WorldWideScience

Sample records for quality pbq tools

  1. Process-Based Quality (PBQ) Tools Development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cummins, J.L.

    2001-12-03

    The objective of this effort is to benchmark the development of process-based quality tools for application in CAD (computer-aided design) model-based applications. The processes of interest are design, manufacturing, and quality process applications. A study was commissioned addressing the impact, current technologies, and known problem areas in application of 3D MCAD (3-dimensional mechanical computer-aided design) models and model integrity on downstream manufacturing and quality processes. The downstream manufacturing and product quality processes are profoundly influenced and dependent on model quality and modeling process integrity. The goal is to illustrate and expedite the modeling and downstream model-based technologies for available or conceptual methods and tools to achieve maximum economic advantage and advance process-based quality concepts.

  2. EVALUATION OF MACHINE TOOL QUALITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Kuric

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Paper deals with aspects of quality and accuracy of machine tools. As the accuracy of machine tools has key factor for product quality, it is important to know the methods for evaluation of quality and accuracy of machine tools. Several aspects of diagnostics of machine tools are described, such as aspects of reliability.

  3. PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF QUALITY TOOLS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duško Pavletić

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper is dealing with one segment of broader research of universality an systematicness in application of seven basic quality tools (7QC tools, which is possible to use in different areas: power plant, process industry, government, health and tourism services. The aim of the paper was to show on practical examples that there is real possibility of application of 7QC tools. Furthermore, the research has to show to what extent are selected tools in usage and what reasons of avoiding their broader application are. The simple example of successful application of the quality tools are shown on selected company in process industry.

  4. Water Quality Assessment Tool 2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Water Quality Assessment Tool project was developed to assess the potential for water-borne contaminants to adversely affect biota and habitats on Service lands.

  5. Surface Erosion of GaN Bombarded by Highly Charged 208Pbq+-Ions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Li-Qing; ZHANG Chong-Hong; YANG Yi-Tao; YAO Cun-Feng; LI Bing-Sheng; JIN Yun-Fan; SUN You-Mei; SONG Shu-Jian

    2008-01-01

    Surface change of gallium nitride specimens after bombardment by highly charged Pbq+-ions (q=25, 35) at room temperature is studied by means of atomic force microscopy. The experimental results reveal that the surface of GaN specimens is significantly etched and erased. An unambiguous step-up is observed. The erosion depth not only strongly depends on the charge state of ions, but also is related to the incident angle of Pbq+ -ions and the ion dose. The erosion depth of the specimens in 60°incidence (tilted incidence) is significantly deeper than that of the normal incidence. The erosion behaviour of specimens has little dependence on the kinetic energy of ion (E,k=360, 700keV). On the other hand, surface roughness of the irradiated area is obviously decreased due to erosion compared with the un-irradiated area. A flat terrace is formed.

  6. DATA QUALITY TOOLS FOR DATAWAREHOUSE MODELS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JASPREETI SINGH

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Data quality tools aim at detecting and correcting data problems that influence the accuracy and efficiency of data analysis applications. Data warehousing activities require data quality tools to ready the data and ensure that clean data populates the warehouse, thus raising usability of the warehouse. This research targets on the problems in the data that are addressed by data quality tools. We classify data quality tools based on datawarehouse stages and features of tool; which address the data quality problems and understand their functionalities.

  7. Psychometric Properties and Structural Validity of the Short Version of the Personality Beliefs Questionnaire (PBQ-SF

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubén Darío Manrique Hernández

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The Personality Belief Questionnaire- Short Form (PBQ-SF is an assessment instrument of personality beliefs based on the cognitive theory that states that these are characterized by a specific pattern of dysfunctional thoughts. The objective of this study was to establish the psychometric properties and structural validity of the PBQ-SF questionnaire in Colombian adults from 18 to 35 years old. To carry out the above and with permission of the author the validation process was initiated following a thorough and rigorous process that led to a final version of the PBQ-SF applied to 1423 persons born in Colombia and living in nine Colombian cities. Analysis of internal consistency among the items (Cronbach´s alpha, confirmatory factor analysis and calculus of goodness of fit estimators were performed. It was found that the Internal consistency of the domains varied from 0,65 for avoidant disorder up to 0,83 for paranoid disorder.

  8. Comparing tools for Service Quality Evaluation

    OpenAIRE

    Franceschini, Fiorenzo

    1998-01-01

    Service quality evaluation is one of the main issues that have recently drawn managers' and researchers' attention. The definition of an evaluation standard not dependent on any particular service context has determined the popularity of many different quality tools. In this paper we show a comparative analysis of the affected tools that are widely used. These are summarized in an orientation map. Moreover we present some results of an experiment carried out with two of the major quality tool...

  9. CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT THROUGH INTEGRATION OF QUALITY TOOLS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    The relationship between major quality tools such as quality function development (QFD),failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), design of experiments (DOE) and statistical process control (SPC) is analyzed through an extensive review of the literature and the concurrent quality engineering philosophy, and a basic structure for the integration of quality tools is presented. An integrated quality management system (IQMS) is developed using C++ Builder, nmning in the Windows 2000 Server environment with the basic internet connections, and SQL Server 2000 as the platform for developing the database. An illustrative example applying IQMS to the continuous quality improvement for a crane equipment manufacturing is reported. The result shows that the application of IQMS can optimize the process of design and manufacturing, shorten the cycle time of product, reduce the cost, and realize quality improvement continuously. The proposed integrated framework with IQMS is believed to be applicable to continuous quality improvement in many manufacturing companies.

