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Sample records for improved reconstruction quality

  1. Improvement of Quality of Reconstructed Images in Multi-Frame Fresnel Digital Holography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiao-Wei, Lu; Jing-Zhen, Li; Hong-Yi, Chen

    2010-01-01

    A modified reconstruction algorithm to improve the quality of reconstructed images of multi-frame Fresnel digital holography is presented. When the reference beams are plane or spherical waves with azimuth encoding, by introducing two spherical wave factors, images can be reconstructed with only one time Fourier transform. In numerical simulation, this algorithm could simplify the reconstruction process and improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the reconstructed images. In single-frame reconstruction experiments, the accurate reconstructed image is obtained with this simplified algorithm

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funamizu, Hideki; Onodera, Yusei; Aizu, Yoshihisa

    2018-05-01

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

  3. Statistical iterative reconstruction to improve image quality for digital breast tomosynthesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu, Shiyu; Chen, Ying; Lu, Jianping; Zhou, Otto

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is a novel modality with the potential to improve early detection of breast cancer by providing three-dimensional (3D) imaging with a low radiation dose. 3D image reconstruction presents some challenges: cone-beam and flat-panel geometry, and highly incomplete sampling. A promising means to overcome these challenges is statistical iterative reconstruction (IR), since it provides the flexibility of accurate physics modeling and a general description of system geometry. The authors’ goal was to develop techniques for applying statistical IR to tomosynthesis imaging data. Methods: These techniques include the following: a physics model with a local voxel-pair based prior with flexible parameters to fine-tune image quality; a precomputed parameter λ in the prior, to remove data dependence and to achieve a uniform resolution property; an effective ray-driven technique to compute the forward and backprojection; and an oversampled, ray-driven method to perform high resolution reconstruction with a practical region-of-interest technique. To assess the performance of these techniques, the authors acquired phantom data on the stationary DBT prototype system. To solve the estimation problem, the authors proposed an optimization-transfer based algorithm framework that potentially allows fewer iterations to achieve an acceptably converged reconstruction. Results: IR improved the detectability of low-contrast and small microcalcifications, reduced cross-plane artifacts, improved spatial resolution, and lowered noise in reconstructed images. Conclusions: Although the computational load remains a significant challenge for practical development, the superior image quality provided by statistical IR, combined with advancing computational techniques, may bring benefits to screening, diagnostics, and intraoperative imaging in clinical applications

  4. Statistical iterative reconstruction to improve image quality for digital breast tomosynthesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Shiyu, E-mail: shiyu.xu@gmail.com; Chen, Ying, E-mail: adachen@siu.edu [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, Illinois 62901 (United States); Lu, Jianping; Zhou, Otto [Department of Physics and Astronomy and Curriculum in Applied Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599 (United States)

    2015-09-15

    Purpose: Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is a novel modality with the potential to improve early detection of breast cancer by providing three-dimensional (3D) imaging with a low radiation dose. 3D image reconstruction presents some challenges: cone-beam and flat-panel geometry, and highly incomplete sampling. A promising means to overcome these challenges is statistical iterative reconstruction (IR), since it provides the flexibility of accurate physics modeling and a general description of system geometry. The authors’ goal was to develop techniques for applying statistical IR to tomosynthesis imaging data. Methods: These techniques include the following: a physics model with a local voxel-pair based prior with flexible parameters to fine-tune image quality; a precomputed parameter λ in the prior, to remove data dependence and to achieve a uniform resolution property; an effective ray-driven technique to compute the forward and backprojection; and an oversampled, ray-driven method to perform high resolution reconstruction with a practical region-of-interest technique. To assess the performance of these techniques, the authors acquired phantom data on the stationary DBT prototype system. To solve the estimation problem, the authors proposed an optimization-transfer based algorithm framework that potentially allows fewer iterations to achieve an acceptably converged reconstruction. Results: IR improved the detectability of low-contrast and small microcalcifications, reduced cross-plane artifacts, improved spatial resolution, and lowered noise in reconstructed images. Conclusions: Although the computational load remains a significant challenge for practical development, the superior image quality provided by statistical IR, combined with advancing computational techniques, may bring benefits to screening, diagnostics, and intraoperative imaging in clinical applications.

  5. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction for volume-rendered computed tomography portovenography. Improvement of image quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsuda, Izuru; Hanaoka, Shohei; Akahane, Masaaki

    2010-01-01

    Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) is a reconstruction technique for computed tomography (CT) that reduces image noise. The purpose of our study was to investigate whether ASIR improves the quality of volume-rendered (VR) CT portovenography. Institutional review board approval, with waived consent, was obtained. A total of 19 patients (12 men, 7 women; mean age 69.0 years; range 25-82 years) suspected of having liver lesions underwent three-phase enhanced CT. VR image sets were prepared with both the conventional method and ASIR. The required time to make VR images was recorded. Two radiologists performed independent qualitative evaluations of the image sets. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used for statistical analysis. Contrast-noise ratios (CNRs) of the portal and hepatic vein were also evaluated. Overall image quality was significantly improved by ASIR (P<0.0001 and P=0.0155 for each radiologist). ASIR enhanced CNRs of the portal and hepatic vein significantly (P<0.0001). The time required to create VR images was significantly shorter with ASIR (84.7 vs. 117.1 s; P=0.014). ASIR enhances CNRs and improves image quality in VR CT portovenography. It also shortens the time required to create liver VR CT portovenographs. (author)

  6. Improving the reconstruction quality with extension and apodization of the digital hologram

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Yancao; Zhao Jianlin; Fan Qi; Zhang Wei; Yang Sheng

    2009-01-01

    To suppress the aperture diffraction and spectral leakage effects in the reconstruction process of the digital hologram and to maintain the original information recorded in the hologram, a novel reconstruction method based on extension and apodization of the digital hologram is presented, by which the original hologram can be extended by filling the average intensity values of the boundary, and the extended hologram is apodized by use of the constructed window function. As a sample, the digital hologram of the static particle field is recorded and numerically extended and then apodized with the appointed window. Finally, an unabridged and clear digital holographic image is reconstructed from the extended and apodized hologram. The experimental results confirm that this method cannot only eliminate the black-and-white diffraction fringes in the reconstructed image, but also attain the unabridged image with high quality.

  7. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction improves image quality without affecting perfusion CT quantitation in primary colorectal cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Prezzi

    Full Text Available Objectives: To determine the effect of Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction (ASIR on perfusion CT (pCT parameter quantitation and image quality in primary colorectal cancer. Methods: Prospective observational study. Following institutional review board approval and informed consent, 32 patients with colorectal adenocarcinoma underwent pCT (100 kV, 150 mA, 120 s acquisition, axial mode. Tumour regional blood flow (BF, blood volume (BV, mean transit time (MTT and permeability surface area product (PS were determined using identical regions-of-interests for ASIR percentages of 0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100%. Image noise, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR and pCT parameters were assessed across ASIR percentages. Coefficients of variation (CV, repeated measures analysis of variance (rANOVA and Spearman’ rank order correlation were performed with statistical significance at 5%. Results: With increasing ASIR percentages, image noise decreased by 33% while CNR increased by 61%; peak tumour CNR was greater than 1.5 with 60% ASIR and above. Mean BF, BV, MTT and PS differed by less than 1.8%, 2.9%, 2.5% and 2.6% across ASIR percentages. CV were 4.9%, 4.2%, 3.3% and 7.9%; rANOVA P values: 0.85, 0.62, 0.02 and 0.81 respectively. Conclusions: ASIR improves image noise and CNR without altering pCT parameters substantially. Keywords: Perfusion imaging, Multidetector computed tomography, Colorectal neoplasms, Computer-assisted image processing, Radiation dosage

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  9. Novel edge treatment method for improving the transmission reconstruction quality in Tomographic Gamma Scanning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Miaomiao; Guo, Zhirong; Liu, Haifeng; Li, Qinghua

    2018-05-01

    Tomographic Gamma Scanning (TGS) is a method used for the nondestructive assay of radioactive wastes. In TGS, the actual irregular edge voxels are regarded as regular cubic voxels in the traditional treatment method. In this study, in order to improve the performance of TGS, a novel edge treatment method is proposed that considers the actual shapes of these voxels. The two different edge voxel treatment methods were compared by computing the pixel-level relative errors and normalized mean square errors (NMSEs) between the reconstructed transmission images and the ideal images. Both methods were coupled with two different interative algorithms comprising Algebraic Reconstruction Technique (ART) with a non-negativity constraint and Maximum Likelihood Expectation Maximization (MLEM). The results demonstrated that the traditional method for edge voxel treatment can introduce significant error and that the real irregular edge voxel treatment method can improve the performance of TGS by obtaining better transmission reconstruction images. With the real irregular edge voxel treatment method, MLEM algorithm and ART algorithm can be comparable when assaying homogenous matrices, but MLEM algorithm is superior to ART algorithm when assaying heterogeneous matrices. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Cranial CT with adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction: improved image quality with concomitant radiation dose reduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapalino, O; Kamalian, Shervin; Kamalian, Shahmir; Payabvash, S; Souza, L C S; Zhang, D; Mukta, J; Sahani, D V; Lev, M H; Pomerantz, S R

    2012-04-01

    To safeguard patient health, there is great interest in CT radiation-dose reduction. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of an iterative-reconstruction algorithm, ASIR, on image-quality measures in reduced-dose head CT scans for adult patients. Using a 64-section scanner, we analyzed 100 reduced-dose adult head CT scans at 6 predefined levels of ASIR blended with FBP reconstruction. These scans were compared with 50 CT scans previously obtained at a higher routine dose without ASIR reconstruction. SNR and CNR were computed from Hounsfield unit measurements of normal GM and WM of brain parenchyma. A blinded qualitative analysis was performed in 10 lower-dose CT datasets compared with higher-dose ones without ASIR. Phantom data analysis was also performed. Lower-dose scans without ASIR had significantly lower mean GM and WM SNR (P = .003) and similar GM-WM CNR values compared with higher routine-dose scans. However, at ASIR levels of 20%-40%, there was no statistically significant difference in SNR, and at ASIR levels of ≥60%, the SNR values of the reduced-dose scans were significantly higher (P ASIR levels of ≥40% (P ASIR levels ≥60% (P ASIR in adult head CT scans reduces image noise and increases low-contrast resolution, while allowing lower radiation doses without affecting spatial resolution.

  11. Reduction of radiation exposure and improvement of image quality with BMI-adapted prospective cardiac computed tomography and iterative reconstruction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hosch, Waldemar; Stiller, Wolfram; Mueller, Dirk; Gitsioudis, Gitsios; Welzel, Johanna; Dadrich, Monika; Buss, Sebastian J.; Giannitsis, Evangelos; Kauczor, Hans U.; Katus, Hugo A.; Korosoglou, Grigorios

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To assess the impact of body mass index (BMI)-adapted protocols and iterative reconstruction algorithms (iDose) on patient radiation exposure and image quality in patients undergoing prospective ECG-triggered 256-slice coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). Methods: Image quality and radiation exposure were systematically analyzed in 100 patients. 60 Patients underwent prospective ECG-triggered CCTA using a non-tailored protocol and served as a ‘control’ group (Group 1: 120 kV, 200 mA s). 40 Consecutive patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) underwent prospective CCTA, using BMI-adapted tube voltage and standard (Group 2: 100/120 kV, 100–200 mA s) versus reduced tube current (Group 3: 100/120 kV, 75–150 mA s). Iterative reconstructions were provided with different iDose levels and were compared to filtered back projection (FBP) reconstructions. Image quality was assessed in consensus of 2 experienced observers and using a 5-grade scale (1 = best to 5 = worse), and signal- and contrast-to-noise ratios (SNR and CNR) were quantified. Results: CCTA was performed without adverse events in all patients (n = 100, heart rate of 47–87 bpm and BMI of 19–38 kg/m 2 ). Patients examined using the non-tailored protocol in Group 1 had the highest radiation exposure (3.2 ± 0.4 mSv), followed by Group 2 (1.7 ± 0.7 mSv) and Group 3 (1.2 ± 0.6 mSv) (radiation savings of 47% and 63%, respectively, p < 0.001). Iterative reconstructions provided increased SNR and CNR, particularly when higher iDose level 5 was applied with Multi-Frequency reconstruction (iDose5 MFR) (14.1 ± 4.6 versus 21.2 ± 7.3 for SNR and 12.0 ± 4.2 versus 18.1 ± 6.6 for CNR, for FBP versus iDose5 MFR, respectively, p < 0.001). The combination of BMI adaptation with iterative reconstruction reduced radiation exposure and simultaneously improved image quality (subjective image quality of 1.4 ± 0.4 versus 1.9 ± 0.5 for Group 2 reconstructed using iDose5 MFR versus

  12. Improvement of image quality and dose management in CT fluoroscopy by iterative 3D image reconstruction

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    Grosser, Oliver S.; Kupitz, Dennis; Powerski, Maciej; Mohnike, Konrad; Ricke, Jens [University Hospital Magdeburg, Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Magdeburg (Germany); Wybranski, Christian [University Hospital Magdeburg, Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Magdeburg (Germany); University Hospital Cologne, Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Cologne (Germany); Pech, Maciej [University Hospital Magdeburg, Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Magdeburg (Germany); Medical University of Gdansk, Second Department of Radiology, Gdansk (Poland); Amthauer, Holger [University Hospital Magdeburg, Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Magdeburg (Germany); Charite, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Berlin (Germany)

    2017-09-15

    The objective of this study was to assess the influence of an iterative CT reconstruction algorithm (IA), newly available for CT-fluoroscopy (CTF), on image noise, readers' confidence and effective dose compared to filtered back projection (FBP). Data from 165 patients (FBP/IA = 82/74) with CTF in the thorax, abdomen and pelvis were included. Noise was analysed in a large-diameter vessel. The impact of reconstruction and variables (e.g. X-ray tube current I) influencing noise and effective dose were analysed by ANOVA and a pairwise t-test with Bonferroni-Holm correction. Noise and readers' confidence were evaluated by three readers. Noise was significantly influenced by reconstruction, I, body region and circumference (all p ≤ 0.0002). IA reduced the noise significantly compared to FBP (p = 0.02). The effect varied for body regions and circumferences (p ≤ 0.001). The effective dose was influenced by the reconstruction, body region, interventional procedure and I (all p ≤ 0.02). The inter-rater reliability for noise and readers' confidence was good (W ≥ 0.75, p < 0.0001). Noise and readers' confidence were significantly better in AIDR-3D compared to FBP (p ≤ 0.03). Generally, IA yielded a significant reduction of the median effective dose. The CTF reconstruction by IA showed a significant reduction in noise and effective dose while readers' confidence increased. (orig.)

  13. The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program 30-Day Challenge: Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction Outcomes Reporting Reliability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Austin D. Chen

    2018-03-01

    Conclusion:. For immediate, free-tissue breast reconstruction, the ACS-NSQIP may be reliable for monitoring and comparing SSI, WD, URO, and URA rates. However, clinicians may find it useful to understand limitations of the ACS-NSQIP for complications and risk factors, as it may underreport complications occurring beyond 30 days.

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

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

    2017-04-15

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

  15. SU-E-I-93: Improved Imaging Quality for Multislice Helical CT Via Sparsity Regularized Iterative Image Reconstruction Method Based On Tensor Framelet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nam, H; Guo, M; Lee, K; Li, R; Xing, L; Gao, H

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Inspired by compressive sensing, sparsity regularized iterative reconstruction method has been extensively studied. However, its utility pertinent to multislice helical 4D CT for radiotherapy with respect to imaging quality, dose, and time has not been thoroughly addressed. As the beginning of such an investigation, this work carries out the initial comparison of reconstructed imaging quality between sparsity regularized iterative method and analytic method through static phantom studies using a state-of-art 128-channel multi-slice Siemens helical CT scanner. Methods: In our iterative method, tensor framelet (TF) is chosen as the regularization method for its superior performance from total variation regularization in terms of reduced piecewise-constant artifacts and improved imaging quality that has been demonstrated in our prior work. On the other hand, X-ray transforms and its adjoints are computed on-the-fly through GPU implementation using our previous developed fast parallel algorithms with O(1) complexity per computing thread. For comparison, both FDK (approximate analytic method) and Katsevich algorithm (exact analytic method) are used for multislice helical CT image reconstruction. Results: The phantom experimental data with different imaging doses were acquired using a state-of-art 128-channel multi-slice Siemens helical CT scanner. The reconstructed image quality was compared between TF-based iterative method, FDK and Katsevich algorithm with the quantitative analysis for characterizing signal-to-noise ratio, image contrast, and spatial resolution of high-contrast and low-contrast objects. Conclusion: The experimental results suggest that our tensor framelet regularized iterative reconstruction algorithm improves the helical CT imaging quality from FDK and Katsevich algorithm for static experimental phantom studies that have been performed

  16. Uncut Esophagojejunostomy with Double Jejunal Pouch: An Alternative Reconstruction Method that Improves the Quality of Life of Patients after Total Gastrectomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Jia Qing; Cao, Yong Kuan; Zhang, Guo Hu; Wang, Pei Hong; Luo, Guo De

    2017-04-01

    Currently, there is no optimal digestive tract reconstruction technique well recognized by scholars after total gastrectomy. In this study, a new reconstruction method, which is modified from the classic Roux-en-Y procedure, an uncut jejunal esophageal anastomosis with double jejunal pouch (UJEA-DJP) was established, and its advantages for improving the quality of life of patients who undergo total gastrectomy were analyzed. Altogether 160 patients with gastric cancer enrolled in our center from September 2009 to March 2012 received radical D2 total gastrectomy. According to the reconstruction methods used, these patients were divided into three groups: UJEA-DJP (n = 63), Roux-en-Y (n = 45), and P-loop with Roux-en-Y esophagojejunostomy (P-RY; n = 52). The operation time for reconstruction, complications, prognostic nutritional index (PNI), and the Visick classification among the three groups were analyzed. We found that UJEA-DJP has advantages over Roux-en-Y and P-RY regarding the time of digestive tract reconstruction, incidence rates for long-term complications, postoperative nutritional index, body weight recovery, and the Visick classification for subjective feelings (p quality of life of patients after surgical procedure.

  17. Patient involvement in the decision-making process improves satisfaction and quality of life in postmastectomy breast reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashraf, Azra A; Colakoglu, Salih; Nguyen, John T; Anastasopulos, Alexandra J; Ibrahim, Ahmed M S; Yueh, Janet H; Lin, Samuel J; Tobias, Adam M; Lee, Bernard T

    2013-09-01

    The patient-physician relationship has evolved from the paternalistic, physician-dominant model to the shared-decision-making and informed-consumerist model. The level of patient involvement in this decision-making process can potentially influence patient satisfaction and quality of life. In this study, patient-physician decision models are evaluated in patients undergoing postmastectomy breast reconstruction. All women who underwent breast reconstruction at an academic hospital from 1999-2007 were identified. Patients meeting inclusion criteria were mailed questionnaires at a minimum of 1 y postoperatively with questions about decision making, satisfaction, and quality of life. There were 707 women eligible for our study and 465 completed surveys (68% response rate). Patients were divided into one of three groups: paternalistic (n = 18), informed-consumerist (n = 307), shared (n = 140). There were differences in overall general satisfaction (P = 0.034), specifically comparing the informed group to the paternalistic group (66.7% versus 38.9%, P = 0.020) and the shared to the paternalistic group (69.3% versus 38.9%, P = 0.016). There were no differences in aesthetic satisfaction. There were differences found in the SF-12 physical component summary score across all groups (P = 0.033), and a difference was found between the informed and paternalistic groups (P mental component score (P = 0.42). Women undergoing breast reconstruction predominantly used the informed model of decision making. Patients who adopted a more active role, whether using an informed or shared approach, had higher general patient satisfaction and physical component summary scores compared with patients whose decision making was paternalistic. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Intraoperative Nerve Blocks Fail to Improve Quality of Recovery after Tissue Expander Breast Reconstruction: A Prospective, Double-Blinded, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanier, Steven T; Lewis, Kevin C; Kendall, Mark C; Vieira, Brittany L; De Oliveira, Gildasio; Nader, Anthony; Kim, John Y S; Alghoul, Mohammed

    2018-03-01

    The authors' study represents the first level I evidence to assess whether intraoperative nerve blocks improve the quality of recovery from immediate tissue expander/implant breast reconstruction. A prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted in which patients undergoing immediate tissue expander/implant breast reconstruction were randomized to either (1) intraoperative intercostal and pectoral nerve blocks with 0.25% bupivacaine with 1:200,000 epinephrine and 4 mg of dexamethasone or (2) sham nerve blocks with normal saline. The 40-item Quality of Recovery score, pain score, and opioid use in the postoperative period were compared statistically between groups. Power analysis ensured 80 percent power to detect a 10-point (clinically significant) difference in the 40-item Quality of Recovery score. Forty-seven patients were enrolled. Age, body mass index, laterality, mastectomy type, and lymph node dissection were similar between groups. There were no statistical differences in quality of recovery, pain burden as measured by visual analogue scale, opioid consumption, antiemetic use, or length of hospital stay between groups at 24 hours after surgery. Mean global 40-item Quality of Recovery scores were 169 (range, 155 to 182) for the treatment arm and 165 (range, 143 to 179) for the placebo arm (p = 0.36), indicating a high quality of recovery in both groups. Although intraoperative nerve blocks can be a safe adjunct to a comprehensive postsurgical recovery regimen, the authors' results indicate no effect on overall quality of recovery from tissue expander/implant breast reconstruction. Therapeutic, I.

  19. Assessment of noise reduction potential and image quality improvement of a new generation adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR-V) in chest CT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Hui; Yu, Nan; Jia, Yongjun; Yu, Yong; Duan, Haifeng; Han, Dong; Ma, Guangming; Ren, Chenglong; He, Taiping

    2018-01-01

    To evaluate the image quality improvement and noise reduction in routine dose, non-enhanced chest CT imaging by using a new generation adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR-V) in comparison with ASIR algorithm. 30 patients who underwent routine dose, non-enhanced chest CT using GE Discovery CT750HU (GE Healthcare, Waukesha, WI) were included. The scan parameters included tube voltage of 120 kVp, automatic tube current modulation to obtain a noise index of 14HU, rotation speed of 0.6 s, pitch of 1.375:1 and slice thickness of 5 mm. After scanning, all scans were reconstructed with the recommended level of 40%ASIR for comparison purpose and different percentages of ASIR-V from 10% to 100% in a 10% increment. The CT attenuation values and SD of the subcutaneous fat, back muscle and descending aorta were measured at the level of tracheal carina of all reconstructed images. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was calculated with SD representing image noise. The subjective image quality was independently evaluated by two experienced radiologists. For all ASIR-V images, the objective image noise (SD) of fat, muscle and aorta decreased and SNR increased along with increasing ASIR-V percentage. The SD of 30% ASIR-V to 100% ASIR-V was significantly lower than that of 40% ASIR (p ASIR-V reconstructions had good diagnostic acceptability. However, the 50% ASIR-V to 70% ASIR-V series showed significantly superior visibility of small structures when compared with the 40% ASIR and ASIR-V of other percentages (p ASIR-V was the best series of all ASIR-V images, with a highest subjective image quality. The image sharpness was significantly decreased in images reconstructed by 80% ASIR-V and higher. In routine dose, non-enhanced chest CT, ASIR-V shows greater potential in reducing image noise and artefacts and maintaining image sharpness when compared to the recommended level of 40%ASIR algorithm. Combining both the objective and subjective evaluation of images, non

  20. SU-E-I-82: Improving CT Image Quality for Radiation Therapy Using Iterative Reconstruction Algorithms and Slightly Increasing Imaging Doses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noid, G; Chen, G; Tai, A; Li, X

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Iterative reconstruction (IR) algorithms are developed to improve CT image quality (IQ) by reducing noise without diminishing spatial resolution or contrast. For CT in radiation therapy (RT), slightly increasing imaging dose to improve IQ may be justified if it can substantially enhance structure delineation. The purpose of this study is to investigate and to quantify the IQ enhancement as a result of increasing imaging doses and using IR algorithms. Methods: CT images were acquired for phantoms, built to evaluate IQ metrics including spatial resolution, contrast and noise, with a variety of imaging protocols using a CT scanner (Definition AS Open, Siemens) installed inside a Linac room. Representative patients were scanned once the protocols were optimized. Both phantom and patient scans were reconstructed using the Sinogram Affirmed Iterative Reconstruction (SAFIRE) and the Filtered Back Projection (FBP) methods. IQ metrics of the obtained CTs were compared. Results: IR techniques are demonstrated to preserve spatial resolution as measured by the point spread function and reduce noise in comparison to traditional FBP. Driven by the reduction in noise, the contrast to noise ratio is doubled by adopting the highest SAFIRE strength. As expected, increasing imaging dose reduces noise for both SAFIRE and FBP reconstructions. The contrast to noise increases from 3 to 5 by increasing the dose by a factor of 4. Similar IQ improvement was observed on the CTs for selected patients with pancreas and prostrate cancers. Conclusion: The IR techniques produce a measurable enhancement to CT IQ by reducing the noise. Increasing imaging dose further reduces noise independent of the IR techniques. The improved CT enables more accurate delineation of tumors and/or organs at risk during RT planning and delivery guidance

  1. Iterative model reconstruction: Improved image quality of low-tube-voltage prospective ECG-gated coronary CT angiography images at 256-slice CT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oda, Seitaro, E-mail: seisei0430@nifty.com [Department of Cardiology, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, 110 Irving Street, NW, Washington, DC 20010 (United States); Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University, 1-1-1 Honjyo, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto, 860-8556 (Japan); Weissman, Gaby, E-mail: Gaby.Weissman@medstar.net [Department of Cardiology, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, 110 Irving Street, NW, Washington, DC 20010 (United States); Vembar, Mani, E-mail: mani.vembar@philips.com [CT Clinical Science, Philips Healthcare, c595 Miner Road, Cleveland, OH 44143 (United States); Weigold, Wm. Guy, E-mail: Guy.Weigold@MedStar.net [Department of Cardiology, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, 110 Irving Street, NW, Washington, DC 20010 (United States)

    2014-08-15

    Objectives: To investigate the effects of a new model-based type of iterative reconstruction (M-IR) technique, the iterative model reconstruction, on image quality of prospectively gated coronary CT angiography (CTA) acquired at low-tube-voltage. Methods: Thirty patients (16 men, 14 women; mean age 52.2 ± 13.2 years) underwent coronary CTA at 100-kVp on a 256-slice CT. Paired image sets were created using 3 types of reconstruction, i.e. filtered back projection (FBP), a hybrid type of iterative reconstruction (H-IR), and M-IR. Quantitative parameters including CT-attenuation, image noise, and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were measured. The visual image quality, i.e. graininess, beam-hardening, vessel sharpness, and overall image quality, was scored on a 5-point scale. Lastly, coronary artery segments were evaluated using a 4-point scale to investigate the assessability of each segment. Results: There was no significant difference in coronary arterial CT attenuation among the 3 reconstruction methods. The mean image noise of FBP, H-IR, and M-IR images was 29.3 ± 9.6, 19.3 ± 6.9, and 12.9 ± 3.3 HU, respectively, there were significant differences for all comparison combinations among the 3 methods (p < 0.01). The CNR of M-IR was significantly better than of FBP and H-IR images (13.5 ± 5.0 [FBP], 20.9 ± 8.9 [H-IR] and 39.3 ± 13.9 [M-IR]; p < 0.01). The visual scores were significantly higher for M-IR than the other images (p < 0.01), and 95.3% of the coronary segments imaged with M-IR were of assessable quality compared with 76.7% of FBP- and 86.9% of H-IR images. Conclusions: M-IR can provide significantly improved qualitative and quantitative image quality in prospectively gated coronary CTA using a low-tube-voltage.

  2. Use of a hybrid iterative reconstruction technique to reduce image noise and improve image quality in obese patients undergoing computed tomographic pulmonary angiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kligerman, Seth; Mehta, Dhruv; Farnadesh, Mahmmoudreza; Jeudy, Jean; Olsen, Kathryn; White, Charles

    2013-01-01

    To determine whether an iterative reconstruction (IR) technique (iDose, Philips Healthcare) can reduce image noise and improve image quality in obese patients undergoing computed tomographic pulmonary angiography (CTPA). The study was Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliant and approved by our institutional review board. A total of 33 obese patients (average body mass index: 42.7) underwent CTPA studies following standard departmental protocols. The data were reconstructed with filtered back projection (FBP) and 3 iDose strengths (iDoseL1, iDoseL3, and iDoseL5) for a total of 132 studies. FBP data were collected from 33 controls (average body mass index: 22) undergoing CTPA. Regions of interest were drawn at 6 identical levels in the pulmonary artery (PA), from the main PA to a subsegmental branch, in both the control group and study groups using each algorithm. Noise and attenuation were measured at all PA levels. Three thoracic radiologists graded each study on a scale of 1 (very poor) to 5 (ideal) by 4 categories: image quality, noise, PA enhancement, and "plastic" appearance. Statistical analysis was performed using an unpaired t test, 1-way analysis of variance, and linear weighted κ. Compared with the control group, there was significantly higher noise with FBP, iDoseL1, and iDoseL3 algorithms (Pnoise in the control group and iDoseL5 algorithm in the study group. Analysis within the study group showed a significant and progressive decrease in noise and increase in the contrast-to-noise ratio as the level of IR was increased (Pnoise and PA enhancement with increasing levels of iDose. The use of an IR technique leads to qualitative and quantitative improvements in image noise and image quality in obese patients undergoing CTPA.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Distance weighting for improved tomographic reconstructions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koeppe, R.A.; Holden, J.E.

    1984-01-01

    An improved method for the reconstruction of emission computed axial tomography images has been developed. The method is a modification of filtered back-projection, where the back projected values are weighted to reflect the loss of formation, with distance from the camera, which is inherent in gamma camera imaging. This information loss is a result of: loss of spatial resolution with distance, attenuation, and scatter. The weighting scheme can best be described by considering the contributions of any two opposing views to the reconstruction image pixels. The weight applied to the projections of one view is set to equal the relative amount of the original activity that was initially received in that projection, assuming a uniform attenuating medium. This yields a weighting value which is a function of distance into the image with a value of one for pixels ''near the camera'', a value of .5 at the image center, and a value of zero on the opposite side. Tomographic reconstructions produced with this method show improved spatial resolution when compared to conventional 360 0 reconstructions. The improvement is in the tangential direction, where simulations have indicated a FWHM improvement of 1 to 1.5 millimeters. The resolution in the radial direction is essentially the same for both methods. Visual inspection of the reconstructed images show improved resolution and contrast

  5. Early Surgical Site Infection Following Tissue Expander Breast Reconstruction with or without Acellular Dermal Matrix: National Benchmarking Using National Surgical Quality Improvement Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Winocour

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundSurgical site infections (SSIs result in significant patient morbidity following immediate tissue expander breast reconstruction (ITEBR. This study determined a single institution's 30-day SSI rate and benchmarked it against that among national institutions participating in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP.MethodsWomen who underwent ITEBR with/without acellular dermal matrix (ADM were identified using the ACS-NSQIP database between 2005 and 2011. Patient characteristics associated with the 30-day SSI rate were determined, and differences in rates between our institution and the national database were assessed.Results12,163 patients underwent ITEBR, including 263 at our institution. SSIs occurred in 416 (3.4% patients nationwide excluding our institution, with lower rates observed at our institution (1.9%. Nationwide, SSIs were significantly more common in ITEBR patients with ADM (4.5% compared to non-ADM patients (3.2%, P=0.005, and this trend was observed at our institution (2.1% vs. 1.6%, P=1.00. A multivariable analysis of all institutions identified age ≥50 years (odds ratio [OR], 1.4; confidence interval [CI], 1.1-1.7, body mass index ≥30 kg/m2 vs. 4.25 hours (OR, 1.9; CI, 1.5-2.4 as risk factors for SSIs. Our institutional SSI rate was lower than the nationwide rate (OR, 0.4; CI, 0.2-1.1, although this difference was not statistically significant (P=0.07.ConclusionsThe 30-day SSI rate at our institution in patients who underwent ITEBR was lower than the nation. SSIs occurred more frequently in procedures involving ADM both nationally and at our institution.

  6. Accelerate Water Quality Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  7. Improved reconstruction for IDEAL spiral CSI

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Rie Beck; Mariager, Christian; Laustsen, Christoffer

    2017-01-01

    In this study we demonstrate how reconstruction for IDEAL spiral CSI (spectroscopic imaging scheme developed for hyperpolarized dynamic metabolic MR imaging) can be improved by using regularization with a sparsity constraint. By exploiting sparsity of the spectral domain, IDEAL spiral CSI can...

  8. Teaching quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  9. Continuous quality improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bourne, P.B.

    1985-01-01

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

  10. Bayesian image reconstruction for improving detection performance of muon tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guobao; Schultz, Larry J; Qi, Jinyi

    2009-05-01

    Muon tomography is a novel technology that is being developed for detecting high-Z materials in vehicles or cargo containers. Maximum likelihood methods have been developed for reconstructing the scattering density image from muon measurements. However, the instability of maximum likelihood estimation often results in noisy images and low detectability of high-Z targets. In this paper, we propose using regularization to improve the image quality of muon tomography. We formulate the muon reconstruction problem in a Bayesian framework by introducing a prior distribution on scattering density images. An iterative shrinkage algorithm is derived to maximize the log posterior distribution. At each iteration, the algorithm obtains the maximum a posteriori update by shrinking an unregularized maximum likelihood update. Inverse quadratic shrinkage functions are derived for generalized Laplacian priors and inverse cubic shrinkage functions are derived for generalized Gaussian priors. Receiver operating characteristic studies using simulated data demonstrate that the Bayesian reconstruction can greatly improve the detection performance of muon tomography.

  11. Collaborative quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  12. Improved image quality with simultaneously reduced radiation exposure: Knowledge-based iterative model reconstruction algorithms for coronary CT angiography in a clinical setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, Florian; Fortner, Philipp; Vembar, Mani; Mueller, Dirk; Stiller, Wolfram; Buss, Sebastian J; Kauczor, Hans-Ulrich; Katus, Hugo A; Korosoglou, Grigorios

    The aim of this study was to assess the potential for radiation dose reduction using knowledge-based iterative model reconstruction (K-IMR) algorithms in combination with ultra-low dose body mass index (BMI)-adapted protocols in coronary CT angiography (coronary CTA). Forty patients undergoing clinically indicated coronary CTA were randomly assigned to two groups with BMI-adapted (I: quality was significantly better in the ULD group using K-IMR CR 1 compared to FBP, iD 2 and iD 5 in the LD group, resulting in fewer non-diagnostic coronary segments (2.4% vs. 11.6%, 9.2% and 6.1%; p quality compared to LD protocols with FBP or hybrid iterative algorithms. Therefore, K-IMR allows for coronary CTA examinations with high diagnostic value and very low radiation exposure in clinical routine. Copyright © 2017 Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Cerebral bone subtraction CT angiography using 80 kVp and sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction: contrast medium and radiation dose reduction with improvement of image quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nagayama, Yasunori [Kumamoto City Hospital, Department of Radiology, Kumamoto (Japan); Kumamoto University, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto (Japan); Nakaura, Takeshi; Oda, Seitaro; Kidoh, Masafumi; Utsunomiya, Daisuke; Yamashita, Yasuyuki [Kumamoto University, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto (Japan); Tsuji, Akinori; Urata, Joji; Furusawa, Mitsuhiro; Yuki, Hideaki; Hirarta, Kenichiro [Kumamoto City Hospital, Department of Radiology, Kumamoto (Japan)

    2017-02-15

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of a contrast medium (CM), radiation dose reduction protocol for cerebral bone-subtraction CT angiography (BSCTA) using 80-kVp and sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction (SAFIRE). Seventy-five patients who had undergone BSCTA under the 120- (n = 37) or the 80-kVp protocol (n = 38) were included. CM was 370 mgI/kg for the 120-kVp and 296 mgI/kg for the 80-kVp protocol; the 120- and the 80-kVp images were reconstructed with filtered back-projection (FBP) and SAFIRE, respectively. We compared effective dose (ED), CT attenuation, image noise, and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of two protocols. We also scored arterial contrast, sharpness, depiction of small arteries, visibility near skull base/clip, and overall image quality on a four-point scale. ED was 62% lower at 80- than 120-kVp (0.59 ± 0.06 vs 1.56 ± 0.13 mSv, p < 0.01). CT attenuation of the internal carotid artery (ICA) and middle cerebral artery (MCA) was significantly higher on 80- than 120-kVp (ICA: 557.4 ± 105.7 vs 370.0 ± 59.3 Hounsfield units (HU), p < 0.01; MCA: 551.9 ± 107.9 vs 364.6 ± 62.2 HU, p < 0.01). The CNR was also significantly higher on 80- than 120-kVp (ICA: 46.2 ± 10.2 vs 36.9 ± 7.6, p < 0.01; MCA: 45.7 ± 10.0 vs 35.7 ± 9.0, p < 0.01). Visibility near skull base and clip was not significantly different (p = 0.45). The other subjective scores were higher with the 80- than the 120-kVp protocol (p < 0.05). The 80-kVp acquisition with SAFIRE yields better image quality for BSCTA and substantial reduction in the radiation and CM dose compared to the 120-kVp with FBP protocol. (orig.)

  14. Improving Indoor Air Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  15. Improving automated 3D reconstruction methods via vision metrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toschi, Isabella; Nocerino, Erica; Hess, Mona; Menna, Fabio; Sargeant, Ben; MacDonald, Lindsay; Remondino, Fabio; Robson, Stuart

    2015-05-01

    This paper aims to provide a procedure for improving automated 3D reconstruction methods via vision metrology. The 3D reconstruction problem is generally addressed using two different approaches. On the one hand, vision metrology (VM) systems try to accurately derive 3D coordinates of few sparse object points for industrial measurement and inspection applications; on the other, recent dense image matching (DIM) algorithms are designed to produce dense point clouds for surface representations and analyses. This paper strives to demonstrate a step towards narrowing the gap between traditional VM and DIM approaches. Efforts are therefore intended to (i) test the metric performance of the automated photogrammetric 3D reconstruction procedure, (ii) enhance the accuracy of the final results and (iii) obtain statistical indicators of the quality achieved in the orientation step. VM tools are exploited to integrate their main functionalities (centroid measurement, photogrammetric network adjustment, precision assessment, etc.) into the pipeline of 3D dense reconstruction. Finally, geometric analyses and accuracy evaluations are performed on the raw output of the matching (i.e. the point clouds) by adopting a metrological approach. The latter is based on the use of known geometric shapes and quality parameters derived from VDI/VDE guidelines. Tests are carried out by imaging the calibrated Portable Metric Test Object, designed and built at University College London (UCL), UK. It allows assessment of the performance of the image orientation and matching procedures within a typical industrial scenario, characterised by poor texture and known 3D/2D shapes.

  16. Quality improvement - the future begins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boissy, G.J.

    1987-01-01

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

  17. Continuous quality improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  18. IMPROVING CONCEPTUAL DESIGN QUALITY

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bush, Stuart; Robotham, Antony John

    1999-01-01

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

  19. MO-G-17A-07: Improved Image Quality in Brain F-18 FDG PET Using Penalized-Likelihood Image Reconstruction Via a Generalized Preconditioned Alternating Projection Algorithm: The First Patient Results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmidtlein, CR; Beattie, B; Humm, J [Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY (United States); Li, S; Wu, Z; Xu, Y [Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong (China); Zhang, J; Shen, L [Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY (United States); Vogelsang, L [VirtualScopics, Rochester, NY (United States); Feiglin, D; Krol, A [SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY (United States)

    2014-06-15

    Purpose: To investigate the performance of a new penalized-likelihood PET image reconstruction algorithm using the 1{sub 1}-norm total-variation (TV) sum of the 1st through 4th-order gradients as the penalty. Simulated and brain patient data sets were analyzed. Methods: This work represents an extension of the preconditioned alternating projection algorithm (PAPA) for emission-computed tomography. In this new generalized algorithm (GPAPA), the penalty term is expanded to allow multiple components, in this case the sum of the 1st to 4th order gradients, to reduce artificial piece-wise constant regions (“staircase” artifacts typical for TV) seen in PAPA images penalized with only the 1st order gradient. Simulated data were used to test for “staircase” artifacts and to optimize the penalty hyper-parameter in the root-mean-squared error (RMSE) sense. Patient FDG brain scans were acquired on a GE D690 PET/CT (370 MBq at 1-hour post-injection for 10 minutes) in time-of-flight mode and in all cases were reconstructed using resolution recovery projectors. GPAPA images were compared PAPA and RMSE-optimally filtered OSEM (fully converged) in simulations and to clinical OSEM reconstructions (3 iterations, 32 subsets) with 2.6 mm XYGaussian and standard 3-point axial smoothing post-filters. Results: The results from the simulated data show a significant reduction in the 'staircase' artifact for GPAPA compared to PAPA and lower RMSE (up to 35%) compared to optimally filtered OSEM. A simple power-law relationship between the RMSE-optimal hyper-parameters and the noise equivalent counts (NEC) per voxel is revealed. Qualitatively, the patient images appear much sharper and with less noise than standard clinical images. The convergence rate is similar to OSEM. Conclusions: GPAPA reconstructions using the 1{sub 1}-norm total-variation sum of the 1st through 4th-order gradients as the penalty show great promise for the improvement of image quality over that

  20. MO-G-17A-07: Improved Image Quality in Brain F-18 FDG PET Using Penalized-Likelihood Image Reconstruction Via a Generalized Preconditioned Alternating Projection Algorithm: The First Patient Results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmidtlein, CR; Beattie, B; Humm, J; Li, S; Wu, Z; Xu, Y; Zhang, J; Shen, L; Vogelsang, L; Feiglin, D; Krol, A

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate the performance of a new penalized-likelihood PET image reconstruction algorithm using the 1 1 -norm total-variation (TV) sum of the 1st through 4th-order gradients as the penalty. Simulated and brain patient data sets were analyzed. Methods: This work represents an extension of the preconditioned alternating projection algorithm (PAPA) for emission-computed tomography. In this new generalized algorithm (GPAPA), the penalty term is expanded to allow multiple components, in this case the sum of the 1st to 4th order gradients, to reduce artificial piece-wise constant regions (“staircase” artifacts typical for TV) seen in PAPA images penalized with only the 1st order gradient. Simulated data were used to test for “staircase” artifacts and to optimize the penalty hyper-parameter in the root-mean-squared error (RMSE) sense. Patient FDG brain scans were acquired on a GE D690 PET/CT (370 MBq at 1-hour post-injection for 10 minutes) in time-of-flight mode and in all cases were reconstructed using resolution recovery projectors. GPAPA images were compared PAPA and RMSE-optimally filtered OSEM (fully converged) in simulations and to clinical OSEM reconstructions (3 iterations, 32 subsets) with 2.6 mm XYGaussian and standard 3-point axial smoothing post-filters. Results: The results from the simulated data show a significant reduction in the 'staircase' artifact for GPAPA compared to PAPA and lower RMSE (up to 35%) compared to optimally filtered OSEM. A simple power-law relationship between the RMSE-optimal hyper-parameters and the noise equivalent counts (NEC) per voxel is revealed. Qualitatively, the patient images appear much sharper and with less noise than standard clinical images. The convergence rate is similar to OSEM. Conclusions: GPAPA reconstructions using the 1 1 -norm total-variation sum of the 1st through 4th-order gradients as the penalty show great promise for the improvement of image quality over that currently

  1. Improved proton computed tomography by dual modality image reconstruction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hansen, David C., E-mail: dch@ki.au.dk; Bassler, Niels [Experimental Clinical Oncology, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Petersen, Jørgen Breede Baltzer [Medical Physics, Aarhus University Hospital, 8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Sørensen, Thomas Sangild [Computer Science, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark and Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, 8200 Aarhus N (Denmark)

    2014-03-15

    Purpose: Proton computed tomography (CT) is a promising image modality for improving the stopping power estimates and dose calculations for particle therapy. However, the finite range of about 33 cm of water of most commercial proton therapy systems limits the sites that can be scanned from a full 360° rotation. In this paper the authors propose a method to overcome the problem using a dual modality reconstruction (DMR) combining the proton data with a cone-beam x-ray prior. Methods: A Catphan 600 phantom was scanned using a cone beam x-ray CT scanner. A digital replica of the phantom was created in the Monte Carlo code Geant4 and a 360° proton CT scan was simulated, storing the entrance and exit position and momentum vector of every proton. Proton CT images were reconstructed using a varying number of angles from the scan. The proton CT images were reconstructed using a constrained nonlinear conjugate gradient algorithm, minimizing total variation and the x-ray CT prior while remaining consistent with the proton projection data. The proton histories were reconstructed along curved cubic-spline paths. Results: The spatial resolution of the cone beam CT prior was retained for the fully sampled case and the 90° interval case, with the MTF = 0.5 (modulation transfer function) ranging from 5.22 to 5.65 linepairs/cm. In the 45° interval case, the MTF = 0.5 dropped to 3.91 linepairs/cm For the fully sampled DMR, the maximal root mean square (RMS) error was 0.006 in units of relative stopping power. For the limited angle cases the maximal RMS error was 0.18, an almost five-fold improvement over the cone beam CT estimate. Conclusions: Dual modality reconstruction yields the high spatial resolution of cone beam x-ray CT while maintaining the improved stopping power estimation of proton CT. In the case of limited angles, the use of prior image proton CT greatly improves the resolution and stopping power estimate, but does not fully achieve the quality of a 360

  2. Improved proton computed tomography by dual modality image reconstruction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansen, David C.; Bassler, Niels; Petersen, Jørgen Breede Baltzer; Sørensen, Thomas Sangild

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Proton computed tomography (CT) is a promising image modality for improving the stopping power estimates and dose calculations for particle therapy. However, the finite range of about 33 cm of water of most commercial proton therapy systems limits the sites that can be scanned from a full 360° rotation. In this paper the authors propose a method to overcome the problem using a dual modality reconstruction (DMR) combining the proton data with a cone-beam x-ray prior. Methods: A Catphan 600 phantom was scanned using a cone beam x-ray CT scanner. A digital replica of the phantom was created in the Monte Carlo code Geant4 and a 360° proton CT scan was simulated, storing the entrance and exit position and momentum vector of every proton. Proton CT images were reconstructed using a varying number of angles from the scan. The proton CT images were reconstructed using a constrained nonlinear conjugate gradient algorithm, minimizing total variation and the x-ray CT prior while remaining consistent with the proton projection data. The proton histories were reconstructed along curved cubic-spline paths. Results: The spatial resolution of the cone beam CT prior was retained for the fully sampled case and the 90° interval case, with the MTF = 0.5 (modulation transfer function) ranging from 5.22 to 5.65 linepairs/cm. In the 45° interval case, the MTF = 0.5 dropped to 3.91 linepairs/cm For the fully sampled DMR, the maximal root mean square (RMS) error was 0.006 in units of relative stopping power. For the limited angle cases the maximal RMS error was 0.18, an almost five-fold improvement over the cone beam CT estimate. Conclusions: Dual modality reconstruction yields the high spatial resolution of cone beam x-ray CT while maintaining the improved stopping power estimation of proton CT. In the case of limited angles, the use of prior image proton CT greatly improves the resolution and stopping power estimate, but does not fully achieve the quality of a 360

  3. Improving Filtered Backprojection Reconstruction by Data-Dependent Filtering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.M. Pelt (Daniël); K.J. Batenburg (Joost)

    2014-01-01

    htmlabstractFiltered backprojection, one of the most widely used reconstruction methods in tomography, requires a large number of low-noise projections to yield accurate reconstructions. In many applications of tomography, complete projection data of high quality cannot be obtained, because of

  4. Photoelectron holography with improved image reconstruction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsushita, Tomohiro, E-mail: matusita@spring8.or.j [Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI), SPring-8, 1-1-1 Kouto, Sayo-cho, Sayo-gun Hyogo 679-5198 (Japan); Matsui, Fumihiko; Daimon, Hiroshi [Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), 8916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara 630-0192 (Japan); Hayashi, Kouichi [Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8577 (Japan)

    2010-05-15

    Electron holography is a type of atomic structural analysis, and it has unique features such as element selectivity and the ability to analyze the structure around an impurity in a crystal. In this paper, we introduce the measurement system, electron holograms, a theory for the recording process of an electron hologram, and a theory for the reconstruction algorithm. We describe photoelectron holograms, Auger electron holograms, and the inverse mode of an electron hologram. The reconstruction algorithm, scattering pattern extraction algorithm (SPEA), the SPEA with maximum entropy method (SPEA-MEM), and SPEA-MEM with translational operation are also described.

  5. Photoelectron holography with improved image reconstruction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsushita, Tomohiro; Matsui, Fumihiko; Daimon, Hiroshi; Hayashi, Kouichi

    2010-01-01

    Electron holography is a type of atomic structural analysis, and it has unique features such as element selectivity and the ability to analyze the structure around an impurity in a crystal. In this paper, we introduce the measurement system, electron holograms, a theory for the recording process of an electron hologram, and a theory for the reconstruction algorithm. We describe photoelectron holograms, Auger electron holograms, and the inverse mode of an electron hologram. The reconstruction algorithm, scattering pattern extraction algorithm (SPEA), the SPEA with maximum entropy method (SPEA-MEM), and SPEA-MEM with translational operation are also described.

  6. MDSplus quality improvement project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-11-15

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

  7. MDSplus quality improvement project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. CT coronary angiography: Influence of different cardiac reconstruction intervals on image quality and diagnostic accuracy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dewey, Marc [Department of Radiology, Charite Medical School, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin (Germany)], E-mail: marc.dewey@charite.de; Teige, Florian [Department of Radiology, Charite Medical School, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin (Germany); Rutsch, Wolfgang [Department of Cardiology, Charite Medical School, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin (Germany)], E-mail: wolfgang.rutsch@charite.de; Schink, Tania [Department of Medical Biometry, Charite Medical School, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin (Germany)], E-mail: peter.martus@charite.de; Hamm, Bernd [Department of Radiology, Charite Medical School, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin (Germany)

    2008-07-15

    Purpose: To prospectively analyze image quality and diagnostic accuracy of different reconstruction intervals of coronary angiography using multislice computed tomography (MSCT). Materials and methods: For each of 47 patients, 10 ECG-gated MSCT reconstructions were generated throughout the RR interval from 0 to 90%, resulting in altogether 470 datasets. These datasets were randomly analyzed for image quality and accuracy and compared with conventional angiography. Statistical comparison of intervals was performed using nonparametric analysis for repeated measurements to account for clustering of arteries within patients. Results: Image reconstruction intervals centered at 80, 70, and 40% of the RR interval resulted (in that order) in the best overall image quality for all four main coronary vessels. Eighty percent reconstructions also yielded the highest diagnostic accuracy of all intervals. The combination of the three best intervals (80, 70, and 40%) significantly reduced the nondiagnostic rate as compared with 80% alone (p = 0.005). However, the optimal reconstruction interval combination achieved significantly improved specificities and nondiagnostic rates (p < 0.05). The optimal combination consisted of 1.7 {+-} 0.9 reconstruction intervals on average. In approximately half of the patients (49%, 23/47) a single reconstruction was optimal. In 18 (38%), 3 (6%), and 3 (6%) patients one, two, and three additional reconstruction intervals were required, respectively, to achieve optimal quality. In 28% of the patients the optimal combination consisted of reconstructions other than the three best intervals (80, 70, and 40%). Conclusion: Multiple image reconstruction intervals are essential to ensure high image quality and accuracy of CT coronary angiography.

