for development of guidance on application of the methodology that will be of assistance to both safety assessors and regulators

  20. Feasibility of a novel participatory multi-sector continuous improvement approach to enhance food security in remote Indigenous Australian communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brimblecombe, J; Bailie, R; van den Boogaard, C; Wood, B; Liberato, S C; Ferguson, M; Coveney, J; Jaenke, R; Ritchie, J

    2017-12-01

    Food insecurity underlies and compounds many of the development issues faced by remote Indigenous communities in Australia. Multi-sector approaches offer promise to improve food security. We assessed the feasibility of a novel multi-sector approach to enhance community food security in remote Indigenous Australia. A longitudinal comparative multi-site case study, the Good Food Systems Good Food for All Project, was conducted (2009-2013) with four Aboriginal communities. Continuous improvement meetings were held in each community. Data from project documents and store sales were used to assess feasibility according to engagement, uptake and sustainability of action, and impact on community diet, as well as identifying conditions facilitating or hindering these. Engagement was established where: the community perceived a need for the approach; where trust was developed between the community and facilitators; where there was community stability; and where flexibility was applied in the timing of meetings. The approach enabled stakeholders in each community to collectively appraise the community food system and plan action. Actions that could be directly implemented within available resources resulted from developing collaborative capacity. Actions requiring advocacy, multi-sectoral involvement, commitment or further resources were less frequently used. Positive shifts in community diet were associated with key areas where actions were implemented. A multi-sector participatory approach seeking continuous improvement engaged committed Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal stakeholders and was shown to have potential to shift community diet. Provision of clear mechanisms to link this approach with higher level policy and decision-making structures, clarity of roles and responsibilities, and processes to prioritise and communicate actions across sectors should further strengthen capacity for food security improvement. Integrating this approach enabling local decision-making into

  1. Assessing demand for improved sustainable sanitation in low-income informal settlements of urban areas: a critical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okurut, Kenan; Kulabako, Robinah Nakawunde; Chenoweth, Jonathan; Charles, Katrina

    2015-01-01

    Sanitation improvement is crucial in saving lives that are lost due to water contamination. Progress towards achieving full sanitation coverage is still slow in low-income informal settlements in most developing countries. Furthermore, resources are being wasted on installing facilities that are later misused or never used because they do not meet the local demand. Understanding demand for improved sanitation in the local context is critical if facilities are to be continually used. Various approaches that attempt to change peoples' behaviours or create demand have been reviewed to identify what they are designed to address. A multi-disciplinary research team using mixed methods is re-emphasised as a comprehensive approach for assessing demand for improved sanitation in low-income informal settlements, where the sanitation situation is more challenging than in other areas. Further research involving a multi-disciplinary research team and use of mixed methods to assess sanitation demand in informal settlements is needed.

  2. Alternative approaches to improve site investigations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beach, R.B.; Silka, L.R.

    1992-01-01

    Common complaints about standard investigations at hazardous waste sites include high costs and long time frames. Investigations at military bases as part of the installation restoration program or base closures suffer additionally from nonuniformity of approach and results and redundancy of work effort conducted by multiple environmental contractors. The problems of high costs and long time frames can be minimized by the consistent use of alternative sampling methods (such as soil gas surveys) and the utilization of analytical screening procedures at both on-site and off-site laboratories. Acceptable data quality is maintained by several procedures. Incorporation of quality control measures (10 % frequency), such as matrix spikes and duplicates, into the alternative analytical techniques allows assessment of the data quality relative to predetermined data quality objectives (DQOs). Confirmation of the screening results (10% frequency) using standard US EPA methods, such as the contract laboratory program (CLP) statement of work (SOW), allows an additional evaluation of the data accuracy. Depending on the investigative objectives, knowledge based computer systems (expert systems,) could be used to improve uniformity of site evaluations. Several case histories will be presented demonstrating how soil gas surveys, screening analyses and standard analyses can be utilized to give increased site information in a reduced time frame and at a cost savings of 30 to 40%. One case history illustrates a screening technique developed by the author for polynuclear aromatics (semi-volatile organic compounds) that can be conducted at a cost savings of 90% relative to a standard US EPA method. A comparison of the phased investigative approach to one using an integrated field team is presented for fuel spill or UST areas

  3. Improving advanced cardiovascular life support skills in medical students: simulation-based education approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamidreza Reihani

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: In this trial, we intend to assess the effect of simulation-based education approach on advanced cardiovascular life support skills among medical students. Methods: Through convenient sampling method, 40 interns of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in their emergency medicine rotation (from September to December 2012 participated in this study. Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS workshops with pretest and post-test exams were performed. Workshops and checklists for pretest and post-test exams were designed according to the latest American Heart Association (AHA guidelines. Results: The total score of the students increased significantly after workshops (24.6 out of 100 to 78.6 out of 100. This demonstrates 53.9% improvement in the skills after the simulation-based education (P< 0.001. Also the mean score of each station had a significant improvement (P< 0.001. Conclusion: Pretests showed that interns had poor performance in practical clinical matters while their scientific knowledge, such as ECG interpretation was acceptable. The overall results of the study highlights that Simulation based-education approach is highly effective in Improving ACLS skills among medical students.

  4. Assessing Community Leadership: Understanding Community Capacity for Health Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castle, Billie; Wendel, Monica; Kelly Pryor, Brandy N; Ingram, Monique

    The purpose of this study was to pilot a quantitative instrument to measure aspects of community leadership within an assessment framework. The instrument includes 14 Likert-type questions asking residents how they perceive leaders within 5 sectors: Louisville Metro Council/Mayor's Office, the faith community, education, business, and the civic sector. Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky, has a population of about 743 000 residents. Respondents were asked to examine leadership within West Louisville, an economically deprived area of the city made up of 9 contiguous neighborhoods. This area is predominantly African American (78% compared with 22% in Louisville Metro), with an overall poverty rate of 43% (compared with 18% in Louisville Metro), and unemployment rate of 23% (compared with 8% in Louisville Metro). Residents of West Louisville are looking to leadership to address many of the inequities. Twenty-seven participants representing 7 community sectors completed the survey, of whom 90% work in West Louisville. The instrument measured local perceptions of leadership strength, effectiveness, trust, communication, community building, and leadership development. The majority of respondents agree that strong leadership exists across the 5 sectors, with variation regarding perceptions of the quality of that leadership. City leadership within the Mayor's Office and Metro Council is largely viewed positively, while the growing tensions within the education sector were reflected in the survey results. The perception of community leadership is important to understanding local community capacity to improve health and also inclusivity of community voice in the assessment and community improvement processes. Results from such assessments can offer useful information for strengthening community capacity and sustaining relationships needed to enact progressive and equitable solutions to address local issues. Leaders in a variety of settings can utilize this instrument to

  5. Methodical Approach to Assessment of the Structure of Demand on the Products of the Restaurant Industry Enterprises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chorna Maryna V.

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The article presents a methodical approach to assessment of the structure of demand on the products (services of the restaurant industry enterprises and results of its approval. A characteristic feature of this approach is clear identification of stages and their logical consequence in the process of assessment (identification of the period of assessment – day, week, holidays, seasons; formation and systematisation of the information base by cost, quantitative and qualitative indicators; calculation of relative indicators of demand and income; building a matrix; and interpretation of results and application of the “demand level / income level” matrix. Use of the proposed approach allows identification of an assortment structure of the restaurant industry enterprise by correlation of the realised demand and obtained income, which gives a possibility to form managerial decisions on its improvement and also allows assessment of efficiency of these measures.

  6. A combined disease management and process modeling approach for assessing and improving care processes: a fall management case-study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Askari, Marjan; Westerhof, Richard; Eslami, Saied; Medlock, Stephanie; de Rooij, Sophia E; Abu-Hanna, Ameen

    2013-10-01

    To propose a combined disease management and process modeling approach for evaluating and improving care processes, and demonstrate its usability and usefulness in a real-world fall management case study. We identified essential disease management related concepts and mapped them into explicit questions meant to expose areas for improvement in the respective care processes. We applied the disease management oriented questions to a process model of a comprehensive real world fall prevention and treatment program covering primary and secondary care. We relied on interviews and observations to complete the process models, which were captured in UML activity diagrams. A preliminary evaluation of the usability of our approach by gauging the experience of the modeler and an external validator was conducted, and the usefulness of the method was evaluated by gathering feedback from stakeholders at an invitational conference of 75 attendees. The process model of the fall management program was organized around the clinical tasks of case finding, risk profiling, decision making, coordination and interventions. Applying the disease management questions to the process models exposed weaknesses in the process including: absence of program ownership, under-detection of falls in primary care, and lack of efficient communication among stakeholders due to missing awareness about other stakeholders' workflow. The modelers experienced the approach as usable and the attendees of the invitational conference found the analysis results to be valid. The proposed disease management view of process modeling was usable and useful for systematically identifying areas of improvement in a fall management program. Although specifically applied to fall management, we believe our case study is characteristic of various disease management settings, suggesting the wider applicability of the approach. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. A study on graded approach for risk assessment of the Rokkasho reprocessing plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shoji, Tatsuro; Kohata, Yuuji; Takebe, Kazumi; Tamauchi, Yoshikazu; Hayashi, Kazuya; Kurosu, Katsuya

    2005-01-01

    In a reprocessing plant, radioactive materials exist in several chemical processes and storage facilities, therefore we should evaluate risks of many events with various types, scenarios, frequencies and consequences in order to assess total risk of the plant. In order to assess risks of many events efficiently and effectively, the 'Graded Approach' should be applied to the assessment method taking account of importance of the consequence, complexity of scenarios and necessitated uncertainty. Therefore, we have developed a simplified quantitative method, so-called the 'improved risk index method', based on the 'risk index method' recommended by US NRC as qualitative risk evaluation method for 'Integrated safety analysis (ISA)' of fuel cycle facilities, to enhance quantitability, consistency and traceability in evaluation. The results of the 'improved risk index method' well agree with the detailed PSA in spite of the simplification. We will use this method in combination with the detailed PSA method, and will use the results for risk-informed management/regulation of the Rokkasho reprocessing plant. (author)

  8. Surgery-first orthognathic approach vs traditional orthognathic approach: Oral health-related quality of life assessed with 2 questionnaires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelo, Sandro; Gasparini, Giulio; Garagiola, Umberto; Cordaro, Massimo; Di Nardo, Francesco; Staderini, Edoardo; Patini, Romeo; de Angelis, Paolo; D'Amato, Giuseppe; Saponaro, Gianmarco; Moro, Alessandro

    2017-08-01

    The purposes of the study were to investigate and evaluate the differences detected by the patients between the traditional orthognathic approach and the surgery-first one in terms of level of satisfaction and quality of life. A total of 30 patients who underwent orthognathic surgery for correction of malocclusions were selected and included in this study. Fifteen patients were treated with the conventional orthognathic surgery approach, and 15 patients with the surgery-first approach. Variables were assessed through the Orthognathic Quality of Life Questionnaire and the Oral Health Impact Profile questionnaire and analyzed with 2-way repeated-measures analysis of variance. The results showed significant differences in terms of the Orthognathic Quality of Life Questionnaire (P surgery in the surgery-first group and an initial worsening during orthodontic treatment in the traditional approach group followed by postoperative improvement. This study showed that the worsening of the facial profile during the traditional orthognathic surgery approach decompensation phase has a negative impact on the perception of patients' quality of life. Surgeons should consider the possibility of a surgery-first approach to prevent this occurrence. Copyright © 2017 American Association of Orthodontists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. New Approaches to Reliability Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ma, Ke; Wang, Huai; Blaabjerg, Frede

    2016-01-01

    of energy. New approaches for reliability assessment are being taken in the design phase of power electronics systems based on the physics-of-failure in components. In this approach, many new methods, such as multidisciplinary simulation tools, strength testing of components, translation of mission profiles......, and statistical analysis, are involved to enable better prediction and design of reliability for products. This article gives an overview of the new design flow in the reliability engineering of power electronics from the system-level point of view and discusses some of the emerging needs for the technology...

  10. Integrating exposure into chemical alternatives assessment using a qualitative approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Greggs, Bill; Arnold, Scott; Burns, T. E.

    2016-01-01

    , other attributes beyond hazard are also important, including exposure, risk, life-cycle impacts, performance, cost, and social responsibility. Building on the 2014 recommendations by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to improve AA decisions by including comparative exposure assessment, the HESI...... Sustainable Chemical Alternatives Technical Committee, which consists of scientists from academia, industry, government, and NGOs, has developed a qualitative comparative exposure approach. Conducting such a comparison can screen for alternatives that are expected to have a higher human or environmental...... not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency....

  11. Assessing Acid-Base Status: Physiologic Versus Physicochemical Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adrogué, Horacio J; Madias, Nicolaos E

    2016-11-01

    The physiologic approach has long been used in assessing acid-base status. This approach considers acids as hydrogen ion donors and bases as hydrogen ion acceptors and the acid-base status of the organism as reflecting the interaction of net hydrogen ion balance with body buffers. In the physiologic approach, the carbonic acid/bicarbonate buffer pair is used for assessing acid-base status and blood pH is determined by carbonic acid (ie, Paco 2 ) and serum bicarbonate levels. More recently, the physicochemical approach was introduced, which has gained popularity, particularly among intensivists and anesthesiologists. This approach posits that the acid-base status of body fluids is determined by changes in the dissociation of water that are driven by the interplay of 3 independent variables: the sum of strong (fully dissociated) cation concentrations minus the sum of strong anion concentrations (strong ion difference); the total concentration of weak acids; and Paco 2 . These 3 independent variables mechanistically determine both hydrogen ion concentration and bicarbonate concentration of body fluids, which are considered as dependent variables. Our experience indicates that the average practitioner is familiar with only one of these approaches and knows very little, if any, about the other approach. In the present Acid-Base and Electrolyte Teaching Case, we attempt to bridge this knowledge gap by contrasting the physiologic and physicochemical approaches to assessing acid-base status. We first outline the essential features, advantages, and limitations of each of the 2 approaches and then apply each approach to the same patient presentation. We conclude with our view about the optimal approach. Copyright © 2016 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Improving Employees' Safety Awareness in Healthcare Organizations Using the DMAIC Quality Improvement Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momani, Amer; Hirzallah, Muʼath; Mumani, Ahmad

    Occupational injuries and illnesses in healthcare can cause great human suffering, incur high cost, and have an adverse impact on the quality of patient care. One of the most effective solutions for addressing health and safety issues and improving decisions at the point of care rests in raising employees' safety awareness to recognize, avoid, or respond to potential problems before they arise. In this article, the DMAIC Six Sigma model (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) is used as a systematic program to measure, improve, and sustain employees' safety awareness in healthcare organizations. We report on a case study using the model, which was implemented and validated at a local hospital. First, the occupational health and safety knowledge that each job requires was identified. Next, the degree of competence of jobholders to meet these requirements was assessed. Based on the assessment, different awareness-raising efforts were proposed and implemented. The results showed significant improvement in the overall safety awareness compliance assessed: from 74.2% to 84.4% (p < .001) after the intervention. The proposed model ensures that the organization's awareness-raising efforts serve its actual needs and produce optimized and sustained results that eventually lead to safer healthcare service.

  13. Cultivating collaborative improvement: an action learning approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Middel, H.G.A.; McNichols, Timothy

    2006-01-01

    The process of implementing collaborative initiatives across disparate members of supply networks is fraught with difficulties. One approach designed to tackle the difficulties of organisational change and interorganisational improvement in practice is 'action learning'. This paper examines the

  14. Assessment of existing local houses condition as analysis tools for shore housing improvement program in Weriagar district, Bintuni Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firmansyah, F.; Fernando, A.; Allo, I. P. R.

    2018-01-01

    The housing assessment is a part of the pre-feasibility study inThe Shore Housing Improvement Program in Weriagar District, West Papua. The housing assessment was conducted to identify the physical condition of existing houses. The parameters of assessment formulated from local references, practices and also national building regulation that covers each building system components, such as building structure/frame, building floor, building cover, and building roof. This study aims to explains lessons from local practices and references, used as the formula to generate assessment parameter, elaborate with Indonesia building regulation. The result of housing assessment were used as a basis to develop the house improvement strategy, the design alternative for housing improvement and further planning recommendations. The local knowledges involved in housing improvement program expected that the local-based approach could respect to the local build culture, respect the local environment, and the most important can offer best suitable solutions for functional utility and livability.

  15. Assessing Approaches to Learning in School Readiness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otilia C. Barbu

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the psychometric properties of two assessments of children’s approaches to learning: the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA and a 13-item approaches to learning rating scale (AtL derived from the Arizona Early Learning Standards (AELS. First, we administered questionnaires to 1,145 randomly selected parents/guardians of first-time kindergarteners. Second, we employed confirmatory factor analysis (CFA with parceling for DECA to reduce errors due to item specificity and prevent convergence difficulties when simultaneously estimating DECA and AtL models. Results indicated an overlap of 55% to 72% variance between the domains of the two instruments and suggested that the new AtL instrument is an easily administered alternative to the DECA for measuring children’s approaches to learning. This is one of the first studies that investigated DECA’s approaches to learning dimension and explored the measurement properties of an instrument purposely derived from a state’s early learning guidelines.

  16. Approaches to health assessment related to housing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guerra Santin, O.

    2006-01-01

    This research had the purpose of providing more information about possible approaches and indicators to measure indoor health in relation to housing. In researches related with health and some Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) databases, the model used for health assessment is the Impact Pathway Analysis

  17. Probabilistic approach to EMP assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bevensee, R.M.; Cabayan, H.S.; Deadrick, F.J.; Martin, L.C.; Mensing, R.W.

    1980-09-01

    The development of nuclear EMP hardness requirements must account for uncertainties in the environment, in interaction and coupling, and in the susceptibility of subsystems and components. Typical uncertainties of the last two kinds are briefly summarized, and an assessment methodology is outlined, based on a probabilistic approach that encompasses the basic concepts of reliability. It is suggested that statements of survivability be made compatible with system reliability. Validation of the approach taken for simple antenna/circuit systems is performed with experiments and calculations that involve a Transient Electromagnetic Range, numerical antenna modeling, separate device failure data, and a failure analysis computer program

  18. Improving resource capacity planning in hospitals with business approaches.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Lent, Wineke Agnes Marieke; van Lent, W.A.M.

    2011-01-01

    This dissertation contributed to the knowledge on the translation of approaches from businesses and services to improve the resource capacity planning on tactical and operational level in (oncologic) hospital care. The following studies were presented: * Chapter 2 surveyed the business approaches

  19. Updated Aging Assessment Approach and Use with Electric Cable Insulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horvath, David A.; Colaianni, R. Paul

    2003-01-01

    The service life of nuclear power plant equipment may include operation beyond the original design or qualified life. A technical basis is necessary to demonstrate that critical equipment is capable of continued safe operation for any life extension and renewed license term. Such a technical basis is also useful in addressing initial license term aging degradation, age-related failures, and maintenance issues. Early approaches for addressing aging effects developed for environmental qualification programs in the 1980s were incorporated into the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers' (IEEE) IEEE Std. 1205-1993. However, subsequently, a number of events (including promulgation of the Maintenance Renewal Rule, the new License Renewal Rule, and initial plant owner submittals of License Renewal applications) have resulted in improved aging management approaches, which focus on addressing aging effects rather than attempting to identify and mitigate every possible aging mechanism.An example of a major issue facing nuclear power plants as they mature is the general health of the plant electrical cables. This issue came to the forefront as plants began preparing for license renewal, which requires an evaluation of cables to demonstrate that they will perform their function 20 yr beyond the original 40-yr license period. When the two lead plants started preparing for license renewal, there was no generally accepted approach to the bulk evaluation of plant cables, and there were many who thought it not possible to perform a complete plant cable evaluation. The approaches that emerged from the lead plant reviews demonstrated that an assessment of the general health of plant cables could be performed.IEEE's Nuclear Power Engineering Committee recognized the need to capture these improved approaches. A 2 1/2-yr effort of the IEEE Subcommittee-3 Working Group 3.4 culminating in IEEE Std. 1205-2000 is the consensus of representatives from the two lead license renewal

  20. Risk assessment concept in the new approach directives and its integration in the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đapić Mirko

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In the nineties years of the previous century, the European Union achieved, through introducing the New and Global Approach to technical harmonization and standardization, a significant improvement in the approach to conformity assessment of products, by integrating the requirements for technical products safety into the process of its designing. This was achieved by preventive analyzing and quantifying of risk levels in the design process with the objective of determining the scope of the needed safety systems. On the other hand, we have witnessed a rapid development and implementation of holistic approaches to risks management in enterprises, unified in the modern business practice by the name of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM. Going along that line, the paper presents, through the basis of the EU New and Global Approach, the concept of risk assessment in the New Approach directives (Machinery, Lifts, ATEX, etc and provides the concept of its integration into the holistic approach of risks management in enterprises, such as ERM.

  1. Environmental assessment, continual improvement and adaptive management within the AREVA sustainable development framework

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosaasen, A.; Frostad, S.

    2006-01-01

    COGEMA Resources Inc. (which is part of the AREVA Group) is a Canadian company with its head office in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It owns and operates mining and milling facilities in northern Saskatchewan, which produce uranium concentrate. The McClean Lake Operation commenced production in 1999 and its environmental management system represents an integrated approach to environmental assessment, continual improvement and adaptive management based on operational results. In Canada, sustainable development is promoted through the application of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). Environmental Assessment (EA) is a planning tool, which incorporates environmental considerations before irrevocable decisions are taken. The basic tenet of the Act is the determination of whether the potential environmental effects of a project are adverse, significant and likely, taking into consideration mitigation measures. Thus, project planning and design entails an iterative process that incorporates mitigation measures to minimize potentially significant adverse effects. As part of the EA process conservative approaches are taken to predict potential effects. Several important elements are generated through the EA process including: a set of environmental effects predictions, a compliance and environmental effects monitoring program, a follow-up program to address uncertainties in the prediction of environmental effects, and the identification of contingency measures that could be implemented should non-conservative assumptions be identified in the original assessment framework. The challenge is to integrate each of these elements into the environmental management framework of the operating facility and develop an iterative mechanism to evaluate operational performance relative to what was originally predicted. In Saskatchewan, a requirement of operational licenses is the periodic evaluation of the 'Status of the Environment' surrounding operational facilities. These

  2. 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...

  3. Implementation of Authentic Learning and Assessment through STEM Education Approach to Improve Students’ Metacognitive Skills

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilman Anwari

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The important aspects of improving metacognitive skills are knowledge, intelligence, experience, and practice. STEM education is considered to be one of the most influential approaches to encouraging students to be self-regulated learners. In STEM education lessons, students are provided many opportunities to develop their thinking skills (metacognitive skills, critical and creative thinking. The goals of this study were to identify the effects of STEM education in the improvement of metacognitive skills, and to investigate metacognitive activities in STEM education. The participants were middle school students in the third year. The research instrument was the Metacognitive Activities Inventory (MCAI, used to identify changes in metacognitive skills before and after the lessons. Furthermore, portfolios were used to record students’ learning processes and help them reflect on their thinking and the tasks. The results show no significant changes in metacognitive skills. However, STEM education engages students in metacognitive activities. Therefore, implementation of STEM education in the classroom provides opportunities to students for understanding the importance of the integration of different disciplines and its applications. In addition, STEM education can increase students’ interest in science lessons.

  4. Fellowship Program in Health System Improvement: A novel approach integrating leadership development and patient-centred health system transformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philippon, Donald J; Montesanti, Stephanie; Stafinski, Tania

    2018-03-01

    This article highlights a novel approach to professional development, integrating leadership, development and patient-centred health system transformation in the new Fellowship Program in Health System Improvement offered by the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. Early assessment of the program is also provided.

  5. An Indicator Approach to Assessing Benefits of Carbon Sequestration and Other Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, V. H.; Kline, K. L.; Parish, E. S.

    2017-12-01

    While geoengineering offers one approach to carbon management, another tactic is providing land owners and managers with incentives to more efficiently and consistently increase carbon stocks and storage in soils and above ground. Growing bioenergy crops entails such an option. Landscape design can help identify where different strategies best fit into the larger framework of resource management to achieve desired stakeholder objectives. Our research goal is to develop means to assess management options and identify those that offer the highest degree of sustainability as measured by the provision to society of specific economic, environmental and social services with the least costs. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has worked with the US Department of Energy to develop an approach for assessing progress toward better management to improve sustainability. This approach involves six steps with decisions made at each step. First the scope of the assessment is established based on the particular context and options. Next indicators that pertain to the objective are selected and prioritized. Then, baselines and targets are determined for each indicator. Fourth, indicator values are measured, collected, and evaluated. Once the values are in hand, trends and tradeoffs in the indicator set are analyzed. The final step seeks to define and deploy good practices for the activity. ORNL's proposed checklist of environmental and socioeconomic indicators includes greenhouse gases and soil quality (including carbon) and emphasizes that changes in carbon stocks must be viewed in terms of their effects on other indicators, such as those for water quality and quantity, biodiversity, air quality, and productivity as well as on socioeconomic costs and benefits. The framework developed to select and evaluate indicators and assess progress toward sustainability goals is being encapsulated into a visualization tool. Visualization will inform stakeholders about potential effects of

  6. Using Two Different Approaches to Assess Dietary Patterns: Hypothesis-Driven and Data-Driven Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ágatha Nogueira Previdelli

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The use of dietary patterns to assess dietary intake has become increasingly common in nutritional epidemiology studies due to the complexity and multidimensionality of the diet. Currently, two main approaches have been widely used to assess dietary patterns: data-driven and hypothesis-driven analysis. Since the methods explore different angles of dietary intake, using both approaches simultaneously might yield complementary and useful information; thus, we aimed to use both approaches to gain knowledge of adolescents’ dietary patterns. Food intake from a cross-sectional survey with 295 adolescents was assessed by 24 h dietary recall (24HR. In hypothesis-driven analysis, based on the American National Cancer Institute method, the usual intake of Brazilian Healthy Eating Index Revised components were estimated. In the data-driven approach, the usual intake of foods/food groups was estimated by the Multiple Source Method. In the results, hypothesis-driven analysis showed low scores for Whole grains, Total vegetables, Total fruit and Whole fruits, while, in data-driven analysis, fruits and whole grains were not presented in any pattern. High intakes of sodium, fats and sugars were observed in hypothesis-driven analysis with low total scores for Sodium, Saturated fat and SoFAA (calories from solid fat, alcohol and added sugar components in agreement, while the data-driven approach showed the intake of several foods/food groups rich in these nutrients, such as butter/margarine, cookies, chocolate powder, whole milk, cheese, processed meat/cold cuts and candies. In this study, using both approaches at the same time provided consistent and complementary information with regard to assessing the overall dietary habits that will be important in order to drive public health programs, and improve their efficiency to monitor and evaluate the dietary patterns of populations.

  7. A New Approach To Soil Sampling For Risk Assessment Of Nutrient Mobilisation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonczyk, J. C.; Owen, G. J.; Snell, M. A.; Barber, N.; Benskin, C.; Reaney, S. M.; Haygarth, P.; Quinn, P. F.; Barker, P. A.; Aftab, A.; Burke, S.; Cleasby, W.; Surridge, B.; Perks, M. T.

    2016-12-01

    Traditionally, risks of nutrient and sediment losses from soils are assessed through a combination of field soil nutrient values on soil samples taken over the whole field and the proximity of the field to water courses. The field average nutrient concentration of the soil is used by farmers to determine fertiliser needs. These data are often used by scientists to assess the risk of nutrient losses to water course, though are not really `fit' for this purpose. The Eden Demonstration Test Catchment (http://www.edendtc.org.uk/) is a research project based in the River Eden catchment, NW UK, with the aim of cost effectively mitigating diffuse pollution from agriculture whilst maintaining agricultural productivity. Three instrumented focus catchments have been monitored since 2011, providing high resolution in-stream chemistry and ecological data, alongside some spatial data on soils, land use and nutrient inputs. An approach to mitigation was demonstrated in a small sub-catchment, where surface runoff was identified as the key drivers of nutrient losses, using a suite of runoff attenuation features. Other issues identified were management of hard- standings and soil compaction. A new approach for evaluating nutrient losses from soils is assessed in the Eden DTC project. The Sensitive Catchment Integrated Modelling and Prediction (SCIMAP) model is a risk-mapping framework designed to identify where in the landscape diffuse pollution is most likely to be originating (http://www.scimap.org.uk) and was used to look at the spatial pattern of erosion potential. The aim of this work was to assess if erosion potential identified through the model could be used to inform a new soil sampling strategy, to better assess risk of erosion and risk of transport of sediment-bound phosphorus. Soil samples were taken from areas with different erosion potential. The chemical analysis of these targeted samples are compared to those obtained using more traditional sampling approaches

  8. Assessing the Approaches to Classification of the State Financial Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baraniuk Yurii R.

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The article is aimed at assessing the approaches to classification of the State financial control, as well as disclosing the relationship and differences between its forms, types and methods. The results of comparative analysis of existing classifications of the State financial control have been covered. The substantiation of its identification by forms, types and methods of control was explored. Clarification of the interpretation of the concepts of «form of control», «type of control», «subtype of control», «method of control», «methodical reception of control» has been provided. It has been determined that the form of the State financial control is a manifestation of the internal organization of control and the methods of its carrying out; a model of classification of the State financial control has been substantiated; attributes of the first and second order have been allocated; substantiation of methods and techniques has been improved; their composition and structure have been identified. This approach allows to divide general questions of the State financial control into theoretical and practical and, taking into consideration the expansion of the list of objects of the State financial control, will help to improve its methodology.

  9. Improving the quality of maternal and neonatal care: the role of standard based participatory assessments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgio Tamburlini

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Gaps in quality of care are seriously affecting maternal and neonatal health globally but reports of successful quality improvement cycles implemented at large scale are scanty. We report the results of a nation-wide program to improve quality of maternal and neonatal hospital care in a lower-middle income country focusing on the role played by standard-based participatory assessments. METHODS: Improvements in the quality of maternal and neonatal care following an action-oriented participatory assessment of 19 areas covering the whole continuum from admission to discharge were measured after an average period of 10 months in four busy referral maternity hospitals in Uzbekistan. Information was collected by a multidisciplinary national team with international supervision through visit to hospital services, examination of medical records, direct observation of cases and interviews with staff and mothers. Scores (range 0 to 3 attributed to over 400 items and combined in average scores for each area were compared with the baseline assessment. RESULTS: Between the first and the second assessment, all four hospitals improved their overall score by an average 0.7 points out of 3 (range 0.4 to 1, i.e. by 22%. The improvements occurred in all main areas of care and were greater in the care of normal labor and delivery (+0.9, monitoring, infection control and mother and baby friendly care (+0.8 the role of the participatory action-oriented approach in determining the observed changes was estimated crucial in 6 out of 19 areas and contributory in other 8. Ongoing implementation of referral system and new classification of neonatal deaths impede the improved process of care to be reflected in current statistics. CONCLUSIONS: Important improvements in the quality of hospital care provided to mothers and newborn babies can be achieved through a standard-based action-oriented and participatory assessment and reassessment process.

  10. Development of an Improved Methodology to Assess Potential Unconventional Gas Resources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salazar, Jesus; McVay, Duane A.; Lee, W. John

    2010-01-01

    Considering the important role played today by unconventional gas resources in North America and their enormous potential for the future around the world, it is vital to both policy makers and industry that the volumes of these resources and the impact of technology on these resources be assessed. To provide for optimal decision making regarding energy policy, research funding, and resource development, it is necessary to reliably quantify the uncertainty in these resource assessments. Since the 1970s, studies to assess potential unconventional gas resources have been conducted by various private and governmental agencies, the most rigorous of which was by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS employed a cell-based, probabilistic methodology which used analytical equations to calculate distributions of the resources assessed. USGS assessments have generally produced distributions for potential unconventional gas resources that, in our judgment, are unrealistically narrow for what are essentially undiscovered, untested resources. In this article, we present an improved methodology to assess potential unconventional gas resources. Our methodology is a stochastic approach that includes Monte Carlo simulation and correlation between input variables. Application of the improved methodology to the Uinta-Piceance province of Utah and Colorado with USGS data validates the means and standard deviations of resource distributions produced by the USGS methodology, but reveals that these distributions are not right skewed, as expected for a natural resource. Our investigation indicates that the unrealistic shape and width of the gas resource distributions are caused by the use of narrow triangular input parameter distributions. The stochastic methodology proposed here is more versatile and robust than the USGS analytic methodology. Adoption of the methodology, along with a careful examination and revision of input distributions, should allow a more realistic

  11. Fabrication approaches for plasmon-improved photovoltaic cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gritti, Claudia; Malureanu, Radu; Kardynal, B.

    During this talk we will present various fabrication approaches to improve the performance of photovoltaic (PV) cells by using metallic nanoparticles in order to generate photocurrent below the bandgap. This effect is possible due to the generation of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) in optimized...

  12. Statistical approaches to assessing single and multiple outcome measures in dry eye therapy and diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomlinson, Alan; Hair, Mario; McFadyen, Angus

    2013-10-01

    Dry eye is a multifactorial disease which would require a broad spectrum of test measures in the monitoring of its treatment and diagnosis. However, studies have typically reported improvements in individual measures with treatment. Alternative approaches involve multiple, combined outcomes being assessed by different statistical analyses. In order to assess the effect of various statistical approaches to the use of single and combined test measures in dry eye, this review reanalyzed measures from two previous studies (osmolarity, evaporation, tear turnover rate, and lipid film quality). These analyses assessed the measures as single variables within groups, pre- and post-intervention with a lubricant supplement, by creating combinations of these variables and by validating these combinations with the combined sample of data from all groups of dry eye subjects. The effectiveness of single measures and combinations in diagnosis of dry eye was also considered. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. MODERN APPROACHES REGARDING THE ASSESSMENT OF THE COMPANY’S OVERALL PERFORMANCES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pintea Mirela-Oana

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available The importance of this research can be supported by ambitious goals that are attributed to performance measurement / assessment of a company such as: improving company performance, optimization of company’s management and motivating staff. In the current context of sustainable development, the performance definition, measurement and maximizing system of companies becomes a complex one. The modern business environment demands a multi-goal orientation. Profit theory is no longer a valid measure of organizational performance and neither are other approaches that only take the interests of shareholders (owners of a company into account. Today’s business environment is characterized by the increasing importance and strength of various stakeholder groups. This paper captures the current mutations brought on the line of developing a modern system of assessment of company’s performance.

  14. A DMAIC approach for process capability improvement an engine crankshaft manufacturing process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, G. V. S. S.; Rao, P. Srinivasa

    2014-05-01

    The define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC) approach is a five-strata approach, namely DMAIC. This approach is the scientific approach for reducing the deviations and improving the capability levels of the manufacturing processes. The present work elaborates on DMAIC approach applied in reducing the process variations of the stub-end-hole boring operation of the manufacture of crankshaft. This statistical process control study starts with selection of the critical-to-quality (CTQ) characteristic in the define stratum. The next stratum constitutes the collection of dimensional measurement data of the CTQ characteristic identified. This is followed by the analysis and improvement strata where the various quality control tools like Ishikawa diagram, physical mechanism analysis, failure modes effects analysis and analysis of variance are applied. Finally, the process monitoring charts are deployed at the workplace for regular monitoring and control of the concerned CTQ characteristic. By adopting DMAIC approach, standard deviation is reduced from 0.003 to 0.002. The process potential capability index ( C P) values improved from 1.29 to 2.02 and the process performance capability index ( C PK) values improved from 0.32 to 1.45, respectively.

  15. Approaching time is important for assessment of endoscopic surgical skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokunaga, Masakazu; Egi, Hiroyuki; Hattori, Minoru; Yoshimitsu, Masanori; Sumitani, Daisuke; Kawahara, Tomohiro; Okajima, Masazumi; Ohdan, Hideki

    2012-05-01

    This study aimed to verify whether the approaching time (the time taken to reach the target point from another point, a short distance apart, during point-to-point movement in endoscopic surgery), assessed using the Hiroshima University Endoscopic Surgical Assessment Device (HUESAD), could distinguish the skill level of surgeons. Expert surgeons (who had performed more than 50 endoscopic surgeries) and novice surgeons (who had no experience in performing endoscopic surgery) were tested using the HUESAD. The approaching time, total time, and intermediate time (total time--approaching time) were measured and analyzed using the trajectory of the tip of the instrument. The approaching time and total time were significantly shorter in the expert group than in the novice group (p time did not significantly differ between the groups (p > 0.05). The approaching time, which is a component of the total time, is very mportant in the measurement of the total time to assess endoscopic surgical skills. Further, the approaching time was useful for skill assessment by the HUESAD for evaluating the skill of surgeons performing endoscopic surgery.

  16. Outage Risk Assessment and Management (ORAM) technology to improve outage safety and economics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalra, S.P.

    2004-01-01

    The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has undertaken an aggressive program, called ORAM (Outage Risk Assessment and Management), to provide utilities with tools and technology to assist in managing risk during the planning and conduct of outages. The ORAM program consists of the following 6 steps: i) Perform utility surveys and visits on shutdown risk management needs, ii) Perform probabilistic shutdown safety assessments (PSSAs) to identify generic insights that can be incorporated into risk management guidelines and identify selected areas for the development of contingency actions, iii) Develop risk management guidelines (RMG's) that provide a systematic approach to the planning and conduct of outages from a safety perspective. Incorporate insights from the shutdown safety assessments and other operating experience into the RMG's. iv) Develop selected contingency actions including a thermalhydraulic tool kit to address higher risk time periods and activities identified in the shutdown safety assessments, v) Develop computer software that integrates all of the above capability into an easy to use tool for effective shutdown operation management for utilities, vi) Provide assistance in the transfer of this technology and the application of these tools. This paper briefly describes the technical approach and tools developed under EPRI's ORAM program and its applications for improving outage safety and economics. (author)

  17. Improving cumulative effects assessment in Alberta: Regional strategic assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, Dallas; Lalonde, Kim; McEachern, Menzie; Kenney, John; Mendoza, Gustavo; Buffin, Andrew; Rich, Kate

    2011-01-01

    The Government of Alberta, Canada is developing a regulatory framework to better manage cumulative environmental effects from development in the province. A key component of this effort is regional planning, which will lay the primary foundation for cumulative effects management into the future. Alberta Environment has considered the information needs of regional planning and has concluded that Regional Strategic Assessment may offer significant advantages if integrated into the planning process, including the overall improvement of cumulative environmental effects assessment in the province.

  18. Ensuring a proactive, evidence-based, patient safety approach to patient assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Considine, Julie; Currey, Judy

    2015-01-01

    To argue that if all nurses were to adopt the primary survey approach (assessment of airway, breathing, circulation and disability) as the first element of patient assessment, they would be more focused on active detection of clinical deterioration rather than passive collection of patient data. Nurses are the professional group that carry the highest level of responsibility for patient assessment, accurate data collection and interpretation. The timely recognition of, and response to deteriorating patients, is dependent on the measurement and interpretation of pertinent physiological data by nurses. Discursive paper. Traditionally taught and commonly used approaches to patient assessment such as 'vital signs' and 'body systems' are not evidence-based nor framed in patient safety. The primary survey approach as the first element in patient assessment has three major advantages: (1) data are collected according to clinical importance; (2) data are collected using the same framework as most organisation's rapid response system activation criteria; and (3) the primary survey acts as a patient safety checklist, thereby decreasing the risk of failure to recognise, and therefore respond to, deteriorating patients. The vital signs and body systems approaches to patient assessment have significant limitations in identifying clinical deterioration. The primary survey approach provides nurses with a consistent, evidence-based and sequenced approach to patient assessment in every clinical setting. All nurses should use a primary survey approach as the first element of patient assessment in every patient encounter as a patient safety strategy. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Assessing Sustainability Curriculum: From Transmissive to Transformative Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaard, Greta C.; Blades, Jarod; Wright, Mary

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: This paper aims to describe a two-stage sustainability curriculum assessment, providing tools and strategies for other faculty to use in implementing their own sustainability assessments. Design/methodology/approach: In the first stage of the five-year curriculum assessment, the authors used an anonymous survey of sustainability faculty…

  20. Novel approach to parental permission and child assent for research: improving comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Lonergan, Theresa A; Forster-Harwood, Jeri E

    2011-05-01

    The aim of this research was to test a multimedia permission/assent (P/A) process. The overall hypothesis was that children and their parents exposed to a multimedia P/A process would have better comprehension compared with those exposed to a text-based process. Traditional and multimedia P/A processes were created by using an innovative learning-objective approach. A total of 194 parent-child dyads (children aged 11-14 years) were enrolled: 24 dyads in a prestudy testing P/A components for preference and effect on comprehension and 170 dyads in a randomized trial of a multimedia or paper P/A process for a hypothetical study. Participants were predominantly white and were from a metropolitan area served by a tertiary care pediatric hospital and outpatient facility. Comprehension of 8 essential elements of the P/A process was assessed. The majority of prestudy subjects preferred the video version of the dual-energy radiograph absorptiometry description over the animated and paper versions combined (41 of 48 [85%]; P better overall comprehension compared with the paper P/A process (P = .0009), and there were highly significant differences in understanding of study procedures (P = .0002) and risks (P multimedia group had significantly better overall comprehension (P = .03). Multimedia approaches to the research P/A process may improve overall understanding of research participation for children and parents. Improved understanding of study-specific research components (rather than research rights) may improve overall comprehension.

  1. A modified Continuous Quality Improvement approach to improve culturally and socially inclusive care within rural health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Olivia; Malatzky, Christina; Bourke, Lisa; Farmer, Jane

    2018-03-23

    The sickest Australians are often those belonging to non-privileged groups, including Indigenous Australians, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, intersex and queer people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, socioeconomically disadvantaged groups, and people with disabilities and low English literacy. These consumers are not always engaged by, or included within, mainstream health services, particularly in rural Australia where health services are limited in number and tend to be generalist in nature. The aim of this study was to present a new approach for improving the sociocultural inclusivity of mainstream, generalist, rural, health care organisations. This approach combines a modified Continuous Quality Improvement framework with Participatory Action Research principles and Foucault's concepts of power, discourse and resistance to develop a change process that deconstructs the power relations that currently exclude marginalised rural health consumers from mainstream health services. It sets up processes for continuous learning and consumer responsiveness. The approach proposed could provide a Continuous Quality Improvement process for creating more inclusive mainstream health institutions and fostering better engagement with many marginalised groups in rural communities to improve their access to health care. The approach to improving cultural inclusion in mainstream rural health services presented in this article builds on existing initiatives. This approach focuses on engaging on-the-ground staff in the need for change and preparing the service for genuine community consultation and responsive change. It is currently being trialled and evaluated. © 2018 National Rural Health Alliance Ltd.

  2. The Methodical Approach to Assessment of Enterprise Activity on the Basis of its Models, Based on the Balanced Scorecard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minenkova Olena V.

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The article proposes the methodical approach to assessment of activity of enterprise on the basis of its models, based on the balanced scorecard. The content is presented and the following components of the methodical approach are formed: tasks, input information, list of methods and models, as well as results. Implementation of this methodical approach provides improvement of management and increase of results of enterprise activity. The place of assessment models in management of enterprise activity and formation of managerial decision has been defined. Recommendations as to the operations of decision-making procedures to increase the efficiency of enterprise have been provided.