  10. Quality tools - systematic use in process industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Sokovic

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The paper is dealing with one segment of broader research of universality systematicness in application of seven basic quality tools (7QC tools. The research was carried out in different areas that include power plant, process industry, government, health and tourism services. The aim of the research was to show on practical examples that there is real possibility of application of 7QC tools. Furthermore, the research has to show to what extent are selected tools in usage and what reasons of avoiding their broader application are. The simple example of successful application of one of quality tools are shown on selected company in process industry.Design/methodology/approach: In the research each of 7QC tools have been tested and its applicability in the frame of selected business has been shown. Systematic approach is explained on the example of selected company in process industry which is ISO 9000:2000 certified.Findings: Conducted research has shown that there is possibility of systematic application of all of the 7QC tools in the frame of companies’ overall quality management system. The research has also shown that 7QC tools are not so wide spread as expected, although they are quite simple for application and easy to interpret. The further investigation should be carried out in order to find reasons for such condition, and, in accordance, to define appropriate corrective actions to eliminate or minimize that problem.Practical implications: The partners in research were from different area of business, as stated above. To each partner has been shown in what manner can quality tools are applied and how formal quality management system can help in process improvement on day-to day basis.Originality/value: The main value of conducted research is, in author’s opinion, to show to each partner in research that all of 7QC tools can be successfully applied within their own business. Also, the correlation between formal quality

  11. Three self-report questionnaires of the early mother-to-infant bond: reliability and validity of the Dutch version of the MPAS, PBQ and MIBS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Bussel, Johan C H; Spitz, Bernard; Demyttenaere, Koen

    2010-10-01

    In this study, we investigated the reliability and validity of three self-report questionnaires measuring the early emotional bond between a mother and her newborn infant: the Maternal Postpartum Attachment Scale (MPAS), the Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire (PBQ) and the Mother-to-Infant Bonding Scale (MIBS). In a monocentric prospective observational cohort study, 263 mothers completed the MPAS, the PBQ and the MIBS at 8-12 and at 20-25 weeks postpartum. The participants also completed measures of mental health and, during their pregnancy, measures of recalled parental bonding, adult romantic attachment, antenatal attachment and social desirability. In our study, the internal reliabilities of the PBQ and the MPAS were high at 8-12 weeks postpartum but dropped significantly at 20-25 weeks postpartum. Moderately strong correlations between the scales of the PBQ, the MPAS and the MIBS supported their construct validity. Further, weak correlations were found with social desirability and adult attachment representations, whereas moderate correlations were found with antenatal feelings of attachment and antenatal attitudes to motherhood. Finally, maternal feelings of bonding were also moderately associated with maternal mood. Overall, our findings suggest that the MPAS, the PBQ and the MIBS provide a reliable and valid indication of the early emotional tie between a woman and her newborn infant.

  12. ALMA quality assurance: concepts, procedures, and tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavan, A. M.; Tanne, S. L.; Akiyama, E.; Kurowski, R.; Randall, S.; Vila Vilaro, B.; Villard, E.

    2016-07-01

    Data produced by ALMA for the community undergoes a rigorous quality assurance (QA) process, from the initial observation ("QA0") to the final science-ready data products ("QA2"), to the QA feedback given by the Principal Investigators (PIs) when they receive the data products ("QA3"). Calibration data is analyzed to measure the performance of the observatory and predict the trend of its evolution ("QA1"). The procedure develops over different steps and involves several actors across all ALMA locations; it is made possible by the support given by dedicated software tools and a complex database of science data, meta-data and operational parameters. The life-cycle of each involved entity is well-defined, and it prevents for instance that "bad" data (that is, data not meeting the minimum quality standards) is ever processed by the ALMA pipeline. This paper describes ALMA's quality assurance concepts and procedures, including the main enabling software components.

  13. Using GLIDER tool in Air Quality Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berendes, T.; Ramachandran, R.; Graves, S. J.; Maskey, M.; Chidambaram, C.; Christopher, S. A.; Hogan, P.; Gaskin, T.

    2009-12-01

    One of the major goals of NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) program was to study the Earth-Atmosphere System in an integrated fashion. As part of this vision, a series of individual and multi-sensor satellites were launched. With the launch of multiple sensors on several satellites, there is an increasing need to not only analyze data from individual sensors but from a combination of sensors on the same satellite or multiple satellites. Being able to juxtapose and combine these data sets should increase our ability to more effectively analyze various research scenarios. Currently, there are limited tools available for classifying images into one of several classes (e.g. clouds, aerosol, vegetation, desert, etc) on a pixel-by-pixel basis especially in complex cases when aerosols are mixed with clouds or when aerosols are over inhomogeneous surfaces. For example, the MODIS algorithms for detecting aerosols over land and ocean use a set of simple spatial and spectral thresholds that may not be adequate for complex cases over deserts when the surface is bright with clouds and aerosols in different layers and misclassification is possible. Over the Saharan desert mineral dust could be mixed with biomass burning aerosols, could occur in different layers, or thin cirrus cloud could pose additional ‘contamination’ problems. This poster will present GLIDER, a free software tool currently being developed to address these science needs. GLIDER provides users with a easy to use tool to visualize, analyze and mine satellite imagery. The poster will describe the tool’s unique features that will make it invaluable scientists for conducting air quality studies based on satellite imagery.

  14. UTILIZATION OF QUALITY TOOLS: DOES SECTOR AND SIZE MATTER?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Fonseca

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This research focuses on the influence of company sector and size on the level of utilization of Basic and Advanced Quality Tools. The paper starts with a literature review and then presents the methodology used for the survey. Based on the responses from 202 managers of Portuguese ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System certified organizations, statistical tests were performed. Results show, with 95% confidence level, that industry and services have a similar proportion of use of Basic and Advanced Quality Tools. Concerning size, bigger companies show a higher trend to use Advanced Quality Tools than smaller ones. For Basic Quality Tools, there was no statistical significant difference at a 95% confidence level for different company sizes. The three basic Quality tools with higher utilization were Check sheets, Flow charts and Histograms (for Services or Control Charts/ (for Industry, however 22% of the surveyed organizations reported not using Basic Quality Tools, which highlights a major improvement opportunity for these companies. Additional studies addressing motivations, benefits and barriers for Quality Tools application should be undertaken for further validation and understanding of these results.

