WorldWideScience

Sample records for providing improved performance

  1. Real-time video communication improves provider performance in a simulated neonatal resuscitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Jennifer L; Carey, William A; Lang, Tara R; Lohse, Christine M; Colby, Christopher E

    2014-11-01

    To determine if a real-time audiovisual link with a neonatologist, termed video-assisted resuscitation or VAR, improves provider performance during a simulated neonatal resuscitation scenario. Using high-fidelity simulation, 46 study participants were presented with a neonatal resuscitation scenario. The control group performed independently, while the intervention group utilized VAR. Time to effective ventilation was compared using Wilcoxon rank sum tests. Providers' use of the corrective steps for ineffective ventilation per the NRP algorithm was compared using Cochran-Armitage trend tests. The time needed to establish effective ventilation was significantly reduced in the intervention group when compared to the control group (mean time 2 min 42 s versus 4 min 11 s, presuscitation scenario significantly reduces the time to establish effective ventilation and improves provider adherence to NRP guidelines. This technology may be a means for regional centers to support local providers during a neonatal emergency to improve patient safety and improve neonatal outcomes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Providing the Answers Does Not Improve Performance on a College Final Exam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Arnold Lewis; Sinha, Neha

    2013-01-01

    In the context of an upper-level psychology course, even when students were given an opportunity to refer to text containing the answers and change their exam responses in order to improve their exam scores, their performance on these questions improved slightly or not at all. Four experiments evaluated competing explanations for the students'…

  3. Feedback providing improvement strategies and reflection on feedback use: Effects on students' writing motivation, process, and performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duijnhouwer, H.; Prins, F.J.; Stokking, K.M.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of feedback providing improvement strategies and a reflection assignment on students’ writing motivation, process, and performance. Students in the experimental feedback condition (n = 41) received feedback including improvement strategies, whereas students in the

  4. VISION: a regional performance improvement initiative for HIV health care providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, Theodore O; Hicks, Charles B; Naggie, Susanna; Wohl, David A; Albrecht, Helmut; Thielman, Nathan M; Rabin, Daniel U; Layton, Sherry; Subramaniam, Chitra; Grichnik, Katherine P; Shlien, Amanda; Weyer, Dianne

    2014-01-01

    VISION (HIV Integrated Learning ModuleS: Achieving Performance Improvement through CollaboratiON) was a regional performance improvement (PI) continuing medical education (CME) initiative designed to increase guideline-conforming practice of clinicians who manage patients with HIV infection. The 3-part activity consisted of (1) clinical practice assessment and development of an action plan for practice change, (2) completion of relevant education, and (3) reassessment. The activity did not change practitioners' performance in clinical status monitoring and in patient treatment, in large part because guidelines were being appropriately implemented at baseline as well as after the educational intervention. There was a trend toward improvement, however, in practitioner performance in the area of patient medication adherence (increased from 66% to 74%). Results observed in the VISION initiative were consistent with HIVQUAL metrics. Ongoing education in HIV is important, and VISION demonstrated performance improvement in medication adherence, a critical aspect of health care. © 2014 The Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions, the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education, and the Council on Continuing Medical Education, Association for Hospital Medical Education.

  5. Correlation between provider computer experience and accuracy of electronic anesthesia charting A pilot study and performance improvement project

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-03-20

    Anesthesia recordkeeping: Accuracy of recall with computerized and manual entry recordkeeping. CORRELATION BETWEEN PROVIDER COMPUTER EXPERIENCE 39...Unexpected increased mortality after implementation of a CORRELATION BETWEEN PROVIDER COMPUTER EXPERIENCE 40 commercially sold computerized physician...Correlation between provider computer experience and accuracy of electronic anesthesia charting – A pilot study and performance improvement

  6. Nutritional Supplement of Hatchery Eggshell Membrane Improves Poultry Performance and Provides Resistance against Endotoxin Stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S K Makkar

    Full Text Available Eggshells are significant part of hatchery waste which consist of calcium carbonate crust, membranes, and proteins and peptides of embryonic origins along with other entrapped contaminants including microbes. We hypothesized that using this product as a nutritional additive in poultry diet may confer better immunity to the chickens in the paradigm of mammalian milk that enhances immunity. Therefore, we investigated the effect of hatchery eggshell membranes (HESM as a short term feed supplement on growth performance and immunity of chickens under bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS challenged condition. Three studies were conducted to find the effect of HESM supplement on post hatch chickens. In the first study, the chickens were fed either a control diet or diets containing 0.5% whey protein or HESM as supplement and evaluated at 5 weeks of age using growth, hematology, clinical chemistry, plasma immunoglobulins, and corticosterone as variables. The second and third studies were done to compare the effects of LPS on control and HESM fed birds at 5 weeks of age following at 4 and 24 h of treatment where the HESM was also sterilized with ethanol to deplete bacterial factors. HESM supplement caused weight gain in 2 experiments and decreased blood corticosterone concentrations. While LPS caused a significant loss in body weight at 24 h following its administration, the HESM supplemented birds showed significantly less body weight loss compared with the control fed birds. The WBC, heterophil/lymphocyte ratio, and the levels of IgG were low in chickens fed diets with HESM supplement compared with control diet group. LPS challenge increased the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine gene IL-6 but the HESM fed birds showed its effect curtailed, also, which also, favored the up-regulation of anti-inflammatory genes compared with control diet fed chickens. Post hatch supplementation of HESM appears to improve performance, modulate immunity, and increase

  7. Nutritional Supplement of Hatchery Eggshell Membrane Improves Poultry Performance and Provides Resistance against Endotoxin Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makkar, S K; Rath, N C; Packialakshmi, B; Zhou, Z Y; Huff, G R; Donoghue, A M

    2016-01-01

    Eggshells are significant part of hatchery waste which consist of calcium carbonate crust, membranes, and proteins and peptides of embryonic origins along with other entrapped contaminants including microbes. We hypothesized that using this product as a nutritional additive in poultry diet may confer better immunity to the chickens in the paradigm of mammalian milk that enhances immunity. Therefore, we investigated the effect of hatchery eggshell membranes (HESM) as a short term feed supplement on growth performance and immunity of chickens under bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenged condition. Three studies were conducted to find the effect of HESM supplement on post hatch chickens. In the first study, the chickens were fed either a control diet or diets containing 0.5% whey protein or HESM as supplement and evaluated at 5 weeks of age using growth, hematology, clinical chemistry, plasma immunoglobulins, and corticosterone as variables. The second and third studies were done to compare the effects of LPS on control and HESM fed birds at 5 weeks of age following at 4 and 24 h of treatment where the HESM was also sterilized with ethanol to deplete bacterial factors. HESM supplement caused weight gain in 2 experiments and decreased blood corticosterone concentrations. While LPS caused a significant loss in body weight at 24 h following its administration, the HESM supplemented birds showed significantly less body weight loss compared with the control fed birds. The WBC, heterophil/lymphocyte ratio, and the levels of IgG were low in chickens fed diets with HESM supplement compared with control diet group. LPS challenge increased the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine gene IL-6 but the HESM fed birds showed its effect curtailed, also, which also, favored the up-regulation of anti-inflammatory genes compared with control diet fed chickens. Post hatch supplementation of HESM appears to improve performance, modulate immunity, and increase resistance of

  8. A feasibility study of a web-based performance improvement system for substance abuse treatment providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forman, Robert; Crits-Christoph, Paul; Kaynak, Ovgü; Worley, Matt; Hantula, Donald A; Kulaga, Agatha; Rotrosen, John; Chu, Melissa; Gallop, Robert; Potter, Jennifer; Muchowski, Patrice; Brower, Kirk; Strobbe, Stephen; Magruder, Kathy; Chellis, A'Delle H; Clodfelter, Tad; Cawley, Margaret

    2007-12-01

    We report here on the feasibility of implementing a semiautomated performance improvement system-Patient Feedback (PF)-that enables real-time monitoring of patient ratings of therapeutic alliance, treatment satisfaction, and drug/alcohol use in outpatient substance abuse treatment clinics. The study was conducted in six clinics within the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network. It involved a total of 39 clinicians and 6 clinic supervisors. Throughout the course of the study (consisting of five phases: training period [4 weeks], baseline [4 weeks], intervention [12 weeks], postintervention assessment [4 weeks], sustainability [1 year]), there was an overall collection rate of 75.5% of the clinic patient census. In general, the clinicians in these clinics had very positive treatment satisfaction and alliance ratings throughout the study. However, one clinic had worse drug use scores at baseline than other participating clinics and showed a decrease in self-reported drug use at postintervention. Although the implementation of the PF system proved to be feasible in actual clinical settings, further modifications of the PF system are needed to enhance any potential clinical usefulness.

  9. Feedback Providing Improvement Strategies and Reflection on Feedback Use: Effects on Students' Writing Motivation, Process, and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duijnhouwer, Hendrien; Prins, Frans J.; Stokking, Karel M.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of feedback providing improvement strategies and a reflection assignment on students' writing motivation, process, and performance. Students in the experimental feedback condition (n = 41) received feedback including improvement strategies, whereas students in the control feedback condition (n = 41) received…

  10. Interdepartmental Occupational Standards for Social Service Providers and Their Role in Improving Job Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zabrodin Yu.M.,

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents an analysis of the occupational standards development abroad and in Russia. It focuses on interdepartmental occupational standards for social service providers. While creating occupational standards for social services as an integrated industry it is advisable to consider the design of whole system and its macro-level effects in a document called “sectoral qualification framework”. It is pointed out that 1 real professional activity in social sphere has a clear humanitarian focus, and its objects are radically different population groups; 2 the complexity of the social work is often associated with the interaction between various professionals and their activity have to be interdepartmentally organized. The author identifies the factors influencing development and implementation of professional standards in different countries and consider the main strategy directions of development and application of occupational standards of education and social service providers in Russia.

  11. Using a quality improvement model to enhance providers' performance in maternal and newborn health care : a post-only intervention and comparison design

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ayalew, Firew; Eyassu, Gizachew; Seyoum, Negash; van Roosmalen, Jos; Bazant, Eva; Kim, Young Mi; Tekleberhan, Alemnesh; Gibson, Hannah; Daniel, Ephrem; Stekelenburg, Jelle

    2017-01-01

    Background: The Standards Based Management and Recognition (SBM-R (R)) approach to quality improvement has been implemented in Ethiopia to strengthen routine maternal and newborn health (MNH) services. This evaluation assessed the effect of the intervention on MNH providers' performance of routine

  12. Using a quality improvement model to enhance providers' performance in maternal and newborn health care: a post-only intervention and comparison design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayalew, Firew; Eyassu, Gizachew; Seyoum, Negash; van Roosmalen, Jos; Bazant, Eva; Kim, Young Mi; Tekleberhan, Alemnesh; Gibson, Hannah; Daniel, Ephrem; Stekelenburg, Jelle

    2017-04-12

    The Standards Based Management and Recognition (SBM-R(©)) approach to quality improvement has been implemented in Ethiopia to strengthen routine maternal and newborn health (MNH) services. This evaluation assessed the effect of the intervention on MNH providers' performance of routine antenatal care (ANC), uncomplicated labor and delivery and immediate postnatal care (PNC) services. A post-only evaluation design was conducted at three hospitals and eight health centers implementing SBM-R and the same number of comparison health facilities. Structured checklists were used to observe MNH providers' performance on ANC (236 provider-client interactions), uncomplicated labor and delivery (226 provider-client interactions), and immediate PNC services in the six hours after delivery (232 provider-client interactions); observations were divided equally between intervention and comparison groups. Main outcomes were provider performance scores, calculated as the percentage of essential tasks in each service area completed by providers. Multilevel analysis was used to calculate adjusted mean percentage performance scores and standard errors to compare intervention and comparison groups. There was no statistically significant difference between intervention and comparison facilities in overall mean performance scores for ANC services (63.4% at intervention facilities versus 61.0% at comparison facilities, p = 0.650) or in any specific ANC skill area. MNH providers' overall mean performance score for uncomplicated labor and delivery care was 11.9 percentage points higher in the intervention than in the comparison group (77.5% versus 65.6%; p = 0.002). Overall mean performance scores for immediate PNC were 22.2 percentage points higher at intervention than at comparison facilities (72.8% versus 50.6%; p = 0.001); and there was a significant difference of 22 percentage points between intervention and comparison facilities for each PNC skill area: care for the newborn

  13. Improving health worker performance of abortion services: an assessment of post-training support to providers in India, Nepal and Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Janie; Healy, Joan; Dijkerman, Sally; Andersen, Kathryn

    2017-11-21

    Health worker performance has been the focus of numerous interventions and evaluation studies in low- and middle-income countries. Few have examined changes in individual provider performance with an intervention encompassing post-training support contacts to improve their clinical practice and resolve programmatic problems. This paper reports the results of an intervention with 3471 abortion providers in India, Nepal and Nigeria. Following abortion care training, providers received in-person visits and virtual contacts by a clinical and programmatic support team for a 12-month period, designed to address their individual practice issues. The intervention also included technical assistance to and upgrades in facilities where the providers worked. Quantitative measures to assess provider performance were established, including: 1) Increase in service provision; 2) Consistent service provision; 3) Provision of high quality of care through use of World Health Organization-recommended uterine evacuation technologies, management of pain and provision of post-abortion contraception; and 4) Post-abortion contraception method mix. Descriptive univariate analysis was conducted, followed by examination of the bivariate relationships between all independent variables and the four dependent performance outcome variables by calculating unadjusted odds ratios, by country and overall. Finally, multivariate logistic regression was performed for each outcome. Providers received an average of 5.7 contacts. Sixty-two percent and 46% of providers met measures for consistent service provision and quality of care, respectively. Fewer providers achieved an increased number of services (24%). Forty-six percent provided an appropriate postabortion contraceptive mix to clients. Most providers met the quality components for use of WHO-recommended abortion methods and provision of pain management. Factors significantly associated with achievement of all measures were providers working in

  14. How can information systems provide support to nurses’ hand hygiene performance? Using gamification and indoor location to improve hand hygiene awareness and reduce hospital infections

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Marques, Rita; Gregório, João; Pinheiro, Fernando; Póvoa, Pedro; da Silva, Miguel Mira; Lapão, Luís Velez

    2017-01-01

    .... To raise awareness regarding hand hygiene compliance, individual behaviour change and performance optimization, we aimed to develop a gamification solution that collects data and provides real-time...

  15. Provider Customer Service Program - Performance Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — CMS is continuously analyzing performance and quality of the Provider Customer Service Programs (PCSPs) of the contractors and will be identifying trends and making...

  16. How can information systems provide support to nurses' hand hygiene performance? Using gamification and indoor location to improve hand hygiene awareness and reduce hospital infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, Rita; Gregório, João; Pinheiro, Fernando; Póvoa, Pedro; da Silva, Miguel Mira; Lapão, Luís Velez

    2017-01-31

    Hospital-acquired infections are still amongst the major problems health systems are facing. Their occurrence can lead to higher morbidity and mortality rates, increased length of hospital stay, and higher costs for both hospital and patients. Performing hand hygiene is a simple and inexpensive prevention measure, but healthcare workers' compliance with it is often far from ideal. To raise awareness regarding hand hygiene compliance, individual behaviour change and performance optimization, we aimed to develop a gamification solution that collects data and provides real-time feedback accurately in a fun and engaging way. A Design Science Research Methodology (DSRM) was used to conduct this work. DSRM is useful to study the link between research and professional practices by designing, implementing and evaluating artifacts that address a specific need. It follows a development cycle (or iteration) composed by six activities. Two work iterations were performed applying gamification components, each using a different indoor location technology. Preliminary experiments, simulations and field studies were performed in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a Portuguese tertiary hospital. Nurses working on this ICU were in a focus group during the research, participating in several sessions across the implementation process. Nurses enjoyed the concept and considered that it allows for a unique opportunity to receive feedback regarding their performance. Tests performed on the indoor location technology applied in the first iteration regarding distances estimation presented an unacceptable lack of accuracy. Using a proximity-based technique, it was possible to identify the sequence of positions, but beacons presented an unstable behaviour. In the second work iteration, a different indoor location technology was explored but it did not work properly, so there was no chance of testing the solution as a whole (gamification application included). Combining automated monitoring

  17. Improving SQL Server Perform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolae MERCIOIU

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available With the development of client server technology and multilayer architectures the systems ef-ficiency issue has been increasingly discussed. Lacking knowledge in optimization methods and tools offered by DBMS's, database administrators and developers of applications based on Microsoft technologies cannot optimally design and service performing systems. In this article we review the objectives that should be considered (in order to improve performance of SQL Server instances and we describe the techniques used to optimize queries. Also, we explain and illustrate the new optimization features offered by SQL Server 2008.

  18. Windows with improved energy performances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Jacob Birck; Svendsen, Svend

    2003-01-01

    performance of windows can be reached by development of each element of the window, but to gain a considerable improvement in the overall energy performance all elements of the windows need to be examined together and the construction optimised. This paper describes potential improvements of window elements......Heat loss through windows represents a considerable part of the total heat loss from houses. However, apart from providing daylight access and view, windows offer a unique potential for solar gain to be exploited during the heating season. Until now valuation of the energy performance of windows...... has primary focused on the heat loss coefficient, U-value. However, as the U-value, especially for the glazing part, has improved considerably during the last years, the total solar energy transmittance, g-value, has become equally important to the total energy performance of windows. Improved energy...

  19. Improving iSC performance through outsourcing - Considerations for using third-party service providers to increase innovation, capacity and efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Martin; Forster, Gary; Beale, John

    2017-04-19

    Development partners and donors have encouraged and incentivized governments in developing countries to explore ways of working with third-party service suppliers to reduce costs and increase service delivery capacity. The distribution of vaccines and medicines has for a long time shown demand for outsourcing but public health systems have struggled to develop the expertise and capital assets necessary to manage such ventures. Existing transport and logistics capacity within public health systems, in particular, is well documented as being insufficient to support existing, let alone future immunization needs. Today, a number of countries are contracting party logistics providers (3PLs) to supplement the in-house distribution operations of public health systems. This commentary reflects on recent, leading examples of outsourcing initiatives to address critical gaps in transport and logistics. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Improved power performance assessment methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-03-01

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

  1. A randomised control trial to determine if use of the iResus©application on a smart phone improves the performance of an advanced life support provider in a simulated medical emergency

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Low, D; Clark, N; Soar, J; Padkin, A; Stoneham, A; Perkins, G. D; Nolan, J

    2011-01-01

    This study sought to determine whether using the Resuscitation Council UK’s iResus © application on a smart phone improves the performance of doctors trained in advanced life support in a simulated emergency...

  2. Signal Processing for Improved Wireless Receiver Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Lars P.B.

    2007-01-01

    This thesis is concerned with signal processing for improving the performance of wireless communication receivers for well-established cellular networks such as the GSM/EDGE and WCDMA/HSPA systems. The goal of doing so, is to improve the end-user experience and/or provide a higher system capacity...

  3. Improved Performance via the Inverted Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstein, Randy D.

    2015-01-01

    This study examined student performance in an inverted thermodynamics course (lectures provided by video outside of class) compared to a traditional lecture class. Students in the inverted class performed better on their exams. Students in the bottom third of the inverted course showed the greatest improvement. These bottom third students had a C…

  4. A management framework for training providers to improve skills ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Erna Kinsey

    Training providers need an internal management framework to enable them to improve workplace skills development. ... The management role of workplace training providers in the midst of the skills revolution is under ...... Benefit Analysis to determine a Return on Investment; TQM or Total. Quality Management; and PMF or ...

  5. Bitumen nanocomposites with improved performance

    KAUST Repository

    Kosma, Vasiliki

    2017-11-29

    Bitumen-clay nanocomposite binders with styrene-butadienestyrene triblock copolymer, SBS, and combinations of SBS and crumb rubber (CR) with different CR/SBS ratios have been synthesized and characterized. In addition to the binder, samples containing the binder and concrete sand (with a weight ratio 1:9) were prepared. The modified binders were studied in terms of filler dispersion, storage stability, mechanical performance and water susceptibility. We demonstrate that the samples containing nanoclays consistently outperform those based only on the polymer additives. We also find that nanocomposite samples based on a combination of SBS and CR are best, since in addition to other improvements they show excellent storage stability. Our work shows that substituting CR with SBS as a bitumen additive and combining it with inexpensive nanoclays leads to new materials with enhanced performance and improved stability for practical asphalt applications.

  6. 5 CFR 9701.407 - Monitoring performance and providing feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... implementing directives and policies, supervisors must— (a) Monitor the performance of their employees and the organization; and (b) Provide timely periodic feedback to employees on their actual performance with respect to their performance expectations, including one or more interim performance reviews during each appraisal...

  7. Bioreactor control improves bioprocess performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simutis, Rimvydas; Lübbert, Andreas

    2015-08-01

    The performance of bioreactors is not only determined by productivity but also by process quality, which is mainly determined by variances in the process variables. As fluctuations in these quantities directly affect the variability in the product properties, combatting distortions is the main task of practical quality assurance. The straightforward way of reducing this variability is keeping the product formation process tightly under control. Purpose of this keynote is to show that there is enough evidence in literature showing that the performance of the fermentation processes can significantly be improved by feedback control. Most of the currently used open loop control procedures can be replaced by relatively simple feedback techniques. It is shown by practical examples that such a retrofitting does not require significant changes in the well-established equipment. Feedback techniques are best in assuring high reproducibility of the industrial cultivation processes and thus in assuring the quality of their products. Many developments in supervising and controlling industrial fermentations can directly be taken over in manufacturing processes. Even simple feedback controllers can efficiently improve the product quality. It's the time now that manufacturers follow the developments in most other industries and improve process quality by automatic feedback control. Copyright © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. The value journey: improving cost structure through performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMarco, Victor G; Richards, Barton S; Volkmar, Larry; Gorski, Lauren C

    2016-06-01

    A performance improvement project helped Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in New York, which serves a highly indigent population, to increase efficiencies and cost savings as it moved toward value-based health care. Specific initiatives included in-depth analyses of provider and employee productivity, performed by focus teams led by executive sponsors and the department directors or managers. Through two broad phases, focusing on nonlabor and labor areas, the organization was able to realize savings amounting to more than $20 million.

  9. A randomised control trial to determine if use of the iResus© application on a smart phone improves the performance of an advanced life support provider in a simulated medical emergency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Low, D; Clark, N; Soar, J; Padkin, A; Stoneham, A; Perkins, G D; Nolan, J

    2011-04-01

    This study sought to determine whether using the Resuscitation Council UK's iResus© application on a smart phone improves the performance of doctors trained in advanced life support in a simulated emergency. Thirty-one doctors (advanced life support-trained within the previous 48 months) were recruited. All received identical training using the smart phone and the iResus application. The participants were randomly assigned to a control group (no smart phone) and a test group (access to iResus on smart phone). Both groups were tested using a validated extended cardiac arrest simulation test (CASTest) scoring system. The primary outcome measure was the overall cardiac arrest simulation test score; these were significantly higher in the smart phone group (median (IQR [range]) 84.5 (75.5-92.5 [64-96])) compared with the control group (72 (62-87 [52-95]); p=0.02). Use of the iResus application significantly improves the performance of an advanced life support-certified doctor during a simulated medical emergency. Further studies are needed to determine if iResus can improve care in the clinical setting. © 2011 The Authors. Anaesthesia © 2011 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.

  10. Purchasing to improve health systems performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Robinson, Ray; Jakubowski, Elke; Figueras, Josep

    2005-01-01

    ... as they formulate purchasing strategies so that they can increase effectiveness and improve performance in their own national context An assessment of the intersecting roles of citizens, the government and the providers * * * Written by leading health policy analysts, this book is essential reading for health policy makers, planners and managers as well as resear...

  11. Critical success factors for performance improvement programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron, William M; Krsek, Cathleen; Weber, Diane; Cerese, Julie

    2005-04-01

    Most health care organizations struggle with the design and implementation of effective, systemwide improvement programs. In 2000, the University HealthSystem Consortium initiated a benchmarking project to identify the organizational elements that predict a successful perfermance improvement (PI) program and that are best suited to support change initiatives. Forty-one organizations completed a survey about the presence of critical components, processes used to improve performance, and organizational PI structures. Follow-up site visits were conducted at three organizations. CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS FOR A PI PROGRAM: Eight organizational success factors for an effective performance improvement program were identified: (1) Strong Administrative Fxecutive and Performance Improvement Leadership, (2) Active Involvement of the Board of Trustees, (3) Effective Oversight Structure, (4) Expert Performance Improvement Staff, (5) Physician Involvement and Accountability, (6) Active Staff Involvement, (7) Effective Use of Information Resources-Data Used for Decision Making, and (8) Effective Communication Strategy. The approach offered is grounded in the belief that effective organizational structures and processes are prerequisites to improving health care delivery. Although some empirical support for the proposed model is provided, additional research will be required to determine the effectiveness of this approach.

  12. Improving Mobility Performance in Wheelchair Basketball.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veeger, Thom T J; De Witte, Annemarie M H; Berger, Monique A M; Van Der Slikke, Rienk M A; Veeger, Dirkjan H E J; Hoozemans, Marco J M

    2017-10-16

    This study aimed to investigate which characteristics of athlete, wheelchair and athlete-wheelchair interface are the best predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance. Sixty experienced wheelchair basketball players performed a wheelchair mobility performance test to assess their mobility performance. To determine which variables were the best predictors of mobility performance, forward stepwise linear regression analyses were performed on a set of 33 characteristics, including ten athlete, nineteen wheelchair and four athlete-wheelchair interface characteristics. Eight of the characteristics turned out to be significant predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance. Classification, experience, maximal isometric force, wheel axis height and hand rim diameter - which both interchangeable with each other and wheel diameter - camber angle, and the vertical distance between shoulder and rear wheel axis - which was interchangeable with seat height - were positively associated with mobility performance. The vertical distance between the front seat and the footrest was negatively associated with mobility performance. With this insight, coaches and biomechanical specialists are provided with statistical findings to determine which characteristics they could focus on best to improve mobility performance. Six out of eight predictors are modifiable and can be optimized to improve mobility performance. These adjustments could be carried out both in training (maximal isometric force) and in wheelchair configurations (e.g. camber angle).

  13. Can Composite Measures Provide a Different Perspective on Provider Performance Than Individual Measures?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shwartz, Michael; Rosen, Amy K; Burgess, James F

    2017-12-01

    Composite measures, which aggregate performance on individual measures into a summary score, are increasingly being used to evaluate facility performance. There is little understanding of the unique perspective that composite measures provide. To examine whether high/low (ie, high or low) performers on a composite measures are also high/low performers on most of the individual measures that comprise the composite. We used data from 2 previous studies, one involving 5 measures from 632 hospitals and one involving 28 measures from 112 Veterans Health Administration (VA) nursing homes; and new data on hospital readmissions for 3 conditions from 131 VA hospitals. To compare high/low performers on a composite to high/low performers on the component measures, we used 2-dimensional tables to categorize facilities into high/low performance on the composite and on the individual component measures. In the first study, over a third of the 162 hospitals in the top quintile based on the composite were in the top quintile on at most 1 of the 5 individual measures. In the second study, over 40% of the 27 high-performing nursing homes on the composite were high performers on 8 or fewer of the 28 individual measures. In the third study, 20% of the 61 low performers on the composite were low performers on only 1 of the 3 individual measures. Composite measures can identify as high/low performers facilities that perform "pretty well" (or "pretty poorly") across many individual measures but may not be high/low performers on most of them.

  14. Self-Study Guide for Florida VPK Provider Improvement Plan Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Beth M.; Mazzeo, Debbie; Smith, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    This Self-Study Guide has been developed to support Florida Voluntary Prekindergarten Providers (VPK) who are required to complete an improvement plan process (i.e., low-performing providers). The guide has sections that can be used during both the process of selecting target areas for an improvement plan and the process of implementing new or…

  15. Flipperons for Improved Aerodynamic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabe, James H.

    2008-01-01

    Lightweight, piezoelectrically actuated bending flight-control surfaces have shown promise as means of actively controlling airflows to improve the performances of transport airplanes. These bending flight-control surfaces are called flipperons because they look somewhat like small ailerons, but, unlike ailerons, are operated in an oscillatory mode reminiscent of the actions of biological flippers. The underlying concept of using flipperons and other flipperlike actuators to impart desired characteristics to flows is not new. Moreover, elements of flipperon-based active flow-control (AFC) systems for aircraft had been developed previously, but it was not until the development reported here that the elements have been integrated into a complete, controllable prototype AFC system for wind-tunnel testing to enable evaluation of the benefits of AFC for aircraft. The piezoelectric actuator materials chosen for use in the flipperons are single- crystal solid solutions of lead zinc niobate and lead titanate, denoted generically by the empirical formula (1-x)[Pb(Zn(1/3)Nb(2/3))O3]:x[PbTiO3] (where x<1) and popularly denoted by the abbreviation PZN-PT. These are relatively newly recognized piezoelectric materials that are capable of strain levels exceeding 1 percent and strain-energy densities 5 times greater than those of previously commercially available piezoelectric materials. Despite their high performance levels, (1-x)[Pb(Zn(1/3)Nb(2/3))O3]:x[PbTiO3] materials have found limited use until now because, relative to previously commercially available piezoelectric materials, they tend to be much more fragile.

  16. Performance of the provider satisfaction inventory to measure provider satisfaction with diabetes care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montori, Victor M; Tweedy, Deborah A; Vogelsang, Debra A; Schryver, Patricia G; Naessens, James M; Smith, Steven A

    2002-01-01

    To develop and validate an inventory to measure provider satisfaction with diabetes management. Using the Mayo Clinic Model of Care, a review of the literature, and expert input, we developed a 4-category (chronic disease management, collaborative team practice, outcomes, and supportive environment), 29-item, 7-point-per-item Provider Satisfaction Inventory (PSI). For evaluation of the PSI, we mailed the survey to 192 primary-care and specialized providers from 8 practice sites (of whom 60 primary-care providers were participating in either usual or planned diabetes care). The Cronbach a score was used to assess the instrument's internal reliability. Participating providers indicated satisfaction or dissatisfaction with management of chronic disease by responding to 29 statements. The response rate was 58%. In each category, the Cronbach a score ranged from 0.71 to 0.90. Providers expressed satisfaction with patient-physician relationships, with the contributions of the nurse educator to the team, and with physician leadership. Providers were dissatisfied with their ability to spend adequate time with the patient (3.6 +/- 1.4), their ability to give patients with diabetes necessary personal attention (4.1 +/- 1.2), the efficient passing of communication (4.3 +/- 1.2), and the opportunities for input to change practice (4.3 +/- 1.6). No statistically significant difference (P = 0.12) was found in mean total scores between planned care (5.0 +/- 0.5) and usual care (4.7 +/- 0.6) providers. Moreover, no significant differences were noted across practice sites. The PSI is a reliable and preliminarily valid instrument for measuring provider satisfaction with diabetes care. Use in research and quality improvement activities awaits further validation.

  17. Improving performance via mini-applications.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crozier, Paul Stewart; Thornquist, Heidi K.; Numrich, Robert W. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN); Williams, Alan B.; Edwards, Harold Carter; Keiter, Eric Richard; Rajan, Mahesh; Willenbring, James M.; Doerfler, Douglas W.; Heroux, Michael Allen

    2009-09-01

    Application performance is determined by a combination of many choices: hardware platform, runtime environment, languages and compilers used, algorithm choice and implementation, and more. In this complicated environment, we find that the use of mini-applications - small self-contained proxies for real applications - is an excellent approach for rapidly exploring the parameter space of all these choices. Furthermore, use of mini-applications enriches the interaction between application, library and computer system developers by providing explicit functioning software and concrete performance results that lead to detailed, focused discussions of design trade-offs, algorithm choices and runtime performance issues. In this paper we discuss a collection of mini-applications and demonstrate how we use them to analyze and improve application performance on new and future computer platforms.

  18. Scientific advances provide opportunities to improve pediatric environmental health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Michael M.; Reddy, Micaela B.; Reddy, Carol F.

    2004-01-01

    The health consequences of contaminants in the environment, with respect to the health of children and infants, recently have been dramatically brought to public attention by the motion pictures Erin Brockovich and A Civil Action. These productions focused public attention on the potential link between water contaminants and pediatric health, a continuing subject of public concern. As a consequence of the increasing production of new commercial chemicals, many chemicals have appeared in the scientific and public awareness as potential threats to health. These new or novel compounds eventually distribute in the environment and often are termed emerging contaminants. Gitterman and Bearer stated, "Children may serve as unwitting sentinels for society; they are often the youngest exposed to many environmental toxicants and may become the youngest in age to manifest adverse responses." The discipline of pediatric environmental health is still in its adolescence, but it will be increasingly important as new chemicals are generated and as more is learned about the health effects of chemicals already in commerce. Here, we provide an overview of recent advances in biomonitoring and environmental monitoring of environmental contaminants including emerging contaminants. Our purpose in writing this commentary is to make pediatricians aware of the current resources available for learning about pediatric environmental health and of ongoing research initiatives that provide opportunities to improve pediatric environmental health.

  19. Network performance and fault analytics for LTE wireless service providers

    CERN Document Server

    Kakadia, Deepak; Gilgur, Alexander

    2017-01-01

     This book is intended to describe how to leverage emerging technologies big data analytics and SDN, to address challenges specific to LTE and IP network performance and fault management data in order to more efficiently manage and operate an LTE wireless networks. The proposed integrated solutions permit the LTE network service provider to operate entire integrated network, from RAN to Core , from UE to application service, as one unified system and correspondingly collect and align disparate key metrics and data, using an integrated and holistic approach to network analysis. The LTE wireless network performance and fault involves the network performance and management of network elements in EUTRAN, EPC and IP transport components, not only as individual components, but also as nuances of inter-working of these components. The key metrics for EUTRAN include radio access network accessibility, retainability, integrity, availability and mobility. The key metrics for EPC include MME accessibility, mobility and...

  20. Heat Acclimation Improves Exercise Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    test concluded after four to seven stages. Gas exchange was continuously measured by open- circuit spirometry . During the last 30 s of each stage a...continuously measured by open-circuit spirometry . Time-trial performance. After a brief warm-up (5 min at 40% of maximal power on cycle ergometer...cardiac performance (maximal cardiac output and maximal stroke volume) following a period of chronic heat stress is also supported by several animal

  1. improving performance of laying hens

    OpenAIRE

    A.P Sinurat; P Ketaren; A.J Cowieson; M.H.L Bento

    2012-01-01

    A trial was conducted in order to study the effect of the supplementation of Avizyme 1500® (Danisco Animal Nutrition, Marlborough, UK) on the performance of laying hens for one year. A control diet based on corn – soybean meal was formulated to meet nutrient requirement of ISA Brown laying hens. Two treatments, the control diet (C) and C + 1000 g Avizyme/tonne diet were tested. Each diet was fed to 80 birds (20 replicates of 4 birds) from 20 to 72 weeks of age, and performances of birds (feed...

  2. Improving Steam System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry, Second Edition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-02-23

    This sourcebook is designed to provide steam system users with a reference that describes the basic steam system components, outlines opportunities for energy and performance improvements, and discusses the benefits of a systems approach in identifying and implementing these improvement opportunities. The sourcebook is divided into three main sections: steam system basics, performance improvement opportunities, and where to find help.

  3. Continuing education for performance improvement: a creative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Patti-Ann; Hardesty, Ilana; White, Julie L; Zisblatt, Lara

    2012-10-01

    In an effort to improve patient safety and health care outcomes, continuing medical education has begun to focus on performance improvement initiatives for physician practices. Boston University School of Medicine's (BUSM) Continuing Nursing Education Accredited Provider Unit has begun a creative project to award nursing contact hours for nurses' participation in performance improvement activities. This column highlights its initial efforts. Copyright 2012, SLACK Incorporated.

  4. Information provided by diagnostic and screening tests: improving probabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weatherall, Mark

    2017-11-13

    Uncertainty in clinical encounters is inevitable and despite this uncertainty clinicians must still work with patients to make diagnostic and treatment decisions. Explicit diagnostic reasoning based on probabilities will optimise information in relation to uncertainty. In clinical diagnostic encounters, there is often pre-existing information that reflects the probability any particular patient has a disease. Diagnostic testing provides extra information that refines diagnostic probabilities. However, in general diagnostic tests will be positive in most, but not all cases of disease (sensitivity) and may not be negative in all cases of disease absence (specificity). Bayes rule is an arithmetic method of using diagnostic testing information to refine diagnostic probabilities. In this method, when probabilities are converted to odds, multiplication of the odds of disease before diagnostic testing, by the positive likelihood ratio (LR+), the sensitivity of a test divided by 1 minus the specificity refines the probability of a particular diagnosis. Similar arithmetic applies to the probability of not having a disease, where the negative likelihood ratio is the specificity divided by 1 minus the sensitivity. A useful diagnostic test is one where the LR+ is greater than 5-10. This can be clarified by creating a contingency table for hypothetical groups of patients in relation to true disease prevalence and test performance predicted by sensitivity and specificity. Most screening tests in populations with a low prevalence of disease have a very high ratio of false positive results to true positive results, which can also be illustrated by contingency tables. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  5. Serious Games that Improve Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Clement, III; Pecheux, Benjamin

    2010-01-01

    Serious games can help people function more effectively in complex settings, facilitate their role as team members, and provide insight into their team's mission. In such games, coordination and cooperation among team members are foundational to the mission's success and provide a preview of what individuals and the team as a whole could choose to do in a real scenario. Serious games often model events requiring life-or-death choices, such as civilian rescue during chemical warfare. How the players communicate and what actions they take can determine the number of lives lost or saved. However, merely playing a game is not enough to realize its most practical value, which is in learning what actions and communication methods are closest to what the mission requires. Teams often play serious games in isolation, so when the game is complete, an analytical stage is needed to extract the strategies used and examine each strategy's success relative to the others chosen. Recognizing the importance of this next stage, Noblis has been developing Game Analysis, software that parses individual game play into meaningful units and generates a strategic analysis. Trainers create a custom game-specific grammar that reflects the objects and range of actions allowable in a particular game, which Game Analysis then uses to parse the data and generate a practical analysis. Trainers have then enough information to represent strategies in tools, such as Gantt and heat map charts. First-responder trainees in North Carolina have already partnered Hot-Zone and Game Analysis with great success.

  6. Improving Access to Foundational Energy Performance Data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Studer, D.; Livingood, W.; Torcellini, P.

    2014-08-01

    Access to foundational energy performance data is key to improving the efficiency of the built environment. However, stakeholders often lack access to what they perceive as credible energy performance data. Therefore, even if a stakeholder determines that a product would increase efficiency, they often have difficulty convincing their management to move forward. Even when credible data do exist, such data are not always sufficient to support detailed energy performance analyses, or the development of robust business cases. One reason for this is that the data parameters that are provided are generally based on the respective industry norms. Thus, for mature industries with extensive testing standards, the data made available are often quite detailed. But for emerging technologies, or for industries with less well-developed testing standards, available data are generally insufficient to support robust analysis. However, even for mature technologies, there is no guarantee that the data being supplied are the same data needed to accurately evaluate a product?s energy performance. To address these challenges, the U.S. Department of Energy funded development of a free, publically accessible Web-based portal, the Technology Performance Exchange(TM), to facilitate the transparent identification, storage, and sharing of foundational energy performance data. The Technology Performance Exchange identifies the intrinsic, technology-specific parameters necessary for a user to perform a credible energy analysis and includes a robust database to store these data. End users can leverage stored data to evaluate the site-specific performance of various technologies, support financial analyses with greater confidence, and make better informed procurement decisions.

  7. Large performance incentives had the greatest impact on providers whose quality metrics were lowest at baseline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Jessica; Hibbard, Judith H; Overton, Valerie

    2015-04-01

    This study examined the impact of Fairview Health Services' primary care provider compensation model, in which 40 percent of compensation was based on clinic-level quality outcomes. Fairview Health Services is a Pioneer accountable care organization in Minnesota. Using publicly reported performance data from 2010 and 2012, we found that Fairview's improvement in quality metrics was not greater than the improvement in other comparable Minnesota medical groups. An analysis of Fairview's administrative data found that the largest predictor of improvement over the first two years of the compensation model was primary care providers' baseline quality performance. Providers whose baseline performance was in the lowest tertile improved three times more, on average, across the three quality metrics studied than those in the middle tertile, and almost six times more than those in the top tertile. As a result, there was a narrowing of variation in performance across all primary care providers at Fairview and a narrowing of the gap in quality between providers who treated the highest-income patient panels and those who treated the lowest-income panels. The large quality incentive fell short of its overall quality improvement aim. However, the results suggest that payment reform may help narrow variation in primary care provider performance, which can translate into narrowing socioeconomic disparities. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  8. The Emotional Side of Performance Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerson, Richard F.

    2000-01-01

    Discussion of performance improvement focuses on the effect of emotions on performance. Topics include the emotional intelligence of the performers; how people deal with emotional demands and the stress of their performance; and emotional states that affect attention, focus, perception, and time on task. (LRW)

  9. Technetium Getters to Improve Cast Stone Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neeway, James J.; Lawter, Amanda R.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Asmussen, Robert M.; Qafoku, Nikolla

    2015-10-15

    The cementitious material known as Cast Stone has been selected as the preferred waste form for solidification of aqueous secondary liquid effluents from the Hanford Tank Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) process condensates and low-activity waste (LAW) melter off-gas caustic scrubber effluents. Cast Stone is also being evaluated as a supplemental immobilization technology to provide the necessary LAW treatment capacity to complete the Hanford tank waste cleanup mission in a timely and cost effective manner. Two radionuclides of particular concern in these waste streams are technetium-99 (99Tc) and iodine-129 (129I). These radioactive tank waste components contribute the most to the environmental impacts associated with the cleanup of the Hanford site. A recent environmental assessment of Cast Stone performance, which assumes a diffusion controlled release of contaminants from the waste form, calculates groundwater in excess of the allowable maximum permissible concentrations for both contaminants. There is, therefore, a need and an opportunity to improve the retention of both 99Tc and 129I in Cast Stone. One method to improve the performance of Cast Stone is through the addition of “getters” that selectively sequester Tc and I, therefore reducing their diffusion out of Cast Stone. In this paper, we present results of Tc and I removal from solution with various getters with batch sorption experiments conducted in deionized water (DIW) and a highly caustic 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant. In general, the data show that the selected getters are effective in DIW but their performance is comprised when experiments are performed with the 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant. Reasons for the mitigated performance in the LAW simulant may be due to competition with Cr present in the 7.8 M Na Ave LAW simulant and to a pH effect.

  10. An Adaptive Middleware for Improved Computational Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonnichsen, Lars Frydendal

    The performance improvements in computer systems over the past 60 years have been fueled by an exponential increase in energy efficiency. In recent years, the phenomenon known as the end of Dennard’s scaling has slowed energy efficiency improvements — but improving computer energy efficiency...... is more important now than ever. Traditionally, most improvements in computer energy efficiency have come from improvements in lithography — the ability to produce smaller transistors — and computer architecture - the ability to apply those transistors efficiently. Since the end of scaling, we have seen....... In this thesis we champion using software to improve energy efficiency — in particular we develop guidelines for reasoning and evaluating software performance on modern computers, and a middleware that has been designed for modern computers, improving computational performance both in terms of energy...

  11. Provide good air quality for people and improve their 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...

  12. Physical Activity at Daycare: Childcare Providers' Perspectives for Improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Patricia; van Zandvoort, Melissa M.; Burke, Shauna M.; Irwin, Jennifer D.

    2011-01-01

    In London, Ontario, approximately 45 percent of preschoolers are insufficiently active.With the large number of preschoolers who attend childcare (54%), and the low levels of physical activity among preschool-aged children, daycare centers may be an appropriate avenue to intervene. This study sought to collect childcare providers' suggestions for…

  13. Improved Collaborative Transport Planning at Dutch Logistics Service Provider Fritom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buijs, Paul; Lopez Alvarez, Jose Alejandro; Veenstra, Marjolein; Roodbergen, Kees Jan

    2016-01-01

    We study the collaborative transport planning for two autonomous business units of Fritom, a Dutch logistics service provider. This difficult planning problem does not fit any existing type of vehicle routing problem proposed in the academic literature; therefore, we define a new problem class, the

  14. A management framework for training providers to improve skills ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    South Africa is in a skills revolution, launched by the Department of Labour via the Skills Development Act in 1998 and the Skills Development Levies Act in 1999. The skills revolution challenges workplace training providers through employers who pay a percentage of payroll towards skills levies and want to recover these ...

  15. Using Teams to Improve Outcomes and Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, Beth; Crider, Nancy Manning

    2017-01-01

    Mastering the use of teams in healthcare organizations can maximize outcomes and optimize the use of resources. Most work in healthcare organizations is done by teams, whether it's the clinical team taking care of patients on a unit, the leadership team accountable for operations of the organization, or a team formed to solve a specific problem, improve quality, or plan an event. Effective teams make organizations successful; ineffective teams can create more problems than they solve. This article describes how to successfully use the power of teams within the healthcare setting, create and develop teams, be a team leader or member, create conditions for team effectiveness and high performance, and provide team training. Copyright© by the American Nephrology Nurses Association.

  16. Improving Providers' Role Definitions to Decrease Overcrowding and Improve In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leary, Marion; Schweickert, William; Neefe, Stacie; Tsypenyuk, Boris; Falk, Scott Austin; Holena, Daniel N

    2016-07-01

    How nontechnical factors such as inadequate role definition and overcrowding affect outcomes of in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) is unknown. Using a bundled intervention, we sought to improve providers' role definitions and decrease overcrowding during IHCA events. To determine if a bundled intervention consisting of a nurse/physician leadership dyad, visual cues for provider roles, and a "role check" would lead to reductions in crowding and improve perceptions of communication and team leadership. Baseline data on the number and type of IHCA providers were collected. Providers were asked to complete a postevent survey rating communication and leadership. A bundled intervention was then introduced. Data were then obtained for the subsequent IHCA events. Twenty ICHA events were captured before and 34 after the intervention. The number of physicians present at pulse checks 2 (median [interquartile range]: 6 [5-8] before vs 5 [3-6] after, P = .02) and 3 (7 [5-9] vs 4 [4-5], P = .004) decreased significantly after the intervention. The overall number of providers at the third pulse check (18 [14-22] before vs 14 [12-16] after, P = .04) also decreased after the intervention. On a 10-point Likert scale, ratings of communication (8 [7-8]) and physician leadership (8 [7-9]) did not differ significantly from before to after the intervention. Both the physician leads (90%) and patients' primary nurses (97%) were able to identify clear nurse leaders. A bundled intervention targeted at improving IHCA response led to a decrease in overcrowding at ICHA events without substantial changes in the perceptions of communication or physician leadership. ©2016 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

  17. Performance improvement program: goals and experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guglielmi, F. [Point Lepreau Generating Station, Maces Bay, New Brunswick (Canada)

    2015-07-01

    Following long 54 month refurbishment outage at Point Lepreau Generating Station, operational performance had fallen below industry standards in a number of areas. Leadership development and succession planning had stalled. Operational focus was low primarily due to the construction focus during refurbishment. Condition of balance of plant was poor including several long standing deficiencies. In order to improve performance, the site implemented a framework based on INPO 12-011: Focus on Improving Behaviours; Set common goals and demonstrate results; Align and engage the organization; Drive to achieve high levels of performance and sustain performance.

  18. Does Education Reform Improve Job Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wenger, J

    2003-01-01

    .... Examining military personnel data, which is a highly detailed source of information for recent high school graduate's performance, we find that the quality of Navy recruits improved during the 1990...

  19. Sprint cycling training improves intermittent run performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hardaway Chun-Kwan Chan

    2018-01-01

    Conclusions: Sprint cycling significantly improved intermittent run performance, VO2max and peak power output at VO2max. Sprint cycling training is suitable for intermittent sports athletes but separate speed and COD training should be included.

  20. Improving Process Heating System Performance v3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-04-11

    Improving Process Heating System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry is a development of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and the Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA). The AMO and IHEA undertook this project as part of an series of sourcebook publications developed by AMO on energy-consuming industrial systems, and opportunities to improve performance. Other topics in this series include compressed air systems, pumping systems, fan systems, steam systems, and motors and drives

  1. Improving Fan System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2003-04-01

    This is one of a series of sourcebooks on motor-driven equipment produced by the Industrial Technologies Program. It provides a reference for industrial fan systems users, outlining opportunities to improve fan system performance.

  2. Can quantization improve error performance in CDMA?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Efraim, Hadar; Yacov, Nadav; Kanter, Ido [Minerva Center and Department of Physics, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900 (Israel); Shental, Ori [Center for Magnetic Recording Research (CMRR), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093 (United States)], E-mail: hadar.efraim@mail.biu.ac.il, E-mail: oshental@ucsd.edu, E-mail: nadav.yacov@mail.biu.ac.il, E-mail: kanter@mail.biu.ac.il

    2008-09-12

    A K-user direct-sequence spread-spectrum code-division multiple-access (CDMA) system with (q << log{sub 2}K)-bit baseband signal quantization at the demodulator is considered. It is shown that additionally quantizing the K + 1 level output signal of the CDMA modulator into q bits improves significantly the average bit-error performance in a non-negligible regime of noise variance, {sigma}{sup 2}, and user load, {beta}, under various system settings, like additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN), Rayleigh fading, single-user detection, multi-user detection, random and orthogonal spreading codes. For the case of single-user detection in random spreading AWGN-CDMA, this regime is identified explicitly as {sigma}<{gamma}(q){radical}{beta}, where {gamma}(q) is a certain pre-factor depending on q, and the associated BER improvement is derived analytically for q = 1, 2. For the other examined system settings, computer simulations are provided, corroborating this interesting behavior.

  3. Improving Student Performance Using Nudge Analytics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feild, Jacqueline

    2015-01-01

    Providing students with continuous and personalized feedback on their performance is an important part of encouraging self regulated learning. As part of our higher education platform, we built a set of data visualizations to provide feedback to students on their assignment performance. These visualizations give students information about how they…

  4. Do Leadership Changes Improve Electoral Performance?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helboe Pedersen, H.; Schumacher, G.; Cross, W.; Pilet, J.-B.

    2015-01-01

    Does changing the leader improve a party’s electoral performance? And does it matter who for electoral performance who selects the leader? We hypothesize that in parties with inclusive selectorates leadership change is beneficial because the competition for the leadership is more open, receives more

  5. Peer Mentors Can Improve Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asgari, Shaki; Carter, Frederick, Jr.

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between peer mentoring and academic performance. Students from two introductory psychology classes either received (n = 37) or did not receive (n = 36) peer mentoring. The data indicated a consistent improvement in the performance (i.e., grades on scheduled exams) of the mentored group. A similar pattern…

  6. Does the new conceptual framework provide adequate concepts for reporting relevant information about performance?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brouwer, A.; Faramarzi, A; Hoogendoorn, M.

    2014-01-01

    The basic question we raise in this paper is whether the 2013 Discussion Paper (DP 2013) on the Conceptual Framework provides adequate principles for reporting an entity’s performance and what improvements could be made in light of both user needs and evidence from academic literature. DP 2013

  7. Nanotechnological inventions considerably improve performance characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VLASOV Vladimir Alexeevich

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The invention «The method of production of carbon nanomaterial (RU 2509053» can be used as an additive for concretes and polymers which significantly improves their performance characteristics. The method of production of carbon nanomaterial consists of the following stages: preliminary preparation of sphagnous moss when it is refined from foreign admixtures, dried up to 10% humidity and ground, then ground material is exposed to pyrolysis under the temperature 850–950оC for 1–2 hours and cooled up to the environment temperature. After that amorphous carbon obtained in pyrolysis is treated with mechanical activation in the variable planetary mill for 7–10 hours. The invention makes it possible to provide increased outcome of nanotubes with high cleanliness. The invention «The method of production of nanodispersed metal powders and alloys of them (RU 2509626» relates to the powder metallurgy. Powder metal chloride or powder mixture at least of two metal chlorides is treated in the environment of the water steam which is supplied in reaction space at the rate of 50–100 ml/min at the temperature 400–800оC at the presence of absorbent carbon or introducing carbon oxide (II obtained during dissolution of formic acid HCOOH. The invention provides reliable production of nanodispersed metal powders and alloys of them from 3-d metal range: Ni, Co, Cu, Fe, Zn which can be used in powder metallurgy to improve baking process, in chemical industry as the fillers of polymers and reaction catalysts; as additives to anticorrosive covers, etc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jardim, Kevin P.

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

  9. The Effect of Providing Breakfast in Class on Student Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imberman, Scott A.; Kugler, Adriana D.

    2014-01-01

    Many schools have recently experimented with moving breakfast from the cafeteria to the classroom. We examine whether such a program increases achievement, grades, and attendance rates. We exploit quasi-random timing of program implementation that allows for a difference-in-differences identification strategy. We find that providing breakfast in…

  10. Efficiency and hospital effectiveness in improving Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems ratings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Amin, Mona; Makarem, Suzanne C; Rosko, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Efficiency has emerged as a central goal to the operations of health care organizations. There are two competing perspectives on the relationship between efficiency and organizational performance. Some argue that organizational slack is a waste and that efficiency contributes to organizational performance, whereas others maintain that slack acts as a buffer, allowing organizations to adapt to environmental demands and contributing to organizational performance. As value-based purchasing becomes more prevalent, health care organizations are incented to become more efficient and, at the same time, improve their patients' experiences and outcomes. Unused slack resources might facilitate the timely implementation of these improvements. Building on previous research on organizational slack and inertia, we test whether efficiency and other organizational factors predict organizational effectiveness in improving Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) ratings. We rely on data from the American Hospital Association and HCAHPS. We estimate hospital cost-efficiency by Stochastic Frontier Analysis and use regression analysis to determine whether efficiency, competition, hospital size, and other organizational factors are significant predictors of hospital effectiveness. Our findings indicate that efficiency and hospital size have a significant negative association with organizational ability to improve HCAHPS ratings. Although achieving organizational efficiency is necessary for health care organizations, given the changes that are currently occurring in the U.S. health care system, it is important for health care managers to maintain a certain level of slack to respond to environmental demands and have the resources needed to improve their performance.

  11. Physical Profiling Performance of Air Force Primary Care Providers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-08-09

    MTF medical treatment facility OR odds ratio PCP primary care provider PHA Periodic Health Assessment SE standard error SME subject matter expert ...ascertain if predictors existed to augment PCP screening. This study was a cross-sectional, retrospective medical records review of active duty U.S. Air...Force (AF) members receiving care in an AF medical treatment facility (MTF) between October 31, 2013, and September 30, 2014, who had at least one

  12. Classification accuracy of claims-based methods for identifying providers failing to meet performance targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Rebecca A.; Benjamin-Johnson, Rhondee; Onega, Tracy; Smith-Bindman, Rebecca; Zhu, Weiwei; Fenton, Joshua J.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Quality assessment is critical for healthcare reform but data sources are lacking for measurement of many important healthcare outcomes. With over 49 million people covered by Medicare as of 2010, Medicare claims data offer a potentially valuable source that could be used in targeted health care quality improvement efforts. However, little is known about the operating characteristics of provider profiling methods using claims-based outcome measures that may estimate provider performance with error. Motivated by the example of screening mammography performance, we compared approaches to identifying providers failing to meet guideline targets using Medicare claims data. We used data from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium and linked Medicare claims to compare claims-based and clinical estimates of cancer detection rate. We then demonstrated the performance of claim-based estimates across a broad range of operating characteristics using simulation studies. We found that identification of poor performing providers was extremely sensitive to algorithm specificity, with no approach identifying more than 65% of poorly performing providers when claims-based measures had specificity of 0.995 or less. We conclude that claims have the potential to contribute important information on healthcare outcomes to quality improvement efforts. However, to achieve this potential, development of highly accurate claims-based outcome measures should remain a priority. PMID:25302935

  13. Measuring Provider Performance for Physicians Participating in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squitieri, Lee; Chung, Kevin C

    2017-07-01

    In 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began requiring all eligible providers to participate in the Quality Payment Program or face financial reimbursement penalty. The Quality Payment Program outlines two paths for provider participation: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System and Advanced Alternative Payment Models. For the first performance period beginning in January of 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that approximately 83 to 90 percent of eligible providers will not qualify for participation in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model and therefore must participate in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System program. The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System path replaces existing quality-reporting programs and adds several new measures to evaluate providers using four categories of data: (1) quality, (2) cost/resource use, (3) improvement activities, and (4) advancing care information. These categories will be combined to calculate a weighted composite score for each provider or provider group. Composite Merit-Based Incentive Payment System scores based on 2017 performance data will be used to adjust reimbursed payment in 2019. In this article, the authors provide relevant background for understanding value-based provider performance measurement. The authors also discuss Merit-Based Incentive Payment System reporting requirements and scoring methodology to provide plastic surgeons with the necessary information to critically evaluate their own practice capabilities in the context of current performance metrics under the Quality Payment Program.