  3. Contract Learning as an Approach to Individualizing EFL Education in the Context of Assessment for Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zandi, Hamed; Kaivanpanah, Shiva; Alavi, Sayyed Mohammad

    2015-01-01

    Contract learning as an approach to individualizing education in the context of assessment for learning is relatively underexplored in English as a Foreign Language instruction. The present study used a mixed-methods design to investigate its efficacy to provide feedback to students and improve self-directed learning. Furthermore, it studied…

  4. Crafting a Software Process Improvement Approach - A Retrospective Systematization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuhrmann, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Structured approaches are beneficial for successful software process improvement (SPI). However, process engineers often struggle with standardized SPI methods, such as capability maturity model integration (CMMI) or International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 15504, and complain about too...... and provide a structured reflection on our experiences from creating and adopting the Artifact-based Software Process Improvement & Management (ArSPI) model. We present the steps of the construction procedure, the validation, and the dissemination of the model. Furthermore, we detail on the applied methods...... generic or voluminous approaches or methods that are alien to the organizations in which SPI is conducted. Therefore, process engineers need to customize existing SPI models or develop new approaches for company-specific SPI programs. While conducting SPI in the context of the German V-Modell XT, we faced...

  5. A standards-based approach to quality improvement for HIV services at Zambia Defence Force facilities: results and lessons learned.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kols, Adrienne; Kim, Young-Mi; Bazant, Eva; Necochea, Edgar; Banda, Joseph; Stender, Stacie

    2015-07-01

    The Zambia Defence Force adopted the Standards-Based Management and Recognition approach to improve the quality of the HIV-related services at its health facilities. This quality improvement intervention relies on comprehensive, detailed assessment tools to communicate and verify adherence to national standards of care, and to test and implement changes to improve performance. A quasi-experimental evaluation of the intervention was conducted at eight Zambia Defence Force primary health facilities (four facilities implemented the intervention and four did not). Data from three previous analyses are combined to assess the effect of Standards-Based Management and Recognition on three domains: facility readiness to provide services; observed provider performance during antiretroviral therapy (ART) and antenatal care consultations; and provider perceptions of the work environment. Facility readiness scores for ART improved on four of the eight standards at intervention sites, and one standard at comparison sites. Facility readiness scores for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV increased by 15 percentage points at intervention sites and 7 percentage points at comparison sites. Provider performance improved significantly at intervention sites for both ART services (from 58 to 84%; P improved at intervention sites and declined at comparison sites; differences in trends between study groups were significant for eight items. A standards-based approach to quality improvement proved effective in supporting healthcare managers and providers to deliver ART and PMTCT services in accordance with evidence-based standards in a health system suffering from staff shortages.

  6. Improving Sustainability in Global Supply Chains with Private Certification Standards: Testing An Approach for Assessing Their Performance and Impact Potential

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeulen, Walter; Metselaar, Janneke

    Sustainable supply chain governance approaches aim for improvement of environmental and community living conditions at the developing country's side of the global supply chains. Impact evaluation in remote and multiple sourcing countries is hardly done in practice because of its complexity and

  7. AgMIP's Transdisciplinary Agricultural Systems Approach to Regional Integrated Assessment of Climate Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antle, John M.; Valdivia, Roberto O.; Boote, Kenneth J.; Janssen, Sander; Jones, James W.; Porter, Cheryl H.; Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Ruane, Alexander C.; Thorburn, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    This chapter describes methods developed by the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) to implement a transdisciplinary, systems-based approach for regional-scale (local to national) integrated assessment of agricultural systems under future climate, biophysical, and socio-economic conditions. These methods were used by the AgMIP regional research teams in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to implement the analyses reported in their respective chapters of this book. Additional technical details are provided in Appendix 1.The principal goal that motivates AgMIP's regional integrated assessment (RIA) methodology is to provide scientifically rigorous information needed to support improved decision-making by various stakeholders, ranging from local to national and international non-governmental and governmental organizations.

  8. Dependence and risk assessment for oil prices and exchange rate portfolios: A wavelet based approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aloui, Chaker; Jammazi, Rania

    2015-10-01

    In this article, we propose a wavelet-based approach to accommodate the stylized facts and complex structure of financial data, caused by frequent and abrupt changes of markets and noises. Specifically, we show how the combination of both continuous and discrete wavelet transforms with traditional financial models helps improve portfolio's market risk assessment. In the empirical stage, three wavelet-based models (wavelet-EGARCH with dynamic conditional correlations, wavelet-copula, and wavelet-extreme value) are considered and applied to crude oil price and US dollar exchange rate data. Our findings show that the wavelet-based approach provides an effective and powerful tool for detecting extreme moments and improving the accuracy of VaR and Expected Shortfall estimates of oil-exchange rate portfolios after noise is removed from the original data.

  9. The standardized surgical approach improves outcome of gallbladder cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igna Dorian

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The objective of this study was to examine the extent of surgical procedures, pathological findings, complications and outcome of patients treated in the last 12 years for gallbladder cancer. Methods The impact of a standardized more aggressive approach compared with historical controls of our center with an individual approach was examined. Of 53 patients, 21 underwent resection for cure and 32 for palliation. Results Overall hospital mortality was 9% and procedure related mortality was 4%. The standardized approach in UICC stage IIa, IIb and III led to a significantly improved outcome compared to patients with an individual approach (Median survival: 14 vs. 7 months, mean+/-SEM: 26+/-7 vs. 17+/-5 months, p = 0.014. The main differences between the standardized and the individual approach were anatomical vs. atypical liver resection, performance of systematic lymph dissection of the hepaticoduodenal ligament and the resection of the common bile duct. Conclusion Anatomical liver resection, proof for bile duct infiltration and, in case of tumor invasion, radical resection and lymph dissection of the hepaticoduodenal ligament are essential to improve outcome of locally advanced gallbladder cancer.

  10. Environmental impact assessment using a utility-based recursive evidential reasoning approach for structural flood mitigation measures in Metro Manila, Philippines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbuena, Romeo; Kawamura, Akira; Medina, Reynaldo; Nakagawa, Naoko; Amaguchi, Hideo

    2013-12-15

    In recent years, the practice of environmental impact assessment (EIA) has created significant awareness on the role of environmentally sound projects in sustainable development. In view of the recent studies on the effects of climate change, the Philippine government has given high priority to the construction of flood control structures to alleviate the destructive effects of unmitigated floods, especially in highly urbanized areas like Metro Manila. EIA thus, should be carefully and effectively carried out to maximize or optimize the potential benefits that can be derived from structural flood mitigation measures (SFMMs). A utility-based environmental assessment approach may significantly aid flood managers and decision-makers in planning for effective and environmentally sound SFMM projects. This study proposes a utility-based assessment approach using the rapid impact assessment matrix (RIAM) technique, coupled with the evidential reasoning approach, to rationally and systematically evaluate the ecological and socio-economic impacts of 4 planned SFMM projects (i.e. 2 river channel improvements and 2 new open channels) in Metro Manila. Results show that the overall environmental effects of each of the planned SFMM projects are positive, which indicate that the utility of the positive impacts would generally outweigh the negative impacts. The results also imply that the planned river channel improvements will yield higher environmental benefits over the planned open channels. This study was able to present a clear and rational approach in the examination of overall environmental effects of SFMMs, which provides valuable insights that can be used by decision-makers and policy makers to improve the EIA practice and evaluation of projects in the Philippines. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Performance Improvement in 503A Compounding Pharmacies: A PLAN FOR ASSESSMENT, IMPLEMENTATION, AND SUSTAINED SUCCESS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritchett, Jon; Mixon, William; O'Connell, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    Performance improvement is the continual effort to objectively assess current performance and then restructure the practices that support it to more closely achieve desired performance. A plan for performance improvement, unlike other approaches to correcting problems in job fulfillment, is a systematic method used to first find the root causes of areas of concern and then apply corrections to remedy those deficits. Implementing a performance improvement plan that can be easily adapted to ensure compliance with evolving and increasingly complex state and federal regulations is crucial to a successful compounding practice. In this article, we discuss the need for performance improvement in 503A compounding pharmacies, list the steps necessary to develop such a plan, and present three case reports of performance improvement plans in differing compounding settings.

  12. Improving the Earthquake Resilience of Buildings The worst case approach

    CERN Document Server

    Takewaki, Izuru; Fujita, Kohei

    2013-01-01

    Engineers are always interested in the worst-case scenario. One of the most important and challenging missions of structural engineers may be to narrow the range of unexpected incidents in building structural design. Redundancy, robustness and resilience play an important role in such circumstances. Improving the Earthquake Resilience of Buildings: The worst case approach discusses the importance of worst-scenario approach for improved earthquake resilience of buildings and nuclear reactor facilities. Improving the Earthquake Resilience of Buildings: The worst case approach consists of two parts. The first part deals with the characterization and modeling of worst or critical ground motions on inelastic structures and the related worst-case scenario in the structural design of ordinary simple building structures. The second part of the book focuses on investigating the worst-case scenario for passively controlled and base-isolated buildings. This allows for detailed consideration of a range of topics includin...

  13. Discussion of skill improvement in marine ecosystem dynamic models based on parameter optimization and skill assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Chengcheng; Shi, Honghua; Liu, Yongzhi; Li, Fen; Ding, Dewen

    2016-07-01

    Marine ecosystem dynamic models (MEDMs) are important tools for the simulation and prediction of marine ecosystems. This article summarizes the methods and strategies used for the improvement and assessment of MEDM skill, and it attempts to establish a technical framework to inspire further ideas concerning MEDM skill improvement. The skill of MEDMs can be improved by parameter optimization (PO), which is an important step in model calibration. An efficient approach to solve the problem of PO constrained by MEDMs is the global treatment of both sensitivity analysis and PO. Model validation is an essential step following PO, which validates the efficiency of model calibration by analyzing and estimating the goodness-of-fit of the optimized model. Additionally, by focusing on the degree of impact of various factors on model skill, model uncertainty analysis can supply model users with a quantitative assessment of model confidence. Research on MEDMs is ongoing; however, improvement in model skill still lacks global treatments and its assessment is not integrated. Thus, the predictive performance of MEDMs is not strong and model uncertainties lack quantitative descriptions, limiting their application. Therefore, a large number of case studies concerning model skill should be performed to promote the development of a scientific and normative technical framework for the improvement of MEDM skill.

  14. The IAEA research project on improvement of safety assessment methodologies for near surface disposal facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres-Vidal, C.; Graham, D.; Batandjieva, B.

    2002-01-01

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Research Coordinated Project on Improvement of Safety Assessment Methodologies for Near Surface Disposal Facilities (ISAM) was launched in November 1997 and it has been underway for three years. The ISAM project was developed to provide a critical evaluation of the approaches and tools used in long-term safety assessment of near surface repositories. It resulted in the development of a harmonised approach and illustrated its application by way of three test cases - vault, borehole and Radon (a particular range of repository designs developed within the former Soviet Union) type repositories. As a consequence, the ISAM project had over 70 active participants and attracted considerable interest involving around 700 experts from 72 Member States. The methodology developed, the test cases, the main lessons learnt and the conclusions have been documented and will be published in the form of an IAEA TECDOC. This paper presents the work of the IAEA on improvement of safety assessment methodologies for near surface waste disposal facilities and the application of these methodologies for different purposes in the individual stages of the repository development. The paper introduces the main objectives, activities and outcome of the ISAM project and summarizes the work performed by the six working groups within the ISAM programme, i.e. Scenario Generation and Justification, Modelling, Confidence Building, Vault, Radon Type Facility and Borehole test cases. (author)

  15. Assessing sufficient capability: A new approach to economic evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Paul Mark; Roberts, Tracy E; Barton, Pelham M; Coast, Joanna

    2015-08-01

    Amartya Sen's capability approach has been discussed widely in the health economics discipline. Although measures have been developed to assess capability in economic evaluation, there has been much less attention paid to the decision rules that might be applied alongside. Here, new methods, drawing on the multidimensional poverty and health economics literature, are developed for conducting economic evaluation within the capability approach and focusing on an objective of achieving "sufficient capability". This objective more closely reflects the concern with equity that pervades the capability approach and the method has the advantage of retaining the longitudinal aspect of estimating outcome that is associated with quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), whilst also drawing on notions of shortfall associated with assessments of poverty. Economic evaluation from this perspective is illustrated in an osteoarthritis patient group undergoing joint replacement, with capability wellbeing assessed using ICECAP-O. Recommendations for taking the sufficient capability approach forward are provided. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The Divisional Approach to Achieving Hospital Improvement Goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortazzo, Arnold D.; Allen, Robert M.

    1971-01-01

    The divisional or horizontal approach, rather than the traditional or vertical model, was employed in improving the major organizations and programatic and service structure of a residential facility for retardates, Sunland Training Center (Miami, Florida). (KW)

  17. Uncertainties in radioecological assessment models-Their nature and approaches to reduce them

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kirchner, G.; Steiner, M.

    2008-01-01

    Radioecological assessment models are necessary tools for estimating the radiation exposure of humans and non-human biota. This paper focuses on factors affecting their predictive accuracy, discusses the origin and nature of the different contributions to uncertainty and variability and presents approaches to separate and quantify them. The key role of the conceptual model, notably in relation to its structure and complexity, as well as the influence of the number and type of input parameters, are highlighted. Guidelines are provided to improve the degree of reliability of radioecological models

  18. Risk assessment and management approaches on mental health units.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woods, P

    2013-11-01

    This exploratory and descriptive study took place in one Canadian province. The study aimed to: (1) to identify and describe the nature and extent of current risk assessment and management approaches used in the adult inpatient mental health and forensic units; and (2) to identify good practice and shortfalls in the nature and extent of the approaches currently utilized. Data were collected from 48 participants through nine focus groups. Participants reported that they used a clinical approach to risk assessment. They had also not considered risk assessment and management as a proactive structured process. Education and training was also limited and skills were developed over time through practice. Five keys issues are discussed as important: reliance on clinical judgement alone is not the best choice to make; the need to consider risk as a whole concept; risk management being more reactive than proactive; education and training; and client involvement in risk assessment. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Stakeholder participation in health impact assessment: A multicultural approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Negev, Maya; Davidovitch, Nadav; Garb, Yaakov; Tal, Alon

    2013-01-01

    The literature on impact assessment (HIA) registers the importance of stakeholder participation in the assessment process, but still lacks a model for engaging stakeholders of diverse ethnic, professional and sectorial backgrounds. This paper suggests that the multicultural approach can contribute to HIA through a revision of the generic 5-step HIA model, and its implementation in a metropolitan plan in Southern Israel. The health issue scoped by the stakeholders in the HIA is related to land uses in the vicinity of the national hazardous industry and hazardous waste site. The stakeholders were representatives of the diverse populations at stake, including rural Bedouins and Jewish city dwellers, as well as representatives from the public sector, private sector, non-governmental organizations and academia. The case study revealed that a multicultural stakeholder participation process helps to uncover health issues known to the community which were not addressed in the original plan, and provides local knowledge regarding health conditions that is especially valuable when scientific data is uncertain or absent. It enables diverse stakeholders to prioritize the health issues that will be assessed. The case study also reveals ways in which the model needs revisions and improvements such as in recruitment of diverse participants. This paper presents a multicultural model of HIA and discusses some of the challenges that are faced when HIA is implemented in the context of current decision-making culture. -- Highlights: • We revised the generic HIA model in light of the multicultural approach. • We tested the model in a case study of zoning a hazardous industry site. • Multicultural stakeholder participation uncovers health issues known to communities. • It enables community prioritization of health issues. • We present a model for multicultural stakeholder participation in HIA

  20. Stakeholder participation in health impact assessment: A multicultural approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Negev, Maya, E-mail: mayane@tau.ac.il [Hartog School of Government and Policy, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tel Aviv University, P.O.B. 39040, Tel Aviv 69978 (Israel); Davidovitch, Nadav, E-mail: nadavd@bgu.ac.il [Department of Health Systems Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, P.O.B. 653, Be' er Sheva 84105 (Israel); Garb, Yaakov, E-mail: ygarb@bgu.ac.il [Swiss Institute for Dryland Environmental Research, The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer 84990 (Israel); Tal, Alon, E-mail: alontal@bgu.ac.il [Mitrani Department of Dryland Ecology, Swiss Institute for Dryland Environmental Research, The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer 84990 (Israel)

    2013-11-15

    The literature on impact assessment (HIA) registers the importance of stakeholder participation in the assessment process, but still lacks a model for engaging stakeholders of diverse ethnic, professional and sectorial backgrounds. This paper suggests that the multicultural approach can contribute to HIA through a revision of the generic 5-step HIA model, and its implementation in a metropolitan plan in Southern Israel. The health issue scoped by the stakeholders in the HIA is related to land uses in the vicinity of the national hazardous industry and hazardous waste site. The stakeholders were representatives of the diverse populations at stake, including rural Bedouins and Jewish city dwellers, as well as representatives from the public sector, private sector, non-governmental organizations and academia. The case study revealed that a multicultural stakeholder participation process helps to uncover health issues known to the community which were not addressed in the original plan, and provides local knowledge regarding health conditions that is especially valuable when scientific data is uncertain or absent. It enables diverse stakeholders to prioritize the health issues that will be assessed. The case study also reveals ways in which the model needs revisions and improvements such as in recruitment of diverse participants. This paper presents a multicultural model of HIA and discusses some of the challenges that are faced when HIA is implemented in the context of current decision-making culture. -- Highlights: • We revised the generic HIA model in light of the multicultural approach. • We tested the model in a case study of zoning a hazardous industry site. • Multicultural stakeholder participation uncovers health issues known to communities. • It enables community prioritization of health issues. • We present a model for multicultural stakeholder participation in HIA.

  1. Improving requirements engineering by artefact orientation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Méndez Fernández, Daniel; Wieringa, Roelf J.

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Training simulated patients: evaluation of a training approach using self-assessment and peer/tutor feedback to improve performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, Jennifer; Perera, Joachim; Abdullah, Juriah; Lee, Nagarajah

    2009-06-29

    Most medical schools use simulated patients (SPs) for teaching. In this context the authenticity of role play and quality of feedback provided by SPs is of paramount importance. The available literature on SP training mostly addresses instructor led training where the SPs are given direction on their roles. This study focuses on the use of peer and self evaluation as a tool to train SPs. SPs at the medical school participated in a staff development and training programme which included a) self-assessment of their performance while observing video-tapes of their role play using a structured guide and b) peer group assessment of their performance under tutor guidance. The pre and post training performance in relation to authenticity of role play and quality of feedback was blindly assessed by students and tutors using a validated instrument and the scores were compared. A focus group discussion and a questionnaire assessed acceptability of the training programme by the SPs. The post-training performance assessment scores were significantly higher (p performance. More studies on these methods of training may further refine SP training and lead to improvement of SP performance which in turn may positively impact medical education.

  5. Assessing flash flood vulnerability using a multi-vulnerability approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karagiorgos Konstantinos

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the framework of flood risk assessment, while the understanding of hazard and exposure has significantly improved over the last years, knowledge on vulnerability remains one of the challenges. Current approaches in vulnerability research are characterised by a division between social scientists and natural scientists. In order to close this gap, we present an approach that combines information on physical and social vulnerability in order to merge information on the susceptibility of elements at risk and society. With respect to physical vulnerability, the study is based on local-scale vulnerability models using nonlinear regression approaches. Modified Weibull distributions were fit to the data in order to represent the relationship between process magnitude and degree of loss. With respect to social vulnerability we conducted a door-to-door survey which resulted in particular insights on flood risk awareness and resilience strategies of exposed communities. In general, both physical and social vulnerability were low in comparison with other European studies, which may result from (a specific building regulations in the four Mediterranean test sites as well as general design principles leading to low structural susceptibility of elements at risk, and (b relatively low social vulnerability of citizens exposed. As a result it is shown that a combination of different perspectives of vulnerability will lead to a better understanding of exposure and capacities in flood risk management.

  6. An integrated risk assessment approach: Risk assessment in the programmatic environmental impact statement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morris, J.M.

    1994-01-01

    The following paper is an informal summary of salient points made in the presentation entitled open-quotes An Integrated Risk Assessment Approach: Risk Assessment in the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).close quotes. This presentation was given at the U.S. DOE Integrated Planning Workshop in Denver, Colorado on June 2, 1994. Integrated decision analysis is very important in environmental restoration and waste management in the evaluation of such things as land use planning, waste load forecasting, cost analyses, and technology development activities. Integrated risk assessment is an approach that addresses multiple components of risk, including: risks from surplus facilities as well as typical environmental restoration sites, risks to the public, risks to workers, ecological risk, risks before, during and after remediation activities, and others

  7. Two Teacher Educators’ Approaches to Developing Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Mathematics Assessment Literacy: Intentions, Outcomes, and New Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji-Eun Lee

    2015-03-01

    approaches to developing preservice elementary teachers’ mathematics assessment literacy. We explored the similarities and differences in preservice teachers’ conceptions of good assessment practices and their critique of assessment items. We found that we, as course instructors, had different assumptions pertaining to the role of preservice teachers in the development of assessment and offered different assessment-related course activities. Despite these differences, there were more similarities than differences between the two groups of the preservice teachers with regard to their overall perceptions about good assessment practices and their critique of assessment items. However, we also observed differences in the criteria they used in critiquing assessment items. Discussions and implications are presented in accordance with these findings as a means to improve our own teaching and student learning.

  8. Aggregate assessments support improved operational decision making

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bauer, R.

    2003-01-01

    At Darlington Nuclear aggregate assessment of plant conditions is carried out in support of Operational Decision Making. This paper discusses how aggregate assessments have been applied to Operator Workarounds leading to improved prioritisation and alignment of work programs in different departments. As well, aggregate assessment of plant and human performance factors has been carried out to identify criteria which support conservative decision making in the main control room during unit transients. (author)

  9. Risk Assessment Approaches for Carcinogenic Food Contaminants

    OpenAIRE

    Gillespie, Zoe; Pulido, Olga; Vavasour, Elizabeth

    2011-01-01

    Health Canada has identified the need for a standardized department-wide approach for the risk assessment of carcinogens in foods (e.g., pesticides, food chemical contaminants, veterinary therapeutics). A standardized approach would better facilitate and inform risk management strategies for the control of human exposure to food sources of carcinogens. Within the post- market regulatory context, directly DNA-reactive carcinogens are of most concern because any exposure is theoretically assume...

  10. HOLISTIC APPROACH FOR ASSESSING THE PRESENCE ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    As an integral part of our continuing research in environmental quality assessment approaches, we have developed a variety of passive integrative sampling devices widely applicable for use in defining the presence and potential impacts of a broad array of contaminants. The semipermeable membrane device (SPMD) has gained widespread use for sampling hydrophobic chemicals from water and air, the polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS) is applicable for sequestering waterborne hydrophilic organic chemicals, the stabilized liquid membrane device (SLMD) is used to integratively sample waterborne ionic metals, and the passive integrative mercury sampler (PIMS) is applicable for sampling vapor phase or dissolved neutral mercury species. This suite of integrative samplers forms the basis for a new passive sampling approach for assessing the presence and potential toxicological significance of a broad spectrum of environmental contaminants. In a proof-of-concept study, three of our four passive integrative samplers were used to assess the presence o,f a wide variety of contaminants in , the waters of a constructed wetland, and to determine the effectiveness of the constructed wetland in removing contaminants. The wetland is used for fmal polishing of secondary- treatment municipal wastewater and the effluent is used as a source of water for a state wildlife area. Numerous contaminants, including organochlorine pesticides (OCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

  11. Improvement of economic security management system of municipalities with account of transportation system development: methods of assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khe Sun, Pak; Vorona-Slivinskaya, Lubov; Voskresenskay, Elena

    2017-10-01

    The article highlights the necessity of a complex approach to assess economic security of municipalities, which would consider municipal management specifics. The approach allows comparing the economic security level of municipalities, but it does not describe parameter differences between compared municipalities. Therefore, there is a second method suggested: parameter rank order method. Applying these methods allowed to figure out the leaders and outsiders of the economic security among municipalities and rank all economic security parameters according to the significance level. Complex assessment of the economic security of municipalities, based on the combination of the two approaches, allowed to assess the security level more accurate. In order to assure economic security and equalize its threshold values, one should pay special attention to transportation system development in municipalities. Strategic aims of projects in the area of transportation infrastructure development in municipalities include the following issues: contribution into creating and elaborating transportation logistics and manufacture transport complexes, development of transportation infrastructure with account of internal and external functions of the region, public transport development, improvement of transport security and reducing its negative influence on the environment.

  12. Building and measuring infrastructure and capacity for community health assessment and health improvement planning in Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abarca, Christine; Grigg, C Meade; Steele, Jo Ann; Osgood, Laurie; Keating, Heidi

    2009-01-01

    COMPASS (Comprehensive Assessment, Strategic Success) is the Florida Department of Health's community health assessment and health improvement planning initiative. Since 2002, COMPASS built state and county health department infrastructure to support a comprehensive, systematic, and integrated approach to community health assessment and planning. To assess the capacity of Florida's 67 county health departments (CHDs) to conduct community health assessment and planning and to identify training and technical assistance needs, COMPASS surveyed the CHDs using a Web-based instrument annually from 2004 through 2008. Response rate to the survey was 100 percent annually. In 2007, 96 percent of CHDs reported conducting assessment and planning within the past 3 years; 74 percent used the MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships) framework. Progress was greater for the organizational and assessment phases of the MAPP-based work; only 10 CHDs had identified strategic priorities in 2007, and even fewer had implemented strategies for improving health. In 2007, the most frequently requested types of training were measuring success, developing goals and action plans, and using qualitative data; technical assistance was most frequently requested for program evaluation and writing community health status reports. Florida's CHDs have increased their capacity to conduct community health assessment and planning. Questions remain about sustaining these gains with limited resources.

  13. Reference Scenario Forecasting: A New Approach to Transport Project Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salling, Kim Bang; Leleur, Steen; Skougaard, Britt Zoëga

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a new approach to transport project assessment in terms of feasibility risk assessment and reference class forecasting. Normally, transport project assessment is based upon a cost-benefit approach where evaluation criteria such as net present values are obtained. Recent research...... construction cost estimates. Hereafter, a quantitative risk analysis is provided making use of Monte Carlo simulation. This stochastic approach facilitates random input parameters based upon reference class forecasting, hence, a parameter data fit has been performed in order to obtain validated probability...... forecasting (RSF) frame. The RSF is anchored in the cost-benefit analysis (CBA), thus, it provides decision-makers with a quantitative mean of assessing the transport infrastructure project. First, the RSF method introduces uncertainties within the CBA by applying Optimism Bias uplifts on the preliminary...

  14. Prioritize Improvement Opportunities Identified In Self-Assessment Using Multi-Criteria Fuzzy Group Decision

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr.Ghassem Faraj Pour

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Efforts to improve the quality are one of the prerequisites for the success of individual companies and for the competitiveness of all whole companies. In the field of improvement and excellence business excellence models answer to the question that what the better organization is what goals and concepts they follow and according to what standards they behave. The EFQM excellence model can be transition from multiplicity to unity of different existing models. The most important approaches of these models are self-assessment and identifying improvement areas in an organization. On the other side organizations which are at lower level of total quality management will encounter so many areas to improve when using this model and implementing of self-improvement. Choosing the most important key problems are always the main challenges and because of resource constraints and strategic goals organizations have to prioritize identified improvement opportunities. This paper introduces a model for prioritizing and choosing the most significant improvement opportunities using the organization Business Excellence team members and because the analysis and decision making atmosphere for excellence team members is not generally complete with accurate information it seems using of fuzzy decision can be very helpful.

  15. A probabilistic approach to Radiological Environmental Impact Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Avila, Rodolfo; Larsson, Carl-Magnus

    2001-01-01

    Since a radiological environmental impact assessment typically relies on limited data and poorly based extrapolation methods, point estimations, as implied by a deterministic approach, do not suffice. To be of practical use for risk management, it is necessary to quantify the uncertainty margins of the estimates as well. In this paper we discuss how to work out a probabilistic approach for dealing with uncertainties in assessments of the radiological risks to non-human biota of a radioactive contamination. Possible strategies for deriving the relevant probability distribution functions from available empirical data and theoretical knowledge are outlined

  16. Improved Membership Probability for Moving Groups: Bayesian and Machine Learning Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jinhee; Song, Inseok

    2018-01-01

    Gravitationally unbound loose stellar associations (i.e., young nearby moving groups: moving groups hereafter) have been intensively explored because they are important in planet and disk formation studies, exoplanet imaging, and age calibration. Among the many efforts devoted to the search for moving group members, a Bayesian approach (e.g.,using the code BANYAN) has become popular recently because of the many advantages it offers. However, the resultant membership probability needs to be carefully adopted because of its sensitive dependence on input models. In this study, we have developed an improved membership calculation tool focusing on the beta-Pic moving group. We made three improvements for building models used in BANYAN II: (1) updating a list of accepted members by re-assessing memberships in terms of position, motion, and age, (2) investigating member distribution functions in XYZ, and (3) exploring field star distribution functions in XYZUVW. Our improved tool can change membership probability up to 70%. Membership probability is critical and must be better defined. For example, our code identifies only one third of the candidate members in SIMBAD that are believed to be kinematically associated with beta-Pic moving group.Additionally, we performed cluster analysis of young nearby stars using an unsupervised machine learning approach. As more moving groups and their members are identified, the complexity and ambiguity in moving group configuration has been increased. To clarify this issue, we analyzed ~4,000 X-ray bright young stellar candidates. Here, we present the preliminary results. By re-identifying moving groups with the least human intervention, we expect to understand the composition of the solar neighborhood. Moreover better defined moving group membership will help us understand star formation and evolution in relatively low density environments; especially for the low-mass stars which will be identified in the coming Gaia release.

  17. Using contrasting cases to improve self-assessment in physics learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jax, Jared Michael

    Accurate self-assessment (SA) is widely regarded as a valuable tool for conducting scientific work, although there is growing concern that students present difficulties in accurately assessing their own learning. For students, the challenge of accurately self-assessing their work prevents them from effectively critiquing their own knowledge and skills, and making corrections when necessary to improve their performance. An overwhelming majority of researchers have acknowledged the importance of developing and practicing the necessary reflective skills SA in science, yet it is rarely a focus of daily instruction leading to students typically overestimate their abilities. In an effort to provide a pragmatic approach to overcoming these deficiencies, this study will demonstrate the effect of using positive and negative examples of solutions (contrasting cases) on performance and accuracy of SA when compared to student who are only shown positive examples of solutions. The work described here sought, first, to establish the areas of flawed SA that introductory high school physics students experience when studying circuitry, and, second, to examine how giving students Content Knowledge in addition to Positive and Negative Examples focused on helping them self-assess might help overcome these deficiencies. In doing so, this work highlights the positive impact that these types of support have in significantly increasing student performance, SA accuracy, and the ability to evaluate solutions in physics education.

  18. Improving Listening Comprehension through a Whole-Schema Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellermeyer, Deborah

    1993-01-01

    Examines the development of the schema, or cognitive structure, theory of reading comprehension. Advances a model for improving listening comprehension within the classroom through a teacher-facilitated approach which leads students to selecting and utilizing existing schema within a whole-language environment. (MDM)

  19. Performance improvement integration: a whole systems approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, C K

    1999-02-01

    Performance improvement integration in health care organizations is a challenge for health care leaders. Required for accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Joint Commission), performance improvement (PI) can be designed as a sustainable model for performance to survive in a turbulent period. Central Baptist Hospital developed a model for PI that focused on strategy established by the leadership team, delineated responsibility through the organizational structure of shared governance, and accountability for outcomes evidenced through the organization's profitability. Such an approach integrated into the culture of the organization can produce positive financial margins, positive customer satisfaction, and commendations from the Joint Commission.

  20. Improving Open Access through Prior Learning Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Shuangxu; Kawachi, Paul

    2013-01-01

    This paper explores and presents new data on how to improve open access in distance education through using prior learning assessments. Broadly there are three types of prior learning assessment (PLAR): Type-1 for prospective students to be allowed to register for a course; Type-2 for current students to avoid duplicating work-load to gain…

  1. Development of Ethnoscience Approach in The Module Theme Substance Additives to Improve the Cognitive Learning Outcome and Student’s entrepreneurship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudarmin; Febu, R.; Nuswowati, M.; Sumarni, W.

    2017-04-01

    Ethnoscience approach is an interesting research today. The purpose of this research is to develop approaches ethnoscience and modules ethnoscience theme additives based ethnoscience; as well as assess the feasibility and effectiveness of module theme additives based ethnoscience to improve learning outcomes and the entrepreneurial character of students. This type of research is the Research and Development (R & D). In this research consist of four stages, namely define, design, development and implementation. The subjects of this study were students of the School of MTs Maarif NU Brebes. Data were analyzed by descriptive qualitative and quantitative. The results showed that ethnoscience approach and the module theme substance additives used declared worthy of National Education Standards Agency (BNSP) with an average percentage of validation on the feasibility aspect of the content, language feasibility, and feasibility of presenting respectively for 94.3%, 86 % and 92% and a very decent entry criteria. The effect of the application modules substance additive based ethnoscience can improve on the cognitive learning classical amounted to 90.63%, and increased learning outcomes category was based on the scores of N-gain. Influence ethnoscience approach application and module theme substances additives based ethnoscience able to improve the entrepreneurial character of students. Based on the results of this study concluded that the ethnoscience approach and module theme substance additives based ethnoscience effective to improve learning outcomes and students’ entrepreneurship.

  2. Methodological approaches to the assessment level of social responsibility

    OpenAIRE

    Vorona, E.

    2010-01-01

    A study of current approaches to assessing the level of social responsibility. Proposed methodological approach to evaluating the performance of the social responsibility of railway transport. Conceptual Basis of social reporting in rail transport.

  3. Policy directions in urban health in developing countries--the slum improvement approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harpham, T; Stephens, C

    1992-07-01

    The urban development, or housing, sector has a longer experience of addressing the problems of the urban poor in developing countries than the health sector. In recent years the policy of 'slum improvement', which involves both sectors, has attracted the support of international donors. This article documents the development of the slum improvement approach and addresses key issues of the approach which have implications for health planning: covering the poorest dwellers; relocation; land tenure; gentrification; debt burdens and the impact on women. Questions about the approach which still need answering are defined and a summary of the constraints in slum improvement and potential solutions is presented.

  4. A Dynamic Approach to School Improvement : Main Features and Impact

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Creemers, Bert; Kyriakides, L.; Antoniou, P.

    2013-01-01

    This paper refers to the dynamic approach to school improvement (DASI) which attempts to contribute to the merging of educational effectiveness research and school improvement. The main underlying assumptions and the implementation phases of DASI are discussed. Moreover, a study aiming to compare

  5. Realistic biological approaches for improving thermoradiotherapy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horsman, Michael R

    2016-01-01

    There is now definitive clinical evidence that hyperthermia can successfully improve the response of certain human tumour types to radiation therapy, but, there is still the need for improvement. From a biological standpoint this can be achieved by either targeting the cellular or vascular...... or radiation in preclinical models and clear benefits in tumour response observed. But few of these methods have actually been combined with thermoradiotherapy. Furthermore, very few combinations have been tested in relevant normal tissue studies, despite the fact that it is the normal tissue response...... that controls the maximal heat or radiation treatment that can be applied. Here we review the most clinically relevant biological approaches that have been shown to enhance thermoradiotherapy, or have the potential to be applied in this context, and suggest how these should be moved forward into the clinic....

  6. Informatics Approach to Improving Surgical Skills Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Gazi

    2013-01-01

    Surgery as a profession requires significant training to improve both clinical decision making and psychomotor proficiency. In the medical knowledge domain, tools have been developed, validated, and accepted for evaluation of surgeons' competencies. However, assessment of the psychomotor skills still relies on the Halstedian model of…

  7. Improved power performance assessment methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frandsen, S; Antoniou, I; Dahlberg, J A [and others

    1999-03-01

    The uncertainty of presently-used methods for retrospective assessment of the productive capacity of wind farms is unacceptably large. The possibilities of improving the accuracy have been investigated and are reported. A method is presented that includes an extended power curve and site calibration. In addition, blockage effects with respect to reference wind speed measurements are analysed. It is found that significant accuracy improvements are possible by the introduction of more input variables such as turbulence and wind shear, in addition to mean wind speed and air density. Also, the testing of several or all machines in the wind farm - instead of only one or two - may provide a better estimate of the average performance. (au)

  8. "Reflection-Before-Practice" Improves Self-Assessment and End-Performance in Laparoscopic Surgical Skills Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganni, Sandeep; Botden, Sanne M B I; Schaap, Dennis P; Verhoeven, Bas H; Goossens, Richard H M; Jakimowicz, Jack J

    To establish whether a systematized approach to self-assessment in a laparoscopic surgical skills course improves accordance between expert- and self-assessment. A systematic training course in self-assessment using Competency Assessment Tool was introduced into the normal course of evaluation within a Laparoscopic Surgical Skills training course for the test group (n = 30). Differences between these and a control group (n = 30) who did not receive the additional training were assessed. Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (n = 27), and GSL Medical College, Rajahmundry, India (n = 33). Sixty postgraduate year 2 and 3 surgical residents who attended the 2-day Laparoscopic Surgical Skills grade 1 level 1 curriculum were invited to participate. The test group (n = 30) showed better accordance between expert- and self-assessment (difference of 1.5, standard deviation [SD] = 0.2 versus 3.83, SD = 0.6, p = 0.009) as well as half the number (7 versus 14) of cases of overreporting. Furthermore, the test group also showed higher overall mean performance (mean = 38.1, SD = 0.7 versus mean = 31.8, SD = 1.0, p assessment can be viewed as responsible for this and can be seen as "reflection-before-practice" within the framework of reflective practice as defined by Donald Schon. Our results suggest that "reflection-before-practice" in implementing self-assessment is an important step in the development of surgical skills, yielding both better understanding of one's strengths and weaknesses and also improving overall performance. Copyright © 2017 Association of Program Directors in Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Demand assessment and price-elasticity estimation of quality-improved primary health care in Palestine: a contribution from the contingent valuation method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mataria, Awad; Luchini, Stéphane; Daoud, Yousef; Moatti, Jean-Paul

    2007-10-01

    This paper proposes a new methodology to assess demand and price-elasticity for health care, based on patients' stated willingness to pay (WTP) values for certain aspects of health care quality improvements. A conceptual analysis of how respondents consider contingent valuation (CV) questions allowed us to specify a probability density function of stated WTP values, and consequently, to model a demand function for quality-improved health care, using a parametric survival approach. The model was empirically estimated using a CV study intended to assess patients' values for improving the quality of primary health care (PHC) services in Palestine. A random sample of 499 individuals was interviewed following medical consultation in four PHC centers. Quality was assessed using a multi-attribute approach; and respondents valued seven specific quality improvements using a decomposed valuation scenario and a payment card elicitation technique. Our results suggest an inelastic demand at low user fees levels, and when the price-increase is accompanied with substantial quality-improvements. Nevertheless, demand becomes more and more elastic if user fees continue to rise. On the other hand, patients' reactions to price-increase turn out to depend on their level of income. Our results can be used to design successful health care financing strategies that include a consideration of patients' preferences and financial capacities. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Assessing risk from intelligent attacks: A perspective on approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guikema, Seth D.; Aven, Terje

    2010-01-01

    Assessing the uncertainties in and severity of the consequences of intelligent attacks are fundamentally different from risk assessment for accidental events and other phenomena with inherently random failures. Intelligent attacks against a system involve adaptation on the part of the adversary. The probabilities of the initiating events depend on the risk management actions taken, and they may be more difficult to assess due to high degrees of epistemic uncertainty about the motivations and future actions of adversaries. Several fundamentally different frameworks have been proposed for assessing risk from intelligent attacks. These include basing risk assessment and management on game theoretic modelling of attacker actions, using a probabilistic risk analysis (PRA) approach based on eliciting probabilities of different initiating events from appropriate experts, assessing uncertainties beyond probabilities and expected values, and ignoring the probabilities of the attacks and choosing to protect highest valued targets. In this paper we discuss and compare the fundamental assumptions that underlie each of these approaches. We then suggest a new framework that makes the fundamental assumptions underlying the approaches clear to decision makers and presents them with a suite of results from conditional risk analysis methods. Each of the conditional methods presents the risk from a specified set of fundamental assumptions, allowing the decision maker to see the impacts of these assumptions on the risk management strategies considered and to weight the different conditional results with their assessments of the relative likelihood of the different sets of assumptions.

  11. A new approach to criteria for health risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spickett, Jeffery; Katscherian, Dianne; Goh, Yang Miang

    2012-01-01

    Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a developing component of the overall impact assessment process and as such needs access to procedures that can enable more consistent approaches to the stepwise process that is now generally accepted in both EIA and HIA. The guidelines developed during this project provide a structured process, based on risk assessment procedures which use consequences and likelihood, as a way of ranking risks to adverse health outcomes from activities subjected to HIA or HIA as part of EIA. The aim is to assess the potential for both acute and chronic health outcomes. The consequences component also identifies a series of consequences for the health care system, depicted as expressions of financial expenditure and the capacity of the health system. These more specific health risk assessment characteristics should provide for a broader consideration of health consequences and a more consistent estimation of the adverse health risks of a proposed development at both the scoping and risk assessment stages of the HIA process. - Highlights: ► A more objective approach to health risk assessment is provided. ► An objective set of criteria for the consequences for chronic and acute impacts. ► An objective set of criteria for the consequences on the health care system. ► An objective set of criteria for event frequency that could impact on health. ► The approach presented is currently being trialled in Australia.

  12. Does an outcome-based approach to continuing medical education improve physicians' competences in rational prescribing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esmaily, Hamideh M; Savage, Carl; Vahidi, Rezagoli; Amini, Abolghasem; Dastgiri, Saeed; Hult, Hakan; Dahlgren, Lars Owe; Wahlstrom, Rolf

    2009-11-01

    Continuing medical education (CME) is compulsory in Iran, and traditionally it is lecture-based, which is mostly not successful. Outcome-based education has been proposed for CME programs. To evaluate the effectiveness of an outcome-based educational intervention with a new approach based on outcomes and aligned teaching methods, on knowledge and skills of general physicians (GPs) working in primary care compared with a concurrent CME program in the field of "Rational prescribing". The method used was cluster randomized controlled design. All GPs working in six cities in one province in Iran were invited to participate. The cities were matched and randomly divided into an intervention arm for education on rational prescribing with an outcome-based approach, and a control arm for a traditional program on the same topic. Knowledge and skills were assessed using a pre- and post-test, including case scenarios. In total, 112 GPs participated. There were significant improvements in knowledge and prescribing skills after the training in the intervention arm as well as in comparison with the changes in the control arm. The overall intervention effect was 26 percentage units. The introduction of an outcome-based approach in CME appears to be effective when creating programs to improve GPs' knowledge and skills.

  13. An Improved On-line Contingency Screening for Power System Transient Stability Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weckesser, Johannes Tilman Gabriel; Jóhannsson, Hjörtur; Glavic, Mevludin

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents a contingency screening method and a framework for its on-line implementation. The proposed method carries out contingency screening and on-line stability assessment with respect to first-swing transient stability. For that purpose, it utilizes the single machine equivalent...... method and aims at improving the prior developed contingency screening approaches. In order to determine vulnerability of the system with respect to a particular contingency, only one time-domain simulation needs to be performed. An early stop criteria is proposed so that in a majority of the cases...... the simulation can be terminated after a few hundred milliseconds of simulated system response. The method's outcome is an assessment of the system's stability and a classification of each considered contingency. The contingencies are categorized by exploiting parameters of an equivalent one machine infinite bus...

  14. Workplace-based assessment and students' approaches to learning: a qualitative inquiry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Kadri, Hanan M; Al-Kadi, Mohammed T; Van Der Vleuten, Cees P M

    2013-01-01

    We have performed this research to assess the effect of work-place based assessment (WBA) practice on medical students' learning approaches. The research was conducted at the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, College of Medicine from 1 March to 31 July 2012. We conducted a qualitative, phenomenological research utilizing semi-structured individual interviews with medical students exposed to WBA. The audio-taped interviews were transcribed verbatim, analyzed, and themes were identified. We preformed investigators' triangulation, member checking with clinical supervisors and we triangulated the data with a similar research performed prior to the implementation of WBA. WBA results in variable learning approaches. Based on several affecting factors; clinical supervisors, faculty-given feedback, and assessment function, students may swing between surface, deep and effort and achievement learning approaches. Students' and supervisors' orientations on the process of WBA, utilization of peer feedback and formative rather than summative assessment facilitate successful implementation of WBA and lead to students' deeper approaches to learning. Interestingly, students and their supervisors have contradicting perceptions to WBA. A change in culture to unify students' and supervisors' perceptions of WBA, more accommodation of formative assessment, and feedback may result in students' deeper approach to learning.