  9. Accuracy improvement of CT reconstruction using tree-structured filter bank

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ueda, Kazuhiro; Morimoto, Hiroaki; Morikawa, Yoshitaka; Murakami, Junichi

    2009-01-01

    Accuracy improvement of 'CT reconstruction algorithm using TSFB (Tree-Structured Filter Bank)' that is high-speed CT reconstruction algorithm, was proposed. TSFB method could largely reduce the amount of computation in comparison with the CB (Convolution Backprojection) method, but it was the problem that an artifact occurred in a reconstruction image since reconstruction was performed with disregard to a signal out of the reconstruction domain in stage processing. Also the whole band filter being the component of a two-dimensional synthesis filter was IIR filter and then an artifact occurred at the end of the reconstruction image. In order to suppress these artifacts the proposed method enlarged the processing range by the TSFB method in the domain outside by the width control of the specimen line and line addition to the reconstruction domain outside. And, furthermore, to avoid increase of the amount of computation, the algorithm was proposed such as to decide the needed processing range depending on the number of steps processing with the TSFB and the degree of incline of filter, and then update the position and width of the specimen line to process the needed range. According to the simulation to realize a high-speed and highly accurate CT reconstruction in this way, the quality of the reconstruction image of the proposed method was improved in comparison with the TSFB method and got the same result with the CB method. (T. Tanaka)

  10. Quality of life before reconstructive breast surgery: A preoperative comparison of patients with immediate, delayed, and major revision reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosson, Gedge D; Shridharani, Sachin M; Magarakis, Michael; Manahan, Michele A; Basdag, Basak; Gilson, Marta M; Pusic, Andrea L

    2013-05-01

    Women undergo breast reconstruction at different time-points in their cancer care; knowing patients' preoperative quality of life (QoL) is critical in the overall care of the patient with breast cancer. Our objective was to describe presurgical QoL among women undergoing immediate, delayed, or major revision breast reconstructive surgery at our institution. From March 2008 to February 2009, we administered preoperative BREAST-Q questionnaires to women who presented to our institution for breast reconstruction. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to compare patient cohorts across multiple QoL domains including body image, physical well-being, psychosocial well-being, and sexual well-being. Of the 231 patients who presented for preoperative consultation, 176 returned the questionnaire (response rate 76%; 117 from the immediate, 21 from the delayed, and 32 from the major revision reconstruction groups, plus 6 mixed or unknown). The three groups differed significantly (P < 0.05) across four of the six domains: body image (satisfaction with breasts), psychosocial well-being, sexual well-being, and physical well-being of the chest and upper body. The immediate reconstruction group had higher (better) scores than the delayed reconstruction group, which had higher (better) scores than the major revision group. These data suggest that women presenting for breast reconstruction at different stages of reconstruction have different baseline QoL. Such data may help us better understand patient selection, education, and expectations, and may lead to improved patient-surgeon communication. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Workers' Objectives in Quality Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brossard, Michel

    1990-01-01

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

  12. GPU accelerated CT reconstruction for clinical use: quality driven performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaz, Michael S.; Sneyders, Yuri; McLin, Matthew; Ricker, Alan; Kimpe, Tom

    2007-03-01

    We present performance and quality analysis of GPU accelerated FDK filtered backprojection for cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) reconstruction. Our implementation of the FDK CT reconstruction algorithm does not compromise fidelity at any stage and yields a result that is within 1 HU of a reference C++ implementation. Our streaming implementation is able to perform reconstruction as the images are acquired; it addresses low latency as well as fast throughput, which are key considerations for a "real-time" design. Further, it is scaleable to multiple GPUs for increased performance. The implementation does not place any constraints on image acquisition; it works effectively for arbitrary angular coverage with arbitrary angular spacing. As such, this GPU accelerated CT reconstruction solution may easily be used with scanners that are already deployed. We are able to reconstruct a 512 x 512 x 340 volume from 625 projections, each sized 1024 x 768, in less than 50 seconds. The quoted 50 second timing encompasses the entire reconstruction using bilinear interpolation and includes filtering on the CPU, uploading the filtered projections to the GPU, and also downloading the reconstructed volume from GPU memory to system RAM.

  13. Statistical methods for quality improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ryan, Thomas P

    2011-01-01

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

  14. High quality digital holographic reconstruction on analog film

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelsen, B.; Hartmann, P.

    2017-05-01

    High quality real-time digital holographic reconstruction, i.e. at 30 Hz frame rates, has been at the forefront of research and has been hailed as the holy grail of display systems. While these efforts have produced a fascinating array of computer algorithms and technology, many applications of reconstructing high quality digital holograms do not require such high frame rates. In fact, applications such as 3D holographic lithography even require a stationary mask. Typical devices used for digital hologram reconstruction are based on spatial-light-modulator technology and this technology is great for reconstructing arbitrary holograms on the fly; however, it lacks the high spatial resolution achievable by its analog counterpart, holographic film. Analog holographic film is therefore the method of choice for reconstructing highquality static holograms. The challenge lies in taking a static, high-quality digitally calculated hologram and effectively writing it to holographic film. We have developed a theoretical system based on a tunable phase plate, an intensity adjustable high-coherence laser and a slip-stick based piezo rotation stage to effectively produce a digitally calculated hologram on analog film. The configuration reproduces the individual components, both the amplitude and phase, of the hologram in the Fourier domain. These Fourier components are then individually written on the holographic film after interfering with a reference beam. The system is analogous to writing angularly multiplexed plane waves with individual component phase control.

  15. Qualitative and quantitative improvements of PET reconstruction on GPU architecture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Autret, Awen

    2016-01-01

    In positron emission tomography, reconstructed images suffer from a high noise level and a low resolution. Iterative reconstruction processes require an estimation of the system response (scanner and patient) and the quality of the images depends on the accuracy of this estimate. Accurate and fast to compute models already exists for the attenuation, scattering, random coincidences and dead times. Thus, this thesis focuses on modeling the system components associated with the detector response and the positron range. A new multi-GPU parallelization of the reconstruction based on a cutting of the volume is also proposed to speed up the reconstruction exploiting the computing power of such architectures. The proposed detector response model is based on a multi-ray approach that includes all the detector effects as the geometry and the scattering in the crystals. An evaluation study based on data obtained through Mote Carlo simulation (MCS) showed this model provides reconstructed images with a better contrast to noise ratio and resolution compared with those of the methods from the state of the art. The proposed positron range model is based on a simplified MCS, integrated into the forward projector during the reconstruction. A GPU implementation of this method allows running MCS three order of magnitude faster than the same simulation on GATE, while providing similar results. An evaluation study shows this model integrated in the reconstruction gives images with better contrast recovery and resolution while avoiding artifacts. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogelsang, J

    1999-04-01

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

  17. Improved magnetic resonance fingerprinting reconstruction with low-rank and subspace modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Bo; Setsompop, Kawin; Adalsteinsson, Elfar; Gagoski, Borjan; Ye, Huihui; Ma, Dan; Jiang, Yun; Ellen Grant, P; Griswold, Mark A; Wald, Lawrence L

    2018-02-01

    This article introduces a constrained imaging method based on low-rank and subspace modeling to improve the accuracy and speed of MR fingerprinting (MRF). A new model-based imaging method is developed for MRF to reconstruct high-quality time-series images and accurate tissue parameter maps (e.g., T 1 , T 2 , and spin density maps). Specifically, the proposed method exploits low-rank approximations of MRF time-series images, and further enforces temporal subspace constraints to capture magnetization dynamics. This allows the time-series image reconstruction problem to be formulated as a simple linear least-squares problem, which enables efficient computation. After image reconstruction, tissue parameter maps are estimated via dictionary-based pattern matching, as in the conventional approach. The effectiveness of the proposed method was evaluated with in vivo experiments. Compared with the conventional MRF reconstruction, the proposed method reconstructs time-series images with significantly reduced aliasing artifacts and noise contamination. Although the conventional approach exhibits some robustness to these corruptions, the improved time-series image reconstruction in turn provides more accurate tissue parameter maps. The improvement is pronounced especially when the acquisition time becomes short. The proposed method significantly improves the accuracy of MRF, and also reduces data acquisition time. Magn Reson Med 79:933-942, 2018. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

  18. Preanalytical quality improvement : in quality we trust

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Influence of adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction algorithm on image quality in coronary computed tomography angiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Precht, Helle; Thygesen, Jesper; Gerke, Oke; Egstrup, Kenneth; Waaler, Dag; Lambrechtsen, Jess

    2016-12-01

    Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) requires high spatial and temporal resolution, increased low contrast resolution for the assessment of coronary artery stenosis, plaque detection, and/or non-coronary pathology. Therefore, new reconstruction algorithms, particularly iterative reconstruction (IR) techniques, have been developed in an attempt to improve image quality with no cost in radiation exposure. To evaluate whether adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) enhances perceived image quality in CCTA compared to filtered back projection (FBP). Thirty patients underwent CCTA due to suspected coronary artery disease. Images were reconstructed using FBP, 30% ASIR, and 60% ASIR. Ninety image sets were evaluated by five observers using the subjective visual grading analysis (VGA) and assessed by proportional odds modeling. Objective quality assessment (contrast, noise, and the contrast-to-noise ratio [CNR]) was analyzed with linear mixed effects modeling on log-transformed data. The need for ethical approval was waived by the local ethics committee as the study only involved anonymously collected clinical data. VGA showed significant improvements in sharpness by comparing FBP with ASIR, resulting in odds ratios of 1.54 for 30% ASIR and 1.89 for 60% ASIR ( P  = 0.004). The objective measures showed significant differences between FBP and 60% ASIR ( P  < 0.0001) for noise, with an estimated ratio of 0.82, and for CNR, with an estimated ratio of 1.26. ASIR improved the subjective image quality of parameter sharpness and, objectively, reduced noise and increased CNR.

  20. Improvements to ATLAS Track Reconstruction for Run-II

    CERN Document Server

    Cairo, Valentina Maria; The ATLAS collaboration

    2015-01-01

    Run-II of the LHC will provide new challenges to track and vertex reconstruction with higher energies, denser jets and higher rates. In addition, the Insertable B-layer (IBL) is a fourth pixel layer, which has been inserted at the centre of ATLAS during the shutdown of the LHC. We will discuss improvements to track reconstruction developed during the two year shutdown of the LHC. These include novel techniques developed to improve the performance in the dense cores of jets, optimisation for the expected conditions, and a big software campaign which lead to more than a factor of three decrease in the CPU time needed to process each recorded event.

  1. Software metrics to improve software quality in HEP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lancon, E.

    1996-01-01

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

  2. Quality improvement: the nurse's role.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, M J; Johnson, J E

    1992-06-01

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

  3. The Impact of Facial Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgeries on Patients' Quality of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yıldız, Tülin; Selimen, Deniz

    2015-12-01

    The aim of the present prospective and descriptive study was to assess the impact of facial aesthetic and reconstructive surgeries on quality of life. Ninety-one patients, of whom 43 had aesthetic surgery and 48 had reconstructive surgery, were analysed. The data were collected using the patient information form, body cathexis scale, and short form (SF)-36 quality of life scale. There were significant differences between before and after the surgery in both groups in terms of body cathexis scale and quality of life (p aesthetic and reconstructive surgery patients before the surgery. However, the problems were decreased, and the quality of life was enhanced after the surgery. Among the parameters of SF-36 quality of life scale, particularly the mean scores of social functioning, physical role functioning, emotional role functioning, mental health, and vitality/fatigue were found low before the surgery, whereas the mean scores were significantly improved after the surgery. The results revealed that facial aesthetic and reconstructive surgical interventions favourably affected the body image perception and self-esteem and that positive reflections in emotional, social, and mental aspects were effective in enhancing self-confidence and quality of life of the individual.

  4. NETWORKS AND QUALITY IMPROVEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miodrag Hadžistević

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Tools used in the past to analyze business value creation, such as value chain and process models, are simply too slow, inadequate, or inappropriate to address this new level of business complexity. In stead of that, company has to find way to create quality management system in a multi-layered supply chain. The problem can be solved by networking in the cluster. Cluster can be known as a competitive cooperation in the purpose to gain higher level of competitiveness and success. Bat there is another problem: Organization of the production process in a company is extremely complex process itself, and when we transfer it to the cluster level, we get a complex task which is difficult to solve. For that purpose, this paper analyses the conditions and possibilities that would enable those structures to adapt to changes in the surroundings - flexibility and management adequacy of production and organizational structures - by creating network value system.

  5. Optimization of the alpha image reconstruction. An iterative CT-image reconstruction with well-defined image quality metrics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lebedev, Sergej; Sawall, Stefan; Knaup, Michael; Kachelriess, Marc

    2017-01-01

    Optimization of the AIR-algorithm for improved convergence and performance. TThe AIR method is an iterative algorithm for CT image reconstruction. As a result of its linearity with respect to the basis images, the AIR algorithm possesses well defined, regular image quality metrics, e.g. point spread function (PSF) or modulation transfer function (MTF), unlike other iterative reconstruction algorithms. The AIR algorithm computes weighting images α to blend between a set of basis images that preferably have mutually exclusive properties, e.g. high spatial resolution or low noise. The optimized algorithm uses an approach that alternates between the optimization of rawdata fidelity using an OSSART like update and regularization using gradient descent, as opposed to the initially proposed AIR using a straightforward gradient descent implementation. A regularization strength for a given task is chosen by formulating a requirement for the noise reduction and checking whether it is fulfilled for different regularization strengths, while monitoring the spatial resolution using the voxel-wise defined modulation transfer function for the AIR image. The optimized algorithm computes similar images in a shorter time compared to the initial gradient descent implementation of AIR. The result can be influenced by multiple parameters that can be narrowed down to a relatively simple framework to compute high quality images. The AIR images, for instance, can have at least a 50% lower noise level compared to the sharpest basis image, while the spatial resolution is mostly maintained. The optimization improves performance by a factor of 6, while maintaining image quality. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the spatial resolution for AIR can be determined using regular image quality metrics, given smooth weighting images. This is not possible for other iterative reconstructions as a result of their non linearity. A simple set of parameters for the algorithm is discussed that provides

  6. Optimization of the alpha image reconstruction. An iterative CT-image reconstruction with well-defined image quality metrics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lebedev, Sergej; Sawall, Stefan; Knaup, Michael; Kachelriess, Marc [German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg (Germany).

    2017-10-01

    Optimization of the AIR-algorithm for improved convergence and performance. TThe AIR method is an iterative algorithm for CT image reconstruction. As a result of its linearity with respect to the basis images, the AIR algorithm possesses well defined, regular image quality metrics, e.g. point spread function (PSF) or modulation transfer function (MTF), unlike other iterative reconstruction algorithms. The AIR algorithm computes weighting images α to blend between a set of basis images that preferably have mutually exclusive properties, e.g. high spatial resolution or low noise. The optimized algorithm uses an approach that alternates between the optimization of rawdata fidelity using an OSSART like update and regularization using gradient descent, as opposed to the initially proposed AIR using a straightforward gradient descent implementation. A regularization strength for a given task is chosen by formulating a requirement for the noise reduction and checking whether it is fulfilled for different regularization strengths, while monitoring the spatial resolution using the voxel-wise defined modulation transfer function for the AIR image. The optimized algorithm computes similar images in a shorter time compared to the initial gradient descent implementation of AIR. The result can be influenced by multiple parameters that can be narrowed down to a relatively simple framework to compute high quality images. The AIR images, for instance, can have at least a 50% lower noise level compared to the sharpest basis image, while the spatial resolution is mostly maintained. The optimization improves performance by a factor of 6, while maintaining image quality. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the spatial resolution for AIR can be determined using regular image quality metrics, given smooth weighting images. This is not possible for other iterative reconstructions as a result of their non linearity. A simple set of parameters for the algorithm is discussed that provides

  7. Image quality of multiplanar reconstruction of pulmonary CT scans using adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honda, O; Yanagawa, M; Inoue, A; Kikuyama, A; Yoshida, S; Sumikawa, H; Tobino, K; Koyama, M; Tomiyama, N

    2011-04-01

    We investigated the image quality of multiplanar reconstruction (MPR) using adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR). Inflated and fixed lungs were scanned with a garnet detector CT in high-resolution mode (HR mode) or non-high-resolution (HR) mode, and MPR images were then reconstructed. Observers compared 15 MPR images of ASIR (40%) and ASIR (80%) with those of ASIR (0%), and assessed image quality using a visual five-point scale (1, definitely inferior; 5, definitely superior), with particular emphasis on normal pulmonary structures, artefacts, noise and overall image quality. The mean overall image quality scores in HR mode were 3.67 with ASIR (40%) and 4.97 with ASIR (80%). Those in non-HR mode were 3.27 with ASIR (40%) and 3.90 with ASIR (80%). The mean artefact scores in HR mode were 3.13 with ASIR (40%) and 3.63 with ASIR (80%), but those in non-HR mode were 2.87 with ASIR (40%) and 2.53 with ASIR (80%). The mean scores of the other parameters were greater than 3, whereas those in HR mode were higher than those in non-HR mode. There were significant differences between ASIR (40%) and ASIR (80%) in overall image quality (pASIR did not suppress the severe artefacts of contrast medium. In general, MPR image quality with ASIR (80%) was superior to that with ASIR (40%). However, there was an increased incidence of artefacts by ASIR when CT images were obtained in non-HR mode.

  8. Using GRAPPA to improve autocalibrated coil sensitivity estimation for the SENSE family of parallel imaging reconstruction algorithms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoge, W Scott; Brooks, Dana H

    2008-08-01

    Two strategies are widely used in parallel MRI to reconstruct subsampled multicoil image data. SENSE and related methods employ explicit receiver coil spatial response estimates to reconstruct an image. In contrast, coil-by-coil methods such as GRAPPA leverage correlations among the acquired multicoil data to reconstruct missing k-space lines. In self-referenced scenarios, both methods employ Nyquist-rate low-frequency k-space data to identify the reconstruction parameters. Because GRAPPA does not require explicit coil sensitivities estimates, it needs considerably fewer autocalibration signals than SENSE. However, SENSE methods allow greater opportunity to control reconstruction quality though regularization and thus may outperform GRAPPA in some imaging scenarios. Here, we employ GRAPPA to improve self-referenced coil sensitivity estimation in SENSE and related methods using very few auto-calibration signals. This enables one to leverage each methods' inherent strength and produce high quality self-referenced SENSE reconstructions. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. Preanalytical quality improvement: in quality we trust.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Improved nanostructure reconstruction by performing data refinement in optical scatterometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Jinlong; Jiang, Hao; Shi, Yating; Chen, Xiuguo; Zhang, Chuanwei; Liu, Shiyuan

    2016-01-01

    Recently, we have indirectly demonstrated that nanostructure reconstruction accuracy is degraded by the outliers in optical scatterometry, and we have applied the robust estimation method to suppress these outliers. However, the existence of a possible heavy masking effect could result in the risk of low measurement accuracy, since the detection of outliers is simply based on the judgment of residual value. In this work, a novel method is introduced to directly detect outliers, which can provide the intuitional display of outliers in a two-dimensional coordinate system. Moreover, a robust correction step based on the principle of least trimmed squared estimator regression is proposed to replace the conventional Gauss-Newton iteration step, by which the more reliable and accurate nanostructure reconstruction is achieved. The improved reconstruction of a one-dimensional etched Si grating has demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed methods.

  11. Improved nanostructure reconstruction by performing data refinement in optical scatterometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu, Jinlong; Jiang, Hao; Shi, Yating; Chen, Xiuguo; Zhang, Chuanwei; Liu, Shiyuan

    2016-01-01

    Recently, we have indirectly demonstrated that nanostructure reconstruction accuracy is degraded by the outliers in optical scatterometry, and we have applied the robust estimation method to suppress these outliers. However, the existence of a possible heavy masking effect could result in the risk of low measurement accuracy, since the detection of outliers is simply based on the judgment of residual value. In this work, a novel method is introduced to directly detect outliers, which can provide the intuitional display of outliers in a two-dimensional coordinate system. Moreover, a robust correction step based on the principle of least trimmed squared estimator regression is proposed to replace the conventional Gauss–Newton iteration step, by which the more reliable and accurate nanostructure reconstruction is achieved. The improved reconstruction of a one-dimensional etched Si grating has demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed methods. (paper)

  12. STAR reconstruction improvements for tracking with the heavy flavor tracker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Jason C.; Lauret, Jérôme; Perevotchikov, Victor; Smirnov, Dmitri; Van Buren, Gene

    2017-10-01

    The reconstruction and identification of charmed hadron decays provides an important tool for the study of heavy quark behavior in the Quark Gluon Plasma. Such measurements require high resolution to topologically identify decay daughters at vertices displaced demands on track reconstruction software. To enable these measurements at RHIC, the STAR experiment has designed and employed the Heavy Flavor Tracker (HFT). It is composed of silicon-based tracking detectors, providing four layers of high-precision position measurements which are used in combination with hits from the Time Projection Chamber (TPC) to reconstruct track candidates. The STAR integrated tracking software (Sti) has delivered a decade of world-class physics. It was designed to leverage the discrete azimuthal symmetry of the detector and its simple radial ordering of components, permitting a flat representation of the detector geometry in terms of concentric cylinders and planes, and an approximate track propagation code. These design choices reflected a careful balancing of competing priorities, trading precision for speed in track reconstruction. To simplify the task of integrating new detectors, tools were developed to automatically generate the Sti geometry model, tying both reconstruction and simulation to the single source AgML geometry model. The increased precision and complexity of the HFT detector required a careful reassessment of this single geometry path and implementation choices. In this paper we will discuss the test suite and regression tools developed to improve reconstruction with the HFT, our lessons learned in tracking with high precision detectors and the tradeoffs between precision, speed and ease of use which were required.

  13. Optimization of PET image quality by means of 3D data acquisition and iterative image reconstruction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doll, J.; Zaers, J.; Trojan, H.; Bellemann, M.E.; Adam, L.E.; Haberkorn, U.; Brix, G.

    1998-01-01

    The experiments were performed at the latest-generation whole-body PET system ECAT EXACT HR + . For 2D data acquisition, a collimator of thin tungsten septa was positioned in the field-of-view. Prior to image reconstruction, the measured 3D data were sorted into 2D sinograms by using the Fourier rebinning (FORE) algorithm developed by M. Defrise. The standard filtered backprojection (FBP) method and an optimized ML/EM algorithm with overrelaxation for accelerated convergence were employed for image reconstruction. The spatial resolution of both methods as well as the convergence and noise properties of the ML/EM algorithm were studied in phantom measurements. Furthermore, patient data were acquired in the 2D mode as well as in the 3D mode and reconstructed with both techniques. At the same spatial resolution, the ML/EM-reconstructed images showed fewer and less prominent artefacts than the FBP-reconstructed images. The resulting improved detail conspicuously was achieved for the data acquired in the 2D mode as well as in the 3D mode. The best image quality was obtained by iterative 2D reconstruction of 3D data sets which were previously rebinned into 2D sinograms with help of the FORE algorithm. The phantom measurements revealed that 50 iteration steps with the otpimized ML/EM algorithm were sufficient to keep the relative quantitation error below 5%. (orig./MG) [de

  14. Improving and monitoring air quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DuPont, André

    2018-05-01

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

  15. Path integration guided with a quality map for shape reconstruction in the fringe reflection technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jing, Xiaoli; Cheng, Haobo; Wen, Yongfu

    2018-04-01

    A new local integration algorithm called quality map path integration (QMPI) is reported for shape reconstruction in the fringe reflection technique. A quality map is proposed to evaluate the quality of gradient data locally, and functions as a guideline for the integrated path. The presented method can be employed in wavefront estimation from its slopes over the general shaped surface with slope noise equivalent to that in practical measurements. Moreover, QMPI is much better at handling the slope data with local noise, which may be caused by the irregular shapes of the surface under test. The performance of QMPI is discussed by simulations and experiment. It is shown that QMPI not only improves the accuracy of local integration, but can also be easily implemented with no iteration compared to Southwell zonal reconstruction (SZR). From an engineering point-of-view, the proposed method may also provide an efficient and stable approach for different shapes with high-precise demand.

  16. Improvements to ATLAS track reconstruction for Run II

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cairo, Valentina Maria Martina, E-mail: valentina.maria.cairo@cern.ch [University of Calabria, Arcavacata di Rende (Italy); CERN, Meyrin (Switzerland)

    2016-07-11

    Run II of the LHC will provide new challenges to track and vertex reconstruction with higher energies, denser jets and higher rates. A major change to the Inner Detector layout during the shutdown period has been the installation of the Insertable B-Layer, a fourth pixel layer located at a radius of 33 mm. This contribution discusses improvements to track reconstruction developed during the two year shutdown of the LHC. These include novel techniques developed to improve the performance in the dense cores of jets, optimisation for the expected conditions, and a big software campaign which lead to more than a factor of three decrease in the CPU time needed to process each recorded event.

  17. IMPROVING QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN PANIFICATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Petroman

    2010-12-01

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

  18. Image quality of iterative reconstruction in cranial CT imaging: comparison of model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASiR)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Notohamiprodjo, S.; Deak, Z.; Meurer, F.; Maertz, F.; Mueck, F.G.; Geyer, L.L.; Wirth, S. [Ludwig-Maximilians University Hospital of Munich, Institute for Clinical Radiology, Munich (Germany)

    2015-01-15

    The purpose of this study was to compare cranial CT (CCT) image quality (IQ) of the MBIR algorithm with standard iterative reconstruction (ASiR). In this institutional review board (IRB)-approved study, raw data sets of 100 unenhanced CCT examinations (120 kV, 50-260 mAs, 20 mm collimation, 0.984 pitch) were reconstructed with both ASiR and MBIR. Signal-to-noise (SNR) and contrast-to-noise (CNR) were calculated from attenuation values measured in caudate nucleus, frontal white matter, anterior ventricle horn, fourth ventricle, and pons. Two radiologists, who were blinded to the reconstruction algorithms, evaluated anonymized multiplanar reformations of 2.5 mm with respect to depiction of different parenchymal structures and impact of artefacts on IQ with a five-point scale (0: unacceptable, 1: less than average, 2: average, 3: above average, 4: excellent). MBIR decreased artefacts more effectively than ASiR (p < 0.01). The median depiction score for MBIR was 3, whereas the median value for ASiR was 2 (p < 0.01). SNR and CNR were significantly higher in MBIR than ASiR (p < 0.01). MBIR showed significant improvement of IQ parameters compared to ASiR. As CCT is an examination that is frequently required, the use of MBIR may allow for substantial reduction of radiation exposure caused by medical diagnostics. (orig.)

  19. Image quality of iterative reconstruction in cranial CT imaging: comparison of model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASiR)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Notohamiprodjo, S.; Deak, Z.; Meurer, F.; Maertz, F.; Mueck, F.G.; Geyer, L.L.; Wirth, S.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare cranial CT (CCT) image quality (IQ) of the MBIR algorithm with standard iterative reconstruction (ASiR). In this institutional review board (IRB)-approved study, raw data sets of 100 unenhanced CCT examinations (120 kV, 50-260 mAs, 20 mm collimation, 0.984 pitch) were reconstructed with both ASiR and MBIR. Signal-to-noise (SNR) and contrast-to-noise (CNR) were calculated from attenuation values measured in caudate nucleus, frontal white matter, anterior ventricle horn, fourth ventricle, and pons. Two radiologists, who were blinded to the reconstruction algorithms, evaluated anonymized multiplanar reformations of 2.5 mm with respect to depiction of different parenchymal structures and impact of artefacts on IQ with a five-point scale (0: unacceptable, 1: less than average, 2: average, 3: above average, 4: excellent). MBIR decreased artefacts more effectively than ASiR (p < 0.01). The median depiction score for MBIR was 3, whereas the median value for ASiR was 2 (p < 0.01). SNR and CNR were significantly higher in MBIR than ASiR (p < 0.01). MBIR showed significant improvement of IQ parameters compared to ASiR. As CCT is an examination that is frequently required, the use of MBIR may allow for substantial reduction of radiation exposure caused by medical diagnostics. (orig.)

  20. Oral rehabilitation with dental implants and quality of life following mandibular reconstruction with free fibular flap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobsen, Hans-Christian; Wahnschaff, Falko; Trenkle, Thomas; Sieg, Peter; Hakim, Samer G

    2016-01-01

    Bony reconstruction of jaw defects using the free fibular flap and dental rehabilitation mostly requires insertion of dental implants within the transferred fibula bone. The aim of this paper was to discuss results of the implant stability with data on the possible benefit for the patient's quality of life after such treatment. For clinical outcome of implants, we evaluated 26 patients with a total number of 94 dental implants after a follow-up period of 12 to 132 months. A group of 38 patients who underwent mandibular reconstruction with free fibular flap could be included in the life-quality study. Evaluation included 23 patients with and 15 patients without implant-borne restoration. The quality of life was assessed using the standard QLQ C-30 questionnaire and the H&N35 module of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). Of implants, 94.7 % were stable at the time of investigation and could be used for prosthesis. Patients with dental implants reported improvement of life quality along with better scores in most function and symptom scales; however, only values for global health status (QL2), absence of dyspnea (DY) and absence of feeding tube (HNFE) were significantly better than in the control group. Dental implant insertion in fibula grafts along with implant-borne restoration is a proven concept and might lead to improved quality of life following ablative surgery of the jaw. The effect on the quality of life is not as predictable as on the implant stability. Patients with bony defects of the jaw require bony reconstruction. This allows further masticatory rehabilitation using dental implants and might lead to improved quality of life.

  1. Improving parallel imaging by jointly reconstructing multi-contrast data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilgic, Berkin; Kim, Tae Hyung; Liao, Congyu; Manhard, Mary Kate; Wald, Lawrence L; Haldar, Justin P; Setsompop, Kawin

    2018-08-01

    To develop parallel imaging techniques that simultaneously exploit coil sensitivity encoding, image phase prior information, similarities across multiple images, and complementary k-space sampling for highly accelerated data acquisition. We introduce joint virtual coil (JVC)-generalized autocalibrating partially parallel acquisitions (GRAPPA) to jointly reconstruct data acquired with different contrast preparations, and show its application in 2D, 3D, and simultaneous multi-slice (SMS) acquisitions. We extend the joint parallel imaging concept to exploit limited support and smooth phase constraints through Joint (J-) LORAKS formulation. J-LORAKS allows joint parallel imaging from limited autocalibration signal region, as well as permitting partial Fourier sampling and calibrationless reconstruction. We demonstrate highly accelerated 2D balanced steady-state free precession with phase cycling, SMS multi-echo spin echo, 3D multi-echo magnetization-prepared rapid gradient echo, and multi-echo gradient recalled echo acquisitions in vivo. Compared to conventional GRAPPA, proposed joint acquisition/reconstruction techniques provide more than 2-fold reduction in reconstruction error. JVC-GRAPPA takes advantage of additional spatial encoding from phase information and image similarity, and employs different sampling patterns across acquisitions. J-LORAKS achieves a more parsimonious low-rank representation of local k-space by considering multiple images as additional coils. Both approaches provide dramatic improvement in artifact and noise mitigation over conventional single-contrast parallel imaging reconstruction. Magn Reson Med 80:619-632, 2018. © 2018 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. © 2018 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

  2. Quality Improvement with Trustee Commitment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaffee, Ellen Earle; Seymour, Daniel

    1991-01-01

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

  3. Quality Improvement Practices and Trends

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  4. Continuous improvement of software quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sivertsen, Terje

    1999-04-01

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

  5. Quality improvement tools and processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Catherine Y

    2015-04-01

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

  6. New reconstruction algorithm for digital breast tomosynthesis: better image quality for humans and computers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Ruiz, Alejandro; Teuwen, Jonas; Vreemann, Suzan; Bouwman, Ramona W; van Engen, Ruben E; Karssemeijer, Nico; Mann, Ritse M; Gubern-Merida, Albert; Sechopoulos, Ioannis

    2017-01-01

    Background The image quality of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) volumes depends greatly on the reconstruction algorithm. Purpose To compare two DBT reconstruction algorithms used by the Siemens Mammomat Inspiration system, filtered back projection (FBP), and FBP with iterative optimizations (EMPIRE), using qualitative analysis by human readers and detection performance of machine learning algorithms. Material and Methods Visual grading analysis was performed by four readers specialized in breast imaging who scored 100 cases reconstructed with both algorithms (70 lesions). Scoring (5-point scale: 1 = poor to 5 = excellent quality) was performed on presence of noise and artifacts, visualization of skin-line and Cooper's ligaments, contrast, and image quality, and, when present, lesion visibility. In parallel, a three-dimensional deep-learning convolutional neural network (3D-CNN) was trained (n = 259 patients, 51 positives with BI-RADS 3, 4, or 5 calcifications) and tested (n = 46 patients, nine positives), separately with FBP and EMPIRE volumes, to discriminate between samples with and without calcifications. The partial area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (pAUC) of each 3D-CNN was used for comparison. Results EMPIRE reconstructions showed better contrast (3.23 vs. 3.10, P = 0.010), image quality (3.22 vs. 3.03, P algorithm provides DBT volumes with better contrast and image quality, fewer artifacts, and improved visibility of calcifications for human observers, as well as improved detection performance with deep-learning algorithms.

  7. Influence of adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction algorithm on image quality in coronary computed tomography angiography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helle Precht

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA requires high spatial and temporal resolution, increased low contrast resolution for the assessment of coronary artery stenosis, plaque detection, and/or non-coronary pathology. Therefore, new reconstruction algorithms, particularly iterative reconstruction (IR techniques, have been developed in an attempt to improve image quality with no cost in radiation exposure. Purpose To evaluate whether adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR enhances perceived image quality in CCTA compared to filtered back projection (FBP. Material and Methods Thirty patients underwent CCTA due to suspected coronary artery disease. Images were reconstructed using FBP, 30% ASIR, and 60% ASIR. Ninety image sets were evaluated by five observers using the subjective visual grading analysis (VGA and assessed by proportional odds modeling. Objective quality assessment (contrast, noise, and the contrast-to-noise ratio [CNR] was analyzed with linear mixed effects modeling on log-transformed data. The need for ethical approval was waived by the local ethics committee as the study only involved anonymously collected clinical data. Results VGA showed significant improvements in sharpness by comparing FBP with ASIR, resulting in odds ratios of 1.54 for 30% ASIR and 1.89 for 60% ASIR (P = 0.004. The objective measures showed significant differences between FBP and 60% ASIR (P < 0.0001 for noise, with an estimated ratio of 0.82, and for CNR, with an estimated ratio of 1.26. Conclusion ASIR improved the subjective image quality of parameter sharpness and, objectively, reduced noise and increased CNR.

  8. Modalities of hemodialysis: Quality improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayman Karkar

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Predictors of satisfaction and quality of life following post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Hannah; Carroll, Natalie; Renshaw, Derek; Turner, Andrew; Park, Alan; Skillman, Jo; McCarthy, Kate; Grunfeld, Elizabeth A

    2017-11-01

    Breast reconstruction is associated with multiple psychological benefits. However, few studies have identified clinical and psychological factors associated with improved satisfaction and quality of life. This study examined factors, which predict satisfaction with breast appearance, outcome satisfaction and quality of life following post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. Women who underwent post-mastectomy breast reconstruction between 2010 and 2016 received a postal questionnaire consisting of The BREAST-Q Patient Reported Outcomes Instrument, The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-30 Questionnaire, The Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale, and a series of Visual-Analogue Scales. One hundredforty-eight women completed the questionnaire, a 56% response rate. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed psychosocial factors accounted for 75% of the variance in breast satisfaction, 68% for outcome satisfaction, and 46% forquality of life. Psychosocial well-being emerged as a significant predictor of satisfaction with breast appearance (β = .322) and outcome satisfaction (β = .406). Deep inferior epigastric perforator flap patients reported greater satisfaction with breast appearance (β = .120) and outcome satisfaction (β = .167). This study extends beyond the limited research by distinguishing between satisfaction with breast appearance and outcome satisfaction. The study provides evidence for the role of psychosocial factors predicting key patient reported outcomes and demonstrates the importance of psychosocial well-being and reconstruction type. The findings also highlight the need for healthcare providers to consider the psychosocial well-being of patients both preoperatively and post operatively and provide preliminary evidence for the use of deep inferior epigastric perforator reconstructions over other types of reconstructive procedures. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Improvement of brain perfusion SPET using iterative reconstruction with scatter and non-uniform attenuation correction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kauppinen, T.; Vanninen, E.; Kuikka, J.T. [Kuopio Central Hospital (Finland). Dept. of Clinical Physiology; Koskinen, M.O. [Dept. of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Tampere Univ. Hospital, Tampere (Finland); Alenius, S. [Signal Processing Lab., Tampere Univ. of Technology, Tampere (Finland)

    2000-09-01

    Filtered back-projection (FBP) is generally used as the reconstruction method for single-photon emission tomography although it produces noisy images with apparent streak artefacts. It is possible to improve the image quality by using an algorithm with iterative correction steps. The iterative reconstruction technique also has an additional benefit in that computation of attenuation correction can be included in the process. A commonly used iterative method, maximum-likelihood expectation maximisation (ML-EM), can be accelerated using ordered subsets (OS-EM). We have applied to the OS-EM algorithm a Bayesian one-step late correction method utilising median root prior (MRP). Methodological comparison was performed by means of measurements obtained with a brain perfusion phantom and using patient data. The aim of this work was to quantitate the accuracy of iterative reconstruction with scatter and non-uniform attenuation corrections and post-filtering in SPET brain perfusion imaging. SPET imaging was performed using a triple-head gamma camera with fan-beam collimators. Transmission and emission scans were acquired simultaneously. The brain phantom used was a high-resolution three-dimensional anthropomorphic JB003 phantom. Patient studies were performed in ten chronic pain syndrome patients. The images were reconstructed using conventional FBP and iterative OS-EM and MRP techniques including scatter and nonuniform attenuation corrections. Iterative reconstructions were individually post-filtered. The quantitative results obtained with the brain perfusion phantom were compared with the known actual contrast ratios. The calculated difference from the true values was largest with the FBP method; iteratively reconstructed images proved closer to the reality. Similar findings were obtained in the patient studies. The plain OS-EM method improved the contrast whereas in the case of the MRP technique the improvement in contrast was not so evident with post-filtering. (orig.)

  11. Improvement of brain perfusion SPET using iterative reconstruction with scatter and non-uniform attenuation correction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kauppinen, T.; Vanninen, E.; Kuikka, J.T.; Alenius, S.

    2000-01-01

    Filtered back-projection (FBP) is generally used as the reconstruction method for single-photon emission tomography although it produces noisy images with apparent streak artefacts. It is possible to improve the image quality by using an algorithm with iterative correction steps. The iterative reconstruction technique also has an additional benefit in that computation of attenuation correction can be included in the process. A commonly used iterative method, maximum-likelihood expectation maximisation (ML-EM), can be accelerated using ordered subsets (OS-EM). We have applied to the OS-EM algorithm a Bayesian one-step late correction method utilising median root prior (MRP). Methodological comparison was performed by means of measurements obtained with a brain perfusion phantom and using patient data. The aim of this work was to quantitate the accuracy of iterative reconstruction with scatter and non-uniform attenuation corrections and post-filtering in SPET brain perfusion imaging. SPET imaging was performed using a triple-head gamma camera with fan-beam collimators. Transmission and emission scans were acquired simultaneously. The brain phantom used was a high-resolution three-dimensional anthropomorphic JB003 phantom. Patient studies were performed in ten chronic pain syndrome patients. The images were reconstructed using conventional FBP and iterative OS-EM and MRP techniques including scatter and nonuniform attenuation corrections. Iterative reconstructions were individually post-filtered. The quantitative results obtained with the brain perfusion phantom were compared with the known actual contrast ratios. The calculated difference from the true values was largest with the FBP method; iteratively reconstructed images proved closer to the reality. Similar findings were obtained in the patient studies. The plain OS-EM method improved the contrast whereas in the case of the MRP technique the improvement in contrast was not so evident with post-filtering. (orig.)

  12. Improving Weak Lensing Mass Map Reconstructions using Gaussian and Sparsity Priors: Application to DES SV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeffrey, N.; et al.

    2018-01-26

    Mapping the underlying density field, including non-visible dark matter, using weak gravitational lensing measurements is now a standard tool in cosmology. Due to its importance to the science results of current and upcoming surveys, the quality of the convergence reconstruction methods should be well understood. We compare three different mass map reconstruction methods: Kaiser-Squires (KS), Wiener filter, and GLIMPSE. KS is a direct inversion method, taking no account of survey masks or noise. The Wiener filter is well motivated for Gaussian density fields in a Bayesian framework. The GLIMPSE method uses sparsity, with the aim of reconstructing non-linearities in the density field. We compare these methods with a series of tests on the public Dark Energy Survey (DES) Science Verification (SV) data and on realistic DES simulations. The Wiener filter and GLIMPSE methods offer substantial improvement on the standard smoothed KS with a range of metrics. For both the Wiener filter and GLIMPSE convergence reconstructions we present a 12% improvement in Pearson correlation with the underlying truth from simulations. To compare the mapping methods' abilities to find mass peaks, we measure the difference between peak counts from simulated {\\Lambda}CDM shear catalogues and catalogues with no mass fluctuations. This is a standard data vector when inferring cosmology from peak statistics. The maximum signal-to-noise value of these peak statistic data vectors was increased by a factor of 3.5 for the Wiener filter and by a factor of 9 using GLIMPSE. With simulations we measure the reconstruction of the harmonic phases, showing that the concentration of the phase residuals is improved 17% by GLIMPSE and 18% by the Wiener filter. We show that the correlation between the reconstructions from data and the foreground redMaPPer clusters is increased 18% by the Wiener filter and 32% by GLIMPSE. [Abridged

  13. Improving tritium exposure reconstructions using accelerator mass spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Love, A.H.; Hunt, J.R.; Vogel, J.S.; Knezovich, J.P.

    2004-01-01

    Direct measurement of tritium atoms by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) enables rapid low-activity tritium measurements from milligram-sized samples and permits greater ease of sample collection, faster throughput, and increased spatial and/or temporal resolution. Because existing methodologies for quantifying tritium have some significant limitations, the development of tritium AMS has allowed improvements in reconstructing tritium exposure concentrations from environmental measurements and provides an important additional tool in assessing the temporal and spatial distribution of chronic exposure. Tritium exposure reconstructions using AMS were previously demonstrated for a tree growing on known levels of tritiated water and for trees exposed to atmospheric releases of tritiated water vapor. In these analyses, tritium levels were measured from milligram-sized samples with sample preparation times of a few days. Hundreds of samples were analyzed within a few months of sample collection and resulted in the reconstruction of spatial and temporal exposure from tritium releases. Although the current quantification limit of tritium AMS is not adequate to determine natural environmental variations in tritium concentrations, it is expected to be sufficient for studies assessing possible health effects from chronic environmental tritium exposure. (orig.)

  14. Improving tritium exposure reconstructions using accelerator mass spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, J. R.; Vogel, J. S.; Knezovich, J. P.

    2010-01-01

    Direct measurement of tritium atoms by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) enables rapid low-activity tritium measurements from milligram-sized samples and permits greater ease of sample collection, faster throughput, and increased spatial and/or temporal resolution. Because existing methodologies for quantifying tritium have some significant limitations, the development of tritium AMS has allowed improvements in reconstructing tritium exposure concentrations from environmental measurements and provides an important additional tool in assessing the temporal and spatial distribution of chronic exposure. Tritium exposure reconstructions using AMS were previously demonstrated for a tree growing on known levels of tritiated water and for trees exposed to atmospheric releases of tritiated water vapor. In these analyses, tritium levels were measured from milligram-sized samples with sample preparation times of a few days. Hundreds of samples were analyzed within a few months of sample collection and resulted in the reconstruction of spatial and temporal exposure from tritium releases. Although the current quantification limit of tritium AMS is not adequate to determine natural environmental variations in tritium concentrations, it is expected to be sufficient for studies assessing possible health effects from chronic environmental tritium exposure. PMID:14735274

  15. Image quality in children with low-radiation chest CT using adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction and model-based iterative reconstruction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jihang Sun

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To evaluate noise reduction and image quality improvement in low-radiation dose chest CT images in children using adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR and a full model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR algorithm. METHODS: Forty-five children (age ranging from 28 days to 6 years, median of 1.8 years who received low-dose chest CT scans were included. Age-dependent noise index (NI was used for acquisition. Images were retrospectively reconstructed using three methods: MBIR, 60% of ASIR and 40% of conventional filtered back-projection (FBP, and FBP. The subjective quality of the images was independently evaluated by two radiologists. Objective noises in the left ventricle (LV, muscle, fat, descending aorta and lung field at the layer with the largest cross-section area of LV were measured, with the region of interest about one fourth to half of the area of descending aorta. Optimized signal-to-noise ratio (SNR was calculated. RESULT: In terms of subjective quality, MBIR images were significantly better than ASIR and FBP in image noise and visibility of tiny structures, but blurred edges were observed. In terms of objective noise, MBIR and ASIR reconstruction decreased the image noise by 55.2% and 31.8%, respectively, for LV compared with FBP. Similarly, MBIR and ASIR reconstruction increased the SNR by 124.0% and 46.2%, respectively, compared with FBP. CONCLUSION: Compared with FBP and ASIR, overall image quality and noise reduction were significantly improved by MBIR. MBIR image could reconstruct eligible chest CT images in children with lower radiation dose.

  16. Using Lean to Advance Quality Improvement Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Do psychosocial interventions improve rehabilitation outcomes after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction? A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coronado, Rogelio A; Bird, Mackenzie L; Van Hoy, Erin E; Huston, Laura J; Spindler, Kurt P; Archer, Kristin R

    2018-03-01

    To examine the role of psychosocial interventions in improving patient-reported clinical outcomes, including return to sport/activity, and intermediary psychosocial factors after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. MEDLINE/PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Web of Science were searched from each database's inception to March 2017 for published studies in patients after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Studies were included if they reported on the effects of a postoperative psychosocial intervention on a patient-reported clinical measure of disability, function, pain, quality of life, return to sport/activity, or intermediary psychosocial factor. Data were extracted using a standardized form and summary effects from each article were compiled. The methodological quality of randomized trials was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database Scale and scores greater than 5/10 were considered high quality. A total of 893 articles were identified from the literature search. Of these, four randomized trials ( N = 210) met inclusion criteria. The four articles examined guided imagery and relaxation, coping modeling, and visual imagery as postoperative psychosocial interventions. Methodological quality scores of the studies ranged from 5 to 9. There were inconsistent findings for the additive benefit of psychosocial interventions for improving postoperative function, pain, or self-efficacy and limited evidence for improving postoperative quality of life, anxiety, or fear of reinjury. No study examined the effects of psychosocial interventions on return to sport/activity. Overall, there is limited evidence on the efficacy of postoperative psychosocial interventions for improving functional recovery after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

  18. Improving coal quality and service

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2001-06-01

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

  19. Improvements for real-time magnetic equilibrium reconstruction on ASDEX Upgrade

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giannone, L.; Fischer, R.; McCarthy, P.J.; Odstrcil, T.; Zammuto, I.; Bock, A.; Conway, G.; Fuchs, J.C.; Gude, A.; Igochine, V.; Kallenbach, A.; Lackner, K.; Maraschek, M.; Rapson, C.; Ruan, Q.; Schuhbeck, K.H.; Suttrop, W.; Wenzel, L.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Spline basis current functions with second-order linear regularisation. • Perturbations of magnetic probe measurements due to ferromagnetic tiles on the inner wall and from oscillations in the fast position coil current are corrected. • A constraint of the safety factor on the magnetic axis is introduced. Soft X-ray tomography is used to assess the quality of the real-time magnetic equilibrium reconstruction. • External loop voltage measurements and magnetic probe pairs inside and outside the vessel wall were used to measure the vacuum vessel wall resistivity. - Abstract: Real-time magnetic equilibria are needed for NTM stabilization and disruption avoidance experiments on ASDEX Upgrade. Five improvements to real-time magnetic equilibrium reconstruction on ASDEX Upgrade have been investigated. The aim is to include as many features of the offline magnetic equilibrium reconstruction code in the real-time equilibrium reconstruction code. Firstly, spline current density basis functions with regularization are used in the offline equilibrium reconstruction code, CLISTE [1]. It is now possible to have the same number of spline basis functions in the real-time code. Secondly, in the presence of edge localized modes, (ELM's), it is found to be necessary to include the low pass filter effect of the vacuum vessel on the fast position control coil currents to correctly compensate the magnetic probes for current oscillations in these coils. Thirdly, the introduction of ferromagnetic tiles in ASDEX Upgrade means that a real-time algorithm for including the perturbations of the magnetic equilibrium generated by these tiles is required. A methodology based on tile surface currents is described. Fourthly, during current ramps it was seen that the difference between fitted and measured magnetic measurements in the equilibrium reconstruction were larger than in the constant current phase. External loop voltage measurements and magnetic probe pairs inside and

  20. Improvements for real-time magnetic equilibrium reconstruction on ASDEX Upgrade

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giannone, L.; Fischer, R. [Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, 85748 Garching (Germany); McCarthy, P.J. [Department of Physics, University College Cork, Cork (Ireland); Odstrcil, T.; Zammuto, I.; Bock, A.; Conway, G.; Fuchs, J.C.; Gude, A.; Igochine, V.; Kallenbach, A.; Lackner, K.; Maraschek, M.; Rapson, C. [Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, 85748 Garching (Germany); Ruan, Q. [National Instruments, Austin, TX 78759-3504 (United States); Schuhbeck, K.H.; Suttrop, W. [Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, 85748 Garching (Germany); Wenzel, L. [National Instruments, Austin, TX 78759-3504 (United States)

    2015-11-15

    Highlights: • Spline basis current functions with second-order linear regularisation. • Perturbations of magnetic probe measurements due to ferromagnetic tiles on the inner wall and from oscillations in the fast position coil current are corrected. • A constraint of the safety factor on the magnetic axis is introduced. Soft X-ray tomography is used to assess the quality of the real-time magnetic equilibrium reconstruction. • External loop voltage measurements and magnetic probe pairs inside and outside the vessel wall were used to measure the vacuum vessel wall resistivity. - Abstract: Real-time magnetic equilibria are needed for NTM stabilization and disruption avoidance experiments on ASDEX Upgrade. Five improvements to real-time magnetic equilibrium reconstruction on ASDEX Upgrade have been investigated. The aim is to include as many features of the offline magnetic equilibrium reconstruction code in the real-time equilibrium reconstruction code. Firstly, spline current density basis functions with regularization are used in the offline equilibrium reconstruction code, CLISTE [1]. It is now possible to have the same number of spline basis functions in the real-time code. Secondly, in the presence of edge localized modes, (ELM's), it is found to be necessary to include the low pass filter effect of the vacuum vessel on the fast position control coil currents to correctly compensate the magnetic probes for current oscillations in these coils. Thirdly, the introduction of ferromagnetic tiles in ASDEX Upgrade means that a real-time algorithm for including the perturbations of the magnetic equilibrium generated by these tiles is required. A methodology based on tile surface currents is described. Fourthly, during current ramps it was seen that the difference between fitted and measured magnetic measurements in the equilibrium reconstruction were larger than in the constant current phase. External loop voltage measurements and magnetic probe pairs inside

  1. A new reconstruction strategy for image improvement in pinhole SPECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zeniya, Tsutomu; Watabe, Hiroshi; Kim, Kyeong Min; Teramoto, Noboru; Hayashi, Takuya; Iida, Hidehiro; Aoi, Toshiyuki; Sohlberg, Antti; Kudo, Hiroyuki

    2004-01-01

    Pinhole single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is able to provide information on the biodistribution of several radioligands in small laboratory animals, but has limitations associated with non-uniform spatial resolution or axial blurring. We have hypothesised that this blurring is due to incompleteness of the projection data acquired by a single circular pinhole orbit, and have evaluated a new strategy for accurate image reconstruction with better spatial resolution uniformity. A pinhole SPECT system using two circular orbits and a dedicated three-dimensional ordered subsets expectation maximisation (3D-OSEM) reconstruction method were developed. In this system, not the camera but the object rotates, and the two orbits are at 90 and 45 relative to the object's axis. This system satisfies Tuy's condition, and is thus able to provide complete data for 3D pinhole SPECT reconstruction within the whole field of view (FOV). To evaluate this system, a series of experiments was carried out using a multiple-disk phantom filled with 99m Tc solution. The feasibility of the proposed method for small animal imaging was tested with a mouse bone study using 99m Tc-hydroxymethylene diphosphonate. Feldkamp's filtered back-projection (FBP) method and the 3D-OSEM method were applied to these data sets, and the visual and statistical properties were examined. Axial blurring, which was still visible at the edge of the FOV even after applying the conventional 3D-OSEM instead of FBP for single-orbit data, was not visible after application of 3D-OSEM using two-orbit data. 3D-OSEM using two-orbit data dramatically reduced the resolution non-uniformity and statistical noise, and also demonstrated considerably better image quality in the mouse scan. This system may be of use in quantitative assessment of bio-physiological functions in small animals. (orig.)