  14. Improve Compressed Air System Performance with AIRMaster+

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2005-05-01

    AIRMaster+ provides a systematic apporach for assessing the supply-side performance of compressed air systems. Using plant-specific data, the software effectively evaluates supply-side operational costs for various equipment configurations and system pro

  15. Improving performance with accident tolerant-fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomes, Daniel S.; Muniz, Rafael O.R.; Giovedi, Claudia, E-mail: dsgomes@ipen.br, E-mail: rafael.orm@gmail.com, E-mail: claudia.giovedi@ctmsp.mar.mil.br [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Universidade de São Paulo (USP), SP (Brazil). Departamento de Engenharia Naval e Oceânica

    2017-07-01

    After the Fukushima reactor accident, efforts to improve risk management in nuclear operations have included the intensification of research on accident-tolerant fuels (ATFs). In this investigation, the physical properties of recently developed ATFs were compared with those of the current standard fuel, UO{sub 2} - Zr. The goals for innovative fuel design include a rigorous characterization of the thermal, mechanical, and chemical considerations. The intentions are to lengthen the burnup cycle, raise the power density, and improve safety. Fuels must have a high uranium density - above that supported by UO{sub 2} - and possess a coating that exhibits better oxidation resistance than Zircaloys. ATFs such as U{sub 3}Si{sub 2}, UN, and UC contain a higher uranium density and thermal conductivity than UO{sub 2}, providing significant benefits. The ideal combination of fuel and cladding must increase performance in a loss-of-coolant accident. However, U{sub 3}Si{sub 2}, UN, and UC have a disadvantage; their respective swelling rates are higher than that of UO{sub 2}. These ATFs also have thermal conductivities approximately four times higher than that of UO{sub 2}. A study was conducted investigating the hydrogen generated by the oxidation of zirconium alloys in contact with steam using cladding options such as Fe-Cr-Al and silicon carbide. It was confirmed that ferritic alloys offer a better response under severe conditions, because of their mechanical properties as creep rate. The findings of this study indicate that advanced fuels should replace UO{sub 2} - Zr as the fuel system of choice. (author)

  16. Improving human performance in maintenance personnel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gonzalez Anez, Francisco [Maintenance Training Centre, TECNATOM, S.A, Avd. Montes de Oca, 1. 28709-San Sebastian de los Reyes, Madrid (Spain); Agueero Agueero, Jorge [Technologic Institute, TECNATOM, S.A, Avd. Montes de Oca, 1. 28709-San Sebastian de los Reyes, Madrid (Spain)

    2010-07-01

    The continuous evolution and improvement of safety-related processes has included the analysis, design and development of training plans for the qualification of maintenance nuclear power plant personnel. In this respect, the international references in this area recommend the establishment of systematic qualification programmes for personnel performing functions or carrying out safety related tasks. Maintenance personnel qualification processes have improved significantly, and training plans have been designed and developed based on Systematic Approach to Training methodology to each job position. These improvements have been clearly reflected in recent training programmes with new training material and training facilities focused not only on developing technical knowledge and skills but also on improving attitudes and safety culture. The objectives of maintenance training facilities such as laboratories, mock-ups real an virtual, hydraulic loops, field simulators and other training material to be used in the maintenance training centre are to cover training necessities for initial and continuous qualification. Evidently, all these improvements made in the qualification of plant personnel should be extended to include supplemental personnel (external or contracted) performing safety-related tasks. The supplemental personnel constitute a very spread group, covering the performance of multiple activities entailing different levels of responsibility. Some of these activities are performed permanently at the plant, while others are occasional or sporadic. In order to establish qualification requirements for these supplemental workers, it is recommended to establish a rigorous analysis of job positions and tasks. The objective will be to identify the qualification requirements to assure competence and safety. (authors)

  17. The role of kaizen in creating radical performance results in a logistics service provider

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erez Agmoni

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: This study investigates the role of an incremental change in organizational process in creating radical performance results in a service provider company. The role of Kaizen is established prominently in manufacturing, but is nascent in service applications. This study examines the impact of introducing Kaizen as an ODI tool-how it is applied, how it works, and whether participants believe it helps service groups form more effective working relationships that result in significant performance improvements. Methods: Exploring the evolving role of Kaizen in service contexts, this study explores a variety of facets of human communication in the context of continuous improvement and teamwork inter-organizationally. The paper consists of an archival study and an action research case study. A pre-intervention study consisting of observations, interviews, and submission of questionnaires to employees of a manufacturing and air-sea freight firm was conducted. A Kaizen intervention occurred subsequently, and a post-intervention study was then conducted. Results: Radical improvements in both companies such as 30% financial growth, 81% productivity improvement and more are demonstrated in this paper. Conclusions: Findings offer unique insights into the effects of Kaizen in creating radical performance improvements in a service company and its customer. Both qualitative and quantitative results of business, satisfaction, and productivity suggest time invested in introducing Kaizen into a service organization helps the companies improve relationships and improve the bottom line dramatically.

  18. Primary Care Provider Perceptions of Colorectal Cancer Screening Barriers: Implications for Designing Quality Improvement Interventions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M. Weiss

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Aims. Colorectal cancer (CRC screening is underutilized. Increasing CRC screening rates requires interventions targeting multiple barriers at each level of the healthcare organization (patient, provider, and system. We examined groups of primary care providers (PCPs based on perceptions of screening barriers and the relationship to CRC screening rates to inform approaches for conducting barrier assessments prior to designing and implementing quality improvement interventions. Methods. We conducted a retrospective cohort study linking EHR and survey data. PCPs with complete survey responses for questions addressing CRC screening barriers were included (N=166 PCPs; 39,430 patients eligible for CRC screening. Cluster analysis identified groups of PCPs. Multivariate logistic regression estimated odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for predictors of membership in one of the PCP groups. Results. We found two distinct groups: (1 PCPs identifying multiple barriers to CRC screening at patient, provider, and system levels (N=75 and (2 PCPs identifying no major barriers to screening (N=91. PCPs in the top half of CRC screening performance were more likely to identify multiple barriers than the bottom performers (OR, 4.14; 95% CI, 2.43–7.08. Conclusions. High-performing PCPs can more effectively identify CRC screening barriers. Targeting high-performers when conducting a barrier assessment is a novel approach to assist in designing quality improvement interventions for CRC screening.

  19. Improvement of electrophoresis performance by spectral analysis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper describes a new design of standard agarose gel electrophoresis procedure for nucleic acids analysis. The electrophoresis was improved by using the real-time spectral analysis of the samples to increase its performance. A laser beam illuminated the analysed sample at wavelength with the highest absorption of ...

  20. Electrolysis Performance Improvement and Validation Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Franz H.

    1992-01-01

    Viewgraphs on electrolysis performance improvement and validation experiment are presented. Topics covered include: water electrolysis: an ever increasing need/role for space missions; static feed electrolysis (SFE) technology: a concept developed for space applications; experiment objectives: why test in microgravity environment; and experiment description: approach, hardware description, test sequence and schedule.

  1. Significant improvement of electrochemical performance of Cu ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Significant improvement of electrochemical performance of Cu-coated LiVPO4F cathode material for lithium-ion batteries ... School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, China; School of Mechanical Engineering, Shenyang University of Chemical Technology, Shenyang ...

  2. Does Reflective Journal Writing Improve Course Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisero, Cheryl A.

    2006-01-01

    This study investigated whether a reflective journal writing assignment would improve students' course performance. A total of 166 students from undergraduate sections of a course taught by the same instructor over three semesters completed the assignment as part of their requirements. Students (N = 317) from five previous semesters of the same…

  3. Visuospatial training improves elementary students' mathematics performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowrie, Tom; Logan, Tracy; Ramful, Ajay

    2017-06-01

    Although spatial ability and mathematics performance are highly correlated, there is scant research on the extent to which spatial ability training can improve mathematics performance. This study evaluated the efficacy of a visuospatial intervention programme within classrooms to determine the effect on students' (1) spatial reasoning and (2) mathematics performance as a result of the intervention. The study involved grade six students (ages 10-12) in eight classes. There were five intervention classes (n = 120) and three non-intervention control classes (n = 66). A specifically designed 10-week spatial reasoning programme was developed collaboratively with the participating teachers, with the intervention replacing the standard mathematics curriculum. The five classroom teachers in the intervention programme presented 20 hr of activities aimed at enhancing students' spatial visualization, mental rotation, and spatial orientation skills. The spatial reasoning programme led to improvements in both spatial ability and mathematics performance relative to the control group who received standard mathematics instruction. Our study is the first to show that a classroom-based spatial reasoning intervention improves elementary school students' mathematics performance. © 2017 The British Psychological Society.

  4. Verbal communication improves laparoscopic team performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiliang Chang; Waid, Erin; Martinec, Danny V; Bin Zheng; Swanstrom, Lee L

    2008-06-01

    The impact of verbal communication on laparoscopic team performance was examined. A total of 24 dyad teams, comprised of residents, medical students, and office staff, underwent 2 team tasks using a previously validated bench model. Twelve teams (feedback groups) received instant verbal instruction and feedback on their performance from an instructor which was compared with 12 teams (control groups) with minimal or no verbal feedback. Their performances were both video and audio taped for analysis. Surgical backgrounds were similar between feedback and control groups. Teams with more verbal feedback achieved significantly better task performance (P = .002) compared with the control group with less feedback. Impact of verbal feedback was more pronounced for tasks requiring team cooperation (aiming and navigation) than tasks depending on individual skills (knotting). Verbal communication, especially the instructions and feedback from an experienced instructor, improved team efficiency and performance.

  5. Pre-task music improves swimming performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirmaul, B P; Dos Santos, R V; Da Silva Neto, L V

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of pre-task music on swimming performance and other psychological variables. A randomized counterbalanced within-subjects (experimental and control condition) design was employed. Eighteen regional level male swimmers performed two 200-m freestyle swimming time trials. Participants were exposed to either 5 minutes of self-selected music (pre-task music condition) or 5 minutes of silence (control condition) and, after 1 minute, performed the swimming task. Swimming time was significantly shorter (-1.44%) in the pre-task music condition. Listening to pre-task music increased motivation to perform the swimming task, while arousal remained unchanged. While fatigue increased after the swimming task in both conditions, vigor, ratings of perceived exertion and affective valence were unaltered. It is concluded, for the first time, that pre-task music improves swimming performance.

  6. Composite Measures of Health Care Provider Performance: A Description of Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shwartz, Michael; Restuccia, Joseph D; Rosen, Amy K

    2015-01-01

    Context Since the Institute of Medicine’s 2001 report Crossing the Quality Chasm, there has been a rapid proliferation of quality measures used in quality-monitoring, provider-profiling, and pay-for-performance (P4P) programs. Although individual performance measures are useful for identifying specific processes and outcomes for improvement and tracking progress, they do not easily provide an accessible overview of performance. Composite measures aggregate individual performance measures into a summary score. By reducing the amount of data that must be processed, they facilitate (1) benchmarking of an organization’s performance, encouraging quality improvement initiatives to match performance against high-performing organizations, and (2) profiling and P4P programs based on an organization’s overall performance. Methods We describe different approaches to creating composite measures, discuss their advantages and disadvantages, and provide examples of their use. Findings The major issues in creating composite measures are (1) whether to aggregate measures at the patient level through all-or-none approaches or the facility level, using one of the several possible weighting schemes; (2) when combining measures on different scales, how to rescale measures (using z scores, range percentages, ranks, or 5-star categorizations); and (3) whether to use shrinkage estimators, which increase precision by smoothing rates from smaller facilities but also decrease transparency. Conclusions Because provider rankings and rewards under P4P programs may be sensitive to both context and the data, careful analysis is warranted before deciding to implement a particular method. A better understanding of both when and where to use composite measures and the incentives created by composite measures are likely to be important areas of research as the use of composite measures grows. PMID:26626986

  7. Views of mental health care consumers on public reporting of information on provider performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Bradley D; Kogan, Jane N; Essock, Susan; Fudurich, Stephanie

    2009-05-01

    This qualitative study examined consumer preferences regarding the content and use of provider performance data and other provider information to aid in consumers' decision making. Focus groups were conducted with 41 adults who were consumers of mental health care, and discussions were transcribed and analyzed with standard qualitative research methods. Consumers supported trends toward enhancing information about providers and its availability. Several key themes emerged, including the need for easily accessible information and the most and least useful types of information. Current efforts to share provider performance information do not meet consumer preferences. Modest changes in the types of information being shared and the manner in which it is shared may substantially enhance use of such information. Such changes may help consumers to be more informed and empowered in making decisions about care, improve the quality of the care delivered, and support the movement toward a more recovery-focused system of care.

  8. Factors affecting the performance of maternal health care providers in Armenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Voltero Lauren

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Over the last five years, international development organizations began to modify and adapt the conventional Performance Improvement Model for use in low-resource settings. This model outlines the five key factors believed to influence performance outcomes: job expectations, performance feedback, environment and tools, motivation and incentives, and knowledge and skills. Each of these factors should be supplied by the organization in which the provider works, and thus, organizational support is considered as an overarching element for analysis. Little research, domestically or internationally, has been conducted on the actual effects of each of the factors on performance outcomes and most PI practitioners assume that all the factors are needed in order for performance to improve. This study presents a unique exploration of how the factors, individually as well as in combination, affect the performance of primary reproductive health providers (nurse-midwives in two regions of Armenia. Methods Two hundred and eighty-five nurses and midwives were observed conducting real or simulated antenatal and postpartum/neonatal care services and interviewed about the presence or absence of the performance factors within their work environment. Results were analyzed to compare average performance with the existence or absence of the factors; then, multiple regression analysis was conducted with the merged datasets to obtain the best models of "predictors" of performance within each clinical service. Results Baseline results revealed that performance was sub-standard in several areas and several performance factors were deficient or nonexistent. The multivariate analysis showed that (a training in the use of the clinic tools; and (b receiving recognition from the employer or the client/community, are factors strongly associated with performance, followed by (c receiving performance feedback in postpartum care. Other – extraneous

  9. Enhanced expectancies improve performance under pressure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brad eMcKay

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Beyond skill, beliefs in requisite abilities and expectations can affect performance. This study examined effects of induced perceptions of ability to perform well under generic situations of challenge. Participants (N = 31 first completed one block of 20 trials on a throwing accuracy task. They then completed questionnaires ostensibly measuring individual differences in the ability to perform under pressure. Enhanced-expectancy group participants were told that they were well-suited to perform under pressure, while the control group received neutral information. Subsequently, all participants completed another block of 20 trials on the throwing task, with their performance being videotaped and under the assumption that they could secure a prize for themselves and a paired participant with successful performance. Both groups had similar accuracy scores on the first trial block. The enhanced-expectancy group significantly increased their throwing accuracy in the high-pressure situation (second block, whereas the control group showed no change in performance. Furthermore, beliefs regarding performance under challenge predicted throwing accuracy on the second block. The present findings provide evidence that enhancing individuals’ generic expectancies regarding performance under pressure can affect their motor performance.

  10. Provider performance measures in private and public programs: achieving meaningful alignment with flexibility to innovate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgins, Aparna; Veselovskiy, German; McKown, Lauren

    2013-08-01

    In recent years there has been a significant expansion in the use of provider performance measures for quality improvement, payment, and public reporting. Using data from a survey of health plans, we characterize the use of such performance measures by private payers. We also compare the use of these measures among selected private and public programs. We studied twenty-three health plans with 121 million commercial enrollees--66 percent of the national commercial enrollment. The health plans reported using 546 distinct performance measures. There was much variation in the use of performance measures in both private and public payment and care delivery programs, despite common areas of focus that included cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, and preventive services. We conclude that policy makers and stakeholders who seek less variability in the use of performance measures to increase consistency should balance this goal with the need for flexibility to meet the needs of specific populations and promote innovation.

  11. Warehouse Performance Improvement at Linfox Logistics Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Pratama, Riyan Galuh; Togar M. Simatupang

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this research is to provide alternative solutions for Linfox Logistics Indonesia (LLI) in facing warehouse performance issues. The main warehouse performance indicators called Customer Case Filling on Time (CCFOT) and Case Picking Productivity failed to achieve the target. Several analyses were carried out regarding current dispatch process, value stream mapping, and root causes identification. The results find that much waste occurred in dispatch process. Proposed improvemen...

  12. MCP performance improvement using alumina thin film

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yuzhen; Yan, Baojun; Liu, Shulin; Zhao, Tianchi; Yu, Yang; Wen, Kaile; Li, Yumei; Qi, Ming

    2017-10-01

    The performance improvement using alumina thin film on a dual microchannel plate (MCP) detector for single electron counting was investigated. The alumina thin film was coated on all surfaces of the MCPs by atomic layer deposition method. It was found that the gain, the single electron resolution and the peak-to-valley ratio of the dual MCP detector were significantly enhanced by coating the alumina thin film. The optimum operating conditions of the new dual MCP detector have been studied.

  13. Logistics Indicators Could Improve Logistics Performance of Hospitals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wajong Andre M. R.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Hospitals are institutions in which numerous transactions take place. A significant amount of those transactions happen in the realm of logistics. Logistifics is one of the concern of the hospital’s managing entities. Hospitals must provide a variety of logistics within a limited amount of time. The implementation of hospital logistics indicators were expected to assist the management in improving performance in the logistics units of hospitals in the Province of Jakarta. It was expected that by attending to a number of variables, namely information technology support, logistics management, logistics business intelligence, and logistics performance, such improvement could be achieved. The result of this study provided a description of major indicators that could improve the logistics performance in hospital industry located within the Province of Jakarta. Index Terms: hospital logistics indicator, information technology support, logistics business intelligence, logistic management, logistics performance.

  14. Provider and Patient Directed Financial Incentives to Improve Care and Outcomes for Patients with Diabetes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorincz, Ilona S.; Lawson, Brittany C. T.

    2012-01-01

    Incentive programs directed at both providers and patients have become increasingly widespread. Pay-for-performance (P4P) where providers receive financial incentives to carry out specific care or improve clinical outcomes has been widely implemented. The existing literature indicates they probably spur initial gains which then level off or partially revert if incentives are withdrawn. The literature also indicates that process measures are easier to influence through P4P programs but that intermediate outcomes such as glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol control are harder to influence, and the long term impact of P4P programs on health is largely unknown. Programs directed at patients show greater promise as a means to influence patient behavior and intermediate outcomes such as weight loss; however, the evidence for long term effects are lacking. In combination, both patient and provider incentives are potentially powerful tools but whether they are cost-effective has yet to be determined. PMID:23225214

  15. Improving Fatigue Performance of AHSS Welds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feng, Zhili [ORNL; Yu, Xinghua [ORNL; ERDMAN III, DONALD L [ORNL; Wang, Yanli [ORNL; Kelly, Steve [ArcelorMittal USA; Hou, Wenkao [ArcelorMittal USA; Yan, Benda [ArcelorMittal USA; Wang, Zhifeng [Colorado School of Mines, Golden; Yu, Zhenzhen [Colorado School of Mines, Golden; Liu, Stephen [Colorado School of Mines, Golden

    2015-03-01

    Reported herein is technical progress on a U.S. Department of Energy CRADA project with industry cost-share aimed at developing the technical basis and demonstrate the viability of innovative in-situ weld residual stresses mitigation technology that can substantially improve the weld fatigue performance and durability of auto-body structures. The developed technology would be costeffective and practical in high-volume vehicle production environment. Enhancing weld fatigue performance would address a critical technology gap that impedes the widespread use of advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) and other lightweight materials for auto body structure light-weighting. This means that the automotive industry can take full advantage of the AHSS in strength, durability and crashworthiness without the concern of the relatively weak weld fatigue performance. The project comprises both technological innovations in weld residual stress mitigation and due-diligence residual stress measurement and fatigue performance evaluation. Two approaches were investigated. The first one was the use of low temperature phase transformation (LTPT) weld filler wire, and the second focused on novel thermo-mechanical stress management technique. Both technical approaches have resulted in considerable improvement in fatigue lives of welded joints made of high-strength steels. Synchrotron diffraction measurement confirmed the reduction of high tensile weld residual stresses by the two weld residual stress mitigation techniques.

  16. [Improved performance in endurance sports through acupuncture].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benner, Stefan; Benner, K

    2010-09-01

    In many years of experience in treating athletes with acupuncture, I often had the impression that athletes in endurance sports showed improved performances after such treatments. In order to scientifically verify these impressions, I performed a field test with three groups of runners of different performance levels preparing for a marathon. The first group was given acupuncture, the second a placebo, with the third being the control group. After their maximum pulse rates were recorded, the runners were asked to run 5000m four times in 4 weeks at 75 % of their maximum pulse rate. Their pulse rates were measured for each runner at the finish of the run, and subsequently, one, two and five minutes after the run. Based on these data, the complexity factor (running time multiplied by the respective pulse rate) was calculated for all four recorded pulse rates for each run and each runner. All groups showed statistically significant enhancements in their running times and their complexity factors, but in the case of the runners treated with acupuncture, the improvements were highly significant. Therefore, the field test proves that acupuncture has a significant impact on the performance of the athletes in endurance sports. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  17. Training methods to improve vertical jump performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Gomez, J; Calbet, J A L

    2013-08-01

    This study aims to review the main methods used to improve vertical jump performance (VJP). Although many training routines have been proposed, these can be grouped into four main categories: plyometric training (PT), weight training (WT), whole body vibration training (VT) and electromyostimulation training (ET). PT enhances muscular force, the rate of force development (RFD), muscular power, muscle contraction velocity, cross-sectional area (CSA), muscle stiffness allowing greater storage and release of elastic energy. WT improve muscular force, velocity, power output, and RFD during jumping on a force plate, muscle hypertrophy and neural adaptations. One of the most effective methods to improve VJP is the combination of PT with WT, which takes advantage of the enhancement of maximal dynamic force through WT and the positive effects of PT on speed and force of muscle contraction through its specific effect on type II fibers. Some authors have found an increase in VJP with the use of VT while other did not see such an effect. However, it remains unknown by which mechanisms VT could enhance VJP. ET has been shown to elicit muscle hypertrophy. The VJP may be improved when ET is applied concomitantly with PT or practice of sports. In summary, scientific evidence suggests that the best way to improve VJP is through the combination of PT with WT. Further research is needed to establish if better results are possible by more complex strategies.

  18. Improving Contract Performance by Corrective Actions Plans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dowd, A.S., jr.

    2002-06-23

    Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) are required to be developed, submitted, and reported upon by the prime contractors for the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) Management and Operations (M and O) contracts. The best known CAP ''type,'' and there are many, is for Price-Anderson Amendments Act (PAAA) ''potential noncompliances.'' The M and O contractor fines for PAAA problems have increased from approximately $100,000 in 1996 to almost $2,000,000 in 2000. In order to improve CAP performance at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) site at Y-12 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the contractor chose to centralize the company-wide processes of problem identification and reporting with the PAAA (and other) CAP processes. This directly integrates these functional reports to the contractor General Manager. The functions contained in the M and O contractor central organization, called ''Performance Assurance,'' are: PAAA; Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) Liaison; Contract Requirements Management; Issues Management (including the CAP processes); Lessons Learned; Independent and Management Assessments; Internal Audits; and Ethics. By centrally locating and managing these problem identification and problem correction functions, the contractor, BWXT Y-12, L.L.C., has improved PAAA (and other) CAP performance more than 200 percent in the first year of the contract. Much of this improvement (see Table 1 for examples) has been achieved by increasing the knowledge and experience of management and workers in the specific contract and company requirements for CAPs. The remainder of this paper will describe some of the many CAP processes at Y-12 to show the reader the non-trivial scope of the CAP process. Improvements in CAP management will be discussed. In addition, a specific recommendation for CAP management, in a major capital construction project, will be presented.

  19. Benchmarking and Performance Improvement at Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elliott, C. [Kaiser-Hill Co., LLC, Golden, CO (United States)], Doyle, D. [USDOE Rocky Flats Office, Golden, CO (United States)], Featherman, W.D. [Project Performance Corp., Sterline, VA (United States)

    1997-12-31

    The Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) has initiated a major work process improvement campaign using the tools of formalized benchmarking and streamlining. This paper provides insights into some of the process improvement activities performed at Rocky Flats from November 1995 through December 1996. It reviews the background, motivation, methodology, results, and lessons learned from this ongoing effort. The paper also presents important gains realized through process analysis and improvement including significant cost savings, productivity improvements, and an enhanced understanding of site work processes.

  20. Physician Perceptions of Performance Feedback in a Quality Improvement Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eden, Aimee R; Hansen, Elizabeth; Hagen, Michael D; Peterson, Lars E

    2017-10-01

    Physician performance and peer comparison feedback can affect physician care quality and patient outcomes. This study aimed to understand family physician perspectives of the value of performance feedback in quality improvement (QI) activities. This study analyzed American Board of Family Medicine open-ended survey data collected between 2004 and 2014 from physicians who completed a QI module that provided pre- and post-QI project individual performance data and peer comparisons. Physicians made 3480 comments in response to a question about this performance feedback, which were generally positive in nature (86%). Main themes that emerged were importance of accurate feedback data, enhanced detail in the content of feedback, and ability to customize peer comparison groups to compare performance to peers with similar patient populations or practice characteristics. Meaningful and tailored performance feedback may be an important tool for physicians to improve their care quality and should be considered an integral part of QI project design.

  1. Vagus nerve stimulation improves working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Lihua; Peräkylä, Jari; Holm, Katri; Haapasalo, Joonas; Lehtimäki, Kai; Ogawa, Keith H; Peltola, Jukka; Hartikainen, Kaisa M

    2017-12-01

    Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is used for treating refractory epilepsy and major depression. While the impact of this treatment on seizures has been established, its impact on human cognition remains equivocal. The goal of this study is to elucidate the immediate effects of vagus nerve stimulation on attention, cognition, and emotional reactivity in patients with epilepsy. Twenty patients (12 male and 8 female; 45 ± 13 years old) treated with VNS due to refractory epilepsy participated in the study. Subjects performed a computer-based test of executive functions embedded with emotional distractors while their brain activity was recorded with electroencephalography. Subjects' cognitive performance, early visual event-related potential N1, and frontal alpha asymmetry were studied when cyclic vagus nerve stimulation was on and when it was off. We found that vagus nerve stimulation improved working memory performance as seen in reduced errors on a subtask that relied on working memory, odds ratio (OR) = 0.63 (95% confidence interval, CI [0.47, 0.85]) and increased N1 amplitude, F(1, 15) = 10.17, p = .006. In addition, vagus nerve stimulation resulted in longer reaction time, F(1, 16) = 8.23, p = .019, and greater frontal alpha asymmetry, F(1, 16) = 11.79, p = .003, in response to threat-related distractors. This is the first study to show immediate improvement in working memory performance in humans with clinically relevant vagus nerve stimulation. Furthermore, vagus nerve stimulation had immediate effects on emotional reactivity evidenced in behavior and brain physiology.

  2. Complementary and conventional providers in cancer care: experience of communication with patients and steps to improve communication with other providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stub, Trine; Quandt, Sara A; Arcury, Thomas A; Sandberg, Joanne C; Kristoffersen, Agnete E

    2017-06-08

    Effective interdisciplinary communication is important to achieve better quality in health care. The aims of this study were to compare conventional and complementary providers' experience of communication about complementary therapies and conventional medicine with their cancer patients, and to investigate how they experience interdisciplinary communication and cooperation. This study analyzed data from a self-administrated questionnaire. A total of 606 different health care providers, from four counties in Norway, completed the questionnaire. The survey was developed to describe aspects of the communication pattern among oncology doctors, nurses, family physicians and complementary therapists (acupuncturists, massage therapists and reflexologists/zone-therapists). Between-group differences were analyzed using chi-square, ANOVA and Fisher's exact tests. Significance level was defined as p cancer patients regarding complementary therapies. While complementary therapists advised their patients to apply both complementary and conventional modalities, medical doctors were less supportive of their patients' use of complementary therapies. Of conventional providers, nurses expressed more positive attitudes toward complementary therapies. Opportunities to improve communication between conventional and complementary providers were most strongly supported by complementary providers and nurses; medical doctors were less supportive of such attempts. A number of doctors showed lack of respect for complementary therapists, but asked for more research, guidelines for complementary modalities and training in conventional medicine for complementary therapists. For better quality of care, greater communication about complementary therapy use is needed between cancer patients and their conventional and complementary providers. In addition, more communication between conventional and complementary providers is needed. Nurses may have a crucial role in facilitating communication, as

  3. Improving human performance: Industry factors influencing the ability to perform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Güera Massyn Romo

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Learning interventions and new technologies that aim to improve human performance must take cognisance of industry factors inhibiting human performance. The dynamic and fast pace nature of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT and the engineering industries do not lend themselves to proper skills planning and management. These industries experience real skills gaps, to some of which they contribute by themselves. This study reports on these performance-inhibiting factors such as the underutilisation of available skills, tolerance for individual preferences, and dynamically, and informally refining a role objective while an employee is occupying a certain role. The important professional skills required by individuals to cope with these real life factors are also explored in the skills gaps management context. Moreover, these industries need a profile they refer to as Special Forces, which denotes a high calibre of worker that possesses well-developed professional skills whilst having advanced technical expertise and sufficient experience. This resource profile is required largely due to the poor management of human resource processes in practice and the current reported lack of adequate skills. Furthermore, this study refers to the recent lack of a working definition for these Special Forces leading to the omitted active development of these profiles in industry today, which appears to become a key human performance inhibiting factor.

  4. Improving Steam System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2002-06-01

    The sourcebook is a reference for industrial steam system users, outlining opportunities to improve steam system performance. This Sourcebook is designed to provide steam system users with a reference that describes the basic steam system components, outlines opportunities for energy and performance improvements, and discusses the benefits of a systems approach in identifying and implementing these improvement opportunities. The Sourcebook is divided into the following three main sections: Section 1: Steam System Basics--For users unfamiliar with the basics of steam systems, or for users seeking a refresher, a brief discussion of the terms, relationships, and important system design considerations is provided. Users already familiar with industrial steam system operation may want to skip this section. This section describes steam systems using four basic parts: generation, distribution, end use, and recovery. Section 2: Performance Improvement Opportunities--This section discusses important factors that should be considered when industrial facilities seek to improve steam system performance and to lower operating costs. This section also provides an overview of the finance considerations related to steam system improvements. Additionally, this section discusses several resources and tools developed by the U. S. Department of Energy's (DOE) BestPractices Steam Program to identify and assess steam system improvement opportunities. Section 3: Programs, Contacts, and Resources--This section provides a directory of associations and other organizations involved in the steam system marketplace. This section also provides a description of the BestPractices Steam Program, a directory of contacts, and a listing of available resources and tools, such as publications, software, training courses, and videos.

  5. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-04-19

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function.

  6. A Mathematical Model to Improve the Performance of Logistics Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Izman Herdiansyah

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The role of logistics nowadays is expanding from just providing transportation and warehousing to offering total integrated logistics. To remain competitive in the global market environment, business enterprises need to improve their logistics operations performance. The improvement will be achieved when we can provide a comprehensive analysis and optimize its network performances. In this paper, a mixed integer linier model for optimizing logistics network performance is developed. It provides a single-product multi-period multi-facilities model, as well as the multi-product concept. The problem is modeled in form of a network flow problem with the main objective to minimize total logistics cost. The problem can be solved using commercial linear programming package like CPLEX or LINDO. Even in small case, the solver in Excel may also be used to solve such model.Keywords: logistics network, integrated model, mathematical programming, network optimization

  7. Driving Performance Improvements by Integrating Competencies with Human Resource Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin Gu; Park, Yongho; Yang, Gi Hun

    2010-01-01

    This study explores the issues in the development and application of a competency model and provides implications for more precise integration of competencies into human resource (HR) functions driving performance improvement. This research is based on a case study from a Korean consumer corporation. This study employed document reviews,…

  8. Improving Port Performance: History of a Management Training Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Brian J.; Reach, D. Keith

    1984-01-01

    Describes the background to and the aims, development, production, and testing of the Improving Port Performance project initiated by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development to provide training for port managers in developing countries. The content and approach of the first set of materials produced are outlined. (MBR)

  9. Algorithms for improved performance in cryptographic protocols.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schroeppel, Richard Crabtree; Beaver, Cheryl Lynn

    2003-11-01

    Public key cryptographic algorithms provide data authentication and non-repudiation for electronic transmissions. The mathematical nature of the algorithms, however, means they require a significant amount of computation, and encrypted messages and digital signatures possess high bandwidth. Accordingly, there are many environments (e.g. wireless, ad-hoc, remote sensing networks) where public-key requirements are prohibitive and cannot be used. The use of elliptic curves in public-key computations has provided a means by which computations and bandwidth can be somewhat reduced. We report here on the research conducted in an LDRD aimed to find even more efficient algorithms and to make public-key cryptography available to a wider range of computing environments. We improved upon several algorithms, including one for which a patent has been applied. Further we discovered some new problems and relations on which future cryptographic algorithms may be based.

  10. Enhanced jump performance when providing augmented feedback compared to an external or internal focus of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Martin; Lauber, Benedikt; Gottschalk, Marius; Taube, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Factors such as an external focus of attention (EF) and augmented feedback (AF) have been shown to improve performance. However, the efficacy of providing AF to enhance motor performance has never been compared with the effects of an EF or an internal focus of attention (IF). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to identify which of the three conditions (AF, EF or IF) leads to the highest performance in a countermovement jump (CMJ). Nineteen volunteers performed 12 series of 8 maximum CMJs. Changes in jump height between conditions and within the series were analysed. Jump heights differed between conditions (P jump heights at the end of the series in AF (+1.60%) and lower jump heights at the end of the series in EF (-1.79%) and IF (-1.68%) were observed. Muscle activity did not differ between conditions. The differences between conditions and within the series provide evidence that AF leads to higher performance and better progression within one series than EF and IF. Consequently, AF seems to outperform EF and IF when maximising jump height.

  11. GPU Computing to Improve Game Engine Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abu Asaduzzaman

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Although the graphics processing unit (GPU was originally designed to accelerate the image creation for output to display, today’s general purpose GPU (GPGPU computing offers unprecedented performance by offloading computing-intensive portions of the application to the GPGPU, while running the remainder of the code on the central processing unit (CPU. The highly parallel structure of a many core GPGPU can process large blocks of data faster using multithreaded concurrent processing. A game engine has many “components” and multithreading can be used to implement their parallelism. However, effective implementation of multithreading in a multicore processor has challenges, such as data and task parallelism. In this paper, we investigate the impact of using a GPGPU with a CPU to design high-performance game engines. First, we implement a separable convolution filter (heavily used in image processing with the GPGPU. Then, we implement a multiobject interactive game console in an eight-core workstation using a multithreaded asynchronous model (MAM, a multithreaded synchronous model (MSM, and an MSM with data parallelism (MSMDP. According to the experimental results, speedup of about 61x and 5x is achieved due to GPGPU and MSMDP implementation, respectively. Therefore, GPGPU-assisted parallel computing has the potential to improve multithreaded game engine performance.

  12. Improving cardiac myocytes performance by CNTs platforms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina eMartinelli

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The application of nanotechnology to the cardiovascular system has increasingly caught scientists’ attention as a potentially powerful tool for the development of new generation devices able to interface, repair or boost the performance of cardiac tissue. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs are considered as promising materials for nanomedicine applications in general and have been recently tested towards excitable cell growth. CNTs are cylindrically shaped structures made up of rolled-up graphene sheets, with unique electrical, thermal and mechanical properties, able to effectively conducting electrical current in electrochemical interfaces. CNTs-based scaffolds have been recently found to support the in vitro growth of cardiac cells: in particular, their ability to improve cardiomyocytes proliferation, maturation and electrical behavior are making CNTs extremely attractive for the development and exploitation of interfaces able to impact on cardiac cells physiology and function.

  13. Investigation of microwave antennas with improved performances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Rongguo

    This dissertation presents the investigation of antennas with improved performances at microwave frequencies. It covers the following three topics: the study of the metamaterial with near-zero index of refraction and its application in directive antenna design, the design technique of a wideband circularly polarized patch antenna for 60GHz wireless application and the investigation of a novel direction of arrival (DOA) estimation technique inspired by human auditory system. First, the metamaterial composed of two-dimensional (2-D) metallic wire arrays is investigated as an effective medium with an effective index of refraction less than unity (neff MUSIC) algorithm is applied to calculate the DOA. The improved estimation accuracy is demonstrated in both simulation and experiment. Furthermore, inspired by the sound localization capability of human using just a single ear, a novel direction of arrival estimation technique using a single UWB antenna is proposed and studied. The DOA estimation accuracies of the single UWB antenna are studied in the x-y, x-z and y-z planes with different Signal to Noise Ratios (SNR). The proposed single antenna DOA technique is demonstrated in both simulation and experiment, although with reduced accuracy comparing with the case of two antennas with a scatter in between. At the end, the conclusions of this dissertation are drawn and possible future works are discussed.

  14. Innovations in basic life support education for healthcare providers: improving competence in cardiopulmonary resuscitation through self-directed learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cason, Carolyn L; Kardong-Edgren, Suzan; Cazzell, Mary; Behan, Deborah; Mancini, Mary Elizabeth

    2009-01-01

    Providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an essential competency for nurses. Nurse educators involved in staff development and continuing education spend numerous hours offering basic life support courses and conducting performance improvement activities such as mock codes. This study provides evidence that cardiopulmonary resuscitation performance skills using self-directed learning methods are as good as or, on a number of parameters, better than those achieved with a more resource- and time-intensive traditional approach.

  15. Improving fatigue performance of rail thermite welds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Winiar L.

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Rail transport development offers economic and ecological interests. Nevertheless, it requires heavy investments in rolling material and infrastructure. To be competitive, this transportation means must rely on safe and reliable infrastructure, which requires optimization of all implemented techniques and structure. Rail thermite (or aluminothermic welding is widely used within the railway industry for in-track welding during re-rail and defect replacement. The process provides numerous advantages against other welding technology commonly used. Obviously, future demands on train traffic are heavier axle loads, higher train speeds and increased traffic density. Thus, a new enhanced weld should be developed to prevent accidents due to fracture of welds and to lower maintenance costs. In order to improve such assembly process, a detailed metallurgical study coupled to a thermomechanical modelling of the phenomena involved in the thermite welding process is carried out. Obtained data enables us to develop a new improved thermite weld (type A. This joint is made by modifying the routinely specified procedure (type B used in a railway rail by a standard gap alumino-thermic weld. Joints of type A and B are tested and compared. Based on experimental temperature measurements, a finite element analysis is used to calculate the thermal residual stresses induced. In the vicinity of the weld, the residual stress patterns depend on the thermal conditions during welding as it also shown by litterature [1, 2]. In parallel, X-Ray diffraction has been used to map the residual stress field that is generated in welded rail of types A and B. Their effect on fatigue crack growth in rail welds is studied. An experimental study based on fatigue tests of rails welded by conventional and improved processes adjudicates on the new advances and results will be shown.

  16. Using alternative feedback strategies to improve aircraft inspection performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaewkuekool, Sittichai

    The aircraft inspection and maintenance system consists of several interrelated human and machine components, with visual inspection playing a significant role in ensuring aircraft safety. Training has been identified as one of the most important intervention strategies for enhancing the quality and reliability of aircraft inspection. This process has the potential to be improved using advancements in computer technology, especially virtual reality (VR) technology, which is becoming increasingly more affordable and prevalent. In light of this situation, this study investigated the use of VR technology to support training in the improvement of aircraft inspection performance. An experiment was developed to investigate the use of performance and process feedback in both statistical and graphical forms in two different task environments. In addition, information on defect criticality, defect location, and occurrence of defect was provided to subjects to study the effectiveness of feedforward information on inspection performance. Specifically, the experiment involved the inspection of an aircraft cargo bay using VR technology with eye tracking movement devices and a 6 degree of freedom mouse for pointing and clicking on defects. Results from the feedback training indicated that providing process along with performance feedback improved inspection performance as evidenced in the speed, accuracy and search strategy measures. Similar results were shown for both task environments. However, the addition feedforward information in the heterogeneous task environment yielded ever better inspection performance, and process and performance feedback coupled with feedforward information on defect criticality, defect location, and occurrence of defect yielded the best inspection performance as seen in the speed, accuracy and search strategy measures. The findings of this study indicate that using a combination of training intervention strategies leads to an improvement in

  17. Access Agent Improving The Performance Of Access Control Lists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thelis R. S.

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The main focus of the proposed research is maintaining the security of a network. Extranet is a popular network among most of the organizations where network access is provided to a selected group of outliers. Limiting access to an extranet can be carried out using Access Control Lists ACLs method. However handling the workload of ACLs is an onerous task for the router. The purpose of the proposed research is to improve the performance and to solidify the security of the ACLs used in a small organization. Using a high performance computer as a dedicated device to share and handle the router workload is suggested in order to increase the performance of the router when handling ACLs. Methods of detecting and directing sensitive data is also discussed in this paper. A framework is provided to help increase the efficiency of the ACLs in an organization network using the above mentioned procedures thus helping the organizations ACLs performance to be improved to be more secure and the system to perform faster. Inbuilt methods of Windows platform or Software for open source platforms can be used to make a computer function as a router. Extended ACL features allow the determining of the type of packets flowing through the router. Combining these mechanisms allows the ACLs to be improved and perform in a more efficient manner.

  18. The better model to predict and improve pediatric health care quality: performance or importance-performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Rebecca M; Bryant, Carol A; McDermott, Robert J; Ortinau, David

    2013-01-01

    The perpetual search for ways to improve pediatric health care quality has resulted in a multitude of assessments and strategies; however, there is little research evidence as to their conditions for maximum effectiveness. A major reason for the lack of evaluation research and successful quality improvement initiatives is the methodological challenge of measuring quality from the parent perspective. Comparison of performance-only and importance-performance models was done to determine the better predictor of pediatric health care quality and more successful method for improving the quality of care provided to children. Fourteen pediatric health care centers serving approximately 250,000 patients in 70,000 households in three West Central Florida counties were studied. A cross-sectional design was used to determine the importance and performance of 50 pediatric health care attributes and four global assessments of pediatric health care quality. Exploratory factor analysis revealed five dimensions of care (physician care, access, customer service, timeliness of services, and health care facility). Hierarchical multiple regression compared the performance-only and the importance-performance models. In-depth interviews, participant observations, and a direct cognitive structural analysis identified 50 health care attributes included in a mailed survey to parents(n = 1,030). The tailored design method guided survey development and data collection. The importance-performance multiplicative additive model was a better predictor of pediatric health care quality. Attribute importance moderates performance and quality, making the importance-performance model superior for measuring and providing a deeper understanding of pediatric health care quality and a better method for improving the quality of care provided to children. Regardless of attribute performance, if the level of attribute importance is not taken into consideration, health care organizations may spend valuable

  19. Provider Profiling: A Population Health Improvement Tool for the Southeast Military Health System

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pemberton, Phillip

    1999-01-01

    ...). Profiling with Provider Perspectives, a Primary Care Management Tool, provides the SEMHS with a standardized performance measurement system that offers feedback in a user friendly and non-threatening format...

  20. Spatial Modulation Improves Performance in CTIS

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    Suitably formulated spatial modulation of a scene imaged by a computed-tomography imaging spectrometer (CTIS) has been found to be useful as a means of improving the imaging performance of the CTIS. As used here, "spatial modulation" signifies the imposition of additional, artificial structure on a scene from within the CTIS optics. The basic principles of a CTIS were described in "Improvements in Computed- Tomography Imaging Spectrometry" (NPO-20561) NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 24, No. 12 (December 2000), page 38 and "All-Reflective Computed-Tomography Imaging Spectrometers" (NPO-20836), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 11 (November 2002), page 7a. To recapitulate: A CTIS offers capabilities for imaging a scene with spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution. The spectral disperser in a CTIS is a two-dimensional diffraction grating. It is positioned between two relay lenses (or on one of two relay mirrors) in a video imaging system. If the disperser were removed, the system would produce ordinary images of the scene in its field of view. In the presence of the grating, the image on the focal plane of the system contains both spectral and spatial information because the multiple diffraction orders of the grating give rise to multiple, spectrally dispersed images of the scene. By use of algorithms adapted from computed tomography, the image on the focal plane can be processed into an image cube a three-dimensional collection of data on the image intensity as a function of the two spatial dimensions (x and y) in the scene and of wavelength (lambda). Thus, both spectrally and spatially resolved information on the scene at a given instant of time can be obtained, without scanning, from a single snapshot; this is what makes the CTIS such a potentially powerful tool for spatially, spectrally, and temporally resolved imaging. A CTIS performs poorly in imaging some types of scenes in particular, scenes that contain little spatial or spectral variation. The computed spectra of

  1. Improving the environmental performance of Ontario ski area operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Del Matto, T. [Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention, Sarnia, ON (Canada)

    2005-07-01

    This presentation discussed how to improve the environmental performance of Ontario ski area operations. It provided some context as to the significance of Ontario ski resorts to the sport of alpine skiing in Canada and provided a map of projected climate change impacts to the skiing industry in southern Ontario. It discussed the various operations involved in a ski resort and opportunities for resource use and waste generation through materials, energy and water. It discussed the formation of a task force to provide the Ontario Snow Resorts Association membership with a forum on issues related to pollution prevention. figs.

  2. Mechanical performance improvement of electroactive papers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jaehwan; Seo, Yung B.; Jung, Eunmi

    2001-07-01

    Electro-Active Paper (EAPap) is a paper that produces large displacement with small force under electrical excitation. EAPap is made with a chemically treated paper by bonding thin aluminum foils on both sides of the paper to comprise electrodes. When electric voltage is applied on the electrodes the EAPap produces bending displacement. However, the displacement output has been unstable and degraded with time scale. To improve the bending performance of EAPap, different paper fibers-broad-leaf, needle-leaf, bacteria cellulose and Korean traditional paper, and additive chemicals are tested. It was observed that needle-leaf paper exhibits better results then others. By eliminating the effect of adhesive layer and selecting a proper paper fiber, the displacement output has been stable with long time scale. The operational principle of EAPap is, we believe, based on the electrostriction effect associated with intermolecular interaction of the constituents of the paper. To confirm this result, more investigation of the paper quality should be followed in the beginning of paper manufacturing process. Since EAPaps are quite simple to fabricate and lightweight, various applications including flexible speakers, active sound absorbing materials and smart shape control devices can be possible.

  3. EDUCATIONAL POLICIES AND INITIATIVES FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia, CAIA

    2015-03-01

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

  4. Improving Mobility Performance in Wheelchair Basketball

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veeger, Thom T.J.; De Witte, Annemarie M H; Berger, Monique A M; van der Slikke, Rienk M A; Veeger, Dirkjan H E J; Hoozemans, Marco J M

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate which characteristics of athlete, wheelchair and athlete-wheelchair interface are the best predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance. DESIGN: Sixty experienced wheelchair basketball players performed a wheelchair mobility performance test to

  5. The Impact of Order Source Misattribution on Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) Performance Metrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gellert, George A; Catzoela, Linda; Patel, Lajja; Bruner, Kylynn; Friedman, Felix; Ramirez, Ricardo; Saucedo, Lilliana; Webster, S Luke; Gillean, John A

    2017-01-01

    One strategy to foster adoption of computerized provider order entry (CPOE) by physicians is the monthly distribution of a list identifying the number and use rate percentage of orders entered electronically versus on paper by each physician in the facility. Physicians care about CPOE use rate reports because they support the patient safety and quality improvement objectives of CPOE implementation. Certain physician groups are also motivated because they participate in contracted financial and performance arrangements that include incentive payments or financial penalties for meeting (or failing to meet) a specified CPOE use rate target. Misattribution of order sources can hinder accurate measurement of individual physician CPOE use and can thereby undermine providers' confidence in their reported performance, as well as their motivation to utilize CPOE. Misattribution of order sources also has significant patient safety, quality, and medicolegal implications. This analysis sought to evaluate the magnitude and sources of misattribution among hospitalists with high CPOE use and, if misattribution was found, to formulate strategies to prevent and reduce its recurrence, thereby ensuring the integrity and credibility of individual and facility CPOE use rate reporting. A detailed manual order source review and validation of all orders issued by one hospitalist group at a midsize community hospital was conducted for a one-month study period. We found that a small but not dismissible percentage of orders issued by hospitalists-up to 4.18 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 3.84-4.56 percent) per month-were attributed inaccurately. Sources of misattribution by department or function were as follows: nursing, 42 percent; pharmacy, 38 percent; laboratory, 15 percent; unit clerk, 3 percent; and radiology, 2 percent. Order management and protocol were the most common correct order sources that were incorrectly attributed. Order source misattribution can negatively affect

  6. How design can improve company performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.C.M. van den Ende (Jan); M. Candi (Marina); G. Gemser (Gerda)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractEmphasising design and including designers in product development teams contributes to new product success. Likewise, involving designers in developing websites and corporate visual identity helps to improve firm image. When taken together this can contribute to improved

  7. Using business intelligence to improve performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadsworth, Tom; Graves, Brian; Glass, Steve; Harrison, A Marc; Donovan, Chris; Proctor, Andrew

    2009-10-01

    Cleveland Clinic's enterprise performance management program offers proof that comparisons of actual performance against strategic objectives can enable healthcare organization to achieve rapid organizational change. Here are four lessons Cleveland Clinic learned from this initiative: Align performance metrics with strategic initiatives. Structure dashboards for the CEO. Link performance to annual reviews. Customize dashboard views to the specific user.

  8. 42 CFR 493.19 - Provider-performed microscopy (PPM) procedures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ...-field or phase-contrast microscopy. (4) The specimen is labile or delay in performing the test could... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Provider-performed microscopy (PPM) procedures. 493....19 Provider-performed microscopy (PPM) procedures. (a) Requirement. To be categorized as a PPM...

  9. Logistics Indicators Could Improve Logistics Performance of Hospitals

    OpenAIRE

    Wajong Andre M. R.

    2017-01-01

    Hospitals are institutions in which numerous transactions take place. A significant amount of those transactions happen in the realm of logistics. Logistifics is one of the concern of the hospital’s managing entities. Hospitals must provide a variety of logistics within a limited amount of time. The implementation of hospital logistics indicators were expected to assist the management in improving performance in the logistics units of hospitals in the Province of Jakarta. It was expected that...

  10. Performances of sexuality counselling: a framework for provider-client encounters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Kwaak, Anke; Ferris, Kristina; van Kats, Jetty; Dieleman, Marjolein

    2010-12-01

    Adequately assessing quality of care poses enormous challenges. While conducting fieldwork, we were struck by the need for a framework that encapsulates provider-client encounters. Little evidence exists concerning the most effective training, and management of health staff engaged in sexuality, reproductive health and HIV related health services. This paper proposes a framework for analysing these encounters. This paper is based on five studies. Mixed method studies were carried out in Uganda and Kenya. Two additional studies looked into the effect of HIV on health worker performance in Uganda and Zambia. As a result of the findings, a desk review looked into factors affecting provider-client encounters in order to improve the responsiveness of programs. Positive encounters between provider and client are built on trust and respect, consist of communication, practice and process, and are influenced by space, place and context. Combining these facets allows for a better understanding of their interactions. A holistic perspective in which the breadth of dynamics and processes are described should be used when assessing the quality of provider-client encounters. Within training, management and human resource planning, these dynamics need to be utilized to realize the best possible care. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. A new conceptual framework for ICU performance appraisal and improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotondi, Armando J; Sirio, Carl A; Angus, Derek C; Pinsky, Michael R

    2002-03-01

    This study examined the use of outcomes for the purposes of ICU evaluation and improvement. We reviewed the strengths and weaknesses of an outcomes-centered approach to intensive care unit (ICU) evaluation and present a more comprehensive conceptual framework for ICU evaluation and improvement. Data was collected from 2 sources: (1) a structured review of the literature, with relevant articles identified using Medline, and (2) 85 semistructured interviews of health care professionals (eg, physicians) and health care administrators (eg, chief executive officer). The interviewees came from 4 institutions: a 900-bed East Coast teaching medical center, a 600-bed East Coast teaching medical center, a 590-bed East Coast teaching medical center, and a 435-bed West Coast private community hospital. A nonrandomized, purposeful sample was used. A conceptual framework for ICU evaluation is presented that identifies and defines 3 different types of variables: performance (eg, appropriateness of care, effectiveness of care), outcome (eg, resource use, mortality), and process (eg, timeliness of treatment, work environment). The framework emphasizes performance variables and the relationships between performance, outcome, and process of care variables, as a logical focus for ICU evaluation and improvement. Performance variables offer distinct advantages over outcome variables for ICU evaluation. Their use, however, will require additional development of current evaluation tools and methods. They provide the ability to identify the value an ICU adds to patient care in a hospital or to an episode of illness, and to evaluate integrated systems for providing care. Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.

  12. Pay-for-performance for healthcare providers: Design, performance measurement, and (unintended) effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    F. Eijkenaar (Frank)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractHealthcare systems around the world are characterized by a suboptimal delivery of healthcare services. There has been a growing belief among policymakers that many deficiencies (e.g., in the quality of care) stem from flawed provider payment systems creating perverse incentives for

  13. BUSINESS PERFORMANCE OF HEALTH TOURISM SERVICE PROVIDERS IN THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrkljan, Sanela; Hendija, Zvjezdana

    2016-03-01

    Health tourism can be generally divided into medical, health spa and wellness tourism. Health spa tourism services are provided in special hospitals for medical rehabilitation and health resorts, and include under medical supervision controlled use of natural healing factors and physical therapy in order to improve and preserve health. There are 13 special hospitals for medical rehabilitation and health resorts in Croatia. Most of them are financed through the state budget and lesser by sale on the market. More than half of their accommodation capacity is offered for sale on the market while the rest is under contract with the Croatian Health Insurance Fund. Domestic overnights are several times higher than foreign overnights. The aim of this study was to analyze business performance of special hospitals for medical rehabilitation and health resorts in Croatia in relation to the sources of financing and the structure of service users. The assumption was that those who are more market-oriented achieve better business performance. In proving these assumptions, an empirical research was conducted and the assumptions were tested. A positive correlation was proven in tested indicators of business performance of the analyzed service providers of health-spa tourism with a higher amount of overnight stays realized through sales on the market in relation to total overnight stays, with a greater share of foreign overnights in total of overnights and with a higher share of realized revenue on the market out of total revenue. The results of the research show that special hospitals for medical rehabilitation and health resorts that are more market-oriented are more successful in their business performance. These findings are important for planning the health and tourism policies in countries like Croatia.

  14. Performance samples on academic tasks : improving prediction of academic performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tanilon, Jenny

    2011-01-01

    This thesis is about the development and validation of a performance-based test, labeled as Performance Samples on academic tasks in Education and Child Studies (PSEd). PSEd is designed to identify students who are most able to perform the academic tasks involved in an Education and Child Studies

  15. Improving Science and IT Literacy by Providing Urban-Based Environmental Science Research Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuff, K. E.; Corazza, L.; Liang, J.

    2007-12-01

    A U.C. Berkeley-based outreach program known as Environmental Science Information Technology Activities has been in operation over the past four years. The primary aim of the program is to provide opportunities for grades 9 and 10 students in diverse East San Francisco Bay Area communities to develop deeper understandings of the nature and conduct of science, which will increase their capacity to enroll and perform successfully in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses in the future. Design of the program has been informed by recent research that indicates a close relationship between educational activities that promote the perception of STEM as being relevant and the ability to foster development of deeper conceptual understandings among teens. Accordingly, ESITA includes an important student-led environmental science research project component, which provides participants with opportunities to engage in research investigations that are directly linked to relevant, real-world environmental problems and issues facing their communities. Analysis of evidence gleaned from questionnaires, interviews with participants and specific assessment/evaluation instruments indicates that ESITA program activities, including after-school meetings, summer and school year research projects, and conference preparations and presentations has provided students with high-quality inquiry science experiences that increased their knowledge of STEM and IT concepts, as well as their understanding of the nature of the scientific enterprise. In addition, the program has achieved a high degree of success in that it has: enhanced participants' intellectual self-confidence with regard to STEM; developed deeper appreciation of how scientific research can contribute to the maintenance of healthy local environments; developed a greater interest in participating in STEM-related courses of study and after school programs; and improved attitudes toward STEM. Overall

  16. Improving Pediatric Education for Emergency Medical Services Providers: A Qualitative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Seth A; Hayden, Theresa C; Randell, Kimberly A; Rappaport, Lara; Stevenson, Michelle D; Kim, In K

    2017-02-01

    Previous studies have illustrated pediatric knowledge deficits among Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers. The purpose of this study was to identify perspectives of a diverse group of EMS providers regarding pediatric prehospital care educational deficits and proposed methods of training improvements. Purposive sampling was used to recruit EMS providers in diverse settings for study participation. Two separate focus groups of EMS providers (administrative and non-administrative personnel) were held in three locations (urban, suburban, and rural). A professional moderator facilitated focus group discussion using a guide developed by the study team. A grounded theory approach was used to analyze data. Forty-two participants provided data. Four major themes were identified: (1) suboptimal previous pediatric training and training gaps in continuing pediatric education; (2) opportunities for improved interactions with emergency department (ED) staff, including case-based feedback on patient care; (3) barriers to optimal pediatric prehospital care; and (4) proposed pediatric training improvements. Focus groups identified four themes surrounding preparation of EMS personnel for providing care to pediatric patients. These themes can guide future educational interventions for EMS to improve pediatric prehospital care. Brown SA , Hayden TC , Randell KA , Rappaport L , Stevenson MD , Kim IK . Improving pediatric education for Emergency Medical Services providers: a qualitative study. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(1):20-26.