  15. General approaches to the risk assessment of chemicals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murphy, Patrick [Commission of the European Communities, Directorate General XI, Environment, Nuclear Safety and Civil Protection (Belgium)

    1992-07-01

    In the context of the UNCED 92 'Earth Summit' in Rio, the following definition of chemical risk assessment has been developed: 'Chemical risk assessment is a scientific process that identifies and quantifies the potential adverse effects on human health or ecosystems of defined exposures to chemical substances, to mixtures that include chemicals, or to chemically hazardous processes or situations. Risk itself is the probability of the occurrence of a defined adverse effect in a defined group and in defined circumstances'. I would not be so impertinent as to try and improve upon a definition that has the tacit endorsement of the majority of world-leaders. Furthermore, I consider that too many man-years have been spent discussing this topic. Thankfully the UNCED definition recognises chemical risk assessment as being a process and not some immutable physical law. In this presentation I will attempt to explain some of the details and mechanisms of that process but first of all it is worthwhile to spend a few moments putting chemical risk assessment in its proper context and asking the simple question: why do we want/need to assess the potential risk of chemicals?. In general terms, chemicals risk assessment is carried out in order to ensure that neither man (consumer/worker/general public) nor the environment are exposed to unacceptable risks arising from the production, use and disposal of chemicals. At a national and/or international level, risk assessments are performed by the regulatory authorities before they accept notification dossiers (e.g. new industrial chemicals) or grant authorizations (e.g. pharmaceuticals, pesticides, cosmetics, food additives). At the local level, plant-operators must carry out risk assessments to ensure that in the particular circumstances of their factory the workers are adequately protected and that satisfactory accident prevention and contingency plans are prepared. Similarly, local authorities must carry out risk assessments before

  16. General approaches to the risk assessment of chemicals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murphy, Patrick

    1992-01-01

    In the context of the UNCED 92 'Earth Summit' in Rio, the following definition of chemical risk assessment has been developed: 'Chemical risk assessment is a scientific process that identifies and quantifies the potential adverse effects on human health or ecosystems of defined exposures to chemical substances, to mixtures that include chemicals, or to chemically hazardous processes or situations. Risk itself is the probability of the occurrence of a defined adverse effect in a defined group and in defined circumstances'. I would not be so impertinent as to try and improve upon a definition that has the tacit endorsement of the majority of world-leaders. Furthermore, I consider that too many man-years have been spent discussing this topic. Thankfully the UNCED definition recognises chemical risk assessment as being a process and not some immutable physical law. In this presentation I will attempt to explain some of the details and mechanisms of that process but first of all it is worthwhile to spend a few moments putting chemical risk assessment in its proper context and asking the simple question: why do we want/need to assess the potential risk of chemicals?. In general terms, chemicals risk assessment is carried out in order to ensure that neither man (consumer/worker/general public) nor the environment are exposed to unacceptable risks arising from the production, use and disposal of chemicals. At a national and/or international level, risk assessments are performed by the regulatory authorities before they accept notification dossiers (e.g. new industrial chemicals) or grant authorizations (e.g. pharmaceuticals, pesticides, cosmetics, food additives). At the local level, plant-operators must carry out risk assessments to ensure that in the particular circumstances of their factory the workers are adequately protected and that satisfactory accident prevention and contingency plans are prepared. Similarly, local authorities must carry out risk assessments before

  17. Validation of a Smartphone-Based Approach to In Situ Cognitive Fatigue Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linden, Mark

    2017-01-01

    The most highly correlated results were from the PVT, which showed a positive correlation with those from the prevalidated MFS, measuring 0.342 (Pcognitive tests were entered into a regression model and showed that only reaction time in the PVT was a significant predictor of fatigue (P=.016, F=2.682, 95% CI 9.0-84.2). Higher scores on the MFS were related to increases in reaction time during our mobile variant of the PVT. Conclusions The results show that the PVT mobile cognitive test developed for this study could be used as a valid and reliable method for measuring cognitive fatigue in situ. This test would remove the subjectivity associated with established self-assessment approaches and the need for assessments to be performed in a medical setting. Based on our findings, future work could explore delivering a small set of tests with increased duration to further improve measurement reliability. Moreover, as the smartphone assessment tool can be used as part of everyday life, additional sources of data relating to physiological, psychological, and environmental context could be included within the analysis to improve the nature and precision of the assessment process. PMID:28818818

  18. Validation of a Smartphone-Based Approach to In Situ Cognitive Fatigue Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Edward; Moore, George; Galway, Leo; Linden, Mark

    2017-08-17

    were from the PVT, which showed a positive correlation with those from the prevalidated MFS, measuring 0.342 (Ptime in the PVT was a significant predictor of fatigue (P=.016, F=2.682, 95% CI 9.0-84.2). Higher scores on the MFS were related to increases in reaction time during our mobile variant of the PVT. The results show that the PVT mobile cognitive test developed for this study could be used as a valid and reliable method for measuring cognitive fatigue in situ. This test would remove the subjectivity associated with established self-assessment approaches and the need for assessments to be performed in a medical setting. Based on our findings, future work could explore delivering a small set of tests with increased duration to further improve measurement reliability. Moreover, as the smartphone assessment tool can be used as part of everyday life, additional sources of data relating to physiological, psychological, and environmental context could be included within the analysis to improve the nature and precision of the assessment process. ©Edward Price, George Moore, Leo Galway, Mark Linden. Originally published in JMIR Mhealth and Uhealth (http://mhealth.jmir.org), 17.08.2017.

  19. Sustaining Operational Resiliency: A Process Improvement Approach to Security Management

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Caralli, Richard A

    2006-01-01

    .... Coordinating these efforts to sustain operational resiliency requires a process-oriented approach that can be defined, measured, and actively managed. This report describes the fundamental elements and benefits of a process approach to security and operational resiliency and provides a notional view of a framework for process improvement.

  20. Improving coverage of postnatal care in rural Ethiopia using a community-based, collaborative quality improvement approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesfaye, Solomon; Barry, Danika; Gobezayehu, Abebe Gebremariam; Frew, Aynalem Hailemichael; Stover, Kim Ethier; Tessema, Hana; Alamineh, Lamesgin; Sibley, Lynn M

    2014-01-01

    Ethiopia has high maternal and neonatal mortality and low use of skilled maternity care. The Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia Partnership (MaNHEP), a 3.5-year learning project, used a community collaborative quality improvement approach to improve maternal and newborn health care during the birth-to-48-hour period. This study examines how the promotion of community maternal and newborn health (CMNH) family meetings and labor and birth notification contributed to increased postnatal care within 48 hours by skilled providers or health extension workers. Baseline and endline surveys, monthly quality improvement data, and MaNHEP's CMNH change package, a compendium of the most effective changes developed and tested by communities, were reviewed. Logistic regression assessed factors associated with postnatal care receipt. Monthly postnatal care receipt was plotted with control charts. The baseline (n = 1027) and endline (n = 1019) surveys showed significant increases in postnatal care, from 5% to 51% and from 15% to 47% in the Amhara and Oromiya regions, respectively (both P care. Women with any antenatal care were 1.7 times more likely to have had a postnatal care visit (odds ratio [OR], 1.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10-2.54; P care (OR, 4.86; 95% CI, 2.67-8.86; P care far exceeds the 7% postnatal care coverage rate reported in the 2011 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS). This result was linked to ideas generated by community quality improvement teams for labor and birth notification and cooperation with community-level health workers to promote antenatal care and CMNH family meetings. © 2014 by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

  1. The application of the triple bottom line approach to sustainability assessment: The case study of the UK automotive supply chain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Azevedo, S.; Barros, M.

    2017-07-01

    Purpose: The objective of this paper is to assess the level of sustainability of the UK automotive supply chain considering simultaneously the three dimensions of sustainability (economic, social and environmental) representing the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) approach. Design/methodology/approach: The assessment of the automotive SC’ sustainability is based on the framework proposed by Salvado, Azevedo, Matias and Ferreira (2011) and uses the Simple Additive Weighting (SAW) method to aggregate economic, environmental and social indicators into a unique index. A case study on the UK automotive industry is used and the data do perform this study is collected from the sustainability reports of the UK’ automotive companies. Findings and Originality/value: The proposed framework represents an important benchmarking tool, offering managers the possibility for assessing the sustainability behaviour of its supply chain and compare it with other supply chains. Once identified the dimension of sustainability where the company or the supply chain is worst performer managers can work closer to their supply chain’ partners in order to improve the performance of those dimension of sustainability. Research limitations/implications: One limitation of the suggested approach is related to the ambiguity of the sustainability’ indicators selection and the definition of weights for each sustainability dimension. Practical implications: The assessment of the SC sustainability by using the suggested framework to compute a SC sustainability index offers managers an opportunity for assessing the level of sustainability of each individual company and the corresponding SC in a very easy way. It also represents an opportunity for improving company performance. In this way managers can use the information on the sustainability index to help adjust their company's behaviour and improve their economic, social and environmental performance. Originality/value: The proposed framework

  2. The application of the triple bottom line approach to sustainability assessment: The case study of the UK automotive supply chain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azevedo, S.; Barros, M.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The objective of this paper is to assess the level of sustainability of the UK automotive supply chain considering simultaneously the three dimensions of sustainability (economic, social and environmental) representing the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) approach. Design/methodology/approach: The assessment of the automotive SC’ sustainability is based on the framework proposed by Salvado, Azevedo, Matias and Ferreira (2011) and uses the Simple Additive Weighting (SAW) method to aggregate economic, environmental and social indicators into a unique index. A case study on the UK automotive industry is used and the data do perform this study is collected from the sustainability reports of the UK’ automotive companies. Findings and Originality/value: The proposed framework represents an important benchmarking tool, offering managers the possibility for assessing the sustainability behaviour of its supply chain and compare it with other supply chains. Once identified the dimension of sustainability where the company or the supply chain is worst performer managers can work closer to their supply chain’ partners in order to improve the performance of those dimension of sustainability. Research limitations/implications: One limitation of the suggested approach is related to the ambiguity of the sustainability’ indicators selection and the definition of weights for each sustainability dimension. Practical implications: The assessment of the SC sustainability by using the suggested framework to compute a SC sustainability index offers managers an opportunity for assessing the level of sustainability of each individual company and the corresponding SC in a very easy way. It also represents an opportunity for improving company performance. In this way managers can use the information on the sustainability index to help adjust their company's behaviour and improve their economic, social and environmental performance. Originality/value: The proposed framework

  3. The application of the triple bottom line approach to sustainability assessment: The case study of the UK automotive supply chain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susana Azevedo

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The objective of this paper is to assess the level of sustainability of the UK automotive supply chain considering simultaneously the three dimensions of sustainability (economic, social and environmental representing the Triple Bottom Line (TBL approach. Design/methodology/approach: The assessment of the automotive SC’ sustainability is based on the framework proposed by Salvado, Azevedo, Matias and Ferreira (2011 and uses the Simple Additive Weighting (SAW method to aggregate economic, environmental and social indicators into a unique index. A case study on the UK automotive industry is used and the data do perform this study is collected from the sustainability reports of the UK’ automotive companies. Findings and Originality/value: The proposed framework represents an important benchmarking tool, offering managers the possibility for assessing the sustainability behaviour of its supply chain and compare it with other supply chains. Once identified the dimension of sustainability where the company or the supply chain is worst performer managers can work closer to their supply chain’ partners in order to improve the performance of those dimension of sustainability. Research limitations/implications: One limitation of the suggested approach is related to the ambiguity of the sustainability’ indicators selection and the definition of weights for each sustainability dimension. Practical implications: The assessment of the SC sustainability by using the suggested framework to compute a SC sustainability index offers managers an opportunity for assessing the level of sustainability of each individual company and the corresponding SC in a very easy way. It also represents an opportunity for improving company performance. In this way managers can use the information on the sustainability index to help adjust their company's behaviour and improve their economic, social and environmental performance. Originality/value: The proposed

  4. Total System Performance Assessment-License Application Methods and Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. McNeish

    2002-09-13

    ''Total System Performance Assessment-License Application (TSPA-LA) Methods and Approach'' provides the top-level method and approach for conducting the TSPA-LA model development and analyses. The method and approach is responsive to the criteria set forth in Total System Performance Assessment Integration (TSPAI) Key Technical Issue (KTI) agreements, the ''Yucca Mountain Review Plan'' (CNWRA 2002 [158449]), and 10 CFR Part 63. This introductory section provides an overview of the TSPA-LA, the projected TSPA-LA documentation structure, and the goals of the document. It also provides a brief discussion of the regulatory framework, the approach to risk management of the development and analysis of the model, and the overall organization of the document. The section closes with some important conventions that are utilized in this document.

  5. Improving Undergraduates’ Argumentative Group Essay Writing through Self-assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Mei Fung

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available When writing an argumentative essay, writers develop and evaluate arguments to embody, initiate, or simulate various kinds of interpersonal and textual interaction for reader consideration (Wu & Allison, 2003. This is quite challenging for English as a second language (ESL learners. To improve the quality of their writing, students need to review their draft throughout the writing process. This study aimed to investigate the effect of self-assessment in group writing and how group work improves students’ writing ability. An intact class comprising 22 first-year undergraduates participated in the study.  Data were collected from pre- and post-treatment writing tests, semi-structured interview and reflection entries. The results revealed that self-assessment has a significant effect on students’ writing performance. Group work also enhanced social and cognitive development of the students. This study provides insights into the use of self-assessment in writing class to develop learner autonomy and improve writing ability. Keywords: Argumentative essay, Self-assessment, Learner autonomy, Group writing, ESL learners

  6. 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...

  7. Development of a Quantitative Framework for Regulatory Risk Assessments: Probabilistic Approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilmot, R.D.

    2003-11-01

    The Swedish regulators have been active in the field of performance assessment for many years and have developed sophisticated approaches to the development of scenarios and other aspects of assessments. These assessments have generally used dose as the assessment end-point and have been based on deterministic calculations. Recently introduced Swedish regulations have introduced a risk criterion for radioactive waste disposal: the annual risk of harmful effects after closure of a disposal facility should not exceed 10 -6 for a representative individual in the group exposed to the greatest risk. A recent review of the overall structure of risk assessments in safety cases concluded that there are a number of decisions and assumptions in the development of a risk assessment methodology that could potentially affect the calculated results. Regulatory understanding of these issues, potentially supported by independent calculations, is important in preparing for review of a proponent's risk assessment. One approach to evaluating risk in performance assessments is to use the concept of probability to express uncertainties, and to propagate these probabilities through the analysis. This report describes the various approaches available for undertaking such probabilistic analyses, both as a means of accounting for uncertainty in the determination of risk and more generally as a means of sensitivity and uncertainty analysis. The report discusses the overall nature of probabilistic analyses and how they are applied to both the calculation of risk and sensitivity analyses. Several approaches are available, including differential analysis, response surface methods and simulation. Simulation is the approach most commonly used, both in assessments for radioactive waste disposal and in other subject areas, and the report describes the key stages of this approach in detail. Decisions relating to the development of input PDFs, sampling methods (including approaches to the treatment

  8. Community-based approaches to strategic environmental assessment: Lessons from Costa Rica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sinclair, A. John; Sims, Laura; Spaling, Harry

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes a community-based approach to strategic environmental assessment (SEA) using a case study of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad's (ICE) watershed management agricultural program (WMAP) in Costa Rica. The approach focused on four highly interactive workshops that used visioning, brainstorming and critical reflection exercises. Each workshop represented a critical step in the SEA process. Through this approach, communities in two rural watersheds assessed the environmental, social and economic impacts of a proposed second phase for WMAP. Lessons from this community-based approach to strategic environmental assessment include a recognition of participants learning what a participatory SEA is conceptually and methodologically; the role of interactive techniques for identifying positive and negative impacts of the proposed program and generating creative mitigation strategies; the effect of workshops in reducing power differentials among program participants (proponent, communities, government agencies); and, the logistical importance of notice, timing and location for meaningful participation. The community-based approach to SEA offers considerable potential for assessing regional (watershed) development programs focused on sustainable resource-based livelihoods

  9. Clinical Significance: a Therapeutic Approach Topsychological Assessment in Treatment Planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afolabi Olusegun Emmanuel

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Psychological assessment has long been reported as a key component of clinical psychology. This paper examines the complexities surrounding the clinical significance of therapeutic approach to treatment planning. To achieve this objective, the paper searched and used the PsycINFO and PubMed databases and the reference sections of chapters and journal articles to analysed, 1 a strong basis for the usage of therapeutic approach to psychological assessment in treatment plans, 2 explained the conceptual meaning of clinical significant change in therapeutic assessment, 3 answered some of the questions regarding practicability and the clinical significance of therapeutic approach to treatment plans, particularly during or before treatment, 4 linked therapeutic assessment to change in clients’ clinical impression, functioning and therapeutic needs 5 analysed the empirically documenting clinically significant change in therapeutic assessment. Finally, the study suggested that though therapeutic assessment is not sufficient for the systematic study of psychotherapy outcome and process, it is still consistent with both the layman and professional expectations regarding treatment outcome and also provides a precise method for classifying clients as ‘changed’ or ‘unchanged’ on the basis of clinical significance criteria.

  10. Improving risk assessment in schizophrenia: epidemiological investigation of criminal history factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witt, Katrina; Lichtenstein, Paul; Fazel, Seena

    2015-05-01

    Violence risk assessment in schizophrenia relies heavily on criminal history factors. To investigate which criminal history factors are most strongly associated with violent crime in schizophrenia. A total of 13 806 individuals (8891 men and 4915 women) with two or more hospital admissions for schizophrenia were followed up for violent convictions. Multivariate hazard ratios for 15 criminal history factors included in different risk assessment tools were calculated. The incremental predictive validity of these factors was estimated using tests of discrimination, calibration and reclassification. Over a mean follow-up of 12.0 years, 17.3% of men (n = 1535) and 5.7% of women (n = 281) were convicted of a violent offence. Criminal history factors most strongly associated with subsequent violence for both men and women were a previous conviction for a violent offence; for assault, illegal threats and/or intimidation; and imprisonment. However, only a previous conviction for a violent offence was associated with incremental predictive validity in both genders following adjustment for young age and comorbid substance use disorder. Clinical and actuarial approaches to assess violence risk can be improved if included risk factors are tested using multiple measures of performance. © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2015.

  11. A Chemical Activity Approach to Exposure and Risk Assessment of Chemicals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gobas, Frank A. P. C.; Mayer, Philipp; Parkerton, Thomas F.

    2018-01-01

    activity approach, its strengths and limitations, and provides examples of how this concept may be applied to the management of single chemicals and chemical mixtures. The examples demonstrate that the chemical activity approach provides a useful framework for 1) compiling and evaluating exposure......To support the goals articulated in the vision for exposure and risk assessment in the twenty-first century, we highlight the application of a thermodynamic chemical activity approach for the exposure and risk assessment of chemicals in the environment. The present article describes the chemical...... assessment. The article further illustrates that the chemical activity approach can support an adaptive management strategy for environmental stewardship of chemicals where “safe” chemical activities are established based on toxicological studies and presented as guidelines for environmental quality...

  12. How could the replica method improve accuracy of performance assessment of channel coding?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kabashima, Yoshiyuki [Department of Computational Intelligence and Systems Science, Tokyo Institute of technology, Yokohama 226-8502 (Japan)], E-mail: kaba@dis.titech.ac.jp

    2009-12-01

    We explore the relation between the techniques of statistical mechanics and information theory for assessing the performance of channel coding. We base our study on a framework developed by Gallager in IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory IT-11, 3 (1965), where the minimum decoding error probability is upper-bounded by an average of a generalized Chernoff's bound over a code ensemble. We show that the resulting bound in the framework can be directly assessed by the replica method, which has been developed in statistical mechanics of disordered systems, whereas in Gallager's original methodology further replacement by another bound utilizing Jensen's inequality is necessary. Our approach associates a seemingly ad hoc restriction with respect to an adjustable parameter for optimizing the bound with a phase transition between two replica symmetric solutions, and can improve the accuracy of performance assessments of general code ensembles including low density parity check codes, although its mathematical justification is still open.

  13. Improving sustainability by technology assessment and systems analysis: the case of IWRM Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nayono, S.; Lehmann, A.; Kopfmüller, J.; Lehn, H.

    2016-09-01

    To support the implementation of the IWRM-Indonesia process in a water scarce and sanitation poor region of Central Java (Indonesia), sustainability assessments of several technology options of water supply and sanitation were carried out based on the conceptual framework of the integrative sustainability concept of the German Helmholtz association. In the case of water supply, the assessment was based on the life-cycle analysis and life-cycle-costing approach. In the sanitation sector, the focus was set on developing an analytical tool to improve planning procedures in the area of investigation, which can be applied in general to developing and newly emerging countries. Because sanitation systems in particular can be regarded as socio-technical systems, their permanent operability is closely related to cultural or religious preferences which influence acceptability. Therefore, the design of the tool and the assessment of sanitation technologies took into account the views of relevant stakeholders. The key results of the analyses are presented in this article.

  14. Total System Performance Assessment - License Application Methods and Approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McNeish, J.

    2003-01-01

    ''Total System Performance Assessment-License Application (TSPA-LA) Methods and Approach'' provides the top-level method and approach for conducting the TSPA-LA model development and analyses. The method and approach is responsive to the criteria set forth in Total System Performance Assessment Integration (TSPAI) Key Technical Issues (KTIs) identified in agreements with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the ''Yucca Mountain Review Plan'' (YMRP), ''Final Report'' (NRC 2003 [163274]), and the NRC final rule 10 CFR Part 63 (NRC 2002 [156605]). This introductory section provides an overview of the TSPA-LA, the projected TSPA-LA documentation structure, and the goals of the document. It also provides a brief discussion of the regulatory framework, the approach to risk management of the development and analysis of the model, and the overall organization of the document. The section closes with some important conventions that are used in this document

  15. Department of Energy's process waste assessment graded approach methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pemberton, S.E.

    1994-03-01

    As the initial phase of the formal waste minimization program, the Department of Energy requires assessments of all its waste-generating operations. These assessments, called process waste assessments (PWAs), are a tool which helps achieve the pollution prevention goals. The DOE complex is comprised of numerous sites located in many different states. The facilities as a whole represent a tremendous diversity of technologies, processes, and activities. Due to this diversity, there are also a wide variety and number of waste streams generated. Many of these waste streams are small, intermittent, and not of consistent composition. The PWA graded approach methodology addresses these complexities and recognizes that processes vary in the quantity of pollution they generate, as well as in the perceived risk and associated hazards. Therefore, the graded approach was developed to provide a cost-effective and flexible methodology which allows individual sites to prioritize their local concerns and align their efforts with the resources allocated. This presentation will describe a project sponsored by the DOE Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management, Waste Minimization Division, which developed a graded approach methodology for use throughout the DOE. This methodology was initiated in FY93 through a combined effort of the following DOE/Defense Program sites: Kansas City Plant, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories. This presentation will describe the process waste assessment tool, benefits achieved through the completion of PWAs, DOE's graded approach methodology, and an update on the project's current status

  16. Comparison of Effectiveness of Adeli Suit Therapy and Bobath Approach on Gross Motor Function Improvement in Children with Cerebral Palsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Khayat-Zadeh-Mahani

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Adeli Suit Therapy (AST and Bobath approach on improvement of gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy aged 4 to 11 years of old. Materials & Methods: In this experimental and randomized clinical trial study, 24 children with cerebral palsy were selected simply according to inclusive and exclusive criteria from patients referred to ValieAsr rehabilitation center and then assigned into two Adeli Suit Thrapy and Bobath groups by simple random method. Period of therapeutic intervention was 36 sessions, 3 times per week for both groups. Assessment tool was Gross Motor Function Measure test (GMFM–66. Data was analyzed by Kolmogroff Smirnoff, Independent T-test and ANOVA for repeated measurements. Results: After intervention, the gross motor function improved significantly in both groups (P<0.001. Follow up study revealed significant improvement of functions in Adeli Suit group (P=0.007 and significant regression of functions in Bobath group (P=0.004. There was no significant difference, just after the intervention, between two groups (P=0.598, but there was significant difference between two groups at follow up assessments (P=0.002. Conclusion: Both Adeli Suit and Bobath approaches are effective in improvement of gross motor functions in children with cerebral palsy during the therapeutic sessions. At follow up study, the Adeli Suit group, were still improving their function whereas the Bobath group regressed.

  17. Study protocol: using the Q-STEPS to assess and improve the quality of physical activity programmes for the elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, Ana I; Rosa, Maria J; Amorim, Marlene; Soares, Pedro; Oliveira-Tavares, António; Santos, Rute; Mota, Jorge; Carvalho, Joana

    2012-07-09

    Aging is one of the most important and obvious phenomenon observed in our society. In the past years, there has been a growing concern in designing physical activity (PA) programmes for elderly people, because evidence suggests that such health promotion interventions may reduce the deleterious effects of the ageing process. Accordingly, a growing body of literature points to the importance of a sound approach to planning and evaluation in order to improve the quality of PA programmes. However, while numerous PA programmes have been designed for the elderly in recent years, their evaluation has been scarce. Quality management processes and tools provide a practical way for organisations to assess, identify and shed light on the areas requiring improvement. The Quality Self-assessment Tool for Exercise Programmes for Seniors (Q-STEPS) seems to provide a framework tailored to evaluate PA programmes for the elderly. The primary purpose of this study is 1) to determine feasibility, acceptability and usability of the Q-STEPS. Secondary purposes of the study are: 2) to examine the quality of the PA programmes for elderly people developed by the Portuguese Local Administration over a three-year period of self-assessments in terms of: a) Enabler domains (Leadership, Policy and Strategy, People, Partnership and Resources, Processes); b) Result domains (Customer Results, People Results, Society Results and Key Performance Results); 3) to estimate the association between the use of Q-STEPS and some indicators relating to the elderly participants, during the three self-assessments, such as: attendance rates, physical fitness, health-related quality of life and the elderly's perceived quality of the programme. The study will be conducted in PA programmes for elderly adults from mainland Portuguese municipalities over a three-year period. The project will adopt a participative quality improvement approach that features annual learning cycles of: 1) self-assessment with the Q

  18. Global approach of mean service satisfaction assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Dooguy Kora

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A theoretical expression for mobile service satisfaction assessment has been proposed. Mobile networks users’ satisfaction is a major concern for the operators and regulators. Therefore a certain level of network qualification is required to be offered to consumers by operators thanks to the decisions initiated by the regulation authority. For the assessment of the level of satisfaction, several methodologies and tools (measuring and monitoring have emerged. Ranking in two broad categories, namely the objective and subjective methods, both have advantages as well as disadvantages. This Letter has proposed a unified approach to evaluate more objectively users’ level of satisfaction of a service based on the most common network key performance indicators (KPIs rate following the different methods. This approach's main advantage is that it has taken advantages of the different positive aspects of the existing methods and outperformed their limitations thanks to the introduced concept of global KPI. In addition, the size of samples according to each method has been considered. A mean service satisfaction theoretical expression has been proposed to regulation authority, consumers association and operators as common base of service satisfaction assessment.

  19. A multi-disciplinary approach for the integrated assessment of multiple risks in delta areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperotto, Anna; Torresan, Silvia; Critto, Andrea; Marcomini, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    The assessment of climate change related risks is notoriously difficult due to the complex and uncertain combinations of hazardous events that might happen, the multiplicity of physical processes involved, the continuous changes and interactions of environmental and socio-economic systems. One important challenge lies in predicting and modelling cascades of natural and man -made hazard events which can be triggered by climate change, encompassing different spatial and temporal scales. Another regard the potentially difficult integration of environmental, social and economic disciplines in the multi-risk concept. Finally, the effective interaction between scientists and stakeholders is essential to ensure that multi-risk knowledge is translated into efficient adaptation and management strategies. The assessment is even more complex at the scale of deltaic systems which are particularly vulnerable to global environmental changes, due to the fragile equilibrium between the presence of valuable natural ecosystems and relevant economic activities. Improving our capacity to assess the combined effects of multiple hazards (e.g. sea-level rise, storm surges, reduction in sediment load, local subsidence, saltwater intrusion) is therefore essential to identify timely opportunities for adaptation. A holistic multi-risk approach is here proposed to integrate terminology, metrics and methodologies from different research fields (i.e. environmental, social and economic sciences) thus creating shared knowledge areas to advance multi risk assessment and management in delta regions. A first testing of the approach, including the application of Bayesian network analysis for the assessment of impacts of climate change on key natural systems (e.g. wetlands, protected areas, beaches) and socio-economic activities (e.g. agriculture, tourism), is applied in the Po river delta in Northern Italy. The approach is based on a bottom-up process involving local stakeholders early in different

  20. Assessing and Improving the Feasibility of LCM

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garcia-Sanchez, Inés; Wenzel, Henrik; Jørgensen, Michael Søgaard

    2003-01-01

    A theoretical approach to Life Cycle Management (LCM) is used to develop an operational model helping companies to understand their present level of LCM and implement LCM as management strategy. As part of the development, the model has been tested and evaluated by a number of Danish companies...... within different branches. A self-assessment tool for companies to assess their present level of LCM is developed. The assessment is based on a qualitative assessment of the frequency of the integration of life cycle considerations within the decision-making processes of the company. Moreover, a tool...... for assessing the conditions shaping a company’s ability to do LCM is developed. The ability is understood as the combination of two aspects: the company’s own capability and the feasibility within the context where the company operates. Four categories of conditions are identified as the most influential...

  1. Approach to Improve Speed of Sound Calculation within PC-SAFT Framework

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liang, Xiaodong; Maribo-Mogensen, Bjørn; Thomsen, Kaj

    2012-01-01

    An extensive comparison of SRK, CPA and PC-SAFT for speed of sound in normal alkanes has been performed. The results reveal that PC-SAFT captures the curvature of speed of sound better than cubic EoS but the accuracy is not satisfactory. Two approaches have been proposed to improve PC-SAFT’s accu...... keeping acceptable accuracy for the primary properties, i.e. vapor pressure (2.1%) and liquid density (1.5%). The two approaches have also been applied to methanol, and both give very good results.......An extensive comparison of SRK, CPA and PC-SAFT for speed of sound in normal alkanes has been performed. The results reveal that PC-SAFT captures the curvature of speed of sound better than cubic EoS but the accuracy is not satisfactory. Two approaches have been proposed to improve PC......-SAFT’s accuracy for speed of sound: (i) putting speed of sound data into parameter estimation; (ii) putting speed of sound data into both universal constants regression and parameter estimation. The results have shown that the second approach can significantly improve the speed of sound (3.2%) prediction while...

  2. Improving supervision: a team approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-01-01

    This issue of "The Family Planning Manager" outlines an interactive team supervision strategy as a means of improving family planning service quality and enabling staff to perform to their maximum potential. Such an approach to supervision requires a shift from a monitoring to a facilitative role. Because supervisory visits to the field are infrequent, the regional supervisor, clinic manager, and staff should form a team to share ongoing supervisory responsibilities. The team approach removes individual blame and builds consensus. An effective team is characterized by shared leadership roles, concrete work problems, mutual accountability, an emphasis on achieving team objectives, and problem resolution within the group. The team supervision process includes the following steps: prepare a visit plan and schedule; meet with the clinic manager and staff to explain how the visit will be conducted; supervise key activity areas (clinical, management, and personnel); conduct a problem-solving team meeting; conduct a debriefing meeting with the clinic manager; and prepare a report on the visit, including recommendations and follow-up plans. In Guatemala's Family Planning Unit, teams identify problem areas on the basis of agreement that a problem exists, belief that the problem can be solved with available resources, and individual willingness to accept responsibility for the specific actions identified to correct the problem.

  3. Improvement of Off-site Dose Assessment Code for Operating Nuclear Power Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Juyub; Kim, Juyoul; Shin, Kwangyoung [FNC Technology Co. Ltd., Yongin (Korea, Republic of); You, Songjae; Moon, Jongyi [Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-05-15

    XOQDOQ code which calculates atmospheric Dispersion factor was included into INDAC also. A research on the improvement of off-site dose assessment system for an operating nuclear power plant was performed by KINS in 2011. As a result, following improvements were derived: - Separation of dose assessment for new and existing facilities - Update of food ingestion data - Consideration of multi-unit operation and so on In order to reflect the results, INDAC is under modification. INDAC is an integrated dose assessment code for an operating nuclear power plant and consists of three main modules: XOQDOQ, GASDOS and LIQDOS. The modules are under modification in order to improve the accuracy of assessment and usability. Assessment points for multi-unit release can be calculated through the improved code and the method on dose assessment for multi-unit release has been modified, so that the dose assessment result of multi-unit site becomes more realistic by relieving excessive conservatism. Finally, as the accuracy of calculation modules has been improved, the reliability of dose assessment result has been strengthened.

  4. Food control and a citizen science approach for improving teaching of Genetics in universities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrell, Y J; Muñoz-Colmenero, A M; Dopico, E; Miralles, L; Garcia-Vazquez, E

    2016-09-10

    A Citizen Science approach was implemented in the laboratory practices of Genetics at the University of Oviedo, related with the engaging topic of Food Control. Real samples of food products consumed by students at home (students as samplers) were employed as teaching material in three different courses of Genetics during the academic year 2014-2015: Experimental Methods in Food Production (MBTA) (Master level), and Applied Molecular Biology (BMA) and Conservation Genetics and Breeding (COMGE) (Bachelor/Degree level). Molecular genetics based on PCR amplification of DNA markers was employed for species identification of 22 seafood products in COMGE and MBTA, and for detection of genetically modified (GM) maize from nine products in BMA. In total six seafood products incorrectly labeled (27%), and two undeclared GM maize (22%) were found. A post-Laboratory survey was applied for assessing the efficacy of the approach for improving motivation in the Laboratory Practices of Genetics. Results confirmed that students that worked on their own samples from local markets were significantly more motivated and better evaluated their Genetic laboratory practices than control students (χ(2)  = 12.11 p = 0.033). Our results suggest that citizen science approaches could not be only useful for improving teaching of Genetics in universities but also to incorporate students and citizens as active agents in food control. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 44(5):450-462, 2016. © 2016 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  5. Assessment of strategy formulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Acur, Nuran; Englyst, Linda

    2006-01-01

    of the success criteria through face-to-face interviews with 46 managers, workshops involving 40 managers, and two in-depth case studies. The success criteria have been slightly modified due to the empirical results, to yield the assessment tool. Findings – The resulting assessment tool integrates three generic...... approaches to strategy assessment, namely the goal-centred, comparative and improvement approaches, as found in the literature. Furthermore, it encompasses three phases of strategy formulation processes: strategic thinking, strategic planning and embedding of strategy. The tool reflects that the different......, but cases and managerial perceptions indicate that the need for accurate and detailed plans might be overrated in the literature, as implementation relies heavily on continuous improvement and empowerment. Concerning embedding, key aspects relate both to the goal-centred and improvement approaches, while...

  6. Spanish methodological approach for biosphere assessment of radioactive waste disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agueero, A.; Pinedo, P.; Cancio, D.; Simon, I.; Moraleda, M.; Perez-Sanchez, D.; Trueba, C.

    2007-01-01

    The development of radioactive waste disposal facilities requires implementation of measures that will afford protection of human health and the environment over a specific temporal frame that depends on the characteristics of the wastes. The repository design is based on a multi-barrier system: (i) the near-field or engineered barrier, (ii) far-field or geological barrier and (iii) the biosphere system. Here, the focus is on the analysis of this last system, the biosphere. A description is provided of conceptual developments, methodological aspects and software tools used to develop the Biosphere Assessment Methodology in the context of high-level waste (HLW) disposal facilities in Spain. This methodology is based on the BIOMASS 'Reference Biospheres Methodology' and provides a logical and systematic approach with supplementary documentation that helps to support the decisions necessary for model development. It follows a five-stage approach, such that a coherent biosphere system description and the corresponding conceptual, mathematical and numerical models can be built. A discussion on the improvements implemented through application of the methodology to case studies in international and national projects is included. Some facets of this methodological approach still require further consideration, principally an enhanced integration of climatology, geography and ecology into models considering evolution of the environment, some aspects of the interface between the geosphere and biosphere, and an accurate quantification of environmental change processes and rates

  7. Spanish methodological approach for biosphere assessment of radioactive waste disposal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agüero, A; Pinedo, P; Cancio, D; Simón, I; Moraleda, M; Pérez-Sánchez, D; Trueba, C

    2007-10-01

    The development of radioactive waste disposal facilities requires implementation of measures that will afford protection of human health and the environment over a specific temporal frame that depends on the characteristics of the wastes. The repository design is based on a multi-barrier system: (i) the near-field or engineered barrier, (ii) far-field or geological barrier and (iii) the biosphere system. Here, the focus is on the analysis of this last system, the biosphere. A description is provided of conceptual developments, methodological aspects and software tools used to develop the Biosphere Assessment Methodology in the context of high-level waste (HLW) disposal facilities in Spain. This methodology is based on the BIOMASS "Reference Biospheres Methodology" and provides a logical and systematic approach with supplementary documentation that helps to support the decisions necessary for model development. It follows a five-stage approach, such that a coherent biosphere system description and the corresponding conceptual, mathematical and numerical models can be built. A discussion on the improvements implemented through application of the methodology to case studies in international and national projects is included. Some facets of this methodological approach still require further consideration, principally an enhanced integration of climatology, geography and ecology into models considering evolution of the environment, some aspects of the interface between the geosphere and biosphere, and an accurate quantification of environmental change processes and rates.

  8. Improving palliative care.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Moran, Sue

    2009-05-01

    Any service improvement project requires planning, action and evaluation. Using a recognised quality improvement framework can offer a structured approach to implementing and assessing changes to patient care. This article describes how use of the Deming Cycle has helped to identify nurses\\' learning needs.

  9. Assessment of safety culture: Changing regulatory approach in Hungary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ronaky, Jozsef; Toth, Andras

    2002-01-01

    Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) is changing its inspection practice and assessment methods of safety performance and safety culture in operating nuclear facilities. The new approach emphasises integrated team inspection of safety cornerstones and systematic assessment of safety performance of operators. (author)

  10. Improvement of physicochemical parameters of acyclovir using cocrystallization approach

    OpenAIRE

    Savjani,Jignasa Ketan; Pathak,Chirag

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Acyclovir is an antiviral drug having potent activity against the virus of herpes family and varicella zoster. Unfortunately, drug suffers very poor oral bioavailability (15-30%). The main objective of present study was to develop acyclovir cocrystals with improved solubility which may result in improvement of bioavailability. Hansen solubility approach was used as a tool to predict the cocrystal formation of a drug with selected coformer. Cocrystals of acyclovir with various coforme...

  11. Total System Performance Assessment - License Application Methods and Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. McNeish

    2003-12-08

    ''Total System Performance Assessment-License Application (TSPA-LA) Methods and Approach'' provides the top-level method and approach for conducting the TSPA-LA model development and analyses. The method and approach is responsive to the criteria set forth in Total System Performance Assessment Integration (TSPAI) Key Technical Issues (KTIs) identified in agreements with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the ''Yucca Mountain Review Plan'' (YMRP), ''Final Report'' (NRC 2003 [163274]), and the NRC final rule 10 CFR Part 63 (NRC 2002 [156605]). This introductory section provides an overview of the TSPA-LA, the projected TSPA-LA documentation structure, and the goals of the document. It also provides a brief discussion of the regulatory framework, the approach to risk management of the development and analysis of the model, and the overall organization of the document. The section closes with some important conventions that are used in this document.

  12. A counterfactual p-value approach for benefit-risk assessment in clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Donglin; Chen, Ming-Hui; Ibrahim, Joseph G; Wei, Rachel; Ding, Beiying; Ke, Chunlei; Jiang, Qi

    2015-01-01

    Clinical trials generally allow various efficacy and safety outcomes to be collected for health interventions. Benefit-risk assessment is an important issue when evaluating a new drug. Currently, there is a lack of standardized and validated benefit-risk assessment approaches in drug development due to various challenges. To quantify benefits and risks, we propose a counterfactual p-value (CP) approach. Our approach considers a spectrum of weights for weighting benefit-risk values and computes the extreme probabilities of observing the weighted benefit-risk value in one treatment group as if patients were treated in the other treatment group. The proposed approach is applicable to single benefit and single risk outcome as well as multiple benefit and risk outcomes assessment. In addition, the prior information in the weight schemes relevant to the importance of outcomes can be incorporated in the approach. The proposed CPs plot is intuitive with a visualized weight pattern. The average area under CP and preferred probability over time are used for overall treatment comparison and a bootstrap approach is applied for statistical inference. We assess the proposed approach using simulated data with multiple efficacy and safety endpoints and compare its performance with a stochastic multi-criteria acceptability analysis approach.

  13. Therapeutic Enzymes: Applications and Approaches to Pharmacological Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yari, Maryam; Ghoshoon, Mohammad B; Vakili, Bahareh; Ghasemi, Younes

    2017-01-01

    Among therapeutic proteins, enzymes represent small and of course profitable market. They can be used to treat important, rare, and deadly diseases. Enzyme therapy is the only available treatment for certain disorders. Here, pharmaceutical enzymes are reviewed. They are categorized in four main groups, enzymes in replacement therapy, enzymes in cancer treatment, enzymes for fibrinolysis, and finally enzymes that are used topically for various treatments. Furthermore, enzyme gene therapy and future perspective of therapeutic enzymes are mentioned in brief. There are many important approved enzymes in pharmaceutical market. Several approaches such as point mutation, fusion protein designing, glycoengineering, and PEGylation were used to achieve improved enzymes. Although sometimes enzymes were engineered to facilitate production and purification process, appropriate delivery to target sites, extending half-life, and reducing immunogenicity are among the main goals of engineering approaches. Overall, enzymes play a critical role in treatment of common and rare diseases. Evaluation of new enzymes as well as improvement of approved enzymes are of the most important challenges in biotechnology. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  14. A multi-modal approach to assessing recovery in youth athletes following concussion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Nick; Murphy, James; Dick, Talia; Mah, Katie; Paniccia, Melissa; Verweel, Lee; Dobney, Danielle; Keightley, Michelle

    2014-09-25

    Concussion is one of the most commonly reported injuries amongst children and youth involved in sport participation. Following a concussion, youth can experience a range of short and long term neurobehavioral symptoms (somatic, cognitive and emotional/behavioral) that can have a significant impact on one's participation in daily activities and pursuits of interest (e.g., school, sports, work, family/social life, etc.). Despite this, there remains a paucity in clinically driven research aimed specifically at exploring concussion within the youth sport population, and more specifically, multi-modal approaches to measuring recovery. This article provides an overview of a novel and multi-modal approach to measuring recovery amongst youth athletes following concussion. The presented approach involves the use of both pre-injury/baseline testing and post-injury/follow-up testing to assess performance across a wide variety of domains (post-concussion symptoms, cognition, balance, strength, agility/motor skills and resting state heart rate variability). The goal of this research is to gain a more objective and accurate understanding of recovery following concussion in youth athletes (ages 10-18 years). Findings from this research can help to inform the development and use of improved approaches to concussion management and rehabilitation specific to the youth sport community.