  15. A quality assessment tool for markup-based clinical guidelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shalom, Erez; Shahar, Yuval; Taieb-Maimon, Meirav; Lunenfeld, Eitan

    2008-11-06

    We introduce a tool for quality assessment of procedural and declarative knowledge. We developed this tool for evaluating the specification of mark-up-based clinical GLs. Using this graphical tool, the expert physician and knowledge engineer collaborate to perform scoring, using pre-defined scoring scale, each of the knowledge roles of the mark-ups, comparing it to a gold standard. The tool enables scoring the mark-ups simultaneously at different sites by different users at different locations.

  16. Mobile Water Quality Information Tool Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Water quality remote sensing has grown to allow for operational monitoring of trophic status, assessment of cyanobacteria blooms, and historical and trend analysis...

  17. Tool Use Within NASA Software Quality Assurance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shigeta, Denise; Port, Dan; Nikora, Allen P.; Wilf, Joel

    2013-01-01

    As space mission software systems become larger and more complex, it is increasingly important for the software assurance effort to have the ability to effectively assess both the artifacts produced during software system development and the development process itself. Conceptually, assurance is a straightforward idea - it is the result of activities carried out by an organization independent of the software developers to better inform project management of potential technical and programmatic risks, and thus increase management's confidence in the decisions they ultimately make. In practice, effective assurance for large, complex systems often entails assessing large, complex software artifacts (e.g., requirements specifications, architectural descriptions) as well as substantial amounts of unstructured information (e.g., anomaly reports resulting from testing activities during development). In such an environment, assurance engineers can benefit greatly from appropriate tool support. In order to do so, an assurance organization will need accurate and timely information on the tool support available for various types of assurance activities. In this paper, we investigate the current use of tool support for assurance organizations within NASA, and describe on-going work at JPL for providing assurance organizations with the information about tools they need to use them effectively.

  18. TRANSFoRm Data quality tool.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verheij, R.A.

    2015-01-01

    Tool description: As computerisation of primary care facilities is rapidly increasing, a wealth of information is created in routinely recorded electronic health records (EHR) that can be used and is already used for research purposes. However, we need to be able to assess whether the data these pri

  19. C++ Software Quality in the ATLAS experiment: Tools and Experience

    CERN Document Server

    Martin-Haugh, Stewart; The ATLAS collaboration

    2017-01-01

    In this paper we explain how the C++ code quality is managed in ATLAS using a range of tools from compile-time through to run time testing and reflect on the substantial progress made in the last two years largely through the use of static analysis tools such as Coverity®, an industry-standard tool which enables quality comparison with general open source C++ code. Other available code analysis tools are also discussed, as is the role of unit testing with an example of how the GoogleTest framework can be applied to our codebase.

  20. C++ Software Quality in the ATLAS Experiment: Tools and Experience

    CERN Document Server

    Kluth, Stefan; The ATLAS collaboration; Obreshkov, Emil; Roe, Shaun; Seuster, Rolf; Snyder, Scott; Stewart, Graeme

    2016-01-01

    The ATLAS experiment at CERN uses about six million lines of code and currently has about 420 developers whose background is largely from physics. In this paper we explain how the C++ code quality is managed using a range of tools from compile-time through to run time testing and reflect on the great progress made in the last year largely through the use of static analysis tools such as Coverity®, an industry-standard tool which enables quality comparison with general open source C++ code. Other tools including cppcheck, Include-What-You-Use and run-time 'sanitizers' are also discussed.

  1. Quality Index Method - An objective tool for determination of sensory quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hyldig, Grethe; Green-Petersen, Ditte

    2004-01-01

    seen as a subjective assessment of quality. However, sensory methods can be turned into an objective tool. European fisheries research institutes have developed such a tool, by which sensory assessment is performed in a systematic way with an objective quality assessment method called the Quality Index...

  2. Performance indicators: A tool for continuous quality improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bhatnagar, Nidhi M; Soni, Shital; Gajjar, Maitrey; Shah, Mamta; Shah, Sangita; Patel, Vaidehi

    2016-01-01

    ... (both critical and routine) to number of donors reactive for TTI. We conducted a study to measure the impact of monitoring Performance Indicators and how it could be used as a tool for Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI...

  3. Assessing Educational Processes Using Total-Quality-Management Measurement Tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macchia, Peter, Jr.

    1993-01-01

    Discussion of the use of Total Quality Management (TQM) assessment tools in educational settings highlights and gives examples of fishbone diagrams, or cause and effect charts; Pareto diagrams; control charts; histograms and check sheets; scatter diagrams; and flowcharts. Variation and quality are discussed in terms of continuous process…

  4. Gironacel[R]: A Virtual Tool for Learning Quality Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Empar; Casadesus, Marti; De Ciurana, Quim

    2006-01-01

    This article describes the Gironacel[R] project--a virtual learning environment produced by the University of Girona. The purpose of this tool is to make it easier for students studying quality management courses within engineering schools to understand what the "quality culture" is and how to implement the ISO 9001:2000 standard in a very…

  5. Tools used for evaluation of Brazilian children's quality of life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Gabriel S. Souza