  17. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, John Robert; McDermott, John; Piche, Stephen; Pickard, Fred; Parikh, Neel J.

    2012-12-25

    A sootblowing control system that uses predictive models to bridge the gap between sootblower operation and boiler performance goals. The system uses predictive modeling and heuristics (rules) associated with different zones in a boiler to determine an optimal sequence of sootblower operations and achieve boiler performance targets. The system performs the sootblower optimization while observing any operational constraints placed on the sootblowers.

  18. Football to Improve Math and Reading Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Klaveren, Chris; De Witte, Kristof

    2015-01-01

    Schools frequently increase the instructional time to improve primary school children's math and reading skills. There is, however, little evidence that math and reading skills are effectively improved by these instruction-time increases. This study evaluates "Playing for Success" (PfS), an extended school day program for underachieving…

  19. Football to improve math and reading performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Klaveren, Chris; De Witte, Kristof

    2015-01-01

    Schools frequently increase the instructional time to improve primary school children's math and reading skills. There is, however, little evidence that math and reading skills are effectively improved by these instruction-time increases. This study evaluates ‘Playing for Success’ (PfS), an extended

  20. Performance Measurement for a Logistics Services Provider to the Polymer Industry

    OpenAIRE

    Tok, King Lai

    2007-01-01

    This management project discusses the form of performance measurement system suitable for a logistics services provider who focuses on providing its services to large multinational petrochemical companies in the polymer industry

  1. Compliance Performance: Effects of a Provider Incentive Program and Coding Compliance Plan

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Tudela, Joseph A

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this project is to study provider and coder related performance, i.e., provider compliance rate and coder productivity/accuracy rates and average dollar difference between coder and auditor, at Brooke Army Medical Center...

  2. Improving participation rates by providing choice of participation mode: two randomized controlled trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heijmans, Naomi; van Lieshout, Jan; Wensing, Michel

    2015-04-02

    Low participation rates reduce effective sample size, statistical power and can increase risk for selection bias. Previous research suggests that offering choice of participation mode can improve participation rates. However, few head-to-head trials compared choice of participation mode using telephone interviews and postal questionnaires as modes of interest. Aiming to explore effects of choice of participation, two randomized controlled trials were performed comparing participation rates of patients provided with and without choice of participation mode, using interviews and questionnaires as participation modes. Two trials were embedded in a larger study on cardiovascular risk management in primary care. Patients with a chronic cardiovascular condition recruited for the larger study were invited to participate in an additional survey on social networks, using invitations with and without choice of participation mode. Primary outcome was participation rate. Other outcomes of interest were participation rate conditional on willingness to participate, and initial willingness to participate. In trial 1 we compared outcomes after choice of participation mode (interview or questionnaire) with invitations for participation in a telephone interview. In Trial 2 results for choice of participation mode were compared with postal questionnaires. In Trial 1 no differences were found in participation rates (65% vs 66%, p = 0.853) although conditional participation rate was highest for interviews (90% vs 72%, p choice of participation mode was provided (90% versus 73%, p choice of participation mode was provided (59% vs 46%, p choice of participation mode had benefit on participation rates compared to invitations to participate in questionnaires, but not when compared to invitations to participate in telephone interviews. Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN89237105 .

  3. Improving Physical Task Performance with Counterfactual and Prefactual Thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammell, Cecilia; Chan, Amy Y C

    2016-01-01

    Counterfactual thinking (reflecting on "what might have been") has been shown to enhance future performance by translating information about past mistakes into plans for future action. Prefactual thinking (imagining "what might be if…") may serve a greater preparative function than counterfactual thinking as it is future-orientated and focuses on more controllable features, thus providing a practical script to prime future behaviour. However, whether or not this difference in hypothetical thought content may translate into a difference in actual task performance has been largely unexamined. In Experiment 1 (n = 42), participants performed trials of a computer-simulated physical task, in between which they engaged in either task-related hypothetical thinking (counterfactual or prefactual) or an unrelated filler task (control). As hypothesised, prefactuals contained more controllable features than counterfactuals. Moreover, participants who engaged in either form of hypothetical thinking improved significantly in task performance over trials compared to participants in the control group. The difference in thought content between counterfactuals and prefactuals, however, did not yield a significant difference in performance improvement. Experiment 2 (n = 42) replicated these findings in a dynamic balance task environment. Together, these findings provide further evidence for the preparatory function of counterfactuals, and demonstrate that prefactuals share this same functional characteristic.

  4. Improving Physical Task Performance with Counterfactual and Prefactual Thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammell, Cecilia; Chan, Amy Y. C.

    2016-01-01

    Counterfactual thinking (reflecting on “what might have been”) has been shown to enhance future performance by translating information about past mistakes into plans for future action. Prefactual thinking (imagining “what might be if…”) may serve a greater preparative function than counterfactual thinking as it is future-orientated and focuses on more controllable features, thus providing a practical script to prime future behaviour. However, whether or not this difference in hypothetical thought content may translate into a difference in actual task performance has been largely unexamined. In Experiment 1 (n = 42), participants performed trials of a computer-simulated physical task, in between which they engaged in either task-related hypothetical thinking (counterfactual or prefactual) or an unrelated filler task (control). As hypothesised, prefactuals contained more controllable features than counterfactuals. Moreover, participants who engaged in either form of hypothetical thinking improved significantly in task performance over trials compared to participants in the control group. The difference in thought content between counterfactuals and prefactuals, however, did not yield a significant difference in performance improvement. Experiment 2 (n = 42) replicated these findings in a dynamic balance task environment. Together, these findings provide further evidence for the preparatory function of counterfactuals, and demonstrate that prefactuals share this same functional characteristic. PMID:27942041

  5. Performance Results of CMMI-Based Process Improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gibson, Diane L; Goldenson, Dennis R; Kost, Keith

    2006-01-01

    .... There now is evidence that process improvement using the CMMI Product Suite can result in improvements in schedule and cost performance, product quality, return on investment and other measures of performance outcome...

  6. Performance samples on academic tasks: improving prediction of academic performance

    OpenAIRE

    Tanilon, Jenny

    2011-01-01

    This thesis is about the development and validation of a performance-based test, labeled as Performance Samples on academic tasks in Education and Child Studies (PSEd). PSEd is designed to identify students who are most able to perform the academic tasks involved in an Education and Child Studies bridging program. Many Dutch universities set up bridging programs that aim to prepare students with non-university degrees in the Netherlands for Master’s programs at the university level. Some univ...

  7. Power performance evaluation and improvement of operational wind power plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pelletier, F.; Masson, C. [Ecole de Technologie Superieure, Montreal, PQ (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This presentation described an academic research project that was conducted to improve the power performance evaluation techniques used to assess wind power plants. An advanced data acquisition system was used to provide data for a power performance modelling tool. Time scales and power curve measurements were obtained. A literature review of power curve modelling techniques included stochastic models; discrete models; parametric and non-parametric models; and data reduction techniques. A multi-linear regression model was used to determine power performance. To date, the study has determined selection process for wind turbine scripts for wake sector delimitation; terrain classification; and transfer function. The project will focus on developing quality control data for wind turbines, select wind turbines according to terrain classes and wake sectors, and perform analyses with WAsP and WindPro software programs. tabs, figs.

  8. Can visual arts training improve physician performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Joel T; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2014-01-01

    Clinical educators use medical humanities as a means to improve patient care by training more self-aware, thoughtful, and collaborative physicians. We present three examples of integrating fine arts - a subset of medical humanities - into the preclinical and clinical training as models that can be adapted to other medical environments to address a wide variety of perceived deficiencies. This novel teaching method has promise to improve physician skills, but requires further validation.

  9. Improving mobility performance in wheelchair basketball

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veeger, Thom T.J.; De Witte, Annemarie M.H.; Berger, Monique A.M.; van der Slikke, R.M.A.; Veeger, H.E.J.; Hoozemans, Marco J.M.

    2017-01-01

    Objectiev:
    This study aimed to investigate which characteristics of athlete, wheelchair and athlete-wheelchair interface are the best predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance.

    Design:
    Sixty experienced wheelchair basketball players performed a wheelchair mobility

  10. Improving the Academic Performance of Athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Rosemary

    1986-01-01

    The new higher standards required of entering collegiate athletes will not immediately create change in the performance and attitudes of student athletes. Academic performance of student athletes can be enhanced through the development of a comprehensive program fusing the relationship between athletics and academics. (MD)

  11. How Six Sigma Methodology Improved Doctors' Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zafiropoulos, George

    2015-01-01

    Six Sigma methodology was used in a District General Hospital to assess the effect of the introduction of an educational programme to limit unnecessary admissions. The performance of the doctors involved in the programme was assessed. Ishikawa Fishbone and 5 S's were initially used and Pareto analysis of their findings was performed. The results…

  12. Improving Mobility Performance in Wheelchair Basketball

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veeger, Thom T.J.; De Witte, Annemarie M.H.; Berger, Monique A.M.; van der Slikke, R.M.A.; Veeger, H.E.J.; Hoozemans, Marco J.M.

    2017-01-01

    Objectiev:
    This study aimed to investigate which characteristics of athlete, wheelchair and athlete-wheelchair interface are the best predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance.

    Design:
    Sixty experienced wheelchair basketball players performed a wheelchair mobility

  13. BMI, a performance parameter for speed improvement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrien Sedeaud

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to investigate the association between anthropometric characteristics and performance in all track and field running events and assess Body Mass Index (BMI as a relevant performance indicator. Data of mass, height, BMI and speed were collected for the top 100 international men athletes in track events from 100 m to marathon for the 1996-2011 seasons, and analyzed by decile of performance. Speed is significantly associated with mass (r = 0.71 and BMI (r = 0.71 in world-class runners and moderately with height (r = 0.39. Athletes, on average were continuously lighter and smaller with distance increments. In track and field, speed continuously increases with BMI. In each event, performances are organized through physique gradients. « Lighter and smaller is better » in endurance events but « heavier and taller is better » for sprints. When performance increases, BMI variability progressively tightens, but it is always centered around a distance-specific optimum. Running speed is organized through biometric gradients, which both drives and are driven by performance optimization. The highest performance level is associated with narrower biometric intervals. Through BMI indicators, diversity is possible for sprints whereas for long distance events, there is a more restrictive aspect in terms of physique. BMI is a relevant indicator, which allows for a clear differentiation of athletes' capacities between each discipline and level of performance in the fields of human possibilities.

  14. A continuous improvement process for health providers of victims of domestic violence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swenson-Britt, E; Thornton, J E; Hoppe, S K; Brackley, M H

    2001-10-01

    Health care providers can play an important role in the prevention of domestic violence through established processes of identification, safety assessment, validation, documentation, and referral. In 1998 the Safe Family Project, funded by University Health System (UHS), affiliated with University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, provided for a clinical review of existing services for victims of domestic violence. A subsequent review of the health system's policy and clinical practice supported the need for resources and training and for an improved care process for victims of domestic violence. THE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PROCESS (CIP) MODEL: UHS adapted the Shewhart cycle of activities popularly referred to as PDSA (plan change, do change, study results, act on results), a systematic, process-focused approach to achieving continuous and measurable improvement, as its CIP model, and it formed a process improvement team. This process led to translation of research findings into best practice guidelines for treatment of domestic violence and staff education. Significant improvements were made in the overall qualitative chart reviews, although the diagnostic coding (using ICD-9 codes and e-codes) did improve. The CIP can be replicated in other settings to improve the care of victims of domestic violence. The CIP effort is being extended to outpatient facilities, and managers have requested that the training manual be replicated and placed throughout UHS as a resource manual. Other activities are intended to improve prevention of domestic violence and intervention when it occurs.

  15. Combined Space and Water Heating: Next Steps to Improved Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoenbauer, B. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Bohac, D. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Huelman, P. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States)

    2016-07-13

    A combined space- and water-heating (combi) system uses a high-efficiency direct-vent burner that eliminates safety issues associated with natural draft appliances. Past research with these systems shows that using condensing water heaters or boilers with hydronic air handling units can provide both space and water heating with efficiencies of 90% or higher. Improved controls have the potential to reduce complexity and improve upon the measured performance. This project demonstrates that controls can significantly benefit these first-generation systems. Laboratory tests and daily load/performance models showed that the set point temperature reset control produced a 2.1%-4.3% (20-40 therms/year) savings for storage and hybrid water heater combi systems operated in moderate-load homes.

  16. Industry activities to improve valve performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Callaway, C.

    1996-12-01

    Motor-operated valve issues refuse to go away. For over a decade the industry and the NRC have been focusing extraordinary resources on assuring these special components operate when called upon. Now that industry has fixed the design deficiencies, it is focusing on assuring that they perform their safety function within the current licensing basis for the remainder of plant life. NEI supported the efforts by ASME to develop OMN-1 and was encouraged that the industry and the NRC worked together to develop risk and performance based approaches to maintain MOV performance.

  17. Does Advertising Spending Improve Sales Performance?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Assaf, A. George; Josiassen, Alexander; Mattila, Anna S.

    2015-01-01

    Hotel managers and investors commonly analyze the impact of advertising spending on firm performance. This paper investigates such an impact using a comprehensive framework incorporating the moderating effects of hotel size and star ratings. We estimated sales performance via dynamic, stochastic...... frontier modelling. Using longitudinal data from a sample of Slovenian and Croatian hotels, we demonstrate that advertising spending has a positive impact on hotel sales performance, and that the relationship strengthens for larger hotels and hotels with higher star ratings. Theoretical and managerial...

  18. Improving Team Performance for Public Health Preparedness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck, Megan; Scullard, Mickey; Hedberg, Craig; Moilanen, Emily; Radi, Deborah; Riley, William; Bowen, Paige Anderson; Petersen-Kroeber, Cheryl; Stenberg, Louise; Olson, Debra K

    2017-02-01

    Between May 2010 and September 2011, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health partnered with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to assess the effect of exercises on team performance during public health emergency response. Participants were divided into 3 research teams exposed to various levels of intervention. Groups consisted of a control group that was given standard MDH training exercises, a didactic group exposed to team dynamics and communication training, and a treatment group that received the didactic training in addition to a post-exercise facilitated debriefing. To assess differences in team performance, teams engaged in 15 functional exercises. Differences in team performance across the 3 groups were identified, although there was no trend in team performance over time for any of the groups. Groups demonstrated fluctuation in team performance during the study period. Attitudinal surveys demonstrated an increase in workplace satisfaction and confidence in training among all groups throughout the study period. Findings from this research support that a critical link exists between training type and team performance during public health emergency response. This research supports that intentional teamwork training for emergency response workers is essential for effective public health emergency response. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:7-10).

  19. Improving Attitudes Toward STEM By Providing Urban-Based Environmental Science Research Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuff, K. E.; Molinaro, M.

    2005-12-01

    Over the past decade, numerous calls have been made for the need to increase the participation of the nation's underrepresented population in science, technology, engineering, and technology (STEM) fields of endeavor. A key element in improving the less than impressive conditions that now exist with regard to this issue, is the development of effective approaches that result in positive changes in young people's attitudes toward education in general, and STEM subject matter in particular during the early stages of their intellectual development. The Environmental Science Information Technology Activities (ESITA) program provides opportunities for under-represented grades 9 - 10 students in the East San Francisco Bay Area to learn about and apply key STEM concepts and related skills. Consisting of two-year-long after school programs at community center and school-based sites, as well as a Summer Research Institute, the ESITA program engages participants in a combination of STEM content learning activities and environmental science research projects that address issues relevant to their communities. Design of the ESITA program has been informed by: 1) pilot-study data that indicated key elements necessary for ensuring high levels of participant enthusiasm and interest; 2) a conceptual framework for development of instructional materials grounded in recent research about student learning of STEM content; and 3) research about effective after school programs that present academic content. Throughout the program's two-year existence, ESITA students have participated in the following projects: investigations of the distribution of elevated lead levels in drinking water samples from Washington, D.C.; air and water quality studies in and around a popular lake situated within the nation's oldest wildlife refuge, located in downtown Oakland, California; and studies of the relationship between airborne particulate matter concentrations in Richmond, California, and activity at

  20. Improving Children's Working Memory and Classroom Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Clair-Thompson, Helen; Stevens, Ruth; Hunt, Alexandra; Bolder, Emma

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated close relationships between working memory and children's scholastic attainment. The aim of the present study was to explore a method of improving working memory, using memory strategy training. Two hundred and fifty-four children aged five to eight years were tested on measures of the phonological loop,…

  1. 7804 PERFORMANCE OF IMPROVED BEAN VARIETIES IN ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Win7Ent

    2013-06-03

    Jun 3, 2013 ... library.ciat.cgiar.org/articulos/ciat/paperb..Accessed on 27 October 2011. 9. Kanyeka E, Kamala R and R Kasuga Improved Agricultural Technologies. Recommended in Tanzania. The Department of Research and Training,. Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Cooperatives, Dar Es Salaam,. Tanzania ...

  2. Performance Improvement/HPT Model: Guiding the Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dessinger, Joan Conway; Moseley, James L.; Van Tiem, Darlene M.

    2012-01-01

    This commentary is part of an ongoing dialogue that began in the October 2011 special issue of "Performance Improvement"--Exploring a Universal Performance Model for HPT: Notes From the Field. The performance improvement/HPT (human performance technology) model represents a unifying process that helps accomplish successful change, create…

  3. Optimizing performance by improving core stability and core strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hibbs, Angela E; Thompson, Kevin G; French, Duncan; Wrigley, Allan; Spears, Iain

    2008-01-01

    Core stability and core strength have been subject to research since the early 1980s. Research has highlighted benefits of training these processes for people with back pain and for carrying out everyday activities. However, less research has been performed on the benefits of core training for elite athletes and how this training should be carried out to optimize sporting performance. Many elite athletes undertake core stability and core strength training as part of their training programme, despite contradictory findings and conclusions as to their efficacy. This is mainly due to the lack of a gold standard method for measuring core stability and strength when performing everyday tasks and sporting movements. A further confounding factor is that because of the differing demands on the core musculature during everyday activities (low load, slow movements) and sporting activities (high load, resisted, dynamic movements), research performed in the rehabilitation sector cannot be applied to the sporting environment and, subsequently, data regarding core training programmes and their effectiveness on sporting performance are lacking. There are many articles in the literature that promote core training programmes and exercises for performance enhancement without providing a strong scientific rationale of their effectiveness, especially in the sporting sector. In the rehabilitation sector, improvements in lower back injuries have been reported by improving core stability. Few studies have observed any performance enhancement in sporting activities despite observing improvements in core stability and core strength following a core training programme. A clearer understanding of the roles that specific muscles have during core stability and core strength exercises would enable more functional training programmes to be implemented, which may result in a more effective transfer of these skills to actual sporting activities.

  4. Improving operational performance by influencing shopfloor behavior via performance management practices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Leeuw, S.L.J.M.; van den Berg, J.P.

    2011-01-01

    It is generally believed that companies applying performance management practices outperform those that do not measure and manage their performance. Studies examining the link between performance management and performance improvement implicitly assume that performance management affects behavior of

  5. Provider-Payer Partnerships as an Engine for Continuous Quality Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balfour, Margaret E; Zinn, Tylar E; Cason, Karena; Fox, Jerimya; Morales, Myra; Berdeja, Cesar; Gray, Jay

    2018-03-01

    The authors describe a quality improvement approach in which a crisis center and a payer collaborate to improve care. Each crisis visit is considered as a potentially missed opportunity for community stabilization. Daily data on crisis visits are sent to the payer for a more up-to-date analysis of trends than is possible with financial claims data, which may lag behind services provided by up to 90 days. Using these trend data, the two organizations collaborate to identify patterns that lead to opportunities for improvement and develop multiple rapid-cycle projects for better management of services, resulting in significant decreases in readmissions and in the number of high utilizers.

  6. Improving business performance through brand management practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veljković Saša

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The aims of this study are to determine which variables are common as brand management practices, how these variables affect a company’s business performance, and whether there are statistically significant differences between companies in the sample in terms of individual elements of the Brand Management Practice (BMP model. The research took place in Serbia, and comprised 118 managers and specialists involved in marketing and brand management. After validating the proposed BMP model, we found a link between certain variables of the model and companies’ business performance. There are statistically significant differences between companies in terms of individual elements of brand management practice, and we identify three clusters: brand-guided companies, emerging brand companies, and brand-agnostic companies. They differ from each other in terms of: brand-oriented approach, innovativeness, brand support activities, unique marketing offers, marketing channel relationships, brand performance measurement, brand barriers, company size, and specific business area of a key-brand. They also differ according to estimated and actual business and financial performance. The results are valuable for explaining the main drivers of good brand management practice and their effects on business performance in different industry sectors. The implications for managers of domestic companies are also discussed.

  7. Data processing in music performance research: using structural information to improve score-performance matching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heijink, H; Windsor, L; Desain, P

    2000-11-01

    In order to study aspects of music performance, one has to find correspondences between the performance data and a score. Locating the corresponding score note for every performance note, called matching, is therefore a common task. An algorithm that automates this procedure is called a matcher. Automated matching is difficult because performers make errors, performers use expressive timing, and scores are frequently underspecified. To find the best match, most matchers use information about pitch, temporal order, and the number of matched notes. We show that adding information about the musical structure of the score gives better results. However, we found that even this information was insufficient to identify some types of performance errors and that a definition of best match based only on the number of matched notes is sometimes problematic. We provide some suggestions about how to achieve greater improvements.

  8. Research participation improves student's exam performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Gómez de Liaño, Beatriz; León, Orfelio G; Pascual-Ezama, David

    2012-07-01

    Although there have been several attempts to explore for beneficial effects of research participation in social sciences, most of them have mainly explored satisfaction and students learning perceptions (e.g., Bowman & Waite, 2003). Very few works have studied learning by measuring exam performance. Moreover, participation has been usually conceptualized as a mixture of active and passive participation, including in the same measure different practices such as filling up questionnaires, running experiments or reading and answering questions about a journal article or a scientific conference. The present work tries to determine if there is an advantage due to research participation comparing exam performance, satisfaction and perceived learning of the matter Research Methods in Psychology, in three different groups (non-participating, passive and active participating). As we can see in the results, the mere participation benefits exam performance. Results are discussed in terms of the use of research participation as a new powerful active method in education.

  9. Improving Student's Lab Practices: the Performance Grade

    CERN Document Server

    Lippi, G L

    2015-01-01

    Instilling good laboratory working attitudes in students is a difficult but very important task, especially in the first level courses. The introduction of a grade, based on the observation of work practices during laboratory sessions, can be strongly beneficial towards the acquisition of positive skills covering not only the technical aspects, but also the acquisition of both independence and team work. Explicit suggestions are given for basing the grade on specific observations and a quantitative analysis is performed to guarantee that the higher intrinsic volatility of the Performance Grade does not affect the final laboratory grade.

  10. Medical Device Regulation: Time to Improve Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Kramer, Daniel B.; Shuai Xu; Kesselheim, Aaron S.

    2012-01-01

    Editors' Summary Background Medical devices—health technologies that are not medicines, vaccines, or clinical procedures—cover a vast range of equipment from the simple to the more complex. Medical devices are essential for patient care, and in the past decade, new devices have offered improved treatment alternatives for many diseases and conditions, leading to substantial growth in the US$350 billion medical device industry. However, new medical devices also pose substantial risks to patient...

  11. HIPO in-flight performance improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, E. W.; Bida, T. A.; Collins, P. L.; Mandushev, Georgi; Zoonematkermani, S.; Van Cleve, J.; Angerhausen, D.; Mandell, Avi

    2014-07-01

    The High-speed Imaging Photometer for Occultations (HIPO) is a special purpose science instrument for SOFIA. HIPO can be co-mounted with FLITECAM in the so-called FLIPO configuration for stellar occultation or extrasolar planet transit observations. We gained some flight experience with HIPO and FLITECAM in 2011 as described in a previous publication (Dunham, et al., Proc SPIE, 8446-42, 2012). Since that time a number of improvements to HIPO have been made and a deeper understanding of the airborne environment's impact on photometric precision at optical wavelengths has been obtained. The improvements to HIPO include an improved beamsplitter for the FLIPO configuration, adding deep depletion CCDs as a detector option, expanding the filter set to include a Sloan Digital Sky Survey filter set as well as two custom filters for transit work, and an ability to guide the SOFIA telescope using HIPO data being acquired for science purposes. We now understand that variations in PSF size due to varying static air density has a noticeable impact on photometric stability while the related effect of Mach number is unimportant. The seriousness of ozone absorption in the Chappuis band is now understood and an approach to avoid this has been found. Finally we present demonstration transit data to illustrate our current transit photometry capability.

  12. Improving parent satisfaction: an intervention to increase neonatal parent?provider communication

    OpenAIRE

    Weiss, S; Goldlust, E; Vaucher, Y E

    2009-01-01

    Objective: The objective of the study was to assess whether a targeted intervention improved the satisfaction of neonatal parents with primary medical provider communication. Study Design: The study design was a survey assessment of parents in a neonatal intensive care unit regarding their satisfaction with physician and nurse practitioner communication. Serial cohorts were surveyed before and after an intervention, including educating providers about family communication, distributing contac...

  13. Does Negotiation Training Improve Negotiators' Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ElShenawy, Eman

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: This paper's objective is to test the main effect of negotiation training-level on acquiring negotiation skills. Training level refers to the time a trainee spends in a negotiation training course receiving the standard style and methods of training. Negotiation skills are manifested through trainees' performance after receiving training.…

  14. Improvement an enterprises marketing performance measurement system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanković Ljiljana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Business conditions in which modern enterprises do business are more and more complex. The complexity of the business environment is caused by activities of external and internal factors, which imposes the need for the turn in management focus. One of key turns is related to the need of adaptation and development of new business performance evaluation systems. The evaluation of marketing contribution to business performance is very important however a complex task as well. The marketing theory and practice indicates the need for developing adequate standards and systems for evaluating the efficiency of marketing decisions. The better understanding of marketing standards and ways that managers use is a very important factor that affects the efficiency of strategic decision-making. The paper presents the results of researching the way in which managers perceive and apply marketing performance measures. The data that were received through the field research sample enabled the consideration of the managers' attitudes on practical ways of implementing marketing performance measurement and identifying measures that managers imply as used mostly in business practice.

  15. Improving Spelling Performance and Spelling Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordewener, Kim A. H.; Verhoeven, Ludo; Bosman, Anna M. T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of spelling ability and word characteristic were also…

  16. Blueberries extract supplementation improves physical performance ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Jane

    2011-10-05

    Oct 5, 2011 ... supplementation on physical performance and exercise-induced oxidative stress. 40 male Swiss mice .... was generated by circulating water with a pump, and the strength of the current was adjusted to 8 ... Table 1. Effect of BBE supplementation on the antioxidant enzymes of skeletal muscle of mice. Group.

  17. Does Musical Training Improve School Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetter, Olive Emil; Koerner, Fritz; Schwaninger, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    In a retrospective study, we compared school performance of 53 children practicing music (group 1) with 67 controls not practicing music (group 2). Overall average marks as well as average marks of all school subjects except sports were significantly higher in children who do (group 1) than in those who do not practice music (group 2). In a…

  18. Improving spelling performance and spelling consciousness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cordewener, K.A.H.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.; Bosman, A.M.T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of

  19. Elasticity improves handgrip performance and user experience during visuomotor control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mace, Michael; Rinne, Paul; Liardon, Jean-Luc; Uhomoibhi, Catherine; Bentley, Paul; Burdet, Etienne

    2017-02-01

    Passive rehabilitation devices, providing motivation and feedback, potentially offer an automated and low-cost therapy method, and can be used as simple human-machine interfaces. Here, we ask whether there is any advantage for a hand-training device to be elastic, as opposed to rigid, in terms of performance and preference. To address this question, we have developed a highly sensitive and portable digital handgrip, promoting independent and repetitive rehabilitation of grasp function based around a novel elastic force and position sensing structure. A usability study was performed on 66 healthy subjects to assess the effect of elastic versus rigid handgrip control during various visuomotor tracking tasks. The results indicate that, for tasks relying either on feedforward or on feedback control, novice users perform significantly better with the elastic handgrip, compared with the rigid equivalent (11% relative improvement, 9-14% mean range; p design consideration for grip training devices.

  20. Control Performance Management in Industrial Automation Assessment, Diagnosis and Improvement of Control Loop Performance

    CERN Document Server

    Jelali, Mohieddine

    2013-01-01

    Control Performance Management in Industrial Automation provides a coherent and self-contained treatment of a group of methods and applications of burgeoning importance to the detection and solution of problems with control loops that are vital in maintaining product quality, operational safety, and efficiency of material and energy consumption in the process industries. The monograph deals with all aspects of control performance management (CPM), from controller assessment (minimum-variance-control-based and advanced methods), to detection and diagnosis of control loop problems (process non-linearities, oscillations, actuator faults), to the improvement of control performance (maintenance, re-design of loop components, automatic controller re-tuning). It provides a contribution towards the development and application of completely self-contained and automatic methodologies in the field. Moreover, within this work, many CPM tools have been developed that goes far beyond available CPM packages. Control Perform...

  1. Improving the photovoltaic performance of perovskite solar cells with acetate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qian; Li, G. R.; Song, Jian; Zhao, Yulong; Qiang, Yinghuai; Gao, X. P.

    2016-01-01

    In an all-solid-state perovskite solar cell, methylammonium lead halide film is in charge of generating photo-excited electrons, thus its quality can directly influence the final photovoltaic performance of the solar cell. This paper accentuates a very simple chemical approach to improving the quality of a perovskite film with a suitable amount of acetic acid. With introduction of acetate ions, a homogeneous, continual and hole-free perovskite film comprised of high-crystallinity grains is obtained. UV-visible spectra, steady-state and time-resolved photoluminescence (PL) spectra reveal that the obtained perovskite film under the optimized conditions shows a higher light absorption, more efficient electron transport, and faster electron extraction to the adjoining electron transport layer. The features result in the optimized perovskite film can provide an improved short-circuit current. The corresponding solar cells with a planar configuration achieves an improved power conversion efficiency of 13.80%, and the highest power conversion efficiency in the photovoltaic measurements is up to 14.71%. The results not only provide a simple approach to optimizing perovskite films but also present a novel angle of view on fabricating high-performance perovskite solar cells. PMID:27934924

  2. Improving the photovoltaic performance of perovskite solar cells with acetate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qian; Li, G R; Song, Jian; Zhao, Yulong; Qiang, Yinghuai; Gao, X P

    2016-12-09

    In an all-solid-state perovskite solar cell, methylammonium lead halide film is in charge of generating photo-excited electrons, thus its quality can directly influence the final photovoltaic performance of the solar cell. This paper accentuates a very simple chemical approach to improving the quality of a perovskite film with a suitable amount of acetic acid. With introduction of acetate ions, a homogeneous, continual and hole-free perovskite film comprised of high-crystallinity grains is obtained. UV-visible spectra, steady-state and time-resolved photoluminescence (PL) spectra reveal that the obtained perovskite film under the optimized conditions shows a higher light absorption, more efficient electron transport, and faster electron extraction to the adjoining electron transport layer. The features result in the optimized perovskite film can provide an improved short-circuit current. The corresponding solar cells with a planar configuration achieves an improved power conversion efficiency of 13.80%, and the highest power conversion efficiency in the photovoltaic measurements is up to 14.71%. The results not only provide a simple approach to optimizing perovskite films but also present a novel angle of view on fabricating high-performance perovskite solar cells.

  3. Eye movement feedback fails to improve visual search performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltier, Chad; Becker, Mark W

    2017-01-01

    Many real-world searches (e.g., radiology and baggage screening) have rare targets. When targets are rare, observers perform rapid, incomplete searches, leading to higher miss rates. To improve search for rare (10% prevalence) targets, we provided eye movement feedback (EMF) to observers during their searches. Although the nature of the EMF varied across experiments, each method informed observers about the regions of the display that had not yet been inspected. We hypothesized that feedback would help guide attention to unsearched areas and increase the proportion of the display searched before making a target-absent response, thereby increasing accuracy. An eye tracker was used to mark fixated areas by either removing a semiopaque gray overlay (Experiments 1 and 4) as portions of the display were fixated or by adding the overlay once the eye left a segment of the image (Experiments 2 and 4). Experiment 3 provided automated EMF, such that a new region was uncovered every 540 milliseconds. Across experiments, we varied whether people searched for "Waldo" in images from "Where's Waldo?" search books or searched for a T among offset Ls. We found weak evidence that EMF improves accuracy in Experiment 1. However, in the remaining experiments, EMF had no effect (Experiment 4), or even reduced accuracy (Experiments 2 and 3). We conclude that the one positive result we found is likely a Type I error and that the EMF method that we used is unlikely to improve visual search performance.

  4. Identifying barriers and improving communication between cancer service providers and Aboriginal patients and their families: the perspective of service providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahid, Shaouli; Durey, Angela; Bessarab, Dawn; Aoun, Samar M; Thompson, Sandra C

    2013-11-04

    Aboriginal Australians experience poorer outcomes from cancer compared to the non-Aboriginal population. Some progress has been made in understanding Aboriginal Australians' perspectives about cancer and their experiences with cancer services. However, little is known of cancer service providers' (CSPs) thoughts and perceptions regarding Aboriginal patients and their experiences providing optimal cancer care to Aboriginal people. Communication between Aboriginal patients and non-Aboriginal health service providers has been identified as an impediment to good Aboriginal health outcomes. This paper reports on CSPs' views about the factors impairing communication and offers practical strategies for promoting effective communication with Aboriginal patients in Western Australia (WA). A qualitative study involving in-depth interviews with 62 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal CSPs from across WA was conducted between March 2006-September 2007 and April-October 2011. CSPs were asked to share their experiences with Aboriginal patients and families experiencing cancer. Thematic analysis was carried out. Our analysis was primarily underpinned by the socio-ecological model, but concepts of Whiteness and privilege, and cultural security also guided our analysis. CSPs' lack of knowledge about the needs of Aboriginal people with cancer and Aboriginal patients' limited understanding of the Western medical system were identified as the two major impediments to communication. For effective patient-provider communication, attention is needed to language, communication style, knowledge and use of medical terminology and cross-cultural differences in the concept of time. Aboriginal marginalization within mainstream society and Aboriginal people's distrust of the health system were also key issues impacting on communication. Potential solutions to effective Aboriginal patient-provider communication included recruiting more Aboriginal staff, providing appropriate cultural training for CSPs

  5. Large N: a strategy for improving regional sport performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornett, Andrew C; Stager, Joel M

    2015-07-01

    It has been hypothesized that large differences in maximal performance can arise between various geopolitical regions solely on the basis of differing numbers of participants in the target activity. While there is evidence in support of this hypothesis for a measure of intellectual performance, the same relationship has not been examined for a measure of physical performance. To determine whether the number of participants is a predictor of the best athletic performance in a region. The 2005-2010 USA Swimming Age Group Detail reports were used to determine the number of competitive swimmers participating in each age group for the 59 local swimming communities in the United States. The USA Swimming performance database provided 50-yd-freestyle times in each community for boys and girls for each age (6-19 y). Simple linear regression was used to examine the relationship between the outcome variable (fastest time) and the predictor variable (log of the number of swimmers) for each combination of age, sex, and calendar year. The log of the number of swimmers in a region was a significant predictor of the best performance in that region for all 168 combinations of age, sex, and calendar year (Psport strategic policy. Increasing the number of participants in the target activity appears a viable strategy for improving regional performance.

  6. Multifunctional coprocessed excipients for improved tabletting performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Sumit; Shahiwala, Aliasgar F

    2009-02-01

    With the advancement of tablet manufacturing process, the demand of excipients with improved functionalities, mainly in terms of flow and compression properties, has increased. Coprocessed excipients are a mixture of two or more existing excipients at subparticle level, offer substantial benefits of the incorporated excipients and minimize their drawbacks. These multipurpose excipients have dramatically reduced the number of incorporating excipients in the tablet. The present review discusses the potential advantages of coprocessing and coprocessed excipients, material characteristics required for coprocessing, methods of coprocessing and various coprocessed excipients for direct compression available in the market.

  7. Improvement of Adaptive Cruise Control Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nakagami Takashi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the Adaptive Cruise Control system (ACC, a system which reduces the driving burden on the driver. The ACC system primarily supports four driving modes on the road and controls the acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle in order to maintain a set speed or to avoid a crash. This paper proposes more accurate methods of detecting the preceding vehicle by radar while cornering, with consideration for the vehicle sideslip angle, and also of controlling the distance between vehicles. By making full use of the proposed identification logic for preceding vehicles and path estimation logic, an improvement in driving stability was achieved.

  8. Benchmark and Continuous Improvement of Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Alecse Stanciu

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The present Economic Environment is challenge us to perform, to think and re-think our personal strategies in according with our entities strategies, even if we are simply employed or we are entrepreneurs. Is an environment characterised by Volatility, Uncertainity, Complexity and Ambiguity - a VUCA World in which the entities must fight for their position gained in the market, disrupt new markets and new economies, developing their client portofolio, with the Performance as one final goal. The pressure of driving forces known as the 2030 Megatrends: Globalization 2.0, Environmental Crisis and the Scarcity of Resources, Individualism and Value Pluralism, Demographic Change, This paper examines whether using benchmark is an opportunity to increase the competitiveness of Romanian SMEs and the results show that benchmark is therefore a powerful instrument, combining reduced negative impact on the environment with a positive impact on the economy and society.

  9. Individual quality improvement in acute coronary syndromes: a performance improvement initiative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannon, Christopher P; Hoekstra, James W; Larson, David M; Mencia, William A; Cornish, Jeanne; Carter, Reshma D; Berry, Carolyn A; Karcher, Rachel Bongiorno

    2009-03-01

    Although treatment guidelines from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have been published and widely accepted, barriers to the optimal management of patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) still exist. Adherence to guidelines has been correlated with improvements in patient outcomes in ACS, including reduced mortality, yet data demonstrate that 25% of opportunities to provide guideline-recommended care are missed. This article describes a performance improvement (PI) initiative designed to address gaps in process-related ACS care and improve patient outcomes. PI is an American Medical Association-approved, standardized continuing medical education format in which physicians can earn up to 20 American Medical Association PRA category 1 credits by completing 2 phases of self-assessment and developing and implementing a PI plan to address self-identified areas in which patient care can be improved. In this ACS PI initiative, physicians will assess their practice using performance measures defined by the 2007 ACC/AHA ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction and unstable angina or non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction guideline updates within 3 general benchmark areas: (1) patient risk assessment, (2) initial pharmacologic management, and (3) time-to-treatment (ie, "door-to-needle," "door-to-balloon," and "door-in-door-out" times). After completing a self-assessment and identifying 1 or more areas of improvement, participants can complete educational interventions and access benchmark-specific tools that provide guidance on improving adherence with the ACC/AHA guidelines. This PI initiative supplements other ongoing quality improvement initiatives in ACS, but is unique in that it is the first to use individual physician self-assessment, benchmark-focused continuing medical education, and self-developed PI plans to improve process-related ACS care.

  10. Implementation of renal key performance indicators: promoting improved clinical practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toussaint, Nigel D; McMahon, Lawrence P; Dowling, Gregory; Soding, Jenny; Safe, Maria; Knight, Richard; Fair, Kathleen; Linehan, Leanne; Walker, Rowan G; Power, David A

    2015-03-01

    In the Australian state of Victoria, the Renal Health Clinical Network (RHCN) of the Department of Health Victoria established a Renal Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Working Group in 2011. The group developed four KPIs related to chronic kidney disease and dialysis. A transplant working group of the RHCN developed two additional KPIs. The aim was to develop clinical indicators to measure performance of renal services to drive service improvement. A data collection and benchmarking programme was established, with data provided monthly to the Department using a purpose-designed website portal. The KPI Working Group is responsible for analysing data each quarter and ensuring indicators remain accurate and relevant. Each indicator has clear definitions and targets, and assess (i) patient education, (ii) timely creation of vascular access for haemodialysis, (iii) proportion of patients dialysing at home, (iv) incidence of dialysis-related peritonitis, (v) incidence of pre-emptive renal transplantation, and (vi) timely listing of patients for deceased donor transplantation. Most KPIs have demonstrated improved performance over time with limited gains notably in two: the proportion of patients dialysing at home (KPI 3) and timely listing patients for transplantation (KPI 6). KPI implementation has been established in Victoria for 2 years, providing performance data without additional funding. The six Victorian KPIs are measurable, relevant and modifiable, and implementation relies on enthusiasm and goodwill of physicians and nurses involved in collecting data. The KPIs require further evaluation, but adoption of a similar programme by other jurisdictions could lead to improved national outcomes. © 2014 Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology.

  11. Combined Space and Water Heating: Next Steps to Improved Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoenbauer, B. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Bohac, D. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Huelman, P. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States)

    2016-07-13

    A combined space- and water-heating (combi) system uses a high-efficiency direct-vent burner that eliminates safety issues associated with natural draft appliances. Past research with these systems shows that using condensing water heaters or boilers with hydronic air handling units can provide both space and water heating with efficiencies of 90% or higher. Improved controls have the potential to reduce complexity and improve upon the measured performance. This project demonstrates that controls can significantly benefit these first-generation systems. Laboratory tests and daily load/performance models showed that the set point temperature reset control produced a 2.1%–4.3% (20–40 therms/year) savings for storage and hybrid water heater combi systems operated in moderate-load homes. The full modulation control showed additional savings over set point control (in high-load homes almost doubling the savings: 4%–5% over the no-control case). At the time of installation the reset control can be implemented for $200–$400, which would provide paybacks of 6–25 years for low-load houses and 3–15 years for high-load houses. Full modulation implementation costs would be similar to the outdoor reset and would provide paybacks of 5-½–20 years for low-load houses and 2-½–10 years for high-load houses.

  12. Rules for Leadership. Improving Unit Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-01-01

    gratefully recognize Emile "Chum" Robert . Walter Ulmer. and Albert Akers for very generously providing assistance to me in writing this book. Their...these rules are utilitarian , they are, owing to the interactive nature of leadership, necessarily somewhat complex. The disconcerting fact is that...circumstances. Valley Forge, Pickett’s Charge and the 20th Maine’s defense at Gettysburg, Alvin York, Audie Murphy, and the Chosin Reservoir are

  13. Improving Robotic Operator Performance Using Augmented Reality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maida, James C.; Bowen, Charles K.; Pace, John W.

    2007-01-01

    The Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) is a two-armed robot that functions as an extension to the end effector of the Space Station Robotics Manipulator System (SSRMS), currently in use on the International Space Station (ISS). Crew training for the SPDM is accomplished using a robotic hardware simulator, which performs most of SPDM functions under normal static Earth gravitational forces. Both the simulator and SPDM are controlled from a standard robotic workstation using a laptop for the user interface and three monitors for camera views. Most operations anticipated for the SPDM involve the manipulation, insertion, and removal of any of several types of Orbital Replaceable Unit (ORU), modules which control various ISS functions. Alignment tolerances for insertion of the ORU into its receptacle are 0.25 inch and 0.5 degree from nominal values. The pre-insertion alignment task must be performed within these tolerances by using available video camera views of the intrinsic features of the ORU and receptacle, without special registration markings. Since optimum camera views may not be available, and dynamic orbital lighting conditions may limit periods of viewing, a successful ORU insertion operation may require an extended period of time. This study explored the feasibility of using augmented reality (AR) to assist SPDM operations. Geometric graphical symbols were overlaid on one of the workstation monitors to afford cues to assist the operator in attaining adequate pre-insertion ORU alignment. Twelve skilled subjects performed eight ORU insertion tasks using the simulator with and without the AR symbols in a repeated measures experimental design. Results indicated that using the AR symbols reduced pre-insertion alignment error for all subjects and reduced the time to complete pre-insertion alignment for most subjects.

  14. Applying sport psychology to improve clinical performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Church, Helen R; Rumbold, James L; Sandars, John

    2017-12-01

    Preparedness for practice has become an international theme within Medical Education: for healthcare systems to maintain their highest clinical standards, junior doctors must "hit the ground running" on beginning work. Despite demonstrating logical, structured assessment and management plans during their undergraduate examinations, many newly qualified doctors report difficulty in translating this theoretical knowledge into the real clinical environment. "Preparedness" must constitute more than the knowledge and skills acquired during medical school. Complexities of the clinical environment overwhelm some junior doctors, who acknowledge that they lack strategies to manage their anxieties, under-confidence and low self-efficacy. If uncontrolled, such negative emotions and behaviors may impede the delivery of time-critical treatment for acutely unwell patients and compound junior doctors' self-doubt, thus impacting future patient encounters. Medical Education often seeks inspiration from other industries for potential solutions to challenges. To address "preparedness for practice," this AMEE Guide highlights sport psychology: elite sportspeople train both physically and psychologically for their discipline. The latter promotes management of negative emotions, distractions and under-confidence, thus optimizing performance despite immense pressures of career-defining moments. Similar techniques might allow junior doctors to optimize patient care, especially within stressful situations. This AMEE Guide introduces the novel conceptual model, PERFORM, which targets the challenges faced by junior doctors on graduation. The model applies pre-performance routines from sport psychology with the self-regulatory processes of metacognition to the clinical context. This model could potentially equip junior doctors, and other healthcare professionals facing similar challenges, with strategies to optimize clinical care under the most difficult circumstances.

  15. Sprint cycling training improves intermittent run performance

    OpenAIRE

    Hardaway Chun-Kwan Chan; Weeraya Ka-Yan Ho; Patrick Shu-Hang Yung

    2018-01-01

    Background/Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of sprint cycling training on the intermittent run performance, sprinting speed, and change of direction (COD) ability of recreational intermittent sports athletes. Methods: Sixteen participants participated in the study. The experimental group (EG, n = 8) received a total of 12 sessions of sprint cycling training in a 4-week period and the control group (CG, n = 8) received no training. Both EG and CG were instructed to...

  16. A collaborative brain-computer interface for improving human performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yijun Wang

    Full Text Available Electroencephalogram (EEG based brain-computer interfaces (BCI have been studied since the 1970s. Currently, the main focus of BCI research lies on the clinical use, which aims to provide a new communication channel to patients with motor disabilities to improve their quality of life. However, the BCI technology can also be used to improve human performance for normal healthy users. Although this application has been proposed for a long time, little progress has been made in real-world practices due to technical limits of EEG. To overcome the bottleneck of low single-user BCI performance, this study proposes a collaborative paradigm to improve overall BCI performance by integrating information from multiple users. To test the feasibility of a collaborative BCI, this study quantitatively compares the classification accuracies of collaborative and single-user BCI applied to the EEG data collected from 20 subjects in a movement-planning experiment. This study also explores three different methods for fusing and analyzing EEG data from multiple subjects: (1 Event-related potentials (ERP averaging, (2 Feature concatenating, and (3 Voting. In a demonstration system using the Voting method, the classification accuracy of predicting movement directions (reaching left vs. reaching right was enhanced substantially from 66% to 80%, 88%, 93%, and 95% as the numbers of subjects increased from 1 to 5, 10, 15, and 20, respectively. Furthermore, the decision of reaching direction could be made around 100-250 ms earlier than the subject's actual motor response by decoding the ERP activities arising mainly from the posterior parietal cortex (PPC, which are related to the processing of visuomotor transmission. Taken together, these results suggest that a collaborative BCI can effectively fuse brain activities of a group of people to improve the overall performance of natural human behavior.

  17. Communication training improves patient-centered provider behavior and screening for soldiers' mental health concerns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Susan R; Vides de Andrade, Ana Regina; Boyd, Stephanie; Leslie, Melanie; Webb, Lynn; Davis, Lauren; Fraine, Melissa; Frazer, Nicole L; Hargraves, Ryan; Bickman, Leonard

    2016-07-01

    To evaluate the effectiveness of patient-centered communication training for military providers who conduct post-deployment health screening. The half-day interactive workshop included simulated Soldier patients using video technology. Using a quasi-experimental design, all health care providers at four military treatment facilities were recruited for data collection during a four- to nine-day site visit (23 trained providers, 28 providers in the control group, and one provider declined to participate). All Soldiers were eligible to participate and were blinded to provider training status. Immediately after screening encounters, providers reported on their identification of mental health concerns and Soldiers reported on provider communication behaviors resulting in 1,400 matched pairs. Electronic health records were also available for 26,005 Soldiers. The workshop was found to increase (1) providers' patient-centered communication behaviors as evaluated by Soldiers; (2) provider identification of Soldier mental health concerns; and (3), related health outcomes including provision of education and referral to a confidential counseling resource. Results are promising, but with small effect sizes and study limitations, further research is warranted. A brief intensive workshop on patient-centered communication tailored to the military screening context is feasible and may improve key outcomes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Clinical performance improvement series. Classic CQI integrated with comprehensive disease management as a model for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, M S; Bernard, D B

    1999-08-01

    challenge is to provide leadership support, to reward and recognize best practice performers, and to emphasize the use of data for feedback and improvement. As these processes are implemented successfully, and evidence of improved outcomes is documented, it is likely that this approach will be more widely embraced and that organizationwide performance improvement will increase significantly. Health care has traditionally invested extraordinary resources in developing best practice approaches, including guidelines, education programs, or other tangible products and services. Comparatively little time, effort, and resources have been targeted to implementation and use, the stage at which most efforts fail. CQI's emphasis on data, rapid diffusion of innovative programs, and rapid cycle improvements enhance the implementation and effectiveness of disease management.

  19. Alpha neurofeedback training improves SSVEP-based BCI performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Feng; Nuno da Cruz, Janir; Nan, Wenya; Wong, Chi Man; Vai, Mang I.; Rosa, Agostinho

    2016-06-01

    Objective. Steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP)-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) can provide relatively easy, reliable and high speed communication. However, the performance is still not satisfactory, especially in some users who are not able to generate strong enough SSVEP signals. This work aims to strengthen a user’s SSVEP by alpha down-regulating neurofeedback training (NFT) and consequently improve the performance of the user in using SSVEP-based BCIs. Approach. An experiment with two steps was designed and conducted. The first step was to investigate the relationship between the resting alpha activity and the SSVEP-based BCI performance, in order to determine the training parameter for the NFT. Then in the second step, half of the subjects with ‘low’ performance (i.e. BCI classification accuracy <80%) were randomly assigned to a NFT group to perform a real-time NFT, and the rest half to a non-NFT control group for comparison. Main results. The first step revealed a significant negative correlation between the BCI performance and the individual alpha band (IAB) amplitudes in the eyes-open resting condition in a total of 33 subjects. In the second step, it was found that during the IAB down-regulating NFT, on average the subjects were able to successfully decrease their IAB amplitude over training sessions. More importantly, the NFT group showed an average increase of 16.5% in the SSVEP signal SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) and an average increase of 20.3% in the BCI classification accuracy, which was significant compared to the non-NFT control group. Significance. These findings indicate that the alpha down-regulating NFT can be used to improve the SSVEP signal quality and the subjects’ performance in using SSVEP-based BCIs. It could be helpful to the SSVEP related studies and would contribute to more effective SSVEP-based BCI applications.

  20. Improving performance of catalysts for water electrolysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frydendal, Rasmus

    This Ph.D. thesis presents work on non-noble metal oxide catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction, OER. This reaction is currently a bottleneck in electrolyzer technologies, which are promising for energy storage purposes. In particular, Polymer Electrolyte Membrane, PEM, cells are attractive...... for decentralised hydrogen stations. PEM electrolyzers rely on scarce noble metals to achieve high effciency and durability, which limits the scalability of the technology. Finding new catalysts for OER is therefore a thriving research field with new materials being reported frequently. However, many of these new...... was evaluated with Electrochemical Quartz Crystal Microbalance measurements combined with Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry. The results showed that a stable electrochemical performance can be achieved, while a constant mass loss is occurring. The proposed protocol can guide future research efforts...

  1. Does Provider Self-Reporting of Etiquette Behaviors Improve Patient Experience? A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddiqui, Zishan; Qayyum, Rehan; Bertram, Amanda; Durkin, Nowella; Kebede, Sosena; Ponor, Lucia; Oduyebo, Ibironke; Allen, Lisa; Brotman, Daniel J

    2017-06-01

    There is a glaring lack of published evidence-based strategies to improve the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) patient experience scores on the physician domain. Strategies that have been used are resource intensive and difficult to sustain. We hypothesized that prompting providers to assess their own etiquette-based practices every 2 weeks over the course of 1 year would improve patient experience on the physician domain. Randomized controlled trial. 4 acute care hospitals. Hospitalists. Hospitalists were randomized to the study or the control arm. The study arm was prompted every 2 weeks for 12 months to report how frequently they engaged in 7 best-practice bedside etiquette behaviors. Control arm participants received similarly worded questions on quality improvement behaviors. Provider experience scores were calculated from the physician HCAHPS and Press Ganey survey provider items. Physicians reported high rates of etiquette-based behavior at baseline, and this changed modestly over the study period. Self-reported etiquette behaviors were not associated with experience scores. The difference in difference analysis of the baseline and postintervention physician experience scores between the intervention arm and the control arm was not statistically significant (P = 0.71). In this 12-month study, biweekly reflection and reporting of best-practice bedside etiquette behaviors did not result in significant improvement on physician domain experience scores. It is likely that hospitalists' self-assessment of their bedside etiquette may not reflect patient perception of these behaviors. Furthermore, hospitalists may be resistant to improvement in this area since they rate themselves highly at baseline. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2017;12:402-406.

  2. Improving the Performance of Urban Road Intersection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr. Fareed M.A.Karim

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Road intersection is responsible for an important proportion of air pollution especially in urban areas, due to long queues of vehicles waiting for discharge. Therefore, it is necessary to quantify their emissions as accurately as possible. In this study an attempt was made to research on reducing the traffic air pollution such as CO, CO2, HC and NOx, fuel consumption and vehicle operating cost along with improving the traffic flow and delay at a road intersection. One major uncontrolled (un signalized intersection in capital city Sana'a (Yemen was chosen for the study. The traffic air pollution, fuel consumption and vehicle operating cost as well as vehicle delay was calculated for the base year 2012 using aaSIDRA 2.0 software developed in Australia. For the horizon year 2022, three scenarios were considered for investigation viz. (1 do nothing, (2 signalizing the intersection and (3 construction of flyover. The analysis shows that for the above mentioned parameters scenario (3 will be the best scenario followed by scenario (2, while worst case scenario will be do nothing.

  3. Flue gas conditioning for improved baghouse performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laudal, D.L.; Miller, S.J.

    1986-02-01

    Baghouse performance has been shown to be dependent on both the chemical and physical properties of the ash. Small amounts of ammonia and sulfur trioxide were added to the flue gas as conditioning agents to modify ash characteristics and reduce fine particulate emissions from a pilot-scale coal combustion/baghouse system. Tests were made with three western low-rank coals which produce difficult to collect fly ash. Total particulate emissions over several cleaning cycles were substantially reduced and fine particulate emissions were reduced up to four orders of magnitude between the cycles. With conditioning baghouse pressure drop increased at a slower rate and reached a lower operating pressure drop after several cleaning cycles. Ash samples were analyzed to determine physical and chemical changes due to ammonia and sulfur trioxide addition. Several ammonia-sulfur compounds were found indicating a complex chemical mechanism. Changes in the fly ash particle size distribution and bulk ash cohesiveness may help explain the physical mechanism by which both pressure drop and particulate emissions are reduced. 14 refs., 7 figs., 4 tab.s

  4. Performance Improvements of the CYCOFOS Flow Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radhakrishnan, Hari; Moulitsas, Irene; Syrakos, Alexandros; Zodiatis, George; Nikolaides, Andreas; Hayes, Daniel; Georgiou, Georgios C.