  15. Molecular approaches to improvement of Jatropha curcas Linn. as a sustainable energy crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar Johnson, T; Eswaran, Nalini; Sujatha, M

    2011-09-01

    With the increase in crude oil prices, climate change concerns and limited reserves of fossil fuel, attention has been diverted to alternate renewable energy sources such as biofuel and biomass. Among the potential biofuel crops, Jatropha curcas L, a non-domesticated shrub, has been gaining importance as the most promising oilseed, as it does not compete with the edible oil supplies. Economic relevance of J. curcas for biodiesel production has promoted world-wide prospecting of its germplasm for crop improvement and breeding. However, lack of adequate genetic variation and non-availability of improved varieties limited its prospects of being a successful energy crop. In this review, we present the progress made in molecular breeding approaches with particular reference to tissue culture and genetic transformation, genetic diversity assessment using molecular markers, large-scale transcriptome and proteome studies, identification of candidate genes for trait improvement, whole genome sequencing and the current interest by various public and private sector companies in commercial-scale cultivation, which highlights the revival of Jatropha as a sustainable energy crop. The information generated from molecular markers, transcriptome profiling and whole genome sequencing could accelerate the genetic upgradation of J. curcas through molecular breeding.

  16. Hybrid modeling approach to improve the forecasting capability for the gaseous radionuclide in a nuclear site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Hyojoon; Hwang, Wontae; Kim, Eunhan; Han, Moonhee

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► This study is to improve the reliability of air dispersion modeling. ► Tracer experiments assumed gaseous radionuclides were conducted at a nuclear site. ► The performance of a hybrid modeling combined ISC with ANFIS was investigated.. ► Hybrid modeling approach shows better performance rather than a single ISC model. - Abstract: Predicted air concentrations of radioactive materials are important for an environmental impact assessment for the public health. In this study, the performance of a hybrid modeling combined with the industrial source complex (ISC) model and an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) for predicting tracer concentrations was investigated. Tracer dispersion experiments were performed to produce the field data assuming the accidental release of radioactive material. ANFIS was trained in order that the outputs of the ISC model are similar to the measured data. Judging from the higher correlation coefficients between the measured and the calculated ones, the hybrid modeling approach could be an appropriate technique for an improvement of the modeling capability to predict the air concentrations for radioactive materials.

  17. Integrating Planning, Assessment, and Improvement in Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherlock, Barbara J.

    2009-01-01

    Based on Penn State's popular "Innovation Insights" series, this book brings together in one handy reference nearly a decade of tried and true insights into continuous quality improvements in higher education. Their five-step model for integrating planning, assessment, and improvement moves plans off the shelf and into the weekly and daily…

  18. 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.

  19. An approach to grouping species for ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hampton, N.L.; VanHorn, R.L.; Morris, R.; Brewer, R.

    1994-01-01

    The ecological risk assessment (ERA) paradigm acknowledges all levels of ecological organization as having potential for defining assessment and measurement endpoints. However, assessment goals and endpoints are generally concentrated at individual species and population levels. As part of a sitewide, screening-level ERA process at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL), a ''functional group'' approach was developed to incorporate assessment at a higher level of ecological organization into the risk analysis process. Functional groups demonstrating biological similarity and similar potential for contaminant exposure were developed using taxonomic, trophic and habitat parameters. As defined, all species are potential surrogates for the other members of the same functional group. Measurement endpoint data for several species may be integrated to address the risk to the group as a whole. The functional group concept was applied throughout the problem formulation, analysis, and risk characterization phases of the assessment process. This approach allows the ERA to be focused on risk to the integrity of individual functional groups, which can subsequently be related to guild and community integrity

  20. Analysing improvements to on-street public transport systems: a mesoscopic model approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ingvardson, Jesper Bláfoss; Kornerup Jensen, Jonas; Nielsen, Otto Anker

    2017-01-01

    and other advanced public transport systems (APTS), the attractiveness of such systems depends heavily on their implementation. In the early planning stage it is advantageous to deploy simple and transparent models to evaluate possible ways of implementation. For this purpose, the present study develops...... headway time regularity and running time variability, i.e. taking into account waiting time and in-vehicle time. The approach was applied on a case study by assessing the effects of implementing segregated infrastructure and APTS elements, individually and in combination. The results showed...... that the reliability of on-street public transport operations mainly depends on APTS elements, and especially holding strategies, whereas pure infrastructure improvements induced travel time reductions. The results further suggested that synergy effects can be obtained by planning on-street public transport coherently...

  1. The current status of exposure-driven approaches for chemical safety assessment: A cross-sector perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sewell, Fiona; Aggarwal, Manoj; Bachler, Gerald; Broadmeadow, Alan; Gellatly, Nichola; Moore, Emma; Robinson, Sally; Rooseboom, Martijn; Stevens, Alexander; Terry, Claire; Burden, Natalie

    2017-08-15

    For the purposes of chemical safety assessment, the value of using non-animal (in silico and in vitro) approaches and generating mechanistic information on toxic effects is being increasingly recognised. For sectors where in vivo toxicity tests continue to be a regulatory requirement, there has been a parallel focus on how to refine studies (i.e. reduce suffering and improve animal welfare) and increase the value that in vivo data adds to the safety assessment process, as well as where to reduce animal numbers where possible. A key element necessary to ensure the transition towards successfully utilising both non-animal and refined safety testing is the better understanding of chemical exposure. This includes approaches such as measuring chemical concentrations within cell-based assays and during in vivo studies, understanding how predicted human exposures relate to levels tested, and using existing information on human exposures to aid in toxicity study design. Such approaches promise to increase the human relevance of safety assessment, and shift the focus from hazard-driven to risk-driven strategies similar to those used in the pharmaceutical sectors. Human exposure-based safety assessment offers scientific and 3Rs benefits across all sectors marketing chemical or medicinal products. The UK's National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) convened an expert working group of scientists across the agrochemical, industrial chemical and pharmaceutical industries plus a contract research organisation (CRO) to discuss the current status of the utilisation of exposure-driven approaches, and the challenges and potential next steps for wider uptake and acceptance. This paper summarises these discussions, highlights the challenges - particularly those identified by industry - and proposes initial steps for moving the field forward. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. RISK MANAGEMENT: AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO RISK MANAGEMENT AND ASSESSMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szabo Alina

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The objective of this paper is to offer an overview over risk management cycle by focusing on prioritization and treatment, in order to ensure an integrated approach to risk management and assessment, and establish the ‘top 8-12’ risks report within the organization. The interface with Internal Audit is ensured by the implementation of the scoring method to prioritize risks collected from previous generated risk report. Methodology/approach: Using evidence from other research in the area and the professional expertise, this article outlines an integrated approach to risk assessment and risk management reporting processes, by separating the risk in two main categories: strategic and operational risks. The focus is on risk prioritization and scoring; the final output will comprise a mix of strategic and operational (‘top 8-12’ risks, which should be used to establish the annual Internal Audit plan. Originality/value: By using an integrated approach to risk assessment and risk management will eliminate the need for a separate Internal Audit risk assessment over prevailing risks. It will reduce the level of risk assessment overlap by different functions (Tax, Treasury, Information System over the same risk categories as a single methodology, is used and will align timings of risk assessment exercises. The risk prioritization by usage of risk and control scoring criteria highlights the combination between financial and non-financial impact criteria allowing risks that do not naturally lend themselves to a financial amount to be also assessed consistently. It is emphasized the usage of score method to prioritize the risks included in the annual audit plan in order to increase accuracy and timelines.

  3. On analyzing colour constancy approach for improving SURF detector performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zulkiey, Mohd Asyraf; Zaki, Wan Mimi Diyana Wan; Hussain, Aini; Mustafa, Mohd. Marzuki

    2012-04-01

    Robust key point detector plays a crucial role in obtaining a good tracking feature. The main challenge in outdoor tracking is the illumination change due to various reasons such as weather fluctuation and occlusion. This paper approaches the illumination change problem by transforming the input image through colour constancy algorithm before applying the SURF detector. Masked grey world approach is chosen because of its ability to perform well under local as well as global illumination change. Every image is transformed to imitate the canonical illuminant and Gaussian distribution is used to model the global change. The simulation results show that the average number of detected key points have increased by 69.92%. Moreover, the average of improved performance cases far out weight the degradation case where the former is improved by 215.23%. The approach is suitable for tracking implementation where sudden illumination occurs frequently and robust key point detection is needed.

  4. A knowledge-driven approach to cluster validity assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolshakova, Nadia; Azuaje, Francisco; Cunningham, Pádraig

    2005-05-15

    This paper presents an approach to assessing cluster validity based on similarity knowledge extracted from the Gene Ontology. The program is freely available for non-profit use on request from the authors.

  5. [Improvement approaches in the hospital setting: From total quality management to Lean].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curatolo, N; Lamouri, S; Huet, J-C; Rieutord, A

    2015-07-01

    Hospitals have to deal strong with economic constraints and increasing requirements in terms of quality and safety of care. To address these constraints, one solution could be the adoption of approaches from the industry sector. Following the decree of April 6, 2011 on the quality management of the medication use process, some of these approaches, such as risk management, are now part of the everyday work of healthcare professionals. However, other approaches, such as business process improvement, are still poorly developed in the hospital setting. In this general review, we discuss the main approaches of business process improvements that have been used in hospitals by focusing specifically on one of the newest and most currently used: Lean. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

  6. Improving energy consumption structure: A comprehensive assessment of fossil energy subsidies reform in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Wei; Li Hong

    2011-01-01

    Fossil energy subsidies reform would be an effective way to improve the energy consumption structure; however, the reform needs to be assessed comprehensively beforehand as it would exert uncertain impacts on economy, society and environment. In this paper, we use price-gap approach to estimate the fossil energy subsidies of China, then establish CGE model that contains pollutant emissions accounts and CO 2 emissions account to stimulate the fossil energy subsidies reform under different scenarios, and the environmental economic analysis concept is introduced to monetize the pollutant reduction benefits. Furthermore, we analyze the possibility and scope of improving the energy consumption structure from the perspective of technical and economic analysis. Analytical results show that the energy consumption structure could be improved by different extent by removing coal or oil subsidies, while the economic and social indexes will be influenced distinctively. Meanwhile, the effects of cutting coal subsidies are more feasible than that of cutting oil subsidies overall. It is recommended to implement fossil energy subsidies gradually, cut the coal first and then cut oil subsidies successively. - Research highlights: → This paper estimates the scale of fossil energy subsidies of China in 2007 with price-gap approach. → We establish a Social Accounting Matrix and a CGE model extended with pollutant accounts. → We simulate the impacts of removing or cutting subsidies under three different scenarios. → We discuss the possibility and potential of improving energy consumption structure.

  7. A Nordic approach to impact assessment of accidents with nuclear-propelled vessels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reistad, O.; Hustveit, S.; Palsson, S.E.; Hoe, S.; Lahtinen, J.

    2012-11-01

    The MareNuc project has identified the parameters in a graded approach to impact assessment for marine nuclear reactors. The graded approach is founded on the following elements: 1) More detailed understanding of previous accidents in nuclear-propelled vessels (initiating events, accident developments, release fractions), including release mechanisms (radionuclide retention in vessel construction); 2) Bench-marking of release scenarios using modelling tools applied in the Nordic countries, in addition to demonstration of generally accessible and free software developed by the IAEA; 3) Other systematic approaches to safety assessments of vessel port calls, and to the design and maintenance of emergency preparedness systems; More specifically, increased emphasis compared to earlier analysis after the Kursk accident is given to the engineered vessel barriers. Relevant standards from impact assessments for commercial nuclear power plants have been identified, such as from the NUREG series. The Nordic approaches to safety evaluation, impact assessments and emergency preparedness organisation was also reported as part of the project. The Canadian approach for international port calls was carefully reported and assessed as part of the project, and commended for its broad and comprehensive approach to reactor and vessel design for the nationalities involved, to the design and maintenance of emergency preparedness systems, and the well-structured and broad cooperation between civilian and military institutions. This approach goes beyond the current approach in the Nordic countries, also in the case of Norway, which experience regular port calls from allied nuclear navies. The overall result is a broader understanding in the Nordic countries for the importance of the various parameters for impact assessment of releases from marine reactors, and to the design and maintenance of an emergency preparedness organisation without detailed knowledge of the installation in question

  8. A Nordic approach to impact assessment of accidents with nuclear-propelled vessels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reistad, O. [Institute for Energy Technology, Kjeller (Norway); Hustveit, S. [Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, Oesteraes (Norway); Palsson, S.E. [Icelandic Radiation Safety Authority, Reykjavik (Iceland); Hoe, S. [Danish Emergency Management Agency, Birkeroed (Denmark); Lahtinen, J. [STUK, Helsinki (Finland)

    2012-11-15

    The MareNuc project has identified the parameters in a graded approach to impact assessment for marine nuclear reactors. The graded approach is founded on the following elements: 1) More detailed understanding of previous accidents in nuclear-propelled vessels (initiating events, accident developments, release fractions), including release mechanisms (radionuclide retention in vessel construction); 2) Bench-marking of release scenarios using modelling tools applied in the Nordic countries, in addition to demonstration of generally accessible and free software developed by the IAEA; 3) Other systematic approaches to safety assessments of vessel port calls, and to the design and maintenance of emergency preparedness systems; More specifically, increased emphasis compared to earlier analysis after the Kursk accident is given to the engineered vessel barriers. Relevant standards from impact assessments for commercial nuclear power plants have been identified, such as from the NUREG series. The Nordic approaches to safety evaluation, impact assessments and emergency preparedness organisation was also reported as part of the project. The Canadian approach for international port calls was carefully reported and assessed as part of the project, and commended for its broad and comprehensive approach to reactor and vessel design for the nationalities involved, to the design and maintenance of emergency preparedness systems, and the well-structured and broad cooperation between civilian and military institutions. This approach goes beyond the current approach in the Nordic countries, also in the case of Norway, which experience regular port calls from allied nuclear navies. The overall result is a broader understanding in the Nordic countries for the importance of the various parameters for impact assessment of releases from marine reactors, and to the design and maintenance of an emergency preparedness organisation without detailed knowledge of the installation in question

  9. An Integrated Soft Computing Approach to Hughes Syndrome Risk Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilhena, João; Rosário Martins, M; Vicente, Henrique; Grañeda, José M; Caldeira, Filomena; Gusmão, Rodrigo; Neves, João; Neves, José

    2017-03-01

    The AntiPhospholipid Syndrome (APS) is an acquired autoimmune disorder induced by high levels of antiphospholipid antibodies that cause arterial and veins thrombosis, as well as pregnancy-related complications and morbidity, as clinical manifestations. This autoimmune hypercoagulable state, usually known as Hughes syndrome, has severe consequences for the patients, being one of the main causes of thrombotic disorders and death. Therefore, it is required to be preventive; being aware of how probable is to have that kind of syndrome. Despite the updated of antiphospholipid syndrome classification, the diagnosis remains difficult to establish. Additional research on clinically relevant antibodies and standardization of their quantification are required in order to improve the antiphospholipid syndrome risk assessment. Thus, this work will focus on the development of a diagnosis decision support system in terms of a formal agenda built on a Logic Programming approach to knowledge representation and reasoning, complemented with a computational framework based on Artificial Neural Networks. The proposed model allows for improving the diagnosis, classifying properly the patients that really presented this pathology (sensitivity higher than 85%), as well as classifying the absence of APS (specificity close to 95%).

  10. A Balanced Scorecard Approach to Public Relations Management Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleisher, Craig S.; Mahaffy, Darren

    1997-01-01

    Describes a new managerial approach to assessing public relations/communications (PR/C) performance using a "balanced scorecard." Reviews the current state of PR/C management assessment; illustrates the balanced scorecard framework; highlights its strengths and weaknesses; describes the process of applying the scorecard to PR/C units;…

  11. NUMO's approach for long-term safety assessment - 59404

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ebashi, Takeshi; Kaku, Kenichi; Ishiguro, Katsuhiko

    2012-01-01

    One of NUMO's policies for ensuring safety is staged and flexible project implementation and decision-making based on iterative confirmation of safety. The safety assessment takes the central role in multiple lines of reasoning and argumentation by providing a quantitative evaluation of long-term safety; a key aspect is uncertainty management. This paper presents NUMO's basic strategies for long-term safety assessment based on the above policy. NUMO's approach considering Japanese boundary conditions is demonstrated as a starting-point for evaluating the long-term safety of an actual site. In Japan, the Act on Final Disposal of Specified Radioactive Waste states that the siting process shall consist of three stages. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO) is responsible for geological disposal of vitrified high-level waste and some types of TRU waste. NUMO has chosen to implement a volunteer approach to siting. NUMO decided to prepare the so-called 2010 technical report, which sets out three safety policies, one of which is staged project implementation and decision-making based on iterative confirmation of safety. Based on this policy, NUMO will gradually integrate relevant interdisciplinary knowledge to build a safety case when a formal volunteer application is received that would allow site investigations to be initiated. The safety assessment takes the central role in multiple lines of reasoning and argumentation by providing a quantitative evaluation of long-term safety; one of a key aspect is uncertainty management. This paper presents the basic strategies for NUMO's long-term safety assessment based on the above policy. In concrete terms, the common procedures involved in safety assessment are applied in a stepwise manner, based on integration of knowledge obtained from site investigations/evaluations and engineered measures. The results of the safety assessment are then reflected in the planning of site investigations and engineered

  12. Talking about the elephant in the room: Improving fundamental assessment practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Betty Gill

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports on an institution-wide strategy to improve first year assessment practices. Assessment is central to the student experience and to informing their developing conceptions of themselves as students. Despite this central importance, much national and international literature raises questions about the fitness-for-purpose of assessment practices in higher education. The reported strategy was developed in response to analysis of student feedback, which suggested, like the literature, substantial opportunity for improvement. Student feedback on their assessment experience was validated by an audit of first session assessment and used to inform the strategy. A significant improvement in quantitative and qualitative measures of student satisfaction across routine data sources is provided to demonstrate impact. This supports a conclusion that the first year student experience can be impacted by the systemic application of a small number of fundamental good practice assessment strategies which are outlined.

  13. Assessment for One-Shot Library Instruction: A Conceptual Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rui

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to explore a conceptual approach to assessment for one-shot library instruction. This study develops a new assessment instrument based on Carol Kuhlthau's information search process (ISP) model. The new instrument focuses on measuring and identifying changes in student readiness to do research along three…

  14. Developing a Competency-Based Assessment Approach for Student Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunning, Pamela T.

    2014-01-01

    Higher education accrediting bodies are increasing the emphasis on assessing student learning outcomes as opposed to teaching methodology. The purpose of this article is to describe the process used by Troy University's Master of Public Administration program to change their assessment approach from a course learning objective perspective to a…

  15. Management of continual improvement for facilities and activities: A structured approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2006-04-01

    In recent years there has been an upward trend in the safety and operational performance of nuclear installations. Safe, efficient operation is their goal. Continual improvement of the processes of organizations has led to enhanced safety performance and efficiency benefits such as cost reductions and improved cycle times. Many organizations have experienced significant cost improvement largely by or through better financial management and a common drive to reduce costs brought on by commercial pressures. Without the use of a structured methodology to identify and implement improvements, changes to an organization to reduce costs through cutting staff and activities could eventually fail to produce the desired changes and even have a negative effect on safety and overall performance. The following fundamental principles are considered essential to the effective introduction of structured continual improvement: - Long term commitment from senior management throughout the entire organization; - The implementation in the organization of a process management approach such as that advocated by IAEA Safety Standards, ISO 9001, Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award and European Foundation for Quality Management Business Excellence model; - The alignment of the processes with the objectives of the organization through the organization's business plan; - The utilization by Management of the process information as an input to managing the organization; - The employment of the information derived from the process performance to identify and prioritize the processes that require improvement; - The active participation of all staff of the organization to using its processes in order to contribute to continual process improvement (CPI). This publication defines a structured approach for continual improvement and focuses on the way an organization can improve its processes. It is recognized that there are many different approaches and methods available in the marketplace to

  16. "3D fusion" echocardiography improves 3D left ventricular assessment: comparison with 2D contrast echocardiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustine, Daniel; Yaqub, Mohammad; Szmigielski, Cezary; Lima, Eduardo; Petersen, Steffen E; Becher, Harald; Noble, J Alison; Leeson, Paul

    2015-02-01

    Three-dimensional fusion echocardiography (3DFE) is a novel postprocessing approach that utilizes imaging data acquired from multiple 3D acquisitions. We assessed image quality, endocardial border definition, and cardiac wall motion in patients using 3DFE compared to standard 3D images (3D) and results obtained with contrast echocardiography (2DC). Twenty-four patients (mean age 66.9 ± 13 years, 17 males, 7 females) undergoing 2DC had three, noncontrast, 3D apical volumes acquired at rest. Images were fused using an automated image fusion approach. Quality of the 3DFE was compared to both 3D and 2DC based on contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and endocardial border definition. We then compared clinical wall-motion score index (WMSI) calculated from 3DFE and 3D to those obtained from 2DC images. Fused 3D volumes had significantly improved CNR (8.92 ± 1.35 vs. 6.59 ± 1.19, P echocardiography (1.06 ± 0.09 vs. 1.07 ± 0.15, P = 0.69), whereas unfused images produced significantly more variable results (1.19 ± 0.30). This was confirmed by a better intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC 0.72; 95% CI 0.32-0.88) relative to comparisons with unfused images (ICC 0.56; 95% CI 0.02-0.81). 3DFE significantly improves left ventricular image quality compared to unfused 3D in a patient population and allows noncontrast assessment of wall motion that approaches that achieved with 2D contrast echocardiography. © 2014, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Quality assessment of Isfahan Medical Faculty web site electronic services and prioritizing solutions using analytic hierarchy process approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajrahimi, Nafiseh; Dehaghani, Sayed Mehdi Hejazi; Hajrahimi, Nargess; Sarmadi, Sima

    2014-01-01

    Implementing information technology in the best possible way can bring many advantages such as applying electronic services and facilitating tasks. Therefore, assessment of service providing systems is a way to improve the quality and elevate these systems including e-commerce, e-government, e-banking, and e-learning. This study was aimed to evaluate the electronic services in the website of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in order to propose solutions to improve them. Furthermore, we aim to rank the solutions based on the factors that enhance the quality of electronic services by using analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method. Non-parametric test was used to assess the quality of electronic services. The assessment of propositions was based on Aqual model and they were prioritized using AHP approach. The AHP approach was used because it directly applies experts' deductions in the model, and lead to more objective results in the analysis and prioritizing the risks. After evaluating the quality of the electronic services, a multi-criteria decision making frame-work was used to prioritize the proposed solutions. Non-parametric tests and AHP approach using Expert Choice software. The results showed that students were satisfied in most of the indicators. Only a few indicators received low satisfaction from students including, design attractiveness, the amount of explanation and details of information, honesty and responsiveness of authorities, and the role of e-services in the user's relationship with university. After interviewing with Information and Communications Technology (ICT) experts at the university, measurement criteria, and solutions to improve the quality were collected. The best solutions were selected by EC software. According to the results, the solution "controlling and improving the process in handling users complaints" is of the utmost importance and authorities have to have it on the website and place great importance on updating this process

  18. Using a Service Planning Approach to Improve the Impact of Earth Observations in the Developing World

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, D.; Frankel-Reed, J.

    2017-12-01

    SERVIR is joint development initiative of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), working in partnership with leading regional organizations around the world to help developing countries use information provided by Earth observing satellites and geospatial technologies to empower decision-makers with tools, products, and services to better address critical issues related to food security, water resources, natural disasters, and land use. Since its launch in 2005, SERVIR has grown into a global network of four active hubs that are improving awareness, increasing access to information, and supporting analysis to help people in Africa, Hindu Kush Himalaya, and the Lower Mekong regions better manage today's complex environmental challenges. To help improve the impact of SERVIR activities throughout the global network, a Service Planning Approach was developed with three main steps that involve: 1) consultation and needs assessment, 2) service design and 3) service delivery. To successfully accomplish these steps, SERVIR has created a series of capacity building tools that focus on specific activities to better engage stakeholders, design a more successful service, and to conduct end-to-end monitoring, evaluation, and learning. Currently, all four SERVIR hubs in different regions of the world are implementing this Service Planning Approach and helping to improve it by providing feedback based on their implementation. This presentation will describe the SERVIR Service Planning Approach and discuss the various tools, which ultimately can empower remote sensing scientists and application developers to obtain a greater impact from the Earth Observation products they develop.

  19. Meeting the imperative to improve physician well-being: assessment of an innovative program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Patrick M; Arnetz, Bengt B; Christensen, John F; Homer, Louis

    2007-11-01

    Improving physician health and performance is critical to successfully meet the challenges facing health systems that increasingly emphasize productivity. Assessing long-term efficacy and sustainability of programs aimed at enhancing physician and organizational well-being is imperative. To determine whether data-guided interventions and a systematic improvement process to enhance physician work-life balance and organizational efficacy can improve physician and organizational well-being. From 2000 to 2005, 22-32 physicians regularly completed 3 questionnaires coded for privacy. Results were anonymously reported to physicians and the organization. Data-guided interventions to enhance physician and organizational well-being were built on physician control over the work environment, order in the clinical setting, and clinical meaning. Questionnaires included an ACP/ASIM survey on physician satisfaction, the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and the Quality Work Competence (QWC) survey. Emotional and work-related exhaustion decreased significantly over the study period (MBI, p = 0.002; QWC, p = 0.035). QWC measures of organizational health significantly improved initially and remained acceptable and stable during the rest of the study. A data-guided program on physician well-being, using validated instruments and process improvement methods, enhanced physician and organizational well-being. Given the increases in physician burnout, organizations are encouraged to urgently create individual and systems approaches to lessen burnout risk.

  20. Non-animal approaches for consumer safety risk assessments: Unilever's scientific research programme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmichael, Paul; Davies, Michael; Dent, Matt; Fentem, Julia; Fletcher, Samantha; Gilmour, Nicola; MacKay, Cameron; Maxwell, Gavin; Merolla, Leona; Pease, Camilla; Reynolds, Fiona; Westmoreland, Carl

    2009-12-01

    Non-animal based approaches to risk assessment are now routinely used for assuring consumer safety for some endpoints (such as skin irritation) following considerable investment in developing and applying new methods over the past 20 years. Unilever's research programme into non-animal approaches for safety assessment is currently focused on the application of new technologies to risk assessments in the areas of skin allergy, cancer and general toxicity (including inhalation toxicity). In all of these areas, a long-term investment is essential to increase the scientific understanding of the underlying biological and chemical processes that we believe will ultimately form a sound basis for novel risk assessment approaches. Our research programme in these priority areas consists of in-house research as well as Unilever-sponsored academic research, involvement with EU-funded projects (e.g. Sens-it-iv, carcinoGENOMICS), participation in cross-industry collaborative research (e.g. COLIPA, EPAA) and ongoing involvement with other scientific initiatives on non-animal approaches to risk assessment (e.g. UK NC3Rs, US 'Human Toxicology Project' consortium). 2009 FRAME.

  1. Assessment approaches in massive open online courses: Possibilities, challenges and future directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Yao; Suen, Hoi K.

    2018-03-01

    The development of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has launched an era of large-scale interactive participation in education. While massive open enrolment and the advances of learning technology are creating exciting potentials for lifelong learning in formal and informal ways, the implementation of efficient and effective assessment is still problematic. To ensure that genuine learning occurs, both assessments for learning (formative assessments), which evaluate students' current progress, and assessments of learning (summative assessments), which record students' cumulative progress, are needed. Providers' more recent shift towards the granting of certificates and digital badges for course accomplishments also indicates the need for proper, secure and accurate assessment results to ensure accountability. This article examines possible assessment approaches that fit open online education from formative and summative assessment perspectives. The authors discuss the importance of, and challenges to, implementing assessments of MOOC learners' progress for both purposes. Various formative and summative assessment approaches are then identified. The authors examine and analyse their respective advantages and disadvantages. They conclude that peer assessment is quite possibly the only universally applicable approach in massive open online education. They discuss the promises, practical and technical challenges, current developments in and recommendations for implementing peer assessment. They also suggest some possible future research directions.

  2. An Approach to On-line Risk Assessment in NPP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simic, Z.; Mikulicic, V.; O'Brien, J.

    1996-01-01

    Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) can provide safety status information for a plant during different configurations; additional effort is needed to do this in real time for on-line operation. This paper describes an approach to use PRA to achieve these goals. A Risk Assessment On-Line (RAOL) application was developed to monitor maintenance (on-line and planned) activities. RAOL is based on the results from a full-scope PRA, engineering/operational judgment and incorporates a user friendly program interface approach. Results from RAOL can be used by planners or operations to effectively manage the level of risk by controlling the actual plant configuration. (author)

  3. Modifying Provider Practice To Improve Assessment of Unhealthy Weight and Lifestyle in Young Children: Translating Evidence in a Quality Improvement Initiative for At-Risk Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Nadine L; Robert, Rebecca C; Nash, Jessica E; Lichtenstein, Cara B; Dawes, Candice S; Kelly, Katherine Patterson

    2017-06-01

    We designed a quality improvement (QI) project to address the high prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity (OW/OB) in our patient population and the inconsistencies among primary care providers in recognizing and addressing OW/OB. We used mixed methods data collection approach to evaluate a QI project, the Childhood Healthy Behaviors Intervention (CHBI), to improve provider obesity prevention practice in two low-income, predominantly African American pediatric primary care clinics. Electronic record data were extracted from all 2-9 year well visits pre- and postintervention for frequency of appropriate diagnostic coding of OW/OB. We reviewed a random sample of records for details of health habit assessment and counseling documentation. Focused interviews were conducted to elicit provider responses regarding impressions of the intervention. The preintervention sample of records (n = 267) was extracted from 18 providers and the postsample (n = 253) from 19 providers. Providers showed improvement in the recognition of OW/OB with appropriate diagnostic coding (52% pre, 68% post), improvement in assessment of health habits informed by the habit survey (0% pre, 76% post), improvement in counseling of healthy behaviors (86% pre, 92% post), and improvement in goal setting of healthy behaviors (12% pre, 70% post). Our findings suggest that implementing a time efficient primary care intervention with brief provider training can improve provider recognition of OW/OB, as well as improve provider behavior targeted at childhood obesity prevention. This project contributes needed QI evidence on interventions to prevent and address OW/OB in primary care settings and calls for further work to strengthen implementation in similar contexts.

  4. Technological Advances in Cardiovascular Safety Assessment Decrease Preclinical Animal Use and Improve Clinical Relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berridge, Brian R; Schultze, A Eric; Heyen, Jon R; Searfoss, George H; Sarazan, R Dustan

    2016-12-01

    Cardiovascular (CV) safety liabilities are significant concerns for drug developers and preclinical animal studies are predominately where those liabilities are characterized before patient exposures. Steady progress in technology and laboratory capabilities is enabling a more refined and informative use of animals in those studies. The application of surgically implantable and telemetered instrumentation in the acute assessment of drug effects on CV function has significantly improved historical approaches that involved anesthetized or restrained animals. More chronically instrumented animals and application of common clinical imaging assessments like echocardiography and MRI extend functional and in-life structural assessments into the repeat-dose setting. A growing portfolio of circulating CV biomarkers is allowing longitudinal and repeated measures of cardiac and vascular injury and dysfunction better informing an understanding of temporal pathogenesis and allowing earlier detection of undesirable effects. In vitro modeling systems of the past were limited by their lack of biological relevance to the in vivo human condition. Advances in stem cell technology and more complex in vitro modeling platforms are quickly creating more opportunity to supplant animals in our earliest assessments for liabilities. Continuing improvement in our capabilities in both animal and nonanimal modeling should support a steady decrease in animal use for primary liability identification and optimize the translational relevance of the animal studies we continue to do. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Approaches to Improve Mixing in Compression Ignition Engines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boot, M.D.

    2010-04-20

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

  6. Innovative integrative bedside teaching model improves tutors’ self-assessments of teaching skills and attitudes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itai Gat

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Patient bedside is the ideal setting for teaching physical examination, medical interviewing, and interpersonal skills. Herein we describe a novel model for bedside teaching (BST practiced during tutor training workshop and its resulting effect on practitioners’ self assessment of teaching skills and perceptions. Methods: One-day tutor training workshop included theoretical knowledge supplementation regarding tutors’ roles as well as implementing practical tools for clinical education, mainly BST model. The model, which emphasizes simultaneous clinical and communication teaching in a stepwise approach, was practiced by consecutive simulations with a gradual escalation of difficulty and adjusted instruction approaches. Pre- and post-workshop-adjusted questionnaires using a Likert scale of 1 to 4 were completed by participants and compared. Results: Analysis was based on 25 out of 48 participants who completed both questionnaires. Significantly improved teaching skills were demonstrated upon workshop completion (mean 3.3, SD 0.5 compared with pre-training (mean 2.6, SD 0.6; p<0.001 with significant increase in most examined parameters. Significantly improved tutor's roles internalization was demonstrated after training completion (mean 3.7, SD 0.3 compared with pre-workshop (mean 3.5 SD 0.5; p=0.002. Discussion: Successful BST involves combination of clinical and communication skills. BST model practiced during the workshop may contribute to improved teaching skills in this challenging environment.

  7. Improving Agile Software Practice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tjørnehøj, Gitte

    2006-01-01

    Software process improvement in small and agile organizations is often problematic, but achieving good SPI-assessments can still be necessary to stay in the marked or to meet demands of multinational owners. The traditional norm driven, centralized and control centered improvement approaches has...

  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. A Flipped Classroom Approach to Improving the Quality of Delirium Care Using an Interprofessional Train-the-Trainer Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sockalingam, Sanjeev; James, Sandra-Li; Sinyi, Rebecca; Carroll, Aideen; Laidlaw, Jennifer; Yanofsky, Richard; Sheehan, Kathleen

    2016-01-01

    Given the prevalence and morbidity associated with delirium, there is a need for effective and efficient institutional approaches to delirium training in health care settings. Novel education methods, specifically the "flipped classroom" (FC) and "train-the-trainer" (TTT), have the potential to address these delirium training gaps. This study evaluates the effect of a TTT FC interprofessional delirium training program on participants' perceived ability to manage delirium, delirium knowledge, and clinicians' delirium assessment behaviors. FC Delirium TTT sessions were implemented in a large four-hospital network and consisted of presession online work and a 3-hour in-session component. The 156 TTT interprofessional participants who attended the sessions (ie, trainers) were expected to then deliver delirium training to their patient care units. Delirium care self-efficacy and knowledge test scores were measured before, after, and 6 months after the training session. Clinician delirium assessment rates were measured by chart audits before and 3 months after trainer's implementation of delirium training sessions. Delirium knowledge test scores (7.8 ± 1.6 versus 9.7 ± 1.2, P approach can improve participants' perceived delirium care skills and confidence, and delirium knowledge up to 6 months after the session. This approach provides a model for implementing hospitalwide delirium education that can change delirium assessment behavior while minimizing time and personnel requirements.

  10. Hybrid approach for the assessment of PSA models by means of binary decision diagrams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ibanez-Llano, Cristina; Rauzy, Antoine; Melendez, Enrique; Nieto, Francisco

    2010-01-01

    Binary decision diagrams are a well-known alternative to the minimal cutsets approach to assess the reliability Boolean models. They have been applied successfully to improve the fault trees models assessment. However, its application to solve large models, and in particular the event trees coming from the PSA studies of the nuclear industry, remains to date out of reach of an exact evaluation. For many real PSA models it may be not possible to compute the BDD within reasonable amount of time and memory without considering the truncation or simplification of the model. This paper presents a new approach to estimate the exact probabilistic quantification results (probability/frequency) based on combining the calculation of the MCS and the truncation limits, with the BDD approach, in order to have a better control on the reduction of the model and to properly account for the success branches. The added value of this methodology is that it is possible to ensure a real confidence interval of the exact value and therefore an explicit knowledge of the error bound. Moreover, it can be used to measure the acceptability of the results obtained with traditional techniques. The new method was applied to a real life PSA study and the results obtained confirm the applicability of the methodology and open a new viewpoint for further developments.

  11. Hybrid approach for the assessment of PSA models by means of binary decision diagrams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ibanez-Llano, Cristina, E-mail: cristina.ibanez@iit.upcomillas.e [Instituto de Investigacion Tecnologica (IIT), Escuela Tecnica Superior de Ingenieria ICAI, Universidad Pontificia Comillas, C/Santa Cruz de Marcenado 26, 28015 Madrid (Spain); Rauzy, Antoine, E-mail: Antoine.RAUZY@3ds.co [Dassault Systemes, 10 rue Marcel Dassault CS 40501, 78946 Velizy Villacoublay Cedex (France); Melendez, Enrique, E-mail: ema@csn.e [Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (CSN), C/Justo Dorado 11, 28040 Madrid (Spain); Nieto, Francisco, E-mail: nieto@iit.upcomillas.e [Instituto de Investigacion Tecnologica (IIT), Escuela Tecnica Superior de Ingenieria ICAI, Universidad Pontificia Comillas, C/Santa Cruz de Marcenado 26, 28015 Madrid (Spain)

    2010-10-15

    Binary decision diagrams are a well-known alternative to the minimal cutsets approach to assess the reliability Boolean models. They have been applied successfully to improve the fault trees models assessment. However, its application to solve large models, and in particular the event trees coming from the PSA studies of the nuclear industry, remains to date out of reach of an exact evaluation. For many real PSA models it may be not possible to compute the BDD within reasonable amount of time and memory without considering the truncation or simplification of the model. This paper presents a new approach to estimate the exact probabilistic quantification results (probability/frequency) based on combining the calculation of the MCS and the truncation limits, with the BDD approach, in order to have a better control on the reduction of the model and to properly account for the success branches. The added value of this methodology is that it is possible to ensure a real confidence interval of the exact value and therefore an explicit knowledge of the error bound. Moreover, it can be used to measure the acceptability of the results obtained with traditional techniques. The new method was applied to a real life PSA study and the results obtained confirm the applicability of the methodology and open a new viewpoint for further developments.

  12. Model-driven approach to data collection and reporting for quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curcin, Vasa; Woodcock, Thomas; Poots, Alan J; Majeed, Azeem; Bell, Derek

    2014-12-01

    Continuous data collection and analysis have been shown essential to achieving improvement in healthcare. However, the data required for local improvement initiatives are often not readily available from hospital Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems or not routinely collected. Furthermore, improvement teams are often restricted in time and funding thus requiring inexpensive and rapid tools to support their work. Hence, the informatics challenge in healthcare local improvement initiatives consists of providing a mechanism for rapid modelling of the local domain by non-informatics experts, including performance metric definitions, and grounded in established improvement techniques. We investigate the feasibility of a model-driven software approach to address this challenge, whereby an improvement model designed by a team is used to automatically generate required electronic data collection instruments and reporting tools. To that goal, we have designed a generic Improvement Data Model (IDM) to capture the data items and quality measures relevant to the project, and constructed Web Improvement Support in Healthcare (WISH), a prototype tool that takes user-generated IDM models and creates a data schema, data collection web interfaces, and a set of live reports, based on Statistical Process Control (SPC) for use by improvement teams. The software has been successfully used in over 50 improvement projects, with more than 700 users. We present in detail the experiences of one of those initiatives, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease project in Northwest London hospitals. The specific challenges of improvement in healthcare are analysed and the benefits and limitations of the approach are discussed. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Approaches to improve adherence to pharmacotherapy in patients with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuler, Kimberly M

    2014-01-01

    In patients with schizophrenia, nonadherence to prescribed medications increases the risk of patient relapse and hospitalization, key contributors to the costs associated with treatment. The objectives of this review were to evaluate the impact of nonadherence to pharmacotherapy in patients with schizophrenia as it relates to health care professionals, particularly social workers, and to identify effective team approaches to supporting patients based on studies assessing implementation of assertive community treatment teams. A systematic review of the medical literature was conducted by searching the Scopus database to identify articles associated with treatment adherence in patients with schizophrenia. Articles included were published from January 1, 2003, through July 15, 2013, were written in English, and reported findings concerning any and all aspects of nonadherence to prescribed treatment in patients with schizophrenia. Of 92 unique articles identified and formally screened, 47 met the inclusion criteria for the systematic review. The burden of nonadherence in schizophrenia is significant. Factors with the potential to affect adherence include antipsychotic drug class and formulation, patient-specific factors, and family/social support system. There is inconclusive evidence suggesting superior adherence with an atypical versus typical antipsychotic or with a long-acting injectable versus an oral formulation. Patient-specific factors that contribute to adherence include awareness/denial of illness, cognitive issues, stigma associated with taking medication, substance abuse, access to health care, employment/poverty, and insurance status. Lack of social or family support may adversely affect adherence, necessitating the assistance of health care professionals, such as social workers. Evidence supports the concept that an enhanced team-oriented approach to managing patients with schizophrenia improves adherence and supports corresponding reductions in relapse

  14. Approach to proliferation risk assessment based on multiple objective analysis framework

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrianov, A.; Kuptsov, I. [Obninsk Institute for Nuclear Power Engineering of NNRU MEPhI (Russian Federation); Studgorodok 1, Obninsk, Kaluga region, 249030 (Russian Federation)

    2013-07-01

    The approach to the assessment of proliferation risk using the methods of multi-criteria decision making and multi-objective optimization is presented. The approach allows the taking into account of the specifics features of the national nuclear infrastructure, and possible proliferation strategies (motivations, intentions, and capabilities). 3 examples of applying the approach are shown. First, the approach has been used to evaluate the attractiveness of HEU (high enriched uranium)production scenarios at a clandestine enrichment facility using centrifuge enrichment technology. Secondly, the approach has been applied to assess the attractiveness of scenarios for undeclared production of plutonium or HEU by theft of materials circulating in nuclear fuel cycle facilities and thermal reactors. Thirdly, the approach has been used to perform a comparative analysis of the structures of developing nuclear power systems based on different types of nuclear fuel cycles, the analysis being based on indicators of proliferation risk.

  15. Approach to proliferation risk assessment based on multiple objective analysis framework

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andrianov, A.; Kuptsov, I.

    2013-01-01

    The approach to the assessment of proliferation risk using the methods of multi-criteria decision making and multi-objective optimization is presented. The approach allows the taking into account of the specifics features of the national nuclear infrastructure, and possible proliferation strategies (motivations, intentions, and capabilities). 3 examples of applying the approach are shown. First, the approach has been used to evaluate the attractiveness of HEU (high enriched uranium)production scenarios at a clandestine enrichment facility using centrifuge enrichment technology. Secondly, the approach has been applied to assess the attractiveness of scenarios for undeclared production of plutonium or HEU by theft of materials circulating in nuclear fuel cycle facilities and thermal reactors. Thirdly, the approach has been used to perform a comparative analysis of the structures of developing nuclear power systems based on different types of nuclear fuel cycles, the analysis being based on indicators of proliferation risk

  16. Improving the GIS-DRP Approach by Means of DelineatingRunoff Characteristics with New Discharge Relevant Parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Hümann

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available At present it is common to use geographic information system (GIS applications to assess runoff generation. One of these GIS-based tools to generate maps of dominant runoff processes is the so called GIS-DRP approach. The tool, which has been developed mainly based on agricultural areas, uses commonly available input data like a digital elevation model (DEM, geological information as well as land use information. The aim of this study is to test, validate and improve this GIS-DRP method for forested and silviculture areas. Hence, soil-hydrologic investigations and several mapping techniques of dominant runoff processes were conducted on 25 test-plots in four forested catchments in Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. By comparing the results of the mapping techniques and those of the test plots, weak points in the original GIS-DRP method were detected. Subsequently, it was possible to enhance the GIS-DRP approach by incorporating new discharge relevant parameters like topsoil sealing, extreme weather events and semipermeability of the substratum. Moreover, the improved GIS-DRP approach can be widely used in different landscapes and for different fields of application. The adapted method can now support foresters and decision makers in forestry planning, answer questions concerning the landscape water balance and peripheral water retention or provide extra information for sustainable forest planning in times of a changing climate.