  2. Accelerated barrier optimization compressed sensing (ABOCS) for CT reconstruction with improved convergence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niu, Tianye; Fruhauf, Quentin; Petrongolo, Michael; Zhu, Lei; Ye, Xiaojing

    2014-01-01

    Recently, we proposed a new algorithm of accelerated barrier optimization compressed sensing (ABOCS) for iterative CT reconstruction. The previous implementation of ABOCS uses gradient projection (GP) with a Barzilai–Borwein (BB) step-size selection scheme (GP-BB) to search for the optimal solution. The algorithm does not converge stably due to its non-monotonic behavior. In this paper, we further improve the convergence of ABOCS using the unknown-parameter Nesterov (UPN) method and investigate the ABOCS reconstruction performance on clinical patient data. Comparison studies are carried out on reconstructions of computer simulation, a physical phantom and a head-and-neck patient. In all of these studies, the ABOCS results using UPN show more stable and faster convergence than those of the GP-BB method and a state-of-the-art Bregman-type method. As shown in the simulation study of the Shepp–Logan phantom, UPN achieves the same image quality as those of GP-BB and the Bregman-type methods, but reduces the iteration numbers by up to 50% and 90%, respectively. In the Catphan©600 phantom study, a high-quality image with relative reconstruction error (RRE) less than 3% compared to the full-view result is obtained using UPN with 17% projections (60 views). In the conventional filtered-backprojection reconstruction, the corresponding RRE is more than 15% on the same projection data. The superior performance of ABOCS with the UPN implementation is further demonstrated on the head-and-neck patient. Using 25% projections (91 views), the proposed method reduces the RRE from 21% as in the filtered backprojection (FBP) results to 7.3%. In conclusion, we propose UPN for ABOCS implementation. As compared to GP-BB and the Bregman-type methods, the new method significantly improves the convergence with higher stability and fewer iterations. (paper)

  3. Pelvic floor physical therapy: impact on quality of life 6 months after vaginal reconstructive surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauls, Rachel N; Crisp, Catrina C; Novicki, Kathleen; Fellner, Angela N; Kleeman, Steven D

    2014-01-01

    Pelvic floor physical therapy (PFPT) is often used as a treatment of pelvic floor disorders and may improve function after pelvic reconstructive surgery. However, the long-term impact of this modality is not understood. This randomized controlled trial compared PFPT to the standard care in women undergoing vaginal reconstruction. The intervention group received PFPT biweekly until 12 weeks postoperatively, in conjunction with a physician assessment. Control subjects underwent a physician assessment alone at all postoperative intervals. The final follow-up was at 24 weeks. Physical examinations (pelvic organ prolapse quantification assessment), intravaginal electromyography, voiding diaries, and validated questionnaires were completed by all subjects. The primary outcome was change in the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF. Forty-nine women completed the study, 24 in the PFPT group and 25 in the control group. Although electromyography measures showed better muscular function in PFPT subjects after 12 weeks, at 6 months after surgery, this was no longer noted. However, quality of life parameters improved for the entire sample at 24 weeks, with no difference between groups. Positive change from 12 to 24 weeks was also documented in scores on the Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory-20 (P = 0.04) and Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire-7 (P = 0.018), corresponding with continued improvement in bladder symptoms. Finally, Prolapse and Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire-12 and Female Sexual Function Index scores improved between 12 and 24 weeks, suggesting better sexual function overall with time elapsed from surgery. Quality of life improves in all subjects after vaginal reconstructive surgery, with ongoing benefit between 3 and 6 months. Nevertheless, standardized PFPT was not associated with differences at 24 weeks in this cohort of women.

  4. A protocol for generating a high-quality genome-scale metabolic reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiele, Ines; Palsson, Bernhard Ø

    2010-01-01

    Network reconstructions are a common denominator in systems biology. Bottom-up metabolic network reconstructions have been developed over the last 10 years. These reconstructions represent structured knowledge bases that abstract pertinent information on the biochemical transformations taking place within specific target organisms. The conversion of a reconstruction into a mathematical format facilitates a myriad of computational biological studies, including evaluation of network content, hypothesis testing and generation, analysis of phenotypic characteristics and metabolic engineering. To date, genome-scale metabolic reconstructions for more than 30 organisms have been published and this number is expected to increase rapidly. However, these reconstructions differ in quality and coverage that may minimize their predictive potential and use as knowledge bases. Here we present a comprehensive protocol describing each step necessary to build a high-quality genome-scale metabolic reconstruction, as well as the common trials and tribulations. Therefore, this protocol provides a helpful manual for all stages of the reconstruction process.

  5. SQIMSO: Quality Improvement for Small Software Organizations

    OpenAIRE

    Rabih Zeineddine; Nashat Mansour

    2005-01-01

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

  6. Improving head and neck CTA with hybrid and model-based iterative reconstruction techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niesten, J. M.; van der Schaaf, I. C.; Vos, P. C.; Willemink, MJ; Velthuis, B. K.

    2015-01-01

    AIM: To compare image quality of head and neck computed tomography angiography (CTA) reconstructed with filtered back projection (FBP), hybrid iterative reconstruction (HIR) and model-based iterative reconstruction (MIR) algorithms. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The raw data of 34 studies were

  7. Paediatric cardiac CT examinations: impact of the iterative reconstruction method ASIR on image quality - preliminary findings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mieville, Frederic A.; Gudinchet, Francois; Rizzo, Elena; Ou, Phalla; Brunelle, Francis; Bochud, Francois O.; Verdun, Francis R.

    2011-01-01

    Radiation dose exposure is of particular concern in children due to the possible harmful effects of ionizing radiation. The adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) method is a promising new technique that reduces image noise and produces better overall image quality compared with routine-dose contrast-enhanced methods. To assess the benefits of ASIR on the diagnostic image quality in paediatric cardiac CT examinations. Four paediatric radiologists based at two major hospitals evaluated ten low-dose paediatric cardiac examinations (80 kVp, CTDI vol 4.8-7.9 mGy, DLP 37.1-178.9 mGy.cm). The average age of the cohort studied was 2.6 years (range 1 day to 7 years). Acquisitions were performed on a 64-MDCT scanner. All images were reconstructed at various ASIR percentages (0-100%). For each examination, radiologists scored 19 anatomical structures using the relative visual grading analysis method. To estimate the potential for dose reduction, acquisitions were also performed on a Catphan phantom and a paediatric phantom. The best image quality for all clinical images was obtained with 20% and 40% ASIR (p < 0.001) whereas with ASIR above 50%, image quality significantly decreased (p < 0.001). With 100% ASIR, a strong noise-free appearance of the structures reduced image conspicuity. A potential for dose reduction of about 36% is predicted for a 2- to 3-year-old child when using 40% ASIR rather than the standard filtered back-projection method. Reconstruction including 20% to 40% ASIR slightly improved the conspicuity of various paediatric cardiac structures in newborns and children with respect to conventional reconstruction (filtered back-projection) alone. (orig.)

  8. Paediatric cardiac CT examinations: impact of the iterative reconstruction method ASIR on image quality - preliminary findings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mieville, Frederic A. [University Hospital Center and University of Lausanne, Institute of Radiation Physics, Lausanne (Switzerland); University Hospital Center and University of Lausanne, Institute of Radiation Physics - Medical Radiology, Lausanne (Switzerland); Gudinchet, Francois; Rizzo, Elena [University Hospital Center and University of Lausanne, Department of Radiology, Lausanne (Switzerland); Ou, Phalla; Brunelle, Francis [Necker Children' s Hospital, Department of Radiology, Paris (France); Bochud, Francois O.; Verdun, Francis R. [University Hospital Center and University of Lausanne, Institute of Radiation Physics, Lausanne (Switzerland)

    2011-09-15

    Radiation dose exposure is of particular concern in children due to the possible harmful effects of ionizing radiation. The adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) method is a promising new technique that reduces image noise and produces better overall image quality compared with routine-dose contrast-enhanced methods. To assess the benefits of ASIR on the diagnostic image quality in paediatric cardiac CT examinations. Four paediatric radiologists based at two major hospitals evaluated ten low-dose paediatric cardiac examinations (80 kVp, CTDI{sub vol} 4.8-7.9 mGy, DLP 37.1-178.9 mGy.cm). The average age of the cohort studied was 2.6 years (range 1 day to 7 years). Acquisitions were performed on a 64-MDCT scanner. All images were reconstructed at various ASIR percentages (0-100%). For each examination, radiologists scored 19 anatomical structures using the relative visual grading analysis method. To estimate the potential for dose reduction, acquisitions were also performed on a Catphan phantom and a paediatric phantom. The best image quality for all clinical images was obtained with 20% and 40% ASIR (p < 0.001) whereas with ASIR above 50%, image quality significantly decreased (p < 0.001). With 100% ASIR, a strong noise-free appearance of the structures reduced image conspicuity. A potential for dose reduction of about 36% is predicted for a 2- to 3-year-old child when using 40% ASIR rather than the standard filtered back-projection method. Reconstruction including 20% to 40% ASIR slightly improved the conspicuity of various paediatric cardiac structures in newborns and children with respect to conventional reconstruction (filtered back-projection) alone. (orig.)

  9. Ways of improving preparatory stage and reconstruction of coking plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rozenfel' d, M.S.; Martynenko, V.M.; Svyatogorov, A.A.; Kvitkin, I.A.; Zhurba, A.I.; Gurtovnik, P.F.

    1987-06-01

    Discusses economic and technological aspects of coking plant reconstruction and modernization in the USSR. Effects of standardized technologies on plant reconstruction are analyzed. A standardized planning procedure jointly developed by research institutes in the USSR for plant modernization or reconstruction is discussed: selecting the optimum reconstruction and repair time, sequence of operations without stoppage of a coke oven battery, coke oven cooling, repair of coke oven liners, heating systems, coke oven equipment, drying, initial heating, testing battery equipment. The procedure is aimed at reducing coke losses and eliminating delays during reconstruction operations. A graphic method for modelling plant reconstruction is discussed.

  10. Achieving Improvement Through Nursing Home Quality Measurement

    OpenAIRE

    Harris, Yael; Clauser, Steven B.

    2002-01-01

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

  11. Improving Weak Lensing Mass Map Reconstructions using Gaussian and Sparsity Priors: Application to DES SV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey, N.; Abdalla, F. B.; Lahav, O.; Lanusse, F.; Starck, J.-L.; Leonard, A.; Kirk, D.; Chang, C.; Baxter, E.; Kacprzak, T.; Seitz, S.; Vikram, V.; Whiteway, L.; Abbott, T. M. C.; Allam, S.; Avila, S.; Bertin, E.; Brooks, D.; Rosell, A. Carnero; Kind, M. Carrasco; Carretero, J.; Castander, F. J.; Crocce, M.; Cunha, C. E.; D'Andrea, C. B.; da Costa, L. N.; Davis, C.; De Vicente, J.; Desai, S.; Doel, P.; Eifler, T. F.; Evrard, A. E.; Flaugher, B.; Fosalba, P.; Frieman, J.; García-Bellido, J.; Gerdes, D. W.; Gruen, D.; Gruendl, R. A.; Gschwend, J.; Gutierrez, G.; Hartley, W. G.; Honscheid, K.; Hoyle, B.; James, D. J.; Jarvis, M.; Kuehn, K.; Lima, M.; Lin, H.; March, M.; Melchior, P.; Menanteau, F.; Miquel, R.; Plazas, A. A.; Reil, K.; Roodman, A.; Sanchez, E.; Scarpine, V.; Schubnell, M.; Sevilla-Noarbe, I.; Smith, M.; Soares-Santos, M.; Sobreira, F.; Suchyta, E.; Swanson, M. E. C.; Tarle, G.; Thomas, D.; Walker, A. R.

    2018-05-01

    Mapping the underlying density field, including non-visible dark matter, using weak gravitational lensing measurements is now a standard tool in cosmology. Due to its importance to the science results of current and upcoming surveys, the quality of the convergence reconstruction methods should be well understood. We compare three methods: Kaiser-Squires (KS), Wiener filter, and GLIMPSE. KS is a direct inversion, not accounting for survey masks or noise. The Wiener filter is well-motivated for Gaussian density fields in a Bayesian framework. GLIMPSE uses sparsity, aiming to reconstruct non-linearities in the density field. We compare these methods with several tests using public Dark Energy Survey (DES) Science Verification (SV) data and realistic DES simulations. The Wiener filter and GLIMPSE offer substantial improvements over smoothed KS with a range of metrics. Both the Wiener filter and GLIMPSE convergence reconstructions show a 12% improvement in Pearson correlation with the underlying truth from simulations. To compare the mapping methods' abilities to find mass peaks, we measure the difference between peak counts from simulated ΛCDM shear catalogues and catalogues with no mass fluctuations (a standard data vector when inferring cosmology from peak statistics); the maximum signal-to-noise of these peak statistics is increased by a factor of 3.5 for the Wiener filter and 9 for GLIMPSE. With simulations we measure the reconstruction of the harmonic phases; the phase residuals' concentration is improved 17% by GLIMPSE and 18% by the Wiener filter. The correlation between reconstructions from data and foreground redMaPPer clusters is increased 18% by the Wiener filter and 32% by GLIMPSE.

  12. Imaging reconstruction based on improved wavelet denoising combined with parallel-beam filtered back-projection algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Zhong; Liu, Guodong; Huang, Zhen

    2012-11-01

    The image reconstruction is a key step in medical imaging (MI) and its algorithm's performance determinates the quality and resolution of reconstructed image. Although some algorithms have been used, filter back-projection (FBP) algorithm is still the classical and commonly-used algorithm in clinical MI. In FBP algorithm, filtering of original projection data is a key step in order to overcome artifact of the reconstructed image. Since simple using of classical filters, such as Shepp-Logan (SL), Ram-Lak (RL) filter have some drawbacks and limitations in practice, especially for the projection data polluted by non-stationary random noises. So, an improved wavelet denoising combined with parallel-beam FBP algorithm is used to enhance the quality of reconstructed image in this paper. In the experiments, the reconstructed effects were compared between the improved wavelet denoising and others (directly FBP, mean filter combined FBP and median filter combined FBP method). To determine the optimum reconstruction effect, different algorithms, and different wavelet bases combined with three filters were respectively test. Experimental results show the reconstruction effect of improved FBP algorithm is better than that of others. Comparing the results of different algorithms based on two evaluation standards i.e. mean-square error (MSE), peak-to-peak signal-noise ratio (PSNR), it was found that the reconstructed effects of the improved FBP based on db2 and Hanning filter at decomposition scale 2 was best, its MSE value was less and the PSNR value was higher than others. Therefore, this improved FBP algorithm has potential value in the medical imaging.

  13. Quality Improvement and Learning in Productive Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Charles H. Fine

    1986-01-01

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

  14. Trading emissions improve air quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lents, J.M.

    1993-01-01

    While admitting sharply contrasting views exist, James M. Lents of the South Coast Air Quality Management District in southern California sees emissions trading open-quotes as a lifesaver for our troubled planet.close quotes He explains: open-quotes If political support for the environment is to be maintained, we must seek the most economical and flexible means of pursuing cleanup. At present, market incentives and emissions trading represent our best hope.close quotes Lents is putting his money where his pen is. The air quality management district he heads plans to use market incentives, including emissions trading, to reduce air pollution in the notoriously dirty southern California area. When the system goes into operation in 1994, he estimates it will save southern California businesses more than $400 million a year in compliance costs, while also making major improvements in the region's air quality. If the idea works there, why won't it work elsewhere, even on a global scale, Lents asks? He believes it will. But open-quotes the ultimate success of emissions-trading programs, whether regional, national, or international in scope, lies in the proof that they're actually achieving reductions in harmful emissions,close quotes he emphasizes. open-quotes These reductions must be real and verifiable to satisfy the Clean Air Act and a skeptical public.close quotes

  15. An improved cone-beam filtered backprojection reconstruction algorithm based on x-ray angular correction and multiresolution analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun, Y.; Hou, Y.; Yan, Y.

    2004-01-01

    With the extensive application of industrial computed tomography in the field of non-destructive testing, how to improve the quality of the reconstructed image is receiving more and more concern. It is well known that in the existing cone-beam filtered backprojection reconstruction algorithms the cone angle is controlled within a narrow range. The reason of this limitation is the incompleteness of projection data when the cone angle increases. Thus the size of the tested workpiece is limited. Considering the characteristic of X-ray cone angle, an improved cone-beam filtered back-projection reconstruction algorithm taking account of angular correction is proposed in this paper. The aim of our algorithm is to correct the cone-angle effect resulted from the incompleteness of projection data in the conventional algorithm. The basis of the correction is the angular relationship among X-ray source, tested workpiece and the detector. Thus the cone angle is not strictly limited and this algorithm may be used to detect larger workpiece. Further more, adaptive wavelet filter is used to make multiresolution analysis, which can modify the wavelet decomposition series adaptively according to the demand for resolution of local reconstructed area. Therefore the computation and the time of reconstruction can be reduced, and the quality of the reconstructed image can also be improved. (author)

  16. Improved specimen reconstruction by Hilbert phase contrast tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Bastian; Joos, Friederike; Schröder, Rasmus R

    2008-11-01

    The low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in images of unstained specimens recorded with conventional defocus phase contrast makes it difficult to interpret 3D volumes obtained by electron tomography (ET). The high defocus applied for conventional tilt series generates some phase contrast but leads to an incomplete transfer of object information. For tomography of biological weak-phase objects, optimal image contrast and subsequently an optimized SNR are essential for the reconstruction of details such as macromolecular assemblies at molecular resolution. The problem of low contrast can be partially solved by applying a Hilbert phase plate positioned in the back focal plane (BFP) of the objective lens while recording images in Gaussian focus. Images recorded with the Hilbert phase plate provide optimized positive phase contrast at low spatial frequencies, and the contrast transfer in principle extends to the information limit of the microscope. The antisymmetric Hilbert phase contrast (HPC) can be numerically converted into isotropic contrast, which is equivalent to the contrast obtained by a Zernike phase plate. Thus, in-focus HPC provides optimal structure factor information without limiting effects of the transfer function. In this article, we present the first electron tomograms of biological specimens reconstructed from Hilbert phase plate image series. We outline the technical implementation of the phase plate and demonstrate that the technique is routinely applicable for tomography. A comparison between conventional defocus tomograms and in-focus HPC volumes shows an enhanced SNR and an improved specimen visibility for in-focus Hilbert tomography.

  17. Comparison of adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASiRTM) and model-based iterative reconstruction (VeoTM) for paediatric abdominal CT examinations: an observer performance study of diagnostic image quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hultenmo, Maria; Caisander, Haakan; Mack, Karsten; Thilander-Klang, Anne

    2016-01-01

    The diagnostic image quality of 75 paediatric abdominal computed tomography (CT) examinations reconstructed with two different iterative reconstruction (IR) algorithms-adaptive statistical IR (ASiR TM ) and model-based IR (Veo TM )-was compared. Axial and coronal images were reconstructed with 70 % ASiR with the Soft TM convolution kernel and with the Veo algorithm. The thickness of the reconstructed images was 2.5 or 5 mm depending on the scanning protocol used. Four radiologists graded the delineation of six abdominal structures and the diagnostic usefulness of the image quality. The Veo reconstruction significantly improved the visibility of most of the structures compared with ASiR in all subgroups of images. For coronal images, the Veo reconstruction resulted in significantly improved ratings of the diagnostic use of the image quality compared with the ASiR reconstruction. This was not seen for the axial images. The greatest improvement using Veo reconstruction was observed for the 2.5 mm coronal slices. (authors)

  18. Multicenter evaluation of quality of life and patient satisfaction after breast reconstruction, a long-term retrospective study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ménez, T; Michot, A; Tamburino, S; Weigert, R; Pinsolle, V

    2018-04-01

    Breast reconstruction techniques are multiple and they should be chosen in order to improve women's satisfaction and well-being, thus obtaining a personalized treatment. This report's major purpose was to study, through the Breast-Q questionnaire, how the functional and aesthetic outcomes, as well as the complications, of the main autologous breast reconstruction techniques, can affect patients quality of life and well-being at long-term. The secondary purpose was to analyse, thus to identify, the independent factors characterizing the different reconstructive techniques, which may affect patients' satisfaction. Women who underwent autologous breast reconstruction through deep inferior epigastric artery perforator or Latissimus dorsi muscle flap from May 2006 to May 2013 were included. The assessment was based on the Breast-Q reconstruction questionnaire. All times of post-mastectomy reconstruction were concerned: immediate, delayed, after previous procedure failure or conversion to another reconstructive technique due to the patient's dissatisfaction. A total of 98 patients were included. Concerning patients satisfaction, the breast-Q score is highest in patients who underwent immediate breast reconstruction, while scores after delayed breast reconstruction, previous surgery failure or conversion to another technique are generally equivalent. Higher scores have been observed in patients who underwent reconstruction through autologous Latissimus dorsi compared to Latissimus dorsi with prosthetic implant reconstruction. The authors identified factors of higher patients' satisfaction, like absence of major complication and advanced patient's age, in order to personalize the surgical planning according to the patient's priorities. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  19. Solutions to Improve Educational Management Quality

    OpenAIRE

    Ramezan Jahanian; Masoomeh Motahari

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Improving Tanzanian childbirth service quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaribu, Jennie; Penfold, Suzanne; Green, Cathy; Manzi, Fatuma; Schellenberg, Joanna

    2018-04-16

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to describe a quality improvement (QI) intervention in primary health facilities providing childbirth care in rural Southern Tanzania. Design/methodology/approach A QI collaborative model involving district managers and health facility staff was piloted for 6 months in 4 health facilities in Mtwara Rural district and implemented for 18 months in 23 primary health facilities in Ruangwa district. The model brings together healthcare providers from different health facilities in interactive workshops by: applying QI methods to generate and test change ideas in their own facilities; using local data to monitor improvement and decision making; and health facility supervision visits by project and district mentors. The topics for improving childbirth were deliveries and partographs. Findings Median monthly deliveries increased in 4 months from 38 (IQR 37-40) to 65 (IQR 53-71) in Mtwara Rural district, and in 17 months in Ruangwa district from 110 (IQR 103-125) to 161 (IQR 148-174). In Ruangwa health facilities, the women for whom partographs were used to monitor labour progress increased from 10 to 57 per cent in 17 months. Research limitations/implications The time for QI innovation, testing and implementation phases was limited, and the study only looked at trends. The outcomes were limited to process rather than health outcome measures. Originality/value Healthcare providers became confident in the QI method through engagement, generating and testing their own change ideas, and observing improvements. The findings suggest that implementing a QI initiative is feasible in rural, low-income settings.

  1. Improving the quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suyono, H

    1993-12-01

    It is encouraging that most developing countries now have population policies, but it is discouraging that some countries have been unable to implement their policies. Therefore, Indonesia believes technical cooperation should be strengthened among developing countries. International cooperation is working in 108 developing countries, but the desired impact has yet to be reached, and the quality of life in many countries is still unacceptable. For example, life expectancy at birth in developing countries is 14-17 years shorter for females and 10-13 years shorter for males as compared to developed countries which have superior health and welfare systems. The speed of population growth is also hindering efforts to help improve living conditions, and the biggest increase in growth will occur in Asia and Africa. This will increase the numbers of poor, hungry, and illiterate in developing countries and will lead to a lack of arable land, deterioration in education, and increase in unsafe sanitation. In order to slow population growth, quality family planning (FP) services must be provided to those who want them. By the year 2000, developed countries and donors should be ready to provide half of the required US$10.5 billion to FP services in developing countries. In Indonesia, population programs and policies have been governed by the National FP Coordinating Board as well as by the State Ministry for Population and the Environment, which was divided into two ministries in 1993 in order to deal with the enormity and seriousness of the two issues.

  2. Image quality of iterative reconstruction in cranial CT imaging: comparison of model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASiR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notohamiprodjo, S; Deak, Z; Meurer, F; Maertz, F; Mueck, F G; Geyer, L L; Wirth, S

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare cranial CT (CCT) image quality (IQ) of the MBIR algorithm with standard iterative reconstruction (ASiR). In this institutional review board (IRB)-approved study, raw data sets of 100 unenhanced CCT examinations (120 kV, 50-260 mAs, 20 mm collimation, 0.984 pitch) were reconstructed with both ASiR and MBIR. Signal-to-noise (SNR) and contrast-to-noise (CNR) were calculated from attenuation values measured in caudate nucleus, frontal white matter, anterior ventricle horn, fourth ventricle, and pons. Two radiologists, who were blinded to the reconstruction algorithms, evaluated anonymized multiplanar reformations of 2.5 mm with respect to depiction of different parenchymal structures and impact of artefacts on IQ with a five-point scale (0: unacceptable, 1: less than average, 2: average, 3: above average, 4: excellent). MBIR decreased artefacts more effectively than ASiR (p ASiR was 2 (p ASiR (p ASiR. As CCT is an examination that is frequently required, the use of MBIR may allow for substantial reduction of radiation exposure caused by medical diagnostics. • Model-Based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) effectively decreased artefacts in cranial CT. • MBIR reconstructed images were rated with significantly higher scores for image quality. • Model-Based iterative reconstruction may allow reduced-dose diagnostic examination protocols.

  3. The quality of reconstructed 3D images in multidetector-row helical CT: experimental study involving scan parameters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shin, Ji Hoon; Lee, Ho Kyu; Choi, Choong Gon; Suh, Dae Chul; Lim, Tae Hwan; Kang, Weechang

    2002-01-01

    To determine which multidetector-row helical CT scanning technique provides the best-quality reconstructed 3D images, and to assess differences in image quality according to the levels of the scanning parameters used. Four objects with different surfaces and contours were scanned using multidetector-row helical CT at three detector-row collimations (1.25, 2.50, 5.00 mm), two pitches (3.0, 6.0), and three different degrees of overlap between the reconstructed slices (0%, 25%, 50%). Reconstructed 3D images of the resulting 72 sets of data were produced using volumetric rendering. The 72 images were graded on a scale from 1 (worst) to 5 (best) for each of four rating criteria, giving a mean score for each criterion and an overall mean score. Statistical analysis was used to assess differences in image quality according to scanning parameter levels. The mean score for each rating criterion, and the overall mean score, varied significantly according to the scanning parameter levels used. With regard to detector-row collimation and pitch, all levels of scanning parameters gave rise to significant differences, while in the degree of overlap of reconstructed slices, there were significant differences between overlap of 0% and of 50% in all levels of scanning parameters, and between overlap of 25% and of 50% in overall accuracy and overall mean score. Among the 18 scanning sequences, the highest score (4.94) was achieved with 1.25 mm detector-row collimation, 3.0 pitch, and 50% overlap between reconstructed slices. Comparison of the quality of reconstructed 3D images obtained using multidetector-row helical CT and various scanning techniques indicated that the 1.25 mm, 3.0, 50% scanning sequence was best. Quality improved as detector-row collimation decreased; as pitch was reduced from 6.0 to 3.0; and as overlap between reconstructed slices increased

  4. Quality improvement and emerging global health priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  5. Including RNA secondary structures improves accuracy and robustness in reconstruction of phylogenetic trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Alexander; Förster, Frank; Müller, Tobias; Dandekar, Thomas; Schultz, Jörg; Wolf, Matthias

    2010-01-15

    In several studies, secondary structures of ribosomal genes have been used to improve the quality of phylogenetic reconstructions. An extensive evaluation of the benefits of secondary structure, however, is lacking. This is the first study to counter this deficiency. We inspected the accuracy and robustness of phylogenetics with individual secondary structures by simulation experiments for artificial tree topologies with up to 18 taxa and for divergency levels in the range of typical phylogenetic studies. We chose the internal transcribed spacer 2 of the ribosomal cistron as an exemplary marker region. Simulation integrated the coevolution process of sequences with secondary structures. Additionally, the phylogenetic power of marker size duplication was investigated and compared with sequence and sequence-structure reconstruction methods. The results clearly show that accuracy and robustness of Neighbor Joining trees are largely improved by structural information in contrast to sequence only data, whereas a doubled marker size only accounts for robustness. Individual secondary structures of ribosomal RNA sequences provide a valuable gain of information content that is useful for phylogenetics. Thus, the usage of ITS2 sequence together with secondary structure for taxonomic inferences is recommended. Other reconstruction methods as maximum likelihood, bayesian inference or maximum parsimony may equally profit from secondary structure inclusion. This article was reviewed by Shamil Sunyaev, Andrea Tanzer (nominated by Frank Eisenhaber) and Eugene V. Koonin. Reviewed by Shamil Sunyaev, Andrea Tanzer (nominated by Frank Eisenhaber) and Eugene V. Koonin. For the full reviews, please go to the Reviewers' comments section.

  6. Health-related quality of life after maxillectomy: obturator rehabilitation compared with flap reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breeze, J; Rennie, A; Morrison, A; Dawson, D; Tipper, J; Rehman, K; Grew, N; Snee, D; Pigadas, N

    2016-10-01

    Health-related quality of life (QoL) reported by patients has the potential to improve care after ablative surgery of the midface, as existing treatment algorithms still generally revolve around outcomes assessed traditionally only by clinicians. Decisions in particular relate to reconstruction with a flap compared with rehabilitation with an obturator, the need for adjuvant treatment, and morbidity related to the size of the defect. We prospectively collected health-related QoL assessments for 39 consecutive patients treated by maxillectomy between 01 January 2010 and 31 December 2014 using the University of Washington Quality of Life Questionnaire, and who had a mean (SD) duration of follow-up of 14 (4). We made sub-group analyses using paired t tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA) to compare reconstruction with a flap with rehabilitation with obturators, size of the vertical defect, and whether adjuvant treatment with radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy adversely affected it. Overall there was a significant decrease in health-related QoL after treatment compared with before (p<0.001), but there was no significant difference in the effects of any of the paired reconstructive and rehabilitation treatments on it. Obturators remain an important option for rehabilitation in selected patients in addition to reconstruction with a flap. We found that neither increasing the size of the vertical defect (in an attempt to ensure clear margins) nor the use of postoperative radiotherapy seemed to have any adverse effect on QoL. More patients are required before we can conclude that the potential survival benefits of such measures may outweigh any adverse effects. Copyright © 2016 The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Adaptive algebraic reconstruction technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu Wenkai; Yin Fangfang

    2004-01-01

    Algebraic reconstruction techniques (ART) are iterative procedures for reconstructing objects from their projections. It is proven that ART can be computationally efficient by carefully arranging the order in which the collected data are accessed during the reconstruction procedure and adaptively adjusting the relaxation parameters. In this paper, an adaptive algebraic reconstruction technique (AART), which adopts the same projection access scheme in multilevel scheme algebraic reconstruction technique (MLS-ART), is proposed. By introducing adaptive adjustment of the relaxation parameters during the reconstruction procedure, one-iteration AART can produce reconstructions with better quality, in comparison with one-iteration MLS-ART. Furthermore, AART outperforms MLS-ART with improved computational efficiency

  8. Contrast improvement of continuous wave diffuse optical tomography reconstruction by hybrid approach using least square and genetic algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patra, Rusha; Dutta, Pranab K.

    2015-07-01

    Reconstruction of the absorption coefficient of tissue with good contrast is of key importance in functional diffuse optical imaging. A hybrid approach using model-based iterative image reconstruction and a genetic algorithm is proposed to enhance the contrast of the reconstructed image. The proposed method yields an observed contrast of 98.4%, mean square error of 0.638×10-3, and object centroid error of (0.001 to 0.22) mm. Experimental validation of the proposed method has also been provided with tissue-like phantoms which shows a significant improvement in image quality and thus establishes the potential of the method for functional diffuse optical tomography reconstruction with continuous wave setup. A case study of finger joint imaging is illustrated as well to show the prospect of the proposed method in clinical diagnosis. The method can also be applied to the concentration measurement of a region of interest in a turbid medium.

  9. Towards improvement in quality assurance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-03-01

    This first document in the series of the International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group (INSAG) Technical Notes is a general guideline for the establishment of effective quality assurance procedures at nuclear facilities. It sets out primary requirements such as quality objectives, methods for measuring the effectiveness of the quality assurance programme, priority of activities in relation to importance of safety of items, motivation of personnel

  10. Effect of radiation dose and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction on image quality of pulmonary computed tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sato, Jiro; Akahane, Masaaki; Inano, Sachiko; Terasaki, Mariko; Akai, Hiroyuki; Katsura, Masaki; Matsuda, Izuru; Kunimatsu, Akira; Ohtomo, Kuni

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of dose and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) on image quality of pulmonary computed tomography (CT). Inflated and fixed porcine lungs were scanned with a 64-slice CT system at 10, 20, 40 and 400 mAs. Using automatic exposure control, 40 mAs was chosen as standard dose. Scan data were reconstructed with filtered back projection (FBP) and ASIR. Image pairs were obtained by factorial combination of images at a selected level. Using a 21-point scale, three experienced radiologists independently rated differences in quality between adjacently displayed paired images for image noise, image sharpness and conspicuity of tiny nodules. A subjective quality score (SQS) for each image was computed based on Anderson's functional measurement theory. The standard deviation was recorded as a quantitative noise measurement. At all doses examined, SQSs improved with ASIR for all evaluation items. No significant differences were noted between the SQSs for 40%-ASIR images obtained at 20 mAs and those for FBP images at 40 mAs. Compared to the FBP algorithm, ASIR for lung CT can enable an approximately 50% dose reduction from the standard dose while preserving visualization of small structures. (author)

  11. Application of project design peer review to improve quality assurance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McClure, F.E.

    1989-01-01

    DOE ORDER 5481.1B Safety Analysis and Review Systems and DOE ORDER 6430.1A General Design Criteria require that the design of facilities shall incorporate the necessary Quality Assurance review requirements to assure that the established program quality assurance objectives are met in the design criteria and the construction documents. The use of Project Design Peer Review to satisfy these requirements is presented. The University of California manages the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Los Alamos National Scientific Laboratory. The 1988 University Seismic Safety Policy requires the use of independent Project Design Peer Review in its capital improvement and seismic reconstruction program

  12. Treatment of Donor Cells and Reconstructed Embryos with a Combination of Trichostatin-A and 5-aza-2'-Deoxycytidine Improves the Developmental Competence and Quality of Buffalo Embryos Produced by Handmade Cloning and Alters Their Epigenetic Status and Gene Expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saini, Monika; Selokar, Naresh L; Agrawal, Himanshu; Singla, Suresh Kumar; Chauhan, Manmohan Singh; Manik, Radheysham S; Palta, Prabhat

    2017-06-01

    The application of cloning technology on a large scale is limited by very low offspring rate primarily due to aberrant or incomplete epigenetic reprogramming. Trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC), an inhibitor of DNA methyltransferases, are widely used for altering the epigenetic status of cloned embryos. We optimized the doses of these epigenetic modifiers for production of buffalo embryos by handmade cloning and examined whether combined treatment with these epigenetic modifiers offered any advantage over treatment with the individual epigenetic modifier. Irrespective of whether donor cells or reconstructed embryos or both were treated with 50 nM TSA +7.5 nM 5-aza-dC, (1) the blastocyst rate was significantly higher (71.6 ± 3.5, 68.3 ± 2.6, and 71.8 ± 2.4, respectively, vs. 43.1 ± 3.4 for controls, p cells or reconstructed embryos or both with the combination of TSA +5-aza-dC. Therefore, there is no advantage in treating both donor cells and reconstructed embryos when the combination of TSA and 5-aza-dC is used.

  13. Implementation and Analysis of a Lean Six Sigma Program in Microsurgery to Improve Operative Throughput in Perforator Flap Breast Reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hultman, Charles Scott; Kim, Sendia; Lee, Clara N; Wu, Cindy; Dodge, Becky; Hultman, Chloe Elizabeth; Roach, S Tanner; Halvorson, Eric G

    2016-06-01

    Perforator flaps have become a preferred method of breast reconstruction but can consume considerable resources. We examined the impact of a Six Sigma program on microsurgical breast reconstruction at an academic medical center. Using methods developed by Motorola and General Electric, we applied critical pathway planning, workflow analysis, lean manufacturing, continuous quality improvement, and defect reduction to microsurgical breast reconstruction. Primary goals were to decrease preoperative-to-cut time and total operative time, through reduced variability and improved efficiency. Secondary goals were to reduce length of stay, complications, and reoperation. The project was divided into 3 phases: (1) Pre-Six Sigma (24 months), (2) Six Sigma (10 months), (3) and Post-Six Sigma (24 months). These periods (baseline, intervention, control) were compared by Student t test and χ analysis. Over a 5-year period, 112 patients underwent 168 perforator flaps for breast reconstructions, by experienced microsurgeons. Total operative time decreased from 714 to 607 minutes (P Six Sigma program in microsurgical breast reconstruction was associated with better operational and financial outcomes. These incremental gains were maintained over the course of the study, suggesting that these benefits were due, in part, to process improvements. However, continued reductions in total operative time and length of stay, well after the intervention period, support the possibility that "learning curve" phenomenon may have contributed to the improvement in these outcomes.

  14. A fully three-dimensional reconstruction algorithm with the nonstationary filter for improved single-orbit cone beam SPECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cao, Z.J.; Tsui, B.M.

    1993-01-01

    Conventional single-orbit cone beam tomography presents special problems. They include incomplete sampling and inadequate three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction algorithm. The commonly used Feldkamp reconstruction algorithm simply extends the two-dimensional (2D) fan beam algorithm to 3D cone beam geometry. A truly 3D reconstruction formulation has been derived for the single-orbit cone beam SPECT based on the 3D Fourier slice theorem. In the formulation, a nonstationary filter which depends on the distance from the central plane of the cone beam was derived. The filter is applied to the 2D projection data in directions along and normal to the axis-of-rotation. The 3D reconstruction algorithm with the nonstationary filter was evaluated using both computer simulation and experimental measurements. Significant improvement in image quality was demonstrated in terms of decreased artifacts and distortions in cone beam reconstructed images. However, compared with the Feldkamp algorithm, a five-fold increase in processing time is required. Further improvement in image quality needs complete sampling in frequency space

  15. Voltage Quality Improvement Using Solar Photovoltaic Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denisa Galzina

    2015-06-01

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

  16. San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. Dual-source CT coronary imaging in heart transplant recipients: image quality and optimal reconstruction interval

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bastarrika, Gorka; Arraiza, Maria; Pueyo, Jesus C.; Cecco, Carlo N. de; Ubilla, Matias; Mastrobuoni, Stefano; Rabago, Gregorio

    2008-01-01

    The image quality and optimal reconstruction interval for coronary arteries in heart transplant recipients undergoing non-invasive dual-source computed tomography (DSCT) coronary angiography was evaluated. Twenty consecutive heart transplant recipients who underwent DSCT coronary angiography were included (19 male, one female; mean age 63.1±10.7 years). Data sets were reconstructed in 5% steps from 30% to 80% of the R-R interval. Two blinded independent observers assessed the image quality of each coronary segments using a five-point scale (from 0 = not evaluative to 4=excellent quality). A total of 289 coronary segments in 20 heart transplant recipients were evaluated. Mean heart rate during the scan was 89.1±10.4 bpm. At the best reconstruction interval, diagnostic image quality (score ≥2) was obtained in 93.4% of the coronary segments (270/289) with a mean image quality score of 3.04± 0.63. Systolic reconstruction intervals provided better image quality scores than diastolic reconstruction intervals (overall mean quality scores obtained with the systolic and diastolic reconstructions 3.03±1.06 and 2.73±1.11, respectively; P<0.001). Different systolic reconstruction intervals (35%, 40%, 45% of RR interval) did not yield to significant differences in image quality scores for the coronary segments (P=0.74). Reconstructions obtained at the systolic phase of the cardiac cycle allowed excellent diagnostic image quality coronary angiograms in heart transplant recipients undergoing DSCT coronary angiography. (orig.)

  18. Initial phantom study comparing image quality in computed tomography using adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction and new adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction v.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Kyungjae; Kwon, Heejin; Cho, Jinhan; Oh, Jongyoung; Yoon, Seongkuk; Kang, Myungjin; Ha, Dongho; Lee, Jinhwa; Kang, Eunju

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the image quality of a novel advanced iterative reconstruction (IR) method called as "adaptive statistical IR V" (ASIR-V) by comparing the image noise, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), and spatial resolution from those of filtered back projection (FBP) and adaptive statistical IR (ASIR) on computed tomography (CT) phantom image. We performed CT scans at 5 different tube currents (50, 70, 100, 150, and 200 mA) using 3 types of CT phantoms. Scanned images were subsequently reconstructed in 7 different scan settings, such as FBP, and 3 levels of ASIR and ASIR-V (30%, 50%, and 70%). The image noise was measured in the first study using body phantom. The CNR was measured in the second study using contrast phantom and the spatial resolutions were measured in the third study using a high-resolution phantom. We compared the image noise, CNR, and spatial resolution among the 7 reconstructed image scan settings to determine whether noise reduction, high CNR, and high spatial resolution could be achieved at ASIR-V. At quantitative analysis of the first and second studies, it showed that the images reconstructed using ASIR-V had reduced image noise and improved CNR compared with those of FBP and ASIR (P ASIR-V had significantly improved spatial resolution than those of FBP and ASIR (P ASIR-V provides a significant reduction in image noise and a significant improvement in CNR as well as spatial resolution. Therefore, this technique has the potential to reduce the radiation dose further without compromising image quality.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellsbury, Dan L; Clark, Reese H

    2017-04-01

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

  20. Abdominal wall reconstruction for incisional hernia optimizes truncal function and quality of life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kristian K.; Munim, Kanzah; Kjaer, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Objective: The aim of the study was to examine abdominal wall function in patients undergoing abdominal wall reconstruction (AWR) for incisional hernia. Background: The literature on abdominal wall function in patients with incisional hernia is sparse. It has been suggested that AWR leads...... to improvement in function, but it is unknown whether this is specific to the abdominal wall or due to an improvement in overall physical fitness. Methods: We performed a prospective case-control study of 18 consecutive patients with large incisional hernia undergoing AWR with linea alba restoration. Truncal...... flexion and extension strength, hand grip strength, leg extension power, and quality of life (SF-36 and Carolinas Comfort Scale) were assessed preoperatively and 1 year postoperatively. Patients were compared with a control group of patients with an intact abdominal wall undergoing colorectal resection (n...

  1. How to Begin a Quality Improvement Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-06

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

  2. Cardiac CT for planning redo cardiac surgery: effect of knowledge-based iterative model reconstruction on image quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oda, Seitaro; Weissman, Gaby; Weigold, W. Guy; Vembar, Mani

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of knowledge-based iterative model reconstruction (IMR) on image quality in cardiac CT performed for the planning of redo cardiac surgery by comparing IMR images with images reconstructed with filtered back-projection (FBP) and hybrid iterative reconstruction (HIR). We studied 31 patients (23 men, 8 women; mean age 65.1 ± 16.5 years) referred for redo cardiac surgery who underwent cardiac CT. Paired image sets were created using three types of reconstruction: FBP, HIR, and IMR. Quantitative parameters including CT attenuation, image noise, and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of each cardiovascular structure were calculated. The visual image quality - graininess, streak artefact, margin sharpness of each cardiovascular structure, and overall image quality - was scored on a five-point scale. The mean image noise of FBP, HIR, and IMR images was 58.3 ± 26.7, 36.0 ± 12.5, and 14.2 ± 5.5 HU, respectively; there were significant differences in all comparison combinations among the three methods. The CNR of IMR images was better than that of FBP and HIR images in all evaluated structures. The visual scores were significantly higher for IMR than for the other images in all evaluated parameters. IMR can provide significantly improved qualitative and quantitative image quality at in cardiac CT for planning of reoperative cardiac surgery. (orig.)

  3. CT reconstruction techniques for improved accuracy of lung CT airway measurement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodriguez, A. [Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin 53705 (United States); Ranallo, F. N. [Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin 53705 and Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin 53792 (United States); Judy, P. F. [Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115 (United States); Gierada, D. S. [Department of Radiology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63110 (United States); Fain, S. B., E-mail: sfain@wisc.edu [Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin 53705 (United States); Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin 53792 (United States); Department of Biomedical Engineering,University of Wisconsin School of Engineering, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 (United States)

    2014-11-01

    Purpose: To determine the impact of constrained reconstruction techniques on quantitative CT (qCT) of the lung parenchyma and airways for low x-ray radiation dose. Methods: Measurement of small airways with qCT remains a challenge, especially for low x-ray dose protocols. Images of the COPDGene quality assurance phantom (CTP698, The Phantom Laboratory, Salem, NY) were obtained using a GE discovery CT750 HD scanner for helical scans at x-ray radiation dose-equivalents ranging from 1 to 4.12 mSv (12–100 mA s current–time product). Other parameters were 40 mm collimation, 0.984 pitch, 0.5 s rotation, and 0.625 mm thickness. The phantom was sandwiched between 7.5 cm thick water attenuating phantoms for a total length of 20 cm to better simulate the scatter conditions of patient scans. Image data sets were reconstructed using STANDARD (STD), DETAIL, BONE, and EDGE algorithms for filtered back projection (FBP), 100% adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR), and Veo reconstructions. Reduced (half) display field of view (DFOV) was used to increase sampling across airway phantom structures. Inner diameter (ID), wall area percent (WA%), and wall thickness (WT) measurements of eight airway mimicking tubes in the phantom, including a 2.5 mm ID (42.6 WA%, 0.4 mm WT), 3 mm ID (49.0 WA%, 0.6 mm WT), and 6 mm ID (49.0 WA%, 1.2 mm WT) were performed with Airway Inspector (Surgical Planning Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA) using the phase congruency edge detection method. The average of individual measures at five central slices of the phantom was taken to reduce measurement error. Results: WA% measures were greatly overestimated while IDs were underestimated for the smaller airways, especially for reconstructions at full DFOV (36 cm) using the STD kernel, due to poor sampling and spatial resolution (0.7 mm pixel size). Despite low radiation dose, the ID of the 6 mm ID airway was consistently measured accurately for all methods other than STD

  4. CT reconstruction techniques for improved accuracy of lung CT airway measurement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodriguez, A.; Ranallo, F. N.; Judy, P. F.; Gierada, D. S.; Fain, S. B.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: To determine the impact of constrained reconstruction techniques on quantitative CT (qCT) of the lung parenchyma and airways for low x-ray radiation dose. Methods: Measurement of small airways with qCT remains a challenge, especially for low x-ray dose protocols. Images of the COPDGene quality assurance phantom (CTP698, The Phantom Laboratory, Salem, NY) were obtained using a GE discovery CT750 HD scanner for helical scans at x-ray radiation dose-equivalents ranging from 1 to 4.12 mSv (12–100 mA s current–time product). Other parameters were 40 mm collimation, 0.984 pitch, 0.5 s rotation, and 0.625 mm thickness. The phantom was sandwiched between 7.5 cm thick water attenuating phantoms for a total length of 20 cm to better simulate the scatter conditions of patient scans. Image data sets were reconstructed using STANDARD (STD), DETAIL, BONE, and EDGE algorithms for filtered back projection (FBP), 100% adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR), and Veo reconstructions. Reduced (half) display field of view (DFOV) was used to increase sampling across airway phantom structures. Inner diameter (ID), wall area percent (WA%), and wall thickness (WT) measurements of eight airway mimicking tubes in the phantom, including a 2.5 mm ID (42.6 WA%, 0.4 mm WT), 3 mm ID (49.0 WA%, 0.6 mm WT), and 6 mm ID (49.0 WA%, 1.2 mm WT) were performed with Airway Inspector (Surgical Planning Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA) using the phase congruency edge detection method. The average of individual measures at five central slices of the phantom was taken to reduce measurement error. Results: WA% measures were greatly overestimated while IDs were underestimated for the smaller airways, especially for reconstructions at full DFOV (36 cm) using the STD kernel, due to poor sampling and spatial resolution (0.7 mm pixel size). Despite low radiation dose, the ID of the 6 mm ID airway was consistently measured accurately for all methods other than STD

  5. Image quality of ct angiography using model-based iterative reconstruction in infants with congenital heart disease: Comparison with filtered back projection and hybrid iterative reconstruction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jia, Qianjun, E-mail: jiaqianjun@126.com [Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong (China); Department of Radiology, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong (China); Department of Catheterization Lab, Guangdong Cardiovascular Institute, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of South China Structural Heart Disease, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong (China); Zhuang, Jian, E-mail: zhuangjian5413@tom.com [Department of Cardiac Surgery, Guangdong Cardiovascular Institute, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of South China Structural Heart Disease, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong (China); Jiang, Jun, E-mail: 81711587@qq.com [Department of Radiology, Shenzhen Second People’s Hospital, Shenzhen, Guangdong (China); Li, Jiahua, E-mail: 970872804@qq.com [Department of Catheterization Lab, Guangdong Cardiovascular Institute, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of South China Structural Heart Disease, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong (China); Huang, Meiping, E-mail: huangmeiping_vip@163.com [Department of Catheterization Lab, Guangdong Cardiovascular Institute, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of South China Structural Heart Disease, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong (China); Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong (China); Liang, Changhong, E-mail: cjr.lchh@vip.163.com [Department of Radiology, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong (China); Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong (China)

    2017-01-15

    Purpose: To compare the image quality, rate of coronary artery visualization and diagnostic accuracy of 256-slice multi-detector computed tomography angiography (CTA) with prospective electrocardiographic (ECG) triggering at a tube voltage of 80 kVp between 3 reconstruction algorithms (filtered back projection (FBP), hybrid iterative reconstruction (iDose{sup 4}) and iterative model reconstruction (IMR)) in infants with congenital heart disease (CHD). Methods: Fifty-one infants with CHD who underwent cardiac CTA in our institution between December 2014 and March 2015 were included. The effective radiation doses were calculated. Imaging data were reconstructed using the FBP, iDose{sup 4} and IMR algorithms. Parameters of objective image quality (noise, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR)); subjective image quality (overall image quality, image noise and margin sharpness); coronary artery visibility; and diagnostic accuracy for the three algorithms were measured and compared. Results: The mean effective radiation dose was 0.61 ± 0.32 mSv. Compared to FBP and iDose{sup 4}, IMR yielded significantly lower noise (P < 0.01), higher SNR and CNR values (P < 0.01), and a greater subjective image quality score (P < 0.01). The total number of coronary segments visualized was significantly higher for both iDose{sup 4} and IMR than for FBP (P = 0.002 and P = 0.025, respectively), but there was no significant difference in this parameter between iDose{sup 4} and IMR (P = 0.397). There was no significant difference in the diagnostic accuracy between the FBP, iDose{sup 4} and IMR algorithms (χ{sup 2} = 0.343, P = 0.842). Conclusions: For infants with CHD undergoing cardiac CTA, the IMR reconstruction algorithm provided significantly increased objective and subjective image quality compared with the FBP and iDose{sup 4} algorithms. However, IMR did not improve the diagnostic accuracy or coronary artery visualization compared with iDose{sup 4}.

  6. Do Clinical Practice Guidelines Improve Quality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldassari, Cristina M

    2017-07-01

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

  7. Anisotropic modeling and joint-MAP stitching for improved ultrasound model-based iterative reconstruction of large and thick specimens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Almansouri, Hani [Purdue University; Venkatakrishnan, Singanallur V. [ORNL; Clayton, Dwight A. [ORNL; Polsky, Yarom [ORNL; Bouman, Charles [Purdue University; Santos-Villalobos, Hector J. [ORNL

    2018-04-01

    One-sided non-destructive evaluation (NDE) is widely used to inspect materials, such as concrete structures in nuclear power plants (NPP). A widely used method for one-sided NDE is the synthetic aperture focusing technique (SAFT). The SAFT algorithm produces reasonable results when inspecting simple structures. However, for complex structures, such as heavily reinforced thick concrete structures, SAFT results in artifacts and hence there is a need for a more sophisticated inversion technique. Model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) algorithms, which are typically equivalent to regularized inversion techniques, offer a powerful framework to incorporate complex models for the physics, detector miscalibrations and the materials being imaged to obtain high quality reconstructions. Previously, we have proposed an ultrasonic MBIR method that signifcantly improves reconstruction quality compared to SAFT. However, the method made some simplifying assumptions on the propagation model and did not disucss ways to handle data that is obtained by raster scanning a system over a surface to inspect large regions. In this paper, we propose a novel MBIR algorithm that incorporates an anisotropic forward model and allows for the joint processing of data obtained from a system that raster scans a large surface. We demonstrate that the new MBIR method can produce dramatic improvements in reconstruction quality compared to SAFT and suppresses articfacts compared to the perviously presented MBIR approach.