    2013-04-01

    The CYCOFOS-Cyprus Coastal Ocean Forecasting and Observing System has been operational since early 2002, providing daily sea current, temperature, salinity and sea level forecasting data for the next 4 and 10 days to end-users in the Levantine Basin, necessary for operational application in marine safety, particularly concerning oil spills and floating objects predictions. CYCOFOS flow model, similar to most of the coastal and sub-regional operational hydrodynamic forecasting systems of the MONGOOS-Mediterranean Oceanographic Network for Global Ocean Observing System is based on the POM-Princeton Ocean Model. CYCOFOS is nested with the MyOcean Mediterranean regional forecasting data and with SKIRON and ECMWF for surface forcing. The increasing demand for higher and higher resolution data to meet coastal and offshore downstream applications motivated the parallelization of the CYCOFOS POM model. This development was carried out in the frame of the IPcycofos project, funded by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation. The parallel processing provides a viable solution to satisfy these demands without sacrificing accuracy or omitting any physical phenomena. Prior to IPcycofos project, there are been several attempts to parallelise the POM, as for example the MP-POM. The existing parallel code models rely on the use of specific outdated hardware architectures and associated software. The objective of the IPcycofos project is to produce an operational parallel version of the CYCOFOS POM code that can replicate the results of the serial version of the POM code used in CYCOFOS. The parallelization of the CYCOFOS POM model use Message Passing Interface-MPI, implemented on commodity computing clusters running open source software and not depending on any specialized vendor hardware. The parallel CYCOFOS POM code constructed in a modular fashion, allowing a fast re-locatable downscaled implementation. The MPI takes advantage of the Cartesian nature of the POM mesh, and use

  5. Improving retention and performance in civil society in Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neil, Mary L; Paydos, Michael

    2008-06-20

    This article is the second article in the Human Resources for Health journal's first quarterly feature. The series of seven articles has been contributed by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) under the theme of leadership and management in public health and will be published article-by-article over the next few weeks. The journal invited Dr Manuel M. Dayrit, Director of the WHO Department of Human Resources for Health and former Minister of Health for the Philippines to launch the feature with an opening editorial to be found in the journal's blog. This article--number two in the series--describes the experience of the Family Life Education Programme (FLEP), a reproductive health program that provides community-based health services through 40 clinics in five districts of Uganda, in improving retention and performance by using the Management Sciences for Health (MSH) Human Resource Management Rapid Assessment Tool. A few years ago, the FLEP of Busoga Diocese began to see an increase in staff turnover and a decrease in overall organizational performance. The workplace climate was poor and people stopped coming for services even though there were few other choices in the area. An external assessment found the quality of the health care services provided was deficient. An action plan to improve their human resource management (HRM) system was developed and implemented. To assess the strengths and weaknesses of their system and to develop an action plan, they used the Rapid Assessment Tool. The tool guides users through a process of prioritizing and action planning after the assessment is done. By implementing the various recommended changes, FLEP established an improved, responsive HRM system. Increased employee satisfaction led to less staff turnover, better performance, and increased utilization of health services. These benefits were achieved by cost-effective measures focused on professionalizing the organization's approach to HRM.

  6. Improving retention and performance in civil society in Uganda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paydos Michael

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This article is the second article in the Human Resources for Health journal's first quarterly feature. The series of seven articles has been contributed by Management Sciences for Health (MSH under the theme of leadership and management in public health and will be published article-by-article over the next few weeks. The journal invited Dr Manuel M. Dayrit, Director of the WHO Department of Human Resources for Health and former Minister of Health for the Philippines to launch the feature with an opening editorial to be found in the journal's blog. This article – number two in the series – describes the experience of the Family Life Education Programme (FLEP, a reproductive health program that provides community-based health services through 40 clinics in five districts of Uganda, in improving retention and performance by using the Management Sciences for Health (MSH Human Resource Management Rapid Assessment Tool. A few years ago, the FLEP of Busoga Diocese began to see an increase in staff turnover and a decrease in overall organizational performance. The workplace climate was poor and people stopped coming for services even though there were few other choices in the area. An external assessment found the quality of the health care services provided was deficient. An action plan to improve their human resource management (HRM system was developed and implemented. To assess the strengths and weaknesses of their system and to develop an action plan, they used the Rapid Assessment Tool. The tool guides users through a process of prioritizing and action planning after the assessment is done. By implementing the various recommended changes, FLEP established an improved, responsive HRM system. Increased employee satisfaction led to less staff turnover, better performance, and increased utilization of health services. These benefits were achieved by cost-effective measures focused on professionalizing the organization's approach to HRM.

  7. Access to high-volume surgeons and the opportunity cost of performing radical prostatectomy by low-volume providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barzi, Afsaneh; Klein, Eric A; Daneshmand, Siamak; Gill, Inderbir; Quinn, David I; Sadeghi, Sarmad

    2017-07-01

    Evidence suggests that redirecting surgeries to high-volume providers may be associated with better outcomes and significant societal savings. Whether such referrals are feasible remains unanswered. Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data, SEER 18, and US Incidence data were used to determine the geographic distribution and radical prostatectomy volume for providers. Access was defined as availability of a high-volume provider within driving distance of 100 miles. The opportunity cost was defined as the value of benefits achievable by performing the surgery by a high-volume provider that was forgone by not making a referral. The savings per referral were derived from a published Markov model for radical prostatectomy. A total of 14% of providers performed>27% of the radical prostatectomies with>30 cases per year and were designated high-volume providers. Providers with below-median volume (≤16 prostatectomies per year) performed>32% of radical prostatectomies. At least 47% of these were within a 100-mile driving distance (median = 22 miles), and therefore had access to a high-volume provider (>30 prostatectomies per year). This translated into a discounted savings of more than $24 million per year, representing the opportunity cost of not making a referral. The average volume for high- and low-volume providers was 55 and 13, respectively, resulting in an annual experience gap of 43 and a cumulative gap of 125 surgeries over 3 years. In 2014, the number of surgeons performing radical prostatectomy decreased by 5% while the number of high- and low-volume providers decreased by 25% and 11% showing a faster decline in the number of high-volume providers compared with low-volume surgeons. About half of prostatectomies performed by surgeons with below-median annual volume were within a 100-mile driving distance (median of 22 miles) of a high-volume surgeon. Such a referral may result in minimal additional costs and substantially improved outcomes. Copyright

  8. A mindfulness course decreases burnout and improves well-being among healthcare providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Matthew J; Schorling, John B

    2012-01-01

    Healthcare providers are under increasing stress and work-related burnout has become common. Mindfulness-based interventions have a potential role in decreasing stress and burnout. The purpose of this study was to determine if a continuing education course based on mindfulness-based stress reduction could decrease burnout and improve mental well-being among healthcare providers, from different professions. This was a pre-post observational study conducted in a university medical center. A total of 93 healthcare providers, including physicians from multiple specialties, nurses, psychologists, and social workers who practiced in both university and community settings, participated. The intervention was a continuing education course based on mindfulness-based stress reduction that met 2.5 hours a week for 8 weeks plus a 7-hour retreat. The classes included training in four types of formal mindfulness practices, including the body scan, mindful movement, walking meditation and sitting meditation, as well as discussion focusing on the application of mindfulness at work. The course was offered 11 times over 6 years. The main outcome measures were work-related burnout as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory and self-perceived mental and physical well-being as measured by the SF-12v2. Maslach Burnout Inventory scores improved significantly from before to after the course for both physicians and other healthcare providers for the Emotional Exhaustion (p burnout scores and mental well-being for a broad range of healthcare providers.

  9. Scheme for improving the performance of multimedia storage systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Zhaoyan; Dong, Yonggui; Wu, Jinglian; Jia, Huibo; Feng, Guanping

    2003-04-01

    On the commercial available server, the great workloads on CPU generally limit the performance of Input/Output (I/O) or delay the response time. A Network-Attached Storage Device (NASD) is developed to meet the scalability requirement of mass multimedia storage. The evaluating experiments in this paper indicate that the bottleneck of data transmission is not the capability of CPU, but the network and reading/recording speed of physical storage devices. To improve the performance of multimedia storage system, a scheme of NASD-based multi-port storage area network is presented. In the new system composed of one manager and several NASDs, the manager only assigns the task of data processing to the NASDs. The NASDs can dynamically generate the virtual files and sent them to clients directly. Act as a virtual server, the storage system can provide the multi-port service for the different clients and different requirements.

  10. A management framework for training providers to improve skills development in the workplace

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    D.Ed. A skills revolution was launched in the South African workplace by the Department of Labour in 1998. Various skills development legislation were introduced to meet international standards, redress skills imbalances, curb skills shortages and improve the general skills in the current workforce. Training providers were the drivers of workplace training, yet are now displaced by skills authorities, such as the SET As, the ETQAs and SAQA. While the custody of skills development is placed...

  11. New MEA Materials for Improved DMFC Performance, Durability and Cost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fletcher, James H. [University of North Florida; Campbell, Joseph L. [University of North Florida; Cox, Philip [University of North Florida; Harrington, William J. [University of North Florida

    2013-09-16

    Abstract Project Title: New MEA Materials for Improved DMFC Performance, Durability and Cost The University of North Florida (UNF)--with project partners the University of Florida, Northeastern University, and Johnson Matthey--has recently completed the Department of Energy (DOE) project entitled “New MEA Materials for Improved DMFC Performance, Durability and Cost”. The primary objective of the project was to advance portable fuel cell MEA technology towards the commercial targets as laid out in the DOE R&D roadmap by developing a passive water recovery MEA (membrane electrode assembly). Developers at the University of North Florida identified water management components as an insurmountable barrier to achieving the required system size and weight necessary to achieve the energy density requirements of small portable power applications. UNF developed an innovative “passive water recovery” MEA for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) which provides a path to system simplification and optimization. The passive water recovery MEA incorporates a hydrophobic, porous, barrier layer within the cathode electrode, so that capillary pressure forces the water produced at the cathode through holes in the membrane and back to the anode. By directly transferring the water from the cathode to the anode, the balance of plant is very much simplified and the need for heavy, bulky water recovery components is eliminated. At the heart of the passive water recovery MEA is the UNF DM-1 membrane that utilizes a hydrocarbon structure to optimize performance in a DMFC system. The membrane has inherent performance advantages, such as a low methanol crossover (high overall efficiency), while maintaining a high proton conductivity (good electrochemical efficiency) when compared to perfluorinated sulfonic acid membranes such as Nafion. Critically, the membrane provides an extremely low electro-osmotic drag coefficient of approximately one water molecule per proton (versus the 2-3 for

  12. Towards Effective Educational Politics through Improving the Performance Measurement System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuuli Reisberg

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Educational field is impelled to increase performance and quality, financial discipline, strategic behaviour and its goals in order to enhance “effectiveness”. As a result the incorporation of private sector management practices into the educational field is taking place. But it is important to notice that a proliferation of private managerial practices into the educational field goes along with a conflict-laden and contradictory process. Education provides an important area of implementation for techniques of performance evaluation aimed at improving the performance of public services. One of the most common conceptual frameworks in measuring organisational performance takes the form of a production function where the educational institution is seen as analogous to a company transforming inputs into outputs and outcomes through a production process. But the problems and the vagueness in determining educational system’s inputs, outputs and outcomes cause difficulties in making political decisions and that is why clear policy prescriptions have been difficult to derive. The purpose of this article is to create a discussion whether performance measurement should be a part of decision-making in educational politics. The authors debate about incorporating private sector management practices into the educational field. The debate is based on the example of evaluating the social impact in the educational field and the performance of teachers’ work in the educational system. The article consists of three parts. Firstly, the theoretical background of the performance measurement in educational field is discussed. Secondly, the important criteria for performance measurement design and political issues are argued. Thirdly, the evaluated shortcomings in Estonian educational organisations, which restrict them to be effective, are brought out. Relieving some of these shortcomings could be in authority of Estonian educational politics.

  13. Novel combined patient instruction and discharge summary tool improves timeliness of documentation and outpatient provider satisfaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilliam, Meredith; Krein, Sarah L; Belanger, Karen; Fowler, Karen E; Dimcheff, Derek E; Solomon, Gabriel

    2017-01-01

    Background: Incomplete or delayed access to discharge information by outpatient providers and patients contributes to discontinuity of care and poor outcomes. Objective: To evaluate the effect of a new electronic discharge summary tool on the timeliness of documentation and communication with outpatient providers. Methods: In June 2012, we implemented an electronic discharge summary tool at our 145-bed university-affiliated Veterans Affairs hospital. The tool facilitates completion of a comprehensive discharge summary note that is available for patients and outpatient medical providers at the time of hospital discharge. Discharge summary note availability, outpatient provider satisfaction, and time between the decision to discharge a patient and discharge note completion were all evaluated before and after implementation of the tool. Results: The percentage of discharge summary notes completed by the time of first post-discharge clinical contact improved from 43% in February 2012 to 100% in September 2012 and was maintained at 100% in 2014. A survey of 22 outpatient providers showed that 90% preferred the new summary and 86% found it comprehensive. Despite increasing required documentation, the time required to discharge a patient, from physician decision to discharge note completion, improved from 5.6 h in 2010 to 4.1 h in 2012 (p = 0.04), and to 2.8 h in 2015 (p discharge summary tool improved the timeliness and comprehensiveness of discharge information as needed for the delivery of appropriate, high-quality follow-up care, without adversely affecting the efficiency of the discharge process. PMID:28491308

  14. Complex Heat Exchangers for Improved Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bran, Gabriela Alejandra

    propagates along the channel. However, the sinusoidal behavior on one of the fluids does not fully translate to the other gets damped by the wall and the heat transfer coefficients that can be barely seen on the other flow. A scaling analysis and a parametric study were performed to determine the influence the different parameters on the system have on the time a heat exchanger takes to reach steady state. The results show the dependency of tst* (time a system takes to reach steady state) on the dimensionless parameters M, C, NTUh, NTUc, and Cw. t st* depends linearly on C and Cw, and it is a power function of M. It was also shown that tst* has a logarithmic dependency on NTUh and NTUc. A correlation was generated to approximate the time a system takes to reach steady state for systems where C w behavior during the system start-up was presented. In order to achieve the desired outlet steam temperature at a reasonable time, the system must operate at high gas mass flow rates. If the inlet temperature of the gas suffers a step change, it affects the reaction rate as well as the outlet steam temperature. A small perturbation on the gas mass flow rate has an effect on the profile shape. However, the maximum temperature reached by the gas due to reaction is not affected, and consequently, it has little effect on the steam temperature. Axial conduction in the reactor heat exchanger was also investigated, specifically in the gas section. Axial conduction cannot be assumed to be negligible in the reactor heat exchanger because of the iron-based catalytic bed. Results in this section show that axial conduction is detrimental for the system. It was found that for Peclet number greater than 100, axial conduction can be neglected. An alternative solution to address axial conduction was proposed, namely to include a well-insulated non-reacting section (without a catalytic bed) upstream of the reactor. The modified reactor heat exchanger was a novel solution to avoid the negative effect

  15. Shark skin-inspired designs that improve aerodynamic performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domel, August G; Saadat, Mehdi; Weaver, James C; Haj-Hariri, Hossein; Bertoldi, Katia; Lauder, George V

    2018-02-01

    There have been significant efforts recently aimed at improving the aerodynamic performance of aerofoils through the modification of their surfaces. Inspired by the drag-reducing properties of the tooth-like denticles that cover the skin of sharks, we describe here experimental and simulation-based investigations into the aerodynamic effects of novel denticle-inspired designs placed along the suction side of an aerofoil. Through parametric modelling to query a wide range of different designs, we discovered a set of denticle-inspired surface structures that achieve simultaneous drag reduction and lift generation on an aerofoil, resulting in lift-to-drag ratio improvements comparable to the best-reported for traditional low-profile vortex generators and even outperforming these existing designs at low angles of attack with improvements of up to 323%. Such behaviour is enabled by two concurrent mechanisms: (i) a separation bubble in the denticle's wake altering the flow pressure distribution of the aerofoil to enhance suction and (ii) streamwise vortices that replenish momentum loss in the boundary layer due to skin friction. Our findings not only open new avenues for improved aerodynamic design, but also provide new perspective on the role of the complex and potentially multifunctional morphology of shark denticles for increased swimming efficiency. © 2018 The Author(s).

  16. Exploring Service Providers' Perspectives in Improving Childhood Obesity Prevention among CALD Communities in Victoria, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheila Cyril

    Full Text Available Childhood obesity rates have been increasing disproportionately among disadvantaged communities including culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD migrant groups in Australia due to their poor participation in the available obesity prevention initiatives. We sought to explore service providers' perceptions of the key factors influencing the participation of CALD communities in the existing obesity prevention services and the service requirements needed to improve CALD communities' participation in these services.We conducted a qualitative study using focus group discussions involving fifty-nine service providers from a range of services, who are involved in the health and wellbeing of children from CALD groups living in four socioeconomically disadvantaged areas in Victoria, Australia.Thematic analysis of the data showed three major themes including community-level barriers to CALD engagement in childhood obesity prevention services; service-level barriers to the delivery of these services; and proposed changes to current childhood obesity prevention approaches. Integrating obesity prevention messages within existing programs, better coordination between prevention and treatment services and the establishment of a childhood obesity surveillance system, were some of the important changes suggested by service providers.This study has found that low CALD health literacy, lack of knowledge of cultural barriers among service providers and co-existing deficiencies in the structure and delivery of obesity prevention services negatively impacted the participation of CALD communities in obesity prevention services. Cultural competency training of service providers would improve their understanding of the cultural influences of childhood obesity and incorporate them into the design and development of obesity prevention initiatives. Service providers need to be educated on the pre-migratory health service experiences and health conditions of CALD

  17. Rubisco catalytic properties of wild and domesticated relatives provide scope for improving wheat photosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prins, Anneke; Orr, Douglas J; Andralojc, P John; Reynolds, Matthew P; Carmo-Silva, Elizabete; Parry, Martin A J

    2016-03-01

    Rubisco is a major target for improving crop photosynthesis and yield, yet natural diversity in catalytic properties of this enzyme is poorly understood. Rubisco from 25 genotypes of the Triticeae tribe, including wild relatives of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum), were surveyed to identify superior enzymes for improving photosynthesis in this crop. In vitro Rubisco carboxylation velocity (V c), Michaelis-Menten constants for CO2 (K c) and O2 (K o) and specificity factor (S c/o) were measured at 25 and 35 °C. V c and K c correlated positively, while V c and S c/o were inversely related. Rubisco large subunit genes (rbcL) were sequenced, and predicted corresponding amino acid differences analysed in relation to the corresponding catalytic properties. The effect of replacing native wheat Rubisco with counterparts from closely related species was analysed by modelling the response of photosynthesis to varying CO2 concentrations. The model predicted that two Rubisco enzymes would increase photosynthetic performance at 25 °C while only one of these also increased photosynthesis at 35 °C. Thus, under otherwise identical conditions, catalytic variation in the Rubiscos analysed is predicted to improve photosynthetic rates at physiological CO2 concentrations. Naturally occurring Rubiscos with superior properties amongst the Triticeae tribe can be exploited to improve wheat photosynthesis and crop productivity. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  18. Interventions to improve child-parent-medical provider communication: A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kodjebacheva, Gergana Damianova; Sabo, Tina; Xiong, Janet

    2016-10-01

    Research related to effective communication between children/parents and medical providers is limited. To review interventions seeking to improve communication between children/parents and medical providers. The inclusion criteria were interventions in peer-reviewed articles and dissertations in English. Because of the limited availability of pediatric communication research, no restrictions were placed on the year, design, and length of follow-up of the interventions. Out of 4163 articles in the CINAHL, Cochrane, EMBASE, ERIC, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO databases, 34 met the inclusion criteria. The design, strategies, measurement tools, results, and conflicts of interest of the interventions were reviewed. Most interventions were conducted in the United States, had a small sample size, and used a pre-posttest design. Fifteen were randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The most frequent intervention strategies were role-playing sessions and seminars for medical providers. Standardized children (i.e., fictitious child patients) were frequently used to help train physicians. Most interventions improved providers' interpersonal, patient-centered interviewing skills. Interventions that targeted parents involved booklets and role-playing to encourage questions. They improved parents' satisfaction and communication. An intervention that targeted youth used a video portraying how children can communicate better with physicians. Once the children aged 5-15 years watched the video, they wrote questions for their physicians prior to the medical visit. The experimental group of children had better rapport with physicians and could recall recommendations about medications more often than the control group. More RCTs involving children as active participants are needed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Procurement risk management practices and supply chain performance among mobile phone service providers in Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Adhiambo Okonjo

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to establish the relationship between procurement risk management practices and supply chain performance among mobile phone service providers in Kenya. The study specifically set out to establish the extent to which mobile phone service providers have implemented procurement risk management practices and to determine the relationship between procurement risk management practices and supply chain performance. The study adopted a descriptive study design by collecting data from the four (4 mobile telecommunication companies in Kenya using a self-administered questionnaire. Means, standard deviation, and regression analysis were used to analyze the data collected. The study established that most of the mobile phone service providers in Kenya had implemented procurement risk management practices. It was also clear that there was a very significant relationship between procurement risk management practices and supply chain performance.

  20. Improving Manufacturing Performance in South Africa : Report of the ...

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

    1995-01-01

    Improving Manufacturing Performance in South Africa : Report of the Industrial Strategy Project. Couverture du livre Improving Manufacturing Performance in South Africa. Author(s):. Avril Joffe, David Kaplan, Raphael Kaplinsky et David Lewis. Publisher(s):. UCT Press, CRDI. January 1, 1995. ISBN: Épuisé. 264 pages.

  1. Glucocorticoids improve high-intensity exercise performance in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casuso, Rafael A; Melskens, Lars; Bruhn, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    It was investigated whether oral dexamethasone (DEX) administration improves exercise performance by reducing the initial rate of muscle fatigue development during dynamic exercise.......It was investigated whether oral dexamethasone (DEX) administration improves exercise performance by reducing the initial rate of muscle fatigue development during dynamic exercise....

  2. Measuring Performance Improvement in a Strategic Planning Context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parry, Daniel A.; Parry, Arthur E.

    2001-01-01

    Examines employer-assisted tuition support as a means that organizations use to improve human performance, considers how these programs are aligned with the overall strategic interests of the organization, and makes recommendations about how to measure performance improvement efforts in alignment with organization strategy. (LRW)

  3. Improved cycling performance with ingestion of hydrolyzed marine protein depends on performance level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vegge Geir

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The effect on performance of protein ingestion during or after exercise is not clear. This has largely been attributed to the utilization of different scientific protocols and the neglection of accounting for factors such as differences in physical and chemical properties of protein supplements and differences in athletic performance level. Methods We hypothesized that ingestion of unprocessed whey protein (15.3 g·h-1 together with carbohydrate (60 g·h-1, would provide no ergogenic effect on 5-min mean-power performance following 120 min cycling at 50% of maximal aerobic power (2.8 ± 0.2 W·kg-1, corresponding to 60 ± 4% of VO2max, compared to CHO alone (60 g·h-1. Conversely, we hypothesized that ingestion of the hydrolyzed marine protein supplement NutriPeptin™ (Np, 2.7 g·h-1, a processed protein supplement with potentially beneficial amino acid composition, together with a PROCHO beverage (12.4 g·h-1 and 60 g·h-1, respectively would provide an ergogenic effect on mean-power performance. We also hypothesized that the magnitude of the ergogenic effect of NpPROCHO would be dependent on athletic performance. As for the latter analysis, performance level was defined according to a performance factor, calculated from individual pre values of Wmax, VO2max and 5-min mean-power performance, wherein the performance of each subject was ranked relative to the superior cyclist whos performance was set to one. Twelve trained male cyclists (VO2max = 65 ± 4 ml·kg-1·min-1 participated in a randomized double-blinded cross-over study. Results and conclusions Overall, no differences were found in 5-min mean-power performance between either of the beverages (CHO 5.4 ± 0.5 W·kg-1; PROCHO 5.3 ± 0.5 W·kg-1; NpPROCHO 5.4 ± 0.3 W·kg-1 (P = 0.29. A negative correlation was found between NpPROCHO mean-power performance and athletic performance level (using CHO-performance as reference; Pearson R = -0.74, P = 0.006. Moreover

  4. Effect of Prior Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Knowledge on Compression Performance by Hospital Providers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkhardt, Joshua N.; Glick, Joshua E.; Terndrup, Thomas E.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The purpose of this study was to determine cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) knowledge of hospital providers and whether knowledge affects performance of effective compressions during a simulated cardiac arrest. Methods This cross-sectional study evaluated the CPR knowledge and performance of medical students and ED personnel with current CPR certification. We collected data regarding compression rate, hand placement, depth, and recoil via a questionnaire to determine knowledge, and then we assessed performance using 60 seconds of compressions on a simulation mannequin. Results Data from 200 enrollments were analyzed by evaluators blinded to subject knowledge. Regarding knowledge, 94% of participants correctly identified parameters for rate, 58% for hand placement, 74% for depth, and 94% for recoil. Participants identifying an effective rate of ≥100 performed compressions at a significantly higher rate than participants identifying <100 (μ=117 vs. 94, p<0.001). Participants identifying correct hand placement performed significantly more compressions adherent to guidelines than those identifying incorrect placement (μ=86% vs. 72%, p<0.01). No significant differences were found in depth or recoil performance based on knowledge of guidelines. Conclusion Knowledge of guidelines was variable; however, CPR knowledge significantly impacted certain aspects of performance, namely rate and hand placement, whereas depth and recoil were not affected. Depth of compressions was poor regardless of prior knowledge, and knowledge did not correlate with recoil performance. Overall performance was suboptimal and additional training may be needed to ensure consistent, effective performance and therefore better outcomes after cardiopulmonary arrest. PMID:25035744

  5. Effect of Prior Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Knowledge on Compression Performance by Hospital Providers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua N. Burkhardt

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The purpose of this study was to determine cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR knowledge of hospital providers and whether knowledge affects performance of effective compressions during a simulated cardiac arrest. Methods: This cross-sectional study evaluated the CPR knowledge and performance of medical students and ED personnel with current CPR certification. We collected data regarding compression rate, hand placement, depth, and recoil via a questionnaire to determine knowledge, and then we assessed performance using 60 seconds of compressions on a simulation mannequin. Results: Data from 200 enrollments were analyzed by evaluators blinded to subject knowledge. Regarding knowledge, 94% of participants correctly identified parameters for rate, 58% for hand placement, 74% for depth, and 94% for recoil. Participants identifying an effective rate of ≥100 performed compressions at a significantly higher rate than participants identifying <100 (µ=117 vs. 94, p<0.001. Participants identifying correct hand placement performed significantly more compressions adherent to guidelines than those identifying incorrect placement (µ=86% vs. 72%, p<0.01. No significant differences were found in depth or recoil performance based on knowledge of guidelines. Conclusion: Knowledge of guidelines was variable; however, CPR knowledge significantly impacted certain aspects of performance, namely rate and hand placement, whereas depth and recoil were not affected. Depth of compressions was poor regardless of prior knowledge, and knowledge did not correlate with recoil performance. Overall performance was suboptimal and additional training may be needed to ensure consistent, effective performance and therefore better outcomes after cardiopulmonary arrest.

  6. Effects of computer-aided clinical decision support systems in improving antibiotic prescribing by primary care providers: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holstiege, Jakob; Mathes, Tim; Pieper, Dawid

    2015-01-01

    To assess the effectiveness of computer-aided clinical decision support systems (CDSS) in improving antibiotic prescribing in primary care. A literature search utilizing Medline (via PubMed) and Embase (via Embase) was conducted up to November 2013. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and cluster randomized trials (CRTs) that evaluated the effects of CDSS aiming at improving antibiotic prescribing practice in an ambulatory primary care setting were included for review. Two investigators independently extracted data about study design and quality, participant characteristics, interventions, and outcomes. Seven studies (4 CRTs, 3 RCTs) met our inclusion criteria. All studies were performed in the USA. Proportions of eligible patient visits that triggered CDSS use varied substantially between intervention arms of studies (range 2.8-62.8%). Five out of seven trials showed marginal to moderate statistically significant effects of CDSS in improving antibiotic prescribing behavior. CDSS that automatically provided decision support were more likely to improve prescribing practice in contrast to systems that had to be actively initiated by healthcare providers. CDSS show promising effectiveness in improving antibiotic prescribing behavior in primary care. Magnitude of effects compared to no intervention, appeared to be similar to other moderately effective single interventions directed at primary care providers. Additional research is warranted to determine CDSS characteristics crucial to triggering high adoption by providers as a perquisite of clinically relevant improvement of antibiotic prescribing. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.comFor numbered affiliations see end of article.

  7. The cost-effectiveness of using financial incentives to improve provider quality: a framework and application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meacock, R.; Kristensen, Søren Rud; Sutton, M.

    2014-01-01

    , and whether performance improvement is a transitory or investment activity. Our application to the Advancing Quality initiative demonstrates that the incentive payments represented less than half of the 13m pound total programme costs. By generating approximately 5200 quality-adjusted life years and 4.4m......Despite growing adoption of pay-for-performance (P4P) programmes in health care, there is remarkably little evidence on the cost-effectiveness of such schemes. We review the limited number of previous studies and critique the frameworks adopted and the narrow range of costs and outcomes considered......, before proposing a new more comprehensive framework, which we apply to the first P4P scheme introduced for hospitals in England. We emphasise that evaluations of cost-effectiveness need to consider who the residual claimant is on any cost savings, the possibility of positive and negative spillovers...

  8. Uncertain behaviours of integrated circuits improve computational performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimura, Chihiro; Yamaoka, Masanao; Hayashi, Masato; Okuyama, Takuya; Aoki, Hidetaka; Kawarabayashi, Ken-ichi; Mizuno, Hiroyuki

    2015-11-20

    Improvements to the performance of conventional computers have mainly been achieved through semiconductor scaling; however, scaling is reaching its limitations. Natural phenomena, such as quantum superposition and stochastic resonance, have been introduced into new computing paradigms to improve performance beyond these limitations. Here, we explain that the uncertain behaviours of devices due to semiconductor scaling can improve the performance of computers. We prototyped an integrated circuit by performing a ground-state search of the Ising model. The bit errors of memory cell devices holding the current state of search occur probabilistically by inserting fluctuations into dynamic device characteristics, which will be actualised in the future to the chip. As a result, we observed more improvements in solution accuracy than that without fluctuations. Although the uncertain behaviours of devices had been intended to be eliminated in conventional devices, we demonstrate that uncertain behaviours has become the key to improving computational performance.

  9. Sequencing of allotetraploid cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. acc. TM-1) provides a resource for fiber improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Tianzhen; Hu, Yan; Jiang, Wenkai; Fang, Lei; Guan, Xueying; Chen, Jiedan; Zhang, Jinbo; Saski, Christopher A; Scheffler, Brian E; Stelly, David M; Hulse-Kemp, Amanda M; Wan, Qun; Liu, Bingliang; Liu, Chunxiao; Wang, Sen; Pan, Mengqiao; Wang, Yangkun; Wang, Dawei; Ye, Wenxue; Chang, Lijing; Zhang, Wenpan; Song, Qingxin; Kirkbride, Ryan C; Chen, Xiaoya; Dennis, Elizabeth; Llewellyn, Danny J; Peterson, Daniel G; Thaxton, Peggy; Jones, Don C; Wang, Qiong; Xu, Xiaoyang; Zhang, Hua; Wu, Huaitong; Zhou, Lei; Mei, Gaofu; Chen, Shuqi; Tian, Yue; Xiang, Dan; Li, Xinghe; Ding, Jian; Zuo, Qiyang; Tao, Linna; Liu, Yunchao; Li, Ji; Lin, Yu; Hui, Yuanyuan; Cao, Zhisheng; Cai, Caiping; Zhu, Xiefei; Jiang, Zhi; Zhou, Baoliang; Guo, Wangzhen; Li, Ruiqiang; Chen, Z Jeffrey

    2015-05-01

    Upland cotton is a model for polyploid crop domestication and transgenic improvement. Here we sequenced the allotetraploid Gossypium hirsutum L. acc. TM-1 genome by integrating whole-genome shotgun reads, bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-end sequences and genotype-by-sequencing genetic maps. We assembled and annotated 32,032 A-subgenome genes and 34,402 D-subgenome genes. Structural rearrangements, gene loss, disrupted genes and sequence divergence were more common in the A subgenome than in the D subgenome, suggesting asymmetric evolution. However, no genome-wide expression dominance was found between the subgenomes. Genomic signatures of selection and domestication are associated with positively selected genes (PSGs) for fiber improvement in the A subgenome and for stress tolerance in the D subgenome. This draft genome sequence provides a resource for engineering superior cotton lines.

  10. Comparing the performance of English mental health providers in achieving patient outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Valerie; Jacobs, Rowena

    2015-09-01

    Evidence on provider payment systems that incorporate patient outcomes is limited for mental health care. In England, funding for mental health care services is changing to a prospective payment system with a future objective of linking some part of provider payment to outcomes. This research examines performance of mental health providers offering hospital and community services, in order to investigate if some are delivering better outcomes. Outcomes are measured using the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS) - a clinician-rated routine outcome measure (CROM) mandated for national use. We use data from the Mental Health Minimum Data Set (MHMDS) - a dataset on specialist mental health care with national coverage - for the years 2011/12 and 2012/13 with a final estimation sample of 305,960 observations with follow-up HoNOS scores. A hierarchical ordered probit model is used and outcomes are risk adjusted with independent variables reflecting demographic, need, severity and social indicators. A hierarchical linear model is also estimated with the follow-up total HoNOS score as the dependent variable and the baseline total HoNOS score included as a risk-adjuster. Provider performance is captured by a random effect that is quantified using Empirical Bayes methods. We find that worse outcomes are associated with severity and better outcomes with older age and social support. After adjusting outcomes for various risk factors, variations in performance are still evident across providers. This suggests that if the intention to link some element of provider payment to outcomes becomes a reality, some providers may gain financially whilst others may lose. The paper contributes to the limited literature on risk adjustment of outcomes and performance assessment of providers in mental health in the context of prospective activity-based payment systems. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Impact of Providing Compassion on Job Performance and Mental Health: The Moderating Effect of Interpersonal Relationship Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Li-Chuan

    2017-07-01

    To examine the relationships of providing compassion at work with job performance and mental health, as well as to identify the role of interpersonal relationship quality in moderating these relationships. This study adopted a two-stage survey completed by 235 registered nurses employed by hospitals in Taiwan. All hypotheses were tested using hierarchical regression analyses. The results show that providing compassion is an effective predictor of job performance and mental health, whereas interpersonal relationship quality can moderate the relationships of providing compassion with job performance and mental health. When nurses are frequently willing to listen, understand, and help their suffering colleagues, the enhancement engendered by providing compassion can improve the provider's job performance and mental health. Creating high-quality relationships in the workplace can strengthen the positive benefits of providing compassion. Motivating employees to spontaneously exhibit compassion is crucial to an organization. Hospitals can establish value systems, belief systems, and cultural systems that support a compassionate response to suffering. In addition, nurses can internalize altruistic belief systems into their own personal value systems through a long process of socialization in the workplace. © 2017 Sigma Theta Tau International.

  12. Dissemination Approaches to Participating Primary Care Providers in a Quality Improvement Program Addressing Opioid Use in Central Appalachia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardarelli, Roberto; Workman, Charlotte Sue; Weatherford, Sarah; Whanger, Stacey; King, Dana E

    2017-06-01

    Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) have been described as new clinical laboratories for primary care research and dissemination. PBRNs, however, have struggled to disseminate research results in a meaningful way to participating providers and clinics. The Central Appalachia Inter-Professional Pain Education Collaborative was developed to work with PBRN clinics using quality improvement methods, deliver statewide continuing education activities to address the issue of opioid use in patients with chronic pain, and develop a multimodal mechanism to disseminate project results to clinics and participating providers. Successful change in the delivery of chronic pain care was dependent on the clinic's commitment to a team-based, patient-centered approach. Statistically significant improvements were shown in 10 of 16 process measures, and 80% of the participants agreed that the quality improvement process activity increased their knowledge and would improve their performance in managing patients with chronic pain, as well as patient outcomes in their practice. The Central Appalachia Inter-Professional Pain Education Collaborative project used an extensive and innovative dissemination plan under the rubric of "continual dissemination." Unlike traditional dissemination efforts that focus on summary presentations, this initiative used a continual dissemination approach that updated participants quarterly through multiple means throughout the project, which improved engagement in the project.

  13. Deciphering the imperative: translating public health quality improvement into organizational performance management gains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beitsch, Leslie M; Yeager, Valerie A; Moran, John

    2015-03-18

    With the launching of the national public health accreditation program under the auspices of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), health department momentum around quality improvement adoption has accelerated. Domain 9 of the PHAB standards (one of 12 domains) focuses on evaluation and improvement of performance and is acting as a strong driver for quality improvement and performance management implementation within health departments. Widespread adoption of quality improvement activities in public health trails that in other US sectors. Several performance management models have received broad acceptance, including models among government and nonprofits. A model specifically for public health has been developed and is presented herein. All models in current use reinforce customer focus; streamlined, value-added processes; and strategic alignment. All are structured to steer quality improvement efforts toward organizational priorities, ensuring that quality improvement complements performance management. High-performing health departments harness the synergy of quality improvement and performance management, providing powerful tools to achieve public health strategic imperatives.

  14. Plasma Aerodynamic Control Effectors for Improved Wind Turbine Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mehul P. Patel; Srikanth Vasudevan; Robert C. Nelson; Thomas C. Corke

    2008-08-01

    Orbital Research Inc is developing an innovative Plasma Aerodynamic Control Effectors (PACE) technology for improved performance of wind turbines. The PACE system is aimed towards the design of "smart" rotor blades to enhance energy capture and reduce aerodynamic loading and noise using flow-control. The PACE system will provide ability to change aerodynamic loads and pitch distribution across the wind turbine blade without any moving surfaces. Additional benefits of the PACE system include reduced blade structure weight and complexity that should translate into a substantially reduced initial cost. During the Phase I program, the ORI-UND Team demonstrated (proof-of-concept) performance improvements on select rotor blade designs using PACE concepts. Control of both 2-D and 3-D flows were demonstrated. An analytical study was conducted to estimate control requirements for the PACE system to maintain control during wind gusts. Finally, independent laboratory experiments were conducted to identify promising dielectric materials for the plasma actuator, and to examine environmental effects (water and dust) on the plasma actuator operation. The proposed PACE system will be capable of capturing additional energy, and reducing aerodynamic loading and noise on wind turbines. Supplementary benefits from the PACE system include reduced blade structure weight and complexity that translates into reduced initial capital costs.

  15. Quality initiatives: Key performance indicators for measuring and improving radiology department performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abujudeh, Hani H; Kaewlai, Rathachai; Asfaw, Benjamin A; Thrall, James H

    2010-05-01

    Key performance indicators (KPIs) are financial and nonfinancial measures that are used to define and evaluate the success of an organization. KPIs differ, depending on the nature of the organization and the organizational strategy; they are devised to help evaluate the progress of an organization toward achieving its long-term goals and fulfilling its vision. In healthcare organizations, performance assessment is especially critical for the development of best practices that can lead to improved outcomes in patient care, and KPIs have been incorporated into many healthcare management systems. In the future, radiology-specific KPIs such as those in use at the authors' institution may help provide a framework for measuring performance in radiology practice.

  16. 16 CFR 1401.5 - Providing performance and technical data to purchasers by labeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 16 Commercial Practices 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Providing performance and technical data to purchasers by labeling. 1401.5 Section 1401.5 Commercial Practices CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION... identification and warning statement may appear on a firmly affixed tag, tape, card, or sticker or similar...

  17. 16 CFR 1407.3 - Providing performance and technical data to purchasers by labeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 16 Commercial Practices 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Providing performance and technical data to purchasers by labeling. 1407.3 Section 1407.3 Commercial Practices CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION... the portable generator that cannot be removed without the use of tools, and (B) On a location that is...

  18. The Effect of Performance Feedback Provided to Student-Teachers Working with Multiple Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safak, Pinar; Yilmaz, Hatice Cansu; Demiryurek, Pinar; Dogus, Mustafa

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of performance feedback (PF) provided to student teachers working with students with multiple disabilities and visual impairment (MDVI) on their teaching skills. The study group of the research was composed of 11 student teachers attending to the final year of the Teaching Students with Visual…

  19. A Low-Literacy Asthma Action Plan to Improve Provider Asthma Counseling: A Randomized Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, H Shonna; Gupta, Ruchi S; Tomopoulos, Suzy; Mendelsohn, Alan L; Egan, Maureen; van Schaick, Linda; Wolf, Michael S; Sanchez, Dayana C; Warren, Christopher; Encalada, Karen; Dreyer, Benard P

    2016-01-01

    The use of written asthma action plans (WAAPs) has been associated with reduced asthma-related morbidity, but there are concerns about their complexity. We developed a health literacy-informed, pictogram- and photograph-based WAAP and examined whether providers who used it, with no training, would have better asthma counseling quality compared with those who used a standard plan. Physicians at 2 academic centers randomized to use a low-literacy or standard action plan (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology) to counsel the hypothetical parent of child with moderate persistent asthma (regimen: Flovent 110 μg 2 puffs twice daily, Singulair 5 mg daily, Albuterol 2 puffs every 4 hours as needed). Two blinded raters independently reviewed counseling transcriptions. medication instructions presented with times of day (eg, morning and night vs number of times per day) and inhaler color; spacer use recommended; need for everyday medications, even when sick, addressed; and explicit symptoms used. 119 providers were randomly assigned (61 low literacy, 58 standard). Providers who used the low-literacy plan were more likely to use times of day (eg, Flovent morning and night, 96.7% vs 51.7%, P counseling time was similar (3.9 [2.5] vs 3.8 [2.6] minutes, P = .8). Use of a low-literacy WAAP improves the quality of asthma counseling by helping providers target key issues by using recommended clear communication principles. Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  20. Organization Complexity and Primary Care Providers' Perceptions of Quality Improvement Culture Within the Veterans Health Administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korom-Djakovic, Danijela; Canamucio, Anne; Lempa, Michele; Yano, Elizabeth M; Long, Judith A

    2016-01-01

    This study examined how aspects of quality improvement (QI) culture changed during the introduction of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patient-centered medical home initiative and how they were influenced by existing organizational factors, including VHA facility complexity and practice location. A voluntary survey, measuring primary care providers' (PCPs') perspectives on QI culture at their primary care clinics, was administered in 2010 and 2012. Participants were 320 PCPs from hospital- and community-based primary care practices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio. PCPs in community-based outpatient clinics reported an improvement in established processes for QI, and communication and cooperation from 2010 to 2012. However, their peers in hospital-based clinics did not report any significant improvements in QI culture. In both years, compared with high-complexity facilities, medium- and low-complexity facilities had better scores on the scales assessing established processes for QI, and communication and cooperation. © The Author(s) 2014.

  1. Smarter hospital communication: secure smartphone text messaging improves provider satisfaction and perception of efficacy, workflow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Przybylo, Jennifer A; Wang, Ange; Loftus, Pooja; Evans, Kambria H; Chu, Isabella; Shieh, Lisa

    2014-09-01

    Though current hospital paging systems are neither efficient (callbacks disrupt workflow), nor secure (pagers are not Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA]-compliant), they are routinely used to communicate patient information. Smartphone-based text messaging is a potentially more convenient and efficient mobile alternative; however, commercial cellular networks are also not secure. To determine if augmenting one-way pagers with Medigram, a secure, HIPAA-compliant group messaging (HCGM) application for smartphones, could improve hospital team communication. Eight-week prospective, cluster-randomized, controlled trial Stanford Hospital Three inpatient medicine teams used the HCGM application in addition to paging, while two inpatient medicine teams used paging only for intra-team communication. Baseline and post-study surveys were collected from 22 control and 41 HCGM team members. When compared with paging, HCGM was rated significantly (P applications improve provider perception of in-hospital communication, while providing the information security that paging and commercial cellular networks do not. © 2014 The Authors Journal of Hospital Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society of Hospital Medicine.

  2. Should trained lay providers perform HIV testing? A systematic review to inform World Health Organization guidelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, C E; Yeh, P T; Johnson, C; Baggaley, R

    2017-12-01

    New strategies for HIV testing services (HTS) are needed to achieve UN 90-90-90 targets, including diagnosis of 90% of people living with HIV. Task-sharing HTS to trained lay providers may alleviate health worker shortages and better reach target groups. We conducted a systematic review of studies evaluating HTS by lay providers using rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). Peer-reviewed articles were included if they compared HTS using RDTs performed by trained lay providers to HTS by health professionals, or to no intervention. We also reviewed data on end-users' values and preferences around lay providers preforming HTS. Searching was conducted through 10 online databases, reviewing reference lists, and contacting experts. Screening and data abstraction were conducted in duplicate using systematic methods. Of 6113 unique citations identified, 5 studies were included in the effectiveness review and 6 in the values and preferences review. One US-based randomized trial found patients' uptake of HTS doubled with lay providers (57% vs. 27%, percent difference: 30, 95% confidence interval: 27-32, p Cambodia, Malawi, and South Africa comparing testing quality between lay providers and laboratory staff found little discordance and high sensitivity and specificity (≥98%). Values and preferences studies generally found support for lay providers conducting HTS, particularly in non-hypothetical scenarios. Based on evidence supporting using trained lay providers, a WHO expert panel recommended lay providers be allowed to conduct HTS using HIV RDTs. Uptake of this recommendation could expand HIV testing to more people globally.

  3. Oscillatory dynamics track motor performance improvement in human cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Dürschmid

    Full Text Available Improving performance in motor skill acquisition is proposed to be supported by tuning of neural networks. To address this issue we investigated changes of phase-amplitude cross-frequency coupling (paCFC in neuronal networks during motor performance improvement. We recorded intracranially from subdural electrodes (electrocorticogram; ECoG from 6 patients who learned 3 distinct motor tasks requiring coordination of finger movements with an external cue (serial response task, auditory motor coordination task, go/no-go. Performance improved in all subjects and all tasks during the first block and plateaued in subsequent blocks. Performance improvement was paralled by increasing neural changes in the trial-to-trial paCFC between theta ([Formula: see text]; 4-8 Hz phase and high gamma (HG; 80-180 Hz amplitude. Electrodes showing this covariation pattern (Pearson's r ranging up to .45 were located contralateral to the limb performing the task and were observed predominantly in motor brain regions. We observed stable paCFC when task performance asymptoted. Our results indicate that motor performance improvement is accompanied by adjustments in the dynamics and topology of neuronal network interactions in the [Formula: see text] and HG range. The location of the involved electrodes suggests that oscillatory dynamics in motor cortices support performance improvement with practice.

  4. Oscillatory Dynamics Track Motor Performance Improvement in Human Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dürschmid, Stefan; Quandt, Fanny; Krämer, Ulrike M.; Hinrichs, Hermann; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schulz, Reinhard; Pannek, Heinz; Chang, Edward F.; Knight, Robert T.

    2014-01-01

    Improving performance in motor skill acquisition is proposed to be supported by tuning of neural networks. To address this issue we investigated changes of phase-amplitude cross-frequency coupling (paCFC) in neuronal networks during motor performance improvement. We recorded intracranially from subdural electrodes (electrocorticogram; ECoG) from 6 patients who learned 3 distinct motor tasks requiring coordination of finger movements with an external cue (serial response task, auditory motor coordination task, go/no-go). Performance improved in all subjects and all tasks during the first block and plateaued in subsequent blocks. Performance improvement was paralled by increasing neural changes in the trial-to-trial paCFC between theta (; 4–8 Hz) phase and high gamma (HG; 80–180 Hz) amplitude. Electrodes showing this covariation pattern (Pearson's r ranging up to .45) were located contralateral to the limb performing the task and were observed predominantly in motor brain regions. We observed stable paCFC when task performance asymptoted. Our results indicate that motor performance improvement is accompanied by adjustments in the dynamics and topology of neuronal network interactions in the and HG range. The location of the involved electrodes suggests that oscillatory dynamics in motor cortices support performance improvement with practice. PMID:24586885

  5. Parametric Study for MOV Performance Improvement Using PPM Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Seungho; Seon, Juhyoung; Han, Bongsub [SOOSAN INDUSTRIES, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-10-15

    Nuclear power plants mainly use Air Operated Valve(hereinafter referred to as AOV) and Motor Operator Valve(hereinafter referred to as MOV) for protecting system, blocking and controlling flow. Field test(static, dynamic test) results and performance prediction program are used to evaluate if MOV currently installed on nuclear power plants has the operational performance. The improvement of operating performance for Flexible Gate valve was confirmed on changing input variables of performance program(PPM). here are several methods through reviewing design basis, changes operating procedures and maintenance work of stem(or packing, etc.) to improve operating performance of MOV generally installed in the nuclear power plants. This study verified the changes of the MOV operating performance through the improvement of stem and hydraulic parts(seat, guide etc.). Especially, MOV operating performance was much greater improved when the Disk Seat Angle was decreasing. Generally, improvement work to minimize friction of seat, disk and guide is limited and dynamic diagnostic testing has to be performed with change in valve factor for improvement of hydraulic parts.

  6. The Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program: provider performance on core and menu measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Adam; Feblowitz, Joshua; Samal, Lipika; McCoy, Allison B; Sittig, Dean F

    2014-02-01

    To measure performance by eligible health care providers on CMS's meaningful use measures. Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program Eligible Professionals Public Use File (PUF), which contains data on meaningful use attestations by 237,267 eligible providers through May 31, 2013. Cross-sectional analysis of the 15 core and 10 menu measures pertaining to use of EHR functions reported in the PUF. Providers in the dataset performed strongly on all core measures, with the most frequent response for each of the 15 measures being 90-100 percent compliance, even when the threshold for a particular measure was lower (e.g., 30 percent). PCPs had higher scores than specialists for computerized order entry, maintaining an active medication list, and documenting vital signs, while specialists had higher scores for maintaining a problem list, recording patient demographics and smoking status, and for providing patients with an after-visit summary. In fact, 90.2 percent of eligible providers claimed at least one exclusion, and half claimed two or more. Providers are successfully attesting to CMS's requirements, and often exceeding the thresholds required by CMS; however, some troubling patterns in exclusions are present. CMS should raise program requirements in future years. © Health Research and Educational Trust.

  7. Leveraging Structure to Improve Classification Performance in Sparsely Labeled Networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallagher, B; Eliassi-Rad, T

    2007-10-22

    We address the problem of classification in a partially labeled network (a.k.a. within-network classification), with an emphasis on tasks in which we have very few labeled instances to start with. Recent work has demonstrated the utility of collective classification (i.e., simultaneous inferences over class labels of related instances) in this general problem setting. However, the performance of collective classification algorithms can be adversely affected by the sparseness of labels in real-world networks. We show that on several real-world data sets, collective classification appears to offer little advantage in general and hurts performance in the worst cases. In this paper, we explore a complimentary approach to within-network classification that takes advantage of network structure. Our approach is motivated by the observation that real-world networks often provide a great deal more structural information than attribute information (e.g., class labels). Through experiments on supervised and semi-supervised classifiers of network data, we demonstrate that a small number of structural features can lead to consistent and sometimes dramatic improvements in classification performance. We also examine the relative utility of individual structural features and show that, in many cases, it is a combination of both local and global network structure that is most informative.

  8. Location decision strategies for improving SMME business performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shereen Barnard

    2011-12-01

    relationship between electricity tariffs and business performance. Employment and business performance attained the strongest positive relationship; indicating that business owners regarded employment as an important factor to consider when searching for suitable business premises. The relationship between location and business performance obtained the lowest positive correlation. Originality and value of the research: Research on South African SMMEs regarding location decisions and the specific factors identified in this study has not been done previously in South Africa. Therefore, because evidence exists that the macro-environmental factors influence location decisions to varying degrees, this study can provide SMME owners with insight into the factors influencing location choice. It is vital that business owners consider these factors as they could influence business performance, and ultimately, business survival. An increased awareness of the importance of the aspects discussed in this study could consequently lead to improved performance in the SMME sector.

  9. The influence of system quality characteristics on health care providers' performance: Empirical evidence from Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohd Salleh, Mohd Idzwan; Zakaria, Nasriah; Abdullah, Rosni

    The Ministry of Health Malaysia initiated the total hospital information system (THIS) as the first national electronic health record system for use in selected public hospitals across the country. Since its implementation 15 years ago, there has been the critical requirement for a systematic evaluation to assess its effectiveness in coping with the current system, task complexity, and rapid technological changes. The study aims to assess system quality factors to predict the performance of electronic health in a single public hospital in Malaysia. Non-probability sampling was employed for data collection among selected providers in a single hospital for two months. Data cleaning and bias checking were performed before final analysis in partial least squares-structural equation modeling. Convergent and discriminant validity assessments were satisfied the required criterions in the reflective measurement model. The structural model output revealed that the proposed adequate infrastructure, system interoperability, security control, and system compatibility were the significant predictors, where system compatibility became the most critical characteristic to influence an individual health care provider's performance. The previous DeLone and McLean information system success models should be extended to incorporate these technological factors in the medical system research domain to examine the effectiveness of modern electronic health record systems. In this study, care providers' performance was expected when the system usage fits with patients' needs that eventually increased their productivity. Copyright © 2016 King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. A management framework for training providers to improve workplace skills development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Govender

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Deputy President, Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, says a skills revolution is necessary for South Africa’s (SA skills crisis. The SA skills revolution began with the skills legislation of 1998-9 when the Departments of Labour (DOL and Education (DOE intended a seamless, integrated approach to rapid skills development. The National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS, the Sector Education and Training Providers (SETAs, the South African Qualifications Authorities (SAQA and the National Qualifications Framework (NQF were established to drive the human resource and skills development revolutionary strategy. The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of the 2001-3 research investigating an internal management framework for training providers, employers and managers to accelerate workplace skills development. Design/Methodology/Approach: An integrated, multi-method research model was employed to gather empirical evidence on skills practices. A robust quantitative survey was conducted within 600 organisations. Simultaneously, rich, descriptive data was gathered from managers and employees using a structured qualitative interview strategy. The integrated data pool was factor analysed. The research findings, conclusion and recommended framework were reported in a PhD thesis. Findings: The research findings reveal major gaps in the effectiveness of SA training providers to radically accelerate and improve workplace skills development as per national skills legislation, implementation and management criteria. Implications: If the skills revolution in SA is to succeed, training providers especially, must become less complacent, more assertive and fully equipped when participating in the skills development arena. Originality/Value: Via this research, training providers will gain critical, reflective insight into their management framework for meeting skills legislative criteria and for managing training interventions and skills projects.

  11. Using Press Ganey Provider Feedback to Improve Patient Satisfaction: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newgard, Craig D; Fu, Rongwei; Heilman, James; Tanski, Mary; John Ma, O; Lines, Alan; Keith French, L

    2017-09-01

    The objective was to conduct a pilot randomized controlled trial to assess the feasibility, logistics, and potential effect of monthly provider funnel plot feedback reports from Press Ganey data and semiannual face-to-face coaching sessions to improve patient satisfaction scores. This was a pilot randomized controlled trial of 25 emergency medicine faculty providers in one urban academic emergency department. We enrolled full-time clinical faculty with at least 12 months of baseline Press Ganey data, who anticipated working in the ED for at least 12 additional months. Providers were randomized into intervention or control groups in a 1:1 ratio. The intervention group had an initial 20-minute meeting to introduce the funnel plot feedback tool and standardized feedback based on their baseline Press Ganey scores and then received a monthly e-mail with their individualized funnel plot depicting cumulative Press Ganey scores (compared to their baseline score and the mean score of all providers) for 12 months. The primary outcome was the difference in Press Ganey "doctor-overall" scores between treatment groups at 12 months. We used a weighted analysis of covariance model to analyze the study groups, accounting for variation in the number of surveys by provider and baseline scores. Of 36 eligible faculty, we enrolled 25 providers, 13 of whom were randomized to the intervention group and 12 to the control group. During the study period, there were 815 Press Ganey surveys returned, ranging from four to 71 surveys per provider. For the standardized overall doctor score over 12 months (primary outcome), there was no difference between the intervention and control groups (difference = 1.3 points, 95% confidence interval = -2.4 to 5.9, p = 0.47). Similarly, there was no difference between groups when evaluating the four categories of doctor-specific patient satisfaction scores from the Press Ganey survey (all p > 0.05). In this pilot trial of monthly provider funnel plot

  12. Improvement of performance of ultra-high performance concrete based composite material added with nano materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pang Jinchang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC, a kind of composite material characterized by ultra high strength, high toughness and high durability. It has a wide application prospect in engineering practice. But there are some defects in concrete. How to improve strength and toughness of UHPC remains to be the target of researchers. To obtain UHPC with better performance, this study introduced nano-SiO2 and nano-CaCO3 into UHPC. Moreover, hydration heat analysis, X-Ray Diffraction (XRD, mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP and nanoindentation tests were used to explore hydration process and microstructure. Double-doped nanomaterials can further enhance various mechanical performances of materials. Nano-SiO2 can promote early progress of cement hydration due to its high reaction activity and C-S-H gel generates when it reacts with cement hydration product Ca(OH2. Nano-CaCO3 mainly plays the role of crystal nucleus effect and filling effect. Under the combined action of the two, the composite structure is denser, which provides a way to improve the performance of UHPC in practical engineering.

  13. Health care provider targeted interventions to improve medication adherence: systematic review and meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conn, V. S.; Ruppar, T. M.; Enriquez, M.; Cooper, P. S.; Chan, K. C.