  17. A Life-cycle Approach to Improve the Sustainability of Rural Water Systems in Resource-Limited Countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas Stacey

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available A WHO and UNICEF joint report states that in 2008, 884 million people lacked access to potable drinking water. A life-cycle approach to develop potable water systems may improve the sustainability for such systems, however, a review of the literature shows that such an approach has primarily been used for urban systems located in resourced countries. Although urbanization is increasing globally, over 40 percent of the world’s population is currently rural with many considered poor. In this paper, we present a first step towards using life-cycle assessment to develop sustainable rural water systems in resource-limited countries while pointing out the needs. For example, while there are few differences in costs and environmental impacts for many improved rural water system options, a system that uses groundwater with community standpipes is substantially lower in cost that other alternatives with a somewhat lower environmental inventory. However, a LCA approach shows that from institutional as well as community and managerial perspectives, sustainability includes many other factors besides cost and environment that are a function of the interdependent decision process used across the life cycle of a water system by aid organizations, water user committees, and household users. These factors often present the biggest challenge to designing sustainable rural water systems for resource-limited countries.

  18. An intercomparison of approaches for improving operational seasonal streamflow forecasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Pablo A.; Wood, Andrew W.; Clark, Elizabeth; Rothwell, Eric; Clark, Martyn P.; Nijssen, Bart; Brekke, Levi D.; Arnold, Jeffrey R.

    2017-07-01

    For much of the last century, forecasting centers around the world have offered seasonal streamflow predictions to support water management. Recent work suggests that the two major avenues to advance seasonal predictability are improvements in the estimation of initial hydrologic conditions (IHCs) and the incorporation of climate information. This study investigates the marginal benefits of a variety of methods using IHCs and/or climate information, focusing on seasonal water supply forecasts (WSFs) in five case study watersheds located in the US Pacific Northwest region. We specify two benchmark methods that mimic standard operational approaches - statistical regression against IHCs and model-based ensemble streamflow prediction (ESP) - and then systematically intercompare WSFs across a range of lead times. Additional methods include (i) statistical techniques using climate information either from standard indices or from climate reanalysis variables and (ii) several hybrid/hierarchical approaches harnessing both land surface and climate predictability. In basins where atmospheric teleconnection signals are strong, and when watershed predictability is low, climate information alone provides considerable improvements. For those basins showing weak teleconnections, custom predictors from reanalysis fields were more effective in forecast skill than standard climate indices. ESP predictions tended to have high correlation skill but greater bias compared to other methods, and climate predictors failed to substantially improve these deficiencies within a trace weighting framework. Lower complexity techniques were competitive with more complex methods, and the hierarchical expert regression approach introduced here (hierarchical ensemble streamflow prediction - HESP) provided a robust alternative for skillful and reliable water supply forecasts at all initialization times. Three key findings from this effort are (1) objective approaches supporting methodologically

  19. An Approach for Evaluating the Technical Quality of Interim Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying; Marion, Scott; Perie, Marianne; Gong, Brian

    2010-01-01

    Increasing numbers of schools and districts have expressed interest in interim assessment systems to prepare for summative assessments and to improve teaching and learning. However, with so many commercial interim assessments available, schools and districts are struggling to determine which interim assessment is most appropriate to their needs.…

  20. Structured Assessment Approach: a procedure for the assessment of fuel cycle safeguard systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parziale, A.A.; Patenaude, C.J.; Renard, P.A.; Sacks, I.J.

    1980-01-01

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has developed and tested for the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission a procedure for the evaluation of Material Control and Accounting (MC and A) Systems at Nuclear Fuel Facilities. This procedure, called the Structured Assessment Approach, SAA, subjects the MC and A system at a facility to a series of increasingly sophisticated adversaries and strategies. A fully integrated version of the computer codes which assist the analyst in this assessment was made available in October, 1979. The concepts of the SAA and the results of the assessment of a hypothetical but typical facility are presented

  1. Improving School Improvement: Development and Validation of the CSIS-360, a 360-Degree Feedback Assessment for School Improvement Specialists

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Christie M.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the mixed methods study was to develop and validate the CSIS-360, a 360-degree feedback assessment to measure competencies of school improvement specialists from multiple perspectives. The study consisted of eight practicing school improvement specialists from a variety of settings. The specialists nominated 23 constituents to…

  2. A Fuzzy-FMEA Risk Assessment Approach for Offshore Wind Turbines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Shafiee

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA has been extensively used by wind turbine assembly manufacturers for risk and reliability analysis. However, several limitations are associated with its implementation in offshore windfarms: (i the failure data gathered from SCADA system is often missing or unreliable, and hence, the assessment information of the three risk factors (i.e., severity, occurrence, and fault detection are mainly based onexperts’ knowledge; (ii it is rather difficult for experts to precisely evaluate the risk factors; (iii the relative importance among the risk factors is not taken into consideration, and hence, the results may not necessarily represent the true risk priorities; and etc. To overcome these drawbacks and improve the effectiveness of the traditional FMEA, we develop a fuzzy-FMEA approach for risk and failure mode analysis in offshore wind turbine systems. The information obtained from the experts is expressed using fuzzy linguistics terms, and a grey theory analysis is proposed to incorporate the relative importance of the riskfactors into the determination of risk priority of failure modes. The proposed approach is applied to an offshore wind turbine system with sixteen mechanical, electrical and auxiliary assemblies, and the results are compared with the traditional FMEA.

  3. Margin improvement initiatives: realistic approaches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  4. APPROACHES FOR INCORPORATING NON-CHEMICAL STRESSORS INTO CUMULATIVE RISK ASSESSMENTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Over the past twenty years, the risk assessment paradigm has gradually shifted from an individual chemical approach to a community-based model. Inherent in community-based risk assessment is consideration of the totality of stressors affecting a defined population including both ...

  5. The Reliability of In-Training Assessment when Performance Improvement Is Taken into Account

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lohuizen, Mirjam T.; Kuks, Jan B. M.; van Hell, Elisabeth A.; Raat, A. N.; Stewart, Roy E.; Cohen-Schotanus, Janke

    2010-01-01

    During in-training assessment students are frequently assessed over a longer period of time and therefore it can be expected that their performance will improve. We studied whether there really is a measurable performance improvement when students are assessed over an extended period of time and how this improvement affects the reliability of the…

  6. Improving efficiency and safety in external beam radiation therapy treatment delivery using a Kaizen approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapur, Ajay; Adair, Nilda; O'Brien, Mildred; Naparstek, Nikoleta; Cangelosi, Thomas; Zuvic, Petrina; Joseph, Sherin; Meier, Jason; Bloom, Beatrice; Potters, Louis

    Modern external beam radiation therapy treatment delivery processes potentially increase the number of tasks to be performed by therapists and thus opportunities for errors, yet the need to treat a large number of patients daily requires a balanced allocation of time per treatment slot. The goal of this work was to streamline the underlying workflow in such time-interval constrained processes to enhance both execution efficiency and active safety surveillance using a Kaizen approach. A Kaizen project was initiated by mapping the workflow within each treatment slot for 3 Varian TrueBeam linear accelerators. More than 90 steps were identified, and average execution times for each were measured. The time-consuming steps were stratified into a 2 × 2 matrix arranged by potential workflow improvement versus the level of corrective effort required. A work plan was created to launch initiatives with high potential for workflow improvement but modest effort to implement. Time spent on safety surveillance and average durations of treatment slots were used to assess corresponding workflow improvements. Three initiatives were implemented to mitigate unnecessary therapist motion, overprocessing of data, and wait time for data transfer defects, respectively. A fourth initiative was implemented to make the division of labor by treating therapists as well as peer review more explicit. The average duration of treatment slots reduced by 6.7% in the 9 months following implementation of the initiatives (P = .001). A reduction of 21% in duration of treatment slots was observed on 1 of the machines (P Kaizen approach has the potential to improve operational efficiency and safety with quick turnaround in radiation therapy practice by addressing non-value-adding steps characteristic of individual department workflows. Higher effort opportunities are identified to guide continual downstream quality improvements. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Radiation Oncology. Published by

  7. Taking Multiple Exposure Into Account Can Improve Assessment of Chemical Risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clerc, Frédéric; Bertrand, Nicolas Jean Hyacinthe; La Rocca, Bénédicte

    2017-12-15

    During work, operators may be exposed to several chemicals simultaneously. Most exposure assessment approaches only determine exposure levels for each substance individually. However, such individual-substance approaches may not correctly estimate the toxicity of 'cocktails' of chemicals, as the toxicity of a cocktail may differ from the toxicity of substances on their own. This study presents an approach that can better take into account multiple exposure when assessing chemical risks. Almost 30000 work situations, monitored between 2005 and 2014 and recorded in two French databases, were analysed using MiXie software. The algorithms employed in MiXie can identify toxicological classes associated with several substances, based on the additivity of the selected effects of each substance. The results of our retrospective analysis show that MiXie was able to identify almost 20% more potentially hazardous situations than identified using a single-substance approach. It therefore appears essential to review the ways in which multiple exposure is taken into account during risk assessment. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.

  8. From Physical Process to Economic Cost - Integrated Approaches of Landslide Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klose, M.; Damm, B.

    2014-12-01

    The nature of landslides is complex in many respects, with landslide hazard and impact being dependent on a variety of factors. This obviously requires an integrated assessment for fundamental understanding of landslide risk. Integrated risk assessment, according to the approach presented in this contribution, implies combining prediction of future landslide occurrence with analysis of landslide impact in the past. A critical step for assessing landslide risk in integrated perspective is to analyze what types of landslide damage affected people and property in which way and how people contributed and responded to these damage types. In integrated risk assessment, the focus is on systematic identification and monetization of landslide damage, and analytical tools that allow deriving economic costs from physical landslide processes are at the heart of this approach. The broad spectrum of landslide types and process mechanisms as well as nonlinearity between landslide magnitude, damage intensity, and direct costs are some main factors explaining recent challenges in risk assessment. The two prevailing approaches for assessing the impact of landslides in economic terms are cost survey (ex-post) and risk analysis (ex-ante). Both approaches are able to complement each other, but yet a combination of them has not been realized so far. It is common practice today to derive landslide risk without considering landslide process-based cause-effect relationships, since integrated concepts or new modeling tools expanding conventional methods are still widely missing. The approach introduced in this contribution is based on a systematic framework that combines cost survey and GIS-based tools for hazard or cost modeling with methods to assess interactions between land use practices and landslides in historical perspective. Fundamental understanding of landslide risk also requires knowledge about the economic and fiscal relevance of landslide losses, wherefore analysis of their

  9. Improved regional-scale Brazilian cropping systems' mapping based on a semi-automatic object-based clustering approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellón, Beatriz; Bégué, Agnès; Lo Seen, Danny; Lebourgeois, Valentine; Evangelista, Balbino Antônio; Simões, Margareth; Demonte Ferraz, Rodrigo Peçanha

    2018-06-01

    Cropping systems' maps at fine scale over large areas provide key information for further agricultural production and environmental impact assessments, and thus represent a valuable tool for effective land-use planning. There is, therefore, a growing interest in mapping cropping systems in an operational manner over large areas, and remote sensing approaches based on vegetation index time series analysis have proven to be an efficient tool. However, supervised pixel-based approaches are commonly adopted, requiring resource consuming field campaigns to gather training data. In this paper, we present a new object-based unsupervised classification approach tested on an annual MODIS 16-day composite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index time series and a Landsat 8 mosaic of the State of Tocantins, Brazil, for the 2014-2015 growing season. Two variants of the approach are compared: an hyperclustering approach, and a landscape-clustering approach involving a previous stratification of the study area into landscape units on which the clustering is then performed. The main cropping systems of Tocantins, characterized by the crop types and cropping patterns, were efficiently mapped with the landscape-clustering approach. Results show that stratification prior to clustering significantly improves the classification accuracies for underrepresented and sparsely distributed cropping systems. This study illustrates the potential of unsupervised classification for large area cropping systems' mapping and contributes to the development of generic tools for supporting large-scale agricultural monitoring across regions.

  10. Learning Assessment in physical education: the relationship between assessment practices of teachers and learning approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Vinicio Gutiérrez

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available This article shows the result of an investigation that studied teachers’ assessment practices in Physical Education in public schools from Suba in Bogota and the relationship between these practices with both superfluous and superficial learning approaches. It is organized into two sections; the first presents a classification of the evaluation practices, and the second establishes the relationship between these practices with the superficial and profound learning approaches. This article nourishes itself from a mixed-method research approach wherein the sample consisted of 68 teachers from whom data was collected using a survey. This data was then analyzed using the statistical software R. The results show the object, the purpose, procedures and ways in which teachers develop their assessment practice in physical education, and as well show a trend towards promoting meaningful and profound learning.

  11. Independent assessment to continue improvement: Implementing statistical process control at the Hanford Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, T.A.; Lo, J.C.

    1994-11-01

    A Quality Assurance independent assessment has brought about continued improvement in the PUREX Plant surveillance program at the Department of Energy's Hanford Site. After the independent assessment, Quality Assurance personnel were closely involved in improving the surveillance program, specifically regarding storage tank monitoring. The independent assessment activities included reviewing procedures, analyzing surveillance data, conducting personnel interviews, and communicating with management. Process improvement efforts included: (1) designing data collection methods; (2) gaining concurrence between engineering and management, (3) revising procedures; and (4) interfacing with shift surveillance crews. Through this process, Statistical Process Control (SPC) was successfully implemented and surveillance management was improved. The independent assessment identified several deficiencies within the surveillance system. These deficiencies can be grouped into two areas: (1) data recording and analysis and (2) handling off-normal conditions. By using several independent assessment techniques, Quality Assurance was able to point out program weakness to senior management and present suggestions for improvements. SPC charting, as implemented by Quality Assurance, is an excellent tool for diagnosing the process, improving communication between the team members, and providing a scientific database for management decisions. In addition, the surveillance procedure was substantially revised. The goals of this revision were to (1) strengthen the role of surveillance management, engineering and operators and (2) emphasize the importance of teamwork for each individual who performs a task. In this instance we believe that the value independent assessment adds to the system is the continuous improvement activities that follow the independent assessment. Excellence in teamwork between the independent assessment organization and the auditee is the key to continuing improvement

  12. A quality approach for conducting training needs assessments in the Ministry of Health, State of Bahrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin, S; al-Darazi, F

    2000-01-01

    In health care organizations around the world, Training Needs Assessments (TNAs) have generally followed a professions-based approach. For example, the training needs of doctors, nurses, each allied health profession, and distinct support staff have been analyzed separately--individualized TNAs conducted for each speciality and functional area. Although a professions-based TNA model can provide useful information to human resource development (HRD) professionals, there are two major drawbacks: (1) it is possible that important training needs might be overlooked because of lack of information sharing among professions and (2) such an approach does not encourage an interdisciplinary, team orientation to service provision. This paper proposes an improved method of conceptualizing TNAs, using an approach that builds on the quality management literature (TQM, CQI, etc.) which stresses the importance of customer- and service-orientations to organizing and measuring organizational and individual performance.

  13. 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.

  14. The improvement of approaches to assessment of the financial condition of economic entities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Senko A.E.

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available according to the author, the lack of unified approaches to the calculation of financial indicators, the multiple interpretations of their meanings ​​and the imperfection of information support of financial analysis hamper the effectiveness of economic entities operating under market principles. The existing approach to determining the financial condition of an enterprise does not always give the required qualitative result of an evaluation of its financial and economic activities. While analyzing the financial status of economic entities, it would be useful to take into account their industry particularities, size and organizational structure, development strategy and competitiveness in the market for goods and services.

  15. Groundwater quality assessment of one former industrial site in Belgium using a TRIAD-like approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crevecoeur, Sophie; Debacker, Virginie; Joaquim-Justo, Celia; Gobert, Sylvie; Scippo, Marie-Louise; Dejonghe, Winnie; Martin, Patrick; Thome, Jean-Pierre

    2011-01-01

    Contaminated industrial sites are important sources of pollution and may result in ecotoxicological effects on terrestrial, aquatic and groundwater ecosystems. An effect-based approach to evaluate and assess pollution-induced degradation due to contaminated groundwater was carried out in this study. The new concept, referred to as 'Groundwater Quality TRIAD-like' (GwQT) approach, is adapted from classical TRIAD approaches. GwQT is based on measurements of chemical concentrations, laboratory toxicity tests and physico-chemical analyses. These components are combined in the GwQT using qualitative and quantitative (using zero to one subindices) integration approaches. The TRIAD approach is applied for the first time on groundwater from one former industrial site located in Belgium. This approach will allow the classification of sites into categories according to the degree of contaminant-induced degradation. This new concept is a starting point for groundwater characterization and is open for improvement and adjustment. - Highlights: → This study presents the first application of the TRIAD approach on groundwater system. → Groundwater Quality TRIAD-like approach is based on measurements of chemical concentrations, laboratory toxicity tests and physico-chemical analyses. → None of the three TRIAD components could reliably predict the other one. - This study presents the first application of the TRIAD approach on groundwater system. None of the TRIAD components (chemistry, physico-chemistry and ecotoxicity) could reliably predict the other one.

  16. Different Reliability Assessment Approaches for Wave Energy Converters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ambühl, Simon; Kramer, Morten Mejlhede; Sørensen, John Dalsgaard

    2015-01-01

    Reliability assessments are of importance for wave energy converters (WECs) due to the fact that accessibility might be limited in case of failure and maintenance. These failure rates can be adapted by reliability considerations. There are two different approaches to how reliability can...

  17. A multi-objective approach to improve SWAT model calibration in alpine catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuo, Ye; Marcolini, Giorgia; Disse, Markus; Chiogna, Gabriele

    2018-04-01

    Multi-objective hydrological model calibration can represent a valuable solution to reduce model equifinality and parameter uncertainty. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model is widely applied to investigate water quality and water management issues in alpine catchments. However, the model calibration is generally based on discharge records only, and most of the previous studies have defined a unique set of snow parameters for an entire basin. Only a few studies have considered snow observations to validate model results or have taken into account the possible variability of snow parameters for different subbasins. This work presents and compares three possible calibration approaches. The first two procedures are single-objective calibration procedures, for which all parameters of the SWAT model were calibrated according to river discharge alone. Procedures I and II differ from each other by the assumption used to define snow parameters: The first approach assigned a unique set of snow parameters to the entire basin, whereas the second approach assigned different subbasin-specific sets of snow parameters to each subbasin. The third procedure is a multi-objective calibration, in which we considered snow water equivalent (SWE) information at two different spatial scales (i.e. subbasin and elevation band), in addition to discharge measurements. We tested these approaches in the Upper Adige river basin where a dense network of snow depth measurement stations is available. Only the set of parameters obtained with this multi-objective procedure provided an acceptable prediction of both river discharge and SWE. These findings offer the large community of SWAT users a strategy to improve SWAT modeling in alpine catchments.

  18. Soil Health Assessment Approaches and the Cornell Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Es, Harold

    2016-04-01

    Soil health constraints beyond nutrient limitations and excesses currently limit agroecosystem productivity and sustainability, resilience to drought and extreme rainfall, and progress in soil and water conservation. With mounting pressure to produce food, feed, fiber, and even fuel for an increasing population, the concept of soil health is gaining national and international attention. Multiple regional, national, and global efforts are now leveraging that work to reach new stakeholder audiences, so that soil health management is expanding into mainstream agriculture. Each grower is generally faced with a unique situation in the choice of management options to address soil health constraints and each system affords its own set of opportunities or limitations to soil management. A more comprehensive understanding of soil health status can better guide farmers' management decisions. Until recently, there has not been a formalized decision making process for implementing a soil health management system that alleviates field-specific constrains identified through standard measurements and then maintains improved soil health. This presentation will discuss current US-based efforts related to soil health assessment, including efforts to build national consensus on appropriate methods for simple (inexpensive) and comprehensive tests. This includes the Cornell Soil Health Management Planning and Implementation Framework. The most relevant components of the framework are 1) measurement of indicators that represent critical soil processes, 2) scoring of measured values that allows for interpretation, and 3) linkage of identified constraints with management practices. Land managers can monitor changes over time through further assessment, and adapt management practices to achieve chosen goals. We will discuss the full tests and approaches for simplification.

  19. Improving the use of crop models for risk assessment and climate change adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Challinor, Andrew J; Müller, Christoph; Asseng, Senthold; Deva, Chetan; Nicklin, Kathryn Jane; Wallach, Daniel; Vanuytrecht, Eline; Whitfield, Stephen; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Koehler, Ann-Kristin

    2018-01-01

    Crop models are used for an increasingly broad range of applications, with a commensurate proliferation of methods. Careful framing of research questions and development of targeted and appropriate methods are therefore increasingly important. In conjunction with the other authors in this special issue, we have developed a set of criteria for use of crop models in assessments of impacts, adaptation and risk. Our analysis drew on the other papers in this special issue, and on our experience in the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 and the MACSUR, AgMIP and ISIMIP projects. The criteria were used to assess how improvements could be made to the framing of climate change risks, and to outline the good practice and new developments that are needed to improve risk assessment. Key areas of good practice include: i. the development, running and documentation of crop models, with attention given to issues of spatial scale and complexity; ii. the methods used to form crop-climate ensembles, which can be based on model skill and/or spread; iii. the methods used to assess adaptation, which need broadening to account for technological development and to reflect the full range options available. The analysis highlights the limitations of focussing only on projections of future impacts and adaptation options using pre-determined time slices. Whilst this long-standing approach may remain an essential component of risk assessments, we identify three further key components: 1.Working with stakeholders to identify the timing of risks. What are the key vulnerabilities of food systems and what does crop-climate modelling tell us about when those systems are at risk?2.Use of multiple methods that critically assess the use of climate model output and avoid any presumption that analyses should begin and end with gridded output.3.Increasing transparency and inter-comparability in risk assessments. Whilst studies frequently produce ranges that quantify uncertainty, the assumptions

  20. Improving content marketing processes with the approaches by artificial intelligence

    OpenAIRE

    Kose, Utku; Sert, Selcuk

    2017-01-01

    Content marketing is todays one of the most remarkable approaches in the context of marketing processes of companies. Value of this kind of marketing has improved in time, thanks to the latest developments regarding to computer and communication technologies. Nowadays, especially social media based platforms have a great importance on enabling companies to design multimedia oriented, interactive content. But on the other hand, there is still something more to do for improved content marketing...

  1. Cognitive Training among Cognitively-Impaired Older Adults: A Feasibility Study Assessing the Potential Improvement in Balance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renae L Smith-Ray

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Emerging literature suggests that mobility and cognition are linked. Epidemiological data support a negative association between cognition and falls among cognitively intact older adults. A small number of intervention studies found that regimented cognitive training (CT improves mobility among this population, suggesting that CT may be an under-explored approach toward reducing falls. To date, no studies have examined the impact of CT on balance among those who are cognitively impaired. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of implementing a CT program among cognitively impaired older adults and examine whether there are potential improvements in balance following CT.Method: A single group repeated measures design was used to identify change in balance, depressive symptoms, and global cognition. A mixed method approach was employed to evaluate the feasibility of a CT intervention among a cohort of cognitively impaired older adults. CT was delivered in a group 2 days/week over 10 weeks using an online brain exercise program, Posit Science Brain HQ (20 hours. All participants completed a one-on-one data collection interview at baseline and post-program. Results: Participants (N=20 were on average 80.5 years old and had mild to moderate cognitive impairment. Following the 10-week cognitive training intervention, mean scores on 4 of the 5 balance measures improved among CT participants. Although none of the balance improvements reached significance, these findings are promising given the small sample size. Depressive symptoms significantly improved between baseline and 10 weeks (p=0.021. Mean global cognition also improved across the study period, but neither of these improvements were statistically significant. Based on participant responses, the CT program was feasible for this population.Conclusion: This study provides support for the feasibility of implementing a CT program among cognitively-impaired older adults

  2. Applying a developmental approach to quality of life assessment in children and adolescents with psychological disorders: challenges and guidelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carona, Carlos; Silva, Neuza; Moreira, Helena

    2015-02-01

    Research on the quality of life (QL) of children/adolescents with psychological disorders has flourished over the last few decades. Given the developmental challenges of QL measurements in pediatric populations, the aim of this study was to ascertain the extent to which a developmental approach to QL assessment has been applied to pedopsychiatric QL research. A systematic literature search was conducted in three electronic databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, SocINDEX) from 1994 to May 2014. Quantitative studies were included if they assessed the self- or proxy-reported QL of children/adolescents with a psychological disorder. Data were extracted for study design, participants, QL instruments and informants, and statistical approach to age-related specificities. The systematic review revealed widespread utilization of developmentally appropriate QL instruments but less frequent use of both self and proxy reports and an inconsistent approach to age group specificities. Methodological guidelines are discussed to improve the developmental validity of QL research for children/adolescents with mental disorders.

  3. Tropical forest carbon assessment: integrating satellite and airborne mapping approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asner, Gregory P

    2009-01-01

    Large-scale carbon mapping is needed to support the UNFCCC program to reduce deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Managers of forested land can potentially increase their carbon credits via detailed monitoring of forest cover, loss and gain (hectares), and periodic estimates of changes in forest carbon density (tons ha -1 ). Satellites provide an opportunity to monitor changes in forest carbon caused by deforestation and degradation, but only after initial carbon densities have been assessed. New airborne approaches, especially light detection and ranging (LiDAR), provide a means to estimate forest carbon density over large areas, which greatly assists in the development of practical baselines. Here I present an integrated satellite-airborne mapping approach that supports high-resolution carbon stock assessment and monitoring in tropical forest regions. The approach yields a spatially resolved, regional state-of-the-forest carbon baseline, followed by high-resolution monitoring of forest cover and disturbance to estimate carbon emissions. Rapid advances and decreasing costs in the satellite and airborne mapping sectors are already making high-resolution carbon stock and emissions assessments viable anywhere in the world.

  4. Repeated scenario simulation to improve competency in critical care: a new approach for nursing education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Yukie; Kawahara, Chikako; Yamashina, Akira; Tsuboi, Ryoji

    2013-01-01

    In Japan, nursing education is being reformed to improve nurses' competency. Interest in use of simulation-based education to increase nurses' competency is increasing. To examine the effectiveness of simulation-based education in improving competency of cardiovascular critical care nurses. A training program that consisted of lectures, training in cardiovascular procedures, and scenario simulations was conducted with 24 Japanese nurses working at a university hospital. Participants were allocated to 4 groups, each of which visited 4 zones and underwent scenario simulations that included debriefings during and after the simulations. In each zone, the scenario simulation was repeated and participants assessed their own technical skills by scoring their performance on a rubric. Before and after the simulations, participants also completed a survey that used the Teamwork Activity Inventory in Nursing Scale (TAINS) to assess their nontechnical skills. All the groups showed increased rubric scores after the second simulation compared with the rubric scores obtained after the first simulation, despite differences in the order in which the scenarios were presented. Furthermore, the survey revealed significant increases in scores on the teamwork scale for the following subscale items: "Attitudes of the superior" (P Job satisfaction" (P = .01), and "Confidence as a team member" (P = .004). Our new educational approach of using repeated scenario simulations and TAINS seemed not only to enhance individual nurses' technical skills in critical care nursing but also to improve their nontechnical skills somewhat.

  5. Improvement of safety approach for accident during operation of LILW disposal facility: Application for operational safety assessment of the near-surface LILW disposal facility in Korea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Hyun Joo; Kim, Min Seong; Park, Jin Beak [Korea Radioactive Waste Agency, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2017-06-15

    To evaluate radiological impact from the operation of a low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste disposal facility, a logical presentation and explanation of expected accidental scenarios is essential to the stakeholders of the disposal facility. The logical assessment platform and procedure, including analysis of the safety function of disposal components, operational hazard analysis, operational risk analysis, and preparedness of remedial measures for operational safety, are improved in this study. In the operational risk analysis, both design measures and management measures are suggested to make it possible to connect among design, operation, and safety assessment within the same assessment platform. For the preparedness of logical assessment procedure, classifcation logic of an operational accident is suggested based on the probability of occurrence and consequences of assessment results. The improved assessment platform and procedure are applied to an operational accident analysis of the Korean low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste disposal facility and partly presented in this paper.

  6. Improvement of safety approach for accident during operation of LILW disposal facility: Application for operational safety assessment of the near-surface LILW disposal facility in Korea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Hyun Joo; Kim, Min Seong; Park, Jin Beak

    2017-01-01

    To evaluate radiological impact from the operation of a low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste disposal facility, a logical presentation and explanation of expected accidental scenarios is essential to the stakeholders of the disposal facility. The logical assessment platform and procedure, including analysis of the safety function of disposal components, operational hazard analysis, operational risk analysis, and preparedness of remedial measures for operational safety, are improved in this study. In the operational risk analysis, both design measures and management measures are suggested to make it possible to connect among design, operation, and safety assessment within the same assessment platform. For the preparedness of logical assessment procedure, classifcation logic of an operational accident is suggested based on the probability of occurrence and consequences of assessment results. The improved assessment platform and procedure are applied to an operational accident analysis of the Korean low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste disposal facility and partly presented in this paper

  7. An improved fuzzy synthetic condition assessment of a wind turbine generator system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, H.; Hu, Y. G.; Yang, Chao

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents an improved fuzzy synthetic model that is based on a real-time condition assessment method of a grid-connected wind turbine generator system (WTGS) to improve the operational reliability and optimize the maintenance strategy. First, a condition assessment framework is proposed...... by analyzing the monitoring data of the WTGS. An improved fuzzy synthetic condition assessment method is then proposed that utilizes the concepts of deterioration degree, dynamic limited values and variable weight calculations of the assessment indices. Finally, by using on-line monitoring data of an actual...... 850 kW WTGS, real-time condition assessments are performed that utilize the proposed fuzzy synthetic method; the model’s effectiveness is also compared to a traditional fuzzy assessment method in which constant limited values and constant weights are adopted. The results show that the condition...

  8. Human exposure assessment: Approaches for chemicals (REACH) and biocides (BPD)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hemmen, J.J. van; Gerritsen-Ebben, R.

    2008-01-01

    The approaches that are indicated in the various guidance documents for the assessment of human exposure for chemicals and biocides are summarised. This reflects the TNsG (Technical notes for Guidance) version 2: human exposure assessment for biocidal products (1) under the BPD (Biocidal Products

  9. Improvement in rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease management and prevention using a health centre-based continuous quality improvement approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ralph, Anna P; Fittock, Marea; Schultz, Rosalie; Thompson, Dale; Dowden, Michelle; Clemens, Tom; Parnaby, Matthew G; Clark, Michele; McDonald, Malcolm I; Edwards, Keith N; Carapetis, Jonathan R; Bailie, Ross S

    2013-12-18

    Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) remains a major health concern for Aboriginal Australians. A key component of RHD control is prevention of recurrent acute rheumatic fever (ARF) using long-term secondary prophylaxis with intramuscular benzathine penicillin (BPG). This is the most important and cost-effective step in RHD control. However, there are significant challenges to effective implementation of secondary prophylaxis programs. This project aimed to increase understanding and improve quality of RHD care through development and implementation of a continuous quality improvement (CQI) strategy. We used a CQI strategy to promote implementation of national best-practice ARF/RHD management guidelines at primary health care level in Indigenous communities of the Northern Territory (NT), Australia, 2008-2010. Participatory action research methods were employed to identify system barriers to delivery of high quality care. This entailed facilitated discussion with primary care staff aided by a system assessment tool (SAT). Participants were encouraged to develop and implement strategies to overcome identified barriers, including better record-keeping, triage systems and strategies for patient follow-up. To assess performance, clinical records were audited at baseline, then annually for two years. Key performance indicators included proportion of people receiving adequate secondary prophylaxis (≥80% of scheduled 4-weekly penicillin injections) and quality of documentation. Six health centres participated, servicing approximately 154 people with ARF/RHD. Improvements occurred in indicators of service delivery including proportion of people receiving ≥40% of their scheduled BPG (increasing from 81/116 [70%] at baseline to 84/103 [82%] in year three, p = 0.04), proportion of people reviewed by a doctor within the past two years (112/154 [73%] and 134/156 [86%], p = 0.003), and proportion of people who received influenza vaccination (57/154 [37%] to 86/156 [55%], p

  10. Utilizing a disease management approach to improve ESRD patient outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anand, Shaan; Nissenson, Allen R

    2002-01-01

    In this era of processes and systems to improve quality, disease management is one methodology to improve care delivery and outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). In most disease management systems a senior renal nurse coordinates all aspects of the patient's care and ensures that the prescribed and necessary care is delivered for both CKD-related and comorbid conditions. The nurse also continually monitors outcomes on quality indicators and key performance measures. These outcome data are then aggregated and analyzed, are compared with local and national benchmarks, and drive the continuous quality improvement (CQI) process. Such a system attempts to centralize the currently fragmented care delivery system, continually improve patient outcomes, and conserve scarce economic resources. Early data suggest a disease management approach may improve both the morbidity and mortality of CKD patients.

  11. Improving Baseline Model Assumptions: Evaluating the Impacts of Typical Methodological Approaches in Watershed Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muenich, R. L.; Kalcic, M. M.; Teshager, A. D.; Long, C. M.; Wang, Y. C.; Scavia, D.

    2017-12-01

    Thanks to the availability of open-source software, online tutorials, and advanced software capabilities, watershed modeling has expanded its user-base and applications significantly in the past thirty years. Even complicated models like the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) are being used and documented in hundreds of peer-reviewed publications each year, and likely more applied in practice. These models can help improve our understanding of present, past, and future conditions, or analyze important "what-if" management scenarios. However, baseline data and methods are often adopted and applied without rigorous testing. In multiple collaborative projects, we have evaluated the influence of some of these common approaches on model results. Specifically, we examined impacts of baseline data and assumptions involved in manure application, combined sewer overflows, and climate data incorporation across multiple watersheds in the Western Lake Erie Basin. In these efforts, we seek to understand the impact of using typical modeling data and assumptions, versus using improved data and enhanced assumptions on model outcomes and thus ultimately, study conclusions. We provide guidance for modelers as they adopt and apply data and models for their specific study region. While it is difficult to quantitatively assess the full uncertainty surrounding model input data and assumptions, recognizing the impacts of model input choices is important when considering actions at the both the field and watershed scales.

  12. A participatory and integrative approach to improve productivity and ergonomics in assembly

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Looze, M.P. de; Rhijn, J.W. van; Deursen, J. van; Tuinzaad, G.H.; Reijneveld, C.N.

    2003-01-01

    A participatory and integrative approach was applied to improve the productivity and ergonomics of the assembly lines in two factories, producing magnetic stop valves and office furniture, respectively. Main elements of the approach are the active participation of the company and the integration of

  13. A systematic assessment of normalization approaches for the Infinium 450K methylation platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Michael C; Joubert, Bonnie R; Kuan, Pei-fen; Håberg, Siri E; Nystad, Wenche; Peddada, Shyamal D; London, Stephanie J

    2014-02-01

    The Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip has emerged as one of the most popular platforms for genome wide profiling of DNA methylation. While the technology is wide-spread, systematic technical biases are believed to be present in the data. For example, this array incorporates two different chemical assays, i.e., Type I and Type II probes, which exhibit different technical characteristics and potentially complicate the computational and statistical analysis. Several normalization methods have been introduced recently to adjust for possible biases. However, there is considerable debate within the field on which normalization procedure should be used and indeed whether normalization is even necessary. Yet despite the importance of the question, there has been little comprehensive comparison of normalization methods. We sought to systematically compare several popular normalization approaches using the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) methylation data set and the technical replicates analyzed with it as a case study. We assessed both the reproducibility between technical replicates following normalization and the effect of normalization on association analysis. Results indicate that the raw data are already highly reproducible, some normalization approaches can slightly improve reproducibility, but other normalization approaches may introduce more variability into the data. Results also suggest that differences in association analysis after applying different normalizations are not large when the signal is strong, but when the signal is more modest, different normalizations can yield very different numbers of findings that meet a weaker statistical significance threshold. Overall, our work provides useful, objective assessment of the effectiveness of key normalization methods.

  14. The relationship between students’ perceptions of portfolio assessment practice and their approaches to learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Segers, M.S.R.; Gijbels, D.; Thurlings, M.C.G.

    2008-01-01

    This study focuses on students’ learning approaches in the context of a competency-based program on Applied Sciences, with portfolio assessment as its core mode of assessment. The study examines students’ perceptions of these assessment practices and the relationships to their learning approaches.

  15. Meeting the Imperative to Improve Physician Well-being: Assessment of an Innovative Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnetz, Bengt B.; Christensen, John F.; Homer, Louis

    2007-01-01

    BACKGROUND Improving physician health and performance is critical to successfully meet the challenges facing health systems that increasingly emphasize productivity. Assessing long-term efficacy and sustainability of programs aimed at enhancing physician and organizational well-being is imperative. OBJECTIVE To determine whether data-guided interventions and a systematic improvement process to enhance physician work-life balance and organizational efficacy can improve physician and organizational well-being. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS From 2000 to 2005, 22–32 physicians regularly completed 3 questionnaires coded for privacy. Results were anonymously reported to physicians and the organization. Data-guided interventions to enhance physician and organizational well-being were built on physician control over the work environment, order in the clinical setting, and clinical meaning. MEASUREMENTS Questionnaires included an ACP/ASIM survey on physician satisfaction, the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and the Quality Work Competence (QWC) survey. RESULTS Emotional and work-related exhaustion decreased significantly over the study period (MBI, p = 0.002; QWC, p = 0.035). QWC measures of organizational health significantly improved initially and remained acceptable and stable during the rest of the study. CONCLUSIONS A data-guided program on physician well-being, using validated instruments and process improvement methods, enhanced physician and organizational well-being. Given the increases in physician burnout, organizations are encouraged to urgently create individual and systems approaches to lessen burnout risk. PMID:17891503

  16. Investigation of the sequential validity of quality improvement team ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Self-assessment is widely used in the health care improvement collaboratives quality improvement (QI) teams' to assess their own performance. There is mixed evidence on the validity of this approach. This study investigated sequential validity of self-assessments in a QI HIV collaborative in Tanzania.

  17. Integrated Approach Towards the Application of Horizontal Wells to Improve Waterflooding Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelkar, Mohan; Liner, Chris; Kerr, Dennis

    1999-10-15

    This final report describes the progress during the six year of the project on ''Integrated Approach Towards the Application of Horizontal Wells to Improve Waterflooding Performance.'' This report is funded under the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Class I program which is targeted towards improving the reservoir performance of mature oil fields located in fluvially-dominated deltaic deposits. The project involves using an integrated approach to characterize the reservoir followed by drilling of horizontal injection wells to improve production performance. The project was divided into two budget periods. In the first budget period, many modern technologies were used to develop a detailed reservoir management plan; whereas, in the second budget period, conventional data was used to develop a reservoir management plan. The idea was to determine the cost effectiveness of various technologies in improving the performance of mature oil fields.

  18. Critical analysis of frameworks and approaches to assess the environmental risks of nanomaterials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grieger, Khara Deanne; Linkov, Igor; Hansen, Steffen Foss

    and approaches which have been developed or proposed by large organizations or regulatory bodies for NM. These frameworks and approaches were evaluated and assessed based on a select number of criteria which have been previously proposed as important parameters for inclusion in successful risk assessment......7.1.7 Critical analysis of frameworks and approaches to assess the environmental risks of nanomaterials Khara D. Grieger1, Igor Linkov2, Steffen Foss Hansen1, Anders Baun1 1Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark 2Environmental Laboratory, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Brookline, USA...... Email: kdg@env.dtu.dk Scientists, organizations, governments, and policy-makers are currently involved in reviewing, adapting, and formulating risk assessment frameworks and strategies to understand and assess the potential environmental risks of engineered nanomaterials (NM). It is becoming...

  19. A system approach for reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing and sustainability improvement of nano-scale manufacturing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Yingchun

    the schematic method is validated by comparing its benchmark results on 104 chemicals with that from the conventional Human Toxicity Potential (HTP) method. This dissertation concludes with discussions on environmental impact assessment of nanotechnologies and sustainability management of nano-particles. As nano-manufacturing is emerging for wide industrial applications, improvement and expansion of the system approach would be valuable for use in the environmental management of nano-manufacturing and in the risk control of nano-particles in the interests of public health and the environment.

  20. Some approaches to system reliability improvement in engineering design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shen, Kecheng.

    1990-01-01

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

  1. Assessing testamentary and decision-making capacity: Approaches and models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purser, Kelly; Rosenfeld, Tuly

    2015-09-01

    The need for better and more accurate assessments of testamentary and decision-making capacity grows as Australian society ages and incidences of mentally disabling conditions increase. Capacity is a legal determination, but one on which medical opinion is increasingly being sought. The difficulties inherent within capacity assessments are exacerbated by the ad hoc approaches adopted by legal and medical professionals based on individual knowledge and skill, as well as the numerous assessment paradigms that exist. This can negatively affect the quality of assessments, and results in confusion as to the best way to assess capacity. This article begins by assessing the nature of capacity. The most common general assessment models used in Australia are then discussed, as are the practical challenges associated with capacity assessment. The article concludes by suggesting a way forward to satisfactorily assess legal capacity given the significant ramifications of getting it wrong.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alik Abakarov

    2013-04-01

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

  3. Quality assessment of Isfahan Medical Faculty web site electronic services and prioritizing solutions using analytic hierarchy process approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajrahimi, Nafiseh; Dehaghani, Sayed Mehdi Hejazi; Hajrahimi, Nargess; Sarmadi, Sima

    2014-01-01

    Context: Implementing information technology in the best possible way can bring many advantages such as applying electronic services and facilitating tasks. Therefore, assessment of service providing systems is a way to improve the quality and elevate these systems including e-commerce, e-government, e-banking, and e-learning. Aims: This study was aimed to evaluate the electronic services in the website of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in order to propose solutions to improve them. Furthermore, we aim to rank the solutions based on the factors that enhance the quality of electronic services by using analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method. Materials and Methods: Non-parametric test was used to assess the quality of electronic services. The assessment of propositions was based on Aqual model and they were prioritized using AHP approach. The AHP approach was used because it directly applies experts’ deductions in the model, and lead to more objective results in the analysis and prioritizing the risks. After evaluating the quality of the electronic services, a multi-criteria decision making frame-work was used to prioritize the proposed solutions. Statistical Analysis Used: Non-parametric tests and AHP approach using Expert Choice software. Results: The results showed that students were satisfied in most of the indicators. Only a few indicators received low satisfaction from students including, design attractiveness, the amount of explanation and details of information, honesty and responsiveness of authorities, and the role of e-services in the user's relationship with university. After interviewing with Information and Communications Technology (ICT) experts at the university, measurement criteria, and solutions to improve the quality were collected. The best solutions were selected by EC software. According to the results, the solution “controlling and improving the process in handling users complaints” is of the utmost importance and authorities

  4. A defence in depth approach to safety assessment of existing nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Butcher, P.; Holloway, N.J.