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE:To review the available tools to evaluate children's quality of life validated for Brazilian language and culture.DATA SOURCES: Search of scientific articles in Medline, Lilacs and SciELO databases using the combination of descriptors "quality of life", "child" and "questionnaires" in Portuguese and English.DATA SYNTHESIS: Among the tools designed to assess children's quality of life validated for the Brazilian language and culture, the Auto questionnaire Qualité de Vie Enfant Imagé (AUQEI, the Child Health Questionnaire - Parent Form 50 (CHQ-PF50, the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL(tmversion 4.0 and the Kidscreen-52 are highlighted. Some tools do not include all range of ages and some lack domains that are currently considered relevant in the context of childhood, such as bullying. Moreover, due to the cultural diversity of Brazil, it may be necessary to adapt some instruments or to validate other tools.CONCLUSIONS: There are validated instruments to evaluate children's quality of life in Brazil. However, the validation or the adaptation of other international tools have to be considered in order to overcome current deficiencies

  6. The Quality Quotient: A Tool for Measuring Organizational Quality Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-09-01

    Hagle and Whitehair, 1988:29). Honesty is one of the most important values to foster in pursuing quality (Groocock, 1986:17-19 ). Communication must...to future, more complex goals, thus creating a cycle of performance reinforcement (Hall and Foster , 1977:282). Survey item 79 was developed by the...i:r~3!ei Costo ~er Sv’ce. Ne5DOflSvaeSS By Variabfe vrOUZ le ASALfi5 :)F V "ACE ASORE .H s A RE3 A 10 Dis ETWEi N 3ROPS 37 4 0 935 2 6. 4 5 7. 53 7;SE

  7. A New Tool for Quality: The Internal Audit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haycock, Camille; Schandl, Annette

    As health care systems aspire to improve the quality and value for the consumers they serve, quality outcomes must be at the forefront of this value equation. As organizations implement evidence-based practices, electronic records to standardize processes, and quality improvement initiatives, many tactics are deployed to accelerate improvement and care outcomes. This article describes how one organization utilized a formal clinical audit process to identify gaps and/or barriers that may be contributing to underperforming measures and outcomes. This partnership between quality and audit can be a powerful tool and produce insights that can be scaled across a large health care system.

  8. Improving the quality of EHR recording in primary care: a data quality feedback tool.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bij, S. van der; Khan, N.; Veen, P. ten; Bakker, D.H. de; Verheij, R.A.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Electronic health record (EHR) data are used to exchange information among health care providers. For this purpose, the quality of the data is essential. We developed a data quality feedback tool that evaluates differences in EHR data quality among practices and software packages as part o

  9. Quality Function Deployment – QFD As a Strategic Marketing Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rumeninng Abrantes dos Santos

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The Quality Function Deployment (QFD is a structured method that aims to convert the needs and desires of customers in product quality characteristics. From its origins, more than forty years ago, it has been applied in various organizations in product development and improvement of existing products. This paper aims to show how QFD can be used as a strategic marketing tool. The research method is qualitative with bibliographical research. The results indicate that the use of the attributes of the "House of Quality" in the various sales stages is a market differentiation strategy and a wide applicability of QFD in marketing, transcending the boundaries of product design and production areas.

  10. Tool Support for Inspecting the Code Quality of HPC Applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Panas, T; Quinlan, D; Vuduc, R

    2007-03-16

    The nature of HPC application development encourages ad hoc design and implementation, rather than formal requirements analysis and design specification as is typical in software engineering. However, we cannot simply expect HPC developers to adopt formal software engineering processes wholesale, even while there is a need to improve software structure and quality to ensure future maintainability. Therefore, we propose tools that HPC developers can use at their discretion to obtain feedback on the structure and quality of their codes. This feedback would come in the form of code quality metrics and analyses, presented when necessary in intuitive and interactive visualizations. This paper summarizes our implementation of just such a tool, which we apply to a standard HPC benchmark as ''proof-of-concept.''

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. [A quality evaluation tableau for health institutions: an educational tool].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Marie Christine; Decavel, Frédérique; Merlet, Christine

    2009-09-01

    For a few years, health institutions have had to comply with the certification and the need to establish the new governance. Thanks to the accreditation version 2 (obtained in 2005), the elaboration of the hospital project (adopted in October, 2006) and the organization in poles since 2006, the quality oriented management became a priority axis at the University Hospital of Angers. The strategic adaptation to quality requirements leads to develop the hospital management, more especially at the level of the clinical, medico technical and administrative poles. The elements of the hospital project including the part about the quality, risk and evaluation aim at being adapted by every pole according to the level of its project. This adaptation which is imposed to each pole manager requires a practical and educational accompaniment allowing at the same time to realize a diagnosis of the progress of the quality approach, a measure of the impact of the global impregnation within the institution and a comparison between pole. A eight axis dashboard with criteria and a user guide were developed from certification ISO 9001, the EFQM manual and the certification manual version 2 of the Healthcare High Authorities. The criteria are transcribed in an EXCEL grid ready to use. Succeeding in estimating your own quality system means that you demonstrate the maturity of the quality approach. The results of this evaluation confirmed those of the certification. The dashboard is a management structuring tool at the service of the multidisciplinary team. Two considerations emerge from these results: First of all, for the hospital top management, the axes to be improved emerge as a priority to determine and target the next annual action plans. The results also allow to support the auto evaluation for the certification version 2010 planned in January of the same year. It is a pragmatic tool which allows auto evaluation and comparison to estimate the pole performances. It is a strategic

  13. Developing Cyberinfrastructure Tools and Services for Metadata Quality Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mecum, B.; Gordon, S.; Habermann, T.; Jones, M. B.; Leinfelder, B.; Powers, L. A.; Slaughter, P.