    2017-01-01

    Objective This systematic review applied meta-analytic procedures to synthesize medication adherence (also termed compliance) interventions that focus on health care providers. Design Comprehensive searching located studies testing interventions that targeted health care providers and reported patient medication adherence behavior outcomes. Search strategies included 13 computerized databases, hand searches of 57 journals, and both author and ancestry searches. Study sample, intervention characteristics, design, and outcomes were reliably coded. Standardized mean difference effect sizes were calculated using random-effects models. Heterogeneity was examined with Q and I2 statistics. Exploratory moderator analyses used meta-analytic analog of ANOVA and regression. Results Codable data were extracted from 218 reports of 151,182 subjects. The mean difference effect size was 0.233. Effect sizes for individual interventions varied from .088 to 0.301. Interventions were more effective when they included multiple strategies. Risk of bias assessment documented larger effect sizes in studies with larger samples, studies that used true control groups (as compared to attention control), and studies without intention-to-treat analyses. Conclusion Overall, this meta-analysis documented that interventions targeted to health care providers significantly improved patient medication adherence. The modest overall effect size suggests that interventions addressing multiple levels of influence on medication adherence may be necessary to achieve therapeutic outcomes. PMID:25728214

  14. Does providing extended relapse prevention bibliotherapy to problem gamblers improve outcome?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgins, David C; Currie, Shawn R; el-Guebaly, Nady; Diskin, Katherine M

    2007-03-01

    Relapse rates among pathological gamblers are high with as many as 75% of gamblers returning to gambling shortly after a serious attempt to quit. The present study focused on providing a low cost, easy to access relapse prevention program to such individuals. Based on information collected in our ongoing study of the process of relapse, a series of relapse prevention booklets were developed and evaluated. Individuals who had recently quit gambling (N = 169) were recruited (through media announcements) and randomly assigned to a single mailing condition in which they received one booklet summarizing all of the relapse prevention information or a repeated mailing condition in which they received the summary booklet plus 7 additional booklets mailed to them at regular intervals over the course of a year period. Gambling involvement over the course of the 12-month follow-up period, confirmed by family or friends, was compared between the two groups. Results indicated that participants receiving the repeated mailings were more likely to meet their goal, but they did not differ from participants receiving the single mailing in frequency of gambling or extent of gambling losses. The results of this project suggest that providing extended relapse prevention bibliotherapy to problem gamblers does not improve outcome. However, providing the overview booklet may be a low cost, easy to access alternative for individuals who have quit gambling.

  15. Pearl millet genome sequence provides a resource to improve agronomic traits in arid environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varshney, Rajeev K; Shi, Chengcheng; Thudi, Mahendar; Mariac, Cedric; Wallace, Jason; Qi, Peng; Zhang, He; Zhao, Yusheng; Wang, Xiyin; Rathore, Abhishek; Srivastava, Rakesh K; Chitikineni, Annapurna; Fan, Guangyi; Bajaj, Prasad; Punnuri, Somashekhar; Gupta, S K; Wang, Hao; Jiang, Yong; Couderc, Marie; Katta, Mohan A V S K; Paudel, Dev R; Mungra, K D; Chen, Wenbin; Harris-Shultz, Karen R; Garg, Vanika; Desai, Neetin; Doddamani, Dadakhalandar; Kane, Ndjido Ardo; Conner, Joann A; Ghatak, Arindam; Chaturvedi, Palak; Subramaniam, Sabarinath; Yadav, Om Parkash; Berthouly-Salazar, Cécile; Hamidou, Falalou; Wang, Jianping; Liang, Xinming; Clotault, Jérémy; Upadhyaya, Hari D; Cubry, Philippe; Rhoné, Bénédicte; Gueye, Mame Codou; Sunkar, Ramanjulu; Dupuy, Christian; Sparvoli, Francesca; Cheng, Shifeng; Mahala, R S; Singh, Bharat; Yadav, Rattan S; Lyons, Eric; Datta, Swapan K; Hash, C Tom; Devos, Katrien M; Buckler, Edward; Bennetzen, Jeffrey L; Paterson, Andrew H; Ozias-Akins, Peggy; Grando, Stefania; Wang, Jun; Mohapatra, Trilochan; Weckwerth, Wolfram; Reif, Jochen C; Liu, Xin; Vigouroux, Yves; Xu, Xun

    2017-10-01

    Pearl millet [Cenchrus americanus (L.) Morrone] is a staple food for more than 90 million farmers in arid and semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa, India and South Asia. We report the ∼1.79 Gb draft whole genome sequence of reference genotype Tift 23D2B1-P1-P5, which contains an estimated 38,579 genes. We highlight the substantial enrichment for wax biosynthesis genes, which may contribute to heat and drought tolerance in this crop. We resequenced and analyzed 994 pearl millet lines, enabling insights into population structure, genetic diversity and domestication. We use these resequencing data to establish marker trait associations for genomic selection, to define heterotic pools, and to predict hybrid performance. We believe that these resources should empower researchers and breeders to improve this important staple crop.

  16. Mixing students and performance artists to provide innovative ways of communicating scientific research

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Manen, S. M.

    2007-12-01

    In May 2007 the Open University (U.K.) in conjunction with the MK (Milton Keynes) Gallery invited performance artists Noble and Silver to work with a group of students to design innovative methods of disseminating their research to a general audience. The students created a multitude of well-received live and multimedia performances based on their research. Students found they greatly benefited from the artists' and each others' different viewpoints and backgrounds, resulting in improved communication skills and varying interpretations of their own topic of interest. This work focuses on research aimed at identifying precursory activity at volcanoes using temperature, earthquake and ground movement data, to aid improvement of early warning systems. For this project an aspect of the research relevant to the public was chosen: the importance of appropriately timed warnings regarding the possibility of an eruption. If a warning is issued too early it may cause complacency and apathy towards the situation, whereas issuing a warning too late may endanger lives and property. An interactive DVD was produced which leads the user through the events preceding a volcanic eruption. The goal is to warn the public about the impending eruption at the most appropriate time. Data is presented in short film clips, after which questions are posed. Based on the player's answers the consequences or follow-up events of the choices are explored. We aim to improve and expand upon this concept in the near future, as well as making the DVD available to schools for educational purposes.

  17. Designing and piloting a program to provide water filters and improved cookstoves in Rwanda.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina K Barstow

    Full Text Available In environmental health interventions addressing water and indoor air quality, multiple determinants contribute to adoption. These may include technology selection, technology distribution and education methods, community engagement with behavior change, and duration and magnitude of implementer engagement. In Rwanda, while the country has the fastest annual reduction in child mortality in the world, the population is still exposed to a disease burden associated with environmental health challenges. Rwanda relies both on direct donor funding and coordination of programs managed by international non-profits and health sector businesses working on these challenges.This paper describes the design, implementation and outcomes of a pilot program in 1,943 households across 15 villages in the western province of Rwanda to distribute and monitor the use of household water filters and improved cookstoves. Three key program design criteria include a. an investment in behavior change messaging and monitoring through community health workers, b. free distributions to encourage community-wide engagement, and c. a private-public partnership incentivized by a business model designed to encourage "pay for performance". Over a 5-month period of rigorous monitoring, reported uptake was maintained at greater than 90% for both technologies, although exclusive use of the stove was reported in only 28.5% of households and reported water volume was 1.27 liters per person per day. On-going qualitative monitoring suggest maintenance of comparable adoption rates through at least 16 months after the intervention.High uptake and sustained adoption of a water filter and improved cookstove was measured over a five-month period with indications of continued comparable adoption 16 months after the intervention. The design attributes applied by the implementers may be sufficient in a longer term. In particular, sustained and comprehensive engagement by the program implementer

  18. Economic Insights into Providing Access to Improved Groundwater Sources in Remote, Low-Resource Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramson, A.; Lazarovitch, N.; Adar, E.

    2013-12-01

    Groundwater is often the most or only feasible drinking water source in remote, low-resource areas. Yet the economics of its development have not been systematically outlined. We applied CBARWI (Cost-Benefit Analysis for Remote Water Improvements), a recently developed Decision Support System, to investigate the economic, physical and management factors related to the costs and benefits of non-networked groundwater supply in remote areas. Synthetic profiles of community water services (n = 17,962), defined across 14 parameters' values and ranges relevant to remote areas, were imputed into the decision framework, and the parameter effects on economic outcomes were investigated through regression analysis (Table 1). Several approaches were included for financing the improvements, after Abramson et al, 2011: willingness-to -pay (WTP), -borrow (WTB) and -work (WTW) in community irrigation (';water-for-work'). We found that low-cost groundwater development approaches are almost 7 times more cost-effective than conventional boreholes fitted with handpumps. The costs of electric, submersible borehole pumps are comparable only when providing expanded water supplies, and off-grid communities pay significantly more for such expansions. In our model, new source construction is less cost-effective than improvement of existing wells, but necessary for expanding access to isolated households. The financing approach significantly impacts the feasibility of demand-driven cost recovery; in our investigation, benefit exceeds cost in 16, 32 and 48% of water service configurations financed by WTP, WTB and WTW, respectively. Regressions of total cost (R2 = 0.723) and net benefit under WTW (R2 = 0.829) along with analysis of output distributions indicate that parameters determining the profitability of irrigation are different from those determining costs and other measures of net benefit. These findings suggest that the cost-benefit outcomes associated with groundwater-based water

  19. Moving Beyond Blind Men and Elephants: Providing Total Estimated Annual Costs Improves Health Insurance Decision Making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Andrew J; Hanoch, Yaniv; Rice, Thomas; Long, Sharon K

    2017-10-01

    Health insurance is among the most important financial and health-related decisions that people make. Choosing a health insurance plan that offers sufficient risk protection is difficult, in part because total expected health care costs are not transparent. This study examines the effect of providing total costs estimates on health insurance decisions using a series of hypothetical choice experiments given to 7,648 individuals responding to the fall 2015 Health Reform Monitoring Survey. Participants were given two health scenarios presented in random order asking which of three insurance plans would best meet their needs. Half received total estimated costs, which increased the probability of choosing a cost-minimizing plan by 3.0 to 10.6 percentage points, depending on the scenario ( p < .01). With many consumers choosing or failing to switch out of plans that offer insufficient coverage, incorporating insights on consumer decision making with personalized information to estimate costs can improve the quality of health insurance choices.

  20. Strategies to improve effectiveness of physical activity coaching systems: Development of personas for providing tailored feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achterkamp, Reinoud; Dekker-Van Weering, Marit Gh; Evering, Richard Mh; Tabak, Monique; Timmerman, Josien G; Hermens, Hermie J; Vollenbroek-Hutten, Miriam Mr

    2016-06-27

    Mobile physical activity interventions can be improved by incorporating behavioural change theories. Relations between self-efficacy, stage of change, and physical activity are investigated, enabling development of feedback strategies that can be used to improve their effectiveness. A total of 325 healthy control participants and 82 patients wore an activity monitor. Participants completed a self-efficacy or stage of change questionnaire. Results show that higher self-efficacy is related to higher activity levels. Patients are less active than healthy controls and show a larger drop in physical activity over the day. Patients in the maintenance stage of change are more active than patients in lower stages of change, but show an equally large drop in level of physical activity. Findings suggest that coaching should at least be tailored to level of self-efficacy, stage of change, and physical activity pattern. Tailored coaching strategies are developed, which suggest that increasing self-efficacy of users is most important. Guidelines are provided. © The Author(s) 2016.

  1. Effects of performance measure implementation on clinical manager and provider motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damschroder, Laura J; Robinson, Claire H; Francis, Joseph; Bentley, Douglas R; Krein, Sarah L; Rosland, Ann-Marie; Hofer, Timothy P; Kerr, Eve A

    2014-12-01

    Clinical performance measurement has been a key element of efforts to transform the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). However, there are a number of signs that current performance measurement systems used within and outside the VHA may be reaching the point of maximum benefit to care and in some settings, may be resulting in negative consequences to care, including overtreatment and diminished attention to patient needs and preferences. Our research group has been involved in a long-standing partnership with the office responsible for clinical performance measurement in the VHA to understand and develop potential strategies to mitigate the unintended consequences of measurement. Our aim was to understand how the implementation of diabetes performance measures (PMs) influences management actions and day-to-day clinical practice. This is a mixed methods study design based on quantitative administrative data to select study facilities and quantitative data from semi-structured interviews. Sixty-two network-level and facility-level executives, managers, front-line providers and staff participated in the study. Qualitative content analyses were guided by a team-based consensus approach using verbatim interview transcripts. A published interpretive motivation theory framework is used to describe potential contributions of local implementation strategies to unintended consequences of PMs. Implementation strategies used by management affect providers' response to PMs, which in turn potentially undermines provision of high-quality patient-centered care. These include: 1) feedback reports to providers that are dissociated from a realistic capability to address performance gaps; 2) evaluative criteria set by managers that are at odds with patient-centered care; and 3) pressure created by managers' narrow focus on gaps in PMs that is viewed as more punitive than motivating. Next steps include working with VHA leaders to develop and test implementation approaches to help

  2. Improving Industrial Engineering Performance through a Successful Project Management Office

    OpenAIRE

    Spałek, Seweryn

    2013-01-01

    The improvement of industrial engineering performance is currently a key issue. Companies can achieve such an improvement in different ways. One way, especially for companies operating in a multi-project environment, is a successfully operating Project Management Office (PMO). Recent studies have revealed that a successful PMO is a key factor influencing organisational performance. The author of this study conducted a world-wide research with a sample of over four hundred PMO cases to identif...

  3. COOLING FAN AND SYSTEM PERFORMANCE AND EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ronald Dupree

    2005-07-31

    Upcoming emissions regulations (Tiers 3, 4a and 4b) are imposing significantly higher heat loads on the cooling system than lesser regulated machines. This work was a suite of tasks aimed at reducing the parasitic losses of the cooling system, or improving the design process through six distinct tasks: 1. Develop an axial fan that will provide more airflow, with less input power and less noise. The initial plan was to use Genetic Algorithms to do an automated fan design, incorporating forward sweep for low noise. First and second generation concepts could not meet either performance or sound goals. An experienced turbomachinery designer, using a specialized CFD analysis program has taken over the design and has been able to demonstrate a 5% flow improvement (vs 10% goal) and 10% efficiency improvement (vs 10% goal) using blade twist only. 2. Fan shroud developments, using an 'aeroshroud' concept developed at Michigan State University. Performance testing at Michigan State University showed the design is capable of meeting the goal of a 10% increase in flow, but over a very narrow operating range of fan performance. The goal of 10% increase in fan efficiency was not met. Fan noise was reduced from 0 to 2dB, vs. a goal of 5dB at constant airflow. The narrow range of fan operating conditions affected by the aeroshroud makes this concept unattractive for further development at this time 3. Improved axial fan system modeling is needed to accommodate the numbers of cooling systems to be redesigned to meet lower emissions requirements. A CFD fan system modeling guide has been completed and transferred to design engineers. Current, uncontrolled modeling practices produce flow estimates in some cases within 5% of measured values, and in some cases within 25% of measured values. The techniques in the modeling guide reduced variability to the goal of + 5% for the case under study. 4. Demonstrate the performance and design versatility of a high performance fan. A

  4. Improving Diffusing S-duct Performance by Secondary Flow Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichert, Bruce A.; Wendt, Bruce J.

    1994-01-01

    The objective of this research was to study ways to reduce inlet flow distortion (i.e., total pressure nonuniformity) and improve total pressure recovery in a diffusing S-duct. This was accomplished by controlling the development of secondary flows within the duct through the use of tapered-fin type vortex generators. Reported are results for the bare duct and seven different configurations of vortex generators. Data presented for each configuration include surface static pressure, surface flow visualization, and exit plane total pressure and transverse velocity. The performance of each configuration was assessed by calculating total pressure recovery and inlet distortion descriptors from the data and comparing them to the values for the bare duct. The best configuration tested reduced distortion (as measured by the DC(45) and DC(90) descriptors) by more than 50 percent while improving total pressure recovery by 0.5 percent. These results should provide valuable guidance in designing vortex generator installations in ducts and for assessing the accuracy of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods to calculate duct flows with installed vortex generators.

  5. Using Audio Books to Improve Reading and Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Joel R.

    2009-01-01

    This article highlights significant research about what below grade-level reading means in middle school classrooms and suggests a tested approach to improve reading comprehension levels significantly by using audio books. The use of these audio books can improve reading and academic performance for both English language learners (ELLs) and for…

  6. Advanced Materials and Technologies for Structural Performance Improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Stefano Sorace; Bert Blocken; Claudio Borri; Luca Caracoglia; Francisco Javier Molina; Gerhardt Müller

    2016-01-01

    The development of advanced materials and technologies for application to new and existing structures, infrastructures, and equipment, aiming at improving their response to service and extreme loads, represents an emerging issue both from an academic and a professional viewpoint. Relevant performance assessment procedures, based on effective experimental verification methods [1] and refined numerical simulation models [2], are quickly evolving as well. New or improved ...

  7. Training for Template Creation: A Performance Improvement Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Paul

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: There are three purposes to this article: first, to offer a training approach to employee learning and performance improvement that makes use of a step-by-step process of skill/knowledge creation. The process offers follow-up opportunities for skill maintenance and improvement; second, to explain the conceptual bases of the approach; and…

  8. Performance improvement of silicon solar cells by nanoporous silicon coating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dzhafarov T. D.

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available In the present paper the method is shown to improve the photovoltaic parameters of screen-printed silicon solar cells by nanoporous silicon film formation on the frontal surface of the cell using the electrochemical etching. The possible mechanisms responsible for observed improvement of silicon solar cell performance are discussed.

  9. Long-term heating to improve receiver performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glatzmaier, Greg C.; Cable, Robert; Newmarker, Marc

    2017-06-01

    The buildup of hydrogen in the heat transfer fluid (HTF) that circulates through components of parabolic trough power plants decreases receiver thermal efficiency, and ultimately, it decreases plant performance and electricity output. The generation and occurrence of hydrogen in the HTF provides the driving force for hydrogen to permeate from the HTF through the absorber tube wall and into the receiver annulus. Getters adsorb hydrogen from the annulus volume until they saturate and are no longer able to maintain low hydrogen pressure. The increase in hydrogen pressure within the annulus significantly degrades thermal performance of the receiver and decreases overall power-plant efficiency. NREL and Acciona Energy North America (Acciona) are developing a method to control the levels of dissolved hydrogen in the circulating HTF. The basic approach is to remove hydrogen from the expansion tanks of the HTF subsystem at a rate that maintains hydrogen in the circulating HTF to a target level. Full-plant steady-state models developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) predict that if hydrogen is removed from the HTF within the expansion tanks, the HTF that circulates through the collector field remains essentially free of hydrogen until the HTF returns to the power block in the hot headers. One of the key findings of our modeling is the prediction that hydrogen will reverse-permeate out of the receiver annulus if dissolved hydrogen in the HTF is kept sufficiently low. To test this prediction, we performed extended heating of an in-service receiver that initially had high levels of hydrogen in its annulus. The heating was performed using NREL's receiver test stand. Results of our testing showed that receiver heat loss steadily decreased with daily heating, resulting in a corresponding improvement in receiver thermal efficiency.

  10. Long-Term Heating to Improve Receiver Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glatzmaier, Greg C.; Cable, Robert; Newmarker, Marc

    2017-06-27

    The buildup of hydrogen in the heat transfer fluid (HTF) that circulates through components of parabolic trough power plants decreases receiver thermal efficiency, and ultimately, it decreases plant performance and electricity output. The generation and occurrence of hydrogen in the HTF provides the driving force for hydrogen to permeate from the HTF through the absorber tube wall and into the receiver annulus. Getters adsorb hydrogen from the annulus volume until they saturate and are no longer able to maintain low hydrogen pressure. The increase in hydrogen pressure within the annulus significantly degrades thermal performance of the receiver and decreases overall power-plant efficiency. NREL and Acciona Energy North America (Acciona) are developing a method to control the levels of dissolved hydrogen in the circulating HTF. The basic approach is to remove hydrogen from the expansion tanks of the HTF subsystem at a rate that maintains hydrogen in the circulating HTF to a target level. Full-plant steady-state models developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) predict that if hydrogen is removed from the HTF within the expansion tanks, the HTF that circulates through the collector field remains essentially free of hydrogen until the HTF returns to the power block in the hot headers. One of the key findings of our modeling is the prediction that hydrogen will reverse-permeate out of the receiver annulus if dissolved hydrogen in the HTF is kept sufficiently low. To test this prediction, we performed extended heating of an in-service receiver that initially had high levels of hydrogen in its annulus. The heating was performed using NREL's receiver test stand. Results of our testing showed that receiver heat loss steadily decreased with daily heating, resulting in a corresponding improvement in receiver thermal efficiency.

  11. SPICE: Sentinel-3 Performance Improvement for Ice Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMillan, Malcolm; Escola, Roger; Roca, Monica; Escorihuela, Maria Jose; Thibaut, Pierre; Shepherd, Andrew; Remy, Frederique; Aublanc, Jeremie; Benveniste, Jerome; Restano, Marco; Ambrozio, Americo

    2017-04-01

    For the past 25 years, polar-orbiting satellite radar altimeters have provided a valuable record of ice sheet elevation change, yielding estimates of ice sheet mass imbalance at the scale of individual ice sheet basins. One of the principle challenges associated with radar altimetry comes from the relatively large ground footprint of conventional pulse-limited radars, which limits their capacity to make reliable measurements in areas of complex topographic terrain. In recent years, progress has been made towards improving ground resolution, through the implementation of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), or Delay-Doppler, techniques. In 2010, the launch of CryoSat-2 heralded the start of a new era of SAR altimetry, although full SAR coverage of the polar ice sheets has only been achieved with the launch of the first Sentinel-3 satellite in February 2016. Because of the heritage of SAR altimetry provided by CryoSat-2, many SAR altimeter processing techniques have been optimized and evaluated for water and sea ice surfaces only. This leaves several outstanding issues related to the development and evaluation of SAR altimetry for ice sheets, including improvements to Delay-Doppler processing algorithms and SAR altimetry waveform retracking procedures. Here we present results from SPICE (Sentinel-3 Performance Improvement for Ice Sheets), a 2 year project that focuses on the expected performance of Sentinel-3 SAR altimetry over the Polar ice sheets. The project, which began in September 2015 and is funded by ESA's SEOM (Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions) programme, aims to contribute to the development and understanding of ice sheet SAR altimetry through the emulation of Sentinel-3 data from dedicated CryoSat SAR acquisitions made at the Lake Vostok, Dome C and Spirit sites in East Antarctica, and from reprocessed interferometric SAR data in Greenland. More specifically, we will evaluate SAR elevation retrievals using different processing methodologies and

  12. [A web information system for enhancing management and improving special care services provided to dependent persons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Bermejo, J A; Hernández-Capel, D M; Belmonte-Ureña, L J; Roca-Piera, J

    2009-01-01

    Ensuring the quality of services provided in centres where dependent persons are seen by specialist services, by improving and enhancing how information -salary, control of tasks, patients' records, etc.- is shared between staff and carers. A web information system has been developed and experimentally deployed to accomplish this. The accuracy of the system was evaluated by assessing how confident the employees were with it rather than relying on statistical data. It was experimentally deployed since January 2009 in Asociación de Personas con Discapacidad "El Saliente" that manages several day centres in Almeria, for dependent persons over 65 years old, particularly those affected by Alzheimer' disease. Incidence data was collected during the experimental period. A total of 84% of the employees thought that the system helped to manage documents, administrative duties, etc., and 92.4% said they could attend to really important tasks because the system was responsible for alerting them of every task, such as medication timetables, checking all patients were present (to prevent an Alzheimer affected person leaving the centre) etc. During this period the incidences reported were reduced by about a 30%, although data is still partially representative. As the life expectancy of the population gets longer, these centres will increase. Providing systems such as the one presented here would be of great help for administrative duties (sensitive data protection...) as well as ensuring high quality care and attention.

  13. Spatial Cues Provided by Sound Improve Postural Stabilization: Evidence of a Spatial Auditory Map?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandemer, Lennie; Parseihian, Gaetan; Kronland-Martinet, Richard; Bourdin, Christophe

    2017-01-01

    It has long been suggested that sound plays a role in the postural control process. Few studies however have explored sound and posture interactions. The present paper focuses on the specific impact of audition on posture, seeking to determine the attributes of sound that may be useful for postural purposes. We investigated the postural sway of young, healthy blindfolded subjects in two experiments involving different static auditory environments. In the first experiment, we compared effect on sway in a simple environment built from three static sound sources in two different rooms: a normal vs. an anechoic room. In the second experiment, the same auditory environment was enriched in various ways, including the ambisonics synthesis of a immersive environment, and subjects stood on two different surfaces: a foam vs. a normal surface. The results of both experiments suggest that the spatial cues provided by sound can be used to improve postural stability. The richer the auditory environment, the better this stabilization. We interpret these results by invoking the “spatial hearing map” theory: listeners build their own mental representation of their surrounding environment, which provides them with spatial landmarks that help them to better stabilize. PMID:28694770

  14. Spatial Cues Provided by Sound Improve Postural Stabilization: Evidence of a Spatial Auditory Map?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandemer, Lennie; Parseihian, Gaetan; Kronland-Martinet, Richard; Bourdin, Christophe

    2017-01-01

    It has long been suggested that sound plays a role in the postural control process. Few studies however have explored sound and posture interactions. The present paper focuses on the specific impact of audition on posture, seeking to determine the attributes of sound that may be useful for postural purposes. We investigated the postural sway of young, healthy blindfolded subjects in two experiments involving different static auditory environments. In the first experiment, we compared effect on sway in a simple environment built from three static sound sources in two different rooms: a normal vs. an anechoic room. In the second experiment, the same auditory environment was enriched in various ways, including the ambisonics synthesis of a immersive environment, and subjects stood on two different surfaces: a foam vs. a normal surface. The results of both experiments suggest that the spatial cues provided by sound can be used to improve postural stability. The richer the auditory environment, the better this stabilization. We interpret these results by invoking the "spatial hearing map" theory: listeners build their own mental representation of their surrounding environment, which provides them with spatial landmarks that help them to better stabilize.

  15. Spatial Cues Provided by Sound Improve Postural Stabilization: Evidence of a Spatial Auditory Map?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lennie Gandemer

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available It has long been suggested that sound plays a role in the postural control process. Few studies however have explored sound and posture interactions. The present paper focuses on the specific impact of audition on posture, seeking to determine the attributes of sound that may be useful for postural purposes. We investigated the postural sway of young, healthy blindfolded subjects in two experiments involving different static auditory environments. In the first experiment, we compared effect on sway in a simple environment built from three static sound sources in two different rooms: a normal vs. an anechoic room. In the second experiment, the same auditory environment was enriched in various ways, including the ambisonics synthesis of a immersive environment, and subjects stood on two different surfaces: a foam vs. a normal surface. The results of both experiments suggest that the spatial cues provided by sound can be used to improve postural stability. The richer the auditory environment, the better this stabilization. We interpret these results by invoking the “spatial hearing map” theory: listeners build their own mental representation of their surrounding environment, which provides them with spatial landmarks that help them to better stabilize.

  16. Improving outcomes of transported newborns in Panama: impact of a nationwide neonatal provider education program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spector, J M; Villanueva, H Solano; Brito, M E; Sosa, P Gallardo

    2009-07-01

    To determine whether national distribution of a neonatal provider education program (the S.T.A.B.L.E. Program) positively impacts the health of ill newborns that require transport in Panama. The investigation used a prospective, pre- and postintervention study design with a double pretest. The 10 birthing centers in Panama that routinely transport the greatest number of newborns received the education program intervention. Primary outcomes were body temperature and serum glucose level on arrival at the referral facility. Length of stay and mortality were evaluated as secondary outcomes. Variation in outcome indicators was compared for 7 months before and after the intervention. Data from all live newborns transported from outlying birthing center study sites during the study dates were included in the investigation. A total of 136 and 146 newborns were transported during the observation and postintervention periods, respectively. Significantly more patients in the postintervention group had temperatures within the normal range (56% in postintervention group vs 34% in observation group; P<0.01). No statistical difference was observed in serum glucose levels, length of stay or mortality. Distribution of a neonatal provider educational program was associated with improved thermal management of transported newborns in Panama. Further study will help to confirm this association and determine the extent to which these findings are generalizable to other resource-constrained settings.

  17. Improving Compressed Air System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry v3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ron Marshall, William Scales, Gary Shafer, Paul Shaw, Paul Sheaffer, Rick Stasyshan, H.P.

    2016-03-01

    This sourcebook is designed to provide compressed air system users with a reference that outlines opportunities for system performance improvements. It is not intended to be a comprehensive technical text on improving compressed air systems, but rather a document that makes compressed air system users aware of the performance improvement potential, details some of the significant opportunities, and directs users to additional sources of assistance.

  18. Do Primary Care Provider Strategies Improve Patient Participation in Colorectal Cancer Screening?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxter, Nancy N; Sutradhar, Rinku; Li, Qing; Daly, Corinne; Honein-AbouHaidar, Gladys N; Richardson, Devon P; Del Giudice, Lisa; Tinmouth, Jill; Paszat, Lawrence; Rabeneck, Linda

    2017-04-01

    Screening rates for colorectal cancer (CRC) remain suboptimal. The impact of provider strategies to enhance screening participation in the population is uncertain. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of provider strategies to increase screening in a single-payer system. A population-based survey was conducted in primary care providers (PCPs) linked to patients using administrative data in Ontario, Canada. Patients were due for CRC screening from April 2012 to March 2013. Patients were followed up until 31 March 2014. We determined time to become up-to-date with CRC screening. Cox proportional hazards models examined the association between PCP strategies and uptake of screening, adjusted for physician and patient factors. A total of 717 PCPs and their 147,834 rostered patients due for CRC screening were included. Most physicians employed strategies to enhance screening participation, including electronic medical record use, reminders, generation of lists, audit and feedback reports, or designating staff responsible for screening. No single strategy was strongly associated with screening. For those >1 year overdue, a systematic approach to generate lists of patients overdue for screening was weakly associated with screening uptake (hazard ratio (HR)=1.14, 95% CI: 1.03-1.26, P=0.04 >5 years overdue vs. <1 year overdue). The use of multiple PCP strategies was associated with screening participation (HR=1.27, 95% CI: 1.16-1.39, P<0.0001 for PCPs using 4-5 vs. 0-1 strategies). Practice-based strategies were self-reported. In practice, while individual PCP strategies have little effect, the use of multiple strategies to enhance screening appears to improve CRC screening uptake in patients.

  19. An improved model to predict performance under mental fatigue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Henry T; Bouak, Fethi; Wang, Wenbi; Chow, Renee; Vartanian, Oshin

    2018-01-08

    Fatigue has become an increasing problem in our modern society. Using MATLAB as a generic modelling tool, a fatigue model was developed based on an existing one and compared with a commercial fatigue software for prediction of cognitive performance under total and partial sleep deprivation. The flexibility of our fatigue model allowed additions of new algorithms and mechanisms for non-sleep factors and countermeasures and thus improved model predictions and usability for both civilian and military applications. This was demonstrated by model simulations of various scenarios and comparison with experimental studies. Our future work will be focused on model validation and integration with other modelling tools. Practitioner Summary: Mental fatigue affects health, safety and quality of life in our modern society. In this paper, we reported a cognitive fatigue model based on existing models with newly incorporated components taking both the operator's state of alertness and task demand into account. The model provided the additional capability for prediction of cognitive performance in scenarios involving pharmaceutical countermeasures, different task demands and shift work.

  20. Electrolysis Performance Improvement Concept Study (EPICS) Flight Experiment-Reflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, F. H.

    1997-01-01

    The Electrolysis Performance Improvement Concept Study (EPICS) is a flight experiment to demonstrate and validate in a microgravity environment the Static Feed Electrolyzer (SFE) concept which was selected for the use aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for oxygen (O2) generation. It also is to investigate the impact of microgravity on electrochemical cell performance. Electrochemical cells are important to the space program because they provide an efficient means of generating O2 and hydrogen (H2) in space. Oxygen and H2 are essential not only for the survival of humans in space but also for the efficient and economical operation of various space systems. Electrochemical cells can reduce the mass, volume and logistical penalties associated with resupply and storage by generating and/or consuming these gases in space. An initial flight of the EPICS was conducted aboard STS-69 from September 7 to 8, 1995. A temperature sensor characteristics shift and a missing line of software code resulted in only partial success of this initial flight. Based on the review and recommendations of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) review team a reflight activity was initiated to obtain the remaining desired results, not achieved during the initial flight.

  1. Designing a Large-Scale Multilevel Improvement Initiative: The Improving Performance in Practice Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margolis, Peter A.; DeWalt, Darren A.; Simon, Janet E.; Horowitz, Sheldon; Scoville, Richard; Kahn, Norman; Perelman, Robert; Bagley, Bruce; Miles, Paul

    2010-01-01

    Improving Performance in Practice (IPIP) is a large system intervention designed to align efforts and motivate the creation of a tiered system of improvement at the national, state, practice, and patient levels, assisting primary-care physicians and their practice teams to assess and measurably improve the quality of care for chronic illness and…

  2. Does Multiple Intelligence Improve Performance? Evidence from a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study reports the findings of a study that investigated the relationship between multiple intelligence (MI) and academic performance in higher education. It addresses one question: does MI improve academic performance? Taking the case of the finalist cohort of the university's Faculty of Education of the academic year ...

  3. Priming Ability-Relevant Social Categories Improves Intellectual Test Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Phoebe S.; Kennette, Lynne N.; Van Havermaet, Lisa R.; Frank, Nichole M.; McIntyre, Rusty B.

    2012-01-01

    Research shows that priming affects behavioral tasks; fewer studies, however, have been conducted on how social category primes affect cognitive tasks. The present study aimed to examine the effects of social category primes on math performance and word recall. It was hypothesized that Asian prime words would improve math performance and word…

  4. Maintenance performance improvement with System Dynamics : A Corrective Maintenance showcase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deenen, R.E.M.; Van Daalen, C.E.; Koene, E.G.C.

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents a case study of an analysis of a Corrective Maintenance process to realize performance improvement. The Corrective Maintenance process is supported by SAP, which has indicated the performance realisation problem. System Dynamics is used in a Group Model Building process to

  5. Linear Motion Systems. A Modular Approach for Improved Straightness Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijsse, G.J.P.

    2001-01-01

    This thesis deals with straight motion systems. A modular approach has been applied in order to find ways to improve the performance. The main performance parameters that are considered are position accuracy, repeatability and, to a lesser extent, cost. Because of the increasing requirements to

  6. Improving Employee Satisfaction Priority through Performance Control Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shun-Hsing Chen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The study addresses Performance Control Matrix (PCM to determine service quality items of priority for improvement. Most businesses focus on customer satisfaction when undertaking surveys of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, while generally neglecting employee satisfaction. Therefore, this study develops an integrated model to improve service quality in Taiwanese finance industry employees. A questionnaire is designed to determine the priority of improvement objectives derived from certain questionnaire items that fall into the improvement zone of the PCM. Ten items are found to fall into the improvement zone of the PCM. The present results show that the finance industry employees surveyed in Taiwan were dissatisfied with their job security, salaries, annual bonus, and fair distribution of operational profits. The ten improvement items mostly belong to two dimensions - ‘Pay and Benefits’ and ‘Motivation’. The managers of the financial institutions should seek to improve these quality attributes by devoting more resources to these items, thus promoting employee satisfaction.

  7. Do Lower Target Temperatures or Prolonged Cooling Provide Improved Outcomes for Comatose Survivors of Cardiac Arrest Treated With Hypothermia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagawa, Eisuke; Dote, Keigo; Kato, Masaya; Sasaki, Shota; Oda, Noboru; Nakano, Yoshinori; Miura, Katsuya; Inoue, Ichiro; Kihara, Yasuki

    2015-09-21

    Optimal protocols for targeted temperature management are still unclear. This study investigated whether lower target temperatures and/or prolonged cooling could provide improved outcomes in comatose survivors of cardiac arrest. This observational study was conducted using the prospectively collected targeted temperature management database in Hiroshima, Japan. Between September 2003 and September 2014, 237 patients treated with TTM after cardiac arrest were enrolled in this study. The target temperatures and durations were assigned by the treating physicians regardless of the patients' conditions. Favorable outcomes were defined as a cerebral performance category scale of 1 or 2 at the 90-day follow-up time point. The rate of favorable outcomes were similar between the patients whose protocols of target temperature were 28 hours and target temperatures <34°C were associated with more frequent lethal arrhythmia, pneumonia, and/or bleedings. Prolonged durations of cooling and rewarming ≥28 hours may not improve outcomes and may increase complications. Further studies are necessary to assess the hypothesis that target temperatures <34°C provide improved outcomes in patients treated with extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation. © 2015 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell.

  8. Maintenance performance improvement with System Dynamics: A Corrective Maintenance showcase

    OpenAIRE

    Deenen, R.E.M.; Van Daalen, C.E.; Koene, E.G.C.

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents a case study of an analysis of a Corrective Maintenance process to realize performance improvement. The Corrective Maintenance process is supported by SAP, which has indicated the performance realisation problem. System Dynamics is used in a Group Model Building process to structure the problem and to develop a dynamic business model with which the process is analysed. This is performed by the evaluation of changes in external factors and interventions in the process on pe...

  9. The control algorithm improving performance of electric load simulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Chenxia; Yang, Ruifeng; Zhang, Peng; Fu, Mengyao

    2017-01-01

    In order to improve dynamic performance and signal tracking accuracy of electric load simulator, the influence of the moment of inertia, stiffness, friction, gaps and other factors on the system performance were analyzed on the basis of researching the working principle of load simulator in this paper. The PID controller based on Wavelet Neural Network was used to achieve the friction nonlinear compensation, while the gap inverse model was used to compensate the gap nonlinear. The compensation results were simulated by MATLAB software. It was shown that the follow-up performance of sine response curve of the system became better after compensating, the track error was significantly reduced, the accuracy was improved greatly and the system dynamic performance was improved.

  10. Real-World Verbal Communication Performance of Children Provided With Cochlear Implants or Hearing Aids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meister, Hartmut; Keilmann, Annerose; Leonhard, Katharina; Streicher, Barbara; Müller, Linda; Lang-Roth, Ruth

    2015-07-01

    To compare the real-world verbal communication performance of children provided with cochlear implants (CIs) with their peers with hearing aids (HAs). Cross-sectional study in university tertiary referral centers and at hearing aid dispensers. Verbal communication performance was assessed by the Functioning after Pediatric Cochlear Implantation (FAPCI) instrument. The FAPCI was administered to 38 parents of children using CIs and 62 parents of children with HAs. According to the WHO classification, children with HAs were categorized into three groups (mild-moderate-severe hearing loss). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed on the FAPCI scores, with study group, hearing age (i.e., device experience), and age at hearing intervention as sources of variation. ANOVA showed that hearing age and study group significantly contribute to the FAPCI outcome. In all study groups except the children with mild hearing loss, FAPCI scores increased alongside growing experience with the devices. Children with mild hearing loss using HAs showed higher scores than those with severe hearing loss or implanted children. There were no significant differences between the children with CIs and the children with moderate or severe hearing loss using HAs. Real-world verbal communication abilities of children with CIs are similar to those of children with moderate-to-severe hearing loss using amplification. Because hearing age significantly influences performance, children with moderate-to-severe hearing loss using HAs and implanted children catch up with children with mild hearing loss at a hearing age of approximately 3 years.

  11. Complex integrated method of improvement of sports ballroom dance performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omelyanenko V.I.

    2014-11-01

    by us providing for inclusion in the training process stand-alone dance steps in place of compensation steps, provided development of the dancers’ ability to respond quickly to assumed mistakes during dance performance. Mastering dynamic meditation depended on typological features of the nervous system: the higher hypnosis ability degree the better mastering. Women-partners of the experimental group who had high hypnosis ability degree and mastered dynamic meditation could quickly adequately response to the rapid changes in the composition performed by dance partner during dance. Consideration of possible errors trains a woman-partner’s ability to switch timely from one step to another. Using this method, improvement of professional skills of dancers accelerates greatly.

  12. Improved LWR Cladding Performance by EPD Surface Modification Technique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Corradini, Michael; Sridharan, Kumar

    2012-11-26

    This project will utilize the electro-phoretic deposition technique (EPD) in conjunction with nanofluids to deposit oxide coatings on prototypic zirconium alloy cladding surfaces. After demonstrating that this surface modification is reproducible and robust, the team will subject the modified surface to boiling and corrosion tests to characterize the improved nucleate boiling behavior and superior corrosion performance. The scope of work consists of the following three tasks: The first task will employ the EPD surface modification technique to coat the surface of a prototypic set of zirconium alloy cladding tube materials (e.g. Zircaloy and advanced alloys such as M5) with a micron-thick layer of zirconium oxide nanoparticles. The team will characterize the modified surface for uniformity using optical microscopy and scanning-electron microscopy, and for robustness using standard hardness measurements. After zirconium alloy cladding samples have been prepared and characterized using the EPD technique, the team will begin a set of boiling experiments to measure the heat transfer coefficient and critical heat flux (CHF) limit for each prepared sample and its control sample. This work will provide a relative comparison of the heat transfer performance for each alloy and the surface modification technique employed. As the boiling heat transfer experiments begin, the team will also begin corrosion tests for these zirconium alloy samples using a water corrosion test loop that can mimic light water reactor (LWR) operational environments. They will perform extended corrosion tests on the surface-modified zirconium alloy samples and control samples to examine the robustness of the modified surface, as well as the effect on surface oxidation

  13. The effectiveness of lean manufacturing audits in measuring operational performance improvements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taggart, P.

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The hypothesis that lean manufacturing audits are an effective way to measure improvements in operational performance was tested using 64 manufacturing sites owned by a FTSE 100 company. Commonly-used lean characteristics were evaluated: policy deployment, standardised work, visual management and housekeeping, quick changeover techniques, total productive maintenance, continuous improvement (kaizen, error proofing, cultural awareness, material control, and levelling (heijunka. Operational performance was assessed employing commonly-used operational performance measures: on-time-delivery, inventory turns, and direct labour utilisation. The findings are that lean manufacturing audits are effective in measuring improvements in operational performance provided that the audit scope and the lean characteristics are aligned up front.

  14. Providing Quality Therapeutics in Switzerland: Role of the Stakeholders and Recent Incentives for Further Improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besson, Marie; Samer, Caroline; Rollason, Victoria; Dayer, Pierre; Desmeules, Jules

    2015-07-01

    Quality therapeutics play an important role in Switzerland's health care and economy. Switzerland holds a key position in the world of research and development, as well as in drug production. Recently, new emphasis has been placed on promoting clinical research and maintaining Switzerland's position as a center of excellence in the field. Recent revisions to the law regarding medical trials in human research allow for better allocation of regulatory resources and simplified procedures for drugs already authorized in Switzerland. The country has its own regulatory agency, the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products (Swissmedic), which is a public institution of the Swiss government. Swissmedic is responsible for ensuring safety in medicines, particularly regarding authorizations and market surveillance in the sector of medicinal products and medical devices. Although the centralized authorization procedure of the European Union for medicines does not apply to Switzerland, there are mutual recognition mechanisms between the Swiss medicine regulatory authority and the European Medicines Agency. Swissmedic is also in charge of postmarketing safety and oversees the national pharmacovigilance center, which collaborates closely with the World Health Organization center in Uppsala. In addition, university hospital-based clinical pharmacologists, who are involved in basic science and clinical research, regulatory affairs, ethics committees, and pharmacovigilance, promote quality therapeutics. This article discusses the role of the various stakeholders and the recent efforts made to provide a better allocation of resources aimed at further improving quality therapeutics in Switzerland. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier HS Journals, Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Clear hydro-gel, compared to ointment, provides improved eye comfort after brief surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolle, Michaela; Keller, Christian; Pinggera, Germar; Deibl, Martina; Rieder, Josef; Lirk, Philipp

    2004-02-01

    Anesthesia impairs lid closure and decreases tear secretion and stability. Protection may, in principle, be conveyed by manual eye closure, taping the eyelids closed, and by instillation of protective substances into the conjunctival sac. Both hydro-gels and ointments are used in clinical practice. It was the objective of the present study to compare a transparent clear ocular hydro-gel (Vidisic) and a commonly used dexpanthenol and vitamin A (Oleovit) based ointment as examples of these classes of ocular lubricants in their capability to provide perioperative eye comfort. Furthermore, their bacteriostatic properties were assessed in vitro. Ninety-two consecutive patients undergoing total iv general anesthesia were randomly allocated to receive either ocular dexpanthenol ointment or a clear hydro-gel after induction of anesthesia. Subjects were assessed one hour following termination of anesthesia. Main findings were an increased incidence of foreign body sensation, adherent eyelashes and disturbance elicited by blurred vision in the ointment group as compared to clear hydro-gel (P < 0.001). Bacterial growth was significantly attenuated by the ocular hydro-gel as compared to ointment. Clear ocular hydro-gel offers improved patient comfort and decreased ocular inflammation as compared to conventional eye ointments. In addition, it decreases bacterial growth. Therefore, the use of clear ocular hydro-gel for perioperative ocular comfort is suggested.

  16. The Importance of Providing Multiple-Channel Sections in Dredging Activities to Improve Fish Habitat Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hung-Pin Chiu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available After Typhoon Morakot, dredging engineering was conducted while taking the safety of humans and structures into consideration, but partial stream reaches were formed in the multiple-channel sections in Cishan Stream because of anthropogenic and natural influences. This study mainly explores the distribution of each fish species in both the multiple- and single-channel sections in the Cishan Stream. Parts of the environments did not exhibit significant differences according to a one-way ANOVA comparing the multiple- and single-channel sections, but certain areas of the multiple-channel sections had more diverse habitats. Each fish species was widely distributed by non-metric multidimensional scaling in the multiple-channel sections as compared to those in the single-channel sections. In addition, according to the principal component analysis, each fish species has a preferred environment, and all of them have a wide choice of habitat environments in the multiple-channel sections. Finally, the existence of multiple-channel sections could significantly affect the existence of the fish species under consideration in this study. However, no environmental factors were found to have an influence on fish species in the single-channel sections, with the exception of Rhinogobius nantaiensis. The results show that providing multiple-channel sections in dredging activities could improve fish habitat environments.

  17. Sodium oxybate therapy provides multidimensional improvement in fibromyalgia: results of an international phase 3 trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaeth, Michael; Bennett, Robert M; Benson, Beverly A; Wang, Y Grace; Lai, Chinglin; Choy, Ernest H

    2012-01-01

    Background Fibromyalgia is characterised by chronic musculoskeletal pain and multiple symptoms including fatigue, multidimensional function impairment, sleep disturbance and tenderness. Along with pain and fatigue, non-restorative sleep is a core symptom of fibromyalgia. Sodium oxybate (SXB) is thought to reduce non-restorative sleep abnormalities. This study evaluated effects of SXB on fibromyalgia-related pain and other symptoms. Methods 573 patients with fibromyalgia according to 1990 American College of Rheumatology criteria were enrolled at 108 centres in eight countries. Subjects were randomly assigned to placebo, SXB 4.5 g/night or SXB 6 g/night. The primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of subjects with ≥30% reduction in pain visual analogue scale from baseline to treatment end. Other efficacy assessments included function, sleep quality, effect of sleep on function, fatigue, tenderness, health-related quality of life and subject's impression of change in overall wellbeing. Results Significant improvements in pain, sleep and other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia were seen in SXB treated subjects compared with placebo. The proportion of subjects with ≥30% pain reduction was 42.0% for SXB4.5 g/night (p=0.002) and 51.4% for SXB6 g/night (panxiety, somnolence, fatigue, muscle spasms and peripheral oedema. Conclusion These results, combined with findings from previous phase 2 and 3 studies, provide supportive evidence that SXB therapy affordsimportant benefits across multiple symptoms in subjects with fibromyalgia. PMID:22294641

  18. Improvability of assembly systems I: Problem formulation and performance evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiang S.-Y.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available This work develops improvability theory for assembly systems. It consists of two parts.Part I includes the problem formulation and the analysis technique. Part II presents the so-called improvability indicators and a case study. Improvability theory addresses the questions of improving performance in production systems with unreliable machines. We consider both constrained and unconstrained improvability. In the constrained case, the problem consists of determining if there exists a re-distribution of resources (inventory and workforce, which leads to an increase in the system's production rate. In the unconstrained case, the problem consists of identifying a machine and a buffer, which impede the system performance in the strongest manner. The investigation of the improvability properties requires an expression for the system performance measures as functions of the machine and buffer parameters. This paper presents a method for evaluating these functions and illustrates their practical utility using a case study at an automotive components plant. Part II uses the method developed here to establish conditions of improvability and to describe additional results of the case study.

  19. Performance evaluation of hospitals that provide care in the public health system, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Cristiano de Azevedo Ramos

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE To analyze if size, administrative level, legal status, type of unit and educational activity influence the hospital network performance in providing services to the Brazilian Unified Health System.METHODS This cross-sectional study evaluated data from the Hospital Information System and the Cadastro Nacional de Estabelecimentos de Saúde (National Registry of Health Facilities, 2012, in Sao Paulo, Southeastern Brazil. We calculated performance indicators, such as: the ratio of hospital employees per bed; mean amount paid for admission; bed occupancy rate; average length of stay; bed turnover index and hospital mortality rate. Data were expressed as mean and standard deviation. The groups were compared using analysis of variance (ANOVA and Bonferroni correction.RESULTS The hospital occupancy rate in small hospitals was lower than in medium, big and special-sized hospitals. Higher hospital occupancy rate and bed turnover index were observed in hospitals that include education in their activities. The hospital mortality rate was lower in specialized hospitals compared to general ones, despite their higher proportion of highly complex admissions. We found no differences between hospitals in the direct and indirect administration for most of the indicators analyzed.CONCLUSIONS The study indicated the importance of the scale effect on efficiency, and larger hospitals had a higher performance. Hospitals that include education in their activities had a higher operating performance, albeit with associated importance of using human resources and highly complex structures. Specialized hospitals had a significantly lower rate of mortality than general hospitals, indicating the positive effect of the volume of procedures and technology used on clinical outcomes. The analysis related to the administrative level and legal status did not show any significant performance differences between the categories of public hospitals.

  20. Recovery Act: Electrochromic Glazing Technology: Improved Performance, Lower Price

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burdis, Mark; Sbar, Neil

    2012-06-30

    The growing dependency of the US on energy imports and anticipated further increases in energy prices reinforce the concerns about meeting the energy demand in the future and one element of a secure energy future is conservation. It is estimated that the buildings sector represents 40% of the US's total energy consumption. And buildings produce as much as one third of the greenhouse gas emissions primarily through fossil fuel usage during their operational phase. A significant fraction of this energy usage is simply due to inefficient window technology. Electrochromic (EC) windows allow electronic control of their optical properties so that the transparency to light can be adjusted from clear to dark. This ability to control the amount of solar energy allowed into the building can be advantageously used to minimize lighting, heating and air conditioning costs. Currently, the penetration of EC windows into the marketplace is extremely small, and consequently there is a huge opportunity for energy savings if this market can be expanded. In order to increase the potential energy savings it is necessary to increase the quantity of EC windows in operation. Additionally, any incremental improvement in the energy performance of each window will add to the potential energy savings. The overall goals of this project were therefore to improve the energy performance and lower the cost of dynamic (EC) smart windows for residential and commercial building applications. This project is obviously of benefit to the public by addressing two major areas: lowering the cost and improving the energy performance of EC glazings. The high level goals for these activities were: (i) to improve the range between the clear and the tinted state, (ii) reduce the price of EC windows by utilizing lower cost materials, (iii) lowering the U-Value1 SAGE Electrochromics Inc. is the only company in the US which has a track record of producing EC windows, and presently has a small operational

  1. Interprofessional Oral Health Education Improves Knowledge, Confidence, and Practice for Pediatric Healthcare Providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Devon; Kim, JungSoo; Duderstadt, Karen; Stewart, Ray; Lin, Brent; Alkon, Abbey

    2017-01-01

    Dental caries is the most prevalent chronic childhood disease in the United States. Dental caries affects the health of 60-90% of school-aged children worldwide. The prevalence of untreated early childhood dental caries is 19% for children 2-5 years of age in the U.S. Some factors that contribute to the progression of dental caries include socioeconomic status, access to dental care, and lack of anticipatory guidance. The prevalence of dental caries remains highest for children from specific ethnic or racial groups, especially those living in underserved areas where there may be limited access to a dentist. Although researchers have acknowledged the various links between oral health and overall systemic health, oral health care is not usually a component of pediatric primary health care. To address this public health crisis and oral health disparity in children, new collaborative efforts among health professionals is critical for dental disease prevention and optimal oral health. This evaluation study focused on a 10-week interprofessional practice and education (IPE) course on children's oral health involving dental, osteopathic medical, and nurse practitioner students at the University of California, San Francisco. This study's objective was to evaluate changes in knowledge, confidence, attitude, and clinical practice in children's oral health of the students completed the course. Thirty-one students participated in the IPE and completed demographic questionnaires and four questionnaires before and after the IPE course: (1) course content knowledge, (2) confidence, (3) attitudes, and (4) clinical practice. Results showed a statistically significant improvement in the overall knowledge of children's oral health topics, confidence in their ability to provide oral health services, and clinical practice. There was no statistically significant difference in attitude, but there was an upward trend toward positivity. To conclude, this IPE evaluation showed that

  2. Interprofessional Oral Health Education Improves Knowledge, Confidence, and Practice for Pediatric Healthcare Providers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devon Cooper

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Dental caries is the most prevalent chronic childhood disease in the United States. Dental caries affects the health of 60–90% of school-aged children worldwide. The prevalence of untreated early childhood dental caries is 19% for children 2–5 years of age in the U.S. Some factors that contribute to the progression of dental caries include socioeconomic status, access to dental care, and lack of anticipatory guidance. The prevalence of dental caries remains highest for children from specific ethnic or racial groups, especially those living in underserved areas where there may be limited access to a dentist. Although researchers have acknowledged the various links between oral health and overall systemic health, oral health care is not usually a component of pediatric primary health care. To address this public health crisis and oral health disparity in children, new collaborative efforts among health professionals is critical for dental disease prevention and optimal oral health. This evaluation study focused on a 10-week interprofessional practice and education (IPE course on children’s oral health involving dental, osteopathic medical, and nurse practitioner students at the University of California, San Francisco. This study’s objective was to evaluate changes in knowledge, confidence, attitude, and clinical practice in children’s oral health of the students completed the course. Thirty-one students participated in the IPE and completed demographic questionnaires and four questionnaires before and after the IPE course: (1 course content knowledge, (2 confidence, (3 attitudes, and (4 clinical practice. Results showed a statistically significant improvement in the overall knowledge of children’s oral health topics, confidence in their ability to provide oral health services, and clinical practice. There was no statistically significant difference in attitude, but there was an upward trend toward positivity. To conclude, this IPE

  3. Improving Site-Specific Radiological Performance Assessments - 13431

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  4. Improvement of Wind Farm Performance by Means of Spinner Anemometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friis Pedersen, Troels; Demurtas, Giorgio; Gottschall, Julia

    This report is a project report on the EUDP research project SpinnerFarm. The objectives of the project were to improve software and hardware on the spinner anemometer concept and to demonstrate improvement of wind farm performance by opitmized yaw control. The hardware was improved by a more...... factors, determination of induction in center of rotor, measurements of yaw error, inflow angles and turbulence intensity, and measurements of power performance, comparing the spinner anemometer with the mast cup anemometer and the nacelle anemometer. A statistic of yaw error measurements were made...... in the Vedersø Kær wind farm on nine wind turbines. Finally, estimates of potential power performance gain on the wind farm and the test wind turbine by optimized yaw error measurements was made....

  5. Carbohydrate mouth rinse: does it improve endurance exercise performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    It is well known that carbohydrate (CHO) supplementation can improve performance in endurance exercises through several mechanisms such as maintenance of glycemia and sparing endogenous glycogen as well as the possibility of a central nervous-system action. Some studies have emerged in recent years in order to test the hypothesis of ergogenic action via central nervous system. Recent studies have demonstrated that CHO mouth rinse can lead to improved performance of cyclists, and this may be associated with the activation of brain areas linked to motivation and reward. These findings have already been replicated in other endurance modalities, such as running. This alternative seems to be an attractive nutritional tool to improve endurance exercise performance. PMID:20799963

  6. Bayesian species identification under the multispecies coalescent provides significant improvements to DNA barcoding analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ziheng; Rannala, Bruce

    2017-06-01

    DNA barcoding methods use a single locus (usually the mitochondrial COI gene) to assign unidentified specimens to known species in a library based on a genetic distance threshold that distinguishes between-species divergence from within-species diversity. Recently developed species delimitation methods based on the multispecies coalescent (MSC) model offer an alternative approach to individual assignment using either single-locus or multiloci sequence data. Here, we use simulations to demonstrate three features of an MSC method implemented in the program bpp. First, we show that with one locus, MSC can accurately assign individuals to species without the need for arbitrarily determined distance thresholds (as required for barcoding methods). We provide an example in which no single threshold or barcoding gap exists that can be used to assign all specimens without incurring high error rates. Second, we show that bpp can identify cryptic species that may be misidentified as a single species within the library, potentially improving the accuracy of barcoding libraries. Third, we show that taxon rarity does not present any particular problems for species assignments using bpp and that accurate assignments can be achieved even when only one or a few loci are available. Thus, concerns that have been raised that MSC methods may have problems analysing rare taxa (singletons) are unfounded. Currently, barcoding methods enjoy a huge computational advantage over MSC methods and may be the only approach feasible for massively large data sets, but MSC methods may offer a more stringent test for species that are tentatively assigned by barcoding. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Does hospital admission provide an opportunity for improving pharmacotherapy among elderly inpatients?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Oliveira de Melo

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The purpose of the work was to assess the incidence of potential drug interactions (pDDI, major pDDI, and the use of potentially inappropriate medication (PIM at hospital admission, during hospitalization, and at discharge to evaluate whether hospital admission provides an opportunity for improving pharmacotherapy in elderly patients at a University hospital that has a clinical pharmacist. A prospective cohort study was carried out using data from the medical records of patients admitted to an internal medicine ward. All admissions and prescriptions were monitored between March and August 2006. Micromedex(r DrugReax(r and Beers Criteria 2015 were used to identify pDDI, major pDDI, and PIMs, respectively. A comparison of admission and discharge prescriptions showed the following: an increase in the proportion of patients using antithrombotic agents (76 versus 144; p<0.001, lipid modifying agents (58 versus 81; p=0.024, drugs for acid-related disorders (99 versus 152; p<0.001, and particularly omeprazole (61 versus 87; p=0.015; a decrease in the number of patients prescribed psycholeptics (73 versus 32; p<0.001 and diazepam (54 versus 13; p<0.001; and a decrease in the proportion of patients exposed to polypharmacy (16.1% versus 10.1%; p=0.025, at least one pDDI (44.5% versus 32.8%; p=0.002, major pDDI (19.9% versus 12.2%; p=0.010 or PIM (85.8% versus 51.9%; p<0.001. The conclusion is that admission to a hospital ward that has a clinical pharmacist was associated with a reduction in the number of patients exposed to polypharmacy, pDDI, major pDDI, and the use of PIMs among elderly inpatients.