    1998-01-01

    The safety assessment of plant built to earlier standards requires an approach to prioritisation of upgrades that is based on sound engineering and safety principles. The principles of defence in depth are universally accepted and can form the basis of a prioritisation scheme for safety issues, and hence for the upgrading required to address them. The described scheme includes criteria for acceptability and issue prioritisation that are based on the number of lines of defence and the consequences of their failure. They are thus equivalent in concept to risk criteria, but are based on deterministic principles. This scheme has been applied successfully to the RBMK plant at Ignalina in Lithuania, for which a Western-style Safety Analysis Report has recently been produced and reviewed by joint Western and Eastern teams. An extended Safety Improvement Programme (SIP2) has been developed and agreed, based on prioritisations from the defence in depth assessment. (author)

  5. Using toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic modeling as an acute risk assessment refinement approach in vertebrate ecological risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducrot, Virginie; Ashauer, Roman; Bednarska, Agnieszka J; Hinarejos, Silvia; Thorbek, Pernille; Weyman, Gabriel

    2016-01-01

    Recent guidance identified toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic (TK-TD) modeling as a relevant approach for risk assessment refinement. Yet, its added value compared to other refinement options is not detailed, and how to conduct the modeling appropriately is not explained. This case study addresses these issues through 2 examples of individual-level risk assessment for 2 hypothetical plant protection products: 1) evaluating the risk for small granivorous birds and small omnivorous mammals of a single application, as a seed treatment in winter cereals, and 2) evaluating the risk for fish after a pulsed treatment in the edge-of-field zone. Using acute test data, we conducted the first tier risk assessment as defined in the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidance. When first tier risk assessment highlighted a concern, refinement options were discussed. Cases where the use of models should be preferred over other existing refinement approaches were highlighted. We then practically conducted the risk assessment refinement by using 2 different models as examples. In example 1, a TK model accounting for toxicokinetics and relevant feeding patterns in the skylark and in the wood mouse was used to predict internal doses of the hypothetical active ingredient in individuals, based on relevant feeding patterns in an in-crop situation, and identify the residue levels leading to mortality. In example 2, a TK-TD model accounting for toxicokinetics, toxicodynamics, and relevant exposure patterns in the fathead minnow was used to predict the time-course of fish survival for relevant FOCUS SW exposure scenarios and identify which scenarios might lead to mortality. Models were calibrated using available standard data and implemented to simulate the time-course of internal dose of active ingredient or survival for different exposure scenarios. Simulation results were discussed and used to derive the risk assessment refinement endpoints used for decision. Finally, we compared the

  6. An Improved Saliency Detection Approach for Flying Apsaras in the Dunhuang Grotto Murals, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhong Chen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Saliency can be described as the ability of an item to be detected from its background in any particular scene, and it aims to estimate the probable location of the salient objects. Due to the salient map that computed by local contrast features can extract and highlight the edge parts including painting lines of Flying Apsaras, in this paper, we proposed an improved approach based on a frequency-tuned method for visual saliency detection of Flying Apsaras in the Dunhuang Grotto Murals, China. This improved saliency detection approach comprises three important steps: (1 image color and gray channel decomposition; (2 gray feature value computation and color channel convolution; (3 visual saliency definition based on normalization of previous visual saliency and spatial attention function. Unlike existing approaches that rely on many complex image features, this proposed approach only used local contrast and spatial attention information to simulate human’s visual attention stimuli. This improved approach resulted in a much more efficient salient map in the aspect of computing performance. Furthermore, experimental results on the dataset of Flying Apsaras in the Dunhuang Grotto Murals showed that the proposed visual saliency detection approach is very effective when compared with five other state-of-the-art approaches.

  7. Standard setting and quality of assessment: A conceptual approach ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Quality performance standards and the effect of assessment outcomes are important in the educational milieu, as assessment remains the representative ... not be seen as a methodological process of setting pass/fail cut-off points only, but as a powerful catalyst for quality improvements in HPE by promoting excellence in ...

  8. An intercomparison of approaches for improving operational seasonal streamflow forecasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. Mendoza

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available For much of the last century, forecasting centers around the world have offered seasonal streamflow predictions to support water management. Recent work suggests that the two major avenues to advance seasonal predictability are improvements in the estimation of initial hydrologic conditions (IHCs and the incorporation of climate information. This study investigates the marginal benefits of a variety of methods using IHCs and/or climate information, focusing on seasonal water supply forecasts (WSFs in five case study watersheds located in the US Pacific Northwest region. We specify two benchmark methods that mimic standard operational approaches – statistical regression against IHCs and model-based ensemble streamflow prediction (ESP – and then systematically intercompare WSFs across a range of lead times. Additional methods include (i statistical techniques using climate information either from standard indices or from climate reanalysis variables and (ii several hybrid/hierarchical approaches harnessing both land surface and climate predictability. In basins where atmospheric teleconnection signals are strong, and when watershed predictability is low, climate information alone provides considerable improvements. For those basins showing weak teleconnections, custom predictors from reanalysis fields were more effective in forecast skill than standard climate indices. ESP predictions tended to have high correlation skill but greater bias compared to other methods, and climate predictors failed to substantially improve these deficiencies within a trace weighting framework. Lower complexity techniques were competitive with more complex methods, and the hierarchical expert regression approach introduced here (hierarchical ensemble streamflow prediction – HESP provided a robust alternative for skillful and reliable water supply forecasts at all initialization times. Three key findings from this effort are (1 objective approaches supporting

  9. Drivers of Dashboard Development (3-D): A Curricular Continuous Quality Improvement Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shroyer, A Laurie; Lu, Wei-Hsin; Chandran, Latha

    2016-04-01

    Undergraduate medical education (UME) programs are seeking systematic ways to monitor and manage their educational performance metrics and document their achievement of external goals (e.g., Liaison Committee on Medical Education [LCME] accreditation requirements) and internal objectives (institution-specific metrics). In other continuous quality improvement (CQI) settings, summary dashboard reports have been used to evaluate and improve performance. The Stony Brook University School of Medicine UME leadership team developed and implemented summary dashboard performance reports in 2009 to document LCME standards/criteria compliance, evaluate medical student performance, and identify progress in attaining institutional curricular goals and objectives. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and benchmarks were established and have been routinely monitored as part of the novel Drivers of Dashboard Development (3-D) approach to curricular CQI. The systematic 3-D approach has had positive CQI impacts. Substantial improvements over time have been documented in KPIs including timeliness of clerkship grades, midclerkship feedback, student mistreatment policy awareness, and student satisfaction. Stakeholder feedback indicates that the dashboards have provided useful information guiding data-driven curricular changes, such as integrating clinician-scientists as lecturers in basic science courses to clarify the clinical relevance of specific topics. Gaining stakeholder acceptance of the 3-D approach required clear communication of preestablished targets and annual meetings with department leaders and course/clerkship directors. The 3-D approach may be considered by UME programs as a template for providing faculty and leadership with a CQI framework to establish shared goals, document compliance, report accomplishments, enrich communications, facilitate decisions, and improve performance.

  10. 348 A GIS AND REMOTE SENSING APPROACH TO ASSESSMENT ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Osondu

    A GIS AND REMOTE SENSING APPROACH TO ASSESSMENT OF DEFORESTATION IN ... This study measured and analyzed deforestation in Uyo and examined the possible effects of the ..... the Burkill technique, (1985, 1994, 1995, 1997.

  11. Assessment of nonbackfittable concepts for improving uranium utilization in LWRs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newman, D.F.; Goldsmith, S.; Fleischman, R.M.

    1980-01-01

    Recent efforts to improve uranium utilization in light water reactors (LWRs) have involved backfittable changes to fuel or operations. The Advanced Reactor Design Study sponsored by the US Department of Energy identified and evaluated nonbackfittable LWR concepts to provide a basis for selecting and demonstrating specific improvements that have good implementation potential. Because the application of nonbackfittable concepts necessitates modifications to contemporary reactor designs, it was apparent that the most qualified organizations to assess implementation potential would be LWR designers/vendors. Accordingly, Babcock and Wilcox, Combustion Engineering, and General Electric were the principal participants in selecting, assessing, and evaluating the nonbackfittable concepts included in this study. The results of the industrial assessments of nonbackfittable LWR concepts are shown

  12. 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.

  13. Spatializing Open Data for the Assessment and the Improvement of Territorial and Social Cohesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scorza, F.; Las Casas, G. B.; Murgante, B.

    2016-09-01

    An integrated place-based approach for the improvement of territorial and social cohesion is the new instance for planning disciplines, coming from EU New Cohesion Policies. This paper considers the territorial impact assessment of regional development policies as a precondition in order to develop balanced and effective operative programs at national and regional levels. The contribution of `open data' appears to be mature in order to support this application and in this paper we present a spatial analysis technique for the evaluation of EU funds effects at territorial level, starting from open data by Open Cohesion. The application is focused on internal areas of Basilicata Region: Agri river Valley. A complex contest, where environmental and agricultural traditional vocations conflict with a recent development of oil extraction industries. Conclusions concern further applications and perspectives to improve and support regional development planning considering the exploitation of open data sources and spatial analysis.

  14. Improved airfield damage assessment System (IADAS) capstone

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-01

    that the Air Force Civil Engineer career field is prepared for the future of expeditionary warfare by integrating the latest technology into TTPs...NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA SYSTEMS ENGINEERING CAPSTONE PROJECT REPORT Approved for public release...alternatives for improving the timeliness of airfield damage assessment. The systems engineering methods used included a morphological box and Pugh matrix

  15. The Generalised Ecosystem Modelling Approach in Radiological Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klos, Richard

    2008-03-15

    An independent modelling capability is required by SSI in order to evaluate dose assessments carried out in Sweden by, amongst others, SKB. The main focus is the evaluation of the long-term radiological safety of radioactive waste repositories for both spent fuel and low-level radioactive waste. To meet the requirement for an independent modelling tool for use in biosphere dose assessments, SSI through its modelling team CLIMB commissioned the development of a new model in 2004, a project to produce an integrated model of radionuclides in the landscape. The generalised ecosystem modelling approach (GEMA) is the result. GEMA is a modular system of compartments representing the surface environment. It can be configured, through water and solid material fluxes, to represent local details in the range of ecosystem types found in the past, present and future Swedish landscapes. The approach is generic but fine tuning can be carried out using local details of the surface drainage system. The modular nature of the modelling approach means that GEMA modules can be linked to represent large scale surface drainage features over an extended domain in the landscape. System change can also be managed in GEMA, allowing a flexible and comprehensive model of the evolving landscape to be constructed. Environmental concentrations of radionuclides can be calculated and the GEMA dose pathway model provides a means of evaluating the radiological impact of radionuclide release to the surface environment. This document sets out the philosophy and details of GEMA and illustrates the functioning of the model with a range of examples featuring the recent CLIMB review of SKB's SR-Can assessment

  16. The Generalised Ecosystem Modelling Approach in Radiological Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klos, Richard

    2008-03-01

    An independent modelling capability is required by SSI in order to evaluate dose assessments carried out in Sweden by, amongst others, SKB. The main focus is the evaluation of the long-term radiological safety of radioactive waste repositories for both spent fuel and low-level radioactive waste. To meet the requirement for an independent modelling tool for use in biosphere dose assessments, SSI through its modelling team CLIMB commissioned the development of a new model in 2004, a project to produce an integrated model of radionuclides in the landscape. The generalised ecosystem modelling approach (GEMA) is the result. GEMA is a modular system of compartments representing the surface environment. It can be configured, through water and solid material fluxes, to represent local details in the range of ecosystem types found in the past, present and future Swedish landscapes. The approach is generic but fine tuning can be carried out using local details of the surface drainage system. The modular nature of the modelling approach means that GEMA modules can be linked to represent large scale surface drainage features over an extended domain in the landscape. System change can also be managed in GEMA, allowing a flexible and comprehensive model of the evolving landscape to be constructed. Environmental concentrations of radionuclides can be calculated and the GEMA dose pathway model provides a means of evaluating the radiological impact of radionuclide release to the surface environment. This document sets out the philosophy and details of GEMA and illustrates the functioning of the model with a range of examples featuring the recent CLIMB review of SKB's SR-Can assessment

  17. A New Approach to Feasibility Risk Assessment within Transport Infrastructure Appraisal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salling, Kim Bang

    2013-01-01

    This paper introduces a new approach of applying feasibility risk assessment within transport project infrastructure appraisal. The procedure is based upon quantitative risk analysis and Monte Carlo simulation in combination with conventional cost-benefit analysis converting deterministic benefit...... are, hereby, often basing their decisions on wrongful material. The presented approach to transport infrastructure appraisal is to include uncertainties and risks in the evaluation. Correspondingly, the handling of uncertainties and risk within transport project assessment are often made up...... by sensitivity tests producing deterministically based output values. Research has proven that traditional sensitivity analysis seldomnly captures the total variability especially as concerns the costs and demands estimated in the pre-stage of the evaluation. Therefore, this paper introduces an approach...

  18. The reliability of in-training assessment when performance improvement is taken into account

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Lohuizen, M.T.; Kuks, J.B.; van Hell, E.A.; Raat, A.N.; Stewart, R.E.; Cohen-Schotanus, J.

    2010-01-01

    During in-training assessment students are frequently assessed over a longer period of time and therefore it can be expected that their performance will improve. We studied whether there really is a measurable performance improvement when students are assessed over an extended period of time and how

  19. Assessing wetland loss impacts on watershed hydrology using an improved modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Despite the importance of wetland impacts on water cycling, the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (CBW) has experienced significant wetland losses. The resultant environmental degradation has not been fully characterized. Our aim is to assess wetland loss impacts on watershed hydrology for an agricultural wa...

  20. ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING APPROACHES IN IMPROVING LEARNING OUTCOMES IN ACID-BASE SUBJECT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachmat Sahputra

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Learning in the understanding of acid-base chemistry in schools needs to be improved so research to determine differences in learning outcomes between students taught using environmental approaches and methods lectures in class XI SMA on acid-base subject needs to be done. In this study, using a quasi-experimental method using a data collection tool achievement test essay form. The test statistic results of the post-test learning has been obtained Asymp value. Sig (2-tailed 0,026 that showed the differences between students' learning outcomes with a control experimental class with effect size of 0.63 or much influence difference with the percentage 23.57% which indicated that the learning environment approach can improve learning outcomes of high school students.

  1. From Metaphors to Formalism: A Heuristic Approach to Holistic Assessments of Ecosystem Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fock, Heino O; Kraus, Gerd

    2016-01-01

    Environmental policies employ metaphoric objectives such as ecosystem health, resilience and sustainable provision of ecosystem services, which influence corresponding sustainability assessments by means of normative settings such as assumptions on system description, indicator selection, aggregation of information and target setting. A heuristic approach is developed for sustainability assessments to avoid ambiguity and applications to the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and OSPAR assessments are presented. For MSFD, nineteen different assessment procedures have been proposed, but at present no agreed assessment procedure is available. The heuristic assessment framework is a functional-holistic approach comprising an ex-ante/ex-post assessment framework with specifically defined normative and systemic dimensions (EAEPNS). The outer normative dimension defines the ex-ante/ex-post framework, of which the latter branch delivers one measure of ecosystem health based on indicators and the former allows to account for the multi-dimensional nature of sustainability (social, economic, ecological) in terms of modeling approaches. For MSFD, the ex-ante/ex-post framework replaces the current distinction between assessments based on pressure and state descriptors. The ex-ante and the ex-post branch each comprise an inner normative and a systemic dimension. The inner normative dimension in the ex-post branch considers additive utility models and likelihood functions to standardize variables normalized with Bayesian modeling. Likelihood functions allow precautionary target setting. The ex-post systemic dimension considers a posteriori indicator selection by means of analysis of indicator space to avoid redundant indicator information as opposed to a priori indicator selection in deconstructive-structural approaches. Indicator information is expressed in terms of ecosystem variability by means of multivariate analysis procedures. The application to the OSPAR

  2. From Metaphors to Formalism: A Heuristic Approach to Holistic Assessments of Ecosystem Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Gerd

    2016-01-01

    Environmental policies employ metaphoric objectives such as ecosystem health, resilience and sustainable provision of ecosystem services, which influence corresponding sustainability assessments by means of normative settings such as assumptions on system description, indicator selection, aggregation of information and target setting. A heuristic approach is developed for sustainability assessments to avoid ambiguity and applications to the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and OSPAR assessments are presented. For MSFD, nineteen different assessment procedures have been proposed, but at present no agreed assessment procedure is available. The heuristic assessment framework is a functional-holistic approach comprising an ex-ante/ex-post assessment framework with specifically defined normative and systemic dimensions (EAEPNS). The outer normative dimension defines the ex-ante/ex-post framework, of which the latter branch delivers one measure of ecosystem health based on indicators and the former allows to account for the multi-dimensional nature of sustainability (social, economic, ecological) in terms of modeling approaches. For MSFD, the ex-ante/ex-post framework replaces the current distinction between assessments based on pressure and state descriptors. The ex-ante and the ex-post branch each comprise an inner normative and a systemic dimension. The inner normative dimension in the ex-post branch considers additive utility models and likelihood functions to standardize variables normalized with Bayesian modeling. Likelihood functions allow precautionary target setting. The ex-post systemic dimension considers a posteriori indicator selection by means of analysis of indicator space to avoid redundant indicator information as opposed to a priori indicator selection in deconstructive-structural approaches. Indicator information is expressed in terms of ecosystem variability by means of multivariate analysis procedures. The application to the OSPAR

  3. Current and evolving approaches for improving the oral permeability of BCS Class III or analogous molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dave, Vivek S; Gupta, Deepak; Yu, Monica; Nguyen, Phuong; Varghese Gupta, Sheeba

    2017-02-01

    The Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) classifies pharmaceutical compounds based on their aqueous solubility and intestinal permeability. The BCS Class III compounds are hydrophilic molecules (high aqueous solubility) with low permeability across the biological membranes. While these compounds are pharmacologically effective, poor absorption due to low permeability becomes the rate-limiting step in achieving adequate bioavailability. Several approaches have been explored and utilized for improving the permeability profiles of these compounds. The approaches include traditional methods such as prodrugs, permeation enhancers, ion-pairing, etc., as well as relatively modern approaches such as nanoencapsulation and nanosizing. The most recent approaches include a combination/hybridization of one or more traditional approaches to improve drug permeability. While some of these approaches have been extremely successful, i.e. drug products utilizing the approach have progressed through the USFDA approval for marketing; others require further investigation to be applicable. This article discusses the commonly studied approaches for improving the permeability of BCS Class III compounds.

  4. The role of intercomparisons and intercalibrations in the improvement of internal dose assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Griffith, R.V.

    2000-01-01

    In vivo monitoring and dose assessment is a highly technical field. Moreover, it is carried out by a relatively small number of specialists. A number of technical steps can be taken to improve internal dosimetry programmes. However, one of the most valuable activities for overall improvement of measurement programmes is active participation in national and international intercomparisons and intercalibrations. These bring a number of benefits to the internal dosimetry programme, including validation of measurement practices, harmonisation of techniques, information exchange, and training. The number of intercalibration and intercomparison activities conducted on the national and international level has grown in recent years. These activities may involve actual measurement programmes or calculation exercises to compare approaches used for assessment of internal dose from measurement results. When conducted effectively such programmes are a highly cost effective use of limited resources. They also contribute to the credibility of the overall dosimetry process. Intercomparisons should be an important component of the in vivo measurement programme. Cooperation between the organisers of various intercomparison activities is essential to avoid unnecessary duplication and ensure the most effective use of the participants' time and energy. Future activities should address the use of simplified phantoms and source arrays to expedite shipping, reduce cost, and contribute to more timely conduct of intercomparisons. It is also important that managers and regulatory authorities be prepared to support intercomparison and intercalibration programmes. (author)

  5. Integrated assessment of the global warming problem: A decision-analytical approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Lenthe, J.; Hendrickx, L.; Vlek, C.A.J.

    1994-12-01

    The multi-disciplinary character of the global warming problem asks for an integrated assessment approach for ordering and combining the various physical, ecological, economical, and sociological results. The Netherlands initiated their own National Research Program (NRP) on Global Air Pollution and Climate Change (NRP). The first phase (NRP-1) identified the integration theme as one of five central research themes. The second phase (NRP-2) shows a growing concern for integrated assessment issues. The current two-year research project 'Characterizing the risks: a comparative analysis of the risks of global warming and of relevant policy options, which started in September 1993, comes under the integrated assessment part of the Dutch NRP. The first part of the interim report describes the search for an integrated assessment methodology. It starts with emphasizing the need for integrated assessment at a relatively high level of aggregation and from a policy point of view. The conclusion will be that a decision-analytical approach might fit the purpose of a policy-oriented integrated modeling of the global warming problem. The discussion proceeds with an account on decision analysis and its explicit incorporation and analysis of uncertainty. Then influence diagrams, a relatively recent development in decision analysis, are introduced as a useful decision-analytical approach for integrated assessment. Finally, a software environment for creating and analyzing complex influence diagram models is discussed. The second part of the interim report provides a first, provisional integrated modeling of the global warming problem, emphasizing on the illustration of the decision-analytical approach. Major problem elements are identified and an initial problem structure is developed. The problem structure is described in terms of hierarchical influence diagrams. At some places the qualitative structure is filled with quantitative data

  6. Linear Motion Systems. A Modular Approach for Improved Straightness Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijsse, G.J.P.

    2001-01-01

    This thesis deals with straight motion systems. A modular approach has been applied in order to find ways to improve the performance. The main performance parameters that are considered are position accuracy, repeatability and, to a lesser extent, cost. Because of the increasing requirements to

  7. Integrated approach to assess ecosystem health in harbor areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebianno, M J; Pereira, C G; Rey, F; Cravo, A; Duarte, D; D'Errico, G; Regoli, F

    2015-05-01

    Harbors are critical environments with strategic economic importance but with potential environmental impact: health assessment criteria are a key issue. An ecosystem health status approach was carried out in Portimão harbor as a case-study. Priority and specific chemical levels in sediments along with their bioavailability in mussels, bioassays and a wide array of biomarkers were integrated in a biomarker index (IBR index) and the overall data in a weight of evidence (WOE) model. Metals, PAHs, PCBs and HCB were not particularly high compared with sediment guidelines and standards for dredging. Bioavailability was evident for Cd, Cu and Zn. Biomarkers proved more sensitive namely changes of antioxidant responses, metallothioneins and vittellogenin-like proteins. IBR index indicated that site 4 was the most impacted area. Assessment of the health status by WOE approach highlighted the importance of integrating sediment chemistry, bioaccumulation, biomarkers and bioassays and revealed that despite some disturbance in the harbor area, there was also an impact of urban effluents from upstream. Environmental quality assessment in harbors. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Applying an improved rapid impact assessment matrix method to strategic environmental assessment of urban planning in China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Wei, E-mail: weili@bnu.edu.cn; Xie, Yuanbo, E-mail: former_007@163.com; Hao, Fanghua, E-mail: fanghua@bnu.edu.cn

    2014-04-01

    Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) has become an increasingly important decision-support tool for providing information on the environmental implications of a policy, plan, or program. The goal is to safeguard the environment and promote sustainable development at the strategic level. Despite major progress in implementing SEA practices internationally, developing countries, such as China, often lag behind in applying SEA methodology. Lack of available data and time constraints arising from tight schedules create problems. The rapid impact assessment matrix (RIAM) is a potential resource for breaking through such difficulties. Our analysis of RIAM applications suggested that it could become a tool for evaluating strategic alternatives because of its applicability in interdisciplinary settings, its transparency, and its short implementation timeframe. To make it more suitable for the SEA context, we have developed two major improvements to the conventional RIAM process: assignment of weights to assessment indicators and the development of an integrated environmental assessment score (IES). The improved RIAM process was employed in an SEA of the development plan for the Nansha District in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong Province in China. It was used to assess five alternatives for development in Wanqingsha (WQS), a subunit of Nansha, where important ecological resources are located and where industrial development could impact the air quality in the neighboring Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The evaluation identified WQS-A04 as the preferred alternative. This alternative involved a minimal amount of industrial development – 10% compared with the most intense development alternative – and included important wetland preservation plans. The assessment results have been incorporated into the officially approved development plan for Nansha. The improved RIAM methodology is well adapted to the technical aims of SEA and decision

  9. Applying an improved rapid impact assessment matrix method to strategic environmental assessment of urban planning in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Wei; Xie, Yuanbo; Hao, Fanghua

    2014-01-01

    Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) has become an increasingly important decision-support tool for providing information on the environmental implications of a policy, plan, or program. The goal is to safeguard the environment and promote sustainable development at the strategic level. Despite major progress in implementing SEA practices internationally, developing countries, such as China, often lag behind in applying SEA methodology. Lack of available data and time constraints arising from tight schedules create problems. The rapid impact assessment matrix (RIAM) is a potential resource for breaking through such difficulties. Our analysis of RIAM applications suggested that it could become a tool for evaluating strategic alternatives because of its applicability in interdisciplinary settings, its transparency, and its short implementation timeframe. To make it more suitable for the SEA context, we have developed two major improvements to the conventional RIAM process: assignment of weights to assessment indicators and the development of an integrated environmental assessment score (IES). The improved RIAM process was employed in an SEA of the development plan for the Nansha District in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong Province in China. It was used to assess five alternatives for development in Wanqingsha (WQS), a subunit of Nansha, where important ecological resources are located and where industrial development could impact the air quality in the neighboring Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The evaluation identified WQS-A04 as the preferred alternative. This alternative involved a minimal amount of industrial development – 10% compared with the most intense development alternative – and included important wetland preservation plans. The assessment results have been incorporated into the officially approved development plan for Nansha. The improved RIAM methodology is well adapted to the technical aims of SEA and decision

  10. An Expectancy Theory Motivation Approach to Peer Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Barry A.; Cox, Pamela L.; Maher, Larry E.

    2008-01-01

    Group projects are an important component of higher education, and the use of peer assessment of students' individual contributions to group projects has increased. The researchers employed an expectancy theory approach and an experimental design in a field setting to investigate conditions that influence students' motivation to rate their peers'…

  11. Improvement actions in waste management systems at the provincial scale based on a life cycle assessment evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigamonti, L; Falbo, A; Grosso, M

    2013-11-01

    This paper reports some of the findings of the 'GERLA' project: GEstione Rifiuti in Lombardia - Analisi del ciclo di vita (Waste management in Lombardia - Life cycle assessment). The project was devoted to support Lombardia Region in the drafting of the new waste management plan by applying a life cycle thinking perspective. The present paper mainly focuses on four Provinces in the Region, which were selected based on their peculiarities. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was adopted as the methodology to assess the current performance of the integrated waste management systems, to discuss strengths and weaknesses of each of them and to design their perspective evolution as of year 2020. Results show that despite a usual business approach that is beneficial to all the provinces, the introduction of technological and management improvements to the system provides in general additional energy and environmental benefits for all four provinces. The same improvements can be easily extended to the whole Region, leading to increased environmental benefits from the waste management sector, in line with the targets set by the European Union for 2020. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Analytical strategic environmental assessment (ANSEA) developing a new approach to SEA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dalkmann, Holger; Herrera, Rodrigo Jiliberto; Bongardt, Daniel

    2004-01-01

    The objective of analytical strategic environmental assessment (ANSEA) is to provide a decision-centred approach to the SEA process. The ANSEA project evolved from the realisation that, in many cases, SEA, as currently practised, is not able to ensure an appropriate integration of environmental values. The focus of SEA is on predicting impacts, but the tool takes no account of the decision-making processes it is trying to influence. At strategic decision-making levels, in turn, it is often difficult to predict impacts with the necessary exactitude. The decision-making sciences could teach some valuable lessons here. Instead of focusing on the quantitative prediction of environmental consequences, the ANSEA approach concentrates on the integration of environmental objectives into decision-making processes. Thus, the ANSEA approach provides a framework for analysing and assessing the decision-making processes of policies, plans and programmes (PPP). To enhance environmental integration into the decision-making process, decision windows (DW) can be identified. The approach is designed to be objective and transparent to ensure that environmental considerations are taken into account, or--from an ex-post perspective--to allow an evaluation of how far environmental considerations have been integrated into the decision-making process under assessment. The paper describes the concepts and the framework of the ANSEA approach and discusses its relation to SEA and the EC Directive

  13. Needs assessments in palliative care: an appraisal of definitions and approaches used.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higginson, Irene J; Hart, Sam; Koffman, Jonathan; Selman, Lucy; Harding, Richard

    2007-05-01

    We report a systematic appraisal of definitions and approaches to needs assessment in palliative care. Electronic databases were searched, and relevant individuals and organizations were contacted to identify needs assessments in palliative care. Over 200 articles were identified giving general information on needs assessment, and 77 articles comprised palliative care-related needs assessment reports. The reports originated from Africa (37), Australia (1), Europe (including former central/eastern European states) (35), USA (1), Latin America (5), and Asia (7). Two underpinning definitions of need were identified, that of Maslow from the field of psychology, and that of Bradshaw from sociology. However, in conducting needs assessments, these definitions were operationalized, and here the National Health Service Executive definition of need as "the ability to benefit from health care" is helpful. We identified three main categories of approach to needs assessment--epidemiological, corporate, and comparative--that can be used in combination. Careful consideration must be paid to any needs assessment data to ensure that the assessment is implemented.

  14. Poverty reduction Approaches in Kenya: Assessing the Usefulness of the Right Based Approach in Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wambua Leonard Munyao, Ph.D

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available While billions of dollars have been spent in development projects in least developed countries, poverty continues to increase. This study proposes human-rights based approach to poverty eradication. To this end, the study seeks to assess the key determinants of use of rights- based approaches to poverty reduction and it’s usefulness in Kenya with special reference to NGOs in Kibera. The study further high lights some of the basic skills of implementing the rights based approach to poverty reduction. The attempts to establish the proportion of NGOs applying rights based approach to poverty reduction in Kibera Division as well. The review of relevant literature has been undertaken and a field study done. The study is informed by a qualitative human rights framework.

  15. A long-term, continuous simulation approach for large-scale flood risk assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falter, Daniela; Schröter, Kai; Viet Dung, Nguyen; Vorogushyn, Sergiy; Hundecha, Yeshewatesfa; Kreibich, Heidi; Apel, Heiko; Merz, Bruno

    2014-05-01

    The Regional Flood Model (RFM) is a process based model cascade developed for flood risk assessments of large-scale basins. RFM consists of four model parts: the rainfall-runoff model SWIM, a 1D channel routing model, a 2D hinterland inundation model and the flood loss estimation model for residential buildings FLEMOps+r. The model cascade was recently undertaken a proof-of-concept study at the Elbe catchment (Germany) to demonstrate that flood risk assessments, based on a continuous simulation approach, including rainfall-runoff, hydrodynamic and damage estimation models, are feasible for large catchments. The results of this study indicated that uncertainties are significant, especially for hydrodynamic simulations. This was basically a consequence of low data quality and disregarding dike breaches. Therefore, RFM was applied with a refined hydraulic model setup for the Elbe tributary Mulde. The study area Mulde catchment comprises about 6,000 km2 and 380 river-km. The inclusion of more reliable information on overbank cross-sections and dikes considerably improved the results. For the application of RFM for flood risk assessments, long-term climate input data is needed to drive the model chain. This model input was provided by a multi-site, multi-variate weather generator that produces sets of synthetic meteorological data reproducing the current climate statistics. The data set comprises 100 realizations of 100 years of meteorological data. With the proposed continuous simulation approach of RFM, we simulated a virtual period of 10,000 years covering the entire flood risk chain including hydrological, 1D/2D hydrodynamic and flood damage estimation models. This provided a record of around 2.000 inundation events affecting the study area with spatially detailed information on inundation depths and damage to residential buildings on a resolution of 100 m. This serves as basis for a spatially consistent, flood risk assessment for the Mulde catchment presented in

  16. Multiaxial fatigue assessment of welded joints using the notch stress approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Mikkel Melters

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents an evaluation of the safety involved when performing fatigue assessment of multiaxially loaded welded joints. The notch stress approach according to the IIW is used together with 8 different multiaxial criteria, including equivalent stress-, interaction equation- and critical...... plane approaches. The investigation is carried out by testing the criteria on a large amount of fatigue test results collected from the literature (351 specimens total). Subsequently, the probability of achieving a non-conservative fatigue assessment is calculated in order to evaluate the different...

  17. Innovative integrative bedside teaching model improves tutors' self-assessments of teaching skills and attitudes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gat, Itai; Pessach-Gelblum, Liat; Givati, Gili; Haim, Nadav; Paluch-Shimon, Shani; Unterman, Avraham; Bar-Shavit, Yochay; Grabler, Galit; Sagi, Doron; Achiron, Anat; Ziv, Amitai

    2016-01-01

    Patient bedside is the ideal setting for teaching physical examination, medical interviewing, and interpersonal skills. Herein we describe a novel model for bedside teaching (BST) practiced during tutor training workshop and its resulting effect on practitioners' self assessment of teaching skills and perceptions. One-day tutor training workshop included theoretical knowledge supplementation regarding tutors' roles as well as implementing practical tools for clinical education, mainly BST model. The model, which emphasizes simultaneous clinical and communication teaching in a stepwise approach, was practiced by consecutive simulations with a gradual escalation of difficulty and adjusted instruction approaches. Pre- and post-workshop-adjusted questionnaires using a Likert scale of 1 to 4 were completed by participants and compared. Analysis was based on 25 out of 48 participants who completed both questionnaires. Significantly improved teaching skills were demonstrated upon workshop completion (mean 3.3, SD 0.5) compared with pre-training (mean 2.6, SD 0.6; pteaching skills in this challenging environment.

  18. Leveraging Competency Framework to Improve Teaching and Learning: A Methodological Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shankararaman, Venky; Ducrot, Joelle

    2016-01-01

    A number of engineering education programs have defined learning outcomes and course-level competencies, and conducted assessments at the program level to determine areas for continuous improvement. However, many of these programs have not implemented a comprehensive competency framework to support the actual delivery and assessment of an…

  19. The Prodrug Approach: A Successful Tool for Improving Drug Solubility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Hartmann Jornada

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Prodrug design is a widely known molecular modification strategy that aims to optimize the physicochemical and pharmacological properties of drugs to improve their solubility and pharmacokinetic features and decrease their toxicity. A lack of solubility is one of the main obstacles to drug development. This review aims to describe recent advances in the improvement of solubility via the prodrug approach. The main chemical carriers and examples of successful strategies will be discussed, highlighting the advances of this field in the last ten years.

  20. A holistic method to assess building energy efficiency combining D-S theory and the evidential reasoning approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yao Runming; Yang Yulan; Li Baizhan

    2012-01-01

    The assessment of building energy efficiency is one of the most effective measures for reducing building energy consumption. This paper proposes a holistic method (HMEEB) for assessing and certifying energy efficiency of buildings based on the D-S (Dempster-Shafer) theory of evidence and the Evidential Reasoning (ER) approach. HMEEB has three main features: (i) it provides both a method to assess and certify building energy efficiency, and exists as an analytical tool to identify improvement opportunities; (ii) it combines a wealth of information on building energy efficiency assessment, including identification of indicators and a weighting mechanism; and (iii) it provides a method to identify and deal with inherent uncertainties within the assessment procedure. This paper demonstrates the robustness, flexibility and effectiveness of the proposed method, using two examples to assess the energy efficiency of two residential buildings, both located in the ‘Hot Summer and Cold Winter’ zone in China. The proposed certification method provides detailed recommendations for policymakers in the context of carbon emission reduction targets and promoting energy efficiency in the built environment. The method is transferable to other countries and regions, using an indicator weighting system to modify local climatic, economic and social factors. - Highlights: ► Assessing energy efficiency of buildings holistically; ► Applying the D-S (Dempster-Shafer) theory of evidence and the Evidential Reasoning (ER) approach; ► Involving large information and uncertainties in the energy efficiency decision-making process. ► rigorous measures for policymakers to meet carbon emission reduction targets.

  1. Canada’s Guideline 9: improving SOGIE claims assessment?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moira Dustin

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Asylum seekers making claims relating to their sexual orientation and gender identity often face unfair refusal. New guidance from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada takes admirable steps towards improving claims assessment, and offers a model for practitioners elsewhere.

  2. Exploring the uncertainties in cancer risk assessment using the integrated probabilistic risk assessment (IPRA) approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slob, Wout; Bakker, Martine I; Biesebeek, Jan Dirk Te; Bokkers, Bas G H

    2014-08-01

    Current methods for cancer risk assessment result in single values, without any quantitative information on the uncertainties in these values. Therefore, single risk values could easily be overinterpreted. In this study, we discuss a full probabilistic cancer risk assessment approach in which all the generally recognized uncertainties in both exposure and hazard assessment are quantitatively characterized and probabilistically evaluated, resulting in a confidence interval for the final risk estimate. The methodology is applied to three example chemicals (aflatoxin, N-nitrosodimethylamine, and methyleugenol). These examples illustrate that the uncertainty in a cancer risk estimate may be huge, making single value estimates of cancer risk meaningless. Further, a risk based on linear extrapolation tends to be lower than the upper 95% confidence limit of a probabilistic risk estimate, and in that sense it is not conservative. Our conceptual analysis showed that there are two possible basic approaches for cancer risk assessment, depending on the interpretation of the dose-incidence data measured in animals. However, it remains unclear which of the two interpretations is the more adequate one, adding an additional uncertainty to the already huge confidence intervals for cancer risk estimates. © 2014 Society for Risk Analysis.

  3. A watershed-scale goals approach to assessing and funding wastewater infrastructure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahm, Brian G; Vedachalam, Sridhar; Shen, Jerry; Woodbury, Peter B; Riha, Susan J

    2013-11-15

    Capital needs during the next twenty years for public wastewater treatment, piping, combined sewer overflow correction, and storm-water management are estimated to be approximately $300 billion for the USA. Financing these needs is a significant challenge, as Federal funding for the Clean Water Act has been reduced by 70% during the last twenty years. There is an urgent need for new approaches to assist states and other decision makers to prioritize wastewater maintenance and improvements. We present a methodology for performing an integrated quantitative watershed-scale goals assessment for sustaining wastewater infrastructure. We applied this methodology to ten watersheds of the Hudson-Mohawk basin in New York State, USA that together are home to more than 2.7 million people, cover 3.5 million hectares, and contain more than 36,000 km of streams. We assembled data on 183 POTWs treating approximately 1.5 million m(3) of wastewater per day. For each watershed, we analyzed eight metrics: Growth Capacity, Capacity Density, Soil Suitability, Violations, Tributary Length Impacted, Tributary Capital Cost, Volume Capital Cost, and Population Capital Cost. These metrics were integrated into three goals for watershed-scale management: Tributary Protection, Urban Development, and Urban-Rural Integration. Our results demonstrate that the methodology can be implemented using widely available data, although some verification of data is required. Furthermore, we demonstrate substantial differences in character, need, and the appropriateness of different management strategies among the ten watersheds. These results suggest that it is feasible to perform watershed-scale goals assessment to augment existing approaches to wastewater infrastructure analysis and planning. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Trajectory analysis of land use and land cover maps to improve spatial-temporal patterns, and impact assessment on groundwater recharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zomlot, Z.; Verbeiren, B.; Huysmans, M.; Batelaan, O.

    2017-11-01

    Land use/land cover (LULC) change is a consequence of human-induced global environmental change. It is also considered one of the major factors affecting groundwater recharge. Uncertainties and inconsistencies in LULC maps are one of the difficulties that LULC timeseries analysis face and which have a significant effect on hydrological impact analysis. Therefore, an accuracy assessment approach of LULC timeseries is needed for a more reliable hydrological analysis and prediction. The objective of this paper is to assess the impact of land use uncertainty and to improve the accuracy of a timeseries of CORINE (coordination of information on the environment) land cover maps by using a new approach of identifying spatial-temporal LULC change trajectories as a pre-processing tool. This ensures consistency of model input when dealing with land-use dynamics and as such improves the accuracy of land use maps and consequently groundwater recharge estimation. As a case study the impact of consistent land use changes from 1990 until 2013 on groundwater recharge for the Flanders-Brussels region is assessed. The change trajectory analysis successfully assigned a rational trajectory to 99% of all pixels. The methodology is shown to be powerful in correcting interpretation inconsistencies and overestimation errors in CORINE land cover maps. The overall kappa (cell-by-cell map comparison) improved from 0.6 to 0.8 and from 0.2 to 0.7 for forest and pasture land use classes respectively. The study shows that the inconsistencies in the land use maps introduce uncertainty in groundwater recharge estimation in a range of 10-30%. The analysis showed that during the period of 1990-2013 the LULC changes were mainly driven by urban expansion. The results show that the resolution at which the spatial analysis is performed is important; the recharge differences using original and corrected CORINE land cover maps increase considerably with increasing spatial resolution. This study indicates

  5. An Artificial Intelligence Approach to Transient Stability Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Akella, Vijay Ahaskar; Khincha, HP; Kumar, Sreerama R

    1991-01-01

    An artificial intelligence approach to online transient stability assessment is briefly discussed, and some crucial requirements for this algorithm are identified. Solutions to these are proposed. Some new attributes are suggested so as to reflect machine dynamics and changes in the network. Also a new representative learning set algorithm has been developed.

  6. Determination of significance in Ecological Impact Assessment: Past change, current practice and future improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Briggs, Sam; Hudson, Malcolm D., E-mail: mdh@soton.ac.uk

    2013-01-15

    Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) is an important tool for conservation and achieving sustainable development. 'Significant' impacts are those which disturb or alter the environment to a measurable degree. Significance is a crucial part of EcIA, our understanding of the concept in practice is vital if it is to be effective as a tool. This study employed three methods to assess how the determination of significance has changed through time, what current practice is, and what would lead to future improvements. Three data streams were collected: interviews with expert stakeholders, a review of 30 Environmental Statements and a broad-scale survey of the United Kingdom Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) members. The approach taken in the determination of significance has become more standardised and subjectivity has become constrained through a transparent framework. This has largely been driven by a set of guidelines produced by IEEM in 2006. The significance of impacts is now more clearly justified and the accuracy with which it is determined has improved. However, there are limitations to accuracy and effectiveness of the determination of significance. These are the quality of baseline survey data, our scientific understanding of ecological processes and the lack of monitoring and feedback of results. These in turn are restricted by the limited resources available in consultancies. The most notable recommendations for future practice are the implementation of monitoring and the publication of feedback, the creation of a central database for baseline survey data and the streamlining of guidance. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The assessment of significance has changed markedly through time. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The IEEM guidelines have driven a standardisation of practice. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Currently limited by quality of baseline data and scientific understanding. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Monitoring

  7. Approaches to improve adherence to pharmacotherapy in patients with schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuler KM

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Kimberly M Shuler Shuler Counseling and Consulting, Fayetteville, AR, USA Purpose: In patients with schizophrenia, nonadherence to prescribed medications increases the risk of patient relapse and hospitalization, key contributors to the costs associated with treatment. The objectives of this review were to evaluate the impact of nonadherence to pharmacotherapy in patients with schizophrenia as it relates to health care professionals, particularly social workers, and to identify effective team approaches to supporting patients based on studies assessing implementation of assertive community treatment teams. Materials and methods: A systematic review of the medical literature was conducted by searching the Scopus database to identify articles associated with treatment adherence in patients with schizophrenia. Articles included were published from January 1, 2003, through July 15, 2013, were written in English, and reported findings concerning any and all aspects of nonadherence to prescribed treatment in patients with schizophrenia. Results: Of 92 unique articles identified and formally screened, 47 met the inclusion criteria for the systematic review. The burden of nonadherence in schizophrenia is significant. Factors with the potential to affect adherence include antipsychotic drug class and formulation, patient-specific factors, and family/social support system. There is inconclusive evidence suggesting superior adherence with an atypical versus typical antipsychotic or with a long-acting injectable versus an oral formulation. Patient-specific factors that contribute to adherence include awareness/denial of illness, cognitive issues, stigma associated with taking medication, substance abuse, access to health care, employment/poverty, and insurance status. Lack of social or family support may adversely affect adherence, necessitating the assistance of health care professionals, such as social workers. Evidence supports the concept that an

  8. School-Based Intervention for Nutrition Promotion in Mi Yun County, Beijing, China: Does a Health-Promoting School Approach Improve Parents' Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviour?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dongxu; Stewart, Donald; Chang, Chun

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assess whether the school-based nutrition programme using the health-promoting school (HPS) framework was effective to improve parents' knowledge, attitudes and behaviour (KAB) in relation to nutrition in rural Mi Yun County, Beijing. Design/methodology/approach: A cluster-randomised intervention trial…

  9. Complex method to calculate objective assessments of information systems protection to improve expert assessments reliability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdenov, A. Zh; Trushin, V. A.; Abdenova, G. A.