    2016-12-01

    Metadata and data quality are at the core of reusable and reproducible science. While great progress has been made over the years, much of the metadata collected only addresses data discovery, covering concepts such as titles and keywords. Improving metadata beyond the discoverability plateau means documenting detailed concepts within the data such as sampling protocols, instrumentation used, and variables measured. Given that metadata commonly do not describe their data at this level, how might we improve the state of things? Giving scientists and data managers easy to use tools to evaluate metadata quality that utilize community-driven recommendations is the key to producing high-quality metadata. To achieve this goal, we created a set of cyberinfrastructure tools and services that integrate with existing metadata and data curation workflows which can be used to improve metadata and data quality across the sciences. These tools work across metadata dialects (e.g., ISO19115, FGDC, EML, etc.) and can be used to assess aspects of quality beyond what is internal to the metadata such as the congruence between the metadata and the data it describes. The system makes use of a user-friendly mechanism for expressing a suite of checks as code in popular data science programming languages such as Python and R. This reduces the burden on scientists and data managers to learn yet another language. We demonstrated these services and tools in three ways. First, we evaluated a large corpus of datasets in the DataONE federation of data repositories against a metadata recommendation modeled after existing recommendations such as the LTER best practices and the Attribute Convention for Dataset Discovery (ACDD). Second, we showed how this service can be used to display metadata and data quality information to data producers during the data submission and metadata creation process, and to data consumers through data catalog search and access tools. Third, we showed how the centrally

  14. QUALITY SERVICES EVALUATION MODEL BASED ON DEDICATED SOFTWARE TOOL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANDREEA CRISTINA IONICĂ

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we introduced a new model, called Service Quality (SQ, which combines QFD and SERVQUAL methods. This model takes from the SERVQUAL method the five dimensions of requirements and three of characteristics and from the QFD method the application methodology. The originality of the SQ model consists in computing a global index that reflects the customers’ requirements accomplishment level by the quality characteristics. In order to prove the viability of the SQ model, there was developed a software tool that was applied for the evaluation of a health care services provider.

  15. Defect Investigation as a Tool for Quality Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Gurumurthy

    2002-10-01

    Full Text Available Defect investigation is an important tool for quality improvement as it identifies the root cause of errors and steps to be taken to eliminate these. In this paper, four cases of defect investigation are presented. The case studies cover link elevator, wing-fuselage attachment bolt, and stiff nut for Lakshya unmanned aerial vehicle. It was observed that the link elevator was discolourised even though the material used was the stainless steel. Investigations revealed that the stainless steel was heat-treated. In the case of leading edge, it was found that there was no provision for the location of a component in the tool, resulting in mismatch. Thread damage was noticed in wing-fuselage attachment bolts because of over tightening. All these studies resulted in improvement in the raw material bonding, inspection procedures, and fabrication methods, thus resulting in quality improvement.

  16. Quality Improvement Of Fan Manufacturing Industry By Using Basic Seven Tools Of Quality: A Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sulaman Muhammad

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Research was carried out in a Fan manufacturing industry to address the quality related problems and improve their quality level by implementing basic seven tools of quality. These are important tools used worldwide in manufacturing industries for continual improvement. Flow chart, Check sheet, Histogram, Cause & Effect diagram, Pareto chart, Scatter diagram & Control charts were implemented in different steps of manufacturing process to define the problem, measure its impact, finding out its root cause and its removal to ensure the production of non defective items. The case study was carried out in “FECTO FAN” Gujranwala, Pakistan.

  17. Quality tools in a process of technical project management

    OpenAIRE

    Gwiazda, A.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this paper is to show how it could utilize the tools of quality management for the processof project management. Also it could be presented a modification of the Ishikawa diagram.Design/methodology/approach: In presented work has been applied the research methodology that bases onthe theoretical analysis and on the empirical researches. It is also presented a practical solution that proved thevalidity of proposed method.Findings: The base finding of the presented work is t...

  18. The Software Improvement Process - Tools And Rules To Encourage Quality

    CERN Document Server

    Sigerud, K

    2011-01-01

    The Applications section of the CERN accelerator Controls group has decided to apply a systematic approach to quality assurance (QA), the “Software Improvement Process”, SIP. This process focuses on three areas: the development process itself, suitable QA tools, and how to practically encourage developers to do QA. For each stage of the development process we have agreed on the recommended activities and deliverables, and identified tools to automate and support the task. For example we do more code reviews. As peer reviews are resource-intensive, we only do them for complex parts of a product. As a complement, we are using static code checking tools, like FindBugs and Checkstyle. We also encourage unit testing and have agreed on a minimum level of test coverage recommended for all products, measured using Clover. Each of these tools is well integrated with our IDE (Eclipse) and give instant feedback to the developer about the quality of their code. The major challenges of SIP have been to 1) agree on com...

  19. Tool steel quality and surface finishing of plastic molds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Agnelli Mesquita

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Plastic industry is today in a constant growth, demanding several products from other segments, which includes the plastic molds, mainly used in the injection molding process. Considering all the requirements of plastic molds, the surface finishing is of special interest, as the injected plastic part is able to reproduce any details (and also defects from the mold surface. Therefore, several aspects on mold finishing are important, mainly related to manufacturing conditions - machining, grinding, polishing and texturing, and also related to the tool steel quality, in relation to microstructure homogeneity and non-metallic inclusions (cleanliness. The present paper is then focused on this interrelationship between steel quality and manufacturing process, which are both related to the final quality of plastic mold surfaces. Examples are discussed in terms of surface finishing of plastic molds and the properties or the microstructure of mold steels.