  8. Measuring US Army medical evacuation: Metrics for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvagno, Samuel M; Mabry, Robert L; Maddry, Joseph; Kharod, Chetan U; Walrath, Benjamin D; Powell, Elizabeth; Shackelford, Stacy

    2018-01-01

    The US Army medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) community has maintained a reputation for high levels of success in transporting casualties from the point of injury to definitive care. This work served as a demonstration project to advance a model of quality assurance surveillance and medical direction for prehospital MEDEVAC providers within the Joint Trauma System. A retrospective interrupted time series analysis using prospectively collected data was performed as a process improvement project. Records were reviewed during two distinct periods: 2009 and 2014 to 2015. MEDEVAC records were matched to outcomes data available in the Department of Defense Trauma Registry. Abstracted deidentified data were reviewed for specific outcomes, procedures, and processes of care. Descriptive statistics were applied as appropriate. A total of 1,008 patients were included in this study. Nine quality assurance metrics were assessed. These metrics were: airway management, management of hypoxemia, compliance with a blood transfusion protocol, interventions for hypotensive patients, quality of battlefield analgesia, temperature measurement and interventions, proportion of traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients with hypoxemia and/or hypotension, proportion of traumatic brain injury patients with an appropriate assessment, and proportion of missing data. Overall survival in the subset of patients with outcomes data available in the Department of Defense Trauma Registry was 97.5%. The data analyzed for this study suggest overall high compliance with established tactical combat casualty care guidelines. In the present study, nearly 7% of patients had at least one documented oxygen saturation of less than 90%, and 13% of these patients had no documentation of any intervention for hypoxemia, indicating a need for training focus on airway management for hypoxemia. Advances in battlefield analgesia continued to evolve over the period when data for this study was collected. Given the inherent high

  9. Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance

    OpenAIRE

    Pozas, W. J; Marrero, O. S.

    2014-01-01

    The paper describes a Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance, together with its theoretical foundations. The strategy is structured into several dimensions related to teachers’ development (lesson planning, continuing education and research). It is organized into two phases and seven stages intended to improve leadership in the teaching-learning process. The finding are the expression of a comprehensive approach to school organization at Services Polytec...

  10. Development of a Child Abuse Checklist to Evaluate Prehospital Provider Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alphonso, Aimee; Auerbach, Marc; Bechtel, Kirsten; Bilodeau, Kyle; Gawel, Marcie; Koziel, Jeannette; Whitfill, Travis; Tiyyagura, Gunjan Kamdar

    2017-01-01

    To develop and provide validity evidence for a performance checklist to evaluate the child abuse screening behaviors of prehospital providers. Checklist Development: We developed the first iteration of the checklist after review of the relevant literature and on the basis of the authors' clinical experience. Next, a panel of six content experts participated in three rounds of Delphi review to reach consensus on the final checklist items. Checklist Validation: Twenty-eight emergency medical services (EMS) providers (16 EMT-Basics, 12 EMT-Paramedics) participated in a standardized simulated case of physical child abuse to an infant followed by one-on-one semi-structured qualitative interviews. Three reviewers scored the videotaped performance using the final checklist. Light's kappa and Cronbach's alpha were calculated to assess inter-rater reliability (IRR) and internal consistency, respectively. The correlation of successful child abuse screening with checklist task completion and with participant characteristics were compared using Pearson's chi squared test to gather evidence for construct validity. The Delphi review process resulted in a final checklist that included 24 items classified with trichotomous scoring (done, not done, or not applicable). The overall IRR of the three raters was 0.70 using Light's kappa, indicating substantial agreement. Internal consistency of the checklist was low, with an overall Cronbach's alpha of 0.61. Of 28 participants, only 14 (50%) successfully screened for child abuse in simulation. Participants who successfully screened for child abuse did not differ significantly from those who failed to screen in terms of training level, past experience with child abuse reporting, or self-reported confidence in detecting child abuse (all p > 0.30). Of all 24 tasks, only the task of exposing the infant significantly correlated with successful detection of child abuse (p child abuse checklist that demonstrated strong content validity and

  11. Improved Dynamic Postural Task Performance without Improvements in Postural Responses: The Blessing and the Curse of Dopamine Replacement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. B. Foreman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Dopamine-replacement medications may improve mobility while not improving responses to postural challenges and could therefore increase fall risk. The purpose of this study was to measure reactive postural responses and gait-related mobility of patients with PD during ON and OFF medication conditions. Methods. Reactive postural responses to the Pull Test and performance of the Functional Gait Assessment (FGA were recorded from 15 persons with PD during ON and OFF medication conditions. Results. Persons with PD demonstrated no significant difference in the reactive postural responses between medication conditions but demonstrated significantly better performance on the FGA when ON medications compared to OFF. Discussion/Conclusion. Dopamine-replacement medications alone may improve gait-related mobility without improvements in reactive postural responses and therefore could result in iatrogenic increases in fall risk. Rehabilitation providers should be aware of the side effects and limitations of medication treatment and implement interventions to improve postural responses.

  12. Lightning Performance on Overhead Distribution Lines : After Improvement Field Observation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reynaldo Zoro

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Two feeders of 20 kV overhead distribution lines which are located in a high lightning density area are chosen to be observed as a field study due to their good lightning performance after improvement of lightning protection system. These two feeders used the new overhead ground wire and new line arrester equipped with lightning counter on the main lines. The significant reduced of lines outages are reported. Study was carried out to observe these improvements by comparing to the other two feeders line which are not improved and not equipped yet with the ground wire and line arrester. These two feeders located in the nearby area. Two cameras were installed to record the trajectory of the lightning strikes on the improved lines. Lightning peak currents are measured using magnetic tape measurement system installed on the grounding lead of lightning arrester. Lightning overvoltage calculations are carried out by using several scenarios based on observation results and historical lightning data derived from lightning detection network. Lightning overvoltages caused by indirect or direct strikes are analyzed to get the lightning performance of the lines. The best scenario was chosen and performance of the lines were improved significantly by installing overhead ground wire and improvement of lightning arrester installation.

  13. Network Performance Improvement under Epidemic Failures in Optical Transport Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fagertun, Anna Manolova; Ruepp, Sarah Renée

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we investigate epidemic failure spreading in large- scale GMPLS-controlled transport networks. By evaluating the effect of the epidemic failure spreading on the network, we design several strategies for cost-effective network performance improvement via differentiated repair times....... First we identify the most vulnerable and the most strategic nodes in the network. Then, via extensive simulations we show that strategic placement of resources for improved failure recovery has better performance than randomly assigning lower repair times among the network nodes. Our OPNET simulation...

  14. Electro optical performance of an improved deformable mirror device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wen R.; Gale, Richard O.; Hornbeck, Larry J.; Sampsell, Jeffrey B.

    The design, fabrication, and performance of an improved 128 x 128 deformable mirror device (DMD) are discussed. The present DMD consists of a monolithically formed array of cantilever beams which are electrostatically deflected by an underlying MOS transistor address matrix. In contrast to an earlier version, the improved DMD on-chip address circuitry supports a single video input to the chip, with all demux operations performed on-chip. The cantilever beams are formed by two layers of high-reflectivity aluminum alloy. The dynamic range of the DMD in the Fourier plane at the Nyquist frequency has been determined at greater than 45 dB.

  15. DESIGN OF MEDICAL RADIOMETER FRONT-END FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemetsen, O; Birkelund, Y; Jacobsen, S K; Maccarini, P F; Stauffer, P R

    2011-01-01

    We have investigated the possibility of building a singleband Dicke radiometer that is inexpensive, small-sized, stable, highly sensitive, and which consists of readily available microwave components. The selected frequency band is at 3.25-3.75 GHz which provides a reasonable compromise between spatial resolution (antenna size) and sensing depth for radiometry applications in lossy tissue. Foreseen applications of the instrument are non-invasive temperature monitoring for breast cancer detection and temperature monitoring during heating. We have found off-the-shelf microwave components that are sufficiently small (water baths. Experiments showed superior sensitivity (36% higher) when implementing the low noise amplifier before the Dicke switch (close to the antenna) compared to the other design with the Dicke switch in front. Radiometer performance was also tested in a multilayered phantom during alternating heating and radiometric reading. Empirical tests showed that for the configuration with Dicke switch first, the switch had to be locked in the reference position during application of microwave heating to avoid damage to the active components (amplifiers and power meter). For the configuration with a low noise amplifier up front, damage would occur to the active components of the radiometer if used in presence of the microwave heating antenna. Nevertheless, this design showed significantly improved sensitivity of measured temperatures and merits further investigation to determine methods of protecting the radiometer for amplifier first front ends.

  16. metrological performance improvement of a superconducting cable test station

    CERN Document Server

    Montenero, Giuseppe; Ballarino, Amalia

    The work presented in this PhD thesis concerns the metrological performance improvement of a superconducting cable test station based on superconducting transformers. The main cable’s parameter to be assessed –as a function of temperature and magnetic field– is the critical current, i.e. beyond this limit the phase transition to the normal state occurs. Ramping the current at levels in the order of the tens of kA can be achieved with superconducting transformers at moderate capital and operational cost. But, issues such as (i) accurate/precise measurements and (ii) monitoring of the secondary current during the device operation have to be addressed. In this regard, the goals of the thesis are the design, prototyping, and validation of a new cryogenic current transducer and effective monitoring system for test stations transformer-based. Among the available transducers for current sensing at room temperature, the DC current transformer (DCCT) provides measurement accuracy in the order of the hundreds of ...

  17. Evaluation of composite materials providing improved acoustic transmission loss for UAVs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callicoat, Jeffrey R.

    With the proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in civilian airspace in the near future, community noise will be a major issue of concern. Numerous studies have shown a direct link between community noise pollution (i.e., road traffic noise and airport noise) and serious health problems. There exists, therefore, a pressing need to create quiet UAVs, and this drives the need for noise-attenuating materials and structures suitable for UAV airframe fabrication. By shrouding predominant noise sources such as the engine, exhaust, and even the propeller (in the case of a ducted fan) with the airframe structure, the airframe can serve as a noise transmission barrier and substantially reduce UAV noise profiles. The present research effort is an experimental investigation of light-weight fiber-reinforced composite materials to provide high acoustic transmission loss (TL) for use in fabricating UAV airframes. A transmission loss tube acoustic test system was designed, fabricated, and validated, and extensive testing was done on numerous composite layups of interest for UAV fabrication. Composites under study included carbon fiber, fiberglass, and Kevlar fabrics as skin materials along with vinyl foam, Nomex honeycomb, and balsawood as core materials. Results from testing small 3"x3" samples in the TL tube led to the selection of four composite sandwich panels of interest for further study. Larger 36"x36" test samples of these selected layups were then fabricated and tested using a 2-room methodology. Whereas the TL tube yielded results in the stiffness-controlled region of acoustic behavior, the 2-room tests produced results in the mass-controlled region for these materials, enabling relative performance comparisons over both acoustic regimes. Recognizing that a good material for airframe fabrication should possess not only high TL, but also low weight and high stiffness, load-deflection tests were conducted and overall material performance was compared in terms of

  18. Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pozas, W. J

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes a Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance, together with its theoretical foundations. The strategy is structured into several dimensions related to teachers’ development (lesson planning, continuing education and research. It is organized into two phases and seven stages intended to improve leadership in the teaching-learning process. The finding are the expression of a comprehensive approach to school organization at Services Polytechnic School “Horacio Cobiellas Domínguez” resulting in teachers’ academic and scientific development and a significant growth of the staff scientific potentials manifested in scientific forum enrolment. The resulting impact should lead to a general use of the proposed strategy in the Polytechnic school web. Key words: professional performance, pedagogic professional performance, didactic professional performance, teachers’ developmental strategy

  19. Pulse-jet baghouse performance improvement with flue gas conditioning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, S.J.; Laudal, D.L.

    1992-10-01

    A pilot study was conducted at the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota to evaluate the effectiveness of flue gas conditioning in reducing tube sheet pressure drop and fine particulate emissions from a pulse-jet fabric filter. The project was jointly funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and the Canadian Electrical Association (CEA). The work was completed with EERC facilities consisting of a pulverized coal-fired combustor and pilot baghouse. Full-scale pulse-jet bags were employed under conditions similar to large-scale baghouses. The investigation included baseline tests and tests in which ammonia and SO{sub 3} were, injected upstream of the baghouse to determine the effect of conditioning on baghouse performance. The primary independent variables included coal type, conditioning agent concentrations, air-to-cloth (A/C) ratio, and fabric type. The main dependent variables were particulate emissions, bagbouse pressure drop, and cohesive properties of the fly ash. Results demonstrated significant benefits of using conditioning with a pulse-jet baghouse, including a substantial reduction in particulate emissions and a substantial reduction in pressure drop (or the ability to operate at a higher A/C ratio without increasing pressure drop or bag-cleaning frequency). The improvements in fabric filter performance correlate strongly with a shift in the tensile strength and with increases in the aerated and packed porosity of the fly ash. Conditioning appears to be applicable to a wide range of coals and fabrics. Applications for this technology are where there is a need to reduce pressure drop and/or particulate emissions in existing bagbouses, to reduce fine-particle air toxic emissions which may be required in the future, and for new bagbouse installations to allow operation at a higher A/C ratio while providing an ultrahigh fine-particle collection efficiency.

  20. Pulse-jet baghouse performance improvement with flue gas conditioning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, S.J.; Laudal, D.L.

    1992-10-01

    A pilot study was conducted at the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota to evaluate the effectiveness of flue gas conditioning in reducing tube sheet pressure drop and fine particulate emissions from a pulse-jet fabric filter. The project was jointly funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and the Canadian Electrical Association (CEA). The work was completed with EERC facilities consisting of a pulverized coal-fired combustor and pilot baghouse. Full-scale pulse-jet bags were employed under conditions similar to large-scale baghouses. The investigation included baseline tests and tests in which ammonia and SO[sub 3] were, injected upstream of the baghouse to determine the effect of conditioning on baghouse performance. The primary independent variables included coal type, conditioning agent concentrations, air-to-cloth (A/C) ratio, and fabric type. The main dependent variables were particulate emissions, bagbouse pressure drop, and cohesive properties of the fly ash. Results demonstrated significant benefits of using conditioning with a pulse-jet baghouse, including a substantial reduction in particulate emissions and a substantial reduction in pressure drop (or the ability to operate at a higher A/C ratio without increasing pressure drop or bag-cleaning frequency). The improvements in fabric filter performance correlate strongly with a shift in the tensile strength and with increases in the aerated and packed porosity of the fly ash. Conditioning appears to be applicable to a wide range of coals and fabrics. Applications for this technology are where there is a need to reduce pressure drop and/or particulate emissions in existing bagbouses, to reduce fine-particle air toxic emissions which may be required in the future, and for new bagbouse installations to allow operation at a higher A/C ratio while providing an ultrahigh fine-particle collection efficiency.

  1. Tablet computer enhanced training improves internal medicine exam performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgart, Daniel C; Wende, Ilja; Grittner, Ulrike

    2017-01-01

    Traditional teaching concepts in medical education do not take full advantage of current information technology. We aimed to objectively determine the impact of Tablet PC enhanced training on learning experience and MKSAP® (medical knowledge self-assessment program) exam performance. In this single center, prospective, controlled study final year medical students and medical residents doing an inpatient service rotation were alternatingly assigned to either the active test (Tablet PC with custom multimedia education software package) or traditional education (control) group, respectively. All completed an extensive questionnaire to collect their socio-demographic data, evaluate educational status, computer affinity and skills, problem solving, eLearning knowledge and self-rated medical knowledge. Both groups were MKSAP® tested at the beginning and the end of their rotation. The MKSAP® score at the final exam was the primary endpoint. Data of 55 (tablet n = 24, controls n = 31) male 36.4%, median age 28 years, 65.5% students, were evaluable. The mean MKSAP® score improved in the tablet PC (score Δ + 8 SD: 11), but not the control group (score Δ- 7, SD: 11), respectively. After adjustment for baseline score and confounders the Tablet PC group showed on average 11% better MKSAP® test results compared to the control group (pmedical problem solving were journal articles looked up on PubMed or Google®, and books. Our study provides evidence, that tablet computer based integrated training and clinical practice enhances medical education and exam performance. Larger, multicenter trials are required to independently validate our data. Residency and fellowship directors are encouraged to consider adding portable computer devices, multimedia content and introduce blended learning to their respective training programs.

  2. Development and Operation of the nuclear technology program for improving the public acceptance by providing the right information

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Juwoon; Kang, Mincheol; Min, Sangky; Yi, Jongmin; Yi, Yunyoung

    2013-11-15

    This detailed assignment conducted to improve the communication efficiency through the operation of differentiated programs to accomplish 'Establishment of knowledge diffusion system for improvement of Nuclear understanding', which is the purpose of the general assignment. We developed the programs on each social opinion leader groups by providing the right information on nuclear(radiation) technology, and had a forum for providing the right information on each social groups. Also, Consisted the consultant group, which participates humanities and social sciences, civic group, science teachers, the press, national assembly workers. Technology PR was performed 4 times, which is 1 time more than the original plan of 4 times. In the theme of affection of radiation, we broadened the vision of various fields which enabled to approach in general for the PR program. We Induced a positive reaction from the participants in political areas which coexistent of uncertain expectation and difficult vision of nuclear and radiation, by sharing the development possibility in relation with potential values of radiation industry and other industries and delivering accurate information, not a fragmentary knowledge, but in general. We hope that this results will contribute to establishing the effective nuclear knowledge diffusion program system.

  3. 42 CFR 493.53 - Notification requirements for laboratories issued a certificate for provider-performed microscopy...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... certificate for provider-performed microscopy (PPM) procedures. 493.53 Section 493.53 Public Health CENTERS... CERTIFICATION LABORATORY REQUIREMENTS Registration Certificate, Certificate for Provider-performed Microscopy... certificate for provider-performed microscopy (PPM) procedures. Laboratories issued a certificate for PPM...

  4. Strategies to improve effectiveness of physical activity coaching systems: Development of personas for providing tailored feedback

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Achterkamp, Reinoud; van Weering, Marit; Evering, R.M.H.; Tabak, Monique; Timmerman, Josien; Hermens, Hermanus J.; Vollenbroek-Hutten, Miriam Marie Rosé

    2017-01-01

    Mobile physical activity interventions can be improved by incorporating behavioural change theories. Relations between self-efficacy, stage of change, and physical activity are investigated, enabling development of feedback strategies that can be used to improve their effectiveness. A total of 325

  5. Study Abroad Field Trip Improves Test Performance through Engagement and New Social Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houser, Chris; Brannstrom, Christian; Quiring, Steven M.; Lemmons, Kelly K.

    2011-01-01

    Although study abroad trips provide an opportunity for affective and cognitive learning, it is largely assumed that they improve learning outcomes. The purpose of this study is to determine whether a study abroad field trip improved cognitive learning by comparing test performance between the study abroad participants (n = 20) and their peers who…

  6. Improving the Performance of Web Access by Bridging Global Ranking with Local Page Popularity Metrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garofalakis, John; Kappos, Panagiotis; Makris, Christos

    2002-01-01

    Considers the problem of improving the performance of Web access by proposing a reconstruction of the internal link structure of a Web site to match quality of the pages with popularity of the pages. Provides a set of simple algorithms for local reorganization of a Web site, which results in improving users' access to quality pages in an easy and…

  7. Using Six Sigma for Performance Improvement in Business Curriculum: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kukreja, Anil; Ricks, Joe M., Jr.; Meyer, Jean A.

    2009-01-01

    During the last few decades, a number of quality improvement methodologies have been used by organizations. This article provides a brief review of the quality improvement literature related to academia and a case study using Six Sigma methodology to analyze students' performance in a standardized examination. We found Six Sigma to be an effective…

  8. Improving Software Performance in the Compute Unified Device Architecture

    OpenAIRE

    Alexandru PIRJAN

    2010-01-01

    This paper analyzes several aspects regarding the improvement of software performance for applications written in the Compute Unified Device Architecture CUDA). We address an issue of great importance when programming a CUDA application: the Graphics Processing Unit’s (GPU’s) memory management through ranspose ernels. We also benchmark and evaluate the performance for progressively optimizing a transposing matrix application in CUDA. One particular interest was to research how well the op...

  9. Using Critical Systems thinking to Improve Student Performance in Networking

    OpenAIRE

    Albertus G. Joubert; Roelien Goede

    2012-01-01

    This paper explores how Critical Systems Thinking and Action Research can be used to improve student performance in Networking. When describing a system from a systems thinking perspective, the following aspects can be identified: the total system performance, the systems environment, the resources, the components and the management of the system. Following the history of system thinking we observe three emerged methodologies namely, hard systems, soft systems, and critical systems. This pape...

  10. Administrative data provide vital research evidence for maximizing health-system performance and outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roder, David; Buckley, Elizabeth

    2017-06-01

    Although the quality of administrative data is frequently questioned, these data are vital for health-services evaluation and complement data from trials, other research studies and registries for research. Trials generally provide the strongest evidence of outcomes in research settings but results may not apply in many service environments. High-quality observational research has a complementary role where trials are not applicable and for assessing whether trial results apply to groups excluded from trials. Administrative data have a broader system-wide reach, enabling system-wide health-services research and monitoring of performance markers. Where administrative data raise questions about service outcomes, follow-up enquiry may be required to investigate validity and service implications. Greater use should be made of administrative data for system-wide monitoring and for research on service effectiveness and equity. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  11. Transcriptome profiling of Gossypium barbadense inoculated with Verticillium dahliae provides a resource for cotton improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yan; Wang, Xing Fen; Ding, Ze Guo; Ma, Qing; Zhang, Gui Rong; Zhang, Shu Ling; Li, Zhi Kun; Wu, Li Qiang; Zhang, Gui Yin; Ma, Zhi Ying

    2013-09-22

    mock-/inoculated- and resistant/susceptible cotton. Our results suggest that the cotton defense response has significant transcriptional complexity and that large accumulations of defense-related transcripts may contribute to V. dahliae resistance in cotton. Therefore, these data provide a resource for cotton improvement through molecular breeding approaches. This study generated a substantial amount of cotton transcript sequences that are related to defense responses against V. dahliae. These genomics resources and knowledge of important related genes contribute to our understanding of host-pathogen interactions and the defense mechanisms utilized by G. barbadense, a non-model plant system. These tools can be applied in establishing a modern breeding program that uses marker-assisted selections and oligonucleotide arrays to identify candidate genes that can be linked to valuable agronomic traits in cotton, including disease resistance.

  12. Effects of the performance management information system in improving performance: an empirical study in Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Yinghui; Wu, Zhengyi; Lu, Yao; Jin, Wenzhong; Dai, Xing; Bai, Jinxi

    2016-01-01

    Improving the performance of clinical departments is not only the significant content of the healthcare system reform in China, but also the essential approach to better satisfying the Chinese growing demand for medical services. Performance management is vital and meaningful to public hospitals in China. Several studies are conducted in hospital internal performance management, but almost none of them consider the effects of informational tools. Therefore, we carried out an empirical study on effects of using performance management information system in Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital. The main feature of the system is that it provides a real-time query platform for users to analyze and dynamically monitor the key performance indexes, timely detect problems and make adjustments. We collected pivotal medical data on 35 clinical departments of this hospital from January 2013 until December 2014, 1 year before and after applying the performance management information system. Comparative analysis was conducted by statistical methods. The results show that the system is beneficial to improve performance scores of clinical departments and lower the proportion of drug expenses, meanwhile, shorten the average hospitalized days and increase the bed turnover rate. That is to say, with the increasing medical services, the quality and efficiency is greatly improved. In a word, application of the performance management information system has a positive effect on improving performance of clinical departments.

  13. Need for mentorship to improve learning in low-performers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mysorekar, Vijaya V

    2012-01-01

    About 15% of medical students perform poorly in examinations. This study was done to ascertain the causes for low performance and the effectiveness of counselling and advice regarding study skills in improving performance in a subsequent assessment. Of the 353 students who appeared for the first internal assessment examination in pathology, 83 (23.5%) scored less than 30% marks. These 83 low-performers were given a questionnaire listing stress-inducing factors and academic problems; 81 filled the questionnaire. Of these, 73 attended sessions on study skills and counselling where they interacted on a one-to-one basis regarding their personal problems. Their performance was evaluated in an internal assessment 6 months later. The low-performers included 52 boys and 29 girls, 19-20 years of age. Non-academic problems contributing to low performance included language problems, problems in adjustment to life outside home, lack of self-confidence, fear of failure and worrying about the future. Academic problems included difficulty in managing study time, lack of concentration while studying, inability to retain what is studied, anxiety before examinations and inability to write an examination. Paired t-test revealed a statistically significant improvement in the post-programme performance of the 73 students who participated in the counselling sessions (pperformance (average score 3.83/6.00), change their study behaviour (3.74/6.00) and change their attitude (3.46/6.00). The programme also improved their confidence and self-esteem. Low-performers can benefit from tailored remedial programmes which include counselling and training in stress-coping strategies. Copyright 2012, NMJI.

  14. Creatine co-ingestion with carbohydrate or cinnamon extract provides no added benefit to anaerobic performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Hashim; Yorgason, Nick J; Hazell, Tom J

    2016-09-01

    The insulin response following carbohydrate ingestion enhances creatine transport into muscle. Cinnamon extract is promoted to have insulin-like effects, therefore this study examined if creatine co-ingestion with carbohydrates or cinnamon extract improved anaerobic capacity, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. Active young males (n = 25; 23.7 ± 2.5 y) were stratified into 3 groups: (1) creatine only (CRE); (2) creatine+ 70 g carbohydrate (CHO); or (3) creatine+ 500 mg cinnamon extract (CIN), based on anaerobic capacity (peak power·kg(-1)) and muscular strength at baseline. Three weeks of supplementation consisted of a 5 d loading phase (20 g/d) and a 16 d maintenance phase (5 g/d). Pre- and post-supplementation measures included a 30-s Wingate and a 30-s maximal running test (on a self-propelled treadmill) for anaerobic capacity. Muscular strength was measured as the one-repetition maximum 1-RM for chest, back, quadriceps, hamstrings, and leg press. Additional sets of the number of repetitions performed at 60% 1-RM until fatigue measured muscular endurance. All three groups significantly improved Wingate relative peak power (CRE: 15.4% P = .004; CHO: 14.6% P = .004; CIN: 15.7%, P = .003), and muscular strength for chest (CRE: 6.6% P < .001; CHO: 6.7% P < .001; CIN: 6.4% P < .001), back (CRE: 5.8% P < .001; CHO: 6.4% P < .001; CIN: 8.1% P < .001), and leg press (CRE: 11.7% P = .013; CHO: 10.0% P = .007; CIN: 17.3% P < .001). Only the CRE (10.4%, P = .021) and CIN (15.5%, P < .001) group improved total muscular endurance. No differences existed between groups post-supplementation. These findings demonstrate that three different methods of creatine ingestion lead to similar changes in anaerobic power, strength, and endurance.

  15. Providing Elementary Teachers in South Texas with Professional Development to Improve Earth Science Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrego, H.; Ellins, K. K.

    2011-12-01

    Through three years of participation in the TeXas Earth and Space Science (TXESS) Revolution, an NSF-sponsored teacher professional development program, my knowledge of earth science, new pedagogical approaches, and confidence has improved dramatically. I have also received instructional materials and learned how to access high quality online resources and use a variety of web-based tools. In this session, I will share my experiences and report on how I used my own learning to help both teachers and students to become more earth science literate individuals. Earth Science test scores at the elementary level throughout South Texas are consistently low in comparison to other regions in the state. The majority of the teachers lack the content-knowledge, confidence, or experience to teach Earth Sciences. My TXESS Revolution experience helped me to understand the needs of these teachers and to identify teaching resources that would be useful to them. Particularly noteworthy are TERC's EarthLabs: Earth System Science and GLOBE activities. Although these Earthlab investigations are designed for high schools students, I demonstrated how they could be adapted for elementary students. As a result, I have provided professional development in the Earth Sciences to about 300 South Texas elementary teachers. TXESS Revolution has also equipped me to empower the students I teach. My students this past year presented their challenge Legacy Cycle Project to the community. The TXESS Revolution teamed up with the Texas Water Development Board to deliver training on the implementation of a new online challenged-based curriculum called the Water Exploration Legacy Cycles. This training gave me the tools to guide my students learning through authentic scientific research. To carry out their challenge, students researched an area of interest, read literature, consulted with experts in the field, consider different prospective, and presented their final products via PowerPoint, poster

  16. Basic equipments for improved practical performance in creative arts ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper addresses the issue of adequate provision equipment for improved practical performance of ceramics study in Nigerian higher institutions. It was noted that ceramics equipments are very expensive yet they are indispensable to the study of ceramics. Nigerian Journal of Technology and Education in Nigeria Vol.

  17. Learning Organization and Transfer: Strategies for Improving Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weldy, Teresa G.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: This study aims to explore a relationship between the learning organization and transfer of training as strategies for learning and managing knowledge to make performance improvements and gain or maintain a competitive advantage. Design/methodology/approach: Various similarities are identified in the literature that are indicative of a…

  18. Improving Performances in the Public Sector: The Scientific ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The need for improve performances in organization has always been a source of concern for management in both the public and the private sector. This paper sought to discuss the principle of scientific management theory as propounded by F.W. Taylor with the aim of ensuring that public services organizations adopts the ...

  19. Warning Signals for Poor Performance Improve Human-Robot Interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Brule, Rik; Bijlstra, Gijsbert; Dotsch, Ron|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/328554197; Haselager, Pim; Wigboldus, Daniel HJ

    2016-01-01

    The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot’s nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the

  20. Employee Retention and Performance Improvement in High-Tech Companies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ware, B. Lynn

    2001-01-01

    Considers the benefits of employee retention and performance improvement in high technology, new economy companies. Discusses attracting and retaining top talent in information technology companies; targeted recruiting and hiring; employee achievement; learning and professional growth; recognition; nurturing careers; team collaboration; the TALENT…

  1. Evaluation of the performance of improved sweet potato ( Ipomoea ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Evaluation of the performance of improved sweet potato ( Ipomoea batatas L. LAM) varieties in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. ... There was incidence of diseases but that of insects was low. For fresh root phenotypic characteristics, Ex-Igbariam and 199004-2 had yellow flesh, indicative of the presence of vitamin A precursor.

  2. Improving the performance of hysteresis direct torque control of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    This paper describes an active filter topology to improve the performance of hysteresis direct torque control (HDTC) of interior permanent magnet synchronous motor (IPMSM). The filter topology consists of an active filter and two RLC filters, and is connected to the main power circuit through a 1:1 transformer. The active filter ...

  3. Active Learning Improves Student Performance in a Respiratory Physiology Lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Alex M.; Liachovitzky, Carlos; Abdullahi, Abass S.

    2015-01-01

    This study assessed the effectiveness of the introduction of active learning exercises into the anatomy and physiology curriculum in a community college setting. Specifically, the incorporation of a spirometry-based respiratory physiology lab resulted in improved student performance in two concepts (respiratory volumes and the hallmarks of…

  4. Motivation to Avoid Loss Improves Implicit Skill Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chon, Danbee; Thompson, Kelsey R.; Reber, Paul J.

    2018-01-01

    Implicit learning reflects learning from experience that occurs without intention or awareness of the information acquired and is hypothesized to contribute to skill acquisition by improving performance with practice. The role of motivation has not been examined because this kind of memory is represented outside awareness. We manipulated…

  5. Warning signals for poor performance improve human-robot interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brule, R. van den; Bijlstra, G.; Dotsch, R.; Haselager, W.F.G.; Wigboldus, D.H.J.

    2016-01-01

    The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot's nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the

  6. Performance of Improved Dairy Cattle Technologies Among Farmers ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    Performance of Improved Dairy Cattle Technologies Among Farmers in. Northern Nigeria. Http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jae.v20i1.1. Saleh, M.K.. Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology,. Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Email: quagyangsaleh@gmail.com or salequa@yahoo.com. Phone: 08123431446 / ...

  7. Opportunities for Recognition Can Improve Learning and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Ron; Henderson, Hester L.; Lavay, Barry; Silliman-French, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    Physical educators need to make an effort to catch students being good and recognize them for their positive accomplishments. Unfortunately, it is usually the students who act inappropriately who receive the majority of the teachers' attention. In order to help increase learning and improve performance and behavior, the physical educator must…

  8. Strategies for Improving Participation and Performance of Girls in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The findings indicate that initiation of awareness programmes on the relevance of science for parents and girls and also making perception and attitudes of teachers vis-à-vis girls in science positive will go a long way in improving girls participation and performance in science. Furthermore, organization of science groups ...

  9. Prioritising indicators in improving supply chain performance using fuzzy AHP

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Govindan, Kannan; Mangla, Sachin Kumar; Luthra, Sunil

    2017-01-01

    In this contribution, we aim to prioritise the indicators to enhance the organisational supply chain’s (SC) effectiveness from an industrial perspective. It will help industries to develop strategies for managing the SC effectively and ensuring improvement in performance continuously. To achieve ...

  10. Performance in physiology evaluation: possible improvement by active learning strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montrezor, Luís H

    2016-12-01

    The evaluation process is complex and extremely important in the teaching/learning process. Evaluations are constantly employed in the classroom to assist students in the learning process and to help teachers improve the teaching process. The use of active methodologies encourages students to participate in the learning process, encourages interaction with their peers, and stimulates thinking about physiological mechanisms. This study examined the performance of medical students on physiology over four semesters with and without active engagement methodologies. Four activities were used: a puzzle, a board game, a debate, and a video. The results show that engaging in activities with active methodologies before a physiology cognitive monitoring test significantly improved student performance compared with not performing the activities. We integrate the use of these methodologies with classic lectures, and this integration appears to improve the teaching/learning process in the discipline of physiology and improves the integration of physiology with cardiology and neurology. In addition, students enjoy the activities and perform better on their evaluations when they use them. Copyright © 2016 The American Physiological Society.

  11. Improving health worker performance : in search of promising practices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dieleman, M.A.; Harnmeijer, JW

    2006-01-01

    Qualified and motivated human resources (HR) are essential for adequate health service provision, but HR shortages have now reached critical levels in many resource-poor settings, especially in rural areas. Strategies improving performance are essential to address shortages of the existing

  12. Coaching as a Performance Improvement Tool at School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yirci, Ramazan; Karakose, Turgut; Kocabas, Ibrahim

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the current literature and have an insight about coaching as a performance improvement tool at school. In today's world, schools have to survive and keep their organizational success in the highest level because of the high expectations from school stakeholders. Taking place in such a fierce competitive…

  13. Educational Technology Research Journals: Performance Improvement Quarterly, 2001-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Alisha Rasmussen; Francis, Jenifer; Harrison, J. Buckley; McPhillen, Ammon S.; West, Richard E.

    2012-01-01

    This article is an analysis of "Performance Improvement Quarterly" (PIQ) for the years 2001-2010. The intent was to examine the article types used, the authors who contributed the most to the journal, the topics the journal most commonly focused on, and the citation frequency of the journal's articles. The analysis revealed that…

  14. Important Health and Safety Performance Improvement Indicators for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study sought to identify and validate a comprehensive set of health and safety (H&S) elements and leading indicator metrics, in an industry where there has been an over-reliance of lagging indicators such as accident rates and workers compensation in monitoring H&S performance improvement. The Delphi approach ...

  15. He Dies, He Scores: Evidence That Reminders of Death Motivate Improved Performance in Basketball.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zestcott, Colin A; Lifshin, Uri; Helm, Peter; Greenberg, Jeff

    2016-10-01

    This research applied insights from terror management theory (TMT; Greenberg, Pyszczynski, & Solomon, 1986) to the world of sport. According to TMT, self-esteem buffers against the potential for death anxiety. Because sport allows people to attain self-esteem, reminders of death may improve performance in sport. In Study 1, a mortality salience induction led to improved performance in a "one-on-one" basketball game. In Study 2, a subtle death prime led to higher scores on a basketball shooting task, which was associated with increased task-related self-esteem. These results may promote our understanding of sport and provide a novel potential way to improve athletic performance.

  16. Improved criteria and comparative genomics tool provide new insights into grass paleogenomics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Salse, Jerome; Abrouk, Michael; Murat, Florent; Quraishi, Umar Masood; Feuillet, Catherine

    2009-01-01

    ... over interpret the results of large scale comparative sequence analyses. Recently, we have established a number of improved parameters and tools to define significant relationships between genomes as a basis to develop paleogenomics studies in grasses...

  17. DESIGN OF MEDICAL RADIOMETER FRONT-END FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemetsen, Ø.; Birkelund, Y.; Jacobsen, S. K.; Maccarini, P. F.; Stauffer, P. R.

    2011-01-01

    We have investigated the possibility of building a singleband Dicke radiometer that is inexpensive, small-sized, stable, highly sensitive, and which consists of readily available microwave components. The selected frequency band is at 3.25–3.75 GHz which provides a reasonable compromise between spatial resolution (antenna size) and sensing depth for radiometry applications in lossy tissue. Foreseen applications of the instrument are non-invasive temperature monitoring for breast cancer detection and temperature monitoring during heating. We have found off-the-shelf microwave components that are sufficiently small (radiometers have been realized: one is a conventional design with the Dicke switch at the front-end to select either the antenna or noise reference channels for amplification. The second design places a matched pair of low noise amplifiers in front of the Dicke switch to reduce system noise figure. Numerical simulations were performed to test the design concepts before building prototype PCB front-end layouts of the radiometer. Both designs provide an overall power gain of approximately 50 dB over a 500 MHz bandwidth centered at 3.5 GHz. No stability problems were observed despite using triple-cascaded amplifier configurations to boost the thermal signals. The prototypes were tested for sensitivity after calibration in two different water baths. Experiments showed superior sensitivity (36% higher) when implementing the low noise amplifier before the Dicke switch (close to the antenna) compared to the other design with the Dicke switch in front. Radiometer performance was also tested in a multilayered phantom during alternating heating and radiometric reading. Empirical tests showed that for the configuration with Dicke switch first, the switch had to be locked in the reference position during application of microwave heating to avoid damage to the active components (amplifiers and power meter). For the configuration with a low noise amplifier up front

  18. Improving the Performance Scalability of the Community Atmosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mirin, Arthur [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL); Worley, Patrick H [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    The Community Atmosphere Model (CAM), which serves as the atmosphere component of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM), is the most computationally expensive CCSM component in typical configurations. On current and next-generation leadership class computing systems, the performance of CAM is tied to its parallel scalability. Improving performance scalability in CAM has been a challenge, due largely to algorithmic restrictions necessitated by the polar singularities in its latitude-longitude computational grid. Nevertheless, through a combination of exploiting additional parallelism, implementing improved communication protocols, and eliminating scalability bottlenecks, we have been able to more than double the maximum throughput rate of CAM on production platforms. We describe these improvements and present results on the Cray XT5 and IBM BG/P. The approaches taken are not specific to CAM and may inform similar scalability enhancement activities for other codes.

  19. Improving Learning Performance with Happiness by Interactive Scenarios

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi-Hung Chuang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, digital learning has attracted a lot of researchers to improve the problems of learning carelessness, low learning ability, lack of concentration, and difficulties in comprehending the logic of math. In this study, a digital learning system based on Kinect somatosensory system is proposed to make children and teenagers happily learn in the course of the games and improve the learning performance. We propose two interactive geometry and puzzle games. The proposed somatosensory games can make learners feel curious and raise their motivation to find solutions for boring problems via abundant physical expressions and interactive operations. The players are asked to select particular operation by gestures and physical expressions within a certain time. By doing so, the learners can feel the fun of game playing and train their logic ability before they are aware. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed somatosensory system can effectively improve the students’ learning performance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, Anthony; Jaquet, Karina; Finkelstein, Neal

    2016-01-01

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

  1. A review of atomic layer deposition providing high performance lithium sulfur batteries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Bo; Li, Xifei; Bai, Zhimin; Song, Xiaosheng; Xiong, Dongbin; Zhao, Mengli; Li, Dejun; Lu, Shigang

    2017-01-01

    With the significant obstacles that have been conquered in lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries, it is urgent to impel accelerating development of room-temperature Li-S batteries with high energy density and long-term stability. In view of the unique solid-liquid-solid conversion processes of Li-S batteries, however, designing effective strategies to address the insulativity and volume effect of cathode, shuttle of soluble polysulfides, and/or safety hazard of Li metal anode has been challenging. An atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a representative thin film technology with exceptional capabilities in developing atomic-precisely conformal films. It has been demonstrated to be a promise strategy of solving emerging issues in advanced electrical energy storage (EES) devices via the surface modification and/or the fabrication of complex nanostructured materials. In this review, the recent developments and significances on how ALD improves the performance of Li-S batteries were discussed in detail. Significant attention mainly focused on the various strategies with the use of ALD to refine the electrochemical interfaces and cell configurations. Furthermore, the novel opportunities and perspective associated with ALD for future research directions were summarized. This review may boost the development and application of advanced Li-S batteries using ALD.

  2. PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES USED BY MANAGERS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raþiu Patricia

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: There are many situations in professional life when for various reasons we are employed in jobs that do not meet our emotional expectations our professional capabilities, our passions and therefore performance on that job will not be high. Analysis of the causes of under-utilization of human potential and adoption of appropriate strategies according to employee needs help reduce staff turnover costs. The main objective of the present paper consists in identifying managerial strategies which contribute to the improvement of the employees’ performances by stimulating their motivation, and the extent to which they are used in the managerial practice. Based on literature review we realized an integrated model and developed a classification, that present our own vision regarding performance improvement strategies. Our classification divides strategies for improving employees’ performances into four main groups: by employees’ development, by rewarding employees, by modifying the job description, by employee involvement in the organization. Starting from this model, through two types of questionnaires we have made an empirical research among managers as well as among office personnel, in order to capture both perspectives regarding the pursued objectives. For the present paper we will present only research results obtained for performance improvement strategies by employees’ development because support a higher degree of generality and do not depend on the organization characteristics. A quantitative data analize from the two samples show that there are differences between managers and employees perception when it comes to strategies used in their organizations and also manager did not know which determines employees to strive in order to improve their performance and obtain better results. The strategies to improve the employee’s performances, proposed within this article have the role to show the fact that managers cannot

  3. Public sector benchmarking and performance improvement : what is the link and can it be improved?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tillema, Sandra

    2010-01-01

    Benchmarking is often used in the public sector as a way of driving up performance. This article explains why benchmarking does not necessarily lead to better performance and why it can generate unwanted consequences. The article recommends ways of improving the link between benchmarking and

  4. Improving primary percutaneous coronary intervention performance in an urban minority population using a quality improvement approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhalla, Rohit; Yongue, Brandon G; Currie, Brian P; Greenberg, Mark A; Myrie-Weir, Jacqueline; Defino, Maryrose; Esses, David; Menegus, Mark A; McAllen, Susan J; Monrad, E Scott; Galhotra, Sanjay; Kalkut, Gary

    2010-01-01

    It has been well established that there are racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular care. Quality improvement initiatives have been recommended to proactively address these disparities. An initiative was implemented to improve timeliness of and access to primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures among myocardial infarction patients at an academic medical center serving a predominantly minority population. The effort was part of a national quality improvement collaborative focused on improving cardiovascular care for Hispanic/Latino and African American/ black populations. The proportion of primary PCI procedures performed within 90 minutes improved significantly from 17% in the first quarter of 2006 to 93% in the fourth quarter of 2008 (P < .001). There were no significant differences in the frequency with which Hispanic/Latino or African American/black patients received primary PCI therapy in comparison to nonmembers of these groups. Quality improvement techniques can improve the quality of and access to acute cardiovascular care for minority populations.

  5. Improving Sustainability Performance for Public-Private-Partnership (PPP Projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liyin Shen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Improving sustainability performance in developing infrastructure projects is an important strategy for pursuing the mission of sustainable development. In recent years, the business model of public-private-partnership (PPP is promoted as an effective approach in developing infrastructure projects. It is considered that the distribution of the contribution on project investment between private and public sectors is one of the key variables affecting sustainability performance of PPP-type projects. This paper examines the impacts of the contribution distribution between public and private sectors on project sustainability performance. A model named the sustainability performance-based evaluation model (SPbEM is developed for assisting the assessment of the level of sustainability performance of PPP projects. The study examines the possibility of achieving better sustainability through proper arrangement of the investment distribution between the two primary sectors in developing PPP-type infrastructure projects.

  6. On the assessment of performance and emissions characteristics of a SI engine provided with a laser ignition system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birtas, A.; Boicea, N.; Draghici, F.; Chiriac, R.; Croitoru, G.; Dinca, M.; Dascalu, T.; Pavel, N.

    2017-10-01

    Performance and exhaust emissions of spark ignition engines are strongly dependent on the development of the combustion process. Controlling this process in order to improve the performance and to reduce emissions by ensuring rapid and robust combustion depends on how ignition stage is achieved. An ignition system that seems to be able for providing such an enhanced combustion process is that based on plasma generation using a Q-switched solid state laser that delivers pulses with high peak power (of MW-order level). The laser-spark devices used in the present investigations were realized using compact diffusion-bonded Nd:YAG/Cr4+:YAG ceramic media. The laser igniter was designed, integrated and built to resemble a classical spark plug and therefore it could be mounted directly on the cylinder head of a passenger car engine. In this study are reported the results obtained using such ignition system provided for a K7M 710 engine currently produced by Renault-Dacia, where the standard calibrations were changed towards the lean mixtures combustion zone. Results regarding the performance, the exhaust emissions and the combustion characteristics in optimized spark timing conditions, which demonstrate the potential of such an innovative ignition system, are presented.

  7. Energy management using virtual reality improves 2000-m rowing performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Charles P; Filippeschi, Alessandro; Ruffaldi, Emanuele; Bardy, Benoit G

    2014-01-01

    Elite-standard rowers tend to use a fast-start strategy followed by an inverted parabolic-shaped speed profile in 2000-m races. This strategy is probably the best to manage energy resources during the race and maximise performance. This study investigated the use of virtual reality (VR) with novice rowers as a means to learn about energy management. Participants from an avatar group (n = 7) were instructed to track a virtual boat on a screen, whose speed was set individually to follow the appropriate to-be-learned speed profile. A control group (n = 8) followed an indoor training programme. In spite of similar physiological characteristics in the groups, the avatar group learned and maintained the required profile, resulting in an improved performance (i.e. a decrease in race duration), whereas the control group did not. These results suggest that VR is a means to learn an energy-related skill and improve performance.

  8. Diet-Induced Ketosis Improves Cognitive Performance in Aged Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Kui; Sun, Xiaoyan; Eroku, Bernadette O.; Tsipis, Constantinos P.; Puchowicz, Michelle A.; LaManna, Joseph C.

    2010-01-01

    Aging is associated with increased susceptibility to hypoxic/ischemic insult and declines in behavioral function which may be due to attenuated adaptive/defense responses. We investigated if diet-induced ketosis would improve behavioral performance in the aged rats. Fischer 344 rats (3- and 22-month-old) were fed standard (STD) or ketogenic (KG) diet for 3 weeks and then exposed to hypobaric hypoxia. Cognitive function was measured using the T-maze and object recognition tests. Motor function was measured using the inclined-screen test. Results showed that KG diet significantly increased blood ketone levels in both young and old rats. In the aged rats, the KG diet improved cognitive performance under normoxic and hypoxic conditions; while motor performance remained unchanged. Capillary density and HIF-1α levels were elevated in the aged ketotic group independent of hypoxic challenge. These data suggest that diet-induced ketosis may be beneficial in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions. PMID:20204773

  9. Improved Functional Performance in Geriatric Patients During Hospital Stay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karlsen, Anders; Loeb, Mads Rohde; Andersen, Kristine Bramsen

    2017-01-01

    PAL). RESULTS: Results in DEMMI and 30-s CST gradually improved (P 0.05). Larger functional improvements were observed in patients with "high" compared to "low" and "moderate" activity level (P score correlated with changes...... in 30-s CST (P score and 30-s CST were more likely to occur in patients with a low versus high functional level, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Functional performance of the lower extremities in geriatric patients improves moderately over the time of a hospital stay...... of less than 14 days, with larger improvements in patients with high activity level. The DEMMI test and the 30-s CST seem to be complementary to each other when evaluating functional changes in a geriatric hospital population. TO CLAIM CME CREDITS: Complete the self-assessment activity and evaluation...

  10. Evaluating School Improvement Plans and Their Affect on Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Kenneth E.

    2011-01-01

    The development of a school improvement plan (SIP) has become an integral part of many school reform efforts. However, there are almost no studies that empirically examine the effectiveness of SIPs. The few studies examining the planning activities of organizations have generally focused on the private sector and have not provided clear or…

  11. A Quality Improvement Project to Improve Education Provided by Nurses to ED Patients Prescribed Opioid Analgesics at Discharge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waszak, Daria L; Mitchell, Ann M; Ren, Dianxu; Fennimore, Laura A

    2017-10-27

    The opioid crisis continues to take an unprecedented number of lives and is the top cause of injury death in the United States. The emergency department is a setting where patients with pain seek care and may be prescribed an opioid, yet many patients do not receive evidence-based education about taking their opioid safely. Like many communities across the country, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, has experienced an increased rate of opioid overdoses; from 2015-2016, the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in the county increased by 44%. This quality improvement project is the implementation of a nurse-delivered, evidence-based education initiative for patients prescribed an opioid in an emergency department. Nurses were briefly trained on opioid safety and patient education, then over 12 weeks, delivered the dual-modal (verbal and written) education with a patient teach-back to verify comprehension. Nurses who completed the project training on opioid safety and patient education had a statistically significant improvement in their knowledge. Patient satisfaction surveys showed 100% of patients reported clear understanding of how to take their pain medication, and out of the patients receiving the opioid pain education for the first time, 88.2% learned something new about how to safely take, store, or dispose of their pain medication. Improving the delivery of opioid prescription education at emergency department discharge will enhance patient knowledge and promote safety, which may help mitigate the opioid crisis by reducing the rate of opioid use disorder and accidental overdoses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Measuring performance improvement: total organizational commitment or clinical specialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caron, Aleece; Jones, Paul; Neuhauser, Duncan; Aron, David C

    2004-01-01

    Resources for hospitals are limited when they are faced with multiple publicly reported performance measures as tools to assess quality. The leadership in these organizations may choose to focus on 1 or 2 of these outcomes. An alternative approach is that the leadership may commit resources or create conditions that result in improved quality over a broad range of measures. We used aggregated data on mortality, length of stay, and obstetrical outcomes from Greater Cleveland Health Quality Choice data to test these theories. We used Pearson correlation analysis to determine of outcomes were correlated with one another. We used repeated-measures ANOVA to determine if an association existed between outcome and time and outcome and hospital. All of the outcomes across all hospitals demonstrate a trend of overall improvement. Both the Pearson and ANOVA result support the hypothesis for the organization-wide approach to quality improvement. Hospital that make improvements in one clinical area trend to make improvements in others. Hospitals that produce improvements in limited clinical or administrative areas may not have completely adopted CQI into their culture or may not have yet realized the benefits of their organizational commitments, but use some of the concepts to improve quality outcomes.

  13. Improved Prevention Counseling by HIV Care Providers in a Multisite, Clinic-Based Intervention: Positive STEPs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrun, Mark; Cook, Paul F.; Bradley-Springer, Lucy A.; Gardner, Lytt; Marks, Gary; Wright, Julie; Wilson, Tracey E.; Quinlivan, E. Byrd; O'Daniels, Christine; Raffanti, Stephen; Thompson, Melanie; Golin, Carol

    2009-01-01

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that HIV care clinics incorporate prevention into clinical practice. This report summarizes HIV care providers' attitudes and counseling practices before and after they received training to deliver a counseling intervention to patients. Providers at seven HIV clinics received training…

  14. Improving the Performance of the Extreme-scale Simulator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Engelmann, Christian [ORNL; Naughton III, Thomas J [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    Investigating the performance of parallel applications at scale on future high-performance computing (HPC) architectures and the performance impact of different architecture choices is an important component of HPC hardware/software co-design. The Extreme-scale Simulator (xSim) is a simulation-based toolkit for investigating the performance of parallel applications at scale. xSim scales to millions of simulated Message Passing Interface (MPI) processes. The overhead introduced by a simulation tool is an important performance and productivity aspect. This paper documents two improvements to xSim: (1) a new deadlock resolution protocol to reduce the parallel discrete event simulation management overhead and (2) a new simulated MPI message matching algorithm to reduce the oversubscription management overhead. The results clearly show a significant performance improvement, such as by reducing the simulation overhead for running the NAS Parallel Benchmark suite inside the simulator from 1,020\\% to 238% for the conjugate gradient (CG) benchmark and from 102% to 0% for the embarrassingly parallel (EP) and benchmark, as well as, from 37,511% to 13,808% for CG and from 3,332% to 204% for EP with accurate process failure simulation.

  15. Improving creativity performance by short-term meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Xiaoqian; Tang, Yi-Yuan; Tang, Rongxiang; Posner, Michael I

    2014-03-19

    One form of meditation intervention, the integrative body-mind training (IBMT) has been shown to improve attention, reduce stress and change self-reports of mood. In this paper we examine whether short-term IBMT can improve performance related to creativity and determine the role that mood may play in such improvement. Forty Chinese undergraduates were randomly assigned to short-term IBMT group or a relaxation training (RT) control group. Mood and creativity performance were assessed by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) questionnaire respectively. As predicted, the results indicated that short-term (30 min per day for 7 days) IBMT improved creativity performance on the divergent thinking task, and yielded better emotional regulation than RT. In addition, cross-lagged analysis indicated that both positive and negative affect may influence creativity in IBMT group (not RT group). Our results suggested that emotion-related creativity-promoting mechanism may be attributed to short-term meditation.

  16. Improving creativity performance by short-term meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background One form of meditation intervention, the integrative body-mind training (IBMT) has been shown to improve attention, reduce stress and change self-reports of mood. In this paper we examine whether short-term IBMT can improve performance related to creativity and determine the role that mood may play in such improvement. Methods Forty Chinese undergraduates were randomly assigned to short-term IBMT group or a relaxation training (RT) control group. Mood and creativity performance were assessed by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) questionnaire respectively. Results As predicted, the results indicated that short-term (30 min per day for 7 days) IBMT improved creativity performance on the divergent thinking task, and yielded better emotional regulation than RT. In addition, cross-lagged analysis indicated that both positive and negative affect may influence creativity in IBMT group (not RT group). Conclusions Our results suggested that emotion-related creativity-promoting mechanism may be attributed to short-term meditation. PMID:24645871

  17. Neurofeedback training improves attention and working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jinn-Rong; Hsieh, Shulan

    2013-12-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the frontal-midline theta (fmθ) activity uptraining protocol on attention and working memory performance of older and younger participants. Thirty-two participants were recruited. Participants within each age group were randomly assigned to either the neurofeedback training (fmθ uptraining) group or the sham-neurofeedback training group. There was a significant improvement in orienting scores in the older neurofeedback training group. In addition, there was a significant improvement in conflict scores in both the older and young neurofeedback training groups. However, alerting scores failed to increase. In addition, the fmθ training was found to improve working memory function in the older participants. The results further showed that fmθ training can modulate resting EEG for both neurofeedback groups. Our study demonstrated that fmθ uptraining improved attention and working memory performance and theta activity in the resting state for normal aging adults. In addition, younger participants also benefited from the present protocol in terms of improving their executive function. The current findings contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying neurofeedback training in cognitive function, and suggest that the fmθ uptraining protocol is an effective intervention program for cognitive aging. Copyright © 2013 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Improving participation rates by providing choice of participation mode: two randomized controlled trials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijmans, N.; Lieshout, J. van; Wensing, M.J.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Low participation rates reduce effective sample size, statistical power and can increase risk for selection bias. Previous research suggests that offering choice of participation mode can improve participation rates. However, few head-to-head trials compared choice of participation mode

  19. Quality of provided care in vascular surgery : outcome assessment & improvement strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flu, Hans Christiaan

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this thesis was to evaluate the quality of care in vascular surgery in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD): intermittent claudication (IC) and critical lower limb ischaemia (CLI) patients. Therefore firstly it focused on the improvement of the

  20. Providing Students with Interdisciplinary Support to Improve Their Organic Chemistry Posters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widanski, Bozena; Thompson, Jo Ann; Foran-Mulcahy, Katie; Abafo, Amy

    2016-01-01

    A two-semester-long interdisciplinary support effort to improve student posters in organic chemistry lab is described. In the first semester, students' literature search report is supported by a workshop conducted by an Instruction Librarian. During the subsequent semester, a second workshop is presented by the Instruction Librarian, an English…

  1. Policy Decomposition for Evaluation Performance Improvement of PDP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Deng

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In conventional centralized authorization models, the evaluation performance of policy decision point (PDP decreases obviously with the growing numbers of rules embodied in a policy. Aiming to improve the evaluation performance of PDP, a distributed policy evaluation engine called XDPEE is presented. In this engine, the unicity of PDP in the centralized authorization model is changed by increasing the number of PDPs. A policy should be decomposed into multiple subpolicies each with fewer rules by using a decomposition method, which can have the advantage of balancing the cost of subpolicies deployed to each PDP. Policy decomposition is the key problem of the evaluation performance improvement of PDPs. A greedy algorithm with O(nlgn time complexity for policy decomposition is constructed. In experiments, the policy of the LMS, VMS, and ASMS in real applications is decomposed separately into multiple subpolicies based on the greedy algorithm. Policy decomposition guarantees that the cost of subpolicies deployed to each PDP is equal or approximately equal. Experimental results show that (1 the method of policy decomposition improves the evaluation performance of PDPs effectively and that (2 the evaluation time of PDPs reduces with the growing numbers of PDPs.