    2018-01-01

    The paper considers the questions of filling the relevant SIEM nodes based on calculations of objective assessments in order to improve the reliability of subjective expert assessments. The proposed methodology is necessary for the most accurate security risk assessment of information systems. This technique is also intended for the purpose of establishing real-time operational information protection in the enterprise information systems. Risk calculations are based on objective estimates of the adverse events implementation probabilities, predictions of the damage magnitude from information security violations. Calculations of objective assessments are necessary to increase the reliability of the proposed expert assessments.

  10. Quality Improvement Project to Improve Patient Satisfaction With Pain Management: Using Human-Centered Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trail-Mahan, Tracy; Heisler, Scott; Katica, Mary

    2016-01-01

    In this quality improvement project, our health system developed a comprehensive, patient-centered approach to improving inpatient pain management and assessed its impact on patient satisfaction across 21 medical centers. Using human-centered design principles, a bundle of 6 individual and team nursing practices was developed. Patient satisfaction with pain management, as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems pain composite score, increased from the 25th to just under the 75th national percentile.

  11. Make the Most of the Data You've Got: Bayesian Models and a Surrogate Species Approach to Assessing Benefits of Upstream Migration Flows for the Endangered Australian Grayling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, J Angus; Koster, Wayne M; Stuart, Ivor G; Reich, Paul; Stewardson, Michael J

    2018-03-01

    Environmental water managers must make best use of allocations, and adaptive management is one means of improving effectiveness of environmental water delivery. Adaptive management relies on generation of new knowledge from monitoring and evaluation, but it is often difficult to make clear inferences from available monitoring data. Alternative approaches to assessment of flow benefits may offer an improved pathway to adaptive management. We developed Bayesian statistical models to inform adaptive management of the threatened Australian grayling (Prototroctes maraena) in the coastal Thomson River, South-East Victoria Australia. The models assessed the importance of flows in spring and early summer (migration flows) for upstream dispersal and colonization of juveniles of this diadromous species. However, Australian grayling young-of-year were recorded in low numbers, and models provided no indication of the benefit of migration flows. To overcome this limitation, we applied the same models to young-of-year of a surrogate species (tupong-Pseudaphritis urvilli)-a more common diadromous species expected to respond to flow similarly to Australian grayling-and found strong positive responses to migration flows. Our results suggest two complementary approaches to supporting adaptive management of Australian grayling. First, refine monitoring approaches to allow direct measurement of effects of migration flows, a process currently under way. Second, while waiting for improved data, further investigate the use of tupong as a surrogate species. More generally, alternative approaches to assessment can improve knowledge to inform adaptive management, and this can occur while monitoring is being revised to directly target environmental responses of interest.

  12. Experience with the Notch Stress Approach for Fatigue Assessment of Welded Joints

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Mikkel Melters; Mouritsen, Ole Ø.; Hansen, Michael Rygaard

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, fatigue assessment using the notch stress approach is discussed based on re-analysis of many fatigue test results and experience from practical application. Three topics are treated; evaluation of the fatigue strength for as-welded details (FAT225) in the notch stress system......, problems regarding assessment of mild-SCF details and a novel proposal for extension of the notch stress approach for use with post-weld treated details....

  13. Improvement of operational safety: The self-assessment at the Russian NPPs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kolotov, Aleksander

    2002-01-01

    The operating organization has scheduled for the forthcoming year to elaborate the NPP safety self-assessment standards and to settle precise criterion for its performance. Toward this end it was decided to form a Working Team including of NPP and VNIIAES representatives to elaborate major tasks on the self-assessment improvement, development and implementation of new documentation and training the personnel in new methodology. Actions developed by R osenergoatom , one of its items is the participation of 'Rosenergoatom' and VNIIAES representatives in the workshop, contains the sequence of Russian NPP safety self-assessment improvement at the first stage

  14. Using a Competitive Approach to Improve Military Simulation Artificial Intelligence Design

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stoykov, Sevdalin

    2008-01-01

    ...) design can lead to improvement of the AI solutions used in military simulations. To demonstrate the potential of the competitive approach, ORTS, a real-time strategy game engine, and its competition setup are used...

  15. Assessing the productivity change of water companies in England and Wales: A dynamic metafrontier approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinos-Senante, María; Maziotis, Alexandros; Sala-Garrido, Ramon

    2017-07-15

    The assessment of productivity change and its drivers across water companies and over time is a powerful tool for both regulators and companies when setting water tariffs. Water and sewerage companies (WaSCs) and water only companies (WoCs) provide different services. Hence, their productivity change cannot directly be evaluated jointly. In this paper and for the first time, we provide a pioneering approach to assess and compare the dynamics of productivity change of WaSCs and WoCs. To achieve this, both the traditional Malmquist productivity index and the metafrontier Malmquist productivity index and its components are computed to assess the productivity change for a sample of English and Welsh water companies over the period 2001-2014. The findings from both indices indicate that productivity for both WaSCs and WoCs did not improve during this period, mainly due to the negative shift in the production frontier which offset the positive effect of efficiency change. It is also reported that the performance of the WoCs over time was slightly better than that of the WaSCs. Finally, our study provides some insights into the relationship between productivity change and the regulatory cycle. This information is essential to improve the regulation of water and sewerage services, contributing to the long-term sustainability of the urban water cycle. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Using the weight-of-evidence approach for ecological risk assessment at a DOE facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hull, R.N.; Suter, G.W.

    1994-01-01

    The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PORTS), an uranium enrichment plant, has released various contaminants into the environment. An ecological risk assessment is underway for the site, which includes an evaluation of Little Beaver Creek, which flows along the eastern and northern sides of PORTS. For this assessment, the creek was divided into reaches which were defined in terms of contaminant sources. This creek receives contaminants from permitted outfalls, groundwater discharge, non-point sources, and accidental releases. Metal contamination is the major concern at the site. Receptors include the fish and benthic communities in the creek, and soil invertebrates and plants in the floodplain. A weight-of-evidence approach was used to evaluate risks to those receptors, based on chemical analyses, toxicity tests and field surveys. The fish and benthic communities are impacted on Little Beaver Creek in a reach near a permitted discharge, with improvements seen downstream of this location. Ambient water, sediment and soil samples were not toxic to laboratory organisms. Either these toxicity tests were not sufficiently sensitive to detect toxicity, or the observed changes in the aquatic communities did not result from toxicity. Because conditions improved downstream from the permitted discharge, it was concluded that this is the major source of toxicity in the creek

  17. Preventive child health care at elementary school age: The costs of routine assessments with a triage approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janine Bezem

    Full Text Available Triage in Preventive Child Health Care (PCH assessments could further the efficient use of human resources and budgets and therefore make extra care possible for children with specific needs. We assessed the costs of routine PCH assessments with and without triage for children aged 5/6 years and 10/11 years. In a triage approach, PCH assistants conduct pre-assessments to identify children requiring follow-up assessments by a physician or nurse. In the usual approach, all children are assessed by a physician and an assistant (children aged 5/6 years or a nurse (children aged 10/11 years.All the direct costs of conducting routine PCH assessments with the triage and usual approach were assessed using a bottom-up micro-costing approach. In four PCH services in the Netherlands, two using triage and two the usual approach, professionals completed questionnaires about time spent on assessments, including time related to non-attendance at assessments, the referral of children and administration.The projected costs for PCH professionals working on PCH assessments amounted to €5.2 million per cohort of 100,000 children aged 5/6 years in the triage approach, and €7.6 million in the usual approach. The projected costs in both approaches for children aged 10/11 years were about €4 million per 100,000 children.The triage approach to PCH resulted in a projected cost reduction of about one-third, compared with usual practice, for routine assessments by physicians of children aged 5/6 years. There are minimal cost savings in the group of children aged 10/11 years when nurses are involved and so other considerations such as workforce shortages would be required to justify a change to a triage approach. Further research is needed to investigate the differences in costs of care after the completion of the routine assessments.

  18. Assessing organizational readiness for depression care quality improvement: relative commitment and implementation capability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubenstein, Lisa V; Danz, Marjorie S; Crain, A Lauren; Glasgow, Russell E; Whitebird, Robin R; Solberg, Leif I

    2014-12-02

    Depression is a major cause of morbidity and cost in primary care patient populations. Successful depression improvement models, however, are complex. Based on organizational readiness theory, a practice's commitment to change and its capability to carry out the change are both important predictors of initiating improvement. We empirically explored the links between relative commitment (i.e., the intention to move forward within the following year) and implementation capability. The DIAMOND initiative administered organizational surveys to medical and quality improvement leaders from each of 83 primary care practices in Minnesota. Surveys preceded initiation of activities directed at implementation of a collaborative care model for improving depression care. To assess implementation capability, we developed composites of survey items for five types of organizational factors postulated to be collaborative care barriers and facilitators. To assess relative commitment for each practice, we averaged leader ratings on an identical survey question assessing practice priorities. We used multivariable regression analyses to assess the extent to which implementation capability predicted relative commitment. We explored whether relative commitment or implementation capability measures were associated with earlier initiation of DIAMOND improvements. All five implementation capability measures independently predicted practice leaders' relative commitment to improving depression care in the following year. These included the following: quality improvement culture and attitudes (p = 0.003), depression culture and attitudes (p commitment (p = 0.002) and prior depression quality improvement activities appeared to be associated with earlier participation in the DIAMOND initiative. The study supports the concept of organizational readiness to improve quality of care and the use of practice leader surveys to assess it. Practice leaders' relative commitment to depression care

  19. Burnout: A Multimodal Approach to Assessment and Resolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kesler, Kathryn D.

    1990-01-01

    Claims assessment and treatment of guidance counselor burnout is not simple. A variety of causes and symptoms leads to the need for multidimensional conceptualization and action plan. The multimodal behavior mode, BASIC I.D., with the adoption of a Setting modality, has been shown to be a comprehensive approach when applied to the understanding…

  20. Biotechnological approach in crop improvement by mutation breeding in Indonesia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soeranto, H.; Sobrizal; Sutarto, Ismiyati; Manurung, Simon; Mastrizal [National Nuclear Energy Agency, Center for Research and Development of Isotope and Radiation Technology, Jakarta (Indonesia)

    2002-02-01

    Mutation breeding has become a proven method of improving crop varieties. Most research on plant mutation breeding in Indonesia is carried out at the Center for Research and Development of Isotope and Radiation Technology, National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN). Nowadays, a biotechnological approach has been incorporated in some mutation breeding researches in order to improve crop cultivars. This approach is simply based on cellular totipotency, or the ability to regenerate whole, flowering plants from isolated organs, pieces of tissue, individual cells, and protoplasts. Tissue culture technique has bee extensively used for micro propagation of disease-free plants. Other usage of this technique involves in various steps of the breeding process such as germplasm preservation, clonal propagation, and distant hybridization. Mutation breeding combined with tissue culture technique has made a significant contribution in inducing plant genetic variation, by improving selection technology, and by accelerating breeding time as for that by using anther or pollen culture. In Indonesia, research on mutation breeding combined with tissue culture techniques has been practiced in different crop species including rice, ginger, banana, sorghum etc. Specially in rice, a research on identification of DNA markers linked to blast disease resistance is now still progressing. A compiled report from some research activities is presented in this paper. (author)

  1. Improvement of railway ballast maintenance approach, incorporating ballast geometry and fouling conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeghi, J.; Motieyan-Najar, M. E.; Zakeri, J. A.; Yousefi, B.; Mollazadeh, M.

    2018-04-01

    Ballast plays an important role in the stability of railway track systems. The effectiveness of the ballast in maintaining the track stability is very much dependent on its mechanical conditions. The available ballast maintenance approaches are mainly based on only track geometry conditions (such as track profile) which do not sufficiently reflect the ballast mechanical behaviors. That is, the ballast potential of degradation (i.e., ballast long term behaviors) has been omitted. This makes the effectiveness of the current ballast maintenance approach questionable, indicating a need for a more comprehensive and effective ballast conditions assessment technique. In response to this need, two ballast condition indices based on ballast geometry degradation (BGI) and the level of ballast fouling (BFI) as the main indicators of ballast mechanical behavior were developed. The BGI is a function of the standard deviations of track alignment, unevenness and twist. The BFI was developed based on the data obtained from the ground penetration radar (GPR). Making use of the new indices, a more reliable maintenance algorithm was developed. Through illustrations of the applicability of the new maintenance algorithm in a railway line, it was shown that the new algorithm causes a considerable improvement in the maintenance effectiveness and an increase in the life cycle of railway tracks by making more effective allocation of resources and more accurate maintenance planning.

  2. Combining administrative data feedback, reflection and action planning to engage primary care professionals in quality improvement: qualitative assessment of short term program outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vachon, Brigitte; Désorcy, Bruno; Gaboury, Isabelle; Camirand, Michel; Rodrigue, Jean; Quesnel, Louise; Guimond, Claude; Labelle, Martin; Huynh, Ai-Thuy; Grimshaw, Jeremy

    2015-09-18

    Improving primary care for chronic disease management requires a coherent, integrated approach to quality improvement. Evidence in the continuing professional development (CPD) field suggests the importance of using strategies such as feedback delivery, reflective practice and action planning to facilitate recognition of gaps and service improvement needs. Our study explored the outcomes of a CPD intervention, named the COMPAS Project, which consists of a three-hour workshop composed of three main activities: feedback, critical reflection and action planning. The feedback intervention is delivered face-to-face and presents performance indicators extracted from clinical-administrative databases. This aim of this study was to assess the short term outcomes of this intervention to engage primary care professional in continuous quality improvement (QI). In order to develop an understanding of our intervention and of its short term outcomes, a program evaluation approach was used. Ten COMPAS workshops on diabetes management were directly observed and qualitative data was collected to assess the intervention short term outcomes. Data from both sources were combined to describe the characteristics of action plans developed by professionals. Two independent coders analysed the content of these plans to assess if they promoted engagement in QI and interprofessional collaboration. During the ten workshops held, 26 interprofessional work teams were formed. Twenty-two of them developed a QI project they could implement themselves and that targeted aspects of their own practice they perceived in need of change. Most frequently prioritized strategies for change were improvement of systematic clientele follow-up, medication compliance, care pathway and support to improve adoption of healthier life habits. Twenty-one out of 22 action plans were found to target some level of improvement of interprofessional collaboration in primary care. Our study results demonstrate that the

  3. Exploring the potential of a multi-level approach to improve capability for continuous organizational improvement and learning in a Swedish healthcare region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyström, M E; Höög, E; Garvare, R; Andersson Bäck, M; Terris, D D; Hansson, J

    2018-05-24

    Eldercare and care of people with functional impairments is organized by the municipalities in Sweden. Improving care in these areas is complex, with multiple stakeholders and organizations. Appropriate strategies to develop capability for continuing organizational improvement and learning (COIL) are needed. The purpose of our study was to develop and pilot-test a flexible, multilevel approach for COIL capability building and to identify what it takes to achieve changes in key actors' approaches to COIL. The approach, named "Sustainable Improvement and Development through Strategic and Systematic Approaches" (SIDSSA), was applied through an action-research and action-learning intervention. The SIDSSA approach was tested in a regional research and development (R&D) unit, and in two municipalities handling care of the elderly and people with functional impairments. Our approach included a multilevel strategy, development loops of five flexible phases, and an action-learning loop. The approach was designed to support systems understanding, strategic focus, methodological practices, and change process knowledge - all of which required double-loop learning. Multiple qualitative methods, i.e., repeated interviews, process diaries, and documents, provided data for conventional content analyses. The new approach was successfully tested on all cases and adopted and sustained by the R&D unit. Participants reported new insights and skills. The development loop facilitated a sense of coherence and control during uncertainty, improved planning and problem analysis, enhanced mapping of context and conditions, and supported problem-solving at both the individual and unit levels. The systems-level view and structured approach helped participants to explain, motivate, and implement change initiatives, especially after working more systematically with mapping, analyses, and goal setting. An easily understood and generalizable model internalized by key organizational actors is an

  4. Uncertainty characterization approaches for risk assessment of DBPs in drinking water: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowdhury, Shakhawat; Champagne, Pascale; McLellan, P James

    2009-04-01

    The management of risk from disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water has become a critical issue over the last three decades. The areas of concern for risk management studies include (i) human health risk from DBPs, (ii) disinfection performance, (iii) technical feasibility (maintenance, management and operation) of treatment and disinfection approaches, and (iv) cost. Human health risk assessment is typically considered to be the most important phase of the risk-based decision-making or risk management studies. The factors associated with health risk assessment and other attributes are generally prone to considerable uncertainty. Probabilistic and non-probabilistic approaches have both been employed to characterize uncertainties associated with risk assessment. The probabilistic approaches include sampling-based methods (typically Monte Carlo simulation and stratified sampling) and asymptotic (approximate) reliability analysis (first- and second-order reliability methods). Non-probabilistic approaches include interval analysis, fuzzy set theory and possibility theory. However, it is generally accepted that no single method is suitable for the entire spectrum of problems encountered in uncertainty analyses for risk assessment. Each method has its own set of advantages and limitations. In this paper, the feasibility and limitations of different uncertainty analysis approaches are outlined for risk management studies of drinking water supply systems. The findings assist in the selection of suitable approaches for uncertainty analysis in risk management studies associated with DBPs and human health risk.

  5. Health and household air pollution from solid fuel use: the need for improved exposure assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Maggie L; Peel, Jennifer L; Balakrishnan, Kalpana; Breysse, Patrick N; Chillrud, Steven N; Naeher, Luke P; Rodes, Charles E; Vette, Alan F; Balbus, John M

    2013-10-01

    Nearly 3 billion people worldwide rely on solid fuel combustion to meet basic household energy needs. The resulting exposure to air pollution causes an estimated 4.5% of the global burden of disease. Large variability and a lack of resources for research and development have resulted in highly uncertain exposure estimates. We sought to identify research priorities for exposure assessment that will more accurately and precisely define exposure-response relationships of household air pollution necessary to inform future cleaner-burning cookstove dissemination programs. As part of an international workshop in May 2011, an expert group characterized the state of the science and developed recommendations for exposure assessment of household air pollution. The following priority research areas were identified to explain variability and reduce uncertainty of household air pollution exposure measurements: improved characterization of spatial and temporal variability for studies examining both short- and long-term health effects; development and validation of measurement technology and approaches to conduct complex exposure assessments in resource-limited settings with a large range of pollutant concentrations; and development and validation of biomarkers for estimating dose. Addressing these priority research areas, which will inherently require an increased allocation of resources for cookstove research, will lead to better characterization of exposure-response relationships. Although the type and extent of exposure assessment will necessarily depend on the goal and design of the cookstove study, without improved understanding of exposure-response relationships, the level of air pollution reduction necessary to meet the health targets of cookstove interventions will remain uncertain.

  6. Systematic pain assessment in nursing homes: a cluster-randomized trial using mixed-methods approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamhidir, Anna-Greta; Sjölund, Britt-Marie; Fläckman, Birgitta; Wimo, Anders; Sköldunger, Anders; Engström, Maria

    2017-02-28

    the groups. Nursing pain related documentation was sparse. In general, nurses from the outset were positive regarding pain assessments. Persisting positive attitudes seemed strengthened by continued assessment experiences and perceptions of improved pain management. The implementation of a systematic work approach to pain issues in nursing homes indicates that an increased awareness, collaboration across and shared understanding among the team members of the pain assessment results can improve pain management and lead to decreased physical deterioration or the maintenance of physical and functional abilities among NH residents. However, pain (proxy-measured) and wellbeing level did not reveal any interaction effects between the groups over time. The study was registered in ISRCTN71142240 in September 2012, retrospectively registered.

  7. An improved α-cut approach to transforming fuzzy membership function into basic belief assignment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Yi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In practical applications, pieces of evidence originated from different sources might be modeled by different uncertainty theories. To implement the evidence combination under the Dempster–Shafer evidence theory (DST framework, transformations from the other type of uncertainty representation into the basic belief assignment are needed. α-Cut is an important approach to transforming a fuzzy membership function into a basic belief assignment, which provides a bridge between the fuzzy set theory and the DST. Some drawbacks of the traditional α-cut approach caused by its normalization step are pointed out in this paper. An improved α-cut approach is proposed, which can counteract the drawbacks of the traditional α-cut approach and has good properties. Illustrative examples, experiments and related analyses are provided to show the rationality of the improved α-cut approach.

  8. IT Confidentiality Risk Assessment for an Architecture-Based Approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morali, A.; Zambon, Emmanuele; Etalle, Sandro; Overbeek, Paul

    2008-01-01

    Information systems require awareness of risks and a good understanding of vulnerabilities and their exploitations. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for the systematic assessment and analysis of confidentiality risks caused by disclosure of operational and functional information. The

  9. Assessment of non-backfittable concepts to improve PWR uranium utilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    LaBelle, D.W.; Sankovich, M.F.; Spetz, S.W.; Uotinen, V.O.

    1980-12-01

    Seven non-backfittable improvements to light water reactors were assessed for Batelle/Pacific Northwest Laboratories in support of the Department of Energy's program on Advanced Reactor Studies. The objective was to provide industrial perspective as to which concepts have the best potential for development to improve fuel utilization. The concepts were rated against the assessment criteria while considering the key questions identified for each concept, and recommendations were made for further action on unresolved key questions. The concepts were subjectively ranked against each other in terms of relative investment potential. The ranking considered all criteria but, for example, weighted fuel utilization savings more heavily than development costs. Finally, conclusions and recommendations for future action were determined. The reference design for this study was the NASAP Composite Improved PWR

  10. An Approach for Assessing the Benefits of IT Investments in Global Supply Chains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Betz, Michaela; Henningsson, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    -duced by the technology as an isolated product. In contrast, research on global supply chains has shown that benefits generated from IT investments in this domain are typically generated by the coor-dinated use of many stakeholders and by technologies producing complimentary effects in systemic relationships......This paper develops and demonstrates a novel approach for ex-ante assessment of business benefits from IT investments in global supply chains. Extant IT assessment approaches are typically based on the assumption that benefit realization from IT investments involves a single stakeholder and are pro....... The assessment approach in this paper brings the contingent inter-organizational and technological dependencies of IT investments to the forefront of the assessment. It provides actors in industries relating to global supply chains the means to better apprehend the possible benefits from an IT investment...

  11. Assessment and Improving Methods of Reliability Indices in Bakhtar Regional Electricity Company

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saeed Shahrezaei

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Reliability of a system is the ability of a system to do prospected duties in future and the probability of desirable operation for doing predetermined duties. Power system elements failures data are the main data of reliability assessment in the network. Determining antiseptic parameters is the goal of reliability assessment by using system history data. These parameters help to recognize week points of the system. In other words, the goal of reliability assessment is operation improving and decreasing of the failures and power outages. This paper is developed to assess reliability indices of Bakhtar Regional Electricity Company up to 1393 and the improving methods and their effects on the reliability indices in this network. DIgSILENT Power Factory software is employed for simulation. Simulation results show the positive effect of improving methods in reliability indices of Bakhtar Regional Electricity Company.

  12. Operational human performance reliability assessment (OHPRA)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haas, P.M.; Swanson, P.J.; Connelly, E.M.

    1993-01-01

    Operational Human Performance Reliability Assessment (OHPRA) is an approach for assessing human performance that is being developed in response to demands from modern process industries for practical and effective tools to assess and improve human performance, and therefore overall system performance and safety. The single most distinguishing feature of the approach is that is defines human performance in open-quotes operationalclose quotes terms. OHPRA is focused not on generation of human error probabilities, but on practical analysis of human performance to aid management in (1) identifying open-quotes fixableclose quotes problems and (2) providing input on the importance and nature of potential improvements. Development of the model in progress uses a unique approach for eliciting expert strategies for assessing performance. A PC-based model incorporating this expertise is planned. A preliminary version of the approach has already been used successfully to identify practical human performance problems in reactor and chemical process plant operations

  13. Evaluation of the impact of the voucher and accreditation approach on improving reproductive health behaviors and status in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Charlotte; Abuya, Timothy; Obare, Francis; Sunday, Joseph; Njue, Rebecca; Askew, Ian; Bellows, Ben

    2011-03-23

    Alternatives to the traditional 'supply-side' approach to financing service delivery are being explored. These strategies are termed results-based finance, demand-side health financing or output-based aid which includes a range of interventions that channel government or donor subsidies to the user rather than the provider. Initial pilot assessments of reproductive health voucher programs suggest that, they can increase access and use, reducing inequities and enhancing program efficiency and service quality. However, there is a paucity of evidence describing how the programs function in different settings, for various reproductive health services. Population Council, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, intends to generate evidence around the 'voucher and accreditation' approaches to improving the reproductive health of low income women in Kenya. A quasi-experimental study will investigate the impact of the voucher approach on improving reproductive health behaviors, reproductive health status and reducing inequities at the population level; and assessing the effect of vouchers on increasing access to, and quality of, and reducing inequities in the use of selected reproductive health services. The study comprises of four populations: facilities, providers, women of reproductive health age using facilities and women and men who have been pregnant and/or used family planning within the previous 12 months. The study will be carried out in samples of health facilities - public, private and faith-based in: three districts; Kisumu, Kiambu, Kitui and two informal settlements in Nairobi which are accredited to provide maternal and newborn health and family planning services to women holding vouchers for the services; and compared with a matched sample of non-accredited facilities. Health facility assessments (HFA) will be conducted at two stages to track temporal changes in quality of care and utilization. Facility inventories, structured observations, and

  14. Health care managers' views on and approaches to implementing models for improving care processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreasson, Jörgen; Eriksson, Andrea; Dellve, Lotta

    2016-03-01

    To develop a deeper understanding of health-care managers' views on and approaches to the implementation of models for improving care processes. In health care, there are difficulties in implementing models for improving care processes that have been decided on by upper management. Leadership approaches to this implementation can affect the outcome. In-depth interviews with first- and second-line managers in Swedish hospitals were conducted and analysed using grounded theory. 'Coaching for participation' emerged as a central theme for managers in handling top-down initiated process development. The vertical approach in this coaching addresses how managers attempt to sustain unit integrity through adapting and translating orders from top management. The horizontal approach in the coaching refers to managers' strategies for motivating and engaging their employees in implementation work. Implementation models for improving care processes require a coaching leadership built on close manager-employee interaction, mindfulness regarding the pace of change at the unit level, managers with the competence to share responsibility with their teams and engaged employees with the competence to share responsibility for improving the care processes, and organisational structures that support process-oriented work. Implications for nursing management are the importance of giving nurse managers knowledge of change management. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. A tiered approach to the use of alternatives to animal testing for the safety assessment of cosmetics: genotoxicity. A COLIPA analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfuhler, Stefan; Kirst, Annette; Aardema, Marilyn; Banduhn, Norbert; Goebel, Carsten; Araki, Daisuke; Costabel-Farkas, Margit; Dufour, Eric; Fautz, Rolf; Harvey, James; Hewitt, Nicola J; Hibatallah, Jalila; Carmichael, Paul; Macfarlane, Martin; Reisinger, Kerstin; Rowland, Joanna; Schellauf, Florian; Schepky, Andreas; Scheel, Julia

    2010-01-01

    For the assessment of genotoxic effects of cosmetic ingredients, a number of well-established and regulatory accepted in vitro assays are in place. A caveat to the use of these assays is their relatively low specificity and high rate of false or misleading positive results. Due to the 7th amendment to the EU Cosmetics Directive ban on in vivo genotoxicity testing for cosmetics that was enacted March 2009, it is no longer possible to conduct follow-up in vivo genotoxicity tests for cosmetic ingredients positive in in vitro genotoxicity tests to further assess the relevance of the in vitro findings. COLIPA, the European Cosmetics Association, has initiated a research programme to improve existing and develop new in vitro methods. A COLIPA workshop was held in Brussels in April 2008 to analyse the best possible use of available methods and approaches to enable a sound assessment of the genotoxic hazard of cosmetic ingredients. Common approaches of cosmetic companies are described, with recommendations for evaluating in vitro genotoxins using non-animal approaches. A weight of evidence approach was employed to set up a decision-tree for the integration of alternative methods into tiered testing strategies. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Improved USGS methodology for assessing continuous petroleum resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charpentier, Ronald R.; Cook, Troy A.

    2010-01-01

    This report presents an improved methodology for estimating volumes of continuous (unconventional) oil and gas resources within the United States and around the world. The methodology is based on previously developed U.S. Geological Survey methodologies that rely on well-scale production data. Improvements were made primarily to how the uncertainty about estimated ultimate recoveries is incorporated in the estimates. This is particularly important when assessing areas with sparse or no production data, because the new methodology allows better use of analog data from areas with significant discovery histories.

  17. Software Atom: An approach towards software components structuring to improve reusability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Hussain Mughal

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Diversity of application domain compelled to design sustainable classification scheme for significantly amassing software repository. The atomic reusable software components are articulated to improve the software component reusability in volatile industry.  Numerous approaches of software classification have been proposed over past decades. Each approach has some limitations related to coupling and cohesion. In this paper, we proposed a novel approach by constituting the software based on radical functionalities to improve software reusability. We analyze the element's semantics in Periodic Table used in chemistry to design our classification approach, and present this approach using tree-based classification to curtail software repository search space complexity and further refined based on semantic search techniques. We developed a Global unique Identifier (GUID for indexing the functions and related components. We have exploited the correlation between chemistry element and software elements to simulate one to one mapping between them. Our approach is inspired from sustainability chemical periodic table. We have proposed software periodic table (SPT representing atomic software components extracted from real application software. Based on SPT classified repository tree parsing & extraction to enable the user to program their software by customizing the ingredients of software requirements. The classified repository of software ingredients assist user to exploits their requirements to software engineer and enable requirement engineer to develop a rapid large-scale prototype with great essence. Furthermore, we would predict the usability of the categorized repository based on feedback of users.  The continuous evolution of that proposed repository will be fine-tuned based on utilization and SPT would be gradually optimized by ant colony optimization techniques. Succinctly would provoke automating the software development process.

  18. Application of improved topsis method to comprehensive assessment of radiological environmental quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shi Dongsheng; Di Yuming; Zhou Chunlin

    2007-01-01

    TOPSIS is a method for multiobjective decision-making, which can be applied to comprehensive assessment of radiological environmental quality. This paper introduces the principle of TOPSIS method and sets up the model of improved TOPSIS method, discusses the application of improved TOPSIS method to comprehensive assessment of radiological environmental quality. This method sufficiently makes use of the information of the optimal matrix. Analysis of practical examples using MATLAB program shows that it is objectively reasonable and feasible to comprehensively assess radiological environmental quality by improved TOPSIS method. This paper also provides the result of optimum number of sites and compares it with optimal index method based on TOPSIS method and traditional method. (authors)

  19. Teachers’ Reflection Process to Improve Learning Assessment Practices in the Context of Education for Youngsters and Adults (EPJA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Ariel Muñoz Olivero

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Education for youngsters and adults (in Spanish, EPJA has reached prominence in the Chilean educational system. It has had to give a new chance to a large number of young people who, for one reason or another, did not complete their studies in traditional training. In this scenario, it explores pedagogical practices developed by teachers working with youngsters and adults, especially those who refer to learning assessment. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to present the results of a reflection carried out by a group of teachers from a comprehensive adult education center, in order to improve their practices to evaluate their students’ learning. The research model is based on the qualitative approach with a case study design. It makes a comprehensive diagnostic of teaching practices, conducted through discussion groups. The analysis of the results shows that most teachers working at this educational center follow traditional assessment practices. They tend to copy conceptions of assessment centered around products that can be scored in order to check goal achievement, rather than around providing feedback that promotes self-regulated learning. However, the reflection also shows that teachers are willing to participate in pedagogical reflection sessions that guide them to improve their assessment practices.

  20. An approach to assessing risk in coalbed methane prospect evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vanorsdale, C.R.

    1991-01-01

    The economic evaluation of drilling prospects requires assessing the degree of risk involved and its impact on reserve estimates. In developed areas, risk can be determined in a fairly straightforward manner. In remote wildcat areas, risk can almost never be adequately identified or quantified. Between these extremes lie complex reservoirs -- reservoirs to heterogeneous that each well drilled could exhibit production characteristics unlike those of its neighbors. This paper illustrates the use of a risk assessment methodology in a case study of Fruitland coal prospects in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico. This approach could be applied to coalbed methane prospects or any unconventional or highly heterogeneous reservoir with appropriate modification. The utility of this approach is made apparent in a graphical analysis that relates reserves, rate of return and payout time for managerial or financial presentation. This graphical technique and the underlying risk assessment were used to aid a conservative management team in evaluating participation in a multi-well coalbed project

  1. Assessing the Learning Path Specification: a Pragmatic Quality Approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, José; Berlanga, Adriana; Heyenrath, Stef; Martens, Harrie; Vogten, Hubert; Finders, Anton; Herder, Eelco; Hermans, Henry; Melero, Javier; Schaeps, Leon; Koper, Rob

    2010-01-01

    Janssen, J., Berlanga, A. J., Heyenrath, S., Martens, H., Vogten, H., Finders, A., Herder, E., Hermans, H., Melero Gallardo, J., Schaeps, L., & Koper, R. (2010). Assessing the Learning Path Specification: a Pragmatic Quality Approach. Journal of Universal Computer Science, 16(21), 3191-3209.

  2. An approach for integrating toxicogenomic data in risk assessment: The dibutyl phthalate case study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Euling, Susan Y., E-mail: euling.susan@epa.gov [National Center for Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC (United States); Thompson, Chad M. [ToxStrategies, Inc., 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Suite G265, Katy, TX 77494 (United States); Chiu, Weihsueh A. [National Center for Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC (United States); Benson, Robert [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, Mail code 8P-W, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202 (United States)

    2013-09-15

    An approach for evaluating and integrating genomic data in chemical risk assessment was developed based on the lessons learned from performing a case study for the chemical dibutyl phthalate. A case study prototype approach was first developed in accordance with EPA guidance and recommendations of the scientific community. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) was selected for the case study exercise. The scoping phase of the dibutyl phthalate case study was conducted by considering the available DBP genomic data, taken together with the entire data set, for whether they could inform various risk assessment aspects, such as toxicodynamics, toxicokinetics, and dose–response. A description of weighing the available dibutyl phthalate data set for utility in risk assessment provides an example for considering genomic data for future chemical assessments. As a result of conducting the scoping process, two questions—Do the DBP toxicogenomic data inform 1) the mechanisms or modes of action?, and 2) the interspecies differences in toxicodynamics?—were selected to focus the case study exercise. Principles of the general approach include considering the genomics data in conjunction with all other data to determine their ability to inform the various qualitative and/or quantitative aspects of risk assessment, and evaluating the relationship between the available genomic and toxicity outcome data with respect to study comparability and phenotypic anchoring. Based on experience from the DBP case study, recommendations and a general approach for integrating genomic data in chemical assessment were developed to advance the broader effort to utilize 21st century data in risk assessment. - Highlights: • Performed DBP case study for integrating genomic data in risk assessment • Present approach for considering genomic data in chemical risk assessment • Present recommendations for use of genomic data in chemical risk assessment.

  3. Using the Dynamic Model to develop an evidence-based and theory-driven approach to school improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Creemers, B.P.M.; Kyriakides, L.

    2010-01-01

    This paper refers to a dynamic perspective of educational effectiveness and improvement stressing the importance of using an evidence-based and theory-driven approach. Specifically, an approach to school improvement based on the dynamic model of educational effectiveness is offered. The recommended

  4. Near-Port Air Quality Assessment Utilizing a Mobile Monitoring Approach

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Near-Port Air Quality Assessment Utilizing a Mobile Monitoring Approach. This dataset is associated with the following publication: Steffens, J., S. Kimbrough, R....

  5. Using an integrated approach to the assessment of the psychosocial work environment: the case of a major hospital in northern Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanfranchi, Fiorella; Alaimo, Sara; Conway, P M

    2014-01-01

    In 2010, Italian regulatory guidelines have been issued consisting of a stepwise procedure for the assessment and management of work-related stress. However, research that empirically examines whether this procedure proves effective in accurately identifying critical psychosocial factors and informing risk management is scarce. To examine the differential sensitivity of two approaches to risk assessment, the first based on objective instruments only, the second consisting of an integrated approach combining different methods and theoretical perspectives. We examined a sample of 306 healthcare employees in a large-size hospital in northern Italy, using a series of tools, both quantitative (an observational checklist and the HSE-IT and MOHQ questionnaires) and qualitative (Focus Groups). Through instrument-specific reference values, we then compared risk profiles between different homogeneous groups within the institution. The psychosocial work environment resulted to be far more positive when adopting the first compared to the second approach to risk assessment. The latter approach was also more sensitive in detecting between-groups differences in risk profiles. Furthermore, the Focus Groups returned a more context-specific picture of the psychosocial work environment. Finally, going beyond the emphasis on negative working conditions inherent in the other quantitative instruments, the MOHQ allowed for also identifying health-promoting factors in need for improvement. Although more research is needed to confirm our findings, the present study suggests that using an integrated approach to assess the psychosocial work environment may be the most effective way to accurately identify risk factors and support the management process.

  6. Assessing the Financial Value of Patient Engagement: A Quantitative Approach from CTTI's Patient Groups and Clinical Trials Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levitan, Bennett; Getz, Kenneth; Eisenstein, Eric L; Goldberg, Michelle; Harker, Matthew; Hesterlee, Sharon; Patrick-Lake, Bray; Roberts, Jamie N; DiMasi, Joseph

    2018-03-01

    While patient groups, regulators, and sponsors are increasingly considering engaging with patients in the design and conduct of clinical development programs, sponsors are often reluctant to go beyond pilot programs because of uncertainty in the return on investment. We developed an approach to estimate the financial value of patient engagement. Expected net present value (ENPV) is a common technique that integrates the key business drivers of cost, time, revenue, and risk into a summary metric for project strategy and portfolio decisions. We assessed the impact of patient engagement on ENPV for a typical oncology development program entering phase 2 or phase 3. For a pre-phase 2 project, the cumulative impact of a patient engagement activity that avoids one protocol amendment and improves enrollment, adherence, and retention is an increase in net present value (NPV) of $62MM ($65MM for pre-phase 3) and an increase in ENPV of $35MM ($75MM for pre-phase 3). Compared with an investment of $100,000 in patient engagement, the NPV and ENPV increases can exceed 500-fold the investment. This ENPV increase is the equivalent of accelerating a pre-phase 2 product launch by 2½ years (1½ years for pre-phase 3). Risk-adjusted financial models can assess the impact of patient engagement. A combination of empirical data and subjective parameter estimates shows that engagement activities with the potential to avoid protocol amendments and/or improve enrollment, adherence, and retention may add considerable financial value. This approach can help sponsors assess patient engagement investment decisions.

  7. Assessing Program Learning Objectives to Improve Undergraduate Physics Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menke, Carrie

    2014-03-01

    Our physics undergraduate program has five program learning objectives (PLOs) focusing on (1) physical principles, (2) mathematical expertise, (3) experimental technique, (4) communication and teamwork, and (5) research proficiency. One PLO is assessed each year, with the results guiding modifications in our curriculum and future assessment practices; we have just completed our first cycle of assessing all PLOs. Our approach strives to maximize the ease and applicability of our assessment practices while maintaining faculty's flexibility in course design and delivery. Objectives are mapped onto our core curriculum with identified coursework collected as direct evidence. We've utilized mostly descriptive rubrics, applying them at the course and program levels as well as sharing them with the students. This has resulted in more efficient assessment that is also applicable to reaccreditation efforts, higher inter-rater reliability than with other rubric types, and higher quality capstone projects. We've also found that the varied quality of student writing can interfere with our assessment of other objectives. This poster outlines our processes, resources, and how we have used PLO assessment to strengthen our undergraduate program.

  8. Improved flow cytometric assessment reveals distinct microvesicle (cell-derived microparticle signatures in joint diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bence György

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Microvesicles (MVs, earlier referred to as microparticles, represent a major type of extracellular vesicles currently considered as novel biomarkers in various clinical settings such as autoimmune disorders. However, the analysis of MVs in body fluids has not been fully standardized yet, and there are numerous pitfalls that hinder the correct assessment of these structures. METHODS: In this study, we analyzed synovial fluid (SF samples of patients with osteoarthritis (OA, rheumatoid arthritis (RA and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA. To assess factors that may confound MV detection in joint diseases, we used electron microscopy (EM, Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA and mass spectrometry (MS. For flow cytometry, a method commonly used for phenotyping and enumeration of MVs, we combined recent advances in the field, and used a novel approach of differential detergent lysis for the exclusion of MV-mimicking non-vesicular signals. RESULTS: EM and NTA showed that substantial amounts of particles other than MVs were present in SF samples. Beyond known MV-associated proteins, MS analysis also revealed abundant plasma- and immune complex-related proteins in MV preparations. Applying improved flow cytometric analysis, we demonstrate for the first time that CD3(+ and CD8(+ T-cell derived SF MVs are highly elevated in patients with RA compared to OA patients (p=0.027 and p=0.009, respectively, after Bonferroni corrections. In JIA, we identified reduced numbers of B cell-derived MVs (p=0.009, after Bonferroni correction. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that improved flow cytometric assessment of MVs facilitates the detection of previously unrecognized disease-associated vesicular signatures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  10. Development of a Multi-Domain Assessment Tool for Quality Improvement Projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbluth, Glenn; Burman, Natalie J; Ranji, Sumant R; Boscardin, Christy K

    2017-08-01

    Improving the quality of health care and education has become a mandate at all levels within the medical profession. While several published quality improvement (QI) assessment tools exist, all have limitations in addressing the range of QI projects undertaken by learners in undergraduate medical education, graduate medical education, and continuing medical education. We developed and validated a tool to assess QI projects with learner engagement across the educational continuum. After reviewing existing tools, we interviewed local faculty who taught QI to understand how learners were engaged and what these faculty wanted in an ideal assessment tool. We then developed a list of competencies associated with QI, established items linked to these competencies, revised the items using an iterative process, and collected validity evidence for the tool. The resulting Multi-Domain Assessment of Quality Improvement Projects (MAQIP) rating tool contains 9 items, with criteria that may be completely fulfilled, partially fulfilled, or not fulfilled. Interrater reliability was 0.77. Untrained local faculty were able to use the tool with minimal guidance. The MAQIP is a 9-item, user-friendly tool that can be used to assess QI projects at various stages and to provide formative and summative feedback to learners at all levels.

  11. A systematic approach to injury policy assessment: introducing the assessment of child injury prevention policies (A-CHIPP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonge, Olakunle; Agrawal, Priyanka; Meddings, David; Hyder, Adnan A

    2017-11-03

    This study presents a systematic approach-assessment of child injury prevention policies (A-CHIPP)-to assess and track policies on effective child injury interventions at the national level. Results from an initial pilot test of the approach in selected countries are presented. A literature review was conducted to identify conceptual models for injury policy assessment, and domains and indicators were proposed for assessing national injury policies for children aged 1-9 years. The indicators focused on current evidence-supported interventions targeting the leading external causes of child injury mortality globally, and were organised into a self-administered A-CHIPP questionnaire comprising 22 questions. The questionnaire was modified based on reviews by experts in child injury prevention. For an initial test of the approach, 13 countries from all six WHO regions were selected to examine the accuracy, usefulness and ease of understanding of the A-CHIPP questionnaire. Data on the A-CHIPP questionnaire were received from nine countries. Drowning and road traffic injuries were reported as the leading causes of child injury deaths in seven of these countries. Most of the countries lacked national policies on interventions that address child injuries; supportive factors such as finance and leadership for injury prevention were also lacking. All countries rated the questionnaire highly on its relevance for assessment of injury prevention policies. The A-CHIPP questionnaire is useful for national assessment of child injury policies, and such an assessment could draw attention of stakeholders to policy gaps and progress in child injury prevention in all countries. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  12. Training self-assessment and task-selection skills : A cognitive approach to improving self-regulated learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kostons, Danny; van Gog, Tamara; Paas, Fred

    For self-regulated learning to be effective, students need to be able to accurately assess their own performance on a learning task and use this assessment for the selection of a new learning task. Evidence suggests, however, that students have difficulties with accurate self-assessment and task

  13. The scientific learning approach using multimedia-based maze game to improve learning outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Setiawan, Wawan; Hafitriani, Sarah; Prabawa, Harsa Wara

    2016-02-01

    The objective of curriculum 2013 is to improve the quality of education in Indonesia, which leads to improving the quality of learning. The scientific approach and supported empowerment media is one approach as massaged of curriculum 2013. This research aims to design a labyrinth game based multimedia and apply in the scientific learning approach. This study was conducted in one of the Vocational School in Subjects of Computer Network on 2 (two) classes of experimental and control. The method used Mix Method Research (MMR) which combines qualitative in multimedia design, and quantitative in the study of learning impact. The results of a survey showed that the general of vocational students like of network topology material (68%), like multimedia (74%), and in particular, like interactive multimedia games and flash (84%). Multimediabased maze game developed good eligibility based on media and material aspects of each value 840% and 82%. Student learning outcomes as a result of using a scientific approach to learning with a multimediabased labyrinth game increase with an average of gain index about (58%) and higher than conventional multimedia with index average gain of 0.41 (41%). Based on these results the scientific approach to learning by using multimediabased labyrinth game can improve the quality of learning and increase understanding of students. Multimedia of learning based labyrinth game, which developed, got a positive response from the students with a good qualification level (75%).