  8. Fast GPU-based Monte Carlo code for SPECT/CT reconstructions generates improved 177Lu images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rydén, T; Heydorn Lagerlöf, J; Hemmingsson, J; Marin, I; Svensson, J; Båth, M; Gjertsson, P; Bernhardt, P

    2018-01-04

    Full Monte Carlo (MC)-based SPECT reconstructions have a strong potential for correcting for image degrading factors, but the reconstruction times are long. The objective of this study was to develop a highly parallel Monte Carlo code for fast, ordered subset expectation maximum (OSEM) reconstructions of SPECT/CT images. The MC code was written in the Compute Unified Device Architecture language for a computer with four graphics processing units (GPUs) (GeForce GTX Titan X, Nvidia, USA). This enabled simulations of parallel photon emissions from the voxels matrix (128 3 or 256 3 ). Each computed tomography (CT) number was converted to attenuation coefficients for photo absorption, coherent scattering, and incoherent scattering. For photon scattering, the deflection angle was determined by the differential scattering cross sections. An angular response function was developed and used to model the accepted angles for photon interaction with the crystal, and a detector scattering kernel was used for modeling the photon scattering in the detector. Predefined energy and spatial resolution kernels for the crystal were used. The MC code was implemented in the OSEM reconstruction of clinical and phantom 177 Lu SPECT/CT images. The Jaszczak image quality phantom was used to evaluate the performance of the MC reconstruction in comparison with attenuated corrected (AC) OSEM reconstructions and attenuated corrected OSEM reconstructions with resolution recovery corrections (RRC). The performance of the MC code was 3200 million photons/s. The required number of photons emitted per voxel to obtain a sufficiently low noise level in the simulated image was 200 for a 128 3 voxel matrix. With this number of emitted photons/voxel, the MC-based OSEM reconstruction with ten subsets was performed within 20 s/iteration. The images converged after around six iterations. Therefore, the reconstruction time was around 3 min. The activity recovery for the spheres in the Jaszczak phantom was

  9. EnzDP: improved enzyme annotation for metabolic network reconstruction based on domain composition profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Nam-Ninh; Srihari, Sriganesh; Leong, Hon Wai; Chong, Ket-Fah

    2015-10-01

    Determining the entire complement of enzymes and their enzymatic functions is a fundamental step for reconstructing the metabolic network of cells. High quality enzyme annotation helps in enhancing metabolic networks reconstructed from the genome, especially by reducing gaps and increasing the enzyme coverage. Currently, structure-based and network-based approaches can only cover a limited number of enzyme families, and the accuracy of homology-based approaches can be further improved. Bottom-up homology-based approach improves the coverage by rebuilding Hidden Markov Model (HMM) profiles for all known enzymes. However, its clustering procedure relies firmly on BLAST similarity score, ignoring protein domains/patterns, and is sensitive to changes in cut-off thresholds. Here, we use functional domain architecture to score the association between domain families and enzyme families (Domain-Enzyme Association Scoring, DEAS). The DEAS score is used to calculate the similarity between proteins, which is then used in clustering procedure, instead of using sequence similarity score. We improve the enzyme annotation protocol using a stringent classification procedure, and by choosing optimal threshold settings and checking for active sites. Our analysis shows that our stringent protocol EnzDP can cover up to 90% of enzyme families available in Swiss-Prot. It achieves a high accuracy of 94.5% based on five-fold cross-validation. EnzDP outperforms existing methods across several testing scenarios. Thus, EnzDP serves as a reliable automated tool for enzyme annotation and metabolic network reconstruction. Available at: www.comp.nus.edu.sg/~nguyennn/EnzDP .

  10. Software process improvement, quality assurance and measurement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  11. Physical Activity Improves Quality of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. CMS reconstruction improvements for the tracking in large pileup events

    CERN Document Server

    Rovere, M

    2015-01-01

    The CMS tracking code is organized in several levels, known as iterative steps, each optimized to reconstruct a class of particle trajectories, as the ones of particles originating from the primary vertex or displaced tracks from particles resulting from secondary vertices. Each iterative step consists of seeding, pattern recognition and fitting by a kalman filter, and a final filtering and cleaning. Each subsequent step works on hits not yet associated to a reconstructed particle trajectory.The CMS tracking code is continuously evolving to make the reconstruction computing load compatible with the increasing instantaneous luminosity of LHC, resulting in a large number of primary vertices and tracks per bunch crossing.The major upgrade put in place during the present LHC Long Shutdown will allow the tracking code to comply with the conditions expected during RunII and the much larger pileup. In particular, new algorithms that are intrinsically more robust in high occupancy conditions were developed, iteration...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roche, B G; Sommer, C

    1995-01-01

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

  14. Improved immediate breast reconstruction as a result of oncoplastic multidisciplinary meeting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El Gammal MM

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Mohsen M El Gammal,1 Maria Lim,1 Rajan Uppal,2 Richard Sainsbury1 1Department of Breast Surgery, Parapet Breast Centre, Frimley Health Foundation Trust, Windsor, 2Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Wexham and Heatherwood Hospital, Frimley Health Foundation Trust, Slough, UK Introduction: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines recommend that breast reconstruction should be available to all women undergoing mastectomy and discussed at the initial surgical consultation (2002, and updated 2009. The National Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction Audit (2009 showed that 21% of mastectomy patients underwent immediate breast reconstruction (IBR and 11% had delayed breast reconstruction (DBR. Breast reconstruction has been shown to have a positive effect on quality of life postmastectomy. This retrospective study investigated the impact of the introduction of a dedicated oncoplastic multidisciplinary meeting (OP MDM on our unit’s breast reconstruction rate.Patients and methods: A retrospective analysis of 229 women who underwent mastectomy, of whom 81 (35% underwent breast reconstruction between April 2014 and March 2016. Data were analyzed before and after introduction of OP MDM in April 2015. Data on patient age, type of surgery (mastectomy only, mastectomy and reconstruction, timing of reconstruction (IBR, DBR, and type of reconstruction (implant, autologous were collected.Results: Between April 2015 and March 2016, following establishment of OP multidisciplinary team in April 2015, of the 120 patients who had mastectomy, 50 (42% underwent breast reconstruction with 78% (39/50 choosing IBR (56% implant reconstruction and 22% autologous. Compared to the period between April 2014 and March 2015 preceding the OP MDM, of 109 patients who underwent mastectomy, only 31 (28% had breast reconstruction with 64% (20/31 choosing IBR (45% implant reconstruction and 19% autologous. The rate of DBR was lower, 22% (11

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chow, Shirley L; Shojania, Kaveh G

    2017-09-01

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

  16. Nationwide quality improvement in lung cancer care

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. An improved muon reconstruction algorithm for INO-ICAL experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhattacharya, Kolahal; MandaI, Naba K.

    2013-01-01

    The charge current interaction of neutrino in INO-ICAL detector will be identified with a muon (μ ± ) in the detector whose kinematics is related with the kinematics of the neutrino. So, muon reconstruction is a very important step in achieving INO physics goals. The existing muon reconstruction package for INO-ICAL has poor performance in specific regimes of experimental interest: (a) for larger zenith angle (θ > 50°), (b) for lower energies (E < 1 GeV); mainly due to poor error propagation scheme insensitive to energy E, angle (θ, φ) and inhomogeneous magnetic field along the muon track. Since, a significant fraction of muons from atmospheric neutrino interactions will have initial energy < 1 GeV and almost uniform distribution in cosθ a robust package for muon reconstruction is essential. We have implemented higher order correction terms in the propagation of the state and error covariance matrices of the Kalman Iter. The algorithm ensures track element merging in most cases and also increases reconstruction efficiency. The performance of this package will be presented in comparison with the previous one. (author)

  19. Including RNA secondary structures improves accuracy and robustness in reconstruction of phylogenetic trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandekar Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In several studies, secondary structures of ribosomal genes have been used to improve the quality of phylogenetic reconstructions. An extensive evaluation of the benefits of secondary structure, however, is lacking. Results This is the first study to counter this deficiency. We inspected the accuracy and robustness of phylogenetics with individual secondary structures by simulation experiments for artificial tree topologies with up to 18 taxa and for divergency levels in the range of typical phylogenetic studies. We chose the internal transcribed spacer 2 of the ribosomal cistron as an exemplary marker region. Simulation integrated the coevolution process of sequences with secondary structures. Additionally, the phylogenetic power of marker size duplication was investigated and compared with sequence and sequence-structure reconstruction methods. The results clearly show that accuracy and robustness of Neighbor Joining trees are largely improved by structural information in contrast to sequence only data, whereas a doubled marker size only accounts for robustness. Conclusions Individual secondary structures of ribosomal RNA sequences provide a valuable gain of information content that is useful for phylogenetics. Thus, the usage of ITS2 sequence together with secondary structure for taxonomic inferences is recommended. Other reconstruction methods as maximum likelihood, bayesian inference or maximum parsimony may equally profit from secondary structure inclusion. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Shamil Sunyaev, Andrea Tanzer (nominated by Frank Eisenhaber and Eugene V. Koonin. Open peer review Reviewed by Shamil Sunyaev, Andrea Tanzer (nominated by Frank Eisenhaber and Eugene V. Koonin. For the full reviews, please go to the Reviewers' comments section.

  20. The effects of slice thickness and reconstructive parameters on VR image quality in multi-slice CT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Zhenlong; Wang Qiang; Liu Caixia

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To explore the effects of slice thickness, reconstructive thickness and reconstructive interval on VR image quality in multi-slice CT, in order to select the best slice thickness and reconstructive parameters for the imaging. Methods: Multi-slice CT scan was applied on a rubber dinosaur model with different slice thickness. VR images were reconstructed with different reconstructive thickness and reconstructive interval. Five radiologists were invited to evaluate the quality of the images without knowing anything about the parameters. Results: The slice thickness, reconstructive thickness and reconstructive interval did have effects on VR image quality and the effective degree was different. The effective coefficients were V 1 =1413.033, V 2 =563.733, V 3 =390.533, respectively. The parameters interacted with the others (P<0.05). The smaller of those parameters, the better of the image quality. With a small slice thickness and a reconstructive slice equal to slice thickness, the image quality had no obvious difference when the reconstructive interval was 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 of the slice thickness. Conclusion: A relative small scan slice thickness, a reconstructive slice equal to slice thickness and a reconstructive interval 1/2 of the slice thickness should be selected for the best VR image quality. The image quality depends mostly on the slice thickness. (authors)

  1. Pore REconstruction and Segmentation (PORES) method for improved porosity quantification of nanoporous materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Eyndhoven, G., E-mail: geert.vaneyndhoven@uantwerpen.be [iMinds-Vision Lab, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Kurttepeli, M. [EMAT, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium); Van Oers, C.J.; Cool, P. [Laboratory of Adsorption and Catalysis, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Bals, S. [EMAT, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium); Batenburg, K.J. [iMinds-Vision Lab, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Centrum Wiskunde and Informatica, Science Park 123, NL-1090 GB Amsterdam (Netherlands); Mathematical Institute, Universiteit Leiden, Niels Bohrweg 1, NL-2333 CA Leiden (Netherlands); Sijbers, J. [iMinds-Vision Lab, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk (Belgium)

    2015-01-15

    Electron tomography is currently a versatile tool to investigate the connection between the structure and properties of nanomaterials. However, a quantitative interpretation of electron tomography results is still far from straightforward. Especially accurate quantification of pore-space is hampered by artifacts introduced in all steps of the processing chain, i.e., acquisition, reconstruction, segmentation and quantification. Furthermore, most common approaches require subjective manual user input. In this paper, the PORES algorithm “POre REconstruction and Segmentation” is introduced; it is a tailor-made, integral approach, for the reconstruction, segmentation, and quantification of porous nanomaterials. The PORES processing chain starts by calculating a reconstruction with a nanoporous-specific reconstruction algorithm: the Simultaneous Update of Pore Pixels by iterative REconstruction and Simple Segmentation algorithm (SUPPRESS). It classifies the interior region to the pores during reconstruction, while reconstructing the remaining region by reducing the error with respect to the acquired electron microscopy data. The SUPPRESS reconstruction can be directly plugged into the remaining processing chain of the PORES algorithm, resulting in accurate individual pore quantification and full sample pore statistics. The proposed approach was extensively validated on both simulated and experimental data, indicating its ability to generate accurate statistics of nanoporous materials. - Highlights: • An electron tomography reconstruction/segmentation method for nanoporous materials. • The method exploits the porous nature of the scanned material. • Validated extensively on both simulation and real data experiments. • Results in increased image resolution and improved porosity quantification.

  2. CT image quality in sinogram affirmed iterative reconstruction phantom study - is there a point of diminishing returns?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Infante, Juan C. [University of Miami, Department of Radiology, Miami, FL (United States); Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children' s Hospital of Chicago, Department of Medical Imaging, Chicago, IL (United States); Liu, Yu [Medical College of Wisconsin, Department of Radiology, Milwaukee, WI (United States); Rigsby, Cynthia K. [Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children' s Hospital of Chicago, Department of Medical Imaging, Chicago, IL (United States); Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Radiology, Chicago, IL (United States); Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Chicago, IL (United States)

    2017-03-15

    In our pediatric practice, we have observed qualitatively limited improvement in the image quality of images generated with sinogram affirmed iterative reconstruction (SAFIRE) compared to series generated with filtered back projection (FBP), particularly in cases near or below a CT dose index volume (CTDI{sub vol}) of 1-mGy. To determine whether the image quality advantage of SAFIRE remains constant across clinically used CT dose levels in an American College of Radiology (ACR) CT accreditation phantom including the lower dose range used in pediatric imaging. An exemption from institutional review board approval was obtained for this phantom-based study. An ACR quality phantom was scanned in incremental kV steps and effective tube current intervals. Acquisitions were reconstructed with FBP and SAFIRE strengths of 1, 3 and 5. Image quality measures were calculated including signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), low-contrast resolution and high-contrast resolution. Peak SNR was also calculated. Descriptive and nonparametric statistics were used to compare these image quality metrics while normalizing to CT dose index (CTDI). The percent improvement in SNR and peak SNR of SAFIRE reconstructions compared to FBP decreased from about 70% for image sets acquired above a 1.42 mGy CTDI to 25% at a 0.25 mGy CTDI. CNR improvement with SAFIRE did not vary with dose. No significant difference was seen in the low-contrast resolution or high-contrast resolution of SAFIRE images compared to FBP. SNR did not improve equally after applying SAFIRE across a spectrum clinically used CTDIs. Below a threshold CTDI, the incremental improvement of SAFIRE compared to FBP decreased. (orig.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Improving Quality in Colorectal Surgery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.C. Slieker (Juliette)

    2014-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ Colorectal surgery is an important aspect of our current health system, due to the high incidence of colorectal cancer combined with an ageing population, improved long-term outcomes after colorectal surgery, and the perfectioning of the operative and postoperative

  5. Technological measures to improve automotive product quality

    OpenAIRE

    Gladkov, V.; Kruglov, S.

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Regularization design for high-quality cone-beam CT of intracranial hemorrhage using statistical reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, H.; Stayman, J. W.; Xu, J.; Sisniega, A.; Zbijewski, W.; Wang, X.; Foos, D. H.; Aygun, N.; Koliatsos, V. E.; Siewerdsen, J. H.

    2016-03-01

    Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is associated with pathologies such as hemorrhagic stroke and traumatic brain injury. Multi-detector CT is the current front-line imaging modality for detecting ICH (fresh blood contrast 40-80 HU, down to 1 mm). Flat-panel detector (FPD) cone-beam CT (CBCT) offers a potential alternative with a smaller scanner footprint, greater portability, and lower cost potentially well suited to deployment at the point of care outside standard diagnostic radiology and emergency room settings. Previous studies have suggested reliable detection of ICH down to 3 mm in CBCT using high-fidelity artifact correction and penalized weighted least-squared (PWLS) image reconstruction with a post-artifact-correction noise model. However, ICH reconstructed by traditional image regularization exhibits nonuniform spatial resolution and noise due to interaction between the statistical weights and regularization, which potentially degrades the detectability of ICH. In this work, we propose three regularization methods designed to overcome these challenges. The first two compute spatially varying certainty for uniform spatial resolution and noise, respectively. The third computes spatially varying regularization strength to achieve uniform "detectability," combining both spatial resolution and noise in a manner analogous to a delta-function detection task. Experiments were conducted on a CBCT test-bench, and image quality was evaluated for simulated ICH in different regions of an anthropomorphic head. The first two methods improved the uniformity in spatial resolution and noise compared to traditional regularization. The third exhibited the highest uniformity in detectability among all methods and best overall image quality. The proposed regularization provides a valuable means to achieve uniform image quality in CBCT of ICH and is being incorporated in a CBCT prototype for ICH imaging.

  7. Mutual information as a measure of reconstruction quality in 3D dynamic lung EIT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crabb, M G; Lionheart, W R B; Davidson, J L; Wright, P; McCann, H; Little, R; Naish, J H; Parker, G J M; Kikinis, R

    2013-01-01

    We report on a pilot study with healthy subjects who had an MR scan in addition to EIT data acquired with the Manchester fEITER system. The MR images are used to inform the external shape of a 3D EIT reconstruction model of the thorax, and small changes in the boundary that occur during respiration are addressed by incorporating the sensitivity with respect to boundary shape into a robust reconstruction algorithm. A quantitative comparison of the image quality for different EIT reconstructions is achieved through calculation of their mutual information with a segmented MR image. A shape corrected reconstruction algorithm reduces boundary artefacts relative to a standard reconstruction, and has a greater mutual information of approximately 4% with the segmented MR image.

  8. Does competition improve health care quality?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  9. Improved compressed sensing-based cone-beam CT reconstruction using adaptive prior image constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ho; Xing, Lei; Davidi, Ran; Li, Ruijiang; Qian, Jianguo; Lee, Rena

    2012-04-01

    Volumetric cone-beam CT (CBCT) images are acquired repeatedly during a course of radiation therapy and a natural question to ask is whether CBCT images obtained earlier in the process can be utilized as prior knowledge to reduce patient imaging dose in subsequent scans. The purpose of this work is to develop an adaptive prior image constrained compressed sensing (APICCS) method to solve this problem. Reconstructed images using full projections are taken on the first day of radiation therapy treatment and are used as prior images. The subsequent scans are acquired using a protocol of sparse projections. In the proposed APICCS algorithm, the prior images are utilized as an initial guess and are incorporated into the objective function in the compressed sensing (CS)-based iterative reconstruction process. Furthermore, the prior information is employed to detect any possible mismatched regions between the prior and current images for improved reconstruction. For this purpose, the prior images and the reconstructed images are classified into three anatomical regions: air, soft tissue and bone. Mismatched regions are identified by local differences of the corresponding groups in the two classified sets of images. A distance transformation is then introduced to convert the information into an adaptive voxel-dependent relaxation map. In constructing the relaxation map, the matched regions (unchanged anatomy) between the prior and current images are assigned with smaller weight values, which are translated into less influence on the CS iterative reconstruction process. On the other hand, the mismatched regions (changed anatomy) are associated with larger values and the regions are updated more by the new projection data, thus avoiding any possible adverse effects of prior images. The APICCS approach was systematically assessed by using patient data acquired under standard and low-dose protocols for qualitative and quantitative comparisons. The APICCS method provides an

  10. Quality improvement through multiple response optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noorossana, R.; Alemzad, H.

    2003-01-01

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

  11. The impact of leadership qualities on quality management improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ph. D. Radoslaw Wolniak

    2011-05-01

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

  12. The impact of leadership qualities on quality management improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radoslaw Wolniak

    2011-12-01

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

  13. Improving image quality of parallel phase-shifting digital holography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Awatsuji, Yasuhiro; Tahara, Tatsuki; Kaneko, Atsushi; Koyama, Takamasa; Nishio, Kenzo; Ura, Shogo; Kubota, Toshihiro; Matoba, Osamu

    2008-01-01

    The authors propose parallel two-step phase-shifting digital holography to improve the image quality of parallel phase-shifting digital holography. The proposed technique can increase the effective number of pixels of hologram twice in comparison to the conventional parallel four-step technique. The increase of the number of pixels makes it possible to improve the image quality of the reconstructed image of the parallel phase-shifting digital holography. Numerical simulation and preliminary experiment of the proposed technique were conducted and the effectiveness of the technique was confirmed. The proposed technique is more practical than the conventional parallel phase-shifting digital holography, because the composition of the digital holographic system based on the proposed technique is simpler.

  14. Approaches for improving image quality in magnetic induction tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maimaitijiang, Y; Roula, M A; Kahlert, J

    2010-01-01

    Magnetic induction tomography (MIT) is a contactless and non-invasive method for imaging the passive electrical properties of objects. Measuring the weak signal produced by eddy currents within biological soft tissues can be challenging in the presence of noise and the large signals resulting from the direct excitation–detection coil coupling. To detect haemorrhagic stroke in the brain, for instance, high measurement accuracy is required to enable images with enough contrast to differentiate between normal and haemorrhaged brain tissues. The reconstructed images are often very sensitive to inevitable measurement noise from the environment, system instabilities and patient-related artefacts such as movement and sweating. We propose methods for mitigating signal noise and improving image reconstruction. We evaluated and compared the use of a range wavelet transforms for signal denoising. Adaptive regularization methods including L-curve, generalized cross validation (GCV) and noise estimation were also compared. We evaluated all these described methods with measurements of in vitro tissues resembling a peripheral haemorrhagic cerebral stroke created by placing a bio-membrane package filled with 10 ml blood in a swine brain of 100 ml. We show that wavelet packet denoising combined with adaptive regularization can improve the quality of reconstructed images

  15. An Advanced Pre-Processing Pipeline to Improve Automated Photogrammetric Reconstructions of Architectural Scenes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Gaiani

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Automated image-based 3D reconstruction methods are more and more flooding our 3D modeling applications. Fully automated solutions give the impression that from a sample of randomly acquired images we can derive quite impressive visual 3D models. Although the level of automation is reaching very high standards, image quality is a fundamental pre-requisite to produce successful and photo-realistic 3D products, in particular when dealing with large datasets of images. This article presents an efficient pipeline based on color enhancement, image denoising, color-to-gray conversion and image content enrichment. The pipeline stems from an analysis of various state-of-the-art algorithms and aims to adjust the most promising methods, giving solutions to typical failure causes. The assessment evaluation proves how an effective image pre-processing, which considers the entire image dataset, can improve the automated orientation procedure and dense 3D point cloud reconstruction, even in the case of poor texture scenarios.

  16. iCN718, an Updated and Improved Genome-Scale Metabolic Network Reconstruction of Acinetobacter baumannii AYE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norsigian, Charles J; Kavvas, Erol; Seif, Yara; Palsson, Bernhard O; Monk, Jonathan M

    2018-01-01

    Acinetobacter baumannii has become an urgent clinical threat due to the recent emergence of multi-drug resistant strains. There is thus a significant need to discover new therapeutic targets in this organism. One means for doing so is through the use of high-quality genome-scale reconstructions. Well-curated and accurate genome-scale models (GEMs) of A. baumannii would be useful for improving treatment options. We present an updated and improved genome-scale reconstruction of A. baumannii AYE, named iCN718, that improves and standardizes previous A. baumannii AYE reconstructions. iCN718 has 80% accuracy for predicting gene essentiality data and additionally can predict large-scale phenotypic data with as much as 89% accuracy, a new capability for an A. baumannii reconstruction. We further demonstrate that iCN718 can be used to analyze conserved metabolic functions in the A. baumannii core genome and to build strain-specific GEMs of 74 other A. baumannii strains from genome sequence alone. iCN718 will serve as a resource to integrate and synthesize new experimental data being generated for this urgent threat pathogen.

  17. Power theories for improved power quality

    CERN Document Server

    Pasko, Marian

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Impact of the adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction technique on image quality in ultra-low-dose CT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu, Yan; He, Wen; Chen, Hui; Hu, Zhihai; Li, Juan; Zhang, Tingting

    2013-01-01

    Aim: To evaluate the relationship between different noise indices (NIs) and radiation dose and to compare the effect of different reconstruction algorithm applications for ultra-low-dose chest computed tomography (CT) on image quality improvement and the accuracy of volumetric measurement of ground-glass opacity (GGO) nodules using a phantom study. Materials and methods: A 11 cm thick transverse phantom section with a chest wall, mediastinum, and 14 artificial GGO nodules with known volumes (919.93 ± 64.05 mm 3 ) was constructed. The phantom was scanned on a Discovery CT 750HD scanner with five different NIs (NIs = 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60). All data were reconstructed with a 0.625 mm section thickness using the filtered back-projection (FBP), 50% adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASiR), and Veo model-base iterative reconstruction algorithms. Image noise was measured in six regions of interest (ROIs). Nodule volumes were measured using a commercial volumetric software package. The image quality and the volume measurement errors were analysed. Results: Image noise increased dramatically from 30.7 HU at NI 20 to 122.4 HU at NI 60, with FBP reconstruction. Conversely, Veo reconstruction effectively controlled the noise increase, with an increase from 9.97 HU at NI 20 to only 15.1 HU at NI 60. Image noise at NI 60 with Veo was even lower (50.8%) than that at NI 20 with FBP. The contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of Veo at NI 40 was similar to that of FBP at NI 20. All artificial GGO nodules were successfully identified and measured with an average relative volume measurement error with Veo at NI 60 of 4.24%, comparable to a value of 10.41% with FBP at NI 20. At NI 60, the radiation dose was only one-tenth that at NI 20. Conclusion: The Veo reconstruction algorithms very effectively reduced image noise compared with the conventional FBP reconstructions. Using ultra-low-dose CT scanning and Veo reconstruction, GGOs can be detected and quantified with an acceptable

  19. Reaching Rural Mammographers for Quality Improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Urban, Nicole

    1997-01-01

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

  20. Reaching Rural Mammographers for Quality Improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Urban, Nicole

    1998-01-01

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

  1. Reaching Rural Mammographers for Quality Improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Urban, Nicole

    1999-01-01

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

  2. Quality Improvement Initiatives in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  3. Formalising medical quality indicators to improve guidelines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  4. Influence of heart rate on image quality of 64-slice spiral computed coronary angiography and optimization on reconstruction of phase window

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luo Xuemao; Lan Yong; Li Wei; Long Wansheng; Zhang Chaotong; Zhong Xiangyang; Yi Lan

    2009-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the influence of heart rate on the image quality of 64-slice spiral computed coronary angiography (MSCTCA) and optimize the image reconstruction window. Methods: According to the heart rate, 86 patients were classified into 5 groups: group A, the heart rate ≤60 beat per minute(BMP); group B,61-70BMP, group C,71-80BMP, and group D>80BMP. The image quality of MSCTCA was scored 5 grades from 1-5 according to heart motion artifact. The influences of heart rate and reconstruction phase on the image quality of MSCTCA were evaluated. Results: Average heart rate was 64.4 ±10.1BMP. Diagnostic image quality (score>3) was attained in 277 of 344 segments at the best reconstruction interval. There was a significant corxelation between average heart rate and image quality, but there was no difference between relative delay (%) reconstruction and absolute delay (ms) reconstruction on the image quality. Conclusion: Reducing average heart rate is beneficial for improving the image quality. (authors)

  5. Influence of model based iterative reconstruction algorithm on image quality of multiplanar reformations in reduced dose chest CT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barras, Heloise; Dunet, Vincent; Hachulla, Anne-Lise; Grimm, Jochen; Beigelman-Aubry, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) reduces image noise and improves image quality (IQ) but its influence on post-processing tools including maximal intensity projection (MIP) and minimal intensity projection (mIP) remains unknown. To evaluate the influence on IQ of MBIR on native, mIP, MIP axial and coronal reformats of reduced dose computed tomography (RD-CT) chest acquisition. Raw data of 50 patients, who underwent a standard dose CT (SD-CT) and a follow-up RD-CT with a CT dose index (CTDI) of 2–3 mGy, were reconstructed by MBIR and FBP. Native slices, 4-mm-thick MIP, and 3-mm-thick mIP axial and coronal reformats were generated. The relative IQ, subjective IQ, image noise, and number of artifacts were determined in order to compare different reconstructions of RD-CT with reference SD-CT. The lowest noise was observed with MBIR. RD-CT reconstructed by MBIR exhibited the best relative and subjective IQ on coronal view regardless of the post-processing tool. MBIR generated the lowest rate of artefacts on coronal mIP/MIP reformats and the highest one on axial reformats, mainly represented by distortions and stairsteps artifacts. The MBIR algorithm reduces image noise but generates more artifacts than FBP on axial mIP and MIP reformats of RD-CT. Conversely, it significantly improves IQ on coronal views, without increasing artifacts, regardless of the post-processing technique

  6. Task-based statistical image reconstruction for high-quality cone-beam CT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, Hao; Webster Stayman, J.; Xu, Jennifer; Zbijewski, Wojciech; Sisniega, Alejandro; Mow, Michael; Wang, Xiaohui; Foos, David H.; Aygun, Nafi; Koliatsos, Vassilis E.; Siewerdsen, Jeffrey H.

    2017-11-01

    Task-based analysis of medical imaging performance underlies many ongoing efforts in the development of new imaging systems. In statistical image reconstruction, regularization is often formulated in terms to encourage smoothness and/or sharpness (e.g. a linear, quadratic, or Huber penalty) but without explicit formulation of the task. We propose an alternative regularization approach in which a spatially varying penalty is determined that maximizes task-based imaging performance at every location in a 3D image. We apply the method to model-based image reconstruction (MBIR—viz., penalized weighted least-squares, PWLS) in cone-beam CT (CBCT) of the head, focusing on the task of detecting a small, low-contrast intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), and we test the performance of the algorithm in the context of a recently developed CBCT prototype for point-of-care imaging of brain injury. Theoretical predictions of local spatial resolution and noise are computed via an optimization by which regularization (specifically, the quadratic penalty strength) is allowed to vary throughout the image to maximize local task-based detectability index ({{d}\\prime} ). Simulation studies and test-bench experiments were performed using an anthropomorphic head phantom. Three PWLS implementations were tested: conventional (constant) penalty; a certainty-based penalty derived to enforce constant point-spread function, PSF; and the task-based penalty derived to maximize local detectability at each location. Conventional (constant) regularization exhibited a fairly strong degree of spatial variation in {{d}\\prime} , and the certainty-based method achieved uniform PSF, but each exhibited a reduction in detectability compared to the task-based method, which improved detectability up to ~15%. The improvement was strongest in areas of high attenuation (skull base), where the conventional and certainty-based methods tended to over-smooth the data. The task-driven reconstruction method presents a

  7. Influence of sampling interval and number of projections on the quality of SR-XFMT reconstruction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deng Biao; Yu Xiaohan; Xu Hongjie

    2007-01-01

    Synchrotron Radiation based X-ray Fluorescent Microtomography (SR-XFMT) is a nondestructive technique for detecting elemental composition and distribution inside a specimen with high spatial resolution and sensitivity. In this paper, computer simulation of SR-XFMT experiment is performed. The influence of the sampling interval and the number of projections on the quality of SR-XFMT image reconstruction is analyzed. It is found that the sampling interval has greater effect on the quality of reconstruction than the number of projections. (authors)

  8. Preliminary investigations of equilibrium reconstruction quality during ELMy and ELM-free phases on JET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gelfusa, M.; Murari, A.; Peluso, E.; Gaudio, P.; Orsitto, F.P.; Gerasimov, S.

    2013-01-01

    On JET, the magnetic topology is normally derived from the code EFIT, which solves the Grad–Shafranov equation with constraints imposed by the available measurements, typically the pick-up coils. Both the code and the measurements are expected to perform worse during ELMs. To assess this hypothesis, various statistical indicators, based on the values of the residuals and their probability distribution, have been calculated. They all show that the quality of EFIT reconstructions is clearly better in absence of ELMs. How the responsibility, for the lower quality of the reconstructions, is shared between the measurements and EFIT is a subject under investigation. © 2001 Elsevier Science. All rights reserved

  9. Improving embryo quality in assisted reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mantikou, E.

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Quality measurement and improvement in liver transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathur, Amit K; Talwalkar, Jayant

    2018-06-01

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

  11. Quality of image and exposure dose according to kVp, mA and lterative reconstruction in computed tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cha, Sang Young [Dept. of Radiology, Inha University Hospital, Incheon (Korea, Republic of); Park, Jae Yoon [Dept. of Radiology, Incheon Christian Hospital, Incheon (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Yong Ki [Dept. of Radiological Technology, DongNam Health University, Suwon (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Jeon Hun [Dept. of Radiatioin Oncology, Konyang University Hospital, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Choi, Jae Ho [Dept. of Radiological Technology, Ansan University, Ansan (Korea, Republic of)

    2017-09-15

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the image quality and exposure dose according to kVp and mAs in CT and to confirm improvement in image quality according to None IR and IR(Iterative Reconstruction) levels. Measurement results of image quality using Image J, HU(Hounsfield units) and BN(Background Noise) are decreased, while SNR(Signal to Noise Ratio) and CTDIvol(CT dose index volume) are increased as the kVp increases and there was no change of BHU(Background Hounsfield units). BN was reduced due to increased kVp, while SNR and CTDIvol were increased. Also, the higher IR stage, the lower BN, SI(Signal Intensity) and HU while SNR was improved by about 10∼60%. Based on this, when applying IR for clinical applications, it is necessary to finely adjust kVp and mA with a phased approach.

  12. Paediatric cardiac CT examinations: impact of the iterative reconstruction method ASIR on image quality--preliminary findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miéville, Frédéric A; Gudinchet, François; Rizzo, Elena; Ou, Phalla; Brunelle, Francis; Bochud, François O; Verdun, Francis R

    2011-09-01

    Radiation dose exposure is of particular concern in children due to the possible harmful effects of ionizing radiation. The adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) method is a promising new technique that reduces image noise and produces better overall image quality compared with routine-dose contrast-enhanced methods. To assess the benefits of ASIR on the diagnostic image quality in paediatric cardiac CT examinations. Four paediatric radiologists based at two major hospitals evaluated ten low-dose paediatric cardiac examinations (80 kVp, CTDI(vol) 4.8-7.9 mGy, DLP 37.1-178.9 mGy·cm). The average age of the cohort studied was 2.6 years (range 1 day to 7 years). Acquisitions were performed on a 64-MDCT scanner. All images were reconstructed at various ASIR percentages (0-100%). For each examination, radiologists scored 19 anatomical structures using the relative visual grading analysis method. To estimate the potential for dose reduction, acquisitions were also performed on a Catphan phantom and a paediatric phantom. The best image quality for all clinical images was obtained with 20% and 40% ASIR (p ASIR above 50%, image quality significantly decreased (p ASIR, a strong noise-free appearance of the structures reduced image conspicuity. A potential for dose reduction of about 36% is predicted for a 2- to 3-year-old child when using 40% ASIR rather than the standard filtered back-projection method. Reconstruction including 20% to 40% ASIR slightly improved the conspicuity of various paediatric cardiac structures in newborns and children with respect to conventional reconstruction (filtered back-projection) alone.

  13. Improving patient safety through quality assurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raab, Stephen S

    2006-05-01

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

  14. Improving PSA quality of KSNP PSA model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Joon Eon; Ha, Jae Joo

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meissner, Winfried

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Electronic health records improve clinical note quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Task-based image quality evaluation of iterative reconstruction methods for low dose CT using computer simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jingyan; Fuld, Matthew K.; Fung, George S. K.; Tsui, Benjamin M. W.

    2015-04-01

    Iterative reconstruction (IR) methods for x-ray CT is a promising approach to improve image quality or reduce radiation dose to patients. The goal of this work was to use task based image quality measures and the channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) to evaluate both analytic and IR methods for clinical x-ray CT applications. We performed realistic computer simulations at five radiation dose levels, from a clinical reference low dose D0 to 25% D0. A fixed size and contrast lesion was inserted at different locations into the liver of the XCAT phantom to simulate a weak signal. The simulated data were reconstructed on a commercial CT scanner (SOMATOM Definition Flash; Siemens, Forchheim, Germany) using the vendor-provided analytic (WFBP) and IR (SAFIRE) methods. The reconstructed images were analyzed by CHOs with both rotationally symmetric (RS) and rotationally oriented (RO) channels, and with different numbers of lesion locations (5, 10, and 20) in a signal known exactly (SKE), background known exactly but variable (BKEV) detection task. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was used as a summary measure to compare the IR and analytic methods; the AUC was also used as the equal performance criterion to derive the potential dose reduction factor of IR. In general, there was a good agreement in the relative AUC values of different reconstruction methods using CHOs with RS and RO channels, although the CHO with RO channels achieved higher AUCs than RS channels. The improvement of IR over analytic methods depends on the dose level. The reference dose level D0 was based on a clinical low dose protocol, lower than the standard dose due to the use of IR methods. At 75% D0, the performance improvement was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The potential dose reduction factor also depended on the detection task. For the SKE/BKEV task involving 10 lesion locations, a dose reduction of at least 25% from D0 was achieved.

  19. Synthesis method from low-coherence digital holograms for improvement of image quality in holographic display.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Yutaka; Nomura, Takanori

    2013-06-01

    In holographic displays, it is undesirable to observe the speckle noises with the reconstructed images. A method for improvement of reconstructed image quality by synthesizing low-coherence digital holograms is proposed. It is possible to obtain speckleless reconstruction of holograms due to low-coherence digital holography. An image sensor records low-coherence digital holograms, and the holograms are synthesized by computational calculation. Two approaches, the threshold-processing and the picking-a-peak methods, are proposed in order to reduce random noise of low-coherence digital holograms. The reconstructed image quality by the proposed methods is compared with the case of high-coherence digital holography. Quantitative evaluation is given to confirm the proposed methods. In addition, the visual evaluation by 15 people is also shown.

  20. Wavelet processing and digital interferometric contrast to improve reconstructions from X-ray Gabor holograms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Juan C; Misawa, Masaki; Matsuda, Kiyofumi; Suzuki, Yoshio; Takeuchi, Akihisa; Yasumoto, Masato

    2018-05-01

    In this work, the application of an undecimated wavelet transformation together with digital interferometric contrast to improve the resulting reconstructions in a digital hard X-ray Gabor holographic microscope is shown. Specifically, the starlet transform is used together with digital Zernike contrast. With this contrast, the results show that only a small set of scales from the hologram are, in effect, useful, and it is possible to enhance the details of the reconstruction.

  1. Evaluating climate field reconstruction techniques using improved emulations of real-world conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J.; Emile-Geay, J.; Guillot, D.; Smerdon, J. E.; Rajaratnam, B.

    2014-01-01

    Pseudoproxy experiments (PPEs) have become an important framework for evaluating paleoclimate reconstruction methods. Most existing PPE studies assume constant proxy availability through time and uniform proxy quality across the pseudoproxy network. Real multiproxy networks are, however, marked by pronounced disparities in proxy quality, and a steep decline in proxy availability back in time, either of which may have large effects on reconstruction skill. A suite of PPEs constructed from a millennium-length general circulation model (GCM) simulation is thus designed to mimic these various real-world characteristics. The new pseudoproxy network is used to evaluate four climate field reconstruction (CFR) techniques: truncated total least squares embedded within the regularized EM (expectation-maximization) algorithm (RegEM-TTLS), the Mann et al. (2009) implementation of RegEM-TTLS (M09), canonical correlation analysis (CCA), and Gaussian graphical models embedded within RegEM (GraphEM). Each method's risk properties are also assessed via a 100-member noise ensemble. Contrary to expectation, it is found that reconstruction skill does not vary monotonically with proxy availability, but also is a function of the type and amplitude of climate variability (forced events vs. internal variability). The use of realistic spatiotemporal pseudoproxy characteristics also exposes large inter-method differences. Despite the comparable fidelity in reconstructing the global mean temperature, spatial skill varies considerably between CFR techniques. Both GraphEM and CCA efficiently exploit teleconnections, and produce consistent reconstructions across the ensemble. RegEM-TTLS and M09 appear advantageous for reconstructions on highly noisy data, but are subject to larger stochastic variations across different realizations of pseudoproxy noise. Results collectively highlight the importance of designing realistic pseudoproxy networks and implementing multiple noise realizations of PPEs

  2. A shape-based quality evaluation and reconstruction method for electrical impedance tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antink, Christoph Hoog; Pikkemaat, Robert; Malmivuo, Jaakko; Leonhardt, Steffen

    2015-06-01

    Linear methods of reconstruction play an important role in medical electrical impedance tomography (EIT) and there is a wide variety of algorithms based on several assumptions. With the Graz consensus reconstruction algorithm for EIT (GREIT), a novel linear reconstruction algorithm as well as a standardized framework for evaluating and comparing methods of reconstruction were introduced that found widespread acceptance in the community. In this paper, we propose a two-sided extension of this concept by first introducing a novel method of evaluation. Instead of being based on point-shaped resistivity distributions, we use 2759 pairs of real lung shapes for evaluation that were automatically segmented from human CT data. Necessarily, the figures of merit defined in GREIT were adjusted. Second, a linear method of reconstruction that uses orthonormal eigenimages as training data and a tunable desired point spread function are proposed. Using our novel method of evaluation, this approach is compared to the classical point-shaped approach. Results show that most figures of merit improve with the use of eigenimages as training data. Moreover, the possibility of tuning the reconstruction by modifying the desired point spread function is shown. Finally, the reconstruction of real EIT data shows that higher contrasts and fewer artifacts can be achieved in ventilation- and perfusion-related images.

  3. A shape-based quality evaluation and reconstruction method for electrical impedance tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antink, Christoph Hoog; Pikkemaat, Robert; Leonhardt, Steffen; Malmivuo, Jaakko

    2015-01-01

    Linear methods of reconstruction play an important role in medical electrical impedance tomography (EIT) and there is a wide variety of algorithms based on several assumptions. With the Graz consensus reconstruction algorithm for EIT (GREIT), a novel linear reconstruction algorithm as well as a standardized framework for evaluating and comparing methods of reconstruction were introduced that found widespread acceptance in the community.In this paper, we propose a two-sided extension of this concept by first introducing a novel method of evaluation. Instead of being based on point-shaped resistivity distributions, we use 2759 pairs of real lung shapes for evaluation that were automatically segmented from human CT data. Necessarily, the figures of merit defined in GREIT were adjusted. Second, a linear method of reconstruction that uses orthonormal eigenimages as training data and a tunable desired point spread function are proposed.Using our novel method of evaluation, this approach is compared to the classical point-shaped approach. Results show that most figures of merit improve with the use of eigenimages as training data. Moreover, the possibility of tuning the reconstruction by modifying the desired point spread function is shown. Finally, the reconstruction of real EIT data shows that higher contrasts and fewer artifacts can be achieved in ventilation- and perfusion-related images. (paper)

  4. The impact of breast reconstruction on the quality of life of women after mastectomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka Rzońca

    2017-04-01

    Results: The largest group of respondents were women over 55 years of age.  More than half of the respondents had children. 80% of the women were satisfied with the effects of the re construction. The most common changes that triggered the reconstruction were improvement of mood, improvement of appearance and increased self-confidence.

  5. AIR Tools II: algebraic iterative reconstruction methods, improved implementation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Per Christian; Jørgensen, Jakob Sauer

    2017-01-01

    with algebraic iterative methods and their convergence properties. The present software is a much expanded and improved version of the package AIR Tools from 2012, based on a new modular design. In addition to improved performance and memory use, we provide more flexible iterative methods, a column-action method...

  6. Improved protein structure reconstruction using secondary structures, contacts at higher distance thresholds, and non-contacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, Badri; Cheng, Jianlin

    2017-08-29

    Residue-residue contacts are key features for accurate de novo protein structure prediction. For the optimal utilization of these predicted contacts in folding proteins accurately, it is important to study the challenges of reconstructing protein structures using true contacts. Because contact-guided protein modeling approach is valuable for predicting the folds of proteins that do not have structural templates, it is necessary for reconstruction studies to focus on hard-to-predict protein structures. Using a data set consisting of 496 structural domains released in recent CASP experiments and a dataset of 150 representative protein structures, in this work, we discuss three techniques to improve the reconstruction accuracy using true contacts - adding secondary structures, increasing contact distance thresholds, and adding non-contacts. We find that reconstruction using secondary structures and contacts can deliver accuracy higher than using full contact maps. Similarly, we demonstrate that non-contacts can improve reconstruction accuracy not only when the used non-contacts are true but also when they are predicted. On the dataset consisting of 150 proteins, we find that by simply using low ranked predicted contacts as non-contacts and adding them as additional restraints, can increase the reconstruction accuracy by 5% when the reconstructed models are evaluated using TM-score. Our findings suggest that secondary structures are invaluable companions of contacts for accurate reconstruction. Confirming some earlier findings, we also find that larger distance thresholds are useful for folding many protein structures which cannot be folded using the standard definition of contacts. Our findings also suggest that for more accurate reconstruction using predicted contacts it is useful to predict contacts at higher distance thresholds (beyond 8 Å) and predict non-contacts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraynack, Nathan C; McBride, John T

    2009-10-01

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

  8. Effects of silicone expanders and implants on echocardiographic image quality after breast reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pignatti, Marco; Mantovani, Francesca; Bertelli, Luca; Barbieri, Andrea; Pacchioni, Lucrezia; Loschi, Pietro; De Santis, Giorgio

    2013-08-01

    Use of silicone expanders and implants is the most common breast reconstruction technique after mastectomy. Postmastectomy patients often need echocardiographic monitoring of potential cardiotoxicity induced by cancer chemotherapy. The impairment of the echocardiographic acoustic window caused by silicone implants for breast augmentation has been reported. This study investigates whether the echocardiographic image quality was impaired in women reconstructed with silicone expanders and implants. The records of 44 consecutive women who underwent echocardiographic follow-up after breast reconstruction with expanders and implants at the authors' institution from January of 2000 to August of 2012 were reviewed. The population was divided into a study group (left or bilateral breast expanders/implants, n=30) and a control group (right breast expanders/implants, n=14). The impact of breast expanders/implants on echocardiographic image quality was tested (analysis of covariance model). Patients with a breast expander/implant (left or bilateral and right breast expanders/implants) were included. The mean volume of the breast devices was 353.2±125.5 cc. The quality of the echocardiographic images was good or sufficient in the control group; in the study group, it was judged as adequate in only 50 percent of cases (15 patients) and inadequate in the remaining 15 patients (pimplants in postmastectomy left breast reconstruction considerably reduce the image quality of echocardiography. This may have important clinical implications, given the need for periodic echocardiographic surveillance before and during chemotherapy. Therapeutic, III.

  9. Comparison of pure and hybrid iterative reconstruction techniques with conventional filtered back projection: Image quality assessment in the cervicothoracic region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Katsura, Masaki; Sato, Jiro; Akahane, Masaaki; Matsuda, Izuru; Ishida, Masanori; Yasaka, Koichiro; Kunimatsu, Akira; Ohtomo, Kuni

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: To evaluate the impact on image quality of three different image reconstruction techniques in the cervicothoracic region: model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR), adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR), and filtered back projection (FBP). Methods: Forty-four patients underwent unenhanced standard-of-care clinical computed tomography (CT) examinations which included the cervicothoracic region with a 64-row multidetector CT scanner. Images were reconstructed with FBP, 50% ASIR-FBP blending (ASIR50), and MBIR. Two radiologists assessed the cervicothoracic region in a blinded manner for streak artifacts, pixilated blotchy appearances, critical reproduction of visually sharp anatomical structures (thyroid gland, common carotid artery, and esophagus), and overall diagnostic acceptability. Objective image noise was measured in the internal jugular vein. Data were analyzed using the sign test and pair-wise Student's t-test. Results: MBIR images had significant lower quantitative image noise (8.88 ± 1.32) compared to ASIR images (18.63 ± 4.19, P 0.9 for ASIR vs. FBP for both readers). MBIR images were all diagnostically acceptable. Unique features of MBIR images included pixilated blotchy appearances, which did not adversely affect diagnostic acceptability. Conclusions: MBIR significantly improves image noise and streak artifacts of the cervicothoracic region over ASIR and FBP. MBIR is expected to enhance the value of CT examinations for areas where image noise and streak artifacts are problematic

  10. ISO certification pays off in quality improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vermeer, F.J.G.

    1992-01-01

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

  11. Improvements in geomagnetic observatory data quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reda, Jan; Fouassier, Danielle; Isac, Anca

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Computed tomography imaging with the Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction (ASIR) algorithm: dependence of image quality on the blending level of reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barca, Patrizio; Giannelli, Marco; Fantacci, Maria Evelina; Caramella, Davide

    2018-06-01

    Computed tomography (CT) is a useful and widely employed imaging technique, which represents the largest source of population exposure to ionizing radiation in industrialized countries. Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction (ASIR) is an iterative reconstruction algorithm with the potential to allow reduction of radiation exposure while preserving diagnostic information. The aim of this phantom study was to assess the performance of ASIR, in terms of a number of image quality indices, when different reconstruction blending levels are employed. CT images of the Catphan-504 phantom were reconstructed using conventional filtered back-projection (FBP) and ASIR with reconstruction blending levels of 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100%. Noise, noise power spectrum (NPS), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and modulation transfer function (MTF) were estimated for different scanning parameters and contrast objects. Noise decreased and CNR increased non-linearly up to 50 and 100%, respectively, with increasing blending level of reconstruction. Also, ASIR has proven to modify the NPS curve shape. The MTF of ASIR reconstructed images depended on tube load/contrast and decreased with increasing blending level of reconstruction. In particular, for low radiation exposure and low contrast acquisitions, ASIR showed lower performance than FBP, in terms of spatial resolution for all blending levels of reconstruction. CT image quality varies substantially with the blending level of reconstruction. ASIR has the potential to reduce noise whilst maintaining diagnostic information in low radiation exposure CT imaging. Given the opposite variation of CNR and spatial resolution with the blending level of reconstruction, it is recommended to use an optimal value of this parameter for each specific clinical application.

  13. Image improvement and three-dimensional reconstruction using holographic image processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroke, G. W.; Halioua, M.; Thon, F.; Willasch, D. H.

    1977-01-01

    Holographic computing principles make possible image improvement and synthesis in many cases of current scientific and engineering interest. Examples are given for the improvement of resolution in electron microscopy and 3-D reconstruction in electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography, following an analysis of optical versus digital computing in such applications.