  2. Improving the Hydrodynamic Performance of Diffuser Vanes via Shape Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goel, Tushar; Dorney, Daniel J.; Haftka, Raphael T.; Shyy, Wei

    2007-01-01

    The performance of a diffuser in a pump stage depends on its configuration and placement within the stage. The influence of vane shape on the hydrodynamic performance of a diffuser has been studied. The goal of this effort has been to improve the performance of a pump stage by optimizing the shape of the diffuser vanes. The shape of the vanes was defined using Bezier curves and circular arcs. Surrogate model based tools were used to identify regions of the vane that have a strong influence on its performance. Optimization of the vane shape, in the absence of manufacturing, and stress constraints, led to a nearly nine percent reduction in the total pressure losses compared to the baseline design by reducing the extent of the base separation.

  3. AIRS: Improving Weather Forecasting and Providing New Data on Greenhouse Gases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chahine, Moustafa T.; Pagano, Thomas S.; Aumann, Hartmut H.; Atlas, Robert; Barnet, Christopher; Blaisdell, John; Chen, Luke; Divakarla, Murty; Fetzer, Eric J.; Goldberg, Mitch; hide

    2006-01-01

    This paper discusses the performance of AIRS and examines how it is meeting its operational and research objectives based on the experience of more than 2 yr with AIRS data. We describe the science background and the performance of AIRS in terms of the accuracy and stability of its observed spectral radiances. We examine the validation of the retrieved temperature and water vapor profiles against collocated operational radiosondes, and then we assess the impact thereof on numerical weather forecasting of the assimilation of the AIRS spectra and the retrieved temperature. We close the paper with a discussion on the retrieval of several minor tropospheric constituents from AIRS spectra.

  4. The improving of the heat networks operating process under the conditions of the energy efficiency providing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blinova Tatiana

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Among the priorities it is important to highlight the modernization and improvement of energy efficiency of housing and communal services, as well as the transition to the principle of using the most efficient technologies used in reproduction (construction, creation of objects of municipal infrastructure and housing modernization. The main hypothesis of this study lies in the fact that in modern conditions the realization of the most important priorities of the state policy in the sphere of housing and communal services, is possible in the conditions of use of the most effective control technologies for the reproduction of thermal networks. It is possible to raise the level of information security Heat Distribution Company, and other market participants by improving business processes through the development of organizational and economic mechanism in the conditions of complex monitoring of heat network operation processes

  5. Completion plug design provides improved operational efficiency and safety while minimizing environmental risks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dum, Frank [T.D. Williamson, Inc., Tulsa, OK (United States)

    2012-07-01

    Pipeline repair standards have been raised with recent improvements for completion plugs when used with a brand new setting tool, resulting in lower environmental risks, improved operational efficiency and safety. The design changes were originally made to serve in an offshore environment in order to minimize the diver's time in the water and simplify steps by the diver to execute pipeline repair operations in cold, dark conditions. Enhancements in the design include fewer number of fittings, plugs, o-rings and gaskets isolating the pipeline product found inside the pipe. The new design is a step toward meeting strict operational and safety standards demanded in the field of pipeline maintenance and repair. (author)

  6. Applying BI Techniques To Improve Decision Making And Provide Knowledge Based Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Maria Ioana FLOREA

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The paper focuses on BI techniques and especially data mining algorithms that can support and improve the decision making process, with applications within the financial sector. We consider the data mining techniques to be more efficient and thus we applied several techniques, supervised and unsupervised learning algorithms The case study in which these algorithms have been implemented regards the activity of a banking institution, with focus on the management of lending activities.

  7. Valproate administered after traumatic brain injury provides neuroprotection and improves cognitive function in rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pramod K Dash

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Traumatic brain injury (TBI initiates a complex series of neurochemical and signaling changes that lead to pathological events including neuronal hyperactivity, excessive glutamate release, inflammation, increased blood-brain barrier (BBB permeability and cerebral edema, altered gene expression, and neuronal dysfunction. It is believed that a drug combination, or a single drug acting on multiple targets, may be an effective strategy to treat TBI. Valproate, a widely used antiepileptic drug, has a number of targets including GABA transaminase, voltage-gated sodium channels, glycogen synthase kinase (GSK-3, and histone deacetylases (HDACs, and therefore may attenuate a number of TBI-associated pathologies. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a rodent model of TBI, we tested if post-injury administration of valproate can decrease BBB permeability, reduce neural damage and improve cognitive outcome. Dose-response studies revealed that systemic administration of 400 mg/kg (i.p., but not 15, 30, 60 or 100 mg/kg, increases histone H3 and H4 acetylation, and reduces GSK-3 activity, in the hippocampus. Thirty min post-injury administration of 400 mg/kg valproate improved BBB integrity as indicated by a reduction in Evans Blue dye extravasation. Consistent with its dose response to inhibit GSK-3 and HDACs, valproate at 400 mg/kg, but not 100 mg/kg, reduced TBI-associated hippocampal dendritic damage, lessened cortical contusion volume, and improved motor function and spatial memory. These behavioral improvements were not observed when SAHA (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, a selective HDAC inhibitor, was administered. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings indicate that valproate given soon after TBI can be neuroprotective. As clinically proven interventions that can be used to minimize the damage following TBI are not currently available, the findings from this report support the further testing of valproate as an acute therapeutic strategy.

  8. Non-ablative fractional laser provides long-term improvement of mature burn scars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Taudorf, Elisabeth H; Danielsen, Patricia L; Paulsen, Ida F

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Non-ablative fractional laser-treatment is evolving for burn scars. The objective of this study was to evaluate clinical and histological long-term outcome of 1,540 nm fractional Erbium: Glass laser, targeting superficial, and deep components of mature burn scars...... of scar-appearance. CONCLUSIONS: Combined superficial and deep non-ablative fractional laser-treatments induce long-term clinical and histological improvement of mature burn scars....

  9. Virulent bacterial infection improves aversive learning performance in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babin, Aurélie; Kolly, Sylvain; Kawecki, Tadeusz J

    2014-10-01

    Virulent infections are expected to impair learning ability, either as a direct consequence of stressed physiological state or as an adaptive response that minimizes diversion of energy from immune defense. This prediction has been well supported for mammals and bees. Here, we report an opposite result in Drosophila melanogaster. Using an odor-mechanical shock conditioning paradigm, we found that intestinal infection with bacterial pathogens Pseudomonas entomophila or Erwinia c. carotovora improved flies' learning performance after a 1h retention interval. Infection with P. entomophila (but not E. c. carotovora) also improved learning performance after 5 min retention. No effect on learning performance was detected for intestinal infections with an avirulent GacA mutant of P. entomophila or for virulent systemic (hemocoel) infection with E. c. carotovora. Assays of unconditioned responses to odorants and shock do not support a major role for changes in general responsiveness to stimuli in explaining the changes in learning performance, although differences in their specific salience for learning cannot be excluded. Our results demonstrate that the effects of pathogens on learning performance in insects are less predictable than suggested by previous studies, and support the notion that immune stress can sometimes boost cognitive abilities. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Improving Rail Wear and RCF Performance using Laser Cladding

    OpenAIRE

    Lewis, S.R.; Fretwell-Smith, S.; Goodwin, P.S.; Smith, L.; Lewis, R.; Aslam, M.; Fletcher, D.I.; Murray, K.; Lambert, R.

    2016-01-01

    Laser cladding has been considered as a method for improving the wear and RCF performance of standard grade rail. This paper presents results of small scale tests carried out to assess the wear and RCF performance of rail which had been laser clad. Using the laser cladding process premium metals can be deposited on to the working surface of standard rail with the aim of enhancing the wear and RCF life of the rail. Various laser clad samples were tested using a twin-disc method. The candidate ...

  11. Intentional Weight Loss Improved Performance in Obese Ischaemic Heart Patient

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geiker, Nina; Myint, Khin Swe; Heck, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    ) on physical performance and cardiovascular risk factors in obese patients with moderate-to-severe HF and/or ischaemic heart disease (IHD). Methods and Results: Results from two weight loss interventions at two centres, one in Denmark (DK - 12 week intervention in 21 subjects (14 LED, 7 controls)) and one......Aims: The risk of heart failure (HF) increases with BMI, but paradoxically obesity has been associated with reduced mortality in patients with HF. The effect of intentional or therapeutic weight loss on HF is not well known. We examined the effect of weight loss induced by low energy diet (LED...... improvement in physical performance and cardiovascular risk markers....

  12. Adaptive optics simulation performance improvements using reconfigurable logic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basden, Alastair

    2007-02-20

    A technique used to accelerate an adaptive optics simulation platform using reconfigurable logic is described. The performance of parts of this simulation has been improved by up to 600 times (reducing computation times by this factor) by implementing algorithms within hardware and enables adaptive optics simulations to be carried out in a reasonable time scale. This demonstrates that it is possible to use reconfigurable logic to accelerate computational codes by very large factors when compared with conventional software approaches, and this has relevance for many computationally intensive applications. The use of reconfigurable logic for high performance computing is currently in its infancy and has never before been applied to this field.

  13. Improved automated perimetry performance following exposure to Mozart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorelli, V Macedo Batista; Kasahara, N; Cohen, R; França, A Santucci; Della Paolera, M; Mandia, C; de Almeida, G Vicente

    2006-05-01

    To evaluate the performance on automated perimetry (AP) after listening to a Mozart sonata in normal subjects naive to AP. 60 naive normal subjects underwent AP (SITA 24-2). The study group (30 subjects) underwent AP after listening to Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major and the control group (30 subjects) underwent AP without previous exposure to the music. The study group had significantly less fixation loss, false positive, and false negative rates compared to controls (p Mozart seems to improve AP performance in normal naive subjects.

  14. Architectures for High-Performance Ceramic Composites Being Improved

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Hee Mann; DiCarlo, James A.

    2002-01-01

    A major thrust of the Ultra-Efficient Engine Technology (UEET) Program at the NASA Glenn Research Center is to develop advanced hot-section engine components using SiC/SiC ceramic matrix composites (CMC's) with thermostructural capability to 2400 F (1315 C). In previous studies, UEET determined that the higher the ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of the as-fabricated CMC, the greater its structural performance at 2400 F. Thus efforts have been ongoing within UEET to understand and develop fiber architecture approaches that can improve the UTS of SiC/SiC CMC's. Under UEET, SiC/SiC test panels and demonstration engine components are currently produced by the multi-ply layup of two-dimensional fabric pieces. The fabric is typically formed of multifilament tows containing high-performance Sylramic (Dow Corning) SiC fiber that is woven into two-dimensional five-harness satin fabric with 20 ends per inch in the 0 degree and 90 degree directions. In some cases, fabric pieces containing woven Sylramic fiber tows are thermally treated at NASA to form Sylramic-iBN fibers that contain a very thin in-situ-grown boron nitride layer on their surfaces. The final SiC/SiC panels and components are fabricated at the CMC vendor by compressing the fabric pieces in tools and then depositing a thin BN interphase coating on the fibers by chemical vapor deposition. The last step at the vendor is to infiltrate the BN-coated fiber architecture with SiC and silicon matrix constituents to form a dense product. Because the as-produced Sylramic fiber tows are sized with a thin polymer coating to facilitate handling and weaving, the individual fibers within the tows and fabric are in close contact with each other. This contact is further increased during fabric compression. One important recent finding is that increasing Sylramic fiber tow width in a fabric increases the UTS of the final SiC/SiC CMC. This effect is presumably related to minimizing fiber/fiber contact, which can be detrimental to

  15. Job control and coworker support improve employee job performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagami, Makiko; Tsutsumi, Akizumi; Tsuchiya, Masao; Morimoto, Kanehisa

    2010-01-01

    We examined the prospective association of psychosocial job characteristics with employee job performance among 777 full-time employees at a manufacturing company in Japan, using data from a one-year follow-up survey. Psychosocial job characteristics were measured by the Job Content Questionnaire in 2008; job performance was evaluated using the item from the World Mental Health Survey Instrument in 2008 and 2009. The association between psychosocial job characteristics and job performance was tested using multiple regression analysis, controlling for demographic variables, work status, average working hours per day, job type and job performance in 2008. Job control and coworker support in 2008 were positively related to job performance in 2009. Stratified analyses revealed that job control for staff and coworker support for managers were positively related to job performance in 2009. These associations were prominent among men; however, supervisor support in 2008 was negatively related to job performance in 2009 among men. Job demand was not significantly related to job performance. Our findings suggest that it is worthwhile to enhance employees' job control and provide a mutually supportive environment to ensure positive employee job performance.

  16. Can Providing Rubrics for Writing Tasks Improve Developing Writers' Calibration Accuracy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawthorne, Katrice A.; Bol, Linda; Pribesh, Shana

    2017-01-01

    Rubric-referenced calibration and the interaction between writing achievement and calibration, a measure of the relationship between one's performance and the accuracy of one's judgments, were investigated. Undergraduate students (N = 596) were assigned to one of three calibration conditions: (a) global, (b) global and general criteria, or (c)…

  17. Diacritics Improve Comprehension of the Arabic Script by Providing Access to the Meanings of Heterophonic Homographs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maroun, Maryse; Hanley, J. Richard

    2017-01-01

    The diacritical markers that represent most of the vowels in the Arabic orthography are generally omitted from written texts. Previous research revealed that the absence of diacritics reduces reading comprehension performance even by skilled readers of Arabic. One possible explanation is that many Arabic words become ambiguous when diacritics are…

  18. Protein Modifiers Generally Provide Limited Improvement in Wood Bond Strength of Soy Flour Adhesives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles R. Frihart; Linda Lorenz

    2013-01-01

    Soy flour adhesives using a polyamidoamine-epichlorohydrin (PAE) polymeric coreactant are used increasingly as wood adhesives for interior products. Although these adhesives give good performance, higher bond strength under wet conditions is desirable. Wet strength is important for accelerated tests involving the internal forces generated by the swelling of wood and...

  19. Leveraging Partnerships: Families, Schools, and Providers Working Together to Improve Asthma Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleason, Melanie; Cicutto, Lisa; Haas-Howard, Christy; Raleigh, Bridget M; Szefler, Stanley J

    2016-10-01

    Asthma is one of the most common illnesses of school-aged children and can lead to both health and educational disparities. Children from low socioeconomic backgrounds and racial/ethnic minorities suffer the greatest impact. They often lack the asthma self-management skills to successfully monitor, navigate, and negotiate appropriate asthma care. School settings are a strategic point of contact for this additional support. School nurses can monitor for signs of asthma worsening, manage symptoms, provide care coordination, and reinforce self-management skills. Likewise, school-based asthma programs have the potential to reduce health and educational disparities, but it is the strong linkage to the asthma care provider that is critical to successful school-based asthma management. Healthcare providers are encouraged to establish partnerships with families through patient-centered care and schools through clear communication and care coordination to ensure asthma is well controlled so the child is in school and ready to learn.

  20. New approaches to provide feedback from nuclear and covariance data adjustment for effective improvement of evaluated nuclear data files

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Palmiotti, Giuseppe; Salvatores, Massimo; Hursin, Mathieu; Kodeli, Ivo; Gabrielli, Fabrizio; Hummel, Andrew

    2016-11-01

    A critical examination of the role of uncertainty assessment, target accuracies, role of integral experiment for validation and, consequently, of data adjustments methods is underway since several years at OECD-NEA, the objective being to provide criteria and practical approaches to use effectively the results of sensitivity analyses and cross section adjustments for feedback to evaluators and experimentalists in order to improve without ambiguities the knowledge of neutron cross sections, uncertainties, and correlations to be used in a wide range of applications and to meet new requirements and constraints for innovative reactor and fuel cycle system design. An approach will be described that expands as much as possible the use in the adjustment procedure of selected integral experiments that provide information on “elementary” phenomena, on separated individual physics effects related to specific isotopes or on specific energy ranges. An application to a large experimental data base has been performed and the results are discussed in the perspective of new evaluation projects like the CIELO initiative.

  1. New approaches to provide feedback from nuclear and covariance data adjustment for effective improvement of evaluated nuclear data files

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmiotti, Giuseppe; Salvatores, Massimo; Hursin, Mathieu; Kodeli, Ivo; Gabrielli, Fabrizio; Hummel, Andrew

    2017-09-01

    A critical examination of the role of uncertainty assessment, target accuracies, role of integral experiment for validation and, consequently, of data adjustments methods is underway since several years at OECD-NEA, the objective being to provide criteria and practical approaches to use effectively the results of sensitivity analyses and cross section adjustments for feedback to evaluators and experimentalists in order to improve without ambiguities the knowledge of neutron cross sections, uncertainties, and correlations to be used in a wide range of applications and to meet new requirements and constraints for innovative reactor and fuel cycle system design. An approach will be described that expands as much as possible the use in the adjustment procedure of selected integral experiments that provide information on "elementary" phenomena, on separated individual physics effects related to specific isotopes or on specific energy ranges. An application to a large experimental data base has been performed and the results are discussed in the perspective of new evaluation projects like the CIELO initiative.

  2. Future thinking instructions improve prospective memory performance in adolescents

    OpenAIRE

    Altgassen, A.M.; Kretschmer, A.; Schnitzspahn, K.M.

    2017-01-01

    Studies on prospective memory (PM) development in adolescents point to age-related increases through to adulthood. The goal of the present study was to examine whether instructing adolescents to engage in an episodic prospection of themselves executing future actions (i.e., future thinking) when forming an intention would improve their PM performance and reduce age-related differences. Further, we set out to explore whether future thinking instructions result in stronger memory traces and/or ...

  3. PDMS/PVA composite ferroelectret for improved energy harvesting performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, J.; Luo, Z.; Zhu, D.; Beeby, S. P.

    2016-11-01

    This paper address the PDMS ferroelectret discharge issue for improved long- term energy harvesting performance. The PDMS/PVA ferroelectret is fabricated using a 3D-printed plastic mould technology and a functional PVA composite layer is introduced. The PDMS/PVA composite ferroelectret achieved 80% piezoelectric coefficient d33 remaining, compared with 40% without the proposed layer over 72 hours. Further, the retained percentage of output voltage is about 73% over 72 hours.

  4. Applying lean thinking in construction and performance improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Aziz, Remon Fayek; Hafez, Sherif Mohamed

    2013-01-01

    The productivity of the construction industry worldwide has been declining over the past 40 years. One approach for improving the situation is using lean construction. Lean construction results from the application of a new form of production management to construction. Essential features of lean construction include a clear set of objectives for the delivery process, aimed at maximizing performance for the customer at the project level, concurrent design, construction, and the application of...

  5. Performance improvement of direct- and indirect-fired heaters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sams, G.W.; Hunter, J.D.

    1988-08-01

    The operating performance of direct and indirect heaters is discussed, and principles and guidelines that can be applied to effect improvements in efficiency are presented. This paper also discusses the associated heater efficiencies and several useful operating techniques to approach the maximum, steady-state heater efficiency. The techniques presented apply to all types of direct-and indirect-fired heaters: salt bath heaters, propane vaporizers, heater/treaters, production heaters, and glycol and amine regenerators.

  6. Sensorimotor Adaptability Training Improves Motor and Dual-Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloomberg, J.J.; Peters, B.T.; Mulavara, A.P.; Brady, R.; Batson, C.; Cohen, H.S.

    2009-01-01

    The overall objective of our project is to develop a sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training program designed to facilitate recovery of functional capabilities when astronauts transition to different gravitational environments. The goal of our current study was to determine if SA training using variation in visual flow and support surface motion produces improved performance in a novel sensory environment and demonstrate the retention characteristics of SA training.

  7. Does segmentation always improve model performance in credit scoring?

    OpenAIRE

    Bijak, Katarzyna; Thomas, Lyn C.

    2012-01-01

    Credit scoring allows for the credit risk assessment of bank customers. A single scoring model (scorecard) can be developed for the entire customer population, e.g. using logistic regression. However, it is often expected that segmentation, i.e. dividing the population into several groups and building separate scorecards for them, will improve the model performance. The most common statistical methods for segmentation are the two-step approaches, where logistic regression follows Classificati...

  8. Improvement of sludge removal performance for steam generators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nishida, K. [Steam Generator Designing Section, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Kobe (Japan); Sakai, K.; Ito, H.; Tanahashi, A. [Mechanical Engineering and Water Chemistry Group, Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc., Osaka (Japan); Nakao, F. [Service Technology Development Dept., Nuclear Plant Service Engineering Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Kobe (Japan)

    2002-07-01

    Scale, mainly consisting of magnetite, flows on the secondary side of steam generators (SGs), causing the formation of concentrations of impurities on the tubesheet (TS), increasing the fouling of tube heat transfer, and blocking the broached egg crates (BEC) on the tube support plates (TSP). Accumulation of sludge on the tubesheet forms environment in which impurities are highly concentrated on the tubes. And we have experienced tube degradation, in the past, from the concentration of impurities. In Japan, the first tubesheet sludge lancing, via water jets, was done at the Mihama-2 plant in 1975. And that is why this pile sludge becomes hard depending on time, removal made an effort toward removal with CECIL* (in bundle cleaning system) us very difficulty. However, sludge remained in localized areas and it had possibility of concentration. So that we improve the CECIL for the purpose of removing it, and we improved removal performance of the device. In addition to the improvement of CECIL, we install a sludge collector in order to decrease accumulation of sludge on the tubesheet. This paper introduces these improvements in sludge removal performance. (authors)

  9. Undergraduate medical academic performance is improved by scientific training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lili; Zhang, Wei; Wu, Chong; Liu, Zhongming; Cai, Yunfei; Cao, Xingguo; He, Yushan; Liu, Guoxiang; Miao, Hongming

    2017-09-01

    The effect of scientific training on course learning in undergraduates is still controversial. In this study, we investigated the academic performance of undergraduate students with and without scientific training. The results show that scientific training improves students' test scores in general medical courses, such as biochemistry and molecular biology, cell biology, physiology, and even English. We classified scientific training into four levels. We found that literature reading could significantly improve students' test scores in general courses. Students who received scientific training carried out experiments more effectively and published articles performed better than their untrained counterparts in biochemistry and molecular biology examinations. The questionnaire survey demonstrated that the trained students were more confident of their course learning, and displayed more interest, motivation and capability in course learning. In summary, undergraduate academic performance is improved by scientific training. Our findings shed light on the novel strategies in the management of undergraduate education in the medical school. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(5):379-384, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  10. Improving the performance of the JET Shape Controller

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maviglia, Francesco, E-mail: francesco.maviglia@unirc.it [Consorzio CREATE, Univ. Napoli Federico II - DIETI, 80125 Napoli (Italy); Ariola, Marco [Consorzio CREATE/Dip. di Ing. – Università di Napoli Parthenope, Isola C4, 80143 Naples (Italy); De Tommasi, Gianmaria [Consorzio CREATE, Univ. Napoli Federico II - DIETI, 80125 Napoli (Italy); Lomas, Peter J. [CCFE, Culham Science Centre, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 3DB (United Kingdom); Pironti, Alfredo [Consorzio CREATE, Univ. Napoli Federico II - DIETI, 80125 Napoli (Italy); Rimini, Fernanda G. [CCFE, Culham Science Centre, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 3DB (United Kingdom); Albanese, Raffaele; Ambrosino, Giuseppe [Consorzio CREATE, Univ. Napoli Federico II - DIETI, 80125 Napoli (Italy)

    2015-10-15

    Highlights: • Implementation of reliable simulation tool to minimize experimental time for controller tuning. • Improving the inductive decoupling among JET poloidal field coils. • Improving the performance of the specific controlled variables. • New algorithm used in the majority of JET pulses since January 2014. - Abstract: The JET Shape Controller (SC) uses nine distinct circuits, powering the JET poloidal field coils, to control in real time the coil currents, and the plasma shape, current and position. The control scheme presently used [1] is based on a Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) controller, which is designed to decouple the inductive coupling of the different coils. Achieving such a decoupling, the SC allows the user to tune independently the time response of each circuit. As a matter of fact the intended decoupling algorithm has been incorrectly coded in the JET SC system. This paper describes the modelling and experimental activities performed to correct the code error, and to improve the performance on a subset of the controlled parameters.

  11. What Parents Want: Does Provider Knowledge of Written Parental Expectations Improve Satisfaction in the Emergency Department?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoltowski, Kathleen S W; Mistry, Rakesh D; Brousseau, David C; Whitfill, Travis; Aronson, Paul L

    2016-01-01

    Satisfaction is an important measure of care quality. Interventions to improve satisfaction in the pediatric emergency department (ED) are limited, especially for patients with nonurgent conditions. Our objective was to determine if clinician knowledge of written parental expectations improves parental satisfaction for nonurgent ED visits. This randomized controlled trial was conducted in a tertiary-care pediatric ED. Parents of children presenting for nonurgent visits (Emergency Severity Index level 4 or 5) were randomized into 3 groups: 1) the intervention group completed an expectation survey on arrival, which was reviewed by the clinician, 2) the control group completed the expectation survey, which was not reviewed, and 3) the baseline group did not complete an expectation survey. At ED disposition, all groups completed a 3-item satisfaction survey, scored using 5-point Likert scales (1 = very poor, 5 = very good). The primary outcome was rating of "overall care." Secondary outcomes included likelihood of recommending the ED and staff sensitivity to concerns. Proportions were compared by chi-square test. A total of 304 subjects were enrolled. The proportion of parents rating 5 of 5 for overall care did not differ among the baseline, control, and intervention groups (74.8% vs 73.2% vs 69.2%, P = .56). The proportion of parents rating 5 of 5 also did not differ for likelihood of recommending the ED (77.7% vs 72.2% vs 70.2%, P = .45) or staff sensitivity to concerns (78.6% vs 78.4% vs 78.8%, P = .71). For nonurgent pediatric ED visits, clinician knowledge of written parental expectations does not improve parental satisfaction. Copyright © 2016 Academic Pediatric Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. IMPROVING STUDENTS’ METHODOLOGICAL AND MATHEMATICAL TRAINING TO PROVIDING CONTINUITY BETWEEN PRESCHOOL AND PRIMARY EDUCATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tetiana Bondarenko

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with the problem of implementing the principle of continuity in the mathematical education of pre-school and primary school children in terms of restarting the primary school that caused the need to update the future teachers’ training. Integration into European and world educational space actualized the problem of creating conditions for development and personal fulfillment, search for effective ways of increasing future teachers’ training quality. The article aims to examine normative support and ways of improving students’ methodological and mathematical training for realization of continuity between pre-school and primary education. At the zeroth educational level the summarized results of learning (competence are to become child's readiness to learn at primary school. At the first level it is the ability to select and search for knowledge and ways of action to solve learning problems; learning and developing through mastery of the common ways of organizing learning activities; awareness of the need to continue their education and develop individual experience knowledge. The use of ICT, including methodological web quests, blended learning in the course of improving future specialists’ methodological and mathematical training to implement continuity between preschool and primary education leads to a sense of success, develops students’ ability to self-education. In authors’ view, a perspective area of future research is the development and selection of new tasks for using methodological web quests in order to improve the future specialists’ methodological and mathematical training to implement continuity between preschool and primary education, insurance in effective conditions of organizational and methodological support of the process.

  13. Experimental evaluation of the resolution improvement provided by a silicon PET probe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brzeziński, K; Oliver, J F; Gillam, J; Rafecas, M; Studen, A; Grkovski, M; Kagan, H; Smith, S; Llosá, G; Lacasta, C; Clinthorne, N H

    2016-09-01

    A high-resolution PET system, which incorporates a silicon detector probe into a conventional PET scanner, has been proposed to obtain increased image quality in a limited region of interest. Detailed simulation studies have previously shown that the additional probe information improves the spatial resolution of the reconstructed image and increases lesion detectability, with no cost to other image quality measures. The current study expands on the previous work by using a laboratory prototype of the silicon PET-probe system to examine the resolution improvement in an experimental setting. Two different versions of the probe prototype were assessed, both consisting of a back-to-back pair of 1-mm thick silicon pad detectors, one arranged in 32 × 16 arrays of 1.4 mm × 1.4 mm pixels and the other in 40 × 26 arrays of 1.0 mm × 1.0 mm pixels. Each detector was read out by a set of VATAGP7 ASICs and a custom-designed data acquisition board which allowed trigger and data interfacing with the PET scanner, itself consisting of BGO block detectors segmented into 8 × 6 arrays of 6 mm × 12 mm × 30 mm crystals. Limited-angle probe data was acquired from a group of Na-22 point-like sources in order to observe the maximum resolution achievable using the probe system. Data from a Derenzo-like resolution phantom was acquired, then scaled to obtain similar statistical quality as that of previous simulation studies. In this case, images were reconstructed using measurements of the PET ring alone and with the inclusion of the probe data. Images of the Na-22 source demonstrated a resolution of 1.5 mm FWHM in the probe data, the PET ring resolution being approximately 6 mm. Profiles taken through the image of the Derenzo-like phantom showed a clear increase in spatial resolution. Improvements in peak-to-valley ratios of 50% and 38%, in the 4.8 mm and 4.0 mm phantom features respectively, were observed, while previously unresolvable 3.2 mm features were brought to light by the

  14. An Approach to Improve the Performance of PM Forecasters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo S G de Mattos Neto

    Full Text Available The particulate matter (PM concentration has been one of the most relevant environmental concerns in recent decades due to its prejudicial effects on living beings and the earth's atmosphere. High PM concentration affects the human health in several ways leading to short and long term diseases. Thus, forecasting systems have been developed to support decisions of the organizations and governments to alert the population. Forecasting systems based on Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs have been highlighted in the literature due to their performances. In general, three ANN-based approaches have been found for this task: ANN trained via learning algorithms, hybrid systems that combine search algorithms with ANNs, and hybrid systems that combine ANN with other forecasters. Independent of the approach, it is common to suppose that the residuals (error series, obtained from the difference between actual series and forecasting, have a white noise behavior. However, it is possible that this assumption is infringed due to: misspecification of the forecasting model, complexity of the time series or temporal patterns of the phenomenon not captured by the forecaster. This paper proposes an approach to improve the performance of PM forecasters from residuals modeling. The approach analyzes the remaining residuals recursively in search of temporal patterns. At each iteration, if there are temporal patterns in the residuals, the approach generates the forecasting of the residuals in order to improve the forecasting of the PM time series. The proposed approach can be used with either only one forecaster or by combining two or more forecasting models. In this study, the approach is used to improve the performance of a hybrid system (HS composed by genetic algorithm (GA and ANN from residuals modeling performed by two methods, namely, ANN and own hybrid system. Experiments were performed for PM2.5 and PM10 concentration series in Kallio and Vallila stations in

  15. Clinical audit training improves undergraduates' performance in root canal therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, J Y M; Tan, V J H; Lee, J R; Tong, Z G M; Foong, Y K; Tan, J M E; Parolia, A; Pau, A

    2017-12-20

    To evaluate the effectiveness of clinical audit-feedback cycle as an educational tool in improving the technical quality of root canal therapy (RCT) and compliance with record keeping performed by dental undergraduates. Clinical audit learning was introduced in Year 3 of a 5-year curriculum for dental undergraduates. During classroom activities, students were briefed on clinical audit, selected their audit topics in groups of 5 or 6 students, and prepared and presented their audit protocols. One chosen topic was RCT, in which 3 different cohorts of Year 3 students conducted retrospective audits of patients' records in 2012, 2014 and 2015 for their compliance with recommended record keeping criteria and their performance in RCT. Students were trained by and calibrated against an endodontist (κ ≥ 0.8). After each audit, the findings were reported in class, and recommendations were made for improvement in performance of RCT and record keeping. Students' compliance with published guidelines was presented and their RCT performances in each year were compared using the chi-square test. Overall compliance with of record keeping guidelines was 44.1% in 2012, 79.6% in 2014 and 94.6% in 2015 (P = .001). In the 2012 audit, acceptable extension, condensation and the absence of mishap were observed in 72.4, 75.7% and 91.5%; in the 2014 audit, 95.1%, 64.8% and 51.4%; and in 2015 audit, 96.4%, 82.1% and 92.8% of cases, respectively. In 2015, 76.8% of root canal fillings met all 3 technical quality criteria when compared to 48.6% in 2014 and 44.7% in 2012 (P = .001). Clinical audit-feedback cycle is an effective educational tool for improving dental undergraduates' compliance with record keeping and performance in the technical quality of RCT. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. BioTapestry now provides a web application and improved drawing and layout tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paquette, Suzanne M; Leinonen, Kalle; Longabaugh, William J R

    2016-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) control embryonic development, and to understand this process in depth, researchers need to have a detailed understanding of both the network architecture and its dynamic evolution over time and space. Interactive visualization tools better enable researchers to conceptualize, understand, and share GRN models. BioTapestry is an established application designed to fill this role, and recent enhancements released in Versions 6 and 7 have targeted two major facets of the program. First, we introduced significant improvements for network drawing and automatic layout that have now made it much easier for the user to create larger, more organized network drawings. Second, we revised the program architecture so it could continue to support the current Java desktop Editor program, while introducing a new BioTapestry GRN Viewer that runs as a JavaScript web application in a browser. We have deployed a number of GRN models using this new web application. These improvements will ensure that BioTapestry remains viable as a research tool in the face of the continuing evolution of web technologies, and as our understanding of GRN models grows.

  17. Improving Team Performance Through Simulation-Based Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volk, Mark S

    2017-10-01

    American health care is facing an epidemic of medical errors. A major cause of these errors is poor teamwork. Crisis resource management (CRM) is a set of teamwork principles derived from the airline industry. Medical simulation is an educational tool that affords health care providers a means of improving teamwork by learning and practicing CRM. This article (1) discusses the case for teaching team training, (2) reviews the principles of medical simulation as they pertain to team training, (3) provides practical guidelines for using medical simulation in otolaryngology education, (4) discusses current evidence for the efficacy of medical simulation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Using Shadow Page Cache to Improve Isolated Drivers Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hao Zheng

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available With the advantage of the reusability property of the virtualization technology, users can reuse various types and versions of existing operating systems and drivers in a virtual machine, so as to customize their application environment. In order to prevent users’ virtualization environments being impacted by driver faults in virtual machine, Chariot examines the correctness of driver’s write operations by the method of combining a driver’s write operation capture and a driver’s private access control table. However, this method needs to keep the write permission of shadow page table as read-only, so as to capture isolated driver’s write operations through page faults, which adversely affect the performance of the driver. Based on delaying setting frequently used shadow pages’ write permissions to read-only, this paper proposes an algorithm using shadow page cache to improve the performance of isolated drivers and carefully study the relationship between the performance of drivers and the size of shadow page cache. Experimental results show that, through the shadow page cache, the performance of isolated drivers can be greatly improved without impacting Chariot’s reliability too much.

  19. Creatine supplementation improves sprint performance in male sprinters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skare, O C; Skadberg; Wisnes, A R

    2001-04-01

    The object of this study was to evaluate the effect of creatine (Cr) supplementation in well trained male sprinters. The study was performed as a single blind test on 18 sprinters at a local competition level. During the last two years a substantial part of their training had consisted of a series of maximal sprints with short rest periods to improve their fatigue resistance. The participants consumed either 20 g Cr+20 g glucose per day (Cr group, n=9) or 40 g glucose per day (placebo group, n=9), divided into 4 equal dosages. The effect of Cr on sprint performance was evaluated in two tests, 1 x 100 m sprint and an intermittent 6x60 m sprint. Cr supplementation increased the 100 m sprint velocity (11.68+/-0.27 s vs 11.59+/-0.31 s) and reduced the total time of 6 intermittent 60 m sprints (45.63+/-1.11 s vs 45.12+/-1.1 s), whereas no changes were observed in the placebo group. The sprint velocity was significantly increased in 5 out of 6 intermittent 60 m sprints. Venous blood was drawn 5 min after finishing the final intermittent 60 m run. Plasma lactate, Cr and serum creatinine (Crn) were all increased in the Cr group compared to presupplementation values; no changes were observed in the placebo group. The improved sprint performance suggests an increased availability of energy substrate for performing work, possibly as a result of increased skeletal muscle creatine phosphate (PCr).

  20. Redesigning geriatric healthcare: how cross-functional teams and process improvement provide a competitive advantage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, B C; Kaye, J; Bowcutt, M; Campbell, J

    2001-01-01

    This study examines the consequences of adding a geriatric subacute unit to the traditional health care mix offered by a nonprofit hospital. Historically, geriatric health care offerings have been limited to either acute care units or long-term care facilities. The study's findings demonstrate that the addition of a subacute unit that is operated by an interdisciplinary team is a competitively rational move for two reasons. First, it provides a continuum of care that integrates services and departments, thereby reducing costs. Second, it provides a supportive environment for patients and their families. As a consequence patients have a higher probability of returning home than patients who are assigned to more traditional modes of care.

  1. Animal Breeding Considerations for Improved Animal Performance in Hot Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. W. Fuquay

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available A variety of options are available for improved performance including altering genotype with genetic improvement of indigenous breeds through selective breeding; upgrading through crossbreeding of indigenous females with semen from genetically superior exotic males with a possible goal of developing a new breed; and introduction of new breeds through transfer of embryos from genetically superior exotic breeds into indigenous females or importation of exotic animals of the desired breeding. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. The most rapid gains mightbe possible new environment can be a problem.  In the interest of adaptation and survival, systems that utilize the maternal influences of indigenous females are advantageous. In consideration of this maternal influences along with rate of improvement and potential for extensive improvement, both crossbreeding programs that use semen from genetically superior exotic males and those that involve transfer of genetically superior embryo survival and neonatal survival will affect management of any option chosen for genetic improvement but should be of less concern in programs that utilize indigenous females.

  2. Improving Deployment-Related Primary Care Provider Assessments of PTSD and Mental Health Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-01

    medicine--a review with quality grading of articles. Medical Teacher , 21(6), 563-570. Back, A. L., Arnold, R. M., Baile, W. F., Fryer-Edwards, K. A...domain of expertise), intermediates (individuals with skills at an intermediate-stage between expert and novice such as intern or resident health care...providers), and novices (individuals with limited experience and content knowledge). Interestingly, research has demonstrated that intermediates

  3. Business intelligence: using insight to improve the value and performance of your practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coan, Tim

    2007-01-01

    Using information to improve the value of your practice can be a great way to create leverage and improve the performance of your practice. Business intelligence (BI) is the result of a complete system that produces meaningful insights by providing the information necessary to make business decisions. Changes made from these insights improve both the performance and value of your practice. It is important to identify the key elements required of a good BI system and the areas within a practice that can directly benefit from an effective BI system.

  4. Whole practice productivity applies 'big picture' solution to performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-12-01

    When health care organizations look at improving productivity, they typically focus on a few specific measures--work RVUs, office visits per day, or gross charges per physician, for instance--in which they've identified variations among physicians or clinics. Instead of relying strictly on the collection of a handful of isolated data points, two consultants affiliated with the Medical Group Management Association are trying to convince provider groups to become more efficient by looking at the bigger picture.

  5. Improving continence services for older people from the service-providers' perspective: a qualitative interview study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orrell, Alison; McKee, Kevin; Dahlberg, Lena; Gilhooly, Mary; Parker, Stuart

    2013-07-30

    To examine in depth the views and experiences of continence service leads in England on key service and continence management characteristics in order to identify and to improve our understanding of barriers to a good-quality service and potential facilitators to develop and to improve services for older people with urinary incontinence (UI). Qualitative semistructured interviews using a purposive sample recruited across 16 continence services. 3 acute and 13 primary care National Health Service Trusts in England. 16 continence service leads in England actively treating and managing older people with UI. In terms of barriers to a good-quality service, participants highlighted a failure on the part of commissioners, managers and other health professionals in recognising the problem of UI and in acknowledging the importance of continence for older people and prevalent negative attitudes towards continence and older people. Patient assessment and continence promotion regardless of age, rather than pad provision, were identified as important steps for a good-quality service for older people with UI. More rapid and appropriate patient referral pathways, investment in service capacity, for example, more trained staff and strengthened interservice collaborations and a higher profile within medical and nurse training were specified as being important facilitators for delivering an equitable and high-quality continence service. There is a need, however, to consider the accounts given by our participants as perhaps serving the interests of their professional group within the context of interprofessional work. Our data point to important barriers and facilitators of a good-quality service for older people with UI, from the perspective of continence service leads. Further research should address the views of other stakeholders, and explore options for the empirical evaluation of the effectiveness of identified service facilitators.

  6. Establishing best practices to improve usability of web interfaces providing atmospheric data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakley, N.; Daudert, B.

    2014-12-01

    Accessing scientific data through an online portal can be a frustrating task. The concept of making web interfaces easy to use known as "usability" has been thoroughly researched in the field of e-commerce but has not been explicitly addressed in the atmospheric sciences. As more observation stations are installed, satellite missions flown, models run, and field campaigns performed, large amounts of data are produced. Portals on the Internet have become the favored mechanisms to share this information and are ever increasing in number. Portals are often created without being tested for usability with the target audience though the expenses of testing are low and the returns high. To remain competitive and relevant in the provision of atmospheric data, it is imperative that developers understand design elements of a successful portal to make their product stand out among others. This presentation informs the audience of the benefits and basic principles of usability for web pages presenting atmospheric data. We will also share some of the best practices and recommendations we have formulated from the results of usability testing performed on two data provision web sites hosted by the Western Regional Climate Center.

  7. Primary healthcare providers' views on improving sexual and reproductive healthcare for adolescents in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jaruseviciene, L.; Orozco, M.; Ibarra, M.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: To elicit the views of primary healthcare providers from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua on how adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) care in their communities can be improved. Methods: Overall, 126 healthcare providers (46 from Bolivia, 39 from Ecuador, and 41 from Nicarag...

  8. Clinical performance feedback and quality improvement opportunities for perioperative physicians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaye AD

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Alan David Kaye,1 Olutoyin J Okanlawon,2 Richard D Urman21Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, 2Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston MA, USAAbstract: Clinical performance feedback is an important component of the ongoing development and education of health care practitioners. For physicians, feedback about their clinical practice and outcomes is central to developing both confidence and competence at all stages of their medical careers. Cultural and financial infrastructures need to be in place, and the concept of feedback needs to be readily embraced and encouraged by clinical leadership and other stakeholders. The "buy-in" includes the expectation and view that feedback occurs on a routine basis, and those engaged in the process are both encouraged to participate and held accountable. Feedback must be part of an overarching quality improvement and physician education agenda; it is not meant to be an isolated, fragmented initiative that is typically undermined by lack of resources or systemic barriers to gaining improvement within programs. Effective feedback should be an integral part of clinical practice. Anesthesiologists and other perioperative physicians are identifying specialty-specific indicators that can be used when creating a broader quality improvement agenda. Placing a more immediate formal feedback strategy that focuses on goal-oriented behavior is rapidly becoming a mainstay. Physicians may use their individual feedback reports for reflection and designing personal development plans as lifelong learners and leaders in improving patient care.Keywords: physician education, outcomes measurement, performance improvement, anesthesiology

  9. Quality and use of consumer information provided with home test kits: room for improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grispen, Janaica E J; Ickenroth, Martine H P; de Vries, Nanne K; van der Weijden, Trudy; Ronda, Gaby

    2014-10-01

    Diagnostic self-tests (tests on body materials that are initiated by consumers with the aim of diagnosing a disorder or risk factor) are becoming increasingly available. Although the pros and cons of self-testing are currently not clear, it is an existing phenomenon that is likely to gain further popularity. To examine consumers' use of and needs for information about self-testing, and to assess the quality of consumer information provided with home test kits, as perceived by consumers and as assessed using a checklist of quality criteria. A cross-sectional Internet survey among 305 self-testers assessed their use of and needs for information and their perception of the quality of consumer information provided with self-test kits. A meta-search engine was used to identify Dutch and English consumer information for home diagnostic tests available online at the time of the study. The quality of this consumer information was evaluated using a checklist of quality criteria. The consumers' information needs were in line with the most frequently used information, and the information was perceived as being of moderate to good quality. The information was mostly in agreement with clinical practice guidelines, although information on reliability and follow-up behaviour was limited. Approximately half of the instruction leaflets did not include information on the target group of the test. Although generally of moderate to good quality, some aspects of the information provided were in many cases insufficient. European legislation concerning self-tests and accompanying information needs to be adapted and adhered to more closely. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Training providers on issues of race and racism improve health care equity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Stephen C; Prasad, Shailendra; Hackman, Heather W

    2015-05-01

    Race is an independent factor in health disparity. We developed a training module to address race, racism, and health care. A group of 19 physicians participated in our training module. Anonymous survey results before and after the training were compared using a two-sample t-test. The awareness of racism and its impact on care increased in all participants. White participants showed a decrease in self-efficacy in caring for patients of color when compared to white patients. This training was successful in deconstructing white providers' previously held beliefs about race and racism. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. The performance implications of outsourcing customer support to service providers in emerging versus established economies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raassens, N.; Wuyts, S.H.K.; Geyskens, I.

    Recent discussions in the business press query the contribution of customer-support outsourcing to firm performance. Despite the controversy surrounding its performance implications, customer-support outsourcing is still on the rise, especially to emerging markets. Against this backdrop, we study

  12. Performance assessment in health care providers: a critical review of evidence and current practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Karen E Stc; Coates, Vivien; Kelly, Billy; Boore, Jennifer R P; Cundell, Jill H; Gracey, Jacquie; McFetridge, Brian; McGonigle, Mary; Sinclair, Marlene

    2007-11-01

    To evaluate methods of performance assessment through an international literature review and a survey of current practice. Over the past two decades health care organizations have focussed on promoting high quality care in conjunction with retaining motivated staff. Cognisant of such initiatives, we sought to evaluate assessment methods for qualified staff according to their utility in the working environment. A systematic literature search was completed and each paper independently reviewed. All health care organizations in Northern Ireland submitted details of their performance assessments. Each was critically appraised using a utility index. Performance was not universally defined. A broad range of assessments were identified, each method had advantages and disadvantages. Although many lacked rigorous testing, areas of good practice were also noted. No single method is appropriate for assessing clinical performance. Rather, this study endorses proposals for a multi-method strategy to ensure that performance assessment demonstrates all attributes required for effective nursing and midwifery practice.

  13. Improving Motor and Drive System Performance – A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2014-02-01

    This sourcebook outlines opportunities to improve motor and drive systems performance. The sourcebook is divided into four main sections: (1) Motor and Drive System Basics: Summarizes important terms, relationships, and system design considerations relating to motor and drive systems. (2) Performance Opportunity Road Map: Details the key components of well-functioning motor and drive systems and opportunities for energy performance opportunities. (3) Motor System Economics: Offers recommendations on how to propose improvement projects based on corporate priorities, efficiency gains, and financial payback periods. (4) Where to Find Help: Provides a directory of organizations associated with motors and drives, as well as resources for additional information, tools, software, videos, and training opportunities.

  14. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and pregnancy-potential for improvements in Australasian maternity health providers' knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shand, A W; Luk, W; Nassar, N; Hui, L; Dyer, K; Rawlinson, W

    2017-07-11

    To assess the knowledge, practice and attitudes of maternity clinicians regarding congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV). It is the most common congenital infection, and well-recognized cause of neurodevelopmental disability and hearing loss. New consensus recommendations state all pregnant women and health-care providers should be educated about congenital CMV infection and preventive measures. An email questionnaire was distributed in October 2015 to specialists, diplomates (general practitioners), and trainees of the Royal Australian New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), and Victorian and New South Wales midwives. 774 responded: (37.3% specialists, 17.3% diplomates, 16.8% trainees, 28.6% midwives). Clinicians had variable knowledge of fetal sequelae, transmission routes and prevention. Overall, 30.2% felt confident about discussing CMV in pregnancy: less than 10% of midwives (7.4%) and less than half of specialists (47.1%, p maternity clinicians lack confidence and knowledge about congenital CMV. Few (<10%) routinely provide advice on prevention. There is urgent need for clinical guidance and patient information to reduce the burden of disease.

  15. The impact of multi-criteria performance measurement on business performance improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fentahun Moges Kasie

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between multi-criteria performance measurement (MCPM practice and business performance improvement using the raw data collected from 33 selected manufacturing companies. In addition, it proposes modified MCPM model as an effective approach to improve business performance of manufacturing companies. Design/methodology/approach:Research paper. Primary and secondary data were collected using questionnaire survey, interview and observation of records. The methodology is to evaluate business performances of sampled manufacturing companies and the extent of utilization of crucial non-financial (lagging and non-financial (leading performance measures. The positive correlation between financial business performance and practice of MCPM is clearly shown using Pearson’s correlation coefficient analysis. Findings –This research paper indicates that companies which measure their performance using important financial and non-financial measures achieve better business performance. Even though certain companies are currently using non-financial measures, the researchers have learned that these financial measures were not integrated with each other, financial measures and strategic objectives. Research limitations/implications: The limitation of this paper is that the number of surveyed companies is small to make generalization and they are found in a single country. Further researches which incorporate a large number of companies from various developing nations are suggested to minimize the limitation of this research.Practical Implication: The paper shows that multi-dimensional performance measures with the inclusion of key leading indicator are essential to predict the future environment. But cost-accounting based financial measures are inadequate to do so. These are shown practically using Pearson’s correlation coefficient analysis. Originality/value: The significance of multi

  16. Vitamin Variation in Capsicum Spp. Provides Opportunities to Improve Nutritional Value of Human Diets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantar, Michael B; Anderson, Justin E; Lucht, Sarah A; Mercer, Kristin; Bernau, Vivian; Case, Kyle A; Le, Nina C; Frederiksen, Matthew K; DeKeyser, Haley C; Wong, Zen-Zi; Hastings, Jennifer C; Baumler, David J

    2016-01-01

    Chile peppers, native to the Americas, have spread around the world and have been integrated into the diets of many cultures. Much like their heat content, nutritional content can vary dramatically between different pepper types. In this study, a diverse set of chile pepper types were examined for nutrient content. Some pepper types were found to have high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, or folate. Correlations between nutrient content, species, cultivation status, or geographic region were limited. Varietal selection or plant breeding offer tools to augment nutrient content in peppers. Integration of nutrient rich pepper types into diets that already include peppers could help combat nutrient deficiencies by providing a significant portion of recommended daily nutrients.

  17. Vitamin Variation in Capsicum Spp. Provides Opportunities to Improve Nutritional Value of Human Diets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael B Kantar

    Full Text Available Chile peppers, native to the Americas, have spread around the world and have been integrated into the diets of many cultures. Much like their heat content, nutritional content can vary dramatically between different pepper types. In this study, a diverse set of chile pepper types were examined for nutrient content. Some pepper types were found to have high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, or folate. Correlations between nutrient content, species, cultivation status, or geographic region were limited. Varietal selection or plant breeding offer tools to augment nutrient content in peppers. Integration of nutrient rich pepper types into diets that already include peppers could help combat nutrient deficiencies by providing a significant portion of recommended daily nutrients.

  18. Travelling abroad for aesthetic surgery: Informing healthcare practitioners and providers while improving patient safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeevan, R; Birch, J; Armstrong, A P

    2011-02-01

    Travelling abroad for surgery is a phenomenon reported internationally. It is particularly likely for aesthetic procedures not undertaken routinely by national health services. We assessed the impact of these patients presenting to the UK National Health Service (NHS) with concerns or complications on their return. All 326 UK consultant members of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) were asked to complete a short questionnaire about patients that had presented to the NHS with complications or concerns following surgery abroad. The results were subsequently presented to the Department of Health (DH). 203 (62%) UK consultant plastic surgeons responded. 76 (37%) of the 203 respondents had seen such patients in their NHS practice, most commonly following breast or abdominal procedures. A quarter underwent emergency surgery, a third out-patient treatment and a third elective surgical revision. In response to these findings, the DH clarified that NHS teams should provide emergency care to such patients but should not undertake any elective revision procedures. Travelling abroad for aesthetic surgery may reduce its cost. However, aesthetic procedures have high minor complication rates, and peri-operative travel is associated with increased risks. Fully informed consent is unlikely when patients do not meet their surgeon prior to paying and travelling for surgery, and national health services are used to provide a free safety net on their return. To help minimise the potential risks, BAPRAS has clarified the responsibilities of the NHS and is acting to better inform UK patients considering travelling abroad. Copyright © 2010 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Game elements improve performance in a working memory training task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Ninaus

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The utilization of game elements in a non-game context is currently used in a vast range of different domains. However, research on game elements’ effects in cognitive tasks is still sparse. Thus, in this study we implemented three game elements, namely, progress bar, level indicator, and a thematic setting, in a working memory training task. We evaluated the impact of game elements on user performance and perceived state of flow when compared to a conventional version of the task. Participants interacting with game elements showed higher scores in the working memory training task than participants from a control group who completed the working memory training task without the game elements. Moreover, game elements facilitated the individuals’ performance closer to their maximum working memory capacity. Finally, the perceived flow did not differ between the two groups, which indicates that game elements can induce better performance without changing the perception of being “in the zone”, that is without an increase in anxiety or boredom. This empirical study indicates that certain game elements can improve the performance and efficiency in a working memory task by increasing users’ ability and willingness to train at their optimal performance level. 

  20. Nutritional Supplement of Hatchery Eggshell Membrane Improves Poultry Performance and Provides Resistance against Endotoxin Stress

    OpenAIRE

    Makkar, S. K.; Rath, N. C.; Packialakshmi, B; Zhou, Z.Y.; Huff, G. R.; Donoghue, A. M.

    2016-01-01

    Eggshells are significant part of hatchery waste which consist of calcium carbonate crust, membranes, and proteins and peptides of embryonic origins along with other entrapped contaminants including microbes. We hypothesized that using this product as a nutritional additive in poultry diet may confer better immunity to the chickens in the paradigm of mammalian milk that enhances immunity. Therefore, we investigated the effect of hatchery eggshell membranes (HESM) as a short term feed suppleme...

  1. Improving Software Performance in the Compute Unified Device Architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandru PIRJAN

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper analyzes several aspects regarding the improvement of software performance for applications written in the Compute Unified Device Architecture CUDA. We address an issue of great importance when programming a CUDA application: the Graphics Processing Unit’s (GPU’s memory management through ranspose ernels. We also benchmark and evaluate the performance for progressively optimizing a transposing matrix application in CUDA. One particular interest was to research how well the optimization techniques, applied to software application written in CUDA, scale to the latest generation of general-purpose graphic processors units (GPGPU, like the Fermi architecture implemented in the GTX480 and the previous architecture implemented in GTX280. Lately, there has been a lot of interest in the literature for this type of optimization analysis, but none of the works so far (to our best knowledge tried to validate if the optimizations can apply to a GPU from the latest Fermi architecture and how well does the Fermi architecture scale to these software performance improving techniques.