  20. Production-quality Tools for Adaptive Mesh RefinementVisualization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weber, Gunther H.; Childs, Hank; Bonnell, Kathleen; Meredith,Jeremy; Miller, Mark; Whitlock, Brad; Bethel, E. Wes

    2007-10-25

    Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) is a highly effectivesimulation method for spanning a large range of spatiotemporal scales,such as astrophysical simulations that must accommodate ranges frominterstellar to sub-planetary. Most mainstream visualization tools stilllack support for AMR as a first class data type and AMR code teams usecustom built applications for AMR visualization. The Department ofEnergy's (DOE's) Science Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC)Visualization and Analytics Center for Enabling Technologies (VACET) isextending and deploying VisIt, an open source visualization tool thataccommodates AMR as a first-class data type, for use asproduction-quality, parallel-capable AMR visual data analysisinfrastructure. This effort will help science teams that use AMR-basedsimulations and who develop their own AMR visual data analysis softwareto realize cost and labor savings.

  1. Capability studies, helpful tools in process quality improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simion Carmen

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Ability of processes to meet customer’quality requirements has become essential for providing competitive advantages such as cost savings, reducing the number of nonconfoming products or increasing customer satisfaction. This paper aims to conduct a capability study for a swaging process (that ensures an assembly dimension of a key product characteristic (the outer diameter of a new part, related to the concept of capability and performance indices and how these metrics can be used and interpreted to become powerful tools for decision making. To achieve the goal of the paper, the following key aspects were analyzed: capability of the measurement system capability (gage R&R, production equipment (machine capability and process capability/performance during the first serial production. The analysis was performed with Minitab® 17, the most commonly used software for quality improvement.

  2. Geocoding coronial data: tools and techniques to improve data quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freestone, Darren; Williamson, Dianne; Wollersheim, Dennis

    2012-01-01

    Clinical, administrative and demographic health information is fundamental to understanding the nature of health and evaluating the effectiveness of efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality of the population. The demographic data item 'location' is an integral part of any injury surveillance tool or injury prevention strategy. The true value of location data can only be realised once these data have been appropriately classified and quality assured. Geocoding as a means of classifying location is increasingly used in various health fields to enable spatial analysis of data. This article reports on research carried out in Australia at the National Coroners Information System (NCIS). Trends in the use of NCIS location-based data by researchers were identified. The research also aimed to establish the factors that impacted on the quality of geocoded data and the extent of this impact. A systematic analysis of the geocoding process identified source documentation, data cleaning, and software settings as key factors impacting on data quality. Understanding and application of these processes can improve data quality and therefore inform the analysis and interpretation of these data by researchers.

  3. Quality Dashboards: technical and architectural considerations of an actionable reporting tool for population management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsha-Yehiav, Maya; Einbinder, Jonathan S; Jung, Eunice; Linder, Jeffrey A; Greim, Julie; Li, Qi; Schnipper, Jeffrey L; Middleton, Blackford

    2006-01-01

    Quality Dashboards (QD) is a condition-specific, actionable web-based application for quality reporting and population management that is integrated into the Electronic Health Record (EHR). Using server-based graphic web controls in a .Net environment to construct Quality Dashboards allows customization of the reporting tool without the need to rely on commercial business intelligence tool. Quality Dashboards will improve patient care and quality outcomes as clinicians utilize the reporting tool for population management.

  4. Factors influencing the surface quality of polished tool steels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebeggiani, S.; Rosén, B.-G.

    2014-09-01

    Today’s demands on surface quality of moulds for injection moulding of plastic components involve no/low defect contents and roughness levels in the nm-range for high gloss applications. Material properties as well as operating conditions influence the mould finish, and thus the final surface of moulded products. This paper focuses on how particle content and different polishing strategies influence final surface qualities of moulds. Visual estimations of polished tool steel samples were combined with non-contact 3D-surface texture analysis in order to correlate traditional assessments to more quantitative methods, and to be able to analyse the surfaces at nanometre-level. It was found that steels with a lower proportion of particles, like carbides and oxides, gave rise to smoother polished surfaces. In a comparative study of polishers from different polishing shops, it was found that while different surface preparation strategies can lead to similar final roughness, similar preparation techniques can produce high-quality surfaces from different steel grades. However, the non-contact 3D-surface texture analysis showed that not all smooth polished surfaces have desirable functional topographies for injection moulding of glossy plastic components.

  5. CeLAND: search for a 4th light neutrino state with a 3 PBq 144Ce-144Pr electron antineutrino generator in KamLAND

    CERN Document Server

    Gando, A; Hayashida, S; Ikeda, H; Inoue, K; Ishidoshiro, K; Ishikawa, H; Koga, M; Matsuda, R; Matsuda, S; Mitsui, T; Motoki, D; Nakamura, K; Oki, Y; Otani, M; Shimizu, I; Shirai, J; Suekane, F; Suzuki, A; Takemoto, Y; Tamae, K; Ueshima, K; Watanabe, H; Xu, B D; Yamada, S; Yamauchi, Y; Yoshida, H; Cribier, M; Durero, M; Fischer, V; Gaffiot, J; Jonqueres, N; Kouchner, A; Lasserre, T; Leterme, D; Letourneau, A; Lhuillier, D; Mention, G; Rampal, G; Scola, L; Veyssiere, Ch; Vivier, M; Yala, P; Berger, B E; Kozlov, A; Banks, T; Dwyer, D; Fujikawa, B K; Han, K; Kolomensky, Yu G; Mei, Y; O'Donnell, T; Decowski, P; Markoff, D M; Yoshida, S; Kornoukhov, V N; Gelis, T V M; Tikhomirov, G V; Learned, J G; Maricic, J; Matsuno, S; Milincic, R; Karwowski, H J; Efremenko, Y; Detwiler, A; Enomoto, S