  14. Image quality in thoracic 4D cone-beam CT: A sensitivity analysis of respiratory signal, binning method, reconstruction algorithm, and projection angular spacing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shieh, Chun-Chien; Kipritidis, John; O’Brien, Ricky T.; Keall, Paul J.; Kuncic, Zdenka

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Respiratory signal, binning method, and reconstruction algorithm are three major controllable factors affecting image quality in thoracic 4D cone-beam CT (4D-CBCT), which is widely used in image guided radiotherapy (IGRT). Previous studies have investigated each of these factors individually, but no integrated sensitivity analysis has been performed. In addition, projection angular spacing is also a key factor in reconstruction, but how it affects image quality is not obvious. An investigation of the impacts of these four factors on image quality can help determine the most effective strategy in improving 4D-CBCT for IGRT. Methods: Fourteen 4D-CBCT patient projection datasets with various respiratory motion features were reconstructed with the following controllable factors: (i) respiratory signal (real-time position management, projection image intensity analysis, or fiducial marker tracking), (ii) binning method (phase, displacement, or equal-projection-density displacement binning), and (iii) reconstruction algorithm [Feldkamp–Davis–Kress (FDK), McKinnon–Bates (MKB), or adaptive-steepest-descent projection-onto-convex-sets (ASD-POCS)]. The image quality was quantified using signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), contrast-to-noise ratio, and edge-response width in order to assess noise/streaking and blur. The SNR values were also analyzed with respect to the maximum, mean, and root-mean-squared-error (RMSE) projection angular spacing to investigate how projection angular spacing affects image quality. Results: The choice of respiratory signals was found to have no significant impact on image quality. Displacement-based binning was found to be less prone to motion artifacts compared to phase binning in more than half of the cases, but was shown to suffer from large interbin image quality variation and large projection angular gaps. Both MKB and ASD-POCS resulted in noticeably improved image quality almost 100% of the time relative to FDK. In addition, SNR

  15. Image quality in thoracic 4D cone-beam CT: A sensitivity analysis of respiratory signal, binning method, reconstruction algorithm, and projection angular spacing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shieh, Chun-Chien [Radiation Physics Laboratory, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia and Institute of Medical Physics, School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia); Kipritidis, John; O’Brien, Ricky T.; Keall, Paul J., E-mail: paul.keall@sydney.edu.au [Radiation Physics Laboratory, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia); Kuncic, Zdenka [Institute of Medical Physics, School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia)

    2014-04-15

    Purpose: Respiratory signal, binning method, and reconstruction algorithm are three major controllable factors affecting image quality in thoracic 4D cone-beam CT (4D-CBCT), which is widely used in image guided radiotherapy (IGRT). Previous studies have investigated each of these factors individually, but no integrated sensitivity analysis has been performed. In addition, projection angular spacing is also a key factor in reconstruction, but how it affects image quality is not obvious. An investigation of the impacts of these four factors on image quality can help determine the most effective strategy in improving 4D-CBCT for IGRT. Methods: Fourteen 4D-CBCT patient projection datasets with various respiratory motion features were reconstructed with the following controllable factors: (i) respiratory signal (real-time position management, projection image intensity analysis, or fiducial marker tracking), (ii) binning method (phase, displacement, or equal-projection-density displacement binning), and (iii) reconstruction algorithm [Feldkamp–Davis–Kress (FDK), McKinnon–Bates (MKB), or adaptive-steepest-descent projection-onto-convex-sets (ASD-POCS)]. The image quality was quantified using signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), contrast-to-noise ratio, and edge-response width in order to assess noise/streaking and blur. The SNR values were also analyzed with respect to the maximum, mean, and root-mean-squared-error (RMSE) projection angular spacing to investigate how projection angular spacing affects image quality. Results: The choice of respiratory signals was found to have no significant impact on image quality. Displacement-based binning was found to be less prone to motion artifacts compared to phase binning in more than half of the cases, but was shown to suffer from large interbin image quality variation and large projection angular gaps. Both MKB and ASD-POCS resulted in noticeably improved image quality almost 100% of the time relative to FDK. In addition, SNR

  16. Strategies to improve quality of childbirth care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    farahnaz Changaee

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Improving Power Quality in AC Supply Grids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piotr Fabijański

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Improving the Quality of Constructive Peer Feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waggoner Denton, Ashley

    2018-01-01

    This article presents some simple strategies that instructors can use to improve the quality of the feedback students provide each other during a peer review activity. Briefly, I recommend that emphasis be placed solely on the provision of constructive comments, and that in order to qualify as constructive, a comment must: (1) identify a specific…

  19. Improving the Quality of Think-Alouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ness, Molly; Kenny, MaryBeth

    2016-01-01

    An essential element in teaching children to effectively comprehend text is the use of teacher-led think alouds. This article presents a three-step model to improve the quality and quantity of think alouds in K-6 classrooms. The article follows elementary teachers who planned, implemented, transcribed, and reflected upon think aloud lessons to…

  20. Teaching Quality Improvement Through a Book Club

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Doolittle

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Fostering Quality Improvement in EHDI Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradham, Tamala S.; Hoffman, Jeff; Houston, K. Todd; Guignard, Gayla Hutsell

    2011-01-01

    State coordinators of early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) programs completed a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, or SWOT, analysis that consisted of 12 evaluative areas of EHDI programs. For the quality improvement area, a total of 218 items were listed by 47 EHDI coordinators, and themes were identified in each…

  2. National Quality Improvement Center on Early Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, Charlyn Harper

    2014-01-01

    The national Quality Improvement Center on early Childhood (QIC-eC) funded four research and demonstration projects that tested child maltreatment prevention approaches. The projects were guided by several key perspectives: the importance of increasing protective factors in addition to decreasing risk factors in child maltreatment prevention…

  3. Semen quality improves marginally during young adulthood

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perheentupa, Antti; Sadov, Sergey; Rönkä, Riitta

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Dosimetric quality assurance of highly conformal external beam treatments: from 2D phantom comparisons to 4D patient dose reconstruction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feygelman, V; Nelms, B

    2013-01-01

    As IMRT technology continues to evolve, so do the dosimetric QA methods. A historical review of those is presented, starting with longstanding techniques such as film and ion chamber in a phantom and progressing towards 3D and 4D dose reconstruction in the patient. Regarding patient-specific QA, we envision that the currently prevalent limited comparison of dose distributions in the phantom by γ-analysis will be eventually replaced by clinically meaningful patient dose analyses with improved sensitivity and specificity. In a larger sense, we envision a future of QA built upon lessons from the rich history of ''quality'' as a science and philosophy. This future will aim to improve quality (and ultimately reduce cost) via advanced commissioning processes that succeed in detecting and rooting out systematic errors upstream of patient treatment, thus reducing our reliance on, and the resource burden associated with, per-beam/per-plan inspection.

  5. Dosimetric quality assurance of highly conformal external beam treatments: from 2D phantom comparisons to 4D patient dose reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feygelman, V.; Nelms, B.

    2013-06-01

    As IMRT technology continues to evolve, so do the dosimetric QA methods. A historical review of those is presented, starting with longstanding techniques such as film and ion chamber in a phantom and progressing towards 3D and 4D dose reconstruction in the patient. Regarding patient-specific QA, we envision that the currently prevalent limited comparison of dose distributions in the phantom by γ-analysis will be eventually replaced by clinically meaningful patient dose analyses with improved sensitivity and specificity. In a larger sense, we envision a future of QA built upon lessons from the rich history of "quality" as a science and philosophy. This future will aim to improve quality (and ultimately reduce cost) via advanced commissioning processes that succeed in detecting and rooting out systematic errors upstream of patient treatment, thus reducing our reliance on, and the resource burden associated with, per-beam/per-plan inspection.

  6. Prioritizing quality improvement in general surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-11-01

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

  7. Engaging Clinical Nurses in Quality Improvement Projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Susan; Stichler, Jaynelle F

    2015-10-01

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

  8. Impact of cleft lip and/or palate in children on family quality of life before and after reconstructive surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macho, P; Bohac, M; Fedeles, J; Fekiacova, D; Fedeles, J

    2017-01-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of cleft lip/palate children together with consequent treatment on quality of family life using standardized questionnaire. Different to previous studies the evaluation of quality of family life by questionnaire was realized twice in the same group of families (before the reconstructive surgery and several months after palatoplasty). The study was conducted in 40 families divided in two groups: 20 families with children with cleft lip (CL), 20 families with children with cleft lip and palate (CLP). The questionnaire of the Impact on Family Scale was used for evaluation of the influence of orofacial clefts on parent´s quality of life. Evaluations were made at the second month of child´s life and at one year of child´s life with reciprocally comparison. The higher impact of children with CLP on quality of family life was noted at 2 months and 1 year of child's age as compared to the impact of children with CL. The reduction of impact on quality of life after surgical correction was observed in families of children with CL at one year of child's age. This decrease of influence on family quality of life was due to significantly lower impact in strain and economic dimensions in families with CL children after operation. However, in the group of families with CLP children no significant changes in the impact on family quality of life were noted when compared to the values before and shortly after the reconstructive surgery. This study showed that orofacial clefts in children influence markedly the quality of their family life. The higher impact of children with CLP on quality of family life as compared to children with CL was noted and this impact in CLP group was not influenced shortly after reconstructive surgery. It is suggested that appropriate medical care in Cleft Centre with special psychological support may lead to improvement in quality of life for families with cleft lip and palate children (Tab. 2, Fig. 2, Ref

  9. Image quality at low tube voltage (70 kV) and sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction for computed tomography in infants with congenital heart disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakagawa, Motoo; Ozawa, Yoshiyuki; Sakurai, Keita; Shimohira, Masashi; Shibamoto, Yuta; Ohashi, Kazuya; Asano, Miki; Yamaguchi, Sachiko

    2015-01-01

    Lower tube voltage has advantages for CT angiography, such as improved contrast To evaluate the image quality of low-voltage (70 kV) CT for congenital heart disease and the ability of sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction to improve image quality. Forty-six children with congenital heart disease (median age: 109 days) were examined using dual-source CT. Scans were performed at 80 kV and 70 kV in 21 and 25 children, respectively. A nonionic iodinated contrast medium (300 mg I/ml) was used for the 80-kV protocol. The contrast medium was diluted to 75% (225 mgI/mL) with saline for the 70-kV protocol. Image noise was measured in the two protocols for each group by extracting the standard deviations of a region of interest placed on the descending aorta. We then determined whether sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction reduced the image noise at 70 kV. There was more noise at 70 kV than at 80 kV (29 ± 12 vs 20 ± 4.8; P < 0.01). Sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction with grade 4 strength settings improved the noise (20 ± 5.9; P < 0.01) for the 70-kV group. Sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction improved the image quality of CT in congenital heart disease. (orig.)

  10. Image quality at low tube voltage (70 kV) and sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction for computed tomography in infants with congenital heart disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nakagawa, Motoo; Ozawa, Yoshiyuki; Sakurai, Keita; Shimohira, Masashi; Shibamoto, Yuta [Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Department of Radiology, Nagoya (Japan); Ohashi, Kazuya [Nagoya City University Hospital, Division of Central Radiology, Nagoya (Japan); Asano, Miki [Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Nagoya (Japan); Yamaguchi, Sachiko [Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Nagoya (Japan)

    2015-09-15

    Lower tube voltage has advantages for CT angiography, such as improved contrast To evaluate the image quality of low-voltage (70 kV) CT for congenital heart disease and the ability of sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction to improve image quality. Forty-six children with congenital heart disease (median age: 109 days) were examined using dual-source CT. Scans were performed at 80 kV and 70 kV in 21 and 25 children, respectively. A nonionic iodinated contrast medium (300 mg I/ml) was used for the 80-kV protocol. The contrast medium was diluted to 75% (225 mgI/mL) with saline for the 70-kV protocol. Image noise was measured in the two protocols for each group by extracting the standard deviations of a region of interest placed on the descending aorta. We then determined whether sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction reduced the image noise at 70 kV. There was more noise at 70 kV than at 80 kV (29 ± 12 vs 20 ± 4.8; P < 0.01). Sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction with grade 4 strength settings improved the noise (20 ± 5.9; P < 0.01) for the 70-kV group. Sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction improved the image quality of CT in congenital heart disease. (orig.)

  11. Distributed power quality improvement in residential microgrids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naderi Zarnaghi, Yahya; Hosseini, Seyed Hossein; Ghassem Zadeh, Saeid

    2017-01-01

    The importance of power quality issue on micro grids and also the changing nature of power system distortions will lead the future power systems to use distributed power quality improvement (DPQI) devices. One possible choice of these DPQIs are multifunctional DGs that could compensate some...... harmonics in the location of generation and prevent the harmonics to enter main power grid. In this paper a control method based on virtual harmonic impedance is presented for these multifunctional DGs and the effect of the location of these DGs on compensation procedure is studied with simulating...

  12. Effect of masking phase-only holograms on the quality of reconstructed images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Yuanbo; Chu, Daping

    2016-04-20

    A phase-only hologram modulates the phase of the incident light and diffracts it efficiently with low energy loss because of the minimum absorption. Much research attention has been focused on how to generate phase-only holograms, and little work has been done to understand the effect and limitation of their partial implementation, possibly due to physical defects and constraints, in particular as in the practical situations where a phase-only hologram is confined or needs to be sliced or tiled. The present study simulates the effect of masking phase-only holograms on the quality of reconstructed images in three different scenarios with different filling factors, filling positions, and illumination intensity profiles. Quantitative analysis confirms that the width of the image point spread function becomes wider and the image quality decreases, as expected, when the filling factor decreases, and the image quality remains the same for different filling positions as well. The width of the image point spread function as derived from different filling factors shows a consistent behavior to that as measured directly from the reconstructed image, especially as the filling factor becomes small. Finally, mask profiles of different shapes and intensity distributions are shown to have more complicated effects on the image point spread function, which in turn affects the quality and textures of the reconstructed image.

  13. Pediatric CT quality management and improvement program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-10-15

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

  14. Pediatric CT quality management and improvement program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Targeting Environmental Quality to Improve Population Health ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Key goals of health care reform are to stimulate innovative approaches to improve healthcare quality and clinical outcomes while holding down costs. To achieve these goals value-based payment places the needs of the patient first and encourages multi-stakeholder cooperation. Yet, the stakeholders are typically all within the healthcare system, e.g. the Accountable Care Organization or Patient-Centered Medical Home, leaving important contributors to the health of the population such as the public health and environmental health systems absent. And rarely is the quality of the environment regarded as a modifiable factor capable of imparting a health benefit. Underscoring this point, a PubMed search of the search terms “environmental quality” with “value-based payment”, “value-based healthcare” or “value-based reimbursement” returned no relevant articles, providing further evidence that the healthcare industry largely disregards the quality of the environment as a significant determinant of wellbeing and an actionable risk factor for clinical disease management and population health intervention. Yet, the quality of the environment is unequivocally related to indicators of population health including all-cause mortality. The EPA’s Environmental Quality Index (EQI) composed of five different domains (air, land use, water, built environment and social) has provided new estimates of the associations between environmental quality and health stat

  16. Creating quality improvement culture in public health agencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Creating Quality Improvement Culture in Public Health Agencies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  19. Can use of adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction reduce radiation dose in unenhanced head CT? An analysis of qualitative and quantitative image quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Østerås, Bjørn Helge; Heggen, Kristin Livelten; Pedersen, Hans Kristian; Andersen, Hilde Kjernlie; Martinsen, Anne Catrine T

    2016-01-01

    Iterative reconstruction can reduce image noise and thereby facilitate dose reduction. To evaluate qualitative and quantitative image quality for full dose and dose reduced head computed tomography (CT) protocols reconstructed using filtered back projection (FBP) and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR). Fourteen patients undergoing follow-up head CT were included. All patients underwent full dose (FD) exam and subsequent 15% dose reduced (DR) exam, reconstructed using FBP and 30% ASIR. Qualitative image quality was assessed using visual grading characteristics. Quantitative image quality was assessed using ROI measurements in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), white matter, peripheral and central gray matter. Additionally, quantitative image quality was measured in Catphan and vendor’s water phantom. There was no significant difference in qualitative image quality between FD FBP and DR ASIR. Comparing same scan FBP versus ASIR, a noise reduction of 28.6% in CSF and between −3.7 and 3.5% in brain parenchyma was observed. Comparing FD FBP versus DR ASIR, a noise reduction of 25.7% in CSF, and −7.5 and 6.3% in brain parenchyma was observed. Image contrast increased in ASIR reconstructions. Contrast-to-noise ratio was improved in DR ASIR compared to FD FBP. In phantoms, noise reduction was in the range of 3 to 28% with image content. There was no significant difference in qualitative image quality between full dose FBP and dose reduced ASIR. CNR improved in DR ASIR compared to FD FBP mostly due to increased contrast, not reduced noise. Therefore, we recommend using caution if reducing dose and applying ASIR to maintain image quality

  20. Increasing reconstruction quality of diffractive optical elements displayed with LC SLM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheremkhin, Pavel A.; Evtikhiev, Nikolay N.; Krasnov, Vitaly V.; Rodin, Vladislav G.; Starikov, Sergey N.

    2015-03-01

    Phase liquid crystal (LC) spatial light modulators (SLM) are actively used in various applications. However, majority of scientific applications require stable phase modulation which might be hard to achieve with commercially available SLM due to its consumer origin. The use of digital voltage addressing scheme leads to phase temporal fluctuations, which results in lower diffraction efficiency and reconstruction quality of displayed diffractive optical elements (DOE). Due to high periodicity of fluctuations it should be possible to use knowledge of these fluctuations during DOE synthesis to minimize negative effect. We synthesized DOE using accurately measured phase fluctuations of phase LC SLM "HoloEye PLUTO VIS" to minimize its negative impact on displayed DOE reconstruction. Synthesis was conducted with versatile direct search with random trajectory (DSRT) method in the following way. Before DOE synthesis begun, two-dimensional dependency of SLM phase shift on addressed signal level and time from frame start was obtained. Then synthesis begins. First, initial phase distribution is created. Second, random trajectory of consecutive processing of all DOE elements is generated. Then iterative process begins. Each DOE element sequentially has its value changed to one that provides better value of objective criterion, e.g. lower deviation of reconstructed image from original one. If current element value provides best objective criterion value then it left unchanged. After all elements are processed, iteration repeats until stagnation is reached. It is demonstrated that application of SLM phase fluctuations knowledge in DOE synthesis with DSRT method leads to noticeable increase of DOE reconstruction quality.

  1. An improved three-dimension reconstruction method based on guided filter and Delaunay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yilin; Su, Xiu; Liang, Haitao; Xu, Huaiyuan; Wang, Yi; Chen, Xiaodong

    2018-01-01

    Binocular stereo vision is becoming a research hotspot in the area of image processing. Based on traditional adaptive-weight stereo matching algorithm, we improve the cost volume by averaging the AD (Absolute Difference) of RGB color channels and adding x-derivative of the grayscale image to get the cost volume. Then we use guided filter in the cost aggregation step and weighted median filter for post-processing to address the edge problem. In order to get the location in real space, we combine the deep information with the camera calibration to project each pixel in 2D image to 3D coordinate matrix. We add the concept of projection to region-growing algorithm for surface reconstruction, its specific operation is to project all the points to a 2D plane through the normals of clouds and return the results back to 3D space according to these connection relationship among the points in 2D plane. During the triangulation in 2D plane, we use Delaunay algorithm because it has optimal quality of mesh. We configure OpenCV and pcl on Visual Studio for testing, and the experimental results show that the proposed algorithm have higher computational accuracy of disparity and can realize the details of the real mesh model.

  2. Health-related quality of life after segmental resection of the lateral mandible: Free fibula flap versus plate reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gemert, Johannes; Holtslag, Irene; van der Bilt, Andries; Merkx, Matthias; Koole, Ron; Van Cann, Ellen

    2015-06-01

    Segmental resection of the mandible causes functional, aesthetic and social problems affecting health-related quality of life (HRQoL). It is often assumed that reconstruction with composite free flaps guarantees better function and aesthetics than bridging the defect with reconstruction plates. Using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer questionnaires (EORTC QLQ-C30 version 3.0 and EORTC QLQ-H&N35), we compared HRQoL in patients who received free fibula flaps versus reconstruction plates after segmental resection of the lateral mandible. Thirty-seven completed questionnaires (18 fibula reconstructions and 19 patients with reconstruction plates) were available. Reconstruction with a free fibula flap did not provide clear additional benefit to bridging the defect with a reconstruction plate after segmental resection of the lateral mandible. In particular aspects known to have the most impact on HRQoL like swallowing, speech and chewing were not influenced by the type of reconstruction. Reconstruction of segmental defects of the lateral mandible with free fibula flap and reconstruction plate resulted in comparable HRQoL. If dental rehabilitation by means of dental implants is not anticipated in the fibula, then plate reconstruction with adequate soft tissue remains a suitable technique for the reconstruction of segmental defects of the lateral mandible. Copyright © 2015 European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Comparing and improving reconstruction methods for proxies based on compositional data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, C.; Tipton, J.; Booth, R.; Jackson, S. T.; Hooten, M.

    2017-12-01

    Many types of studies in paleoclimatology and paleoecology involve compositional data. Often, these studies aim to use compositional data to reconstruct an environmental variable of interest; the reconstruction is usually done via the development of a transfer function. Transfer functions have been developed using many different methods. Existing methods tend to relate the compositional data and the reconstruction target in very simple ways. Additionally, the results from different methods are rarely compared. Here we seek to address these two issues. First, we introduce a new hierarchical Bayesian multivariate gaussian process model; this model allows for the relationship between each species in the compositional dataset and the environmental variable to be modeled in a way that captures the underlying complexities. Then, we compare this new method to machine learning techniques and commonly used existing methods. The comparisons are based on reconstructing the water table depth history of Caribou Bog (an ombrotrophic Sphagnum peat bog in Old Town, Maine, USA) from a new 7500 year long record of testate amoebae assemblages. The resulting reconstructions from different methods diverge in both their resulting means and uncertainties. In particular, uncertainty tends to be drastically underestimated by some common methods. These results will help to improve inference of water table depth from testate amoebae. Furthermore, this approach can be applied to test and improve inferences of past environmental conditions from a broad array of paleo-proxies based on compositional data

  4. Improved electromagnetic tracking for catheter path reconstruction with application in high-dose-rate brachytherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lugez, Elodie; Sadjadi, Hossein; Joshi, Chandra P; Akl, Selim G; Fichtinger, Gabor

    2017-04-01

    Electromagnetic (EM) catheter tracking has recently been introduced in order to enable prompt and uncomplicated reconstruction of catheter paths in various clinical interventions. However, EM tracking is prone to measurement errors which can compromise the outcome of the procedure. Minimizing catheter tracking errors is therefore paramount to improve the path reconstruction accuracy. An extended Kalman filter (EKF) was employed to combine the nonlinear kinematic model of an EM sensor inside the catheter, with both its position and orientation measurements. The formulation of the kinematic model was based on the nonholonomic motion constraints of the EM sensor inside the catheter. Experimental verification was carried out in a clinical HDR suite. Ten catheters were inserted with mean curvatures varying from 0 to [Formula: see text] in a phantom. A miniaturized Ascension (Burlington, Vermont, USA) trakSTAR EM sensor (model 55) was threaded within each catheter at various speeds ranging from 7.4 to [Formula: see text]. The nonholonomic EKF was applied on the tracking data in order to statistically improve the EM tracking accuracy. A sample reconstruction error was defined at each point as the Euclidean distance between the estimated EM measurement and its corresponding ground truth. A path reconstruction accuracy was defined as the root mean square of the sample reconstruction errors, while the path reconstruction precision was defined as the standard deviation of these sample reconstruction errors. The impacts of sensor velocity and path curvature on the nonholonomic EKF method were determined. Finally, the nonholonomic EKF catheter path reconstructions were compared with the reconstructions provided by the manufacturer's filters under default settings, namely the AC wide notch and the DC adaptive filter. With a path reconstruction accuracy of 1.9 mm, the nonholonomic EKF surpassed the performance of the manufacturer's filters (2.4 mm) by 21% and the raw EM

  5. Goal hierarchy: Improving asset data quality by improving motivation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Unsworth, Kerrie, E-mail: Kerrie.unsworth@uwa.edu.au [UWA Business School, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009 (Australia); Adriasola, Elisa; Johnston-Billings, Amber; Dmitrieva, Alina [UWA Business School, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009 (Australia); Hodkiewicz, Melinda [School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009 (Australia)

    2011-11-15

    Many have recognized the need for high quality data on assets and the problems in obtaining them, particularly when there is a need for human observation and manual recording. Yet very few have looked at the role of the data collectors themselves in the data quality process. This paper argues that there are benefits to more fully understanding the psychological factors that lay behind data collection and we use goal hierarchy theory to understand these factors. Given the myriad of potential reasons for poor-quality data it has previously proven difficult to identify and successfully deploy employee-driven interventions; however, the goal hierarchy approach looks at all of the goals that an individual has in their life and the connections between them. For instance, does collecting data relate to whether or not they get a promotion? Stay safe? Get a new job? and so on. By eliciting these goals and their connections we can identify commonalities across different groups, sites or organizations that can influence the quality of data collection. Thus, rather than assuming what the data collectors want, a goal hierarchy approach determines that empirically. Practically, this supports the development of customized interventions that will be much more effective and sustainable than previous efforts. - Highlights: > We need to consider psychological aspects of data collectors to improve data quality. > We show how goal hierarchy theory furthers understanding. > Looks at the multiple goals of each individual to determine their behavior.

  6. Goal hierarchy: Improving asset data quality by improving motivation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Unsworth, Kerrie; Adriasola, Elisa; Johnston-Billings, Amber; Dmitrieva, Alina; Hodkiewicz, Melinda

    2011-01-01

    Many have recognized the need for high quality data on assets and the problems in obtaining them, particularly when there is a need for human observation and manual recording. Yet very few have looked at the role of the data collectors themselves in the data quality process. This paper argues that there are benefits to more fully understanding the psychological factors that lay behind data collection and we use goal hierarchy theory to understand these factors. Given the myriad of potential reasons for poor-quality data it has previously proven difficult to identify and successfully deploy employee-driven interventions; however, the goal hierarchy approach looks at all of the goals that an individual has in their life and the connections between them. For instance, does collecting data relate to whether or not they get a promotion? Stay safe? Get a new job? and so on. By eliciting these goals and their connections we can identify commonalities across different groups, sites or organizations that can influence the quality of data collection. Thus, rather than assuming what the data collectors want, a goal hierarchy approach determines that empirically. Practically, this supports the development of customized interventions that will be much more effective and sustainable than previous efforts. - Highlights: → We need to consider psychological aspects of data collectors to improve data quality. → We show how goal hierarchy theory furthers understanding. → Looks at the multiple goals of each individual to determine their behavior.

  7. Improving the ignition quality of fuels

    KAUST Repository

    Sarathy, Mani

    2017-06-08

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

  8. A Model to Improve the Quality Products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasan GOKKAYA

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The topic of this paper is to present a solution who can improve product qualityfollowing the idea: “Unlike people who have verbal skills, machines use "sign language"to communicate what hurts or what has invaded their system’. Recognizing the "signs"or symptoms that the machine conveys is a required skill for those who work withmachines and are responsible for their care and feeding. The acoustic behavior of technical products is predominantly defined in the design stage, although the acoustic characteristics of machine structures can be analyze and give a solution for the actual products and create a new generation of products. The paper describes the steps intechnological process for a product and the solution who will reduce the costs with the non-quality of product and improve the management quality.

  9. Improving the ignition quality of fuels

    KAUST Repository

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction-V Versus Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction: Impact on Dose Reduction and Image Quality in Body Computed Tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatti, Marco; Marchisio, Filippo; Fronda, Marco; Rampado, Osvaldo; Faletti, Riccardo; Bergamasco, Laura; Ropolo, Roberto; Fonio, Paolo

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact on dose reduction and image quality of the new iterative reconstruction technique: adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR-V). Fifty consecutive oncologic patients acted as case controls undergoing during their follow-up a computed tomography scan both with ASIR and ASIR-V. Each study was analyzed in a double-blinded fashion by 2 radiologists. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses of image quality were conducted. Computed tomography scanner radiation output was 38% (29%-45%) lower (P ASIR-V examinations than for the ASIR ones. The quantitative image noise was significantly lower (P ASIR-V. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction-V had a higher performance for the subjective image noise (P = 0.01 for 5 mm and P = 0.009 for 1.25 mm), the other parameters (image sharpness, diagnostic acceptability, and overall image quality) being similar (P > 0.05). Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction-V is a new iterative reconstruction technique that has the potential to provide image quality equal to or greater than ASIR, with a dose reduction around 40%.

  11. Quality Improvement in Athletic Health Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  12. In Brief: Improving Mississippi River water quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2007-10-01

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

  13. The CMS Data Quality Monitoring software experience and future improvements

    CERN Document Server

    De Guio, Federico

    2013-01-01

    The Data Quality Monitoring (DQM) Software proved to be a central tool in the CMS experiment. Its flexibility allowed its integration in several environments Online, for real-time detector monitoring; Offline, for the final, fine-grained Data Certification; Release Validation, to constantly validate the functionality and the performance of the reconstruction software; in Monte Carlo productions. The central tool to deliver Data Quality information is a web site for browsing data quality histograms (DQM GUI). In this contribution the usage of the DQM Software in the different environments and its integration in the CMS Reconstruction Software Framework and in all production workflows are presented.

  14. Improving quality of service in the internet

    OpenAIRE

    Flückiger, François

    2000-01-01

    The Internet transport technology was designed to be robust, resilient to link or node outages, and with no single point of failure. The resulting connectionless system supports what is called a "best effort datagram delivery service", the perfo rmance of which is often greatly unpredictable. To improve the predictability of IP-based networks, several Quality of Service technologies have been designed over the past decade. The first one, RSVP, based on reservation of resources, is operational...

  15. Comparison of pure and hybrid iterative reconstruction techniques with conventional filtered back projection: Image quality assessment in the cervicothoracic region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Katsura, Masaki, E-mail: mkatsura-tky@umin.ac.jp [Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655 (Japan); Sato, Jiro; Akahane, Masaaki; Matsuda, Izuru; Ishida, Masanori; Yasaka, Koichiro; Kunimatsu, Akira; Ohtomo, Kuni [Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655 (Japan)

    2013-02-15

    Objectives: To evaluate the impact on image quality of three different image reconstruction techniques in the cervicothoracic region: model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR), adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR), and filtered back projection (FBP). Methods: Forty-four patients underwent unenhanced standard-of-care clinical computed tomography (CT) examinations which included the cervicothoracic region with a 64-row multidetector CT scanner. Images were reconstructed with FBP, 50% ASIR-FBP blending (ASIR50), and MBIR. Two radiologists assessed the cervicothoracic region in a blinded manner for streak artifacts, pixilated blotchy appearances, critical reproduction of visually sharp anatomical structures (thyroid gland, common carotid artery, and esophagus), and overall diagnostic acceptability. Objective image noise was measured in the internal jugular vein. Data were analyzed using the sign test and pair-wise Student's t-test. Results: MBIR images had significant lower quantitative image noise (8.88 ± 1.32) compared to ASIR images (18.63 ± 4.19, P < 0.01) and FBP images (26.52 ± 5.8, P < 0.01). Significant improvements in streak artifacts of the cervicothoracic region were observed with the use of MBIR (P < 0.001 each for MBIR vs. the other two image data sets for both readers), while no significant difference was observed between ASIR and FBP (P > 0.9 for ASIR vs. FBP for both readers). MBIR images were all diagnostically acceptable. Unique features of MBIR images included pixilated blotchy appearances, which did not adversely affect diagnostic acceptability. Conclusions: MBIR significantly improves image noise and streak artifacts of the cervicothoracic region over ASIR and FBP. MBIR is expected to enhance the value of CT examinations for areas where image noise and streak artifacts are problematic.

  16. Bioethanol Quality Improvement of Coffee Fruit Leather

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edahwati Luluk

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, Indonesia’s dependence on petroleum is to be reduced and even eliminated. To overcome the problem of finding the needed alternative materials that can produce ethanol, in this case as a substitute material or a transport fuel mix, boosting the octane number, and gasoline ethanol (gasohol can be conducted. In the red coffee processing (cooking that will produce 65% and 35% of coffee beans, coffee leather waste is a source of organic material with fairly high cellulose content of 46.82%, 3.01% of pectin and 7.68% of lignin. In this case, its existence is abundant in Indonesia and optimally utilized. During the coffee fruit peeling, the peel waste is only used as a mixture of animal feed or simply left to rot. The purpose of this study was to produce and improve the quality of the fruit skin of bioethanol from coffee cellulose. However, to improve the quality of bioethanol, the production of the lignin content in the skin of the coffee fruit should be eliminated or reduced. Hydrolysis process using organosolve method is expected to improve the quality of bioethanol produced. In particular, the use of enzyme Saccharomyces and Zymmomonas will change the resulting sugar into bioethanol. On one hand, by using batch distillation process for 8 hours with Saccharomyces, bioethanol obtains high purity which is 39.79%; on the other hand, by using the same batch distillation process with Zymmomonas, the bioethanol obtains 38.78%.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Yu Kyung

    2016-07-01

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

  19. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction and Veo: assessment of image quality and diagnostic performance in CT colonography at various radiation doses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Min A; Kim, Se Hyung; Lee, Jeong Min; Woo, Hyoun Sik; Lee, Eun Sun; Ahn, Se Jin; Han, Joon Koo

    2012-01-01

    To evaluate the diagnostic performance of computed tomography (CT) colonography (CTC) reconstructed with different levels of adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASiR, GE Healthcare) and Veo (model-based iterative reconstruction, GE Healthcare) at various tube currents in detection of polyps in porcine colon phantoms. Five porcine colon phantoms with 46 simulated polyps were scanned at different radiation doses (10, 30, and 50 mA s) and were reconstructed using filtered back projection (FBP), ASiR (20%, 40%, and 60%) and Veo. Eleven data sets for each phantom (10-mA s FBP, 10-mA s 20% ASiR, 10-mA s 40% ASiR, 10-mA s 60% ASiR, 10-mA s Veo, 30-mA s FBP, 30-mA s 20% ASiR, 30-mA s 40% ASiR, 30-mA s 60% ASiR, 30-mA s Veo, and 50-mA s FBP) yielded a total of 55 data sets. Polyp detection sensitivity and confidence level of 2 independent observers were evaluated with the McNemar test, the Fisher exact test, and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. Comparative analyses of overall image quality score, measured image noise, and interpretation time were also performed. Per-polyp detection sensitivities and specificities were highest in 10-mA s Veo, 30-mA s FBP, 30-mA s 60% ASiR, and 50-mA s FBP (sensitivity, 100%; specificity, 100%). The area-under-the-curve values for the overall performance of each data set was also highest (1.000) at 50-mA s FBP, 30-mA s FBP, 30-mA s 60% ASiR, and 10-mA s Veo. Images reconstructed with ASiR showed statistically significant improvement in per-polyp detection sensitivity as the percent level of per-polyp sensitivity increased (10-mA s FBP vs 10-mA s 20% ASiR, P = 0.011; 10-mA s FBP vs 10-mA s 40% ASiR, P = 0.000; 10-mA s FBP vs 10-mA s 60% ASiR, P = 0.000; 10-mA s 20% ASiR vs 40% ASiR, P = 0.034). Overall image quality score was highest at 30-mA s Veo and 50-mA s FBP. The quantitative measurement of the image noise was lowest at 30-mA s Veo and second lowest at 10-mA s Veo. There was a trend of decrease in time

  20. Cardiovascular CT angiography in neonates and children: Image quality and potential for radiation dose reduction with iterative image reconstruction techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tricarico, Francesco; Hlavacek, Anthony M.; Schoepf, U.J.; Ebersberger, Ullrich; Nance, John W.; Vliegenthart, Rozemarijn; Cho, Young Jun; Spears, J.R.; Secchi, Francesco; Savino, Giancarlo; Marano, Riccardo; Bonomo, Lorenzo; Schoenberg, Stefan O.; Apfaltrer, Paul

    2013-01-01

    To evaluate image quality (IQ) of low-radiation-dose paediatric cardiovascular CT angiography (CTA), comparing iterative reconstruction in image space (IRIS) and sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction (SAFIRE) with filtered back-projection (FBP) and estimate the potential for further dose reductions. Forty neonates and children underwent low radiation CTA with or without ECG synchronisation. Data were reconstructed with FBP, IRIS and SAFIRE. For ECG-synchronised studies, half-dose image acquisitions were simulated. Signal noise was measured and IQ graded. Effective dose (ED) was estimated. Mean absolute and relative image noise with IRIS and full-dose SAFIRE was lower than with FBP (P < 0.001), while SNR and CNR were higher (P < 0.001). Image noise was also lower and SNR and CNR higher in half-dose SAFIRE studies compared with full-and half-dose FBP studies (P < 0.001). IQ scores were higher for IRIS, full-dose SAFIRE and half-dose SAFIRE than for full-dose FBP and higher for half-dose SAFIRE than for half-dose FBP (P < 0.05). Median weight-specific ED was 0.3 mSv without and 1.36 mSv with ECG synchronisation. The estimated ED of half-dose SAFIRE studies was 0.68 mSv. IR improves image noise, SNR, CNR and subjective IQ compared with FBP in low-radiation-dose paediatric CTA and allows further dose reductions without compromising diagnostic IQ. (orig.)

  1. Cardiovascular CT angiography in neonates and children: Image quality and potential for radiation dose reduction with iterative image reconstruction techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tricarico, Francesco [Medical University of South Carolina, Ashley River Tower, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Charleston, SC (United States); Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, ' ' A. Gemelli' ' Hospital, Department of Bioimaging and Radiological Sciences, Rome (Italy); Hlavacek, Anthony M. [Medical University of South Carolina, Ashley River Tower, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Charleston, SC (United States); Children' s Hospital, Medical University of South Carolina, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Charleston, SC (United States); Schoepf, U.J. [Medical University of South Carolina, Ashley River Tower, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Charleston, SC (United States); Children' s Hospital, Medical University of South Carolina, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Charleston, SC (United States); Medical University of South Carolina, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Charleston, SC (United States); Ebersberger, Ullrich [Medical University of South Carolina, Ashley River Tower, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Charleston, SC (United States); Heart Centre Munich-Bogenhausen, Department of Cardiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Munich (Germany); Nance, John W. [Medical University of South Carolina, Ashley River Tower, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Charleston, SC (United States); Johns Hopkins Hospital, The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Baltimore, MD (United States); Vliegenthart, Rozemarijn [Medical University of South Carolina, Ashley River Tower, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Charleston, SC (United States); University Medical Centre Groningen/University of Groningen, Centre for Medical Imaging - North East Netherlands, Department of Radiology, Groningen (Netherlands); Cho, Young Jun [Medical University of South Carolina, Ashley River Tower, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Charleston, SC (United States); Konyang University School of Medicine, Department of Radiology, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Spears, J.R. [Medical University of South Carolina, Ashley River Tower, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Charleston, SC (United States); Secchi, Francesco [Medical University of South Carolina, Ashley River Tower, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Charleston, SC (United States); University of Milan School of Medicine IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Radiology Unit, Milan (Italy); Savino, Giancarlo; Marano, Riccardo; Bonomo, Lorenzo [Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, ' ' A. Gemelli' ' Hospital, Department of Bioimaging and Radiological Sciences, Rome (Italy); Schoenberg, Stefan O. [University Medical Centre Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim - Heidelberg University, Institute of Clinical Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Mannheim (Germany); Apfaltrer, Paul [Medical University of South Carolina, Ashley River Tower, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Charleston, SC (United States); University Medical Centre Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim - Heidelberg University, Institute of Clinical Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Mannheim (Germany)

    2013-05-15

    To evaluate image quality (IQ) of low-radiation-dose paediatric cardiovascular CT angiography (CTA), comparing iterative reconstruction in image space (IRIS) and sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction (SAFIRE) with filtered back-projection (FBP) and estimate the potential for further dose reductions. Forty neonates and children underwent low radiation CTA with or without ECG synchronisation. Data were reconstructed with FBP, IRIS and SAFIRE. For ECG-synchronised studies, half-dose image acquisitions were simulated. Signal noise was measured and IQ graded. Effective dose (ED) was estimated. Mean absolute and relative image noise with IRIS and full-dose SAFIRE was lower than with FBP (P < 0.001), while SNR and CNR were higher (P < 0.001). Image noise was also lower and SNR and CNR higher in half-dose SAFIRE studies compared with full-and half-dose FBP studies (P < 0.001). IQ scores were higher for IRIS, full-dose SAFIRE and half-dose SAFIRE than for full-dose FBP and higher for half-dose SAFIRE than for half-dose FBP (P < 0.05). Median weight-specific ED was 0.3 mSv without and 1.36 mSv with ECG synchronisation. The estimated ED of half-dose SAFIRE studies was 0.68 mSv. IR improves image noise, SNR, CNR and subjective IQ compared with FBP in low-radiation-dose paediatric CTA and allows further dose reductions without compromising diagnostic IQ. (orig.)

  2. Cross-sectional analysis of Quality-of-Life of patients undergoing reconstructive surgery for tongue cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoshimoto, Seiichi; Kimata, Yasuhiro; Kurita, Tomoyuki

    2009-01-01

    Organs with important functions for daily life are concentrated in the head and neck area, and maintaining post-treatment Quality-of-Life (QOL) is also important when treating cancers of the head and neck, in addition to improving survival rate. Free flap reconstruction techniques are expected to contribute to maintaining post-treatment QOL, but these techniques have not been adequately evaluated in Japan. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of QOL, using the Japanese version of the UWQOL (version 4) from the University of Washington in the United States, with 202 patients from 10 institutions who had undergone reconstructive surgery for tongue cancer. In addition to the survey form, we collected clinical information (age, sex, time since surgery, flap donor site, whether radiotherapy was administered, and other factors), and analyzed whether differences in postoperative QOL were seen depending on each of these factors and the hospital at which the surgery was performed. Although a relationship was found between QOL following reconstructive surgery for tongue cancer and the extent of resection, age and whether radiotherapy was administered, fairly good QOL was maintained overall. (author)

  3. Improving thoracic four-dimensional cone-beam CT reconstruction with anatomical-adaptive image regularization (AAIR)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shieh, Chun-Chien; Kipritidis, John; O'Brien, Ricky T; Cooper, Benjamin J; Keall, Paul J; Kuncic, Zdenka

    2015-01-01

    did not suffer from residual noise/streaking and motion blur migrated from the prior image as in PICCS. AAIR was also found to be more computationally efficient than both ASD-POCS and PICCS, with a reduction in computation time of over 50% compared to ASD-POCS. The use of anatomy segmentation was, for the first time, demonstrated to significantly improve image quality and computational efficiency for thoracic 4D CBCT reconstruction. Further developments are required to facilitate AAIR for practical use. (paper)

  4. Increased Mercury Bioaccumulation Follows Water Quality Improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bogle, M.A.; Peterson, M.J.; Smith, J.G.; Southworth, G.R.

    1999-09-15

    Changes in physical and chemical characteristics of aquatic habitats made to reduce or eliminate ecological risks can sometimes have unforeseen consequences. Environmental management activities on the U.S. Dept. of Energy reservation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee,have succeeded in improving water quality in streams impacted by discharges fi-om industrial facilities and waste disposal sites. The diversity and abundance of pollution-sensitive components of the benthic macroinvertebrate communities of three streams improved after new waste treatment systems or remedial actions reduced inputs of various toxic chemicals. Two of the streams were known to be mercury-contaminated from historical spills and waste disposal practices. Waterborne mercury concentrations in the third were typical of uncontaminated systems. In each case, concentrations of mercury in fish, or the apparent biological availability of mercury increased over the period during which ecological metrics indicated improved water quality. In the system where waterborne mercury concentrations were at background levels, increased mercury bioaccumulation was probably a result of reduced aqueous selenium concentrations; however, the mechanisms for increased mercury accumulation in the other two streams remain under investigation. In each of the three systems, reduced inputs of metals and inorganic anions was followed by improvements in the health of aquatic invertebrate communities. However, this reduction in risk to aquatic invertebrates was accompanied by increased risk to humans and piscivorous wildlife related to increased mercury concentrations in fish.

  5. Increased Mercury Bioaccumulation Follows Water Quality Improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bogle, M.A.; Peterson, M.J.; Smith, J.G.; Southworth, G.R.

    1999-01-01

    Changes in physical and chemical characteristics of aquatic habitats made to reduce or eliminate ecological risks can sometimes have unforeseen consequences. Environmental management activities on the U.S. Dept. of Energy reservation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee,have succeeded in improving water quality in streams impacted by discharges fi-om industrial facilities and waste disposal sites. The diversity and abundance of pollution-sensitive components of the benthic macroinvertebrate communities of three streams improved after new waste treatment systems or remedial actions reduced inputs of various toxic chemicals. Two of the streams were known to be mercury-contaminated from historical spills and waste disposal practices. Waterborne mercury concentrations in the third were typical of uncontaminated systems. In each case, concentrations of mercury in fish, or the apparent biological availability of mercury increased over the period during which ecological metrics indicated improved water quality. In the system where waterborne mercury concentrations were at background levels, increased mercury bioaccumulation was probably a result of reduced aqueous selenium concentrations; however, the mechanisms for increased mercury accumulation in the other two streams remain under investigation. In each of the three systems, reduced inputs of metals and inorganic anions was followed by improvements in the health of aquatic invertebrate communities. However, this reduction in risk to aquatic invertebrates was accompanied by increased risk to humans and piscivorous wildlife related to increased mercury concentrations in fish

  6. Computed Tomography Image Quality Evaluation of a New Iterative Reconstruction Algorithm in the Abdomen (Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction-V) a Comparison With Model-Based Iterative Reconstruction, Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction, and Filtered Back Projection Reconstructions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodenberger, Martin H; Wagner-Bartak, Nicolaus A; Gupta, Shiva; Liu, Xinming; Yap, Ramon Q; Sun, Jia; Tamm, Eric P; Jensen, Corey T

    The purpose of this study was to compare abdominopelvic computed tomography images reconstructed with adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction-V (ASIR-V) with model-based iterative reconstruction (Veo 3.0), ASIR, and filtered back projection (FBP). Abdominopelvic computed tomography scans for 36 patients (26 males and 10 females) were reconstructed using FBP, ASIR (80%), Veo 3.0, and ASIR-V (30%, 60%, 90%). Mean ± SD patient age was 32 ± 10 years with mean ± SD body mass index of 26.9 ± 4.4 kg/m. Images were reviewed by 2 independent readers in a blinded, randomized fashion. Hounsfield unit, noise, and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) values were calculated for each reconstruction algorithm for further comparison. Phantom evaluation of low-contrast detectability (LCD) and high-contrast resolution was performed. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction-V 30%, ASIR-V 60%, and ASIR 80% were generally superior qualitatively compared with ASIR-V 90%, Veo 3.0, and FBP (P ASIR-V 60% with respective CNR values of 5.54 ± 2.39, 8.78 ± 3.15, and 3.49 ± 1.77 (P ASIR 80% had the best and worst spatial resolution, respectively. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction-V 30% and ASIR-V 60% provided the best combination of qualitative and quantitative performance. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction 80% was equivalent qualitatively, but demonstrated inferior spatial resolution and LCD.

  7. Gaussian mixture models and semantic gating improve reconstructions from human brain activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanne eSchoenmakers

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Better acquisition protocols and analysis techniques are making it possible to use fMRI to obtain highly detailed visualizations of brain processes. In particular we focus on the reconstruction of natural images from BOLD responses in visual cortex. We expand our linear Gaussian framework for percept decoding with Gaussian mixture models to better represent the prior distribution of natural images. Reconstruction of such images then boils down to probabilistic inference in a hybrid Bayesian network. In our set-up, different mixture components correspond to different character categories. Our framework can automatically infer higher-order semantic categories from lower-level brain areas. Furthermore the framework can gate semantic information from higher-order brain areas to enforce the correct category during reconstruction. When categorical information is not available, we show that automatically learned clusters in the data give a similar improvement in reconstruction. The hybrid Bayesian network leads to highly accurate reconstructions in both supervised and unsupervised settings.

  8. Cardiovascular CT angiography in neonates and children : Image quality and potential for radiation dose reduction with iterative image reconstruction techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tricarico, Francesco; Hlavacek, Anthony M.; Schoepf, U. Joseph; Ebersberger, Ullrich; Nance, John W.; Vliegenthart, Rozemarijn; Cho, Young Jun; Spears, J. Reid; Secchi, Francesco; Savino, Giancarlo; Marano, Riccardo; Schoenberg, Stefan O.; Bonomo, Lorenzo; Apfaltrer, Paul

    To evaluate image quality (IQ) of low-radiation-dose paediatric cardiovascular CT angiography (CTA), comparing iterative reconstruction in image space (IRIS) and sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction (SAFIRE) with filtered back-projection (FBP) and estimate the potential for further dose

  9. Knowledge-based iterative model reconstruction technique in computed tomography of lumbar spine lowers radiation dose and improves tissue differentiation for patients with lower back pain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Cheng Hui [Department of Medical Imaging, Pojen General Hopsital, Taipei, Taiwan (China); School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan (China); Wu, Tung-Hsin [Department of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan (China); Lin, Chung-Jung, E-mail: bcjlin@me.com [School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan (China); Department of Radiology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan (China); Chiou, Yi-You; Chen, Ying-Chou; Sheu, Ming-Huei; Guo, Wan-Yuo; Chiu, Chen Fen [School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan (China); Department of Radiology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan (China)

    2016-10-15

    Highlights: • Knowledge-based IMR improves tissue differentiation in CT of L-spine better than hybrid IR (iDose{sup 4}). • Higher strength IMR improves image qualities of the IVD and IVF in spinal stenosis. • IMR provides diagnostic lower dose CT of L-spine. - Abstract: Purpose: To evaluate the image quality and diagnostic confidence of reduced-dose computed tomography (CT) of the lumbar spine (L-spine) reconstructed with knowledge-based iterative model reconstruction (IMR). Materials and methods: Prospectively, group A consisted of 55 patients imaged with standard acquisition reconstructed with filtered back-projection. Group B consisted of 58 patients imaged with half tube current, reconstructed with hybrid iterative reconstruction (iDose{sup 4}) in Group B1 and knowledge-based IMR in Group B2. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of different regions, the contrast-to-noise ratio between the intervetebral disc (IVD) and dural sac (D-D CNR), and subjective image quality of different regions were compared. Higher strength IMR was also compared in spinal stenosis cases. Results: The SNR of the psoas muscle and D-D CNR were significantly higher in the IMR group. Except for the facet joint, subjective image quality of other regions including IVD, intervertebral foramen (IVF), dural sac, peridural fat, ligmentum flavum, and overall diagnostic acceptability were best for the IMR group. Diagnostic confidence of narrowing IVF and IVD was good (kappa = 0.58–0.85). Higher strength IMR delineated IVD better in spinal stenosis cases. Conclusion: Lower dose CT of L-spine reconstructed with IMR demonstrates better tissue differentiation than iDose{sup 4} and standard dose CT with FBP.

  10. Knowledge-based iterative model reconstruction technique in computed tomography of lumbar spine lowers radiation dose and improves tissue differentiation for patients with lower back pain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Cheng Hui; Wu, Tung-Hsin; Lin, Chung-Jung; Chiou, Yi-You; Chen, Ying-Chou; Sheu, Ming-Huei; Guo, Wan-Yuo; Chiu, Chen Fen

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Knowledge-based IMR improves tissue differentiation in CT of L-spine better than hybrid IR (iDose 4 ). • Higher strength IMR improves image qualities of the IVD and IVF in spinal stenosis. • IMR provides diagnostic lower dose CT of L-spine. - Abstract: Purpose: To evaluate the image quality and diagnostic confidence of reduced-dose computed tomography (CT) of the lumbar spine (L-spine) reconstructed with knowledge-based iterative model reconstruction (IMR). Materials and methods: Prospectively, group A consisted of 55 patients imaged with standard acquisition reconstructed with filtered back-projection. Group B consisted of 58 patients imaged with half tube current, reconstructed with hybrid iterative reconstruction (iDose 4 ) in Group B1 and knowledge-based IMR in Group B2. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of different regions, the contrast-to-noise ratio between the intervetebral disc (IVD) and dural sac (D-D CNR), and subjective image quality of different regions were compared. Higher strength IMR was also compared in spinal stenosis cases. Results: The SNR of the psoas muscle and D-D CNR were significantly higher in the IMR group. Except for the facet joint, subjective image quality of other regions including IVD, intervertebral foramen (IVF), dural sac, peridural fat, ligmentum flavum, and overall diagnostic acceptability were best for the IMR group. Diagnostic confidence of narrowing IVF and IVD was good (kappa = 0.58–0.85). Higher strength IMR delineated IVD better in spinal stenosis cases. Conclusion: Lower dose CT of L-spine reconstructed with IMR demonstrates better tissue differentiation than iDose 4 and standard dose CT with FBP.

  11. Total quality drives nuclear plant improvements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Richey, R.B.

    1991-01-01

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

  12. Does acellular dermal matrix really improve aesthetic outcome in tissue expander/implant-based breast reconstruction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Ahmed M S; Koolen, Pieter G L; Ganor, Oren; Markarian, Mark K; Tobias, Adam M; Lee, Bernard T; Lin, Samuel J; Mureau, Marc A M

    2015-06-01

    The expectation for improved results by women undergoing postmastectomy reconstruction has steadily risen. A majority of these operations are tissue expander/implant-based breast reconstructions. Acellular dermal matrix (ADM) offers numerous advantages in these procedures. Thus far, the evidence to justify improved aesthetic outcome has solely been based on surgeon opinion. The purpose of this study was to assess aesthetic outcome following ADM use in tissue expander/implant-based breast reconstruction by a panel of blinded plastic surgeons. Mean aesthetic results of patients who underwent tissue expander/implant-based breast reconstruction with (n = 18) or without ADM (n = 20) were assessed with objective grading of preoperative and postoperative photographs by five independent blinded plastic surgeons. Absolute observed agreement as well as weighted Fleiss Kappa (κ) test statistics were calculated to assess inter-rater variability. When ADM was incorporated, the overall aesthetic score was improved by an average of 12.1 %. In addition, subscale analyses revealed improvements in breast contour (35.2 %), implant placement (20.7 %), lower pole projection (16.7 %), and inframammary fold definition (13.8 %). Contour (p = 0.039), implant placement (p = 0.021), and overall aesthetic score (p = 0.022) reached statistical significance. Inter-rater reliability showed mostly moderate agreement. Mean aesthetic scores were higher in the ADM-assisted breast reconstruction cohort including the total aesthetic score which was statistically significant. Aesthetic outcome alone may justify the added expense of incorporating biologic mesh. Moreover, ADM has other benefits which may render it cost-effective. Larger prospective studies are needed to provide plastic surgeons with more definitive guidelines for ADM use. This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the

  13. 42 CFR 441.474 - Quality assurance and improvement plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

  14. Improving tomato seed quality- challenges and possibilities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shrestha, Santosh

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

  15. IMPROVEMENTS IN THE QUALITY OF COURIER DELIVERY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacek Karcz

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The functioning of courier companies is a vital component of modern trade. E-commerce services are changing the way of shopping. Along with them, also courier services change and become more advance. Customers of courier companies become more aware of quality, which they should expect from supplier of these services. The article presents the result of the research of the effectiveness and the timelines of deliveries realized by one of the terminals of a leading courier operator in Poland. The survey involved 55 courier routes over the course of 10 business days. The author analyses weak points of the supply chain and presents two solutions, which may improve quality of delivery processes.