  2. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Integrating From the Nanoscale

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roco, M.C., E-mail: mroco@nsf.gov; Bainbridge, W.S. [National Science Foundation (United States)

    2002-08-15

    In the early decades of the twenty-first century, concentrated efforts can unify science based on the unity of nature, thereby advancing the combination of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and new humane technologies based in cognitive science. Converging technologies integrated from the nanoscale could determine a tremendous improvement in human abilities and societal outcomes. This is a broad, cross cutting, emerging, and timely opportunity of interest to individuals, society, and humanity in the long term.About eighty scientific leaders, industry experts, and policy makers across a range of fields have contributed to develop a vision for the potential to improve human physical, mental, and social capabilities through the convergence of the four technologies. Six major themes have emerged: (a) The broad potential of converging technologies; (b) Expanding human cognition and communication; (c) Improving human health and physical capabilities; (d) Enhancing group and societal outcomes; (e) National security, and (f) Unifying science and education. This article summarizes the observations, conclusions, and recommendations made in the report (Roco and Bainbridge, eds., 2002. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, NSF-DOC Report, June 2002, Arlington VA, USA)

  3. A conceptual model to improve performance in virtual teams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shopee Dube

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: The vast improvement in communication technologies and sophisticated project management tools, methods and techniques has allowed geographically and culturally diverse groups to operate and function in a virtual environment. To succeed in this virtual environment where time and space are becoming increasingly irrelevant, organisations must define new ways of implementing initiatives. This virtual environment phenomenon has brought about the formation of virtual project teams that allow organisations to harness the skills and knowhow of the best resources, irrespective of their location. Objectives: The aim of this article was to investigate performance criteria and develop a conceptual model which can be applied to enhance the success of virtual project teams. There are no clear guidelines of the performance criteria in managing virtual project teams. Method: A qualitative research methodology was used in this article. The purpose of content analysis was to explore the literature to understand the concept of performance in virtual project teams and to summarise the findings of the literature reviewed. Results: The research identified a set of performance criteria for the virtual project teams as follows: leadership, trust, communication, team cooperation, reliability, motivation, comfort and social interaction. These were used to conceptualise the model. Conclusion: The conceptual model can be used in a holistic way to determine the overall performance of the virtual project team, but each factor can be analysed individually to determine the impact on the overall performance. The knowledge of performance criteria for virtual project teams could aid project managers in enhancing the success of these teams and taking a different approach to better manage and coordinate them.

  4. A conceptual model to improve performance in virtual teams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shopee Dube

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: The vast improvement in communication technologies and sophisticated project management tools, methods and techniques has allowed geographically and culturally diverse groups to operate and function in a virtual environment. To succeed in this virtual environment where time and space are becoming increasingly irrelevant, organisations must define new ways of implementing initiatives. This virtual environment phenomenon has brought about the formation of virtual project teams that allow organisations to harness the skills and knowhow of the best resources, irrespective of their location.Objectives: The aim of this article was to investigate performance criteria and develop a conceptual model which can be applied to enhance the success of virtual project teams. There are no clear guidelines of the performance criteria in managing virtual project teams.Method: A qualitative research methodology was used in this article. The purpose of content analysis was to explore the literature to understand the concept of performance in virtual project teams and to summarise the findings of the literature reviewed.Results: The research identified a set of performance criteria for the virtual project teams as follows: leadership, trust, communication, team cooperation, reliability, motivation, comfort and social interaction. These were used to conceptualise the model.Conclusion: The conceptual model can be used in a holistic way to determine the overall performance of the virtual project team, but each factor can be analysed individually to determine the impact on the overall performance. The knowledge of performance criteria for virtual project teams could aid project managers in enhancing the success of these teams and taking a different approach to better manage and coordinate them.

  5. Improving the precision of genotype selection in wheat performance trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovani Benin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to verify whether using the Papadakis method improves model assumptions and experimental accuracy in field trials used to determine grain yield for wheat lineages indifferent Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU regions. Grain yield data from 572 field trials at 31 locations in the VCU Regions 1, 2, 3 and 4 in 2007-2011 were used. Each trial was run with and without the use of the Papadakis method. The Papadakis method improved the indices of experimental precision measures and reduced the number of experimental repetitions required to predict grain yield performance among the wheat genotypes. There were differences among the wheat adaptation regions in terms of the efficiency of the Papadakis method, the adjustment coefficient of the genotype averages and the increases in the selective accuracy of grain yield.

  6. Improving productivity and firm performance with enterprise resource planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beheshti, Hooshang M.; Beheshti, Cyrus M.

    2010-11-01

    Productivity is generally considered to be the efficient utilisation of organisational resources and is measured in terms of the efficiency of a worker, company or nation. Focusing on efficiency alone, however, can be harmful to the organisation's long-term success and competitiveness. The full benefits of productivity improvement measures are realised when productivity is examined from two perspectives: operational efficiency (output/input) of an individual worker or a business unit as well as performance (effectiveness) with regard to end user or customer satisfaction. Over the years, corporations have adopted new technology to integrate business activities in order to achieve both effectiveness and efficiency in their operations. In recent years, many firms have invested in enterprise resource planning (ERP) in order to integrate all business activities into a uniform system. The implementation of ERP enables the firm to reduce the transaction costs of the business and improve its productivity, customer satisfaction and profitability.

  7. Medication use evaluation: pharmacist rubric for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanikos, John; Jenkins, Kathryn L; Piazza, Gregory; Connors, Jean; Goldhaber, Samuel Z

    2014-12-01

    Despite rigorous expert review, medications often fall into routine use with unrecognized and unwanted complications. Use of some medications remains controversial because information to support efficacy is conflicting, scant, or nonexistent. Medication use evaluation (MUE) is a performance improvement tool that can be used when there is uncertainty regarding whether a medication will be beneficial. It is particularly useful when limited evidence is available on how best to choose between two or more medications. MUEs can analyze the process of medication prescribing, preparation, dispensing, administration, and monitoring. MUEs can be part of a structured or mandated multidisciplinary quality management program that focuses on evaluating medication effectiveness and improving patient safety. Successful MUE programs have a structure in place to support completion of rapid-cycle data collection, analysis, and intervention that supports practice change. © 2014 Pharmacotherapy Publications, Inc.

  8. Improving Dynamic Load and Generator Response PerformanceTools

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lesieutre, Bernard C.

    2005-11-01

    This report is a scoping study to examine research opportunities to improve the accuracy of the system dynamic load and generator models, data and performance assessment tools used by CAISO operations engineers and planning engineers, as well as those used by their counterparts at the California utilities, to establish safe operating margins. Model-based simulations are commonly used to assess the impact of credible contingencies in order to determine system operating limits (path ratings, etc.) to ensure compliance with NERC and WECC reliability requirements. Improved models and a better understanding of the impact of uncertainties in these models will increase the reliability of grid operations by allowing operators to more accurately study system voltage problems and the dynamic stability response of the system to disturbances.

  9. Improving supply chain collaborations and performance of inefficient supply chain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Sanei

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Modern manufacturing enterprises are required to collaborate by their business partners through their business process operations such as design, manufacture, distribution, and aftersales services. And furthermore performance evaluation is of great importance for effective supply chain man agement. Therefore, DEA can help companies to remove some of the in efficiencies in operational processes in order to become more effective. The current paper develops one approach for determining the DEA projections for inefficient supply chains. Meanwhile this approach aims at providing an easy, efficient and more practical approach based on the performance evaluation for the multi-member supply chain. And ultimately, this model is illustrated by an numerical example of Chinese commercial bank, and case study application to provide of machine-making supply chain.

  10. Improving supply chain collaborations and performance of inefficient supply chain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Sanei

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Modern manufacturing enterprises are required to collaborate by their business partners through their business process operations such as design, manufacture, distribution, and aftersales services. And furthermore performance evaluation is of great importance for effective supply chain man agement. Therefore, DEA can help companies to remove some of the in efficiencies in operational processes in order to become more effective. The current paper develops one approach for determining the DEA projections for inefficient supply chains. Meanwhile this approach aims at providing an easy, efficient and more practical approach based on the performance evaluation for the multi-member supply chain. And ultimately, this model is illustrated by an numerical example of Chinese commercial bank, and case study application to provide of machine-making supply chain.

  11. Using a NIATx based local learning collaborative for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roosa, Mathew; Scripa, Joseph S; Zastowny, Thomas R; Ford, James H

    2011-11-01

    Local governments play an important role in improving substance abuse and mental health services. The structure of the local learning collaborative requires careful attention to old relationships and challenges local governmental leaders to help move participants from a competitive to collaborative environment. This study describes one county's experience applying the NIATx process improvement model via a local learning collaborative. Local substance abuse and mental health agencies participated in two local learning collaboratives designed to improve client retention in substance abuse treatment and client access to mental health services. Results of changes implemented at the provider level on access and retention are outlined. The process of implementing evidence-based practices by using the Plan-Do-Study-Act rapid-cycle change is a powerful combination for change at the local level. Key lessons include: creating a clear plan and shared vision, recognizing that one size does not fit all, using data can help fuel participant engagement, a long collaborative may benefit from breaking it into smaller segments, and paying providers to offset costs of participation enhances their engagement. The experience gained in Onondaga County, New York, offers insights that serve as a foundation for using the local learning collaborative in other community-based organizations. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Using a NIATx based local learning collaborative for performance improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roosa, Mathew; Scripa, Joseph S.; Zastowny, Thomas R.; Ford, James H.

    2012-01-01

    Local governments play an important role in improving substance abuse and mental health services. The structure of the local learning collaborative requires careful attention to old relationships and challenges local governmental leaders to help move participants from a competitive to collaborative environment. This study describes one county’s experience applying the NIATx process improvement model via a local learning collaborative. Local substance abuse and mental health agencies participated in two local learning collaboratives designed to improve client retention in substance abuse treatment and client access to mental health services. Results of changes implemented at the provider level on access and retention are outlined. The process of implementing evidence-based practices by using the Plan-Do-Study-Act rapid-cycle change is a powerful combination for change at the local level. Key lessons include: creating a clear plan and shared vision, recognizing that one size does not fit all, using data can help fuel participant engagement, a long collaborative may benefit from breaking it into smaller segments, and paying providers to offset costs of participation enhances their engagement. The experience gained in Onondaga County, New York, offers insights that serve as a foundation for using the local learning collaborative in other community-based organizations. PMID:21371751

  13. Improving The Affordable Care Act: An Assessment Of Policy Options For Providing Subsidies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saltzman, Evan A; Eibner, Christine; Enthoven, Alain C

    2015-12-01

    A key challenge of health reform efforts is to make health insurance affordable for individuals and families who lack coverage without harming those with coverage or increasing federal spending. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) addresses this challenge in part by providing tax subsidies to qualified individuals for purchasing individual insurance and retaining tax exemptions for employer and employee contributions to the cost of premiums of employer-sponsored insurance. These tax exemptions cost approximately $250 billion annually in lost tax revenue and have been criticized for favoring higher earners and conferring preferential treatment of employer-sponsored over individual insurance. We analyzed three options for leveling the financial playing field between the two insurance markets by reallocating the value of tax benefits of employer coverage. We found that one option that uses the subsidy formula employed in the insurance Marketplaces under the ACA for both the individual and employer-sponsored insurance markets, and additionally requires the subsidy to be at least $1,250 without an upper income limit on subsidy eligibility imposed, could expand insurance coverage and reduce individual market premiums relative to the ACA with no additional federal spending. Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

  14. Do orthopaedic fracture skills courses improve resident performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egol, Kenneth A; Phillips, Donna; Vongbandith, Tom; Szyld, Demian; Strauss, Eric J

    2015-04-01

    We hypothesized that resident participation in a hands-on fracture fixation course leads to significant improvement in their performance as assessed in a simulated fracture fixation model. Twenty-three junior orthopaedic surgery residents were tasked to treat radial shaft fractures with standard fixation techniques in a sawbones fracture fixation simulation twice during the year. Before the first simulation, 6 of the residents participated in a fraction fixation skills course. The simulation repeated 6 months later after all residents attended the course. Residents also completed a 15-question written examination. Assessment included evaluation of each step of the procedure, a score based on the objective structured assessment of technical skill (OSATS) system, and grade on the examination. Comparisons were made between the two cohorts and the two testing time points. Significant improvements were present in the percentage of tasks completed correctly (64.1% vs 84.3%) the overall OSATS score (13.8 vs 17.1) and examination correct answers (8.6 vs 12.5) for the overall cohort between the two testing time points (pskills course at the time of their initial simulation demonstrated significant improvements in percentage of tasks completed correctly (61.3% vs 81.2%) and OSATS score (12.4 vs 17.0) (pskills course significantly improved practical operative skills as assessed by the simulation. The benefits of the course were maintained to 6 months with residents who completed the training earlier continuing to demonstrate an advantage in skills. Such courses are a valuable training resource which directly impact resident performance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The use of absolute values improves performance of estimation formulae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Redal-Baigorri, Belén; Rasmussen, Knud; Heaf, James Goya

    2013-01-01

    clinical consequences in patients with extreme body sizes, resulting in an underestimation in the case of obesity or an overestimation of GFR in the case of underweight patients. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of both estimation formula expressed in ml/min, instead of ml/min per 1...... kidney function, thus providing clinicians with an alternative to reference methods....

  16. Modifying the Toyota Production System for continuous performance improvement in an academic children's hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stapleton, F Bruder; Hendricks, James; Hagan, Patrick; DelBeccaro, Mark

    2009-08-01

    The Toyota Production System (TPS) has become a successful model for improving efficiency and eliminating errors in manufacturing processes. In an effort to provide patients and families with the highest quality clinical care, our academic children's hospital has modified the techniques of the TPS for a program in continuous performance improvement (CPI) and has expanded its application to educational and research programs. Over a period of years, physicians, nurses, residents, administrators, and hospital staff have become actively engaged in a culture of continuous performance improvement. This article provides background into the methods of CPI and describes examples of how we have applied these methods for improvement in clinical care, resident teaching, and research administration.

  17. Improved performance of Schottky diodes on pendeoepitaxial gallium nitride

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheleva, T.; Derenge, M.; Ewing, D.; Shah, P.; Jones, K.; Lee, U.; Robins, L.

    2008-09-01

    We designed experiments to investigate the role of dislocation density on the performance of Schottky diodes fabricated on a GaN material grown conventionally and by pendeo-epitaxy. Devices of varying geometries were fabricated on low defect density GaN regions grown selectively via pendeo-epitaxy. In addition, corresponding devices were fabricated on the conventional GaN material with a high density of dislocations. Schottky diodes fabricated on pendeo-material showed nearly two orders of magnitude lower leakage current and displayed improved ideality factor, while diodes built on a conventional material displayed nonideal characteristics.

  18. Parallel experimental design and multivariate analysis provides efficient screening of cell culture media supplements to improve biosimilar product quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brühlmann, David; Sokolov, Michael; Butté, Alessandro; Sauer, Markus; Hemberger, Jürgen; Souquet, Jonathan; Broly, Hervé; Jordan, Martin

    2017-07-01

    Rational and high-throughput optimization of mammalian cell culture media has a great potential to modulate recombinant protein product quality. We present a process design method based on parallel design-of-experiment (DoE) of CHO fed-batch cultures in 96-deepwell plates to modulate monoclonal antibody (mAb) glycosylation using medium supplements. To reduce the risk of losing valuable information in an intricate joint screening, 17 compounds were separated into five different groups, considering their mode of biological action. The concentration ranges of the medium supplements were defined according to information encountered in the literature and in-house experience. The screening experiments produced wide glycosylation pattern ranges. Multivariate analysis including principal component analysis and decision trees was used to select the best performing glycosylation modulators. Subsequent D-optimal quadratic design with four factors (three promising compounds and temperature shift) in shake tubes confirmed the outcome of the selection process and provided a solid basis for sequential process development at a larger scale. The glycosylation profile with respect to the specifications for biosimilarity was greatly improved in shake tube experiments: 75% of the conditions were equally close or closer to the specifications for biosimilarity than the best 25% in 96-deepwell plates. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 1448-1458. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Improved power-law estimates from multiple samples provided by millennium climate simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henriksson, S. V.; Räisänen, P.; Silen, J.; Järvinen, H.; Laaksonen, A.

    2015-02-01

    Using the long annual mean temperature time series provided by millennium Earth System Model simulations and a method of discrete Fourier transform with varying starting point and length of time window together with averaging, we get good fits to power laws between two characteristic oscillatory timescales of the model climate: multidecadal (50-80 years) and El Nino (3-6 years) timescales. For global mean temperature, we fit β ˜ 0.35 in a relation S( f) ˜ f - β in a simulation without external climate forcing and β over 0.7 in a simulation with external forcing included. The power law is found both with and without external forcing despite the forcings, e.g. the volcanic forcing, not showing similar behaviour, indicating a nonlinear temperature response to time-varying forcing. We also fit a power law with β ˜ 8 to the narrow frequency range between El Nino frequencies (up to 1/(3.2 years)) and the Nyquist frequency (1/(2 years)). Also, monthly mean temperature time series are considered and a decent power-law fit for frequencies above 1/year is obtained. Regional variability in best-fit β is explored, and the impact of choosing the frequency range on the result is illustrated. When all resolved frequencies are used, land areas seem to have lower βs than ocean areas on average, but when fits are restricted to frequencies below 1/(6 years), this difference disappears, while regional differences still remain. Results compare well with measurements both for global mean temperature and for the central England temperature record.

  20. Using AQM to improve TCP performance over wireless networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Victor H.; Liu, Zhi-Qiang; Low, Steven H.

    2002-07-01

    TCP flow control algorithms have been designed for wireline networks where congestion is measured by packet loss due to buffer overflow. However, wireless networks also suffer from significant packet losses due to bit errors and handoffs. TCP responds to all the packet losses by invoking congestion control and avoidance algorithms and this results in degraded end-to-end performance in wireless networks. In this paper, we describe an Wireless Random Exponential Marking(WREM) scheme which effectively improves TCP performance over wireless networks by decoupling loss recovery from congestion control. Moreover, WREM is capable of handling the coexistence of both ECN-Capable and Non-ECN-Capable routers. We present simulation results to show its effectiveness and compatibility.

  1. Thermal-Performance Instability in Piezoresistive Sensors: Inducement and Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yan; Wang, Hai; Zhao, Wei; Qin, Hongbo; Fang, Xuan

    2016-01-01

    The field of piezoresistive sensors has been undergoing a significant revolution in terms of design methodology, material technology and micromachining process. However, the temperature dependence of sensor characteristics remains a hurdle to cross. This review focuses on the issues in thermal-performance instability of piezoresistive sensors. Based on the operation fundamental, inducements to the instability are investigated in detail and correspondingly available ameliorative methods are presented. Pros and cons of each improvement approach are also summarized. Though several schemes have been proposed and put into reality with favorable achievements, the schemes featuring simple implementation and excellent compatibility with existing techniques are still emergently demanded to construct a piezoresistive sensor with excellent comprehensive performance. PMID:27886125

  2. Performance of the Improvements of the CAESAR Robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riaan Stopforth

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Robots are able to enter concealed and unstable environments inaccessible to rescuers. Previous Urban Search And Rescue (USAR robots have experienced problems with malfunction of communication systems, traction systems, control and telemetry. These problems were accessed and improved in developing a prototype robot called CAESAR, which is an acronym for Contractible Arms Elevating Search And Rescue. Problems encountered with previous USAR robots are discussed. The mechanical, sensory and communication systems that were used on CAESAR are briefly explained. Each system was separately tested by performed experiments. Results of field tests and the robot performance experienced during a disaster scenario that was created are discussed. The capabilities of CAESAR are explained in these tests to determine if some of the problems experienced previously are solved.

  3. Performance Improvement of a Measurement Station for Superconducting Cable Test

    CERN Document Server

    Arpaia, P; Montenero, G; Le Naour, S

    2012-01-01

    A fully digital system, improving measurements flexibility, integrator drift, and current control of superconducting transformers for cable test, is proposed. The system is based on a high-performance integration of Rogowski coil signal and a flexible direct control of the current into the secondary windings. This allows state-of-the-art performance to be overcome by means of out-of-the-shelf components: on a full-scale of 32 kA, current measurement resolution of 1 A, stability below 0.25 Amin-1, and controller ripple less than 50 ppm. The system effectiveness has been demonstrated experimentally on the superconducting transformer of the Facility for the Research of Superconducting Cables at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

  4. Reforming Technologies to Improve the Performance of Combustion Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hashim Hassan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available A large number of theoretical and experimental studies have shown that the performance of kerosene combustion increases significantly if combustion is being assisted by the addition of hydrogen to the fuel/air mixture during the combustion process. It reduces the amount of CO, CO2 and NOx emissions, while increasing the flame stability limits. It also helps in bruning fuel/air mixtures at much leaner equivalence ratios. The same principle could be applied to gain benefits in gas turbine combustors. Hydrogen for this purpose could be produced by the reforming of hydrocarbon fuels using a reformer module. This paper presents key hydrogen reforming technologies which, by implementation in gas turbine combustors, hold potential for improving both their performance and service life.

  5. Compliance Performance: Effects of a Provider Incentive Program and Coding Compliance Plan

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Tudela, Joseph A

    2004-01-01

    ...) and select attributes and experience/training variables. For BAMC's provider incentive program, analysis reveals statistical significance for record compliance rates with data dated measures, F(underscored)(1,103)= 4.74, p(underscored) = .03...

  6. Aromatherapy Improves Work Performance Through Balancing the Autonomic Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Capdevila, Lluis

    2017-03-01

    This study analyzed the efficacy of aromatherapy in improving work performance and reducing workplace stress. The initial sample comprised 42 administrative university workers (M age  = 42.21 years, standard deviation = 7.12; 10 male). All sessions were performed in a university computer classroom. The participants were randomly assigned into an aromatherapy group (AG) and a control group (CG), and they were invited to participate in a specific session only once. They were seated in front of a computer. During the intervention period, some oil diffusers were switched on and were in operation throughout the session with petitgrain essential oil for AG sessions and a neutral oil (almond) for CG sessions. At the same time, participants completed a computer task on a specific Web site typing on their keyboard until they had finished it. The single times were different for all participants and were recorded on the Web site as "performance time." Before and after the intervention, participants completed anxiety and mood state questionnaires (the Stait-Trait Anxiety Inventory [STAI] and the Profile of Mood States [POMS]). Heart-rate variability (HRV) was measured before (PRE), during (20-25 min), and after (POS) the intervention to analyze autonomic nervous system regulation. The AG performed the Web site task 2.28 min faster than the CG (p = 0.05). The two groups showed differences in the following HRV parameters: low frequency (p = 0.05), high frequency (p = 0.02), standard deviation of all RR intervals (p = 0.05), and root mean square of differences (p = 0.02). All participants in all groups showed a decrease from PRE to POST for STAI (p < 0.001), Tension-POMS (p < 0.001), and Vigour-POMS (p = 0.01) scales. Aromatherapy (inhaling petitgrain essential oil) can improve performance in the workplace. These results could be explained by an autonomic balance on the sympathetic/parasympathetic system through a combined action of the

  7. Does better rainfall interpolation improve hydrological model performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bàrdossy, Andràs; Kilsby, Chris; Lewis, Elisabeth

    2017-04-01

    High spatial variability of precipitation is one of the main sources of uncertainty in rainfall/runoff modelling. Spatially distributed models require detailed space time information on precipitation as input. In the past decades a lot of effort was spent on improving precipitation interpolation using point observations. Different geostatistical methods like Ordinary Kriging, External Drift Kriging or Copula based interpolation can be used to find the best estimators for unsampled locations. The purpose of this work is to investigate to what extents more sophisticated precipitation estimation methods can improve model performance. For this purpose the Wye catchment in Wales was selected. The physically-based spatially-distributed hydrological model SHETRAN is used to describe the hydrological processes in the catchment. 31 raingauges with 1 hourly temporal resolution are available for a time period of 6 years. In order to avoid the effect of model uncertainty model parameters were not altered in this study. Instead 100 random subsets consisting of 14 stations each were selected. For each of the configurations precipitation was interpolated for each time step using nearest neighbor (NN), inverse distance (ID) and Ordinary Kriging (OK). The variogram was obtained using the temporal correlation of the time series measured at different locations. The interpolated data were used as input for the spatially distributed model. Performance was evaluated for daily mean discharges using the Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient, temporal correlations, flow volumes and flow duration curves. The results show that the simplest NN and the sophisticated OK performances are practically equally good, while ID performed worse. NN was often better for high flows. The reason for this is that NN does not reduce the variance, while OK and ID yield smooth precipitation fields. The study points out the importance of precipitation variability and suggests the use of conditional spatial simulation as

  8. Does polarized training improve performance in recreational runners?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Iker; Seiler, Stephen; Bautista, Javier; España, Javier; Larumbe, Eneko; Esteve-Lanao, Jonathan

    2014-03-01

    To quantify the impact of training-intensity distribution on 10K performance in recreational athletes. 30 endurance runners were randomly assigned to a training program emphasizing low-intensity, sub-ventilatory-threshold (VT), polarized endurance-training distribution (PET) or a moderately high-intensity (between-thresholds) endurance-training program (BThET). Before the study, the subjects performed a maximal exercise test to determine VT and respiratory-compensation threshold (RCT), which allowed training to be controlled based on heart rate during each training session over the 10-wk intervention period. Subjects performed a 10-km race on the same course before and after the intervention period. Training was quantified based on the cumulative time spent in 3 intensity zones: zone 1 (low intensity, RCT). The contribution of total training time in each zone was controlled to have more low-intensity training in PET (±77/3/20), whereas for BThET the distribution was higher in zone 2 and lower in zone 1 (±46/35/19). Both groups significantly improved their 10K time (39min18s ± 4min54s vs 37min19s ± 4min42s, P runners who actually performed the most PET (n = 6) and BThET (n = 16) distributions showed greater improvement in PET by 1.29 standardized Cohen effect-size units (90% CI 0.31-2.27, P = .038). Polarized training can stimulate greater training effects than between-thresholds training in recreational runners.

  9. Improved StrongARM latch comparator: Design, analysis and performance evaluation

    KAUST Repository

    Almansouri, Abdullah Saud Mohammed

    2017-07-13

    This paper presents an improved StrongARM latch comparator, designed and simulated in 90nm and 32nm CMOS technologies. The proposed design provides an improvement of 7% in energy efficiency, 14% in speed and an average reduction of 41% in the clock feedthrough, compared to the conventional design. The new architecture also minimizes the area by reducing the required transistors needed for the enhanced performance.

  10. Radar Performance Improvement. Angle Tracking Modification to Fire Control Radar System for Space Shuttle Rendezvous

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, G. R.

    1976-01-01

    The AN/APQ-153 fire control radar modified to provide angle tracking was evaluated for improved performance. The frequency agile modifications are discussed along with the range-rate improvement modifications, and the radar to computer interface. A parametric design and comparison of noncoherent and coherent radar systems are presented. It is shown that the shuttle rendezvous range and range-rate requirements can be made by a Ku-Band noncoherent pulse radar.

  11. Demonstrate VERA Core Simulator Performance Improvements L2:PHI.P13.03

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collins, Benjamin S. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Hamilton, Steven P. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Jarrett, Michael G. [Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States); Kim, Kang Seog [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Kochunas, Brendan [Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States); Liu, Yuxuan [Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States); Palmtag, Scott [Core Physics, Inc., Cary, NC (United States); Salko, Robert K. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Stimpson, Shane G. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Toth, Alex [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Yee, Ben [Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)

    2016-08-31

    This report describes the performance improvements made to the VERA Core Simulator (VERA-CS) during FY2016. The development of the VERA Core Simulator has focused on the capability needed to deplete physical reactors and help solve various problems; this capability required the accurate simulation of many operating cycles of a nuclear power plant. The first section of this report introduces two test problems used to assess the run-time performance of VERA-CS using a source dated February 2016. The next section provides a brief overview of the major modifications made to decrease the computational cost. Following the descriptions of the major improvements, the run-time for each improvement is shown. Conclusions on the work are presented, and further follow-on performance improvements are suggested.

  12. Future thinking instructions improve prospective memory performance in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altgassen, Mareike; Kretschmer, Anett; Schnitzspahn, Katharina Marlene

    2017-07-01

    Studies on prospective memory (PM) development in adolescents point to age-related increases through to adulthood. The goal of the present study was to examine whether instructing adolescents to engage in an episodic prospection of themselves executing future actions (i.e., future thinking) when forming an intention would improve their PM performance and reduce age-related differences. Further, we set out to explore whether future thinking instructions result in stronger memory traces and/or stronger cue-context associations by evaluating retrospective memory for the PM cues after task completion and monitoring costs during PM task processing. Adolescents and young adults were allocated to either the future thinking, repeated-encoding or standard condition. As expected, adolescents had fewer correct PM responses than young adults. Across age groups, PM performance in the standard condition was lower than in the other encoding conditions. Importantly, the results indicate a significant interaction of age by encoding condition. While adolescents benefited most from future thinking instructions, young adults performed best in the repeated-encoding condition. The results also indicate that the beneficial effects of future thinking may result from deeper intention-encoding through the simulation of future task performance.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-11-21

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

  14. Play for Performance: Using Computer Games to Improve Motivation and Test-Taking Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennis, Alan R.; Bhagwatwar, Akshay; Minas, Randall K.

    2013-01-01

    The importance of testing, especially certification and high-stakes testing, has increased substantially over the past decade. Building on the "serious gaming" literature and the psychology "priming" literature, we developed a computer game designed to improve test-taking performance using psychological priming. The game primed…

  15. The Hispanic Clinic for Pediatric Surgery: A model to improve parent-provider communication for Hispanic pediatric surgery patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaramillo, Joshua; Snyder, Elizabeth; Dunlap, Jonathan L; Wright, Robert; Mendoza, Fernando; Bruzoni, Matias

    2016-04-01

    26 million Americans have limited English proficiency (LEP). It is well established that language barriers adversely affect health and health care. Despite growing awareness of language barriers, there is essentially a void in the medical literature regarding the influence of language disparity on pediatric surgery patients. This study was designed to assess the impact of patient-provider language concordance on question-asking behavior and patient satisfaction for pediatric surgery patients. Participants included families of patients in a General Pediatric Surgery Clinic categorized into 3 groups by patient-provider language concordance: concordant English-speaking, LEP concordant Spanish-speaking, and LEP discordant Spanish-speaking using an interpreter. Clinical visits were audio recorded and the number of patient-initiated questions and the length of clinical encounter were measured. Families were administered a surgery-specific, 5-point Likert scale questionnaire modeled after validated surveys concerning communication, trust, perceived discrimination and patient-provider language concordance. Regression models were performed to analyze associations between language concordance and patient's question-asking behavior and between language concordance and survey results. A total of 156 participants were enrolled including 57 concordant-English, 52 LEP concordant-Spanish and 47 LEP-discordant-Spanish. There was significant variation in the mean number of patient-initiated questions among the groups (p=0.002). Both the English and Spanish concordant groups asked a similar number of questions (p=0.9), and they both asked more questions compared to the Spanish-discordant participants (p=0.002 and p=0.001). Language discordance was associated with fewer questions asked after adjustment for socioeconomic status. Language concordant participants rated higher scores of communication. Both Spanish-concordant and Spanish-discordant patients reported significantly increased

  16. The effect of interprofessional education on interprofessional performance and diabetes care knowledge of health care teams at the level one of health service providing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikoo Yamani

    2014-01-01

    Conclusion: It seems that inter-professional education can improve the quality of health care to some extent through influencing knowledge and collaborative performance of health care teams. It also can make the health-related messages provided to the covered population more consistent in addition to enhancing self-confidence of the personnel.

  17. Carbohydrate ingestion improves performance of a new reliable test of soccer performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currell, Kevin; Conway, Steve; Jeukendrup, Asker E

    2009-02-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the reliability of a new test of soccer performance and evaluate the effect of carbohydrate (CHO) on soccer performance. Eleven university footballers were recruited and underwent 3 trials in a randomized order. Two of the trials involved ingesting a placebo beverage, and the other, a 7.5% maltodextrin solution. The protocol comprised a series of ten 6-min exercise blocks on an outdoor Astroturf pitch, separated by the performance of 2 of the 4 soccer-specific tests, making the protocol 90 min in duration. The intensity of the exercise was designed to be similar to the typical activity pattern during soccer match play. Participants performed skill tests of dribbling, agility, heading, and shooting throughout the protocol. The coefficients of variation for dribbling, agility, heading, and shooting were 2.2%, 1.2%, 7.0%, and 2.8%, respectively. The mean combined placebo scores were 42.4 +/- 2.7 s, 43.1 +/- 3.7 s, 210 +/- 34 cm, and 212 +/- 17 points for agility, dribbling, heading, and kicking, respectively. CHO ingestion led to a combined agility time of 41.5 +/- 0.8 s, for dribbling 41.7 +/- 3.5 s, 213 +/- 11 cm for heading, and 220 +/- 5 points for kicking accuracy. There was a significant improvement in performance for dribbling, agility, and shooting (p soccer performance, and ingesting CHO leads to an improvement in soccer performance.

  18. Multiband RF pulses with improved performance via convex optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Hong; Larson, Peder E Z; Kerr, Adam; Reed, Galen; Sukumar, Subramaniam; Elkhaled, Adam; Gordon, Jeremy W; Ohliger, Michael A; Pauly, John M; Lustig, Michael; Vigneron, Daniel B

    2016-01-01

    Selective RF pulses are commonly designed with the desired profile as a low pass filter frequency response. However, for many MRI and NMR applications, the spectrum is sparse with signals existing at a few discrete resonant frequencies. By specifying a multiband profile and releasing the constraint on "don't-care" regions, the RF pulse performance can be improved to enable a shorter duration, sharper transition, or lower peak B1 amplitude. In this project, a framework for designing multiband RF pulses with improved performance was developed based on the Shinnar-Le Roux (SLR) algorithm and convex optimization. It can create several types of RF pulses with multiband magnitude profiles, arbitrary phase profiles and generalized flip angles. The advantage of this framework with a convex optimization approach is the flexible trade-off of different pulse characteristics. Designs for specialized selective RF pulses for balanced SSFP hyperpolarized (HP) (13)C MRI, a dualband saturation RF pulse for (1)H MR spectroscopy, and a pre-saturation pulse for HP (13)C study were developed and tested. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Development of a Web-based educational intervention to improve cross-cultural communication among hospice providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doorenbos, Ardith Z; Lindhorst, Taryn; Schim, Stephanie Myers; Van Schaik, Eileen; Demiris, George; Wechkin, Hope A; Curtis, J Randall

    2010-01-01

    In this article, the authors describe the theoretical foundation, development, and content of a Web-based educational intervention to improve cross-cultural communication about end-of-life concerns and report on the preliminary evaluation of this intervention using a qualitative study design. The data were collected with non-structured questions in a convenience sample of 21 hospice providers. Participants reported that they found the training appropriate and useful. Participants also reported finding the online delivery convenient and the interactive format valuable. Improving the quality of cross-cultural patient-provider communication can contribute to reducing disparities at end-of-life.

  20. Improving Performance in Quantum Mechanics with Explicit Incentives to Correct Mistakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Benjamin R.; Mason, Andrew; Singh, Chandralekha

    2016-01-01

    An earlier investigation found that the performance of advanced students in a quantum mechanics course did not automatically improve from midterm to final exam on identical problems even when they were provided the correct solutions and their own graded exams. Here, we describe a study, which extended over four years, in which upper-level…

  1. Using Brief Guided Imagery to Reduce Math Anxiety and Improve Math Performance: A Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henslee, Amber M.; Klein, Brandi A.

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate whether brief guided imagery could provide a short-term reduction in math anxiety and improve math performance. Undergraduates (N = 581) were screened for math anxiety, and the highest and lowest quartiles were recruited to participate in a lab-based study. Participants were assigned to a brief guided…

  2. Effectiveness of Tutoring to Improve Academic Performance in Nursing Students at the University of Seville

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra-Martín, María Dolores; Lima-Serrano, Marta; Lima-Rodríguez, Joaquín Salvador

    2017-01-01

    In response to the increase of Higher Education support provided to tutoring programs, this paper presents the design, implementation and evaluation of a tutoring program to improve the academic performance of at-risk students enrolled in the last year of a nursing degree characterized by academic failure (failed courses). A controlled…

  3. Improving Emergency Response and Human-Robotic Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David I. Gertman; David J. Bruemmer; R. Scott Hartley

    2007-08-01

    Preparedness for chemical, biological, and radiological/nuclear incidents at nuclear power plants (NPPs) includes the deployment of well trained emergency response teams. While teams are expected to do well, data from other domains suggests that the timeliness and accuracy associated with incident response can be improved through collaborative human-robotic interaction. Many incident response scenarios call for multiple, complex procedure-based activities performed by personnel wearing cumbersome personal protective equipment (PPE) and operating under high levels of stress and workload. While robotic assistance is postulated to reduce workload and exposure, limitations associated with communications and the robot’s ability to act independently have served to limit reliability and reduce our potential to exploit human –robotic interaction and efficacy of response. Recent work at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) on expanding robot capability has the potential to improve human-system response during disaster management and recovery. Specifically, increasing the range of higher level robot behaviors such as autonomous navigation and mapping, evolving new abstractions for sensor and control data, and developing metaphors for operator control have the potential to improve state-of-the-art in incident response. This paper discusses these issues and reports on experiments underway intelligence residing on the robot to enhance emergency response.

  4. Plans for performance and model improvements in the LISE++ software

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuchera, M. P.; Tarasov, O. B.; Bazin, D.; Sherrill, B. M.; Tarasova, K. V.

    2016-06-01

    The LISE++ software for fragment separator simulations is undergoing a major update. LISE++ is the standard software used at in-flight separator facilities for predicting beam intensity and purity. The code simulates nuclear physics experiments where fragments are produced and then selected with a fragment separator. A set of modifications to improve the functionality of the code is discussed in this work. These modifications include transportation to a modern graphics framework and updated compilers to aid in the performance and sustainability of the code. To accommodate the diversity of our users' computer platform preferences, we extend the software from Windows to a cross-platform application. The calculations of beam transport and isotope production are becoming more computationally intense with the new large scale facilities. Planned new features include new types of optimization, for example, optimization of ion optics, improvements in reaction models, and new event generator options. In addition, LISE++ interface with control systems are planned. Computational improvements as well as the schedule for updating this large package will be discussed.

  5. Embedded Sensors and Controls to Improve Component Performance and Reliability Conceptual Design Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kisner, R.; Melin, A.; Burress, T.; Fugate, D.; Holcomb, D.; Wilgen, J.; Miller, J.; Wilson, D.; Silva, P.; Whitlow, L.; Peretz, F.

    2012-09-15

    The objective of this project is to demonstrate improved reliability and increased performance made possible by deeply embedding instrumentation and controls (I&C) in nuclear power plant (NPP) components and systems. The project is employing a highly instrumented canned rotor, magnetic bearing, fluoride salt pump as its I&C technology demonstration platform. I&C is intimately part of the basic millisecond-by-millisecond functioning of the system; treating I&C as an integral part of the system design is innovative and will allow significant improvement in capabilities and performance. As systems become more complex and greater performance is required, traditional I&C design techniques become inadequate and more advanced I&C needs to be applied. New I&C techniques enable optimal and reliable performance and tolerance of noise and uncertainties in the system rather than merely monitoring quasistable performance. Traditionally, I&C has been incorporated in NPP components after the design is nearly complete; adequate performance was obtained through over-design. By incorporating I&C at the beginning of the design phase, the control system can provide superior performance and reliability and enable designs that are otherwise impossible. This report describes the progress and status of the project and provides a conceptual design overview for the platform to demonstrate the performance and reliability improvements enabled by advanced embedded I&C.

  6. Improving performance of dental resins by adding titanium dioxide nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jirun; Forster, Aaron M; Johnson, Peter M; Eidelman, Naomi; Quinn, George; Schumacher, Gary; Zhang, Xinran; Wu, Wen-Li

    2011-10-01

    The objective of this study is to improve the performance of dental resins by adding a small amount of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO₂ NPs), which have outstanding mechanical properties and unique photoactivities. Acrylic acid modified TiO₂ NPs (AP25) were prepared and added to a mixture of bis-phenol-A-dimethacrylate and triethylene glycol dimethacrylate (mass ratio 1:1) at seven mass fractions. Disks made of these resins were subjected to FTIR microspectroscopy, nanoindentation, microindentation, and 3-point bending to determine the degree of vinyl conversion (DC) modulus and hardness. The shear bond strengths (SBS) of dentin adhesives containing various amount of AP25 were also examined. The DC increased as a function of mass fraction of AP25 and reached a plateau at 0.1%. The DC of the resin mixture was improved by ≈7% up to 91.7 ± 0.8%. The elastic modulus and hardness of the composites increased initially as more AP25 were added, and decreased after reached the maximum value at approximately 0.06% mass fraction of AP25. The maximum elastic modulus was ≈48% higher than that of the NP-free resin, and the maximum hardness was more than twice higher than that of the NP-free resin. Using these resin composites as dental adhesives, the mean SBS using resins with 0.1% mass fraction of AP25 was ≈30% higher than those using NP-free resin. By adding a small amount of AP25 to the resin, the DC and the mechanical properties of resins were improved dramatically. These findings could lead to better performing dental adhesives. Copyright © 2011 Academy of Dental Materials. All rights reserved.

  7. Neck-cooling improves repeated sprint performance in the heat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline eSunderland

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The present study evaluated the effect of neck-cooling during exercise on repeated sprint ability in a hot environment. Seven team-sport playing males completed two experimental trials involving repeated sprint exercise (5 x 6 s before and after two 45 min bouts of a football specific intermittent treadmill protocol in the heat (33.0  0.2 ºC; 53 ± 2% relative humidity. Participants wore a neck-cooling collar in one of the trials (CC. Mean power output and peak power output declined over time in both trials but were higher in CC (540 ± 99 v 507 ± 122W, d = 0.32; 719 ± 158 v 680 ± 182 W, d = 0.24 respectively. The improved power output was particularly pronounced (d = 0.51 – 0.88 after the 2nd 45 min bout but the CC had no effect on % fatigue. The collar lowered neck temperature and the thermal sensation of the neck (P 0.05. There were no trial differences but interaction effects were demonstrated for prolactin concentration and rating of perceived exertion (RPE. Prolactin concentration was initially higher in the collar cold trial and then was lower from 45 minutes onwards (interaction trial x time P=0.04. RPE was lower during the football intermittent treadmill protocol in the collar cold trial (interaction trial x time P = 0.01. Neck-cooling during exercise improves repeated sprint performance in a hot environment without altering physiological or neuroendocrinological responses. RPE is reduced and may partially explain the performance improvement.

  8. Improving human object recognition performance using video enhancement techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitman, Lucy S.; Lewis, Colin; Oakley, John P.

    2004-12-01

    Atmospheric scattering causes significant degradation in the quality of video images, particularly when imaging over long distances. The principle problem is the reduction in contrast due to scattered light. It is known that when the scattering particles are not too large compared with the imaging wavelength (i.e. Mie scattering) then high spatial resolution information may be contained within a low-contrast image. Unfortunately this information is not easily perceived by a human observer, particularly when using a standard video monitor. A secondary problem is the difficulty of achieving a sharp focus since automatic focus techniques tend to fail in such conditions. Recently several commercial colour video processing systems have become available. These systems use various techniques to improve image quality in low contrast conditions whilst retaining colour content. These systems produce improvements in subjective image quality in some situations, particularly in conditions of haze and light fog. There is also some evidence that video enhancement leads to improved ATR performance when used as a pre-processing stage. Psychological literature indicates that low contrast levels generally lead to a reduction in the performance of human observers in carrying out simple visual tasks. The aim of this paper is to present the results of an empirical study on object recognition in adverse viewing conditions. The chosen visual task was vehicle number plate recognition at long ranges (500 m and beyond). Two different commercial video enhancement systems are evaluated using the same protocol. The results show an increase in effective range with some differences between the different enhancement systems.

  9. Performances of sexuality counselling : a framework for provider-client encounters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Kwaak, Anke; Ferris, Kristina; van Kats, Jetty; Dieleman, Marjolein

    2010-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Adequately assessing quality of care poses enormous challenges. While conducting fieldwork, we were struck by the need for a framework that encapsulates provider-client encounters. Little evidence exists concerning the most effective training, and management of health staff engaged in

  10. A review of hospital characteristics associated with improved performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Caroline A; Barker, Anna L; Morello, Renata T; Vitale, Michael R; Evans, Sue M; Scott, Ian A; Stoelwinder, Johannes U; Cameron, Peter A

    2012-10-01

    The objective of this review was to critically appraise the literature relating to associations between high-level structural and operational hospital characteristics and improved performance. The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (Ovid), CINAHL, proQuest and PsychINFO were searched for articles published between January 1996 and May 2010. Reference lists of included articles were reviewed and key journals were hand searched for relevant articles. and data extraction Studies were included if they were systematic reviews or meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, controlled before and after studies or observational studies (cohort and cross-sectional) that were multicentre, comparative performance studies. Two reviewers independently extracted data, assigned grades of evidence according to the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines and critically appraised the included articles. Data synthesis Fifty-seven studies were reported within 12 systematic reviews and 47 observational articles. There was heterogeneity in use and definition of performance outcomes. Hospital characteristics investigated were environment (incentives, market characteristics), structure (network membership, ownership, teaching status, geographical setting, service size) and operational design (innovativeness, leadership, organizational culture, public reporting and patient safety practices, information technology systems and decision support, service activity and planning, workforce design, staff training and education). The strongest evidence for an association with overall performance was identified for computerized physician order entry systems. Some evidence supported the associations with workforce design, use of financial incentives, nursing leadership and hospital volume. There is limited, mainly low-quality evidence, supporting the associations between hospital characteristics and healthcare performance. Further characteristic-specific systematic reviews are

  11. Effort provides its own reward: endeavors reinforce subjective expectation and evaluation of task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Zheng, Jiehui; Meng, Liang

    2017-04-01

    Although many studies have investigated the relationship between the amount of effort invested in a certain task and one's attitude towards the subsequent reward, whether exerted effort would impact one's expectation and evaluation of performance feedback itself still remains to be examined. In the present study, two types of calculation tasks that varied in the required effort were adopted, and we resorted to electroencephalography to probe the temporal dynamics of how exerted effort would affect one's anticipation and evaluation of performance feedback. In the high-effort condition, a more salient stimulus-preceding negativity was detected during the anticipation stage, which was accompanied with a more salient FRN/P300 complex (a more positive P300 and a less negative feedback-related negativity) in response to positive outcomes in the evaluation stage. These results suggested that when more effort was invested, an enhanced anticipatory attention would be paid toward one's task performance feedback and that positive outcomes would be subjectively valued to a greater extent.

  12. A metrological large range atomic force microscope with improved performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Gaoliang; Wolff, Helmut; Pohlenz, Frank; Danzebrink, Hans-Ulrich

    2009-04-01

    A metrological large range atomic force microscope (Met. LR-AFM) has been set up and improved over the past years at Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). Being designed as a scanning sample type instrument, the sample is moved in three dimensions by a mechanical ball bearing stage in combination with a compact z-piezostage. Its topography is detected by a position-stationary AFM head. The sample displacement is measured by three embedded miniature homodyne interferometers in the x, y, and z directions. The AFM head is aligned in such a way that its cantilever tip is positioned on the sample surface at the intersection point of the three interferometer measurement beams for satisfying the Abbe measurement principle. In this paper, further improvements of the Met. LR-AFM are reported. A new AFM head using the beam deflection principle has been developed to reduce the influence of parasitic optical interference phenomena. Furthermore, an off-line Heydemann correction method has been applied to reduce the inherent interferometer nonlinearities to less than 0.3 nm (p-v). Versatile scanning functions, for example, radial scanning or local AFM measurement functions, have been implemented to optimize the measurement process. The measurement software is also improved and allows comfortable operations of the instrument via graphical user interface or script-based command sets. The improved Met. LR-AFM is capable of measuring, for instance, the step height, lateral pitch, line width, nanoroughness, and other geometrical parameters of nanostructures. Calibration results of a one-dimensional grating and a set of film thickness standards are demonstrated, showing the excellent metrological performance of the instrument.

  13. Chicken Essence Improves Exercise Performance and Ameliorates Physical Fatigue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen-Ching Huang

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Chicken essence (CE is a liquid nutritional supplement made from cooking whole chickens. In traditional Chinese medicine, CE is used to support health, promote healing, increase metabolism, and relieve fatigue. However, few studies have examined the effect of CE on exercise performance and physical fatigue. We aimed to evaluate the potential beneficial effects of CE on fatigue and ergogenic functions following physical challenge in mice. Male ICR mice were divided into four groups to receive vehicle or CE by oral gavage at 0, 845, 1690, or 4225 mg/kg/day for 4 weeks. Exercise performance and anti-fatigue function were evaluated by forelimb grip strength, exhaustive swimming time, and levels of physical fatigue-related biomarkers serum lactate, ammonia, glucose, and creatine kinase (CK after physical challenge. CE supplementation dose-dependently elevated endurance and grip strength. CE supplementation significantly decreased lactate, ammonia, and CK levels after physical challenge. Tissue glycogen content, an important energy source for exercise, was significantly increased with CE supplementation. In addition, CE supplementation had few subchronic toxic effects. The supplementation with CE can have a wide spectrum of bioactivities on health promotion, performance improvement and anti-fatigue.

  14. Social housing improves dairy calves' performance in two cognitive tests.

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    Charlotte Gaillard

    Full Text Available Early social housing is known to benefit cognitive development in laboratory animals. Pre-weaned dairy calves are typically separated from their dam immediately after birth and housed alone, but no work to date has addressed the effect of individual housing on cognitive performance of these animals. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of individual versus social housing on two measures of cognitive performance: reversal learning and novel object recognition. Holstein calves were either housed individually in a standard calf pen (n = 8 or kept in pairs using a double pen (n = 10. Calves were tested twice daily in a Y-maze starting at 3 weeks of age. Calves were initially trained to discriminate two colours (black and white until they reached a learning criterion of 80% correct over three consecutive sessions. Training stimuli were then reversed (i.e. the previously rewarded colour was now unrewarded, and vice-versa. Calves from the two treatments showed similar rates of learning in the initial discrimination task, but the individually housed calves showed poorer performance in the reversal task. At 7 weeks of age, calves were tested for their response to a novel object in eight tests over a two-day period. Pair-housed calves showed declining exploration with repeated testing but individually reared calves did not. The results of these experiments provide the first direct evidence that individual housing impairs cognitive performance in dairy calves.

  15. Social housing improves dairy calves' performance in two cognitive tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaillard, Charlotte; Meagher, Rebecca K; von Keyserlingk, Marina A G; Weary, Daniel M

    2014-01-01

    Early social housing is known to benefit cognitive development in laboratory animals. Pre-weaned dairy calves are typically separated from their dam immediately after birth and housed alone, but no work to date has addressed the effect of individual housing on cognitive performance of these animals. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of individual versus social housing on two measures of cognitive performance: reversal learning and novel object recognition. Holstein calves were either housed individually in a standard calf pen (n = 8) or kept in pairs using a double pen (n = 10). Calves were tested twice daily in a Y-maze starting at 3 weeks of age. Calves were initially trained to discriminate two colours (black and white) until they reached a learning criterion of 80% correct over three consecutive sessions. Training stimuli were then reversed (i.e. the previously rewarded colour was now unrewarded, and vice-versa). Calves from the two treatments showed similar rates of learning in the initial discrimination task, but the individually housed calves showed poorer performance in the reversal task. At 7 weeks of age, calves were tested for their response to a novel object in eight tests over a two-day period. Pair-housed calves showed declining exploration with repeated testing but individually reared calves did not. The results of these experiments provide the first direct evidence that individual housing impairs cognitive performance in dairy calves.

  16. Improving E. coli growth performance by manipulating small RNA expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negrete, Alejandro; Shiloach, Joseph

    2017-11-14

    Efficient growth of E. coli, especially for production of recombinant proteins, has been a challenge for the biotechnological industry since the early 1970s. By employing multiple approaches, such as different media composition, various growth strategies and specific genetic manipulations, it is now possible to grow bacteria to concentrations exceeding 100 g/L and to achieve high concentrations of recombinant proteins. Although the growth conditions are carefully monitored and maintained, it is likely that during the growth process cells are exposed to periodic stress conditions, created by fluctuations in pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, glucose, and salt concentration. These stress circumstances which can occur especially in large volume bioreactors, may affect the growth and production process. In the last several years, it has been recognized that small non-coding RNAs can act as regulators of bacterial gene expression. These molecules are found to be specifically involved in E. coli response to different environmental stress conditions; but so far, have not been used for improving production strains. The review provides summary of small RNAs identified on petri dish or in shake flask culture that can potentially affect growth characteristics of E. coli grown in bioreactor. Among them MicC and MicF that are involved in response to temperature changes, RyhB that responds to iron concentration, Gady which is associated with lower pH, Sgrs that is coupled with glucose transport and OxyS that responds to oxygen concentration. The manipulation of some of these small RNAs for improving growth of E. coli in Bioreactor is described in the last part of the review. Overexpression of SgrS was associated with improved growth and reduced acetate expression, over expression of GadY improved cell growth at acidic conditions and over expression of OxyS reduced the effect of oxidative stress. One of the possible advantages of manipulating sRNAs for improving cell growth is

  17. Microstructured Electrolyte Membranes to Improve Fuel Cell Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Xue

    Fuel cells, with the advantages of high efficiency, low greenhouse gas emission, and long lifetime are a promising technology for both portable power and stationary power sources. The development of efficient electrolyte membranes with high ionic conductivity, good mechanical durability and dense structure at low cost remains a challenge to the commercialization of fuel cells. This thesis focuses on exploring novel composite polymer membranes and ceramic electrolytes with the microstructure engineered to improve performance in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), respectively. Polymer/particle composite membranes hold promise to meet the demands of DMFCs at lower cost. The structure of composite membranes was controlled by aligning proton conducting particles across the membrane thickness under an applied electric field. The field-induced structural changes caused the membranes to display an enhanced water uptake, proton conductivity, and methanol permeability in comparison to membranes prepared without an applied field. Although both methanol permeability and proton conductivity are enhanced by the applied field, the permeability increase is relatively lower than the proton conductivity improvement, which results in enhanced proton/methanol selectivity and improved DMFC performance. Apatite ceramics are a new class of fast ion conductors being studied as alternative SOFC electrolytes in the intermediate temperature range. An electrochemical/hydrothermal deposition method was developed to grow fully dense apatite membranes containing well-developed crystals with c-axis alignment to promote ion conductivity. Hydroxyapatite seed crystals were first deposited onto a metal substrate electrochemically. Subsequent ion substitution during the hydrothermal growth process promoted the formation of dense, fully crystalline films with microstructure optimal for ion transport. The deposition parameters were systematically investigated, such as

  18. Acute exercise performed close to the anaerobic threshold improves cognitive performance in elderly females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Córdova, C; Silva, V C; Moraes, C F; Simões, H G; Nóbrega, O T

    2009-05-01

    The objective of the present study was to compare the effect of acute exercise performed at different intensities in relation to the anaerobic threshold (AT) on abilities requiring control of executive functions or alertness in physically active elderly females. Forty-eight physically active elderly females (63.8 +/- 4.6 years old) were assigned to one of four groups by drawing lots: control group without exercise or trial groups with exercise performed at 60, 90, or 110% of AT (watts) and submitted to 5 cognitive tests before and after exercise. Following cognitive pretesting, an incremental cycle ergometer test was conducted to determine AT using a fixed blood lactate concentration of 3.5 mmol/L as cutoff. Acute exercise executed at 90% of AT resulted in significant (P Exercising at 60% of AT did not improve results of any tests for executive functions, whereas exercise executed at 110% of AT only improved the performance in one of these tests (verbal fluency) compared to control. Women from all trial groups exhibited a remarkable reduction in the Simple Response Time (alertness) test (P = 0.001). Thus, physical exercise performed close to AT is more effective to improve cognitive processing of older women even if conducted acutely, and using a customized exercise prescription based on the anaerobic threshold should optimize the beneficial effects.

  19. A Framework for Improving Project Performance of Standard Design Models in Saudi Arabia

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    Shabbab Al-Otaib

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Improving project performance in the construction industry poses several challenges for stakeholders. Recently, there have been frequent calls for the importance of adopting standardisation in improving construction design as well as the process and a focus on learning mapping from other industries. The Saudi Ministry of Interior (SMoI has adopted a new Standard Design Model (SDM approach for the development of its construction programme to effectively manage its complex project portfolio and improve project performance. A review of existing literature indicates that despite the adoption of SDM repetitive projects, which enable learning from past mistakes and improving the performance of future projects, it has been realised that there is a lack of learning instruments to capture, store and disseminate Lessons Learnt (LL. This research proposes a framework for improving the project performance of SDMs in the Saudi construction industry. Eight case studies related to a typical standard design project were performed that included interviews with of 24 key stakeholders who are involved in the planning and implementation of SDM projects within the SMoI. The research identified 14 critical success factors CSFs have a direct impact on the SDM project performance. These are classified into three main CSF-related clusters: adaptability to the context; contract management; and construction management. A framework, which comprises the identified 14 CSFs, was developed, refined and validated through a workshop with 12 key stakeholders in the SMoI construction programme. Additionally, a framework implementation process map was developed. Web-based tools and KM were identified as core factors in the framework implementation strategy. Although many past CSF-related studies were conducted to develop a range of construction project performance improvement frameworks, the paper provides the first initiative to develop a framework to improve the performance of

  20. BigHorn Home Improvement Center Energy Performance: Preprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deru, M.; Pless, S.; Torcellini, P.

    2006-04-01

    This is one of the nation's first commercial building projects to integrate extensive high-performance design into a retail space. The extensive use of natural light, combined with energy-efficient electrical lighting design, provides good illumination and excellent energy savings. The reduced lighting loads, management of solar gains, and cool climate allow natural ventilation to meet the cooling loads. A hydronic radiant floor system, gas-fired radiant heaters, and a transpired solar collector deliver heat. An 8.9-kW roof-integrated photovoltaic (PV) system offsets a portion of the electricity.