    2013-01-01

    The reactor neutrino and gallium anomalies can be tested with a 3-4 PBq (75-100 kCi scale) 144Ce-144Pr antineutrino beta-source deployed at the center or next to a large low-background liquid scintillator detector. The antineutrino generator will be produced by the Russian reprocessing plant PA Mayak as early as 2014, transported to Japan, and deployed in the Kamioka Liquid Scintillator Anti-Neutrino Detector (KamLAND) as early as 2015. KamLAND's 13 m diameter target volume provides a suitable environment to measure the energy and position dependence of the detected neutrino flux. A characteristic oscillation pattern would be visible for a baseline of about 10 m or less, providing a very clean signal of neutrino disappearance into a yet-unknown, sterile neutrino state. This will provide a comprehensive test of the electron dissaperance neutrino anomalies and could lead to the discovery of a 4th neutrino state for Delta_m^2 > 0.1 eV^2 and sin^2(2theta) > 0.05.

  6. SRGM Analyzers Tool of SDLC for Software Improving Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mr. Girish Nille

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Software Reliability Growth Models (SRGM have been developed to estimate software reliability measures such as software failure rate, number of remaining faults and software reliability. In this paper, the software analyzers tool proposed for deriving several software reliability growth models based on Enhanced Non-homogeneous Poisson Process (ENHPP in the presence of imperfect debugging and error generation. The proposed models are initially formulated for the case when there is no differentiation between failure observation and fault removal testing processes and then this extended for the case when there is a clear differentiation between failure observation and fault removal testing processes. Many Software Reliability Growth Models (SRGM have been developed to describe software failures as a random process and can be used to measure the development status during testing. With SRGM software consultants can easily measure (or evaluate the software reliability (or quality and plot software reliability growth charts.

  7. Evaluation of on-farm tools for colostrum quality measurement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartier, A L; Windeyer, M C; Doepel, L

    2015-03-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine the immunoglobulin G (IgG) content of colostrum on Alberta dairy farms and to determine which on-farm tool, the colostrometer or the Brix refractometer, was more highly correlated with IgG content as determined by radial immunodiffusion (RID). Colostrum samples (n=569) were collected between February and July 2012 from 13 commercial dairy farms in central Alberta, with herds ranging in size from 60 to 300 lactating cows. Immunoglobulin G content was determined directly by RID and indirectly by a colostrometer (specific gravity) and Brix refractometer (total solids). The Spearman correlation was used for the colostrometer and Brix refractometer data. According to RID analysis, 29.1% of the colostrum samples contained colostrum of adequate quality.

  8. Software Tools for Electrical Quality Assurance in the LHC

    CERN Document Server

    Bednarek, Mateusz

    2011-01-01

    There are over 1600 superconducting magnet circuits in the LHC machine. Many of them consist of a large number of components electrically connected in series. This enhances the sensitivity of the whole circuits to electrical faults of individual components. Furthermore, circuits are equipped with a large number of instrumentation wires, which are exposed to accidental damage or swapping. In order to ensure safe operation, an Electrical Quality Assurance (ELQA) campaign is needed after each thermal cycle. Due to the complexity of the circuits, as well as their distant geographical distribution (tunnel of 27km circumference divided in 8 sectors), suitable software and hardware platforms had to be developed. The software combines an Oracle database, LabView data acquisition applications and PHP-based web follow-up tools. This paper describes the software used for the ELQA of the LHC.

  9. University Ranking, an Important Quality-Assurance Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Crina Rădulescu

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available “University Rankings” - or “League Tables”, as they are known in the United Kingdom – have in ashort period of time become an important feature in policy-making and practice in higher education. They arenow a global phenomenon serving different purposes for different and varied audiences. Even if they are notnecessarily universally appreciated, there is an increasing understanding that they have become the “third armof the quality-assurance tool, together with accreditation, government regulation and licensing" and they areclearly here to stay. Indisputably university ranking has changed the way higher education institutions andtheir activities are being presented, perceived and assessed at the institutional, local, national and internationallevels.In our research we will try to answer some questions concerning this topic: is university ranking aninflexible tool, which favors traditional universities, with resources and experience?; what types ofperformance indicators, procedure and ethical considerations should be included in a conceptual frameworkor typology for higher education ranking systems?

  10. Penurunan Jumlah Cacat Produksi Melalui Pendekatan Seven Tools Of Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerry Gerry

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available PT Cipta Lestari Packindo is a manufacturing company engaging in the manufacture of cardboards. In its operational activities, the company experiences problems like defects or faults in the cardboard production process. Therefore, there’s a need for continuous improvements so that the company won’t suffer either from loss or cost of quality that will appear in the future. To achieve that, the seven tools of quality approach were used in an attempt to repair and reduce the level of errors and the defects in production. Results of this research found there are eight types of the cardboard defection occurred during the productions. By using pareto diagram, research found three major problems that took the biggest roles: pieces that are not aligned with the rotary engine, pieces that are not aligned with the coak engine, and missing in the printing process. In the analysis process of the reduction of defective productions within the three major problems, there are six factors causing the defections: men, machines, methods, measurements, materials, and environments—with men and machines as the biggest contributors. By doing continuous improvements, the level of the defective production will decrease eventually.

  11. Selected Tools and Methods from Quality Management Field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kateřina BRODECKÁ

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Following paper describes selected tools and methods from Quality management field and their practical applications on defined examples. Solved examples were elaborated in the form of electronic support. This in detail elaborated electronic support provides students opportunity to thoroughly practice specific issues, help them to prepare for exams and consequently will lead to education improvement. Especially students of combined study form will appreciate this support. The paper specifies project objectives, subjects that will be covered by mentioned support, target groups, structure and the way of elaboration of electronic exercise book in view. The emphasis is not only on manual solution of selected examples that may help students to understand the principles and relationships, but also on solving and results interpreting of selected examples using software support. Statistic software Statgraphics Plus v 5.0 is used while working support, because it is free to use for all students of the faculty. Exemplary example from the subject Basic Statistical Methods of Quality Management is also part of this paper.