  16. Improving wind power quality with energy storage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Claus Nygaard

    2009-01-01

    The results of simulation of the influence of energy storage on wind power quality are presented. Simulations are done using a mathematical model of energy storage. Results show the relation between storage power and energy, and the obtained increase in minimum available power from the combination...... of wind and storage. The introduction of storage enables smoothening of wind power on a timescale proportional to the storage energy. Storage does not provide availability of wind power at all times, but allows for a certain fraction of average power in a given timeframe to be available with high...... probability. The amount of storage capacity necessary for significant wind power quality improvement in a given period is found to be 20 to 40% of the energy produced in that period. The necessary power is found to be 80 to 100% of the average power of the period....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathy Kande

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Improvement on image quality of single photon ECT with converging collimator system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murayama, Hideo; Nohara, Norimasa; Tanaka, Eiichi

    1986-01-01

    Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with converging collimator system was proposed to improve quality of reconstructed images. The collimator system was designed to enhance sensitivity at the center region of field-of-view, where the probability photons escape the attenuating medium is smaller than at the off-center region. In order to evaluate efficiency of the improvement on image quality, the weighting function of projection, which is defined as relative sensitivity to the average on the lateral sampling of projection, was adopted to the image reconstruction algorithm of Radial Post Correction method. Statistical mean square noise in a reconstructed image was formulated in this method. Simulation studies using typical weighting function showed that center-enhanced weighting function brings effective improvement on image quality, especially, at the center region of cold area surrounded by annularly distributed activity. A new SPECT system was proposed as one example of the converging collimator systems. The system is composed of four gamma cameras with four fan-beam collimators, which have different focal distances one another. Simple simulation studies showed that the proposed system has reasonable center-enhanced weighting function, and the image quality based on the proposed system was fairly improved as compared with one based on uniform weighting function at the center region of the field-of-view. (author)

  19. Quality Analysis on 3d Buidling Models Reconstructed from Uav Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarzabek-Rychard, M.; Karpina, M.

    2016-06-01

    Recent developments in UAV technology and structure from motion techniques have effected that UAVs are becoming standard platforms for 3D data collection. Because of their flexibility and ability to reach inaccessible urban parts, drones appear as optimal solution for urban applications. Building reconstruction from the data collected with UAV has the important potential to reduce labour cost for fast update of already reconstructed 3D cities. However, especially for updating of existing scenes derived from different sensors (e.g. airborne laser scanning), a proper quality assessment is necessary. The objective of this paper is thus to evaluate the potential of UAV imagery as an information source for automatic 3D building modeling at LOD2. The investigation process is conducted threefold: (1) comparing generated SfM point cloud to ALS data; (2) computing internal consistency measures of the reconstruction process; (3) analysing the deviation of Check Points identified on building roofs and measured with a tacheometer. In order to gain deep insight in the modeling performance, various quality indicators are computed and analysed. The assessment performed according to the ground truth shows that the building models acquired with UAV-photogrammetry have the accuracy of less than 18 cm for the plannimetric position and about 15 cm for the height component.

  20. QUALITY ANALYSIS ON 3D BUIDLING MODELS RECONSTRUCTED FROM UAV IMAGERY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Jarzabek-Rychard

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent developments in UAV technology and structure from motion techniques have effected that UAVs are becoming standard platforms for 3D data collection. Because of their flexibility and ability to reach inaccessible urban parts, drones appear as optimal solution for urban applications. Building reconstruction from the data collected with UAV has the important potential to reduce labour cost for fast update of already reconstructed 3D cities. However, especially for updating of existing scenes derived from different sensors (e.g. airborne laser scanning, a proper quality assessment is necessary. The objective of this paper is thus to evaluate the potential of UAV imagery as an information source for automatic 3D building modeling at LOD2. The investigation process is conducted threefold: (1 comparing generated SfM point cloud to ALS data; (2 computing internal consistency measures of the reconstruction process; (3 analysing the deviation of Check Points identified on building roofs and measured with a tacheometer. In order to gain deep insight in the modeling performance, various quality indicators are computed and analysed. The assessment performed according to the ground truth shows that the building models acquired with UAV-photogrammetry have the accuracy of less than 18 cm for the plannimetric position and about 15 cm for the height component.

  1. Using genomics to improve fruit quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meneses, Claudio; Orellana, Ariel

    2013-01-01

    New fruit varieties are needed to satisfy consumers, and the industry is facing new challenges in order to respond to these demands. The emergence of genomic tools is releasing information on polymorphisms that can be utilized to expedite breeding processes in species that are difficult to breed, given the long periods of time required to get new varieties. The present review describes the current stages of the ongoing efforts that are being taken to apply these technologies to obtain varieties with improved fruit quality in species of the family Rosaceae.

  2. Quality Rating and Improvement System State Evaluations and Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Daniel

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Improving image quality in Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT using Projection Error Propagation-based Regularization (PEPR technique: A simulation study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tushar Kanti Bera

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available A Projection Error Propagation-based Regularization (PEPR method is proposed and the reconstructed image quality is improved in Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT. A projection error is produced due to the misfit of the calculated and measured data in the reconstruction process. The variation of the projection error is integrated with response matrix in each iterations and the reconstruction is carried out in EIDORS. The PEPR method is studied with the simulated boundary data for different inhomogeneity geometries. Simulated results demonstrate that the PEPR technique improves image reconstruction precision in EIDORS and hence it can be successfully implemented to increase the reconstruction accuracy in EIT.>doi:10.5617/jeb.158 J Electr Bioimp, vol. 2, pp. 2-12, 2011

  4. Data on abiotic (nutrients and biotic (phytoplankton quality elements in Fortuna ecologically reconstructed area (Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve - Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TÖRÖK Liliana

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The impact of inorganic nutrient enrichment on reophillic ecosystems has been observed and intensively studied in many rivers. Due to the scarcity of information on ecological conditions in the channel-network of the Danube Delta it is very important to have reliable information on the trend of the abiotic and biotic quality elements in the Danube River and channel system – in order to fulfill the Water Framework Directive objectives and to implement the rehabilitation projects in area affected by nutrient pollution. The purpose of this paper is to present, analyze and discuss the results of evaluation of nutrient variation and phytoplankton quantification obtained in Fortuna area - one of the seven reconstructed areas of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. In order to improve the quality of data on phytoplankton biomass distribution from Fortuna area, in the summer of 2008 there has been used a submersible spectrofluorometer with automatic algae class determination and chlorophyll analysis (bbe Fluoro Probe. According to the results of analyses on relation between phytoplankton communities and water-column, the phytoplankton development in the channel network of the Fortuna reconstructed area seems to be influenced mainly by nitrogen concentration than by phosphorus concentration, as in case of phytoplankton development in Danube Delta’s lakes

  5. Multiview 3D sensing and analysis for high quality point cloud reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satnik, Andrej; Izquierdo, Ebroul; Orjesek, Richard

    2018-04-01

    Multiview 3D reconstruction techniques enable digital reconstruction of 3D objects from the real world by fusing different viewpoints of the same object into a single 3D representation. This process is by no means trivial and the acquisition of high quality point cloud representations of dynamic 3D objects is still an open problem. In this paper, an approach for high fidelity 3D point cloud generation using low cost 3D sensing hardware is presented. The proposed approach runs in an efficient low-cost hardware setting based on several Kinect v2 scanners connected to a single PC. It performs autocalibration and runs in real-time exploiting an efficient composition of several filtering methods including Radius Outlier Removal (ROR), Weighted Median filter (WM) and Weighted Inter-Frame Average filtering (WIFA). The performance of the proposed method has been demonstrated through efficient acquisition of dense 3D point clouds of moving objects.

  6. The association between complications and quality of life after mastectomy and breast reconstruction for breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, John P; Jeevan, Ranjeet; Gulliver-Clarke, Carmel; Pereira, Jerome; Caddy, Christopher M; van der Meulen, Jan H P

    2017-09-15

    Medical treatment for breast cancer is associated with substantial toxicity and patient burden. There is less known about the impact of surgical complications. Understanding this impact could provide important information for patients when they are considering surgical options. Between 2008 and 2009, the UK National Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction Audit recorded surgical complications for a prospective cohort of 17,844 women treated for breast cancer at 270 hospitals; 6405 of these women were surveyed about their quality of life 18 months after surgery. Breast appearance, emotional well-being, and physical well-being were quantified on 0- to 100-point scales. Linear multiple regression models, controlling for a range of baseline prognostic factors, were used to compare the scores of patients who had complications with the scores of those who did not. The overall complication rate was 10.2%. Complications were associated with little or no impairment in women undergoing mastectomy without reconstruction or with delayed reconstruction. The association was much larger for flap-related complications suffered during immediate reconstruction. The breast-appearance scores (adjusted mean difference, -23.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], -31.0 to -16.6) and emotional well-being scores (adjusted mean difference, -14.0; 95% CI, -22.0 to -6.0) of these patients were much lower than those of any other patient group. Implant-related complications were not associated with a lower quality of life in any surgical group. There is a strong case for prospectively collecting flap-complication rates at the surgeon and surgical unit level and for allowing patients to access these data when they make choices about their breast cancer surgery. Cancer 2017;123:3460-7. © 2017 American Cancer Society. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

  7. Biospecimen Reporting for Improved Study Quality (BRISQ)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    National Cancer Institute; Jewell, Ph.D., Scott D.; Seijo, M.S., Edward; Kelly, Ph.D., Andrea; Somiari, Ph.D., Stella; B.Chir., M.B.; McShane, Ph.D., Lisa M.; Clark, M.D., Douglas; Greenspan, M.D., Renata; Hayes, M.D., Daniel F.; Hainaut, Ph.D., M.S., Pierre; Kim, Paula; Mansfield, Ph.D., Elizabeth; Potapova, Ph.D., Olga; Riegman, Ph.D., Peter; Rubinstein, Ph.D., Yaffa; Weier, Ph.D., Heinz-Ulrich; Zhu, Ph.D., Claire; Moore, Ph.D., Helen M.; Vaught, Ph.D., Jim; Watson, Peter

    2010-09-02

    Human biospecimens are subjected to collection, processing, and storage that can significantly alter their molecular composition and consistency. These biospecimen preanalytical factors, in turn, influence experimental outcomes and the ability to reproduce scientific results. Currently, the extent and type of information specific to the biospecimen preanalytical conditions reported in scientific publications and regulatory submissions varies widely. To improve the quality of research that uses human tissues, it is crucial that information on the handling of biospecimens be reported in a thorough, accurate, and standardized manner. The Biospecimen Reporting for Improved Study Quality (BRISQ) recommendations outlined herein are intended to apply to any study in which human biospecimens are used. The purpose of reporting these details is to supply others, from researchers to regulators, with more consistent and standardized information to better evaluate, interpret, compare, and reproduce the experimental results. The BRISQ guidelines are proposed as an important and timely resource tool to strengthen communication and publications on biospecimen-related research and to help reassure patient contributors and the advocacy community that their contributions are valued and respected.

  8. Biospecimen Reporting for Improved Study Quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moore, Ph.D., Helen M.; Kelly, Ph.D., Andrea B.; Jewell, Ph.D., Scott D.; McShane, Ph.D., Lisa M.; Clark, M.D., Douglas P.; Greenspan, M.D., Renata; Hayes, M.D., Daniel F.; Hainaut, Ph.D., Pierre; Kim, Paula; Mansfield, Ph.D., Elizabeth A.; Potapova, Ph.D., Olga; Riegman, Ph.D., Peter; Rubinstein, Ph.D., Yaffa; Seijo, M.S., Edward; Somiari, Ph.D., Stella; Chir., B; Weier, Ph.D., Heinz-Ulrich; Zhu, Ph.D., Claire; Vaught, Ph.D., Jim; Watson,M.B., Peter

    2010-12-27

    Human biospecimens are subjected to collection, processing, and storage that can significantly alter their molecular composition and consistency. These biospecimen preanalytical factors, in turn, influence experimental outcomes and the ability to reproduce scientific results. Currently, the extent and type of information specific to the biospecimen preanalytical conditions reported in scientific publications and regulatory submissions varies widely. To improve the quality of research that uses human tissues, it is crucial that information on the handling of biospecimens be reported in a thorough, accurate, and standardized manner. The Biospecimen Reporting for Improved Study Quality (BRISQ) recommendations outlined herein are intended to apply to any study in which human biospecimens are used. The purpose of reporting these details is to supply others, from researchers to regulators, with more consistent and standardized information to better evaluate, interpret, compare, and reproduce the experimental results. The BRISQ guidelines are proposed as an important and timely resource tool to strengthen communication and publications on biospecimen-related research and to help reassure patient contributors and the advocacy community that their contributions are valued and respected.

  9. Biospecimen Reporting for Improved Study Quality (BRISQ)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moore, Ph.D., Helen M.; Kelly Ph.D., Andrea; Jewell Ph.D., Scott D.; McShane Ph.D., Lisa M.; Clark M.D., Douglas P.; Greenspan M.D., Renata; Hayes M.D., Daniel F.; Hainaut Ph.D.,, Pierre; Kim, Paula; Mansfield Ph.D., Elizabeth; Potapova Ph.D., Olga; Riegman Ph.D., Peter; Rubinstein Ph.D., Yaffa; Seijo M.S., Edward; Somiari Ph.D., Stella; Watson M.B., Peter; Weier Ph.D., Heinz-Ulrich; Zhu Ph.D., Claire; Vaught Ph.D., Jim

    2011-04-26

    Human biospecimens are subject to a number of different collection, processing, and storage factors that can significantly alter their molecular composition and consistency. These biospecimen preanalytical factors, in turn, influence experimental outcomes and the ability to reproduce scientific results. Currently, the extent and type of information specific to the biospecimen preanalytical conditions reported in scientific publications and regulatory submissions varies widely. To improve the quality of research utilizing human tissues it is critical that information regarding the handling of biospecimens be reported in a thorough, accurate, and standardized manner. The Biospecimen Reporting for Improved Study Quality (BRISQ) recommendations outlined herein are intended to apply to any study in which human biospecimens are used. The purpose of reporting these details is to supply others, from researchers to regulators, with more consistent and standardized information to better evaluate, interpret, compare, and reproduce the experimental results. The BRISQ guidelines are proposed as an important and timely resource tool to strengthen communication and publications around biospecimen-related research and help reassure patient contributors and the advocacy community that the contributions are valued and respected.

  10. Improving best-phase image quality in cardiac CT by motion correction with MAM optimization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rohkohl, Christopher; Bruder, Herbert; Stierstorfer, Karl [Siemens AG, Healthcare Sector, Siemensstrasse 1, 91301 Forchheim (Germany); Flohr, Thomas [Siemens AG, Healthcare Sector, Siemensstrasse 1, 91301 Forchheim (Germany); Institute of Diagnostic Radiology, Eberhard Karls University, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 3, 72076 Tuebingen (Germany)

    2013-03-15

    Purpose: Research in image reconstruction for cardiac CT aims at using motion correction algorithms to improve the image quality of the coronary arteries. The key to those algorithms is motion estimation, which is currently based on 3-D/3-D registration to align the structures of interest in images acquired in multiple heart phases. The need for an extended scan data range covering several heart phases is critical in terms of radiation dose to the patient and limits the clinical potential of the method. Furthermore, literature reports only slight quality improvements of the motion corrected images when compared to the most quiet phase (best-phase) that was actually used for motion estimation. In this paper a motion estimation algorithm is proposed which does not require an extended scan range but works with a short scan data interval, and which markedly improves the best-phase image quality. Methods: Motion estimation is based on the definition of motion artifact metrics (MAM) to quantify motion artifacts in a 3-D reconstructed image volume. The authors use two different MAMs, entropy, and positivity. By adjusting the motion field parameters, the MAM of the resulting motion-compensated reconstruction is optimized using a gradient descent procedure. In this way motion artifacts are minimized. For a fast and practical implementation, only analytical methods are used for motion estimation and compensation. Both the MAM-optimization and a 3-D/3-D registration-based motion estimation algorithm were investigated by means of a computer-simulated vessel with a cardiac motion profile. Image quality was evaluated using normalized cross-correlation (NCC) with the ground truth template and root-mean-square deviation (RMSD). Four coronary CT angiography patient cases were reconstructed to evaluate the clinical performance of the proposed method. Results: For the MAM-approach, the best-phase image quality could be improved for all investigated heart phases, with a maximum

  11. Improving best-phase image quality in cardiac CT by motion correction with MAM optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rohkohl, Christopher; Bruder, Herbert; Stierstorfer, Karl; Flohr, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Research in image reconstruction for cardiac CT aims at using motion correction algorithms to improve the image quality of the coronary arteries. The key to those algorithms is motion estimation, which is currently based on 3-D/3-D registration to align the structures of interest in images acquired in multiple heart phases. The need for an extended scan data range covering several heart phases is critical in terms of radiation dose to the patient and limits the clinical potential of the method. Furthermore, literature reports only slight quality improvements of the motion corrected images when compared to the most quiet phase (best-phase) that was actually used for motion estimation. In this paper a motion estimation algorithm is proposed which does not require an extended scan range but works with a short scan data interval, and which markedly improves the best-phase image quality. Methods: Motion estimation is based on the definition of motion artifact metrics (MAM) to quantify motion artifacts in a 3-D reconstructed image volume. The authors use two different MAMs, entropy, and positivity. By adjusting the motion field parameters, the MAM of the resulting motion-compensated reconstruction is optimized using a gradient descent procedure. In this way motion artifacts are minimized. For a fast and practical implementation, only analytical methods are used for motion estimation and compensation. Both the MAM-optimization and a 3-D/3-D registration-based motion estimation algorithm were investigated by means of a computer-simulated vessel with a cardiac motion profile. Image quality was evaluated using normalized cross-correlation (NCC) with the ground truth template and root-mean-square deviation (RMSD). Four coronary CT angiography patient cases were reconstructed to evaluate the clinical performance of the proposed method. Results: For the MAM-approach, the best-phase image quality could be improved for all investigated heart phases, with a maximum

  12. 45 CFR 1304.60 - Deficiencies and quality improvement plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

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

  13. Strategy to Support Improvement of Healthcare Quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ing. Andrea Zejdlova

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the latest market-based solutions to the rising costs and quality gaps in health care is pay for performance. Pay for performance is the use of financial incentives to promote the delivery of designated standards of care. It is an emerging movement in health insurance (initially in Britain and United States. Providers under this arrangement are rewarded for meeting pre-established targets for delivery of healthcare services. This is a fundamental change from fee for service payment.Also known as "P4P" or “value-based purchasing,” this payment model rewards physicians, hospitals, medical groups, and other healthcare providers for meeting certain performance measures for quality and efficiency. Disincentives, such as eliminating payments for negative consequences of care (medical errors or increased costs, have also been proposed. In the developed nations, the rapidly aging population and rising health care costs have recently brought P4P to the forefront of health policy discussions. Pilot studies underway in several large healthcare systems have shown modest improvements in specific outcomes and increased efficiency, but no cost savings due to added administrative requirements. Statements by professional medical societies generally support incentive programs to increase the quality of health care, but express concern with the validity of quality indicators, patient and physician autonomy and privacy, and increased administrative burdens. This article serves as an introduction to pay for performance. We discuss the goals and structure of pay for performance plans and their limitations and potential consequences in the health care area.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Optimization of hybrid iterative reconstruction level and evaluation of image quality and radiation dose for pediatric cardiac computed tomography angiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Lin; Liang, Changhong; Zhuang, Jian; Huang, Meiping; Liu, Hui

    2017-01-01

    Hybrid iterative reconstruction can reduce image noise and produce better image quality compared with filtered back-projection (FBP), but few reports describe optimization of the iteration level. We optimized the iteration level of iDose"4 and evaluated image quality for pediatric cardiac CT angiography. Children (n = 160) with congenital heart disease were enrolled and divided into full-dose (n = 84) and half-dose (n = 76) groups. Four series were reconstructed using FBP, and iDose"4 levels 2, 4 and 6; we evaluated subjective quality of the series using a 5-grade scale and compared the series using a Kruskal-Wallis H test. For FBP and iDose"4-optimal images, we compared contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) and size-specific dose estimates (SSDE) using a Student's t-test. We also compared diagnostic-accuracy of each group using a Kruskal-Wallis H test. Mean scores for iDose"4 level 4 were the best in both dose groups (all P < 0.05). CNR was improved in both groups with iDose"4 level 4 as compared with FBP. Mean decrease in SSDE was 53% in the half-dose group. Diagnostic accuracy for the four datasets were in the range 92.6-96.2% (no statistical difference). iDose"4 level 4 was optimal for both the full- and half-dose groups. Protocols with iDose"4 level 4 allowed 53% reduction in SSDE without significantly affecting image quality and diagnostic accuracy. (orig.)

  17. Optimization of hybrid iterative reconstruction level and evaluation of image quality and radiation dose for pediatric cardiac computed tomography angiography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Lin; Liang, Changhong [Southern Medical University, Guangzhou (China); Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Dept. of Radiology, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangzhou (China); Zhuang, Jian [Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Dept. of Cardiac Surgery, Guangdong Cardiovascular Inst., Guangdong Provincial Key Lab. of South China Structural Heart Disease, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangzhou (China); Huang, Meiping [Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Dept. of Radiology, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangzhou (China); Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Dept. of Catheterization Lab, Guangdong Cardiovascular Inst., Guangdong Provincial Key Lab. of South China Structural Heart Disease, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangzhou (China); Liu, Hui [Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Dept. of Radiology, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangzhou (China)

    2017-01-15

    Hybrid iterative reconstruction can reduce image noise and produce better image quality compared with filtered back-projection (FBP), but few reports describe optimization of the iteration level. We optimized the iteration level of iDose{sup 4} and evaluated image quality for pediatric cardiac CT angiography. Children (n = 160) with congenital heart disease were enrolled and divided into full-dose (n = 84) and half-dose (n = 76) groups. Four series were reconstructed using FBP, and iDose{sup 4} levels 2, 4 and 6; we evaluated subjective quality of the series using a 5-grade scale and compared the series using a Kruskal-Wallis H test. For FBP and iDose{sup 4}-optimal images, we compared contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) and size-specific dose estimates (SSDE) using a Student's t-test. We also compared diagnostic-accuracy of each group using a Kruskal-Wallis H test. Mean scores for iDose{sup 4} level 4 were the best in both dose groups (all P < 0.05). CNR was improved in both groups with iDose{sup 4} level 4 as compared with FBP. Mean decrease in SSDE was 53% in the half-dose group. Diagnostic accuracy for the four datasets were in the range 92.6-96.2% (no statistical difference). iDose{sup 4} level 4 was optimal for both the full- and half-dose groups. Protocols with iDose{sup 4} level 4 allowed 53% reduction in SSDE without significantly affecting image quality and diagnostic accuracy. (orig.)

  18. Impact of a New Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction (ASIR)-V Algorithm on Image Quality in Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontone, Gianluca; Muscogiuri, Giuseppe; Andreini, Daniele; Guaricci, Andrea I; Guglielmo, Marco; Baggiano, Andrea; Fazzari, Fabio; Mushtaq, Saima; Conte, Edoardo; Annoni, Andrea; Formenti, Alberto; Mancini, Elisabetta; Verdecchia, Massimo; Campari, Alessandro; Martini, Chiara; Gatti, Marco; Fusini, Laura; Bonfanti, Lorenzo; Consiglio, Elisa; Rabbat, Mark G; Bartorelli, Antonio L; Pepi, Mauro

    2018-03-27

    A new postprocessing algorithm named adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR)-V has been recently introduced. The aim of this article was to analyze the impact of ASIR-V algorithm on signal, noise, and image quality of coronary computed tomography angiography. Fifty consecutive patients underwent clinically indicated coronary computed tomography angiography (Revolution CT; GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, WI). Images were reconstructed using filtered back projection and ASIR-V 0%, and a combination of filtered back projection and ASIR-V 20%-80% and ASIR-V 100%. Image noise, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were calculated for left main coronary artery (LM), left anterior descending artery (LAD), left circumflex artery (LCX), and right coronary artery (RCA) and were compared between the different postprocessing algorithms used. Similarly a four-point Likert image quality score of coronary segments was graded for each dataset and compared. A cutoff value of P ASIR-V 0%, ASIR-V 100% demonstrated a significant reduction of image noise in all coronaries (P ASIR-V 0%, SNR was significantly higher with ASIR-V 60% in LM (P ASIR-V 0%, CNR for ASIR-V ≥60% was significantly improved in LM (P ASIR-V ≥80%. ASIR-V 60% had significantly better Likert image quality scores compared to ASIR-V 0% in segment-, vessel-, and patient-based analyses (P ASIR-V 60% provides the optimal balance between image noise, SNR, CNR, and image quality. Copyright © 2018 The Association of University Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Embryo Aggregation in Pig Improves Cloning Efficiency and Embryo Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buemo, Carla Paola; Gambini, Andrés; Moro, Lucia Natalia; Hiriart, María Inés; Fernández-Martín, Rafael; Collas, Philippe; Salamone, Daniel Felipe

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we analyzed the effects of the cloned embryo aggregation on in vitro embryo development and embryo quality by measuring blastocyst diameter and cell number, DNA fragmentation levels and the expression of genes associated with pluripotency, apoptosis, trophoblast and DNA methylation in the porcine. Zona-free reconstructed cloned embryos were cultured in the well of the well system, placing one (1x non aggregated group) or three (3x group) embryos per microwell. Our results showed that aggregation of three embryos increased blastocyst formation rate and blastocyst diameter of cloned pig embryos. DNA fragmentation levels in 3x aggregated cloned blastocysts were significantly decreased compared to 1x blastocysts. Levels of Oct4, Klf4, Igf2, Bax and Dnmt 1 transcripts were significantly higher in aggregated embryos, whereas Nanog levels were not affected. Transcripts of Cdx2 and Bcl-xl were essentially non-detectable. Our study suggests that embryo aggregation in the porcine may be beneficial for cloned embryo development and embryo quality, through a reduction in apoptotic levels and an improvement in cell reprogramming.

  20. How can we recognize continuous quality improvement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubenstein, Lisa; Khodyakov, Dmitry; Hempel, Susanne; Danz, Margie; Salem-Schatz, Susanne; Foy, Robbie; O'Neill, Sean; Dalal, Siddhartha; Shekelle, Paul

    2014-02-01

    Continuous quality improvement (CQI) methods are foundational approaches to improving healthcare delivery. Publications using the term CQI, however, are methodologically heterogeneous, and labels other than CQI are used to signify relevant approaches. Standards for identifying the use of CQI based on its key methodological features could enable more effective learning across quality improvement (QI) efforts. The objective was to identify essential methodological features for recognizing CQI. Previous work with a 12-member international expert panel identified reliably abstracted CQI methodological features. We tested which features met rigorous a priori standards as essential features of CQI using a three-phase online modified-Delphi process. Primarily United States and Canada. 119 QI experts randomly assigned into four on-line panels. Participants rated CQI features and discussed their answers using online, anonymous and asynchronous discussion boards. We analyzed ratings quantitatively and discussion threads qualitatively. Main outcome measure(s) Panel consensus on definitional CQI features. /st> Seventy-nine (66%) panelists completed the process. Thirty-three completers self-identified as QI researchers, 18 as QI practitioners and 28 as both equally. The features 'systematic data guided activities,' 'designing with local conditions in mind' and 'iterative development and testing' met a priori standards as essential CQI features. Qualitative analyses showed cross-cutting themes focused on differences between QI and CQI. We found consensus among a broad group of CQI researchers and practitioners on three features as essential for identifying QI work more specifically as 'CQI.' All three features are needed as a minimum standard for recognizing CQI methods.

  1. Improved 3D reconstruction in smart-room environments using ToF imaging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guðmundsson, Sigurjón Árni; Pardas, Montse; Casas, Josep R.

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents the use of Time-of-Flight (ToF) cameras in smart-rooms and how this leads to improved results in segmenting the people in the room from the background and consequently better 3D reconstruction of foreground objects. A calibrated rig consisting of one Swissranger SR3100 Time-of...... of eliminating regional artifacts and therefore creating a more robust input for higher level applications such as people tracking or human motion analysis....

  2. The superomedial thigh flap in scrotal reconstruction: Technical steps to improve cosmetic results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayat Allah Oufkir

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The superomedial thigh flap is a reliable and easy method for scrotal reconstruction described in 1980 and infrequently reported in the literature since its description. We used it for four patients presenting scrotal defects after Fournier′s gangrene with some technical modifications to improve the esthetic results and to facilitate the closure of the donor area. We describe the technical steps and the results.

  3. Characterization of a computed tomography iterative reconstruction algorithm by image quality evaluations with an anthropomorphic phantom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rampado, O.; Bossi, L.; Garabello, D.; Davini, O.; Ropolo, R.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: This study aims to investigate the consequences on dose and image quality of the choices of different combinations of NI and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) percentage, the image quality parameters of GE CT equipment. Methods: An anthropomorphic phantom was used to simulate the chest and upper abdomen of a standard weight patient. Images were acquired with tube current modulation and different values of noise index, in the range 10–22 for a slice thickness of 5 mm and a tube voltage of 120 kV. For each selected noise index, several image series were reconstructed using different percentages of ASIR (0, 40, 50, 60, 70, 100). Quantitative noise was assessed at different phantom locations. Computed tomography dose index (CTDI) and dose length products (DLP) were recorded. Three radiologists reviewed the images in a blinded and randomized manner and assessed the subjective image quality by comparing the image series with the one acquired with the reference protocol (noise index 14, ASIR 40%). The perceived noise, contrast, edge sharpness and overall quality were graded on a scale from −2 (much worse) to +2 (much better). Results: A repeatable trend of noise reduction versus the percentage of ASIR was observed for different noise levels and phantom locations. The different combinations of noise index and percentage of ASIR to obtain a desired dose reduction were assessed. The subjective image quality evaluation evidenced a possible dose reduction between 24 and 40% as a consequence of an increment of ASIR percentage to 50 or 70%, respectively. Conclusion: These results highlighted that the same patient dose reduction can be obtained with several combinations of noise index and percentages of ASIR, providing a model with which to choose these acquisition parameters in future optimization studies, with the aim of reducing patient dose by maintaining image quality in diagnostic levels.

  4. Characterization of a computed tomography iterative reconstruction algorithm by image quality evaluations with an anthropomorphic phantom

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rampado, O., E-mail: orampado@molinette.piemonte.it [S.C. Fisica Sanitaria, San Giovanni Battista Hospital of Turin, Corso Bramante 88, Torino 10126 (Italy); Bossi, L., E-mail: laura-bossi@hotmail.it [S.C. Fisica Sanitaria, San Giovanni Battista Hospital of Turin, Corso Bramante 88, Torino 10126 (Italy); Garabello, D., E-mail: dgarabello@molinette.piemonte.it [S.C. Radiodiagnostica DEA, San Giovanni Battista Hospital of Turin, Corso Bramante 88, Torino 10126 (Italy); Davini, O., E-mail: odavini@molinette.piemonte.it [S.C. Radiodiagnostica DEA, San Giovanni Battista Hospital of Turin, Corso Bramante 88, Torino 10126 (Italy); Ropolo, R., E-mail: rropolo@molinette.piemonte.it [S.C. Fisica Sanitaria, San Giovanni Battista Hospital of Turin, Corso Bramante 88, Torino 10126 (Italy)

    2012-11-15

    Objective: This study aims to investigate the consequences on dose and image quality of the choices of different combinations of NI and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) percentage, the image quality parameters of GE CT equipment. Methods: An anthropomorphic phantom was used to simulate the chest and upper abdomen of a standard weight patient. Images were acquired with tube current modulation and different values of noise index, in the range 10-22 for a slice thickness of 5 mm and a tube voltage of 120 kV. For each selected noise index, several image series were reconstructed using different percentages of ASIR (0, 40, 50, 60, 70, 100). Quantitative noise was assessed at different phantom locations. Computed tomography dose index (CTDI) and dose length products (DLP) were recorded. Three radiologists reviewed the images in a blinded and randomized manner and assessed the subjective image quality by comparing the image series with the one acquired with the reference protocol (noise index 14, ASIR 40%). The perceived noise, contrast, edge sharpness and overall quality were graded on a scale from -2 (much worse) to +2 (much better). Results: A repeatable trend of noise reduction versus the percentage of ASIR was observed for different noise levels and phantom locations. The different combinations of noise index and percentage of ASIR to obtain a desired dose reduction were assessed. The subjective image quality evaluation evidenced a possible dose reduction between 24 and 40% as a consequence of an increment of ASIR percentage to 50 or 70%, respectively. Conclusion: These results highlighted that the same patient dose reduction can be obtained with several combinations of noise index and percentages of ASIR, providing a model with which to choose these acquisition parameters in future optimization studies, with the aim of reducing patient dose by maintaining image quality in diagnostic levels.

  5. Comparison of the image qualities of filtered back-projection, adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction, and model-based iterative reconstruction for CT venography at 80 kVp

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Jin Hyeok; Choo, Ki Seok; Moon, Tae Yong; Lee, Jun Woo; Jeon, Ung Bae; Kim, Tae Un; Hwang, Jae Yeon; Yun, Myeong-Ja; Jeong, Dong Wook; Lim, Soo Jin

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the subjective and objective qualities of computed tomography (CT) venography images at 80 kVp using model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) and to compare these with those of filtered back projection (FBP) and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) using the same CT data sets. Forty-four patients (mean age: 56.1 ± 18.1) who underwent 80 kVp CT venography (CTV) for the evaluation of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) during 4 months were enrolled in this retrospective study. The same raw data were reconstructed using FBP, ASIR, and MBIR. Objective and subjective image analysis were performed at the inferior vena cava (IVC), femoral vein, and popliteal vein. The mean CNR of MBIR was significantly greater than those of FBP and ASIR and images reconstructed using MBIR had significantly lower objective image noise (p <.001). Subjective image quality and confidence of detecting DVT by MBIR group were significantly greater than those of FBP and ASIR (p <.005), and MBIR had the lowest score for subjective image noise (p <.001). CTV at 80 kVp with MBIR was superior to FBP and ASIR regarding subjective and objective image qualities. (orig.)

  6. IMPROVING CORRELATION FUNCTION FITTING WITH RIDGE REGRESSION: APPLICATION TO CROSS-CORRELATION RECONSTRUCTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matthews, Daniel J.; Newman, Jeffrey A.

    2012-01-01

    Cross-correlation techniques provide a promising avenue for calibrating photometric redshifts and determining redshift distributions using spectroscopy which is systematically incomplete (e.g., current deep spectroscopic surveys fail to obtain secure redshifts for 30%-50% or more of the galaxies targeted). In this paper, we improve on the redshift distribution reconstruction methods from our previous work by incorporating full covariance information into our correlation function fits. Correlation function measurements are strongly covariant between angular or spatial bins, and accounting for this in fitting can yield substantial reduction in errors. However, frequently the covariance matrices used in these calculations are determined from a relatively small set (dozens rather than hundreds) of subsamples or mock catalogs, resulting in noisy covariance matrices whose inversion is ill-conditioned and numerically unstable. We present here a method of conditioning the covariance matrix known as ridge regression which results in a more well behaved inversion than other techniques common in large-scale structure studies. We demonstrate that ridge regression significantly improves the determination of correlation function parameters. We then apply these improved techniques to the problem of reconstructing redshift distributions. By incorporating full covariance information, applying ridge regression, and changing the weighting of fields in obtaining average correlation functions, we obtain reductions in the mean redshift distribution reconstruction error of as much as ∼40% compared to previous methods. We provide a description of POWERFIT, an IDL code for performing power-law fits to correlation functions with ridge regression conditioning that we are making publicly available.

  7. Developing a theoretical framework to illustrate associations among patient satisfaction, body image and quality of life for women undergoing breast reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fingeret, Michelle Cororve; Nipomnick, Summer W; Crosby, Melissa A; Reece, Gregory P

    2013-10-01

    Within the field of breast reconstruction there is increasing focus on patient-reported outcomes related to satisfaction, body image, and quality of life. These outcomes are deemed highly relevant because the primary goal of breast reconstruction is to recreate the appearance of a breast (or breasts) that is satisfying to the patient. Prominent researchers have suggested the need to develop improved standards for outcome evaluation which can ultimately benefit patients as well as physicians. The purpose of this article is to summarize key findings in the area of patient-reported outcomes for breast reconstruction and introduce a theoretical framework for advancing research in this field. We conducted an extensive literature review of outcome studies for breast reconstruction focusing on patient-reported results. We developed a theoretical framework illustrating core patient-reported outcomes related to breast reconstruction and factors associated with these outcomes. Our theoretical model highlights domains and distinguishing features of patient satisfaction, body image, and quality of life outcomes for women undergoing breast reconstruction. This model further identifies a broad range of variables (e.g., historical/premorbid influences, disease and treatment-related factors) that have been found to influence patient-reported outcomes and need to be taken into consideration when designing future research in this area. Additional attention is given to examining the relationship between patient reported outcomes and outside evaluation of breast reconstruction. Our proposed theoretical framework suggests key opportunities to expand research in this area with the goal of optimizing body image adjustment, satisfaction, and psychosocial outcomes for the individual patient. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Quality improvement in neurology: dementia management quality measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odenheimer, Germaine; Borson, Soo; Sanders, Amy E; Swain-Eng, Rebecca J; Kyomen, Helen H; Tierney, Samantha; Gitlin, Laura; Forciea, Mary Ann; Absher, John; Shega, Joseph; Johnson, Jerry

    2014-03-01

    Professional and advocacy organizations have long urged that dementia should be recognized and properly diagnosed. With the passage of the National Alzheimer's Project Act in 2011, an Advisory Council for Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services was convened to advise the Department of Health and Human Services. In May 2012, the Council produced the first National Plan to address Alzheimer's disease, and prominent in its recommendations is a call for quality measures suitable for evaluating and tracking dementia care in clinical settings. Although other efforts have been made to set dementia care quality standards, such as those pioneered by RAND in its series Assessing Care of Vulnerable Elders (ACOVE), practitioners, healthcare systems, and insurers have not widely embraced implementation. This executive summary (full manuscript available at www.neurology.org) reports on a new measurement set for dementia management developed by an interdisciplinary Dementia Measures Work Group (DWG) representing the major national organizations and advocacy organizations concerned with the care of individuals with dementia. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the American Geriatrics Society, the American Medical Directors Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association-convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement led this effort. The ACOVE measures and the measurement set described here apply to individuals whose dementia has already been identified and properly diagnosed. Although similar in concept to ACOVE, the DWG measurement set differs in several important ways; it includes all stages of dementia in a single measure set, calls for the use of functional staging in planning care, prompts the use of validated instruments in patient and caregiver assessment and intervention, highlights the relevance of using palliative care concepts to guide care before the advanced stages of illness, and provides evidence-based support

  9. Making quality improvement programs more effective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw-Taylor, Yoku

    2014-01-01

    In the past 25 years, and as recent as 2011, all external evaluations of the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program have found its impact to be small or difficult to discern. The QIO program costs about $200 million on average to administer each year to improve quality of healthcare for people of 65 years or older. The program was created to address questionable quality of care. QIOs review how care is provided based on performance measures. The paper aims to discuss these issues. In 2012, the author supported the production of quarterly reports and reviewed internal monitoring and evaluation protocols of the program. The task also required reviewing all previous program evaluations. The task involved many conversations about the complexities of the program, why impact is difficult to discern and possible ways for eventual improvement. Process flow charts were created to simulate the data life cycle and discrete event models were created based on the sequence of data collection and reporting to identify gaps in data flow. The internal evaluation uncovered data gaps within the program. The need for a system of specification rules for data conceptualization, collection, distribution, discovery, analysis and repurposing is clear. There were data inconsistencies and difficulty of integrating data from one instance of measurement to the next. The lack of good and reliable data makes it difficult to discern true impact. The prescription is for a formal data policy or data governance structure to integrate and document all aspects of the data life cycle. The specification rules for governance are exemplified by the Data Documentation Initiative and the requirements published by the Data Governance Institute. The elements are all in place for a solid foundation of the data governance structure. These recommendations will increase the value of program data. The model specifies which agency units must be included in the governance authority and the data team. The

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Laurence; Moreo, Kathleen

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Involving vendors in continuous quality improvement efforts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDevitt, M C

    1995-03-01

    In the hospital environment, vendors supply a wide range of items, from surgical sutures to the latest in high-cost technological equipment. Also, many clinical and support services, such as respiratory therapy, transcription, and computer databanks are now outsourced to commercial vendors. Interaction with such vendors is often less than satisfactory, with prolonged timelines and disruption of an important process that is being computerized. Although hospitals deal with very few vendors in long-term relationships, such as those seen in manufacturing, this should not preclude the formation of a supplier-customer relationship that goes beyond management's interaction with the sales representative in response to a request for proposal. This is especially true when a process improvement team has studied an internal process and defined a key quality characteristic.

  12. A Report Card on Continuous Quality Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenthal, David; Kilo, Charles M.

    1998-01-01

    Efforts to incorporate the principles of continuous quality improvement (CQI) into health care have been underway for about ten years. In order to understand the lessons of this decade of experience, senior organizational leaders and experts in the field of health care were interviewed. This select group agreed that there have been concrete accomplishments: the tactic of assigning blame for mistakes to individuals is gradually giving way to an emphasis on detecting problems with process; there is a new focus on the health care customer; and many valuable projects have been inaugurated. Nevertheless, the interviews underlined the reality that the movement has not yet made a sizable impact on the U.S. health care system. Until there is a profound, organization-wide recognition of the need for change, universal commitment to CQI principles will not be achieved. PMID:9879305

  13. Quality improvement in neurological surgery graduate medical education.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  15. Improving smoked herring quality by gamma irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zahran, D.A.; Abd El-Wahab, S.A.; Hendy, B.A.

    2009-01-01

    Smoked herring which is a highly purchasable product in Egypt, was exposed to different gamma irradiation doses (1.5,3.0 and 5.0 kGy) and stored at environmental temperature (12± 2 deg C) until spoilage of the control. Microbiological, chemical and sensory analyses were performed throughout storage to monitor the quality attributes. It is worthy to mention that irradiation reduced the population of bacteria and the effect was more pronounced at the highest dose used (5.0 kGy). At the same time 1.5 kGy completely eliminated staphylococcus aureus (coagulase + ve) and coliforms. By chemical analysis, there was significant decrease in average moisture content by different gamma irradiation doses and storage. Although the average thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) increased slightly by γ-irradiation, this increase was highly significant by storage . At the same time there was a significant (p< 0.05)decrease in the average trimethylamine (TMA) value of all irradiated samples compared with unirradiated control, this value increased significantly by storage. interestingly, the average histamine value decreased significantly in all irradiated samples. The sensory analysis revealed a highly significant difference in the average acceptability scores between different irradiation doses used and also by storage. Therefore it could be concluded that the quality of smoked herring during storage at environmental temperature (12 ± 2 deg C) could be improved by using 5.0 kGy γ -irradiation

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-01

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

  17. Improving outcomes following reconstruction of pressure sores in spinal injury patients: A multidisciplinary approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tadiparthi, S; Hartley, A; Alzweri, L; Mecci, M; Siddiqui, H

    2016-07-01

    Pressure sore treatment in spinal injury patients is challenging. A multidisciplinary approach with joint management by the plastic surgery and spinal injury teams was initiated at our institution in 2005 to improve patient care and surgical outcomes following reconstruction. This study assessed the surgical outcomes following reconstruction using the team approach and to compare inpatient stay and readmissions for complications before and after the multidisciplinary protocol was introduced. A retrospective review of consecutive patients in the multidisciplinary pressure sore clinic was performed. Data were collected on patient demographics, reconstructive techniques, surgical outcomes and readmission for any complications. In total, 45 patients with 60 pressure sores (grade 3 or 4) were reviewed in the joint clinic between 2005 and 2011. The majority of patients were paraplegic (78%), while the remaining 22% were tetraplegic. Ischial sores were the most common (45%) followed by trochanteric (23%) and sacral (20%) sores. Multiple sores were noted in 44% of patients. Flap reconstruction was required in 32 patients (71%); after a mean follow-up time of 33 months (range 25-72 months), there were three (9%) major complications (two recurrences of pressure sores and one sinus) and seven (22%) minor complications. After introduction of patient care pathways through the multidisciplinary approach, the rate of readmission for complications decreased from 14% to 5.5% and inpatient stay upon readmission reduced from 65 to 45 days. Implementation of a multidisciplinary approach was key to optimising surgical outcomes, achieving a low recurrence rate (6%) and reducing readmissions. Copyright © 2016 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tout, Kathryn; Isner, Tabitha; Zaslow, Martha

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    American Psychologist, 2009

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Optimizing the reconstruction filter in cone-beam CT to improve periodontal ligament space visualization: An in vitro study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Houno, Yuuki; Kodera, Yoshie [Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya University, Nagoya (Japan); Hishikawa, Toshimitsu; Naitoh, Munetaka; Mitani, Akio; Noguchi, Toshihide; Ariji, Eiichiro [Aichi Gakuin University, Nisshin (Japan); Gotoh, Kenichi [Div. of Radiology, Dental Hospital, Aichi Gakuin University, Nisshin (Japan)

    2017-09-15

    Evaluation of alveolar bone is important in the diagnosis of dental diseases. The periodontal ligament space is difficult to clearly depict in cone-beam computed tomography images because the reconstruction filter conditions during image processing cause image blurring, resulting in decreased spatial resolution. We examined different reconstruction filters to assess their ability to improve spatial resolution and allow for a clearer visualization of the periodontal ligament space. Cone-beam computed tomography projections of 2 skull phantoms were reconstructed using 6 reconstruction conditions and then compared using the Thurstone paired comparison method. Physical evaluations, including the modulation transfer function and the Wiener spectrum, as well as an assessment of space visibility, were undertaken using experimental phantoms. Image reconstruction using a modified Shepp-Logan filter resulted in better sensory, physical, and quantitative evaluations. The reconstruction conditions substantially improved the spatial resolution and visualization of the periodontal ligament space. The difference in sensitivity was obtained by altering the reconstruction filter. Modifying the characteristics of a reconstruction filter can generate significant improvement in assessments of the periodontal ligament space. A high-frequency enhancement filter improves the visualization of thin structures and will be useful when accurate assessment of the periodontal ligament space is necessary.

  2. Optimizing the reconstruction filter in cone-beam CT to improve periodontal ligament space visualization: An in vitro study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houno, Yuuki; Kodera, Yoshie; Hishikawa, Toshimitsu; Naitoh, Munetaka; Mitani, Akio; Noguchi, Toshihide; Ariji, Eiichiro; Gotoh, Kenichi

    2017-01-01

    Evaluation of alveolar bone is important in the diagnosis of dental diseases. The periodontal ligament space is difficult to clearly depict in cone-beam computed tomography images because the reconstruction filter conditions during image processing cause image blurring, resulting in decreased spatial resolution. We examined different reconstruction filters to assess their ability to improve spatial resolution and allow for a clearer visualization of the periodontal ligament space. Cone-beam computed tomography projections of 2 skull phantoms were reconstructed using 6 reconstruction conditions and then compared using the Thurstone paired comparison method. Physical evaluations, including the modulation transfer function and the Wiener spectrum, as well as an assessment of space visibility, were undertaken using experimental phantoms. Image reconstruction using a modified Shepp-Logan filter resulted in better sensory, physical, and quantitative evaluations. The reconstruction conditions substantially improved the spatial resolution and visualization of the periodontal ligament space. The difference in sensitivity was obtained by altering the reconstruction filter. Modifying the characteristics of a reconstruction filter can generate significant improvement in assessments of the periodontal ligament space. A high-frequency enhancement filter improves the visualization of thin structures and will be useful when accurate assessment of the periodontal ligament space is necessary

  3. Improved Wallis Dodging Algorithm for Large-Scale Super-Resolution Reconstruction Remote Sensing Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chong Fan

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available A sub-block algorithm is usually applied in the super-resolution (SR reconstruction of images because of limitations in computer memory. However, the sub-block SR images can hardly achieve a seamless image mosaicking because of the uneven distribution of brightness and contrast among these sub-blocks. An effectively improved weighted Wallis dodging algorithm is proposed, aiming at the characteristic that SR reconstructed images are gray images with the same size and overlapping region. This algorithm can achieve consistency of image brightness and contrast. Meanwhile, a weighted adjustment sequence is presented to avoid the spatial propagation and accumulation of errors and the loss of image information caused by excessive computation. A seam line elimination method can share the partial dislocation in the seam line to the entire overlapping region with a smooth transition effect. Subsequently, the improved method is employed to remove the uneven illumination for 900 SR reconstructed images of ZY-3. Then, the overlapping image mosaic method is adopted to accomplish a seamless image mosaic based on the optimal seam line.

  4. Power quality improvements of wind farms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soebrink, Kent H. [Eltra (Denmark); Stoeber, Ralf; Schettler, Frank; Bergmann, Klaus [Siemens (Germany); Jenkins, Nicholas; Ekanayake, Janaka; Saad-Saoud, Zouhir; Liboa, Maria Luiza; Strbac, Goran [UMIST (United Kingdom); Kaas Pedersen, Joergen; Helgesen Pedersen, Knud Ole [Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)

    1998-06-01

    The main objective of the project was to investigate how the power quality of the electrical output of wind farms could be improved by the use of modern high power electronic technology. Although the research is of direct application to wind energy it will also be relevant to many other types of small-scale generation embedded in utility distribution networks. The operation of wind turbines with asynchronous generators requires reactive power which, if supplied form the network, leads to low voltages and increased losses. In order to improve the power factor of the generation, fixed capacitors are usually used to provide reactive power. However, if they are sized for the full requirement of the wind farm, they can cause self-excitation and potentially damaging and hazardous overvoltages if the wind turbines` connection with the network is interrupted and they become islanded. An advanced Static VAr Compensator (ASVC) uses a power electronic converter to generate or absorb reactive power. They can be used to provide reactive power with rapid control and with only modestly sized passive components (i.e. small capacitors and reactors). The objective of the project was to combine research and development of this novel form of electronic equipment with its application to increase the use of renewable energy, and wind power in particular, in the European Union. (EG) 19 refs.

  5. 40 CFR 63.175 - Quality improvement program for valves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  6. A glance at quality score: implication for de novo transcriptome reconstruction of Illumina reads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanley Kimbung Mbandi

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Downstream analyses of short-reads from next-generation sequencing platforms are often preceded by a pre-processing step that removes uncalled and wrongly called bases. Standard approaches rely on their associated base quality scores to retain the read or a portion of it when the score is above a predefined threshold. It is difficult to differentiate sequencing error from biological variation without a reference using quality scores. The effects of quality score based trimming have not been systematically studied in de novo transcriptome assembly. Using RNA-Seq data produced from Illumina, we teased out the effects of quality score base filtering or trimming on de novo transcriptome reconstruction. We showed that assemblies produced from reads subjected to different quality score thresholds contain truncated and missing transfrags when compared to those from untrimmed reads. Our data supports the fact that de novo assembling of untrimmed data is challenging for de Bruijn graph assemblers. However, our results indicates that comparing the assemblies from untrimmed and trimmed read subsets can suggest appropriate filtering parameters and enable selection of the optimum de novo transcriptome assembly in non-model organisms.