  14. Workplace-based assessment and students' approaches to learning: a qualitative inquiry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Al-Kadri, H.M.; Al-Kadi, M.T.; Vleuten, C.P.M. van der

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: We have performed this research to assess the effect of work-place based assessment (WBA) practice on medical students' learning approaches. METHODS: The research was conducted at the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, College of Medicine from 1 March to 31 July

  15. An approach for assessing human exposures to chemical mixtures in the environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rice, Glenn; MacDonell, Margaret; Hertzberg, Richard C.; Teuschler, Linda; Picel, Kurt; Butler, Jim; Chang, Young-Soo; Hartmann, Heidi

    2008-01-01

    Humans are exposed daily to multiple chemicals, including incidental exposures to complex chemical mixtures released into the environment and to combinations of chemicals that already co-exist in the environment because of previous releases from various sources. Exposures to chemical mixtures can occur through multiple pathways and across multiple routes. In this paper, we propose an iterative approach for assessing exposures to environmental chemical mixtures; it is similar to single-chemical approaches. Our approach encompasses two elements of the Risk Assessment Paradigm: Problem Formulation and Exposure Assessment. Multiple phases of the assessment occur in each element of the paradigm. During Problem Formulation, analysts identify and characterize the source(s) of the chemical mixture, ensure that dose-response and exposure assessment measures are concordant, and develop a preliminary evaluation of the mixture's fate. During Exposure Assessment, analysts evaluate the fate of the chemicals comprising the mixture using appropriate models and measurement data, characterize the exposure scenario, and estimate human exposure to the mixture. We also describe the utility of grouping the chemicals to be analyzed based on both physical-chemical properties and an understanding of environmental fate. In the article, we also highlight the need for understanding of changes in the mixture composition in the environment due to differential transport, differential degradation, and differential partitioning to other media. The section describes the application of the method to various chemical mixtures, highlighting issues associated with assessing exposures to chemical mixtures in the environment

  16. Establishing an air pollution monitoring network for intra-urban population exposure assessment : a location-allocation approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kanaroglou, P.S. [McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada). School of Geography and Geology; Jerrett, M.; Beckerman, B.; Arain, M.A. [McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada). School of Geography and Geology]|[McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada). McMaster Inst. of Environment and Health; Morrison, J. [Carleton Univ., Ottawa, ON (Canada). School of Computer Science; Gilbert, N.L. [Health Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada). Air Health Effects Div; Brook, J.R. [Meteorological Service of Canada, Toronto, ON (Canada)

    2004-10-01

    A study was conducted to assess the relation between traffic-generated air pollution and health reactions ranging from childhood asthma to mortality from lung cancer. In particular, it developed a formal method of optimally locating a dense network of air pollution monitoring stations in order to derive an exposure assessment model based on the data obtained from the monitoring stations and related land use, population and biophysical information. The method for determining the locations of 100 nitrogen dioxide monitors in Toronto, Ontario focused on land use, transportation infrastructure and the distribution of at-risk populations. The exposure assessment produced reasonable estimates at the intra-urban scale. This method for locating air pollution monitors effectively maximizes sampling coverage in relation to important socio-demographic characteristics and likely pollution variability. The location-allocation approach integrates many variables into the demand surface to reconfigure a monitoring network and is especially useful for measuring traffic pollutants with fine-scale spatial variability. The method also shows great promise for improving the assessment of exposure to ambient air pollution in epidemiologic studies. 19 refs., 3 tabs., 4 figs.

  17. Approaches to cancer assessment in EPA's Integrated Risk Information System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehlhaus, Martin W; Gift, Jeffrey S; Hogan, Karen A; Kopylev, Leonid; Schlosser, Paul M; Kadry, Abdel-Razak

    2011-07-15

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Program develops assessments of health effects that may result from chronic exposure to chemicals in the environment. The IRIS database contains more than 540 assessments. When supported by available data, IRIS assessments provide quantitative analyses of carcinogenic effects. Since publication of EPA's 2005 Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment, IRIS cancer assessments have implemented new approaches recommended in these guidelines and expanded the use of complex scientific methods to perform quantitative dose-response assessments. Two case studies of the application of the mode of action framework from the 2005 Cancer Guidelines are presented in this paper. The first is a case study of 1,2,3-trichloropropane, as an example of a chemical with a mutagenic mode of carcinogenic action thus warranting the application of age-dependent adjustment factors for early-life exposure; the second is a case study of ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, as an example of a chemical with a carcinogenic action consistent with a nonlinear extrapolation approach. The use of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling to quantify interindividual variability and account for human parameter uncertainty as part of a quantitative cancer assessment is illustrated using a case study involving probabilistic PBPK modeling for dichloromethane. We also discuss statistical issues in assessing trends and model fit for tumor dose-response data, analysis of the combined risk from multiple types of tumors, and application of life-table methods for using human data to derive cancer risk estimates. These issues reflect the complexity and challenges faced in assessing the carcinogenic risks from exposure to environmental chemicals, and provide a view of the current trends in IRIS carcinogenicity risk assessment. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. Approaches to cancer assessment in EPA's Integrated Risk Information System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gehlhaus, Martin W.; Gift, Jeffrey S.; Hogan, Karen A.; Kopylev, Leonid; Schlosser, Paul M.; Kadry, Abdel-Razak

    2011-01-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Program develops assessments of health effects that may result from chronic exposure to chemicals in the environment. The IRIS database contains more than 540 assessments. When supported by available data, IRIS assessments provide quantitative analyses of carcinogenic effects. Since publication of EPA's 2005 Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment, IRIS cancer assessments have implemented new approaches recommended in these guidelines and expanded the use of complex scientific methods to perform quantitative dose-response assessments. Two case studies of the application of the mode of action framework from the 2005 Cancer Guidelines are presented in this paper. The first is a case study of 1,2,3-trichloropropane, as an example of a chemical with a mutagenic mode of carcinogenic action thus warranting the application of age-dependent adjustment factors for early-life exposure; the second is a case study of ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, as an example of a chemical with a carcinogenic action consistent with a nonlinear extrapolation approach. The use of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling to quantify interindividual variability and account for human parameter uncertainty as part of a quantitative cancer assessment is illustrated using a case study involving probabilistic PBPK modeling for dichloromethane. We also discuss statistical issues in assessing trends and model fit for tumor dose-response data, analysis of the combined risk from multiple types of tumors, and application of life-table methods for using human data to derive cancer risk estimates. These issues reflect the complexity and challenges faced in assessing the carcinogenic risks from exposure to environmental chemicals, and provide a view of the current trends in IRIS carcinogenicity risk assessment.

  19. Using Vision System Technologies to Enable Operational Improvements for Low Visibility Approach and Landing Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, Lynda J.; Ellis, Kyle K. E.; Bailey, Randall E.; Williams, Steven P.; Severance, Kurt; Le Vie, Lisa R.; Comstock, James R.

    2014-01-01

    Flight deck-based vision systems, such as Synthetic and Enhanced Vision System (SEVS) technologies, have the potential to provide additional margins of safety for aircrew performance and enable the implementation of operational improvements for low visibility surface, arrival, and departure operations in the terminal environment with equivalent efficiency to visual operations. To achieve this potential, research is required for effective technology development and implementation based upon human factors design and regulatory guidance. This research supports the introduction and use of Synthetic Vision Systems and Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (SVS/EFVS) as advanced cockpit vision technologies in Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) operations. Twelve air transport-rated crews participated in a motion-base simulation experiment to evaluate the use of SVS/EFVS in NextGen low visibility approach and landing operations. Three monochromatic, collimated head-up display (HUD) concepts (conventional HUD, SVS HUD, and EFVS HUD) and two color head-down primary flight display (PFD) concepts (conventional PFD, SVS PFD) were evaluated in a simulated NextGen Chicago O'Hare terminal environment. Additionally, the instrument approach type (no offset, 3 degree offset, 15 degree offset) was experimentally varied to test the efficacy of the HUD concepts for offset approach operations. The data showed that touchdown landing performance were excellent regardless of SEVS concept or type of offset instrument approach being flown. Subjective assessments of mental workload and situation awareness indicated that making offset approaches in low visibility conditions with an EFVS HUD or SVS HUD may be feasible.

  20. Introduction of water footprint assessment approach to enhance water supply management in Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moni, Syazwan N.; Aziz, Edriyana A.; Malek, M. A.

    2017-10-01

    Presently, Water Footprint (WF) Approach has been used to assess the sustainability of a product's chain globally but is lacking in the services sector. Thus, this paper aims to introduce WF assessment as a technical approach to determine the sustainability of water supply management for the typical water supply treatment process (WSTP) used in Malaysia. Water supply is one of the pertinent services and most of WF accounting begins with data obtained from the water supply treatment plant. Therefore, the amount of WF will be accounted for each process of WSTP in order to determine the water utilization for the whole process according to blue, green and grey WF. Hence, the exact amount of water used in the process can be measured by applying this accounting method to assess the sustainability of water supply management in Malaysia. Therefore, the WF approach in assessing sustainability of WSTP could be implemented.

  1. Improved Thévenin equivalent methods for real-time voltage stability assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perez, Angel; Jóhannsson, Hjörtur; Østergaard, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    An improved Thévenin equivalent method for real-time voltage stability assessment that uses wide-area information from synchrophasors is proposed. The improvements are a better modeling of the limited synchronous generators, and a processing that anticipates the effect of field current limiters......, before the latter are activated. Several study cases using detailed dynamic simulations of the Nordic test system have been used to assess the performance of the proposed improvements. Their effectiveness is analyzed and, based on the results, their possible application in combination...

  2. A Two-Stage Multi-Agent Based Assessment Approach to Enhance Students' Learning Motivation through Negotiated Skills Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadli, Abdelhafid; Bendella, Fatima; Tranvouez, Erwan

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we present an Agent-based evaluation approach in a context of Multi-agent simulation learning systems. Our evaluation model is based on a two stage assessment approach: (1) a Distributed skill evaluation combining agents and fuzzy sets theory; and (2) a Negotiation based evaluation of students' performance during a training…

  3. Time-dependent resilience assessment and improvement of urban infrastructure systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Min; Dueñas-Osorio, Leonardo

    2012-09-01

    This paper introduces an approach to assess and improve the time-dependent resilience of urban infrastructure systems, where resilience is defined as the systems' ability to resist various possible hazards, absorb the initial damage from hazards, and recover to normal operation one or multiple times during a time period T. For different values of T and its position relative to current time, there are three forms of resilience: previous resilience, current potential resilience, and future potential resilience. This paper mainly discusses the third form that takes into account the systems' future evolving processes. Taking the power transmission grid in Harris County, Texas, USA as an example, the time-dependent features of resilience and the effectiveness of some resilience-inspired strategies, including enhancement of situational awareness, management of consumer demand, and integration of distributed generators, are all simulated and discussed. Results show a nonlinear nature of resilience as a function of T, which may exhibit a transition from an increasing function to a decreasing function at either a threshold of post-blackout improvement rate, a threshold of load profile with consumer demand management, or a threshold number of integrated distributed generators. These results are further confirmed by studying a typical benchmark system such as the IEEE RTS-96. Such common trends indicate that some resilience strategies may enhance infrastructure system resilience in the short term, but if not managed well, they may compromise practical utility system resilience in the long run.

  4. Assessment of Extension Service Delivery on Improved Cassava ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Extension service delivery is too often merely seen as a vehicle for spreading scientific and technical progress and technology transfer. In the real sense, however, dissemination of knowledge is not a one way affair from scientists to producers. The study was conducted to assess extension service delivery on improved ...

  5. Zoo U: A Stealth Approach to Social Skills Assessment in Schools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa E. DeRosier

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the design and evaluation of Zoo U, a novel computer game to assess children’s social skills development. Zoo U is an innovative product that combines theory-driven content and customized game mechanics. The game-like play creates the opportunity for stealth assessment, in which dynamic evidence of social skills is collected in real time and players’ choices during gameplay provide the needed data. To ensure the development of an engaging and valid game, we utilized an iterative data-driven validation process in which the game was created, tested, revised based on student performance and feedback, and retested until game play was statistically matched to independent ratings of social skills. We first investigated whether the data collected through extensive logging of student actions provided information that could be used to improve the assessment. We found that detailed game logs of socially relevant player behavior combined with external measures of player social skills provided an efficient vector to incrementally improve the accuracy of the embedded assessments. Next, we investigated whether the game performance correlated with teachers’ assessments of students’ social skills competencies. An evaluation of the final game showed (a significant correlations between in-game social skills assessments and independently obtained standard psychological assessments of the same students and (b high levels of engagement and likeability for students. These findings support the use of the interactive and engaging computer game format for the stealth assessment of children’s social skills. The created innovative design methodologies should prove useful in the design and improvement of computer games in education.

  6. Policy approaches to improve availability and affordability of medicines in Mexico - an example of a middle income country.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moye-Holz, Daniela; van Dijk, Jitse P; Reijneveld, Sijmen A; Hogerzeil, Hans V

    2017-08-01

    The World Health Organization recommends establishing and implementing a national pharmaceutical policy (NPP) to guarantee effective and equitable access to medicines. Mexico has implemented several policy approaches to regulate the pharmaceutical sector, but it has no formal NPP. This article describes the approach that the Mexican government has taken to improve availability and affordability of essential medicines. Descriptive policy analysis of public pharmaceutical policy proposals and health action plans on the basis of publicly available data and health progress reports, with a focus on availability and affordability of medicines. The government has implemented pooled procurement, price negotiations, and an information platform in the public sector to improve affordability and availability. The government mainly reports on the savings that these strategies have generated in the public expenditure but their full impact on availability and affordability has not been assessed. To increase availability and affordability of medicines in the public sector, the Mexican government has resorted on isolated strategies. In addition to efficient procurement, price negotiations and price information, other policy components and pricing interventions are needed. All these strategies should be included in a comprehensive NPP.

  7. A Multifaceted Approach to Teamwork Assessment in an Undergraduate Business Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemery, Edward R.; Stickney, Lisa T.

    2014-01-01

    We describe a multifaceted, multilevel approach to teamwork learning and assessment. It includes teamwork knowledge, peer and self-appraisal of teamwork behavior, and individual and team performance on objective tests for teaching and assessing teamwork in an undergraduate business program. At the beginning of this semester-long process, students…

  8. Use of cut-off values as meaningfulness limits in probabilistic studies and its effect on NPPs risk assessment and safety improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petrangeli, G.; Valeri, A.; Zaffiro, C.

    1991-01-01

    This paper discusses the use of cut-off values in probabilistic risk assessment/probabilistic safety assessment (PRA/PSA) of nuclear power plants (NPPs), in order to explore under which conditions this practice may help improve the meaningfulness of the results of the analyses and safety of plants, and how it may affect the assessment of risk. Reference is made, in particular, to some past practical applications, also taken from the experience of the authors within the frame of the Italian licensing process. The paper describes the Italian probabilistic criteria which use probabilistic targets and cut-off values to assess safety and identify plant safety improvements. The rationale of the approach is also discussed in the paper and results of sample applications are illustrated. The paper concludes that the use of cut-off values, if properly implemented, could be productive to improve the plant safety as it helps the analyst to focus on a restricted field of analysis, ignoring lower probability and less known events. It also points out that cut-off values should be considered as living numbers to be lowered and even eliminated as soon as significant advancements are made, through research and operational experience, in the knowledge of the pertinent events

  9. Improving patient-centeredness of fertility care using a multifaceted approach: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huppelschoten Aleida G

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Beside traditional outcomes of safety and (cost-effectiveness, the Institute of Medicine states patient-centeredness as an independent outcome indicator to evaluate the quality of healthcare. Providing patient-centered care is important because patients want to be heard for their ideas and concerns. Healthcare areas associated with high emotions and intensive treatment periods could especially benefit from patient-centered care. How care can become optimally improved in patient-centeredness is unknown. Therefore, we will conduct a study in the context of Dutch fertility care to determine the effects of a multifaceted approach on patient-centeredness, patients’ quality of life (QoL and levels of distress. Our aims are to investigate the effectiveness of a multifaceted approach and to identify determinants of a change in the level of patient-centeredness, patients’ QoL and distress levels. This paper presents the study protocol. Methods/Design In a cluster-randomized trial in 32 Dutch fertility clinics the effects of a multifaceted approach will be determined on the level of patient-centeredness (Patient-centredness Questionnaire – Infertility, patients’ QoL (FertiQoL and levels of distress (SCREENIVF. The multifaceted approach includes audit and feedback, educational outreach visits and patient-mediated interventions. Potential determinants of a change in patient-centeredness, patients’ QoL and levels of distress will be collected by an addendum to the patients’ questionnaire and a professionals’ questionnaire. The latter includes the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument about the clinic’s culture as a possible determinant of an increase in patient-centered care. Discussion The study is expected to yield important new evidence about the effects of a multifaceted approach on levels of patient-centeredness, patients’ QoL and distress in fertility care. Furthermore, determinants associated with a change

  10. Assessment of the Sustainability Capacity of a Coordinated Approach to Chronic Disease Prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreland-Russell, Sarah; Combs, Todd; Polk, LaShaun; Dexter, Sarah

    2017-12-07

    This article outlines some factors that influenced the sustainability capacity of a coordinated approach to chronic disease prevention in state and territory health departments. This study involved a cross-sectional design and mixed-methods approach. Quantitative data were collected using the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool (PSAT), a 40-item multiple-choice instrument that assesses 8 domains of sustainability capacity (environmental support, funding stability, partnerships, organizational capacity, program evaluation, program adaptation, communications, and strategic planning). Qualitative data were collected via phone interviews. The PSAT was administered to staff and stakeholders from public health departments in 50 US states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, who were involved in the implementation of coordinated chronic disease programs. Phone interviews were conducted with program coordinators in each state. Sustainability score patterns and state-level categorical results, as well as strengths and opportunities for improvement across the 8 program sustainability domains, were explored. On average, programs reported the strongest sustainability capacity in the domains of program adaptation, environmental support, and organizational capacity, while funding stability, strategic planning, and communications yielded lowest scores, indicating weakest capacity. Scores varied the most by state in environmental support and strategic planning. The PSAT results highlight the process through which states approached the sustainability of coordinated chronic disease initiatives. This process included an initial focus on program evaluation and partnerships with transfer of priority to long-term strategic planning, communications, and funding stability to further establish coordinated chronic disease efforts. Qualitative interviews provided further context to PSAT results, indicating that leadership, communications, partnerships, funding stability, and policy

  11. Regulatory risk assessment approaches for synthetic mineral fibres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Paul; Holmes, Philip; Bevan, Ruth; Kamps, Klaus; Levy, Leonard; Greim, Helmut

    2015-10-01

    Exposure to synthetic mineral fibres (SMF) may occur in a number of workplace scenarios. To protect worker health, a number of different organisations worldwide have assessed the health risk of these materials and established workplace exposure limits. This paper outlines the basic principles of risk assessment and the scientific methods used to derive valid (justifiable) occupational exposure limits (OELs) and goes on to show how, for SMF, and particularly for refractory ceramic fibre (otherwise known as aluminosilicate wool, RCF/ASW), the methods used and the associated outcomes differ widely. It is argued that the resulting differences in established OELs prevent consistent and appropriate risk management of SMF worldwide, and that development of a transparent and harmonised approach to fibre risk assessment and limit-setting is required. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Toward a risk-based approach to the assessment of the surety of information systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wyss, G.D.; Fletcher, S.K.; Halbgewachs, R.D.; Jansma, R.M.; Lim, J.J.; Murphy, M.; Sands, P.D.

    1995-03-01

    Traditional approaches to the assessment of information systems have treated system security, system reliability, data integrity, and application functionality as separate disciplines. However, each areas requirements and solutions have a profound impact on the successful implementation of the other areas. A better approach is to assess the ``surety`` of an information system, which is defined as ensuring the ``correct`` operation of an information system by incorporating appropriate levels of safety, functionality, confidentiality, availability, and integrity. Information surety examines the combined impact of design alternatives on all of these areas. We propose a modelling approach that combines aspects of fault trees and influence diagrams for assessing information surety requirements under a risk assessment framework. This approach allows tradeoffs to be based on quantitative importance measures such as risk reduction while maintaining the modelling flexibility of the influence diagram paradigm. This paper presents an overview of the modelling method and a sample application problem.

  13. Evaluation of the impact of the voucher and accreditation approach on improving reproductive behaviors and RH status: Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rob, Ubaidur; Rahman, Moshiur; Bellows, Benjamin

    2011-04-22

    Cost of delivering reproductive health services to low-income populations will always require total or partial subsidization by the government and/or development partners. Broadly termed "Demand-Side Financing" or "Output-Based Aid", includes a range of interventions that channel government or donor subsidies to the service user rather than the service provider. Initial findings from the few assessments of reproductive health voucher-and-accreditation programs suggest that, if implemented well, these programs have great potential for achieving the policy objectives of increasing access and use, reducing inequities and enhancing program efficiency and service quality. At this point in time, however, there is a paucity of evidence describing how the various voucher programs function in different settings, for various reproductive health services. Population Council-Nairobi, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, intends to address the lack of evidence around the pros and cons of 'voucher and accreditation' approaches to improving the reproductive health of low income women in five developing countries. In Bangladesh, the activities will be conducted in 11 accredited health facilities where Demand Side Financing program is being implemented and compared with populations drawn from areas served by similar non-accredited facilities. Facility inventories, client exit interviews and service provider interviews will be used to collect comparable data across each facility for assessing readiness and quality of care. In-depth interviews with key stakeholders will be conducted to gain a deeper understanding about the program. A population-based survey will also be carried out in two types of locations: areas where vouchers are distributed and similar locations where vouchers are not distributed. This is a quasi-experimental study which will investigate the impact of the voucher approach on improving maternal health behaviors and status and reducing inequities at the

  14. Evaluation of the impact of the voucher and accreditation approach on improving reproductive behaviors and RH status: Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahman Moshiur

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cost of delivering reproductive health services to low-income populations will always require total or partial subsidization by the government and/or development partners. Broadly termed "Demand-Side Financing" or "Output-Based Aid", includes a range of interventions that channel government or donor subsidies to the service user rather than the service provider. Initial findings from the few assessments of reproductive health voucher-and-accreditation programs suggest that, if implemented well, these programs have great potential for achieving the policy objectives of increasing access and use, reducing inequities and enhancing program efficiency and service quality. At this point in time, however, there is a paucity of evidence describing how the various voucher programs function in different settings, for various reproductive health services. Methods/Design Population Council-Nairobi, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, intends to address the lack of evidence around the pros and cons of 'voucher and accreditation' approaches to improving the reproductive health of low income women in five developing countries. In Bangladesh, the activities will be conducted in 11 accredited health facilities where Demand Side Financing program is being implemented and compared with populations drawn from areas served by similar non-accredited facilities. Facility inventories, client exit interviews and service provider interviews will be used to collect comparable data across each facility for assessing readiness and quality of care. In-depth interviews with key stakeholders will be conducted to gain a deeper understanding about the program. A population-based survey will also be carried out in two types of locations: areas where vouchers are distributed and similar locations where vouchers are not distributed. Discussion This is a quasi-experimental study which will investigate the impact of the voucher approach on improving

  15. Overview of integrative assessment of marine systems: the Ecosystem Approach in practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angel eBorja

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Traditional and emerging human activities are increasingly putting pressures on marine ecosystems and impacting their ability to sustain ecological and human communities. To evaluate the health status of marine ecosystems we need a science-based, integrated Ecosystem Approach, that incorporates knowledge of ecosystem function and services provided that can be used to track how management decisions change the health of marine ecosystems. Although many methods have been developed to assess the status of single components of the ecosystem, few exist for assessing multiple ecosystem components in a holistic way. To undertake such an integrative assessment, it is necessary to understand the response of marine systems to human pressures. Hence, innovative monitoring is needed to obtain data to determine the health of large marine areas, and in an holistic way. Here we review five existing methods that address both of these needs (monitoring and assessment: the Ecosystem Health Assessment Tool; a method for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in the Bay of Biscay; the Ocean Health Index; the Marine Biodiversity Assessment Tool; and the Nested Environmental status Assessment Tool. We have highlighted their main characteristics and analyzing their commonalities and differences, in terms of: use of the Ecosystem Approach; inclusion of multiple components in the assessment; use of reference conditions; use of integrative assessments; use of a range of values to capture the status; weighting ecosystem components when integrating; determine the uncertainty; ensure spatial and temporal comparability; use of robust monitoring approaches; and address pressures and impacts. Ultimately, for any ecosystem assessment to be effective it needs to be: transparent and repeatable and, in order to inform marine management, the results should be easy to communicate to wide audiences, including scientists, managers and policymakers.

  16. A possibilistic analysis approach for environmental risk assessment of petroleum-contaminated sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, L.; Huang, G.H.; Fuller, G.A.

    1999-01-01

    A possibilistic approach for assessing risks associated with petroleum-contaminated sites is provided. The approach is applied to an illustrative case study in order to show its applicability and implementation for decision making in effective site remediation and management. The approach consists of three main parts: (1) the determination of fuzzy steady state contaminant concentrations in a aquifer based on an analytical solute transport model; (2) possibilistic analysis of fuzzy criteria for different risk levels; and (3) environmental risk assessment based on the Euclidian method. Based on results from an illustrative case study, environmental risks at a petroleum-contaminated site can be effectively evaluated using the developed methodology. The risk assessment framework can effectively handle uncertainities presented as fuzzy numbers. The fuzzy nature of water quality and risk level criteria were seen in the related simulation and evaluation models, and the framework is especially useful for situations in which probabilistic information is not available. This use of this approach is new in the area of petroleum waste management under uncertainty, and its results are useful for the related site remediation and management decisions. 36 refs., 1 tab., 4 figs

  17. Use of traits-based bioassessment approaches in biomonitoring and ecological risk assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brink, van den P.J.; Alexander, A.; Desrosiers, M.; Goedkoop, W.; Goethals, P.L.M.; Liess, M.; Dyer, S.

    2011-01-01

    We discuss the application of traits-based bioassessment approaches in retrospective bioassessment as well as in prospective ecological risk assessments in regulatory frameworks. Both approaches address the interaction between species and stressors and their consequences at different levels of

  18. Frailty Assessment in Heart Failure: an Overview of the Multi-domain Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonagh, Julee; Ferguson, Caleb; Newton, Phillip J

    2018-02-01

    The study aims (1) to provide a contemporary description of frailty assessment in heart failure and (2) to provide an overview of multi-domain frailty assessment in heart failure. Frailty assessment is an important predictive measure for mortality and hospitalisation in individuals with heart failure. To date, there are no frailty assessment instruments validated for use in heart failure. This has resulted in significant heterogeneity between studies regarding the assessment of frailty. The most common frailty assessment instrument used in heart failure is the Frailty Phenotype which focuses on five physical domains of frailty; the appropriateness a purely physical measure of frailty in individuals with heart failure who frequently experience decreased exercise tolerance and shortness of breath is yet to be determined. A limited number of studies have approached frailty assessment using a multi-domain view which may be more clinically relevant in heart failure. There remains a lack of consensus regarding frailty assessment and an absence of a validated instrument in heart failure. Despite this, frailty continues to be assessed frequently, primarily for research purposes, using predominantly physical frailty measures. A more multidimensional view of frailty assessment using a multi-domain approach will likely be more sensitive to identifying at risk patients.

  19. Leveraging quality improvement through use of the Systems Assessment Tool in Indigenous primary health care services: a mixed methods study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Frances C; Ferguson-Hill, Sue; Matthews, Veronica; Bailie, Ross

    2016-10-18

    Assessment of the quality of primary health care health delivery systems is a vital part of continuous quality improvement (CQI) processes. The Systems Assessment Tool (SAT) was designed to support Indigenous PHC services in assessing and improving their health care systems. It was based on the Assessment of Chronic Illness Care scale, and on practical experience with applying systems assessments in quality improvement in Indigenous primary health care. We describe the development and application of the SAT, report on a survey to assess the utility of the SAT and review the use of the SAT in other CQI research programs. The mixed methods approach involved a review of documents and internal reports relating to experience with use of the SAT since its development in 2002 and a survey of key informants on their experience with using the SAT. The paper drew from documents and internal reports to describe the SAT development and application in primary health care services from 2002 to 2014. Survey feedback highlighted the benefit to the whole primary health care team from participating in the SAT, bringing to light issues that might not emerge with separate individual tool completion. A majority of respondents reported changes in their health centres as a result of using the SAT. Good organisational and management support assisted with ensuring allocation of time and resources for SAT conduct. Respondents identified the importance of having a skilled, external facilitator. Originally designed as a measurement tool, the SAT rapidly evolved to become an important development tool, assisting teams in learning about primary health care system functioning, applying best practice and contributing to team strengthening. It is valued by primary health care centres as a lever in implementing improvements to strengthen centre delivery systems, and has potential for further adaptation and wider application in Australia and internationally.

  20. Post-closure biosphere assessment modelling: comparison of complex and more stylised approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walke, Russell C; Kirchner, Gerald; Xu, Shulan; Dverstorp, Björn

    2015-10-01

    Geological disposal facilities are the preferred option for high-level radioactive waste, due to their potential to provide isolation from the surface environment (biosphere) on very long timescales. Assessments need to strike a balance between stylised models and more complex approaches that draw more extensively on site-specific information. This paper explores the relative merits of complex versus more stylised biosphere models in the context of a site-specific assessment. The more complex biosphere modelling approach was developed by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co (SKB) for the Formark candidate site for a spent nuclear fuel repository in Sweden. SKB's approach is built on a landscape development model, whereby radionuclide releases to distinct hydrological basins/sub-catchments (termed 'objects') are represented as they evolve through land rise and climate change. Each of seventeen of these objects is represented with more than 80 site specific parameters, with about 22 that are time-dependent and result in over 5000 input values per object. The more stylised biosphere models developed for this study represent releases to individual ecosystems without environmental change and include the most plausible transport processes. In the context of regulatory review of the landscape modelling approach adopted in the SR-Site assessment in Sweden, the more stylised representation has helped to build understanding in the more complex modelling approaches by providing bounding results, checking the reasonableness of the more complex modelling, highlighting uncertainties introduced through conceptual assumptions and helping to quantify the conservatisms involved. The more stylised biosphere models are also shown capable of reproducing the results of more complex approaches. A major recommendation is that biosphere assessments need to justify the degree of complexity in modelling approaches as well as simplifying and conservative assumptions. In light of

  1. SUSTAINABLE URBAN LANDSCAPE: AN APPROACH FOR ASSESSING AND APPROPRIATING INDICATORS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Mohamed Amin

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The impact of development on its context is considered a key issue that governs the discussion and understanding of sustainability. For the reason, that ethics of sustainability are based on developing with no or less negative impacts on the contextual environment despite its urban scale whether limited or extended. This describes types of development that increase the good impacts on the tangible and intangible aspects of the built environment. Thus, achieving sustainability is no more a choice but it is a must especially, in an environment suffering from a lot of threats and stresses that affect all aspects of life; socially, economically, environmentally and also affect the beauty and aesthetics of urban fabrics. Assessing sustainability, the applied indicators and ways of assessment are allimportant concerns for urban sustainability discourses. Especially in such sensitive interacting domains as landscape, that links nature with the built environment. Approaching these concerns has a great deal when enhancing our environment aiming at better urban life containers. This paper aims at investigating the issue of sustainable urban landscape assessment through discussing the hue of indicators, their ways of classification, the criteria of selection and stating the variety of methods in which they can be assessed. Finally, it appropriates an approach for stating and assessing urban landscape sustainability indicators, which evaluates their both qualitative and quantitative value upon performance scale.

  2. Activating clinical trials: a process improvement approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Diego A; Tsalatsanis, Athanasios; Yalcin, Ali; Zayas-Castro, José L; Djulbegovic, Benjamin

    2016-02-24

    The administrative process associated with clinical trial activation has been criticized as costly, complex, and time-consuming. Prior research has concentrated on identifying administrative barriers and proposing various solutions to reduce activation time, and consequently associated costs. Here, we expand on previous research by incorporating social network analysis and discrete-event simulation to support process improvement decision-making. We searched for all operational data associated with the administrative process of activating industry-sponsored clinical trials at the Office of Clinical Research of the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. We limited the search to those trials initiated and activated between July 2011 and June 2012. We described the process using value stream mapping, studied the interactions of the various process participants using social network analysis, and modeled potential process modifications using discrete-event simulation. The administrative process comprised 5 sub-processes, 30 activities, 11 decision points, 5 loops, and 8 participants. The mean activation time was 76.6 days. Rate-limiting sub-processes were those of contract and budget development. Key participants during contract and budget development were the Office of Clinical Research, sponsors, and the principal investigator. Simulation results indicate that slight increments on the number of trials, arriving to the Office of Clinical Research, would increase activation time by 11 %. Also, incrementing the efficiency of contract and budget development would reduce the activation time by 28 %. Finally, better synchronization between contract and budget development would reduce time spent on batching documentation; however, no improvements would be attained in total activation time. The presented process improvement analytic framework not only identifies administrative barriers, but also helps to devise and evaluate potential improvement scenarios. The strength

  3. Risk assessment of pre-hospital trauma airway management by anaesthesiologists using the predictive Bayesian approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nakstad Anders R

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Endotracheal intubation (ETI has been considered an essential part of pre-hospital advanced life support. Pre-hospital ETI, however, is a complex intervention also for airway specialist like anaesthesiologists working as pre-hospital emergency physicians. We therefore wanted to investigate the quality of pre-hospital airway management by anaesthesiologists in severely traumatised patients and identify possible areas for improvement. Method We performed a risk assessment according to the predictive Bayesian approach, in a typical anaesthesiologist-manned Norwegian helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS. The main focus of the risk assessment was the event where a patient arrives in the emergency department without ETI despite a pre-hospital indication for it. Results In the risk assessment, we assigned a high probability (29% for the event assessed, that a patient arrives without ETI despite a pre-hospital indication. However, several uncertainty factors in the risk assessment were identified related to data quality, indications for use of ETI, patient outcome and need for special training of ETI providers. Conclusion Our risk assessment indicated a high probability for trauma patients with an indication for pre-hospital ETI not receiving it in the studied HEMS. The uncertainty factors identified in the assessment should be further investigated to better understand the problem assessed and consequences for the patients. Better quality of pre-hospital airway management data could contribute to a reduction of these uncertainties.

  4. [Suicide and evaluation. Review of French tools: Non-dimensional approach and self-assessment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducher, J-L; de Chazeron, I; Llorca, P-M

    2016-06-01

    Suicide prevention represents a major challenge to public health, and the suicide risk is a permanent concern in psychiatry. But the main difficulty is its diagnosis. What resources are available in French which seem to help therapists in this process? We can distinguish the non-dimensional approach, the use of self-administered questionnaires or interviewer-administrated questionnaires. In this paper, for reasons of editing constraints, we are interested only in a non-dimensional approach and direct assessment measures by self-assessment, analysing the strengths and limitations of each and taking into account scientific studies that have been devoted to them and their clinical relevance. We first considered various aspects of non-dimensional approach through suicidal risk factors research, suicidal emergency and suicidal potential concepts, Shea approach, the model of Mann and some recommended evaluations. This type of approach has a number of advantages, but also limitations. Dimensional approach allows going further. In this article, we also discuss the existing self-assessment tools in French as for example dedicated item for Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) or specific scales such as Reasons for Living Inventory (RFL), Suicidal Probability Scale (SPS), Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS) and self-administered Suicide Risk Assessment Scale of Ducher (aRSD). These last two seem to be used as a priority regarding result of their validation studies. The strong correlation between the self-administered questionnaire aRSD and the interviewer-administered Suicide Risk Assessment Scale of Ducher RSD (r=0.92; P<10(-7)) shows the ability of patients to express their suicidal ideation if we want to invite them to do so. Copyright © 2015 L'Encéphale, Paris. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  5. The Analysis of Physics Learning in Senior High School of Semarang Based on The Scientific Approach and Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardyanti, R. C.; Hartono; Fianti

    2018-03-01

    Physics Learning in Curriculum of 2013 is closely related to the implementation of scientific approach and authentic assessment in learning. This study aims to analyze the implementation of scientific approaches and authentic assessment in physics learning, as well as to analyze the constraints of scientific approach and authentic assessment in physics learning. The data collection techniques used in this study are questionnaires, observations, interviews, and documentation. The calculation results used are percentage techniques and analyzed by using qualitative descriptive approach. Based on the results of research and discussion, the implementation of physics learning based on the scientific approach goes well with the percentage of 84.60%. Physical learning activity based on authentic assessment also goes well with the percentage of 88%. The results of the percentage of scientific approaches and authentic assessment approaches are less than 100%. It shows that there are obstacles to the implementation of the scientific approach and the constraints of authentic assessment. The obstacles to the implementation of scientific approach include time, heavy load of material, input or ability of learners, the willingness of learners in asking questions, laboratory support, and the ability of students to process data. While the obstacles to the implementation of authentic assessment include the limited time for carrying out of authentic assessment, the components of the criteria in carrying out the authentic assessment, the lack of discipline in administering the administration, the difficulty of changing habits in carrying out the assessment from traditional assessment to the authentic assessment, the obstacle to process the score in accordance with the format Curriculum of 2013.

  6. Structured reporting platform improves CAD-RADS assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szilveszter, Bálint; Kolossváry, Márton; Karády, Júlia; Jermendy, Ádám L; Károlyi, Mihály; Panajotu, Alexisz; Bagyura, Zsolt; Vecsey-Nagy, Milán; Cury, Ricardo C; Leipsic, Jonathon A; Merkely, Béla; Maurovich-Horvat, Pál

    2017-11-01

    Structured reporting in cardiac imaging is strongly encouraged to improve quality through consistency. The Coronary Artery Disease - Reporting and Data System (CAD-RADS) was recently introduced to facilitate interdisciplinary communication of coronary CT angiography (CTA) results. We aimed to assess the agreement between manual and automated CAD-RADS classification using a structured reporting platform. Five readers prospectively interpreted 500 coronary CT angiographies using a structured reporting platform that automatically calculates the CAD-RADS score based on stenosis and plaque parameters manually entered by the reader. In addition, all readers manually assessed CAD-RADS blinded to the automatically derived results, which was used as the reference standard. We evaluated factors influencing reader performance including CAD-RADS training, clinical load, time of the day and level of expertise. Total agreement between manual and automated classification was 80.2%. Agreement in stenosis categories was 86.7%, whereas the agreement in modifiers was 95.8% for "N", 96.8% for "S", 95.6% for "V" and 99.4% for "G". Agreement for V improved after CAD-RADS training (p = 0.047). Time of the day and clinical load did not influence reader performance (p > 0.05 both). Less experienced readers had a higher total agreement as compared to more experienced readers (87.0% vs 78.0%, respectively; p = 0.011). Even though automated CAD-RADS classification uses data filled in by the readers, it outperforms manual classification by preventing human errors. Structured reporting platforms with automated calculation of the CAD-RADS score might improve data quality and support standardization of clinical decision making. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. 42 CFR 486.348 - Condition: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Coverage: Organ Procurement Organizations Organ Procurement Organization Process Performance Measures § 486.348 Condition: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI). The OPO must develop, implement... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Condition: Quality assessment and performance...

  8. A systematic approach to assessing the clinical significance of genetic variants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duzkale, H; Shen, J; McLaughlin, H; Alfares, A; Kelly, M A; Pugh, T J; Funke, B H; Rehm, H L; Lebo, M S

    2013-11-01

    Molecular genetic testing informs diagnosis, prognosis, and risk assessment for patients and their family members. Recent advances in low-cost, high-throughput DNA sequencing and computing technologies have enabled the rapid expansion of genetic test content, resulting in dramatically increased numbers of DNA variants identified per test. To address this challenge, our laboratory has developed a systematic approach to thorough and efficient assessments of variants for pathogenicity determination. We first search for existing data in publications and databases including internal, collaborative and public resources. We then perform full evidence-based assessments through statistical analyses of observations in the general population and disease cohorts, evaluation of experimental data from in vivo or in vitro studies, and computational predictions of potential impacts of each variant. Finally, we weigh all evidence to reach an overall conclusion on the potential for each variant to be disease causing. In this report, we highlight the principles of variant assessment, address the caveats and pitfalls, and provide examples to illustrate the process. By sharing our experience and providing a framework for variant assessment, including access to a freely available customizable tool, we hope to help move towards standardized and consistent approaches to variant assessment. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. A comprehensive approach to benefit-risk assessment in drug development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sarac, Sinan B; Rasmussen, Christian H; Rasmussen, Morten A.

    2012-01-01

    Major regulatory agencies, for example, FDA and EMA, have started to request comprehensive benefit-risk analyses of pharmaceutical products prior to approval or labelling expansion. The purpose of this study is to develop a generally applicable and reliable data-driven benefit-risk assessment......) discussion and formulation of an overall conclusion. To reduce the impact of subjective judgements, scores are assigned to each criterion on the basis of objective information (data) wherever possible. The proposed benefit-risk evaluation approach offers comprehensive, data-driven assessments that can...... method, where two or more drugs/doses can be compared. Our aim is to formulate an approach that is simple to apply, allows direct comparison of different types of risks and benefits, and is tailored for application in different disease areas both during clinical development and in the marketing approval...

  10. Protection goals in environmental risk assessment: a practical approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Alonso, Monica; Raybould, Alan

    2014-12-01

    Policy protection goals are set up in most countries to minimise harm to the environment, humans and animals caused by human activities. Decisions on whether to approve new agricultural products, like pesticides or genetically modified (GM) crops, take into account these policy protection goals. To support decision-making, applications for approval of commercial uses of GM crops usually comprise an environmental risk assessment (ERA). These risk assessments are analytical tools, based on science, that follow a conceptual model that includes a problem formulation step where policy protection goals are considered. However, in most countries, risk assessors face major problems in that policy protection goals set in the legislation are stated in very broad terms and are too ambiguous to be directly applicable in ERAs. This means that risk assessors often have to interpret policy protection goals without clear guidance on what effects would be considered harmful. In this paper we propose a practical approach that may help risk assessors to translate policy protection goals into unambiguous (i.e., operational) protection goals and to establish relevant assessment endpoints and risk hypotheses that can be used in ERAs. Examples are provided to show how this approach can be applied to two areas of environmental concern relevant to the ERAs of GM crops.

  11. Evaluation of approaches for improving diesel cold flow properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharafutdinov, Ilshat; Stratiev, Dicho; Dinkov, Rossen [Lukoil Nef