  7. [Assessment of the quality of life of oral cancer patients after reconstruction with free anterolateral thigh perforator flaps].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Na, Deng; Wei, He; Rui, Li; Wenlu, Li; Ning, Gao; Wen, Zhang

    2015-04-01

    This study aims to evaluate the quality of life (QOL) of patients who underwent resection of oral cancer and reconstruction by free anierolateral thigh perforator flaps (ALTF). A total of 32 patients with oral and maxillofacial malignancies who had undergone the resection of oral cancer and reconstruction by ALTF were retrospectively analyzed. At 12 months postoperatively, the QOL of these patients was assessed by using the 14-item oral health impact profile (OHIP-14) and the medical outcome study short form-36 (SF-36) questionnaires. A total of 32 questionnaires were collected. In SF-36, the highest scoring domains were bodily pain (78.58 ± 14.82), physical functioning (72.08 ± 27.86), and the role of physical (60.00 ± 42.63), whereas the lowest scoring domains were role-emotional (41.67 ± 39.62), followed by mental health (50.75 ± 13.07) and health transition (54.17 ± 21.75). In OHIP-14, the lowest scoring domains were social disability (34.50 ± 11.32) and handicap (36.04 ± 12.05), indicating the functional recovery was better; and the highest scoring domains were physical pain (73.50 ± 18.96) and psychological discomfort (60.17 ± 20.66), indicating the functional recovery was worse. The ALTF is an ideal selection for the reconstruction of oral defects after cancer resection. In using this flap, the basic social need of patients after surgery can be satisfied. Moreover, the appearance and the functions of chewing, deglutition, and speech can be restored in varying degrees. Thus, ALTF can improve the patients' QOL.

  8. Computational and human observer image quality evaluation of low dose, knowledge-based CT iterative reconstruction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eck, Brendan L.; Fahmi, Rachid; Miao, Jun [Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106 (United States); Brown, Kevin M.; Zabic, Stanislav; Raihani, Nilgoun [Philips Healthcare, Cleveland, Ohio 44143 (United States); Wilson, David L., E-mail: dlw@case.edu [Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106 and Department of Radiology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106 (United States)

    2015-10-15

    Purpose: Aims in this study are to (1) develop a computational model observer which reliably tracks the detectability of human observers in low dose computed tomography (CT) images reconstructed with knowledge-based iterative reconstruction (IMR™, Philips Healthcare) and filtered back projection (FBP) across a range of independent variables, (2) use the model to evaluate detectability trends across reconstructions and make predictions of human observer detectability, and (3) perform human observer studies based on model predictions to demonstrate applications of the model in CT imaging. Methods: Detectability (d′) was evaluated in phantom studies across a range of conditions. Images were generated using a numerical CT simulator. Trained observers performed 4-alternative forced choice (4-AFC) experiments across dose (1.3, 2.7, 4.0 mGy), pin size (4, 6, 8 mm), contrast (0.3%, 0.5%, 1.0%), and reconstruction (FBP, IMR), at fixed display window. A five-channel Laguerre–Gauss channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) was developed with internal noise added to the decision variable and/or to channel outputs, creating six different internal noise models. Semianalytic internal noise computation was tested against Monte Carlo and used to accelerate internal noise parameter optimization. Model parameters were estimated from all experiments at once using maximum likelihood on the probability correct, P{sub C}. Akaike information criterion (AIC) was used to compare models of different orders. The best model was selected according to AIC and used to predict detectability in blended FBP-IMR images, analyze trends in IMR detectability improvements, and predict dose savings with IMR. Predicted dose savings were compared against 4-AFC study results using physical CT phantom images. Results: Detection in IMR was greater than FBP in all tested conditions. The CHO with internal noise proportional to channel output standard deviations, Model-k4, showed the best trade-off between fit

  9. EXFOR: Improving the quality of international databases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dupont, Emmeric

    2014-01-01

    The NEA Data Bank is an international centre of reference for basic nuclear tools used for the analysis and prediction of phenomena in nuclear energy applications. The Data Bank collects, compiles, disseminates and contributes to improving computer codes and associated data. In the area of nuclear data, the Data Bank works in close co-operation with other data centres that contribute to the worldwide compilation of experimental nuclear reaction data in the EXFOR database. EXFOR contains basic nuclear data on low- to medium-energy experiments for incident neutron, photon and various charged particle induced reactions on a wide range of nuclei and compounds. Today, with more than 150 000 data sets from more than 20 000 experiments performed since 1935, EXFOR is by far the most important and complete experimental nuclear reaction database. It is widely used to further improve nuclear reaction models and evaluated nuclear data libraries. The Data Bank supervises the development of the Joint Evaluated Fission and Fusion (JEFF) file, which is one of the major evaluated nuclear data libraries used in the field of nuclear science and technology. As part of its mission, the Data Bank works to maintain the highest level of quality in its databases. One method that was proposed to check the mutual consistency of experimental data in EXFOR is to test for outlier measurements more than a few standard deviations from the mean value as, in principle, several measurements of the same reaction quantity should form a continuous distribution. More recently, another method was developed to cross-check evaluated and experimental data in databases in order to detect aberrant values. It was noted that there is no evidence, on the basis of numerical comparisons only, that outliers represent 'bad' data. The fact that such data deviate significantly from other data of the same reaction may, however, be helpful to nuclear data evaluators who focus on one or a few isotopes and may wish to

  10. Relationships of clinical protocols and reconstruction kernels with image quality and radiation dose in a 128-slice CT scanner: Study with an anthropomorphic and water phantom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paul, Jijo; Krauss, B.; Banckwitz, R.; Maentele, W.; Bauer, R.W.; Vogl, T.J.

    2012-01-01

    Research highlights: ► Clinical protocol, reconstruction kernel, reconstructed slice thickness, phantom diameter or the density of material it contains directly affects the image quality of DSCT. ► Dual energy protocol shows the lowest DLP compared to all other protocols examined. ► Dual-energy fused images show excellent image quality and the noise is same as that of single- or high-pitch mode protocol images. ► Advanced CT technology improves image quality and considerably reduce radiation dose. ► An important finding is the comparatively higher DLP of the dual-source high-pitch protocol compared to other single- or dual-energy protocols. - Abstract: Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore the relationship of scanning parameters (clinical protocols), reconstruction kernels and slice thickness with image quality and radiation dose in a DSCT. Materials and methods: The chest of an anthropomorphic phantom was scanned on a DSCT scanner (Siemens Somatom Definition flash) using different clinical protocols, including single- and dual-energy modes. Four scan protocols were investigated: 1) single-source 120 kV, 110 mA s, 2) single-source 100 kV, 180 mA s, 3) high-pitch 120 kV, 130 mA s and 4) dual-energy with 100/Sn140 kV, eff.mA s 89, 76. The automatic exposure control was switched off for all the scans and the CTDIvol selected was in between 7.12 and 7.37 mGy. The raw data were reconstructed using the reconstruction kernels B31f, B80f and B70f, and slice thicknesses were 1.0 mm and 5.0 mm. Finally, the same parameters and procedures were used for the scanning of water phantom. Friedman test and Wilcoxon-Matched-Pair test were used for statistical analysis. Results: The DLP based on the given CTDIvol values showed significantly lower exposure for protocol 4, when compared to protocol 1 (percent difference 5.18%), protocol 2 (percent diff. 4.51%), and protocol 3 (percent diff. 8.81%). The highest change in Hounsfield Units was observed with dual

  11. Online dose reconstruction for tracked volumetric arc therapy: Real-time implementation and offline quality assurance for prostate SBRT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamerling, Cornelis Ph; Fast, Martin F; Ziegenhein, Peter; Menten, Martin J; Nill, Simeon; Oelfke, Uwe

    2017-11-01

    Firstly, this study provides a real-time implementation of online dose reconstruction for tracked volumetric arc therapy (VMAT). Secondly, this study describes a novel offline quality assurance tool, based on commercial dose calculation algorithms. Online dose reconstruction for VMAT is a computationally challenging task in terms of computer memory usage and calculation speed. To potentially reduce the amount of memory used, we analyzed the impact of beam angle sampling for dose calculation on the accuracy of the dose distribution. To establish the performance of the method, we planned two single-arc VMAT prostate stereotactic body radiation therapy cases for delivery with dynamic MLC tracking. For quality assurance of our online dose reconstruction method we have also developed a stand-alone offline dose reconstruction tool, which utilizes the RayStation treatment planning system to calculate dose. For the online reconstructed dose distributions of the tracked deliveries, we could establish strong resemblance for 72 and 36 beam co-planar equidistant beam samples with less than 1.2% deviation for the assessed dose-volume indicators (clinical target volume D98 and D2, and rectum D2). We could achieve average runtimes of 28-31 ms per reported MLC aperture for both dose computation and accumulation, meeting our real-time requirement. To cross-validate the offline tool, we have compared the planned dose to the offline reconstructed dose for static deliveries and found excellent agreement (3%/3 mm global gamma passing rates of 99.8%-100%). Being able to reconstruct dose during delivery enables online quality assurance and online replanning strategies for VMAT. The offline quality assurance tool provides the means to validate novel online dose reconstruction applications using a commercial dose calculation engine. © 2017 The Authors. Medical Physics published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

  12. Quality procedure management for improved nuclear safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Forzano, P.; Castagna, P.

    1995-01-01

    Emergency Operating Procedures and Accident Management Procedures are the next step in the computerization of NPP control rooms. Different improvements are presently conceivable for this operator aid tool, and research activities are in development. Undergoing activities regard especially formal aspects of knowledge representation, Human-Machine interface and procedure life cycle management. These aspects have been investigated deeply by Ansaldo, and partially incorporated in the DIAM prototype. Nuclear Power Plant Procedures can be seen from essentially two viewpoints: the process and the information management. From the first point of view, it is important to supply the knowledge apt to solve problems connected with the control of the process, from the second one the focus of attention is on the knowledge representation, its structure, elicitation and maintenance, and formal quality assurance. These two aspects of procedure representation can be considered and solved separately. In particular, methodological, formal and management issues require long and tedious activities, that in most cases constitute a great barrier for procedures development and upgrade. To solve these problems, Ansaldo is developing DIAM, a wide integrated tool for procedure management to support in procedure writing, updating, usage, and documentation. One of the most challenging features of DIAM is AUTO-LAY, a CASE sub-tool that, in a complete automatical way, structures parts or complete flow diagram. This is the feature that is partial present in some other CASE products, that, anyway, do not allow complex graph handling and isomorphism between video and paper representation. AUTO-LAY has the unique prerogative to draw graphs of any complexity to section them in pages, and to automatically compose a document. This has been recognized in the literature as the most important a second-generation CASE improvement. (Author) 9 Figs., 5 Refs

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.P. Mahesh

    2010-09-01

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

  14. Improved iterative image reconstruction algorithm for the exterior problem of computed tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo, Yumeng; Zeng, Li

    2017-01-01

    In industrial applications that are limited by the angle of a fan-beam and the length of a detector, the exterior problem of computed tomography (CT) uses only the projection data that correspond to the external annulus of the objects to reconstruct an image. Because the reconstructions are not affected by the projection data that correspond to the interior of the objects, the exterior problem is widely applied to detect cracks in the outer wall of large-sized objects, such as in-service pipelines. However, image reconstruction in the exterior problem is still a challenging problem due to truncated projection data and beam-hardening, both of which can lead to distortions and artifacts. Thus, developing an effective algorithm and adopting a scanning trajectory suited for the exterior problem may be valuable. In this study, an improved iterative algorithm that combines total variation minimization (TVM) with a region scalable fitting (RSF) model was developed for a unilateral off-centered scanning trajectory and can be utilized to inspect large-sized objects for defects. Experiments involving simulated phantoms and real projection data were conducted to validate the practicality of our algorithm. Furthermore, comparative experiments show that our algorithm outperforms others in suppressing the artifacts caused by truncated projection data and beam-hardening.

  15. Improved iterative image reconstruction algorithm for the exterior problem of computed tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, Yumeng [Chongqing University, College of Mathematics and Statistics, Chongqing 401331 (China); Chongqing University, ICT Research Center, Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Technology and System of the Education Ministry of China, Chongqing 400044 (China); Zeng, Li, E-mail: drlizeng@cqu.edu.cn [Chongqing University, College of Mathematics and Statistics, Chongqing 401331 (China); Chongqing University, ICT Research Center, Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Technology and System of the Education Ministry of China, Chongqing 400044 (China)

    2017-01-11

    In industrial applications that are limited by the angle of a fan-beam and the length of a detector, the exterior problem of computed tomography (CT) uses only the projection data that correspond to the external annulus of the objects to reconstruct an image. Because the reconstructions are not affected by the projection data that correspond to the interior of the objects, the exterior problem is widely applied to detect cracks in the outer wall of large-sized objects, such as in-service pipelines. However, image reconstruction in the exterior problem is still a challenging problem due to truncated projection data and beam-hardening, both of which can lead to distortions and artifacts. Thus, developing an effective algorithm and adopting a scanning trajectory suited for the exterior problem may be valuable. In this study, an improved iterative algorithm that combines total variation minimization (TVM) with a region scalable fitting (RSF) model was developed for a unilateral off-centered scanning trajectory and can be utilized to inspect large-sized objects for defects. Experiments involving simulated phantoms and real projection data were conducted to validate the practicality of our algorithm. Furthermore, comparative experiments show that our algorithm outperforms others in suppressing the artifacts caused by truncated projection data and beam-hardening.

  16. A quality improvement management model for renal care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlchek, D L; Day, L M

    1991-04-01

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

  17. Objective assessment of image quality and dose reduction in CT iterative reconstruction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vaishnav, J. Y., E-mail: jay.vaishnav@fda.hhs.gov; Jung, W. C. [Diagnostic X-Ray Systems Branch, Office of In Vitro Diagnostic Devices and Radiological Health, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, United States Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20993 (United States); Popescu, L. M.; Zeng, R.; Myers, K. J. [Division of Imaging and Applied Mathematics, Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, United States Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20993 (United States)

    2014-07-15

    Purpose: Iterative reconstruction (IR) algorithms have the potential to reduce radiation dose in CT diagnostic imaging. As these algorithms become available on the market, a standardizable method of quantifying the dose reduction that a particular IR method can achieve would be valuable. Such a method would assist manufacturers in making promotional claims about dose reduction, buyers in comparing different devices, physicists in independently validating the claims, and the United States Food and Drug Administration in regulating the labeling of CT devices. However, the nonlinear nature of commercially available IR algorithms poses challenges to objectively assessing image quality, a necessary step in establishing the amount of dose reduction that a given IR algorithm can achieve without compromising that image quality. This review paper seeks to consolidate information relevant to objectively assessing the quality of CT IR images, and thereby measuring the level of dose reduction that a given IR algorithm can achieve. Methods: The authors discuss task-based methods for assessing the quality of CT IR images and evaluating dose reduction. Results: The authors explain and review recent literature on signal detection and localization tasks in CT IR image quality assessment, the design of an appropriate phantom for these tasks, possible choices of observers (including human and model observers), and methods of evaluating observer performance. Conclusions: Standardizing the measurement of dose reduction is a problem of broad interest to the CT community and to public health. A necessary step in the process is the objective assessment of CT image quality, for which various task-based methods may be suitable. This paper attempts to consolidate recent literature that is relevant to the development and implementation of task-based methods for the assessment of CT IR image quality.

  18. Objective assessment of image quality and dose reduction in CT iterative reconstruction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaishnav, J. Y.; Jung, W. C.; Popescu, L. M.; Zeng, R.; Myers, K. J.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Iterative reconstruction (IR) algorithms have the potential to reduce radiation dose in CT diagnostic imaging. As these algorithms become available on the market, a standardizable method of quantifying the dose reduction that a particular IR method can achieve would be valuable. Such a method would assist manufacturers in making promotional claims about dose reduction, buyers in comparing different devices, physicists in independently validating the claims, and the United States Food and Drug Administration in regulating the labeling of CT devices. However, the nonlinear nature of commercially available IR algorithms poses challenges to objectively assessing image quality, a necessary step in establishing the amount of dose reduction that a given IR algorithm can achieve without compromising that image quality. This review paper seeks to consolidate information relevant to objectively assessing the quality of CT IR images, and thereby measuring the level of dose reduction that a given IR algorithm can achieve. Methods: The authors discuss task-based methods for assessing the quality of CT IR images and evaluating dose reduction. Results: The authors explain and review recent literature on signal detection and localization tasks in CT IR image quality assessment, the design of an appropriate phantom for these tasks, possible choices of observers (including human and model observers), and methods of evaluating observer performance. Conclusions: Standardizing the measurement of dose reduction is a problem of broad interest to the CT community and to public health. A necessary step in the process is the objective assessment of CT image quality, for which various task-based methods may be suitable. This paper attempts to consolidate recent literature that is relevant to the development and implementation of task-based methods for the assessment of CT IR image quality

  19. Assessment of quality of life of patients who underwent anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and a rehabilitation program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moises Cohen

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Quality of life can be defined as the expression of aconceptual model that tries to represent patient’s perspectivesand his/her level of satisfaction expressed by numbers. Theobjective of this study is to evaluate the parameters of quality oflife of 23 patients who underwent surgery for anterior cruciateligament reconstruction. Methods: We adopted SF-36, a generichealth-related evaluation questionnaire, to obtain informationregarding several aspects of patients’ health conditions, and theLysholm questionnaire, specific to evaluate the symptoms andfunction of the knee. The questionnaires were applied at two stagesof the treatment: pre- and postoperatively (after the rehabilitationprogram. Results: Before surgery, the Lysholm questionnairepresented the following results: excellent in 4% of the cases, goodin 22%, fair in 22%, and poor in 52%. After surgery (Lysholm e SF-36 the correlation level was approximately 44% (p = 0.041.Discussion: The correlation between the Lysholm and the SF-36questionnaires showed the following: the lower the level of pain,the higher the Lysholm score. The high scores presented by theLysholm questionnaire are directly proportional to physical andemotional aspects, and to functional capacity. Conclusion:Analysis of both questionnaires, as well as of their correlation,showed some improvement in patients´ quality of life. We werealso able to demonstrate the importance and usefulness of applyingthe two questionnaires at three different moments: before, duringand after physiotherapeutic intervention.

  20. Applying Triz for Production Quality Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swee Nikalus Shu Luing

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to provide a thorough analysis on the application of TRIZ in improving the quality of canned food production. TRIZ tools such as engineering systems analysis, function analysis, cause and effect chain analysis, By-separation model and 40 Inventive Principles are applied in order to discover some feasible and elegant solutions to alleviate the problem. Findings revealed that the rejected canned products on the conveyor belt will be isolated or picked up with other good condition canned products which are lined up very closely to the rejected cans; though the visioning system is able detect the fault printing on the canned product. The main root cause is that the rejected canned product is picked up with other canned products in good condition because all cans are lined up on the belt and are very close to each other or having no gaps between the cans. Conversely, all cans on the conveyor belts are required to be very close to each other to avoid collisions that may damage the cans. The root cause is solved by applying function analysis, By-separation tool and Inventive Principles. Therefore, it can be concluded that TRIZ is a powerful tool in inventive problem solving.

  1. Improving Water Quality With Conservation Buffers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowrance, R.; Dabney, S.; Schultz, R.

    2003-12-01

    Conservation buffer technologies are new approaches that need wider application. In-field buffer practices work best when used in combination with other buffer types and other conservation practices. Vegetative barriers may be used in combination with edge-of-field buffers to protect and improve their function and longevity by dispersing runoff and encouraging sediment deposition upslope of the buffer. It's important to understand how buffers can be managed to help reduce nutrient transport potential for high loading of nutrients from manure land application sites, A restored riparian wetland buffer retained or removed at least 59 percent of the nitrogen and 66 percent of the phosphorus that entered from an adjacent manure land application site. The Bear Creek National Restoration Demonstration Watershed project in Iowa has been the site of riparian forest buffers and filter strips creation; constructed wetlands to capture tile flow; stream-bank bioengineering; in-stream structures; and controlling livestock grazing. We need field studies that test various widths of buffers of different plant community compositions for their efficacy in trapping surface runoff, reducing nonpoint source pollutants in subsurface waters, and enhancing the aquatic ecosystem. Research is needed to evaluate the impact of different riparian grazing strategies on channel morphology, water quality, and the fate of livestock-associated pathogens and antibiotics. Integrating riparian buffers and other conservation buffers into these models is a key objective in future model development.

  2. Colour-coded three-dimensional reconstruction from spiral CT data sets: Improvement from the physical point of view

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wunderlich, A.P.; Lenz, M.; Kirsten, R.; Gerhardt, P.

    1993-01-01

    This paper demonstrates the possibility of improving the spatial depth impression of colour-coded three-dimensional reconstructions by modulation of colour saturation. Patients were observed with spiral computed tomography (slice thickness 10 mm, table feed 10 mm/s, reconstruction of overlapping axial images at 2 mm increment). Interesting anatomical and pathological objects (vessels, organs, tumours, metastases) were segmented, colour-coded, and reconstructed three-dimensionally. Spatial depth impression of the coloured objects could be improved by modulating not only the brightness, but also the colour saturation. (orig.) [de

  3. Continuous sea-level reconstructions beyond the Pleistocene: improving the Mediterranean sea-level method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, K.; Rohling, E. J.; Amies, J.

    2017-12-01

    Sea-level (SL) reconstructions over glacial-interglacial timeframes are critical for understanding the equilibrium response of ice sheets to sustained warming. In particular, continuous and high-resolution SL records are essential for accurately quantifying `natural' rates of SL rise. Global SL changes are well-constrained since the last glacial maximum ( 20,000 years ago, ky) by radiometrically-dated corals and paleoshoreline data, and fairly well-constrained over the last glacial cycle ( 150 ky). Prior to that, however, studies of ice-volume:SL relationships tend to rely on benthic δ18O, as geomorphological evidence is far more sparse and less reliably dated. An alternative SL reconstruction method (the `marginal basin' approach) was developed for the Red Sea over 500 ky, and recently attempted for the Mediterranean over 5 My (Rohling et al., 2014, Nature). This method exploits the strong sensitivity of seawater δ18O in these basins to SL changes in the relatively narrow and shallow straits which connect the basins with the open ocean. However, the initial Mediterranean SL method did not resolve sea-level highstands during Northern Hemisphere insolation maxima, when African monsoon run-off - strongly depleted in δ18O - reached the Mediterranean. Here, we present improvements to the `marginal basin' sea-level reconstruction method. These include a new `Med-Red SL stack', which combines new probabilistic Mediterranean and Red Sea sea-level stacks spanning the last 500 ky. We also show how a box model-data comparison of water-column δ18O changes over a monsoon interval allows us to quantify the monsoon versus SL δ18O imprint on Mediterranean foraminiferal carbonate δ18O records. This paves the way for a more accurate and fully continuous SL reconstruction extending back through the Pliocene.

  4. Model-based iterative reconstruction in pediatric chest CT: assessment of image quality in a prospective study of children with cystic fibrosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mieville, Frederic A.; Bochud, Francois O.; Verdun, Francis R. [Lausanne University Hospital, Institute of Radiation Physics, Lausanne (Switzerland); Berteloot, Laureline; Brunelle, Francis [Necker Children' s Hospital of Paris and University of Paris Descartes, Department of Pediatric Radiology, Paris (France); Grandjean, Albane; Ayestaran, Paul [General Electric Medical Systems Europe, Paris (France); Gudinchet, Francois; Schmidt, Sabine [Lausanne University Hospital, Department of Radiology, Lausanne (Switzerland)

    2013-03-15

    The potential effects of ionizing radiation are of particular concern in children. The model-based iterative reconstruction VEO trademark is a technique commercialized to improve image quality and reduce noise compared with the filtered back-projection (FBP) method. To evaluate the potential of VEO trademark on diagnostic image quality and dose reduction in pediatric chest CT examinations. Twenty children (mean 11.4 years) with cystic fibrosis underwent either a standard CT or a moderately reduced-dose CT plus a minimum-dose CT performed at 100 kVp. Reduced-dose CT examinations consisted of two consecutive acquisitions: one moderately reduced-dose CT with increased noise index (NI = 70) and one minimum-dose CT at CTDI{sub vol} 0.14 mGy. Standard CTs were reconstructed using the FBP method while low-dose CTs were reconstructed using FBP and VEO. Two senior radiologists evaluated diagnostic image quality independently by scoring anatomical structures using a four-point scale (1 = excellent, 2 = clear, 3 = diminished, 4 = non-diagnostic). Standard deviation (SD) and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) were also computed. At moderately reduced doses, VEO images had significantly lower SD (P < 0.001) and higher SNR (P < 0.05) in comparison to filtered back-projection images. Further improvements were obtained at minimum-dose CT. The best diagnostic image quality was obtained with VEO at minimum-dose CT for the small structures (subpleural vessels and lung fissures) (P < 0.001). The potential for dose reduction was dependent on the diagnostic task because of the modification of the image texture produced by this reconstruction. At minimum-dose CT, VEO enables important dose reduction depending on the clinical indication and makes visible certain small structures that were not perceptible with filtered back-projection. (orig.)

  5. Improved quantitative 90 Y bremsstrahlung SPECT/CT reconstruction with Monte Carlo scatter modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewaraja, Yuni K; Chun, Se Young; Srinivasa, Ravi N; Kaza, Ravi K; Cuneo, Kyle C; Majdalany, Bill S; Novelli, Paula M; Ljungberg, Michael; Fessler, Jeffrey A

    2017-12-01

    In 90 Y microsphere radioembolization (RE), accurate post-therapy imaging-based dosimetry is important for establishing absorbed dose versus outcome relationships for developing future treatment planning strategies. Additionally, accurately assessing microsphere distributions is important because of concerns for unexpected activity deposition outside the liver. Quantitative 90 Y imaging by either SPECT or PET is challenging. In 90 Y SPECT model based methods are necessary for scatter correction because energy window-based methods are not feasible with the continuous bremsstrahlung energy spectrum. The objective of this work was to implement and evaluate a scatter estimation method for accurate 90 Y bremsstrahlung SPECT/CT imaging. Since a fully Monte Carlo (MC) approach to 90 Y SPECT reconstruction is computationally very demanding, in the present study the scatter estimate generated by a MC simulator was combined with an analytical projector in the 3D OS-EM reconstruction model. A single window (105 to 195-keV) was used for both the acquisition and the projector modeling. A liver/lung torso phantom with intrahepatic lesions and low-uptake extrahepatic objects was imaged to evaluate SPECT/CT reconstruction without and with scatter correction. Clinical application was demonstrated by applying the reconstruction approach to five patients treated with RE to determine lesion and normal liver activity concentrations using a (liver) relative calibration. There was convergence of the scatter estimate after just two updates, greatly reducing computational requirements. In the phantom study, compared with reconstruction without scatter correction, with MC scatter modeling there was substantial improvement in activity recovery in intrahepatic lesions (from > 55% to > 86%), normal liver (from 113% to 104%), and lungs (from 227% to 104%) with only a small degradation in noise (13% vs. 17%). Similarly, with scatter modeling contrast improved substantially both visually and in

  6. Mid- and long-term runoff predictions by an improved phase-space reconstruction model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hong, Mei; Wang, Dong; Wang, Yuankun; Zeng, Xiankui; Ge, Shanshan; Yan, Hengqian; Singh, Vijay P.

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, the phase-space reconstruction method has usually been used for mid- and long-term runoff predictions. However, the traditional phase-space reconstruction method is still needs to be improved. Using the genetic algorithm to improve the phase-space reconstruction method, a new nonlinear model of monthly runoff is constructed. The new model does not rely heavily on embedding dimensions. Recognizing that the rainfall–runoff process is complex, affected by a number of factors, more variables (e.g. temperature and rainfall) are incorporated in the model. In order to detect the possible presence of chaos in the runoff dynamics, chaotic characteristics of the model are also analyzed, which shows the model can represent the nonlinear and chaotic characteristics of the runoff. The model is tested for its forecasting performance in four types of experiments using data from six hydrological stations on the Yellow River and the Yangtze River. Results show that the medium-and long-term runoff is satisfactorily forecasted at the hydrological stations. Not only is the forecasting trend accurate, but also the mean absolute percentage error is no more than 15%. Moreover, the forecast results of wet years and dry years are both good, which means that the improved model can overcome the traditional ‘‘wet years and dry years predictability barrier,’’ to some extent. The model forecasts for different regions are all good, showing the universality of the approach. Compared with selected conceptual and empirical methods, the model exhibits greater reliability and stability in the long-term runoff prediction. Our study provides a new thinking for research on the association between the monthly runoff and other hydrological factors, and also provides a new method for the prediction of the monthly runoff. - Highlights: • The improved phase-space reconstruction model of monthly runoff is established. • Two variables (temperature and rainfall) are incorporated

  7. Mid- and long-term runoff predictions by an improved phase-space reconstruction model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong, Mei [Research Center of Ocean Environment Numerical Simulation, Institute of Meteorology and oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing (China); Wang, Dong, E-mail: wangdong@nju.edu.cn [Key Laboratory of Surficial Geochemistry, Ministry of Education, Department of Hydrosciences, School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China); Wang, Yuankun; Zeng, Xiankui [Key Laboratory of Surficial Geochemistry, Ministry of Education, Department of Hydrosciences, School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China); Ge, Shanshan; Yan, Hengqian [Research Center of Ocean Environment Numerical Simulation, Institute of Meteorology and oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing (China); Singh, Vijay P. [Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843 (United States)

    2016-07-15

    In recent years, the phase-space reconstruction method has usually been used for mid- and long-term runoff predictions. However, the traditional phase-space reconstruction method is still needs to be improved. Using the genetic algorithm to improve the phase-space reconstruction method, a new nonlinear model of monthly runoff is constructed. The new model does not rely heavily on embedding dimensions. Recognizing that the rainfall–runoff process is complex, affected by a number of factors, more variables (e.g. temperature and rainfall) are incorporated in the model. In order to detect the possible presence of chaos in the runoff dynamics, chaotic characteristics of the model are also analyzed, which shows the model can represent the nonlinear and chaotic characteristics of the runoff. The model is tested for its forecasting performance in four types of experiments using data from six hydrological stations on the Yellow River and the Yangtze River. Results show that the medium-and long-term runoff is satisfactorily forecasted at the hydrological stations. Not only is the forecasting trend accurate, but also the mean absolute percentage error is no more than 15%. Moreover, the forecast results of wet years and dry years are both good, which means that the improved model can overcome the traditional ‘‘wet years and dry years predictability barrier,’’ to some extent. The model forecasts for different regions are all good, showing the universality of the approach. Compared with selected conceptual and empirical methods, the model exhibits greater reliability and stability in the long-term runoff prediction. Our study provides a new thinking for research on the association between the monthly runoff and other hydrological factors, and also provides a new method for the prediction of the monthly runoff. - Highlights: • The improved phase-space reconstruction model of monthly runoff is established. • Two variables (temperature and rainfall) are incorporated

  8. 3D/3D registration of coronary CTA and biplane XA reconstructions for improved image guidance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dibildox, Gerardo, E-mail: g.dibildox@erasmusmc.nl; Baka, Nora; Walsum, Theo van [Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam, Departments of Radiology and Medical Informatics, Erasmus Medical Center, 3015 GE Rotterdam (Netherlands); Punt, Mark; Aben, Jean-Paul [Pie Medical Imaging, 6227 AJ Maastricht (Netherlands); Schultz, Carl [Department of Cardiology, Erasmus Medical Center, 3015 GE Rotterdam (Netherlands); Niessen, Wiro [Quantitative Imaging Group, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CJ Delft, The Netherlands and Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam, Departments of Radiology and Medical Informatics, Erasmus Medical Center, 3015 GE Rotterdam (Netherlands)

    2014-09-15

    Purpose: The authors aim to improve image guidance during percutaneous coronary interventions of chronic total occlusions (CTO) by providing information obtained from computed tomography angiography (CTA) to the cardiac interventionist. To this end, the authors investigate a method to register a 3D CTA model to biplane reconstructions. Methods: The authors developed a method for registering preoperative coronary CTA with intraoperative biplane x-ray angiography (XA) images via 3D models of the coronary arteries. The models are extracted from the CTA and biplane XA images, and are temporally aligned based on CTA reconstruction phase and XA ECG signals. Rigid spatial alignment is achieved with a robust probabilistic point set registration approach using Gaussian mixture models (GMMs). This approach is extended by including orientation in the Gaussian mixtures and by weighting bifurcation points. The method is evaluated on retrospectively acquired coronary CTA datasets of 23 CTO patients for which biplane XA images are available. Results: The Gaussian mixture model approach achieved a median registration accuracy of 1.7 mm. The extended GMM approach including orientation was not significantly different (P > 0.1) but did improve robustness with regards to the initialization of the 3D models. Conclusions: The authors demonstrated that the GMM approach can effectively be applied to register CTA to biplane XA images for the purpose of improving image guidance in percutaneous coronary interventions.

  9. Improvement of posture stability by vibratory stimulation following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunetti, O; Filippi, G M; Lorenzini, M; Liti, A; Panichi, R; Roscini, M; Pettorossi, V E; Cerulli, G

    2006-11-01

    Surgical reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) may reduce, but it does not always eliminate, knee and body instability because of a persisting proprioceptive deficit. In order to enhance body stability, a new protocol of treatment has been proposed consisting of mechanical vibration (100 Hz frequency and < 20 microm amplitude) of the quadriceps muscle in the leg that has undergone ACL reconstruction. In our trials, stimulation was performed when the quadriceps muscle was kept isometrically contracted. Treatment was started one month after surgery. Vibration was applied for short periods over three consecutive days. Nine months after treatment, postural stability was re-evaluated with the subjects standing on one leg with open and with closed eyes. The postural stability of the subjects having undergone vibration treatment, standing on the operated leg was significantly improved one day after treatment when evaluated as mean of speed and elliptic area of the center of pressure. The improvement persisted and increased during the following weeks. Peak torques of the operated leg extensor muscles also increased and reached values close to that of the leg, which had not been operated. Conversely, the balance of the untreated subjects standing on the operated leg did not improve and the restoration of the extensor muscle peak torque was poor. It is concluded that short lasting proprioceptive activation by vibration may lead to a faster and more complete equilibrium recovery probably by permanently changing the network controlling knee posture.

  10. Multi-slice spiral CT coronary angiography: influence of heart rate and reconstruction window on image quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mao Dingbiao; Hua Yanqing; Wang Mingpeng; Zhang Guozhen; Wu Weilan; Hu Fei; Ge Xiaojun; Ding Qiyong

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the influence of heart rate and reconstruction window on image quality of multi-slice spiral CT coronary angiography. Methods: Retrospectively ECG-gated MSCT coronary angiography were performed in 80 healthy cases. Results: Four coronary (RCA, LM, LAD, LCX) segments were analyzed in each patient with regard to image quality. 82.1% (46/56) of the coronary segments were sufficient for analysis in patients with heart rate ≤60 bpm, 63.4% (104/164) with 61-70 bpm, 41.2%(28/68) with 71-80 bpm, and 31.2%(10/32) with>80 bpm, respectively. The left anterior descending artery, left circumflex artery, and the right coronary artery were best visualized when the reconstruction window was 60%-70%, 50%-60%, and 50%-70%, respectively. Conclusion: Image quality of MSCT coronary angiography is highly dependent on heart rate and reconstruction window

  11. Integrating multisensor satellite data merging and image reconstruction in support of machine learning for better water quality management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Ni-Bin; Bai, Kaixu; Chen, Chi-Farn

    2017-10-01

    Monitoring water quality changes in lakes, reservoirs, estuaries, and coastal waters is critical in response to the needs for sustainable development. This study develops a remote sensing-based multiscale modeling system by integrating multi-sensor satellite data merging and image reconstruction algorithms in support of feature extraction with machine learning leading to automate continuous water quality monitoring in environmentally sensitive regions. This new Earth observation platform, termed "cross-mission data merging and image reconstruction with machine learning" (CDMIM), is capable of merging multiple satellite imageries to provide daily water quality monitoring through a series of image processing, enhancement, reconstruction, and data mining/machine learning techniques. Two existing key algorithms, including Spectral Information Adaptation and Synthesis Scheme (SIASS) and SMart Information Reconstruction (SMIR), are highlighted to support feature extraction and content-based mapping. Whereas SIASS can support various data merging efforts to merge images collected from cross-mission satellite sensors, SMIR can overcome data gaps by reconstructing the information of value-missing pixels due to impacts such as cloud obstruction. Practical implementation of CDMIM was assessed by predicting the water quality over seasons in terms of the concentrations of nutrients and chlorophyll-a, as well as water clarity in Lake Nicaragua, providing synergistic efforts to better monitor the aquatic environment and offer insightful lake watershed management strategies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Do competition and managed care improve quality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sari, Nazmi

    2002-10-01

    In recent years, the US health care industry has experienced a rapid growth of managed care, formation of networks, and an integration of hospitals. This paper provides new insights about the quality consequences of this dynamic in US hospital markets. I empirically investigate the impact of managed care and hospital competition on quality using in-hospital complications as quality measures. I use random and fixed effects, and instrumental variable fixed effect models using hospital panel data from up to 16 states in the 1992-1997 period. The paper has two important findings: First, higher managed care penetration increases the quality, when inappropriate utilization, wound infections and adverse/iatrogenic complications are used as quality indicators. For other complication categories, coefficient estimates are statistically insignificant. These findings do not support the straightforward view that increases in managed care penetration are associated with decreases in quality. Second, both higher hospital market share and market concentration are associated with lower quality of care. Hospital mergers have undesirable quality consequences. Appropriate antitrust policies towards mergers should consider not only price and cost but also quality impacts. Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. Good air quality in offices improves productivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fanger, Povl Ole

    2000-01-01

    Three recent independent studies have documented that the quality of indoor air has a significant and positive influence or? the productivity of office workers. A combined analysis of the results of the three studies shows a significant relationship between productivity and perceived indoor air...... quality. The impact on productivity justifies a much higher indoor air quality than the minimum levels prescribed in present standards and guidelines. One way of providing air of high quality for people to breathe, without involving excessive ventilation rates and energy use, is to provide "personalized...

  15. Good air quality in offices improves productivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fanger, Povl Ole

    2000-01-01

    Three recent independent studies have documented that the quality of indoor air has a significant and positive influence on the productivity of office workers. A combined analysis of the results of the three studies shows a significant relationship between productivity and perceived indoor air...... quality. The impact on productivity justifies a much higher indoor air quality than the minimum levels prescribed in present standards and guidelines. One way of providing air of high quality for people to breathe, without involving excessive ventilation rates and energy use, is to provide "personalized...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Advanced Technology, Inc., Reston, VA.

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

  17. Functional outcome of gastrointestinal tract and quality of life after esophageal reconstruction of esophagus cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manochehr Aghajanzade; Feizollah Safarpour; M Reza Koohsari; Hadi Tozandehgani; Ghanaei, Farborz M; Bodaghi, Sadigheh M

    2009-01-01

    Information about functional outcome and quality of life after esophagectomy and esophageal reconstruction (ER) for the treatment of esophageal cancer, as evaluated by the patients themselves is limited. We aimed to study the post-surgical outcome of such patients to detect for the development of any complications that may arise from the surgery as well as to evaluate their quality of life following the surgery. From 1993 to 2003, 240 patients with stage 1, 2, or 3 esophageal carcinoma underwent esophagectomy at Razi Teaching Hospital located in the north of Iran. Of these, 192 patients filled out a questionnaire during a 2-year period (ranging from 12 to 48 months after surgical reconstruction). Among them, there were 134 men (69%) and 58 women (31%), and the mean age at the time of ER was 48 years (ranging from 22 to 75 years). Transhiatal esophagectomy, extended esophagectomy (three field operation), and Ivor-Lewis resection were done in 142 (73.95%), 30 (15.62%), and 20 patients (10.42%), respectively. Intestinal continuity after esophageal resection was established with stomach in 154 patients (80%), colon in 28 patients (14%), and small bowel in 10 patients (5.2%). Cervical anastomosis was established in 172 patients (89.6%), while intrathoracic anastomosis was performed in 20 patients (10.4%). After ER, 66 patients (34.4%) suffered from dysphagia to solids and 50 patients (26%) required at least one or three postoperative dilatations for alleviation of symptoms. Gastroesophageal reflux was seen in 32 patients (16.66%) and was more common in thoracic anastomosis patients than in cervical anastomosis patients. Heartburn was present in 33 cases (17%), 30 of whom required medication (37%). The number of meals per day was three to four in 116 patients (60%), more than four in 51 patients (29%), and less than three in 19 patients (9.82%). The number of bowel movement per day increased in 52 patients (27%), decreased in 60 cases (31%), and unchanged in 80 patients

  18. Do farm audits improve milk quality?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flores-Miyamoto, A.; Reij, M.W.; Velthuis, A.G.J.

    2014-01-01

    Milk quality is assessed using bulk milk analysis and by farm audits in the Netherlands. However, the extent of the effect that dairy farm audits have on milk quality is unknown. Data from over 13,000 audits performed on 12,855 dairy farms from February 2006 to April 2008 were merged with laboratory

  19. 256-Slice coronary computed tomographic angiography in patients with atrial fibrillation: optimal reconstruction phase and image quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oda, Seitaro; Yuki, Hideaki; Kidoh, Masafumi; Utsunomiya, Daisuke; Nakaura, Takeshi; Namimoto, Tomohiro; Yamashita, Yasuyuki [Kumamoto University, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Chuou-ku, Kumamoto (Japan); Honda, Keiichi; Yoshimura, Akira; Katahira, Kazuhiro [Kumamoto Chuo Hospital, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Minami-ku, Kumamoto (Japan); Noda, Katsuo; Oshima, Shuichi [Kumamoto Chuo Hospital, Department of Cardiology, Minami-ku, Kumamoto (Japan)

    2016-01-15

    To assess the optimal reconstruction phase and the image quality of coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). We performed CCTA in 60 patients with AF and 60 controls with sinus rhythm. The images were reconstructed in multiple phases in all parts of the cardiac cycle, and the optimal reconstruction phase with the fewest motion artefacts was identified. The coronary artery segments were visually evaluated to investigate their assessability. In 46 (76.7 %) patients, the optimal reconstruction phase was end-diastole, whereas in 6 (10.0 %) patients it was end-systole or mid-diastole, and in 2 (3.3 %) patients it was another cardiac phase. In 53 (88.3 %) of the controls, the optimal reconstruction phase was mid-diastole, whereas it was end-systole in 4 (6.7 %), and in 3 (5.0 %) it was another cardiac phase. There was a significant difference between patients with AF and the controls in the optimal phase (p < 0.01) but not in the visual image quality score (p = 0.06). The optimal reconstruction phase in most patients with AF was the end-diastolic phase. The end-systolic phase tended to be optimal in AF patients with higher average heart rates. (orig.)

  20. A history of industrial statistics and quality and efficiency improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Mast, J.; Coleman, S.; Greenfield, T.; Stewardson, D.; Montgomery, D.C.

    2008-01-01

    The twentieth century witnessed incredible increases in product quality, while in the same period product priced dropped dramatically. These important improvements in quality and efficiency in industry were the result of innovations in management and engineering. But these developments were

  1. 40 CFR 64.8 - Quality improvement plan (QIP) requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asiyai, Romina Ifeoma

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Application of improved quality control technology to pressure vessels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kriedt, F.

    1985-01-01

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

  4. Recent improvements in Hurricane Imaging Radiometer’s brightness temperature image reconstruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sayak K. Biswas

    Full Text Available NASA MSFCs airborne Hurricane Imaging Radiometer (HIRAD uses interferometric aperture synthesis to produce high resolution wide swath images of scene brightness temperature (Tb distribution at four discrete C-band microwave frequencies (4.0, 5.0, 6.0 and 6.6 GHz. Images of ocean surface wind speed under heavy precipitation such as in tropical cyclones, is inferred from these measurements. The baseline HIRAD Tb reconstruction algorithm had produced prominent along-track streaks in the Tb images. Particularly the 4.0 GHz channel had been so dominated by the streaks as to be unusable.The loss of a frequency channel had compromised the final wind speed retrievals. During 2016, the HIRAD team made substantial progress in developing a quality controlled signal processing technique for the HIRAD data collected in 2015’s Tropical Cyclone Intensity (TCI experiment and reduced the effect of streaks in all channels including 4.0 GHz. 2000 MSC: 41A05, 41A10, 65D05, 65D17, Keywords: Microwave radiometry, Aperture synthesis, Image reconstruction, Hurricane winds

  5. Improving High-Throughput Sequencing Approaches for Reconstructing the Evolutionary Dynamics of Upper Paleolithic Human Groups

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seguin-Orlando, Andaine

    the development and testing of innovative molecular approaches aiming at improving the amount of informative HTS data one can recover from ancient DNA extracts. We have characterized important ligation and amplification biases in the sequencing library building and enrichment steps, which can impede further...... been mainly driven by the development of High-Throughput DNA Sequencing (HTS) technologies but also by the implementation of novel molecular tools tailored to the manipulation of ultra short and damaged DNA molecules. Our ability to retrieve traces of genetic material has tremendously improved, pushing......, that impact on the overall efficacy of the method. In a second part, we implemented some of these molecular tools to the processing of five Upper Paleolithic human samples from the Kostenki and Sunghir sites in Western Eurasia, in order to reconstruct the deep genomic history of European populations...

  6. DQS advisor: a visual interface and knowledge-based system to balance dose, quality, and reconstruction speed in iterative CT reconstruction with application to NLM-regularization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng, Z; Papenhausen, E; Mueller, K

    2013-01-01

    Motivated by growing concerns with regards to the x-ray dose delivered to the patient, low-dose computed tomography (CT) has gained substantial interest in recent years. However, achieving high-quality CT reconstructions from the limited projection data collected at reduced x-ray radiation is challenging, and iterative algorithms have been shown to perform much better than conventional analytical schemes in these cases. A problem with iterative methods in general is that they require users to set many parameters, and if set incorrectly high reconstruction time and/or low image quality are likely consequences. Since the interactions among parameters can be complex and thus effective settings can be difficult to identify for a given scanning scenario, these choices are often left to a highly-experienced human expert. To help alleviate this problem, we devise a computer-based assistant for this purpose, called dose, quality and speed (DQS)-advisor. It allows users to balance the three most important CT metrics–-DQS-–by ways of an intuitive visual interface. Using a known gold-standard, the system uses the ant-colony optimization algorithm to generate the most effective parameter settings for a comprehensive set of DQS configurations. A visual interface then presents the numerical outcome of this optimization, while a matrix display allows users to compare the corresponding images. The interface allows users to intuitively trade-off GPU-enabled reconstruction speed with quality and dose, while the system picks the associated parameter settings automatically. Further, once the knowledge has been generated, it can be used to correctly set the parameters for any new CT scan taken at similar scenarios. (paper)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slovensky, D J; Fottler, M D

    1994-11-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nair P

    2016-03-01

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

  11. The CMS Data Quality Monitoring software experience and future improvements

    CERN Document Server

    Batinkov, Atanas Ivanov

    2013-01-01

    The Data Quality Monitoring Software proved to be a central tool in the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment. Its flexibility allowed its integration in several environments: online, for real-time detector monitoring; offline, for the final, fine-grained data certification. The usage of the Data Quality Monitoring software in the different environments and its integration in the Compact Muon Solenoid reconstruction software framework and in all production workflows are presented. The main technical challenges and the adopted solutions to them will be also discussed with emphasis on functionality, long-term robustness and performance.

  12. Lake Tahoe Water Quality Improvement Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Information on the Lake Tahoe watershed, EPA's protection efforts, water quality issues, effects of climate, change, Lake Tahoe Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), EPA-sponsored projects, and list of partner agencies.

  13. Productivity quality improvement at UNC Geotech

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jenkins, W.A.

    1987-01-01

    The program to improve productivity is presented in a series of view graphs. Key elements of the program are: CEO leadership and commitment; measurable improvements; specific annual goals; system for sharing benefits of improvements; practical training for employees; and intent to institutionalize

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  15. Advanced modeling in positron emission tomography using Monte Carlo simulations for improving reconstruction and quantification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stute, Simon

    2010-01-01

    Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a medical imaging technique that plays a major role in oncology, especially using "1"8F-Fluoro-Deoxyglucose. However, PET images suffer from a modest spatial resolution and from high noise. As a result, there is still no consensus on how tumor metabolically active volume and tumor uptake should be characterized. In the meantime, research groups keep producing new methods for such characterizations that need to be assessed. A Monte Carlo simulation based method has been developed to produce simulated PET images of patients suffering from cancer, indistinguishable from clinical images, and for which all parameters are known. The method uses high resolution PET images from patient acquisitions, from which the physiological heterogeneous activity distribution can be modeled. It was shown that the performance of quantification methods on such highly realistic simulated images are significantly lower and more variable than using simple phantom studies. Fourteen different quantification methods were also compared in realistic conditions using a group of such simulated patients. In addition, the proposed method was extended to simulate serial PET scans in the context of patient monitoring, including a modeling of the tumor changes, as well as the variability over time of non-tumoral physiological activity distribution. Monte Carlo simulations were also used to study the detection probability inside the crystals of the tomograph. A model of the crystal response was derived and included in the system matrix involved in tomographic reconstruction. The resulting reconstruction method was compared with other sophisticated methods for modeling the detector response in the image space, proposed in the literature. We demonstrated the superiority of the proposed method over equivalent approaches on simulated data, and illustrated its robustness on clinical data. For a same noise level, it is possible to reconstruct PET images offering a

  16. Aesthetic outcome, patient satisfaction, and health-related quality of life in women at high risk undergoing prophylactic mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isern, A E; Tengrup, I; Loman, N; Olsson, H; Ringberg, A

    2008-10-01

    Prophylactic mastectomy is an effective risk-reducing option in women with hereditary increased risk of breast cancer. It may be combined with immediate reconstruction, with the intention of improving aesthetic outcome and health-related quality of life. Sixty-one women underwent prophylactic mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction in Malmö, Sweden, between 1995 and 2003. Forty women underwent bilateral prophylactic mastectomy and immediate reconstruction. Ten of these had a previous breast cancer diagnosis. Twenty-one women underwent contralateral prophylactic mastectomy and immediate reconstruction after a previous breast cancer. Fifty-four of the women (89%) were evaluated clinically for aesthetic results and complications. Patient satisfaction and quality of life were evaluated with one study-specific and two standardised health-related questionnaires administered at time of clinical follow-up. Median follow-up time was 42 months (range 7-99 months). The position of the reconstructed breasts was judged as satisfactory in 77% of breasts. Symmetry in relation to the midline was adequate in 89% of breasts. A capsular contracture grade III according to Baker and indentation tonometry was observed in 1% of breasts (1/104). The complication rate was 18% (7% early and 11% late). Secondary corrections were carried out in 11% of breasts. The study-specific questionnaire revealed a high degree of satisfaction. No woman regretted the procedure, and all women would have chosen the same type of surgery again. An age-stratified comparison of Swedish women using the Short Form 36 Health Survey Questionnaire (SF-36) questionnaire was carried out for this study. The study population scores were high, suggesting that prophylactic mastectomy and immediate reconstruction on both physical and psychological issues in this retrospective study had no negative effect. Also, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD) questionnaire did not suggest any increased anxiety or

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunagan, Pamela B

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    OʼRourke, Hannah M; Fraser, Kimberly D

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Improving quality: bridging the health sector divide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Mike

    2003-12-01

    All too often, quality assurance looks at just one small part of the complex system that is health care. However, evidently each individual patient has one set of experiences and outcomes, often involving a range of health professionals in a number of settings across multiple sectors. In order to solve the problems of this complexity, we need to establish high-quality electronic recording in each of the settings. In the UK, primary care has been leading the way in adopting information technology and can now use databases for individual clinical care, for quality assurance using significant event and conventional auditing, and for research. Before we can understand and quality-assure the whole health care system, we need electronic patient records in all settings and good communication to build a summary electronic health record for each patient. Such an electronic health record will be under the control of the patient concerned, will be shared with the explicit consent of the patient, and will form the vehicle for quality assurance across all sectors of the health service.

  20. Improved image quality for asymmetric double-focal cone-beam SPECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cao, Z.J.; Tsui, B.M.W.

    1993-01-01

    To optimize both spatial resolution and detection efficiency in brain SPECT imaging using a rectangular camera, an asymmetric double-focal cone-beam collimator is proposed with the focal points located near the base plane of the patient's head. To fit the entire head into the field-of-view of the collimator with dimensions of 50cmx40cm and at a radius-of-rotation of 15 cm, the focal lengths of the collimator are 55 and 70 cm, respectively, in the transverse and axial directions. With this geometry, the artifacts in the reconstructed image produced by the Feldkamp algorithm are more severe compared to those in a symmetric cone-beam geometry, due to the larger vertex angle between the top of the head and the base plane. To improve the reconstructed image quality, a fully three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction algorithm developed previously for single-focal cone-beam SPECT was extended to the asymmetric double-focal cone-beam geometry. The algorithm involves nonstationary 2D filtering and a reprojection technique for estimation of the missing data caused by a single-orbit cone-beam geometry. The results from simulation studies with the 3D Defrise slab phantom demonstrated that the fully 3D algorithm provided a much improved image quality in terms of reduced slice-to-slice cross talks and shape elongation compared to that produced by the conventional Feldkamp algorithm

  1. Improving high quality, equitable maternal health services in Malawi ...

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

    Improving high quality, equitable maternal health services in Malawi (IMCHA) ... In response, the Ministry of Health implemented a Standards-Based Management and Recognition for Reproductive Health initiative to improve ... Total funding.

  2. Bias field inconsistency correction of motion-scattered multislice MRI for improved 3D image reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kio; Habas, Piotr A; Rajagopalan, Vidya; Scott, Julia A; Corbett-Detig, James M; Rousseau, Francois; Barkovich, A James; Glenn, Orit A; Studholme, Colin

    2011-09-01

    A common solution to clinical MR imaging in the presence of large anatomical motion is to use fast multislice 2D studies to reduce slice acquisition time and provide clinically usable slice data. Recently, techniques have been developed which retrospectively correct large scale 3D motion between individual slices allowing the formation of a geometrically correct 3D volume from the multiple slice stacks. One challenge, however, in the final reconstruction process is the possibility of varying intensity bias in the slice data, typically due to the motion of the anatomy relative to imaging coils. As a result, slices which cover the same region of anatomy at different times may exhibit different sensitivity. This bias field inconsistency can induce artifacts in the final 3D reconstruction that can impact both clinical interpretation of key tissue boundaries and the automated analysis of the data. Here we describe a framework to estimate and correct the bias field inconsistency in each slice collectively across all motion corrupted image slices. Experiments using synthetic and clinical data show that the proposed method reduces intensity variability in tissues and improves the distinction between key tissue types.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  4. Which Breast Is the Best? Successful Autologous or Alloplastic Breast Reconstruction : Patient-Reported Quality-of-Life Outcomes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eltahir, Yassir; Werners, Lisanne L. C. H.; Dreise, Marieke M.; Zeiffmans van Emmichoven, Ingeborg A.; Werker, Paul M. N.; de Bock, Geertruida H.

    Background: Breast reconstruction is an appropriate option offered to women who are diagnosed with breast cancer or gene mutations. It may be accomplished with implants or autologous procedures. This cross-sectional study evaluated the satisfaction and quality of life in addition to complications

  5. Chemical predictive modelling to improve compound quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cumming, John G; Davis, Andrew M; Muresan, Sorel; Haeberlein, Markus; Chen, Hongming

    2013-12-01

    The 'quality' of small-molecule drug candidates, encompassing aspects including their potency, selectivity and ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity) characteristics, is a key factor influencing the chances of success in clinical trials. Importantly, such characteristics are under the control of chemists during the identification and optimization of lead compounds. Here, we discuss the application of computational methods, particularly quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs), in guiding the selection of higher-quality drug candidates, as well as cultural factors that may have affected their use and impact.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  7. Improving Conductivity Image Quality Using Block Matrix-based Multiple Regularization (BMMR Technique in EIT: A Simulation Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tushar Kanti Bera

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available A Block Matrix based Multiple Regularization (BMMR technique is proposed for improving conductivity image quality in EIT. The response matrix (JTJ has been partitioned into several sub-block matrices and the highest eigenvalue of each sub-block matrices has been chosen as regularization parameter for the nodes contained by that sub-block. Simulated boundary data are generated for circular domain with circular inhomogeneity and the conductivity images are reconstructed in a Model Based Iterative Image Reconstruction (MoBIIR algorithm. Conductivity images are reconstructed with BMMR technique and the results are compared with the Single-step Tikhonov Regularization (STR and modified Levenberg-Marquardt Regularization (LMR methods. It is observed that the BMMR technique reduces the projection error and solution error and improves the conductivity reconstruction in EIT. Result show that the BMMR method also improves the image contrast and inhomogeneity conductivity profile and hence the reconstructed image quality is enhanced. ;doi:10.5617/jeb.170 J Electr Bioimp, vol. 2, pp. 33-47, 2011

  8. Regulation on governmental quality control during erection and reconstruction of nuclear power plants in the GDR dated 20 July 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    The Regulation enters into force on 1 October 1988 and provides for governmental quality control of products, plants and services intended for the erection and reconstruction of nuclear power plant systems. It covers the following provisions: quality control; licensing of enterprises; approval of the use of products manufactured in the GDR; acceptance of products manufactured in the GDR; clearance of plants and services; clearance of imported products; labelling; consulting of experts; penalties, and interim provisions

  9. Does Automated Feedback Improve Writing Quality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Joshua; Olinghouse, Natalie G.; Andrada, Gilbert N.

    2014-01-01

    The current study examines data from students in grades 4-8 who participated in a statewide computer-based benchmark writing assessment that featured automated essay scoring and automated feedback. We examined whether the use of automated feedback was associated with gains in writing quality across revisions to an essay, and with transfer effects…

  10. From sensor output to improved product quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hertog, M.L.A.T.M.; Vollebregt, Martijntje; Unzueta, I.; Hoofman, R.J.O.M.; Lammertyn, J.

    2015-01-01

    The research conducted in the European PASTEUR project focussed on perishables monitoring through smart tracking of lifetime and quality. The aim was to develop a wireless sensor platform to monitor the environmental conditions of perishable goods in the supply chain between producer and

  11. Compost improves urban soil and water quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Construction in urban zones compacts the soil, which hinders root growth and infiltration and may increase erosion, which may degrade water quality. The purpose of our study was to determine the whether planting prairie grasses and adding compost to urban soils can mitigate these concerns. We simula...

  12. Data quality improvement in general practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brouwer, H. J.; Bindels, P. J. E.; Weert, H. C.

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The importance of routine data generated by GPs has grown extensively in the last decade. These data have found many applications other than patient care. More attention has therefore been given to the issue of data quality. Several systematic reviews have detected ample space for

  13. Quality assessment and improvements in pathology practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuijpers, C.C.H.J.

    2016-01-01

    Every patient has the right to receive optimal quality health care. With regard to pathology practice, a small (interpretational) difference can have major impact for the patient, because prognosis and treatment selection are often based on the pathology report. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that

  14. A high-throughput system for high-quality tomographic reconstruction of large datasets at Diamond Light Source.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Robert C; Bodey, Andrew J; Price, Stephen W T; Basham, Mark; Drakopoulos, Michael

    2015-06-13

    Tomographic datasets collected at synchrotrons are becoming very large and complex, and, therefore, need to be managed efficiently. Raw images may have high pixel counts, and each pixel can be multidimensional and associated with additional data such as those derived from spectroscopy. In time-resolved studies, hundreds of tomographic datasets can be collected in sequence, yielding terabytes of data. Users of tomographic beamlines are drawn from various scientific disciplines, and many are keen to use tomographic reconstruction software that does not require a deep understanding of reconstruction principles. We have developed Savu, a reconstruction pipeline that enables users to rapidly reconstruct data to consistently create high-quality results. Savu is designed to work in an 'orthogonal' fashion, meaning that data can be converted between projection and sinogram space throughout the processing workflow as required. The Savu pipeline is modular and allows processing strategies to be optimized for users' purposes. In addition to the reconstruction algorithms themselves, it can include modules for identification of experimental problems, artefact correction, general image processing and data quality assessment. Savu is open source, open licensed and 'facility-independent': it can run on standard cluster infrastructure at any institution.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  16. Quality Improvement in Virtual Higher Education: A Grounded Theory Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdiuon, Rouhollah; Masoumi, Davoud; Farasatkhah, Maghsoud

    2017-01-01

    The article aims to explore the attributes of quality and quality improvement including the process and specific actions associated with these attributes--that contribute enhancing quality in Iranian Virtual Higher Education (VHE) institutions. A total of 16 interviews were conducted with experts and key actors in Iranian virtual higher education.…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Effect of Post-Reconstruction Gaussian Filtering on Image Quality and Myocardial Blood Flow Measurement with N-13 Ammonia PET

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyeon Sik Kim

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Objective(s: In order to evaluate the effect of post-reconstruction Gaussian filtering on image quality and myocardial blood flow (MBF measurement by dynamic N-13 ammonia positron emission tomography (PET, we compared various reconstruction and filtering methods with image characteristics. Methods: Dynamic PET images of three patients with coronary artery disease (male-female ratio of 2:1; age: 57, 53, and 76 years were reconstructed, using filtered back projection (FBP and ordered subset expectation maximization (OSEM methods. OSEM reconstruction consisted of OSEM_2I, OSEM_4I, and OSEM_6I with 2, 4, and 6 iterations, respectively. The images, reconstructed and filtered by Gaussian filters of 5, 10, and 15 mm, were obtained, as well as non-filtered images. Visual analysis of image quality (IQ was performed using a 3-grade scoring system by 2 independent readers, blinded to the reconstruction and filtering methods of stress images. Then, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR was calculated by noise and contrast recovery (CR. Stress and rest MBF and coronary flow reserve (CFR were obtained for each method. IQ scores, stress and rest MBF, and CFR were compared between the methods, using Chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Results: In the visual analysis, IQ was significantly higher by 10 mm Gaussian filtering, compared to other sizes of filter (PP=0.923 and 0.855 for readers 1 and 2, respectively. SNR was significantly higher in 10 mm Gaussian filter. There was a significant difference in stress and rest MBF between several vascular territories. However CFR was not significantly different according to various filtering methods. Conclusion: Post-reconstruction Gaussian filtering with a filter size of 10 mm significantly enhances the IQ of N-13 ammonia PET-CT, without changing the results of CFR calculation. .

  19. Effect of Post-Reconstruction Gaussian Filtering on Image Quality and Myocardial Blood Flow Measurement with N-13 Ammonia PET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Hyeon Sik; Cho, Sang-Geon; Kim, Ju Han; Kwon, Seong Young; Lee, Byeong-il; Bom, Hee-Seung

    2014-01-01

    In order to evaluate the effect of post-reconstruction Gaussian filtering on image quality and myocardial blood flow (MBF) measurement by dynamic N-13 ammonia positron emission tomography (PET), we compared various reconstruction and filtering methods with image characteristics. Dynamic PET images of three patients with coronary artery disease (male-female ratio of 2:1; age: 57, 53, and 76 years) were reconstructed, using filtered back projection (FBP) and ordered subset expectation maximization (OSEM) methods. OSEM reconstruction consisted of OSEM-2I, OSEM-4I, and OSEM-6I with 2, 4, and 6 iterations, respectively. The images, reconstructed and filtered by Gaussian filters of 5, 10, and 15 mm, were obtained, as well as non-filtered images. Visual analysis of image quality (IQ) was performed using a 3-grade scoring system by 2 independent readers, blinded to the reconstruction and filtering methods of stress images. Then, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was calculated by noise and contrast recovery (CR). Stress and rest MBF and coronary flow reserve (CFR) were obtained for each method. IQ scores, stress and rest MBF, and CFR were compared between the methods, using Chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis tests. In the visual analysis, IQ was significantly higher by 10 mm Gaussian filtering, compared to other sizes of filter (P<0.001 for both readers). However, no significant difference of IQ was found between FBP and various numbers of iteration in OSEM (P=0.923 and 0.855 for readers 1 and 2, respectively). SNR was significantly higher in 10 mm Gaussian filter. There was a significant difference in stress and rest MBF between several vascular territories. However CFR was not significantly different according to various filtering methods. Post-reconstruction Gaussian filtering with a filter size of 10 mm significantly enhances the IQ of N-13 ammonia PET-CT, without changing the results of CFR calculation

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark, Melvin M.; Pines, Edward

    1995-01-01

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

  1. International Accreditations as Drivers of Business School Quality Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, Michael

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Nationwide quality improvement of cholecystectomy: results from a national database

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harboe, Kirstine M; Bardram, Linda

    2011-01-01

    To evaluate whether quality improvements in the performance of cholecystectomy have been achieved in Denmark since 2006, after revision of the Danish National Guidelines for treatment of gallstones.......To evaluate whether quality improvements in the performance of cholecystectomy have been achieved in Denmark since 2006, after revision of the Danish National Guidelines for treatment of gallstones....

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sims, Margaret; Waniganayake, Manjula

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Technical report for effective estimation and improvement of quality system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Kwan Hyun

    2000-06-01

    This technical report provides the methods on how to improve the Quality System, in R and D part. This report applies on the quality assurance(QA) programmes of the design, fabrication in nuclear projects. The organization having overall responsibility for the nuclear power item design, preservation, fabrication shall be described in this report in each stage of improvement of QA systems

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Methods for improving limited field-of-view radiotherapy reconstructions using imperfect a priori images

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruchala, Kenneth J.; Olivera, Gustavo H.; Kapatoes, Jeffrey M.; Reckwerdt, Paul J.; Mackie, Thomas R.

    2002-01-01

    There are many benefits to having an online CT imaging system for radiotherapy, as it helps identify changes in the patient's position and anatomy between the time of planning and treatment. However, many current online CT systems suffer from a limited field-of-view (LFOV) in that collected data do not encompass the patient's complete cross section. Reconstruction of these data sets can quantitatively distort the image values and introduce artifacts. This work explores the use of planning CT data as a priori information for improving these reconstructions. Methods are presented to incorporate this data by aligning the LFOV with the planning images and then merging the data sets in sinogram space. One alignment option is explicit fusion, producing fusion-aligned reprojection (FAR) images. For cases where explicit fusion is not viable, FAR can be implemented using the implicit fusion of normal setup error, referred to as normal-error-aligned reprojection (NEAR). These methods are evaluated for multiday patient images showing both internal and skin-surface anatomical variation. The iterative use of NEAR and FAR is also investigated, as are applications of NEAR and FAR to dose calculations and the compensation of LFOV online MVCT images with kVCT planning images. Results indicate that NEAR and FAR can utilize planning CT data as imperfect a priori information to reduce artifacts and quantitatively improve images. These benefits can also increase the accuracy of dose calculations and be used for augmenting CT images (e.g., MVCT) acquired at different energies than the planning CT

  9. Blockchain technology for improving clinical research quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benchoufi, Mehdi; Ravaud, Philippe

    2017-07-19

    Reproducibility, data sharing, personal data privacy concerns and patient enrolment in clinical trials are huge medical challenges for contemporary clinical research. A new technology, Blockchain, may be a key to addressing these challenges and should draw the attention of the whole clinical research community.Blockchain brings the Internet to its definitive decentralisation goal. The core principle of Blockchain is that any service relying on trusted third parties can be built in a transparent, decentralised, secure "trustless" manner at the top of the Blockchain (in fact, there is trust, but it is hardcoded in the Blockchain protocol via a complex cryptographic algorithm). Therefore, users have a high degree of control over and autonomy and trust of the data and its integrity. Blockchain allows for reaching a substantial level of historicity and inviolability of data for the whole document flow in a clinical trial. Hence, it ensures traceability, prevents a posteriori reconstruction and allows for securely automating the clinical trial through what are called Smart Contracts. At the same time, the technology ensures fine-grained control of the data, its security and its shareable parameters, for a single patient or group of patients or clinical trial stakeholders.In this commentary article, we explore the core functionalities of Blockchain applied to clinical trials and we illustrate concretely its general principle in the context of consent to a trial protocol. Trying to figure out the potential impact of Blockchain implementations in the setting of clinical trials will shed new light on how modern clinical trial methods could evolve and benefit from Blockchain technologies in order to tackle the aforementioned challenges.

  10. Knowledge-based iterative model reconstruction: comparative image quality and radiation dose with a pediatric computed tomography phantom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryu, Young Jin; Choi, Young Hun; Cheon, Jung-Eun; Kim, Woo Sun; Kim, In-One; Ha, Seongmin

    2016-01-01

    CT of pediatric phantoms can provide useful guidance to the optimization of knowledge-based iterative reconstruction CT. To compare radiation dose and image quality of CT images obtained at different radiation doses reconstructed with knowledge-based iterative reconstruction, hybrid iterative reconstruction and filtered back-projection. We scanned a 5-year anthropomorphic phantom at seven levels of radiation. We then reconstructed CT data with knowledge-based iterative reconstruction (iterative model reconstruction [IMR] levels 1, 2 and 3; Philips Healthcare, Andover, MA), hybrid iterative reconstruction (iDose 4 , levels 3 and 7; Philips Healthcare, Andover, MA) and filtered back-projection. The noise, signal-to-noise ratio and contrast-to-noise ratio were calculated. We evaluated low-contrast resolutions and detectability by low-contrast targets and subjective and objective spatial resolutions by the line pairs and wire. With radiation at 100 peak kVp and 100 mAs (3.64 mSv), the relative doses ranged from 5% (0.19 mSv) to 150% (5.46 mSv). Lower noise and higher signal-to-noise, contrast-to-noise and objective spatial resolution were generally achieved in ascending order of filtered back-projection, iDose 4 levels 3 and 7, and IMR levels 1, 2 and 3, at all radiation dose levels. Compared with filtered back-projection at 100% dose, similar noise levels were obtained on IMR level 2 images at 24% dose and iDose 4 level 3 images at 50% dose, respectively. Regarding low-contrast resolution, low-contrast detectability and objective spatial resolution, IMR level 2 images at 24% dose showed comparable image quality with filtered back-projection at 100% dose. Subjective spatial resolution was not greatly affected by reconstruction algorithm. Reduced-dose IMR obtained at 0.92 mSv (24%) showed similar image quality to routine-dose filtered back-projection obtained at 3.64 mSv (100%), and half-dose iDose 4 obtained at 1.81 mSv. (orig.)

  11. Knowledge-based iterative model reconstruction: comparative image quality and radiation dose with a pediatric computed tomography phantom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, Young Jin; Choi, Young Hun; Cheon, Jung-Eun; Ha, Seongmin; Kim, Woo Sun; Kim, In-One

    2016-03-01

    CT of pediatric phantoms can provide useful guidance to the optimization of knowledge-based iterative reconstruction CT. To compare radiation dose and image quality of CT images obtained at different radiation doses reconstructed with knowledge-based iterative reconstruction, hybrid iterative reconstruction and filtered back-projection. We scanned a 5-year anthropomorphic phantom at seven levels of radiation. We then reconstructed CT data with knowledge-based iterative reconstruction (iterative model reconstruction [IMR] levels 1, 2 and 3; Philips Healthcare, Andover, MA), hybrid iterative reconstruction (iDose(4), levels 3 and 7; Philips Healthcare, Andover, MA) and filtered back-projection. The noise, signal-to-noise ratio and contrast-to-noise ratio were calculated. We evaluated low-contrast resolutions and detectability by low-contrast targets and subjective and objective spatial resolutions by the line pairs and wire. With radiation at 100 peak kVp and 100 mAs (3.64 mSv), the relative doses ranged from 5% (0.19 mSv) to 150% (5.46 mSv). Lower noise and higher signal-to-noise, contrast-to-noise and objective spatial resolution were generally achieved in ascending order of filtered back-projection, iDose(4) levels 3 and 7, and IMR levels 1, 2 and 3, at all radiation dose levels. Compared with filtered back-projection at 100% dose, similar noise levels were obtained on IMR level 2 images at 24% dose and iDose(4) level 3 images at 50% dose, respectively. Regarding low-contrast resolution, low-contrast detectability and objective spatial resolution, IMR level 2 images at 24% dose showed comparable image quality with filtered back-projection at 100% dose. Subjective spatial resolution was not greatly affected by reconstruction algorithm. Reduced-dose IMR obtained at 0.92 mSv (24%) showed similar image quality to routine-dose filtered back-projection obtained at 3.64 mSv (100%), and half-dose iDose(4) obtained at 1.81 mSv.

  12. Automated Reconstruction of Building LoDs from Airborne LiDAR Point Clouds Using an Improved Morphological Scale Space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bisheng Yang

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Reconstructing building models at different levels of detail (LoDs from airborne laser scanning point clouds is urgently needed for wide application as this method can balance between the user’s requirements and economic costs. The previous methods reconstruct building LoDs from the finest 3D building models rather than from point clouds, resulting in heavy costs and inflexible adaptivity. The scale space is a sound theory for multi-scale representation of an object from a coarser level to a finer level. Therefore, this paper proposes a novel method to reconstruct buildings at different LoDs from airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR point clouds based on an improved morphological scale space. The proposed method first extracts building candidate regions following the separation of ground and non-ground points. For each building candidate region, the proposed method generates a scale space by iteratively using the improved morphological reconstruction with the increase of scale, and constructs the corresponding topological relationship graphs (TRGs across scales. Secondly, the proposed method robustly extracts building points by using features based on the TRG. Finally, the proposed method reconstructs each building at different LoDs according to the TRG. The experiments demonstrate that the proposed method robustly extracts the buildings with details (e.g., door eaves and roof furniture and illustrate good performance in distinguishing buildings from vegetation or other objects, while automatically reconstructing building LoDs from the finest building points.

  13. Improvement of cassava quality through mutation breeding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Safo-Kantanka, O [Crop Science Dept., Univ. of Science and Technology, Kumasi (Ghana)

    1997-12-01

    Ghana has not been able to take advantage of the high-yielding cassava varieties developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) because these varieties generally do not have the desired cooking quality. The major emphasis of this project therefore is to use mutations to produce varieties with the desired starch characteristics while maintaining the disease-resistance and high-yielding characteristics of the IITA varieties. 1 ref., 4 tabs.

  14. Improvement of cassava quality through mutation breeding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Safo-Kantanka, O.

    1997-01-01

    Ghana has not been able to take advantage of the high-yielding cassava varieties developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) because these varieties generally do not have the desired cooking quality. The major emphasis of this project therefore is to use mutations to produce varieties with the desired starch characteristics while maintaining the disease-resistance and high-yielding characteristics of the IITA varieties. 1 ref., 4 tabs

  15. QUALITY IMPROVEMENT MODEL AT THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS PREPARATION LEVEL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dusko Pavletic

    2009-12-01

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

  16. Does Medical Malpractice Law Improve Health Care Quality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frakes, Michael; Jena, Anupam B.

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction: reducing dose while preserving image quality in the pediatric head CT examination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKnight, Colin D; Watcharotone, Kuanwong; Ibrahim, Mohannad; Christodoulou, Emmanuel; Baer, Aaron H; Parmar, Hemant A

    2014-08-01

    Over the last decade there has been escalating concern regarding the increasing radiation exposure stemming from CT exams, particularly in children. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) is a relatively new and promising tool to reduce radiation dose while preserving image quality. While encouraging results have been found in adult head and chest and body imaging, validation of this technique in pediatric population is limited. The objective of our study was to retrospectively compare the image quality and radiation dose of pediatric head CT examinations obtained with ASIR compared to pediatric head CT examinations without ASIR in a large patient population. Retrospective analysis was performed on 82 pediatric head CT examinations. This group included 33 pediatric head CT examinations obtained with ASIR and 49 pediatric head CT examinations without ASIR. Computed tomography dose index (CTDIvol) was recorded on all examinations. Quantitative analysis consisted of standardized measurement of attenuation and the standard deviation at the bilateral centrum semiovale and cerebellar white matter to evaluate objective noise. Qualitative analysis consisted of independent assessment by two radiologists in a blinded manner of gray-white differentiation, sharpness and overall diagnostic quality. The average CTDIvol value of the ASIR group was 21.8 mGy (SD = 4.0) while the average CTDIvol for the non-ASIR group was 29.7 mGy (SD = 13.8), reflecting a statistically significant reduction in CTDIvol in the ASIR group (P ASIR group as compared to the 3- to 12-year-old non-ASIR group (21.5 mGy vs. 30.0 mGy; P = 0.004) as well as statistically significant reductions in CTDI for the >12-year-old ASIR group as compared to the >12-year-old non-ASIR group (29.7 mGy vs. 49.9 mGy; P = 0.0002). Quantitative analysis revealed no significant difference in the homogeneity of variance in the ASIR group compared to the non-ASIR group. Radiologist assessment of

  18. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction: reducing dose while preserving image quality in the pediatric head CT examination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McKnight, Colin D.; Watcharotone, Kuanwong; Ibrahim, Mohannad; Christodoulou, Emmanuel; Baer, Aaron H.; Parmar, Hemant A. [University of Michigan, Department of Radiology, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)

    2014-08-15

    Over the last decade there has been escalating concern regarding the increasing radiation exposure stemming from CT exams, particularly in children. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) is a relatively new and promising tool to reduce radiation dose while preserving image quality. While encouraging results have been found in adult head and chest and body imaging, validation of this technique in pediatric population is limited. The objective of our study was to retrospectively compare the image quality and radiation dose of pediatric head CT examinations obtained with ASIR compared to pediatric head CT examinations without ASIR in a large patient population. Retrospective analysis was performed on 82 pediatric head CT examinations. This group included 33 pediatric head CT examinations obtained with ASIR and 49 pediatric head CT examinations without ASIR. Computed tomography dose index (CTDI{sub vol}) was recorded on all examinations. Quantitative analysis consisted of standardized measurement of attenuation and the standard deviation at the bilateral centrum semiovale and cerebellar white matter to evaluate objective noise. Qualitative analysis consisted of independent assessment by two radiologists in a blinded manner of gray-white differentiation, sharpness and overall diagnostic quality. The average CTDI{sub vol} value of the ASIR group was 21.8 mGy (SD = 4.0) while the average CTDI{sub vol} for the non-ASIR group was 29.7 mGy (SD = 13.8), reflecting a statistically significant reduction in CTDI{sub vol} in the ASIR group (P < 0.01). There were statistically significant reductions in CTDI for the 3- to 12-year-old ASIR group as compared to the 3- to 12-year-old non-ASIR group (21.5 mGy vs. 30.0 mGy; P = 0.004) as well as statistically significant reductions in CTDI for the >12-year-old ASIR group as compared to the >12-year-old non-ASIR group (29.7 mGy vs. 49.9 mGy; P = 0.0002). Quantitative analysis revealed no significant difference in the

  19. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction: reducing dose while preserving image quality in the pediatric head CT examination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKnight, Colin D.; Watcharotone, Kuanwong; Ibrahim, Mohannad; Christodoulou, Emmanuel; Baer, Aaron H.; Parmar, Hemant A.

    2014-01-01

    Over the last decade there has been escalating concern regarding the increasing radiation exposure stemming from CT exams, particularly in children. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) is a relatively new and promising tool to reduce radiation dose while preserving image quality. While encouraging results have been found in adult head and chest and body imaging, validation of this technique in pediatric population is limited. The objective of our study was to retrospectively compare the image quality and radiation dose of pediatric head CT examinations obtained with ASIR compared to pediatric head CT examinations without ASIR in a large patient population. Retrospective analysis was performed on 82 pediatric head CT examinations. This group included 33 pediatric head CT examinations obtained with ASIR and 49 pediatric head CT examinations without ASIR. Computed tomography dose index (CTDI vol ) was recorded on all examinations. Quantitative analysis consisted of standardized measurement of attenuation and the standard deviation at the bilateral centrum semiovale and cerebellar white matter to evaluate objective noise. Qualitative analysis consisted of independent assessment by two radiologists in a blinded manner of gray-white differentiation, sharpness and overall diagnostic quality. The average CTDI vol value of the ASIR group was 21.8 mGy (SD = 4.0) while the average CTDI vol for the non-ASIR group was 29.7 mGy (SD = 13.8), reflecting a statistically significant reduction in CTDI vol in the ASIR group (P 12-year-old ASIR group as compared to the >12-year-old non-ASIR group (29.7 mGy vs. 49.9 mGy; P = 0.0002). Quantitative analysis revealed no significant difference in the homogeneity of variance in the ASIR group compared to the non-ASIR group. Radiologist assessment of gray-white differentiation, sharpness and overall diagnostic quality in ASIR examinations was not substantially different compared to non-ASIR examinations. The use of ASIR in

  20. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction versus filtered back projection in the same patient: 64 channel liver CT image quality and patient radiation dose

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitsumori, Lee M.; Shuman, William P.; Busey, Janet M.; Kolokythas, Orpheus; Koprowicz, Kent M.

    2012-01-01

    To compare routine dose liver CT reconstructed with filtered back projection (FBP) versus low dose images reconstructed with FBP and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR). In this retrospective study, patients had a routine dose protocol reconstructed with FBP, and again within 17 months (median 6.1 months), had a low dose protocol reconstructed twice, with FBP and ASIR. These reconstructions were compared for noise, image quality, and radiation dose. Nineteen patients were included. (12 male, mean age 58). Noise was significantly lower in low dose images reconstructed with ASIR compared to routine dose images reconstructed with FBP (liver: p <.05, aorta: p < 0.001). Low dose FBP images were scored significantly lower for subjective image quality than low dose ASIR (2.1 ± 0.5, 3.2 ± 0.8, p < 0.001). There was no difference in subjective image quality scores between routine dose FBP images and low dose ASIR images (3.6 ± 0.5, 3.2 ± 0.8, NS).Radiation dose was 41% less for the low dose protocol (4.4 ± 2.4 mSv versus 7.5 ± 5.5 mSv, p < 0.05). Our initial results suggest low dose CT images reconstructed with ASIR may have lower measured noise, similar image quality, yet significantly less radiation dose compared with higher dose images reconstructed with FBP. (orig.)

  1. Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction versus filtered back projection in the same patient: 64 channel liver CT image quality and patient radiation dose

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mitsumori, Lee M.; Shuman, William P.; Busey, Janet M.; Kolokythas, Orpheus; Koprowicz, Kent M. [University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Radiology, Seattle, WA (United States)

    2012-01-15

    To compare routine dose liver CT reconstructed with filtered back projection (FBP) versus low dose images reconstructed with FBP and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR). In this retrospective study, patients had a routine dose protocol reconstructed with FBP, and again within 17 months (median 6.1 months), had a low dose protocol reconstructed twice, with FBP and ASIR. These reconstructions were compared for noise, image quality, and radiation dose. Nineteen patients were included. (12 male, mean age 58). Noise was significantly lower in low dose images reconstructed with ASIR compared to routine dose images reconstructed with FBP (liver: p <.05, aorta: p < 0.001). Low dose FBP images were scored significantly lower for subjective image quality than low dose ASIR (2.1 {+-} 0.5, 3.2 {+-} 0.8, p < 0.001). There was no difference in subjective image quality scores between routine dose FBP images and low dose ASIR images (3.6 {+-} 0.5, 3.2 {+-} 0.8, NS).Radiation dose was 41% less for the low dose protocol (4.4 {+-} 2.4 mSv versus 7.5 {+-} 5.5 mSv, p < 0.05). Our initial results suggest low dose CT images reconstructed with ASIR may have lower measured noise, similar image quality, yet significantly less radiation dose compared with higher dose images reconstructed with FBP. (orig.)

  2. Quality improvement "201": context-relevant quality improvement leadership training for the busy clinician-educator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stille, Christopher J; Savageau, Judith A; McBride, Jeanne; Alper, Eric J

    2012-01-01

    Development of quality improvement (QI) skills and leadership for busy clinician-educators in academic medical centers is increasingly necessary, although it is challenging given limited resources. In response, the authors developed the Quality Scholars program for primary care teaching faculty. They conducted a needs assessment, evaluated existing internal and national resources, and developed a 9-month, 20-session project-based curriculum that combines didactic and hands-on techniques with facilitated project discussion. They also conducted pre-post tests of knowledge and attitudes, and evaluations of each session, scholars' projects, and program sustainability and costs. In all, 10 scholars from all 3 generalist disciplines comprised the first class. A wide spectrum of previous experiences enhanced collaboration. QI knowledge increased slightly, and reported self-readiness to lead QI projects increased markedly. Protected time for project work and group discussion of QI topics was seen as essential. All 10 scholars completed projects and presented results. Institutional leadership agreed to sustain the program using institutional funds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadhiatma, A.

    2018-03-01

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

  4. Effects of acquisition time and reconstruction algorithm on image quality, quantitative parameters, and clinical interpretation of myocardial perfusion imaging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Enevoldsen, Lotte H; Menashi, Changez A K; Andersen, Ulrik B

    2013-01-01

    time (HT) protocols and Evolution for Cardiac Software. METHODS: We studied 45 consecutive, non-selected patients referred for a clinically indicated routine 2-day stress/rest (99m)Tc-Sestamibi myocardial perfusion SPECT. All patients underwent an FT and an HT scan. Both FT and HT scans were processed......-RR) and for quantitative analysis (FT-FBP, HT-FBP, and HT-RR). The datasets were analyzed using commercially available QGS/QPS software and read by two observers evaluating image quality and clinical interpretation. Image quality was assessed on a 10-cm visual analog scale score. RESULTS: HT imaging was associated......: Use of RR reconstruction algorithms compensates for loss of image quality associated with reduced scan time. Both HT acquisition and RR reconstruction algorithm had significant effects on motion and perfusion parameters obtained with standard software, but these effects were relatively small...

  5. Improving quality of tuberculosis care in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pai, Madhukar; Satyanarayana, Srinath; Hopewell, Phil

    2014-01-01

    In India, the quality of care that tuberculosis (TB) patients receive varies considerably and is often not in accordance with the national and international standards. In this article, we provide an overview of the third (latest) edition of the International Standards of Tuberculosis Care (ISTC). These standards are supported by the existing World Health Organization guidelines and policy statements pertaining to TB care and have been endorsed by a number of international organizations. We call upon all health care providers in the country to practice TB care that is consistent with these standards, as well as the upcoming Standards for TB Care in India (STCI).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Stephanie P; Rehder, Kyle J

    2017-01-01

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

  7. It Pays to Improve School Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanushek, Eric A.; Ruhose, Jens; Woessmann, Ludger

    2016-01-01

    Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act, supplanting No Child Left Behind and placing responsibility for public school improvement squarely upon each of the 50 states. With the federal government's role in school accountability sharply diminished, it now falls to state and local governments to take decisive action. Even though most…

  8. Quality improvement in Vignoles through clonal selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Our goal is to select an improved, loose-clustered clone of Vignoles that will contribute to an integrated approach to disease control. Clonal selection has historically proven useful in reducing cluster compactness through a variety of mechanisms, including decreased berry size, lengthening of the ...

  9. Definition of quality indicators in microsurgery in head and neck reconstruction based on a 5-year follow-up without a loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, P; Poort, L; Böckmann, R; Lethaus, B

    2013-01-01

    Microsurgical tissue transfer is a standard procedure in reconstructive surgery of defects in head and neck oncology patients. According to the literature vascular thrombosis occurs in 8-14% of cases and is considered to be the main reason for flap failure. A review of the literature on this subject was carried out and related to the quality guidelines of the Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery in the Maastricht University Medical Centre. We defined quality indicators and quality goals for the reconstruction of head and neck defects. We investigated whether or not these parameters are practicable in a specialized head and neck cancer unit. We included 81 consecutive patients with oral cancer/osteoradionecrosis of the mandible who received a microsurgical free tissue transfer for reconstruction. The patients were treated in our institution between August 2007 and December 2011. Patient data were collected in a prospective database. Follow-up was conducted in the Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery. Data were analysed for the defined reference groups, and the results were compared with the quality goals. Median follow-up was 29.1 (range 1-55) months. There were only six (7.4%) immediate complications leading to compromised flaps. Among the complications were four (5.0%) anastomosis-related complications and two haematomas (2.5%). There was no flap loss. Based on the quality goals we were able to reach an overall flap success rate of 100%. Most of the defined quality goals can be attained in a specialized head and neck unit. Careful patient selection, pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic and surgical measures for preventing thrombosis, such as meticulous micro-vascular surgery are considered to be essential. No consensus in the literature was found on how complications could best be prevented. The role of a standardized pre-, peri- and postoperative management is presented. The importance of thorough planning and the technical skill of the reconstructive

  10. Anatomic single-bundle anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction improves walking economy: hamstrings tendon versus patellar tendon grafts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iliopoulos, Efthymios; Galanis, Nikiforos; Zafeiridis, Andreas; Iosifidis, Michael; Papadopoulos, Pericles; Potoupnis, Michael; Geladas, Nikolaos; Vrabas, Ioannis S; Kirkos, John

    2017-10-01

    Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is associated with a pathologic gait pattern and increased energy cost during locomotion. ACL reconstruction could improve the gait pattern. Hamstrings tendon (HAM) and bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) grafts are usually used for reconstruction. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of anatomic ACL reconstruction with HAM and BPTB grafts on improving and normalizing the energy cost and physiologic reserves during flat, uphill, and downhill walking. Twenty male subjects with unilateral ACL injuries were randomly assigned to ACL reconstruction with a HAM (n = 10) or BPTB (n = 10) graft. Ten matched controls were also enrolled. All participants performed three 8-min walking tasks at 0, +10, and -10 % gradients before and 9 months after surgery. Energy cost (oxygen consumption, VO 2 ), heart rate (HR), and ventilation (VE) were measured. Lysholm/IKDC scores were recorded. Pre-operatively, VO 2 , HR, and VE were higher in the HAM and BPTB groups than in controls during walking at 0, +10, and -10 % gradients (p energy cost and nearly normalized locomotion economy and cardiorespiratory reserves during flat, uphill, and downhill walking. The improved locomotion economy is an additional benefit of anatomic ACL reconstruction, irrespective of the type of graft used, that the orthopaedic surgeons should consider. II.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Sophie Yahui

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-13

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

  14. IMPROVEMENT OF QUALITY ASSURANCE SYSTEM ACTIVITIES OF HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. M. Sultalieva

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. The aim of the article is the improvement of quality assessment system of higher education institutions in the aspect of management. The problems of quality improvement are revealed and classified. The analysis of criteria assessment sets used to define the efficiency of higher education institutions activity is carried out. The components of quality of higher education institutions activity are specified. The structural model of quality assessment system of higher education institutions activity is offered. The analysis of macro environment of a university based on the method of strategic management is carried out, i.e. PEST analysis. As a result of the research a new model of macro criteria model of quality assessment system of higher education institutions, characterizing quality management as an approach to university efficiency is offered, moreover, this system can define the level of its competitiveness in the aspect of quality management. 

  15. Improvement of power quality using distributed generation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moreno-Munoz, A.; Lopez-Rodriguez, M.A.; Flores-Arias, J.M.; Bellido-Outerino, F.J. [Universidad de Cordoba, Departamento A.C., Electronica y T.E., Escuela Politecnica Superior, Campus de Rabanales, E-14071 Cordoba (Spain); de-la-Rosa, J.J.G. [Universidad de Cadiz, Area de Electronica, Dpto. ISA, TE y Electronica, Escuela Politecnica Superior Avda, Ramon Puyol, S/N, E-11202-Algeciras-Cadiz (Spain); Ruiz-de-Adana, M. [Universidad de Cordoba, Departamento de Quimica Fisica y Termodinamica Aplicada, Campus de Rabanales, E-14071 Cordoba (Spain)

    2010-12-15

    This paper addresses how Distributed Generation (DG), particularly when configured in Combined Heat and Power (CHP) mode, can become a powerful reliability solution in highlight automated factories, especially when integrated with complimentary Power Quality (PQ) measures. The paper presents results from the PQ audit conducted at a highly automated plant over last year. It was found that the main problems for the equipment installed were voltage sags. Among all categories of electrical disturbances, the voltage sag (dip) and momentary interruption are the nemeses of the automated industrial process. The paper analyzes the capabilities of modern electronic power supplies and the convenience of embedded solution. Finally it is addressed the role of the DG/CHP on the reliability of digital factories. (author)

  16. Improving collected rainwater quality in rural communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrido, S; Aviles, M; Ramirez, A; Gonzalez, A; Montellano, L; Gonzalez, B; de la Paz, J; Ramirez, R M

    2011-01-01

    The country of Mexico is facing serious problems with water quality and supply for human use and consumption in rural communities, mainly due to topographic and isolation. In Mexico the average annual precipitation is 1,500 cubic kilometers of water, if 3% of that amount were used, 13 million Mexicans could be supplied with drinking water that they currently do not have access. Considering the limited infrastructure and management in rural communities, which do not receive services from the centralized systems of large cities, a modified pilot multi-stage filtration (MMSF) system was designed, developed, and evaluated for treating collected rainwater in three rural communities, Ajuchitlan and Villa Nicolas Zapata (Morelos State) and Xacxamayo (Puebla State). The efficiencies obtained in the treatment system were: colour and turbidity >93%. It is worth mentioning that the water obtained for human use and consumption complies with the Mexican Standard NOM-127-SSA1-1994.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandar Marić

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark L. Zeidel

    2011-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidel, Mark L

    2011-07-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

    textabstractBackground: A quality improvement collaborative, often used by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, is used to educate healthcare professionals and improve healthcare at the same time. However, no prior research has been done on the knowledge and skills healthcare professionals need

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  5. Electron track reconstruction and improved modulation for photoelectric X-ray polarimetry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Tenglin [Department of Engineering Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Key Laboratory of Particle & Radiation Imaging (Tsinghua University), Ministry of Education (China); Zeng, Ming, E-mail: zengming@tsinghua.edu.cn [Department of Engineering Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Key Laboratory of Particle & Radiation Imaging (Tsinghua University), Ministry of Education (China); Feng, Hua [Department of Engineering Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Key Laboratory of Particle & Radiation Imaging (Tsinghua University), Ministry of Education (China); Center for Astrophysics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Cang, Jirong [Department of Engineering Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Key Laboratory of Particle & Radiation Imaging (Tsinghua University), Ministry of Education (China); Li, Hong; Zhang, Heng [Department of Engineering Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Key Laboratory of Particle & Radiation Imaging (Tsinghua University), Ministry of Education (China); Center for Astrophysics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Zeng, Zhi; Cheng, Jianping; Ma, Hao; Liu, Yinong [Department of Engineering Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Key Laboratory of Particle & Radiation Imaging (Tsinghua University), Ministry of Education (China)

    2017-06-21

    The key to photoelectric X-ray polarimetry is the determination of the emission direction of photoelectrons. Because of the low mass of an electron, the ionisation trajectory is not straight and the useful information needed for polarimetry is stored mostly in the initial part of the track where less energy is deposited. We present a new algorithm, based on the shortest path problem in graph theory, to reconstruct the 2D electron track from the measured image that is blurred due to transversal diffusion along drift and multiplication in the gas chamber. Compared with previous methods based on moment analysis, this algorithm allows us to identify the photoelectric interaction point more accurately and precisely for complicated tracks resulting from high energy photons or low pressure chambers. This leads to a better position resolution and a higher degree of modulation toward high energy X-rays. The new algorithm is justified using simulations and measurements with the gas pixel detector (GPD), and it should also work for other polarimetric techniques such as a time projection chamber (TPC). As the improvement is restricted in the high energy band, this new algorithm shows limited improvement for the sensitivity of GPD polarimeters, but it may have a larger potential for low-pressure TPC polarimeters.

  6. Grad-Shafranov reconstruction: overview and improvement of the numerical solution used in space physics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ojeda Gonzalez, A.; Domingues, M.O.; Mendes, O., E-mail: ojeda.gonzalez.a@gmail.com [Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Kaibara, M.K. [Universidade Federal Fluminense (GMA/IME/UFF), Niteroi, RJ (Brazil); Prestes, A. [Universidade do Vale do Paraiba (IP and D/UNIVAP), Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil). Lab. de Fisica e Astronomia

    2015-10-15

    The Grad-Shafranov equation is a Poisson's equation, i.e., a partial differential equation of elliptic type. The problem is depending on the initial condition and can be treated as a Cauchy problem. Although it is ill-posed or ill-conditioned, it can be integrated numerically. In the integration of the GS equation, singularities with large values of the potential arise after a certain number of integration steps away from the original data line, and a filter should be used. The Grad-Shafranov reconstruction (GSR) technique was developed from 1996 to 2000 for recovering two-dimensional structures in the magnetopause in an ideal MHD formulation. Other works have used the GSR techniques to study magnetic flux ropes in the solar wind and in the magnetotail from a single spacecraft dataset; posteriorly, it was extended to treat measurements from multiple satellites. From Vlasov equation, it is possible to arrive at the GS-equation in function of the normalized vector potential. A general solution is obtained using complex variable theory. A specific solution was chosen as benchmark case to solve numerically the GS equation.We propose some changes in the resolution scheme of the GS equation to improve the solution. The result of each method is compared with the solution proposed by Hau and Sonnerup (J. Geophys. Res. 104(A4), 6899-6917 (1999)). The main improvement found in the GS resolution was the need to filter Bx values at each y value. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang Xie

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Quantitative evaluation of ASiR image quality: an adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van de Casteele, Elke; Parizel, Paul; Sijbers, Jan

    2012-03-01

    Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASiR) is a new reconstruction algorithm used in the field of medical X-ray imaging. This new reconstruction method combines the idealized system representation, as we know it from the standard Filtered Back Projection (FBP) algorithm, and the strength of iterative reconstruction by including a noise model in the reconstruction scheme. It studies how noise propagates through the reconstruction steps, feeds this model back into the loop and iteratively reduces noise in the reconstructed image without affecting spatial resolution. In this paper the effect of ASiR on the contrast to noise ratio is studied using the low contrast module of the Catphan phantom. The experiments were done on a GE LightSpeed VCT system at different voltages and currents. The results show reduced noise and increased contrast for the ASiR reconstructions compared to the standard FBP method. For the same contrast to noise ratio the images from ASiR can be obtained using 60% less current, leading to a reduction in dose of the same amount.

  9. Software Quality Improvement in the OMC Team

    CERN Document Server

    Maier, Viktor

    Physicists use self-written software as a tool to fulfill their tasks and often the developed software is used for several years or even decades. If a software product lives for a long time, it has to be changed and adapted to external influences. This implies that the source code has to be read, understood and modified. The same applies to the software of the Optics Measurements and Corrections (OMC) team at CERN. Their task is to track, analyze and correct the beams in the LHC and other accelerators. To solve this task, they revert to a self-written software base with more than 150,000 physical lines of code. The base is subject to continuous changes as well. Their software does its job and is effective, but runs regrettably not efficient because some parts of the source code are in a bad shape and has a low quality. The implementation could be faster and more memory efficient. In addition it is difficult to read and understand the code. Source code files and functions are too big and identifiers do not rev...

  10. Optimization of image quality and acquisition time for lab-based X-ray microtomography using an iterative reconstruction algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Qingyang; Andrew, Matthew; Thompson, William; Blunt, Martin J.; Bijeljic, Branko

    2018-05-01

    Non-invasive laboratory-based X-ray microtomography has been widely applied in many industrial and research disciplines. However, the main barrier to the use of laboratory systems compared to a synchrotron beamline is its much longer image acquisition time (hours per scan compared to seconds to minutes at a synchrotron), which results in limited application for dynamic in situ processes. Therefore, the majority of existing laboratory X-ray microtomography is limited to static imaging; relatively fast imaging (tens of minutes per scan) can only be achieved by sacrificing imaging quality, e.g. reducing exposure time or number of projections. To alleviate this barrier, we introduce an optimized implementation of a well-known iterative reconstruction algorithm that allows users to reconstruct tomographic images with reasonable image quality, but requires lower X-ray signal counts and fewer projections than conventional methods. Quantitative analysis and comparison between the iterative and the conventional filtered back-projection reconstruction algorithm was performed using a sandstone rock sample with and without liquid phases in the pore space. Overall, by implementing the iterative reconstruction algorithm, the required image acquisition time for samples such as this, with sparse object structure, can be reduced by a factor of up to 4 without measurable loss of sharpness or signal to noise ratio.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

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

  12. Radiation technology of improved quality materials production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zajkin, Yu.A.; Nadirov, N.K.; Zajkina, R.F.

    1997-01-01

    The technology of materials production from metals and alloys with high operational properties is developed. The technology is based on use of radiation methods in powder metallurgy. Use of radiation processing allows to improve technological conditions of sintering. It is established, that in certain regimes the sintering temperature is decreasing from 1200 deg C up to 950 deg C in the result of radiation processing of stainless steel powders . According to the processing regimes it is possible load reduction by powder pressing on 15-20 % and sintering time in to 1,5 - 2 times . The radiation methods give possibility to produce high qualitative goods from cheap powder materials without use energy-intensive processes and prolonged processing of finished products

  13. Clinical evaluation of image quality and radiation dose reduction in upper abdominal computed tomography using model-based iterative reconstruction; comparison with filtered back projection and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakamoto, Atsushi; Kim, Tonsok; Hori, Masatoshi; Onishi, Hiromitsu; Tsuboyama, Takahiro; Sakane, Makoto; Tatsumi, Mitsuaki; Tomiyama, Noriyuki

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • MBIR significantly improves objective image quality. • MBIR reduces the radiation dose by 87.5% without increasing objective image noise. • A half dose will be needed to maintain the subjective image quality. - Abstract: Purpose: To evaluate the image quality of upper abdominal CT images reconstructed with model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) in comparison with filtered back projection (FBP) and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) on scans acquired with various radiation exposure dose protocols. Materials and methods: This prospective study was approved by our institutional review board, and informed consent was obtained from all 90 patients who underwent both control-dose (CD) and reduced-dose (RD) CT of the upper abdomen (unenhanced: n = 45, contrast-enhanced: n = 45). The RD scan protocol was randomly selected from three protocols; Protocol A: 12.5% dose, Protocol B: 25% dose, Protocol C: 50% dose. Objective image noise, signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio for the liver parenchyma, visual image score and lesion conspicuity were compared among CD images of FBP and RD images of FBP, ASIR and MBIR. Results: RD images of MBIR yielded significantly lower objective image noise and higher SNR compared with RD images of FBP and ASIR for all protocols (P < .01) and CD images of FBP for Protocol C (P < .05). Although the subjective image quality of RD images of MBIR was almost acceptable for Protocol C, it was inferior to that of CD images of FBP for Protocols A and B (P < .0083). The conspicuity of the small lesions in RD images of MBIR tended to be superior to that in RD images of FBP and ASIR and inferior to that in CD images for Protocols A and B, although the differences were not significant (P > .0083). Conclusion: Although 12.5%-dose MBIR images (mean size-specific dose estimates [SSDE] of 1.13 mGy) yielded objective image noise and SNR comparable to CD-FBP images, at least a 50% dose (mean SSDE of 4.63 mGy) would be needed to

  14. Clinical evaluation of image quality and radiation dose reduction in upper abdominal computed tomography using model-based iterative reconstruction; comparison with filtered back projection and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nakamoto, Atsushi, E-mail: a-nakamoto@radiol.med.osaka-u.ac.jp; Kim, Tonsok, E-mail: kim@radiol.med.osaka-u.ac.jp; Hori, Masatoshi, E-mail: mhori@radiol.med.osaka-u.ac.jp; Onishi, Hiromitsu, E-mail: h-onishi@radiol.med.osaka-u.ac.jp; Tsuboyama, Takahiro, E-mail: t-tsuboyama@radiol.med.osaka-u.ac.jp; Sakane, Makoto, E-mail: m-sakane@radiol.med.osaka-u.ac.jp; Tatsumi, Mitsuaki, E-mail: m-tatsumi@radiol.med.osaka-u.ac.jp; Tomiyama, Noriyuki, E-mail: tomiyama@radiol.med.osaka-u.ac.jp

    2015-09-15

    Highlights: • MBIR significantly improves objective image quality. • MBIR reduces the radiation dose by 87.5% without increasing objective image noise. • A half dose will be needed to maintain the subjective image quality. - Abstract: Purpose: To evaluate the image quality of upper abdominal CT images reconstructed with model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) in comparison with filtered back projection (FBP) and adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) on scans acquired with various radiation exposure dose protocols. Materials and methods: This prospective study was approved by our institutional review board, and informed consent was obtained from all 90 patients who underwent both control-dose (CD) and reduced-dose (RD) CT of the upper abdomen (unenhanced: n = 45, contrast-enhanced: n = 45). The RD scan protocol was randomly selected from three protocols; Protocol A: 12.5% dose, Protocol B: 25% dose, Protocol C: 50% dose. Objective image noise, signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio for the liver parenchyma, visual image score and lesion conspicuity were compared among CD images of FBP and RD images of FBP, ASIR and MBIR. Results: RD images of MBIR yielded significantly lower objective image noise and higher SNR compared with RD images of FBP and ASIR for all protocols (P < .01) and CD images of FBP for Protocol C (P < .05). Although the subjective image quality of RD images of MBIR was almost acceptable for Protocol C, it was inferior to that of CD images of FBP for Protocols A and B (P < .0083). The conspicuity of the small lesions in RD images of MBIR tended to be superior to that in RD images of FBP and ASIR and inferior to that in CD images for Protocols A and B, although the differences were not significant (P > .0083). Conclusion: Although 12.5%-dose MBIR images (mean size-specific dose estimates [SSDE] of 1.13 mGy) yielded objective image noise and SNR comparable to CD-FBP images, at least a 50% dose (mean SSDE of 4.63 mGy) would be needed to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Scyoc, Karl

    2008-11-15

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

  16. Process safety improvement-Quality and target zero

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Scyoc, Karl

    2008-01-01

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