  12. Penurunan Jumlah Cacat Produksi melalui Pendekatan Seven Tools of Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerry

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available PT Cipta Lestari Packindo is a manufacturing company engaging in the manufacture of cardboards. In its operational activities, the company experiences problems like defects or faults in the cardboard production process. Therefore, there's a need for continuous improvements so that the company won't suffer either from loss or cost of quality that will appear in the future. To achieve that, the seven tools of quality approach were used in an attempt to repair and reduce the level of errors and the defects in production. Results of this research found there are eight types of the cardboard defection occurred during the productions. By using pareto diagram, research found three major problems that took the biggest roles: pieces that are not aligned with the rotary engine, pieces that are not aligned with the coak engine, and missing in the printing process. In the analysis process of the reduction of defective productions within the three major problems, there are six factors causing the defections: men, machines, methods, measurements, materials, and environments with men and machines as the biggest contributors. By doing continuous improvements, the level of the defective production will decrease eventually.

  13. Managament quality of tools in the planned housing casting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaworski J.

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The Kaizen method of housing casting designing was presented in the paper. Algorithm making possibility of identification of tools limiting efficienty of tooling process was formulated. The system of tool management consisting of various was shown.

  14. TOOLS OF QUALITY IMPROVEMENT – MEASURING CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

    OpenAIRE

    Catalina Soriana Sitnikov

    2009-01-01

    Nowadays, quality is often divided into service quality and product quality. The dimensions of quality of service are quite different from the quality of product due to the main difference between services and products (service intangibility and the customer who can use it only once). Customer satisfaction is one of the topics related with the quality due to the main measurement of quality is customer service. The main question about quality service is what the customer expects to get from th...

  15. HEPS Inventory Tool: An Inventory Tool Including Quality Assessment of School Interventions on Healthy Eating and Physical Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dadaczynski, Kevin; Paulus, Peter; de Vries, Nanne; de Ruiter, Silvia; Buijs, Goof

    2010-01-01

    The HEPS Inventory Tool aims to support stakeholders working in school health promotion to promote high quality interventions on healthy eating and physical activity. As a tool it provides a step-by-step approach on how to develop a national or regional inventory of existing school based interventions on healthy eating and physical activity. It…

  16. [Autopsy as a tool for quality assurance: Leipzig].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gradistanac, T; Wittekind, C

    2011-11-01

    Autopsy rates have declined throughout the world although autopsy serves as an important tool in quality management. Working together with the Department of Heart Surgery of the Heart Centre in Leipzig clinical and autopsy diagnoses were compared. Between 2000 and 2003 an autopsy was performed in 468 patients. Data from clinical and postmortem examinations were prospectively analysed regarding causes of death, concomitant diseases and postoperative complications. Discrepancies between clinical and postmortem cause of death were identified in 23.1% of these patients. In 99.1% of the patients concomitant diseases (e.g. myocardial hypertrophy, pulmonary embolism, former stroke) could be identified, 57.6% were unknown pre-mortem and 19.2% were considered to be of relevance for surgical therapy. Autopsy is the final and most comprehensive physical examination. Autopsy is also the basis of training for pathologists in interpreting interrelated diagnoses. Therefore the task of pathologists is to enhance the appreciation of autopsy among clinical colleagues by working closely side by side. By communication an autopsy can deliver an effective achievement in terms of being relevant for praxis.

  17. Laser surface texturing of tool steel: textured surfaces quality evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šugár, Peter; Šugárová, Jana; Frnčík, Martin

    2016-05-01

    In this experimental investigation the laser surface texturing of tool steel of type 90MnCrV8 has been conducted. The 5-axis highly dynamic laser precision machining centre Lasertec 80 Shape equipped with the nano-second pulsed ytterbium fibre laser and CNC system Siemens 840 D was used. The planar and spherical surfaces first prepared by turning have been textured. The regular array of spherical and ellipsoidal dimples with a different dimensions and different surface density has been created. Laser surface texturing has been realized under different combinations of process parameters: pulse frequency, pulse energy and laser beam scanning speed. The morphological characterization of ablated surfaces has been performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) technique. The results show limited possibility of ns pulse fibre laser application to generate different surface structures for tribological modification of metallic materials. These structures were obtained by varying the processing conditions between surface ablation, to surface remelting. In all cases the areas of molten material and re-cast layers were observed on the bottom and walls of the dimples. Beside the influence of laser beam parameters on the machined surface quality during laser machining of regular hemispherical and elipsoidal dimple texture on parabolic and hemispherical surfaces has been studied.

  18. Visualization and Quality Control Web Tools for CERES Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrescu, C.; Doelling, D.; Chu, C.; Rutan, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    The CERES project continues to provide the scientific community a wide variety of satellite-derived data products such as observed TOA broadband shortwave and longwave observed fluxes, computed TOA and Surface fluxes, as well as cloud, aerosol, and other atmospheric parameters. These datasets encompass a wide range of temporal and spatial resolutions, suited to specific applications. Now in its 15-year, CERES products are mostly used by climate modeling communities that focus on global mean energetics, meridianal heat transport, and climate trend studies. However, CERES products are now beginning to be used by an even broader audience, like the green energy, health and environmental agencies. With its well-established web-oriented Ordering and Visualization Tool (OVT), CERES products are now much more assessable to users of all communities. The OVT Team introduced a series of specialized functions such as 1- and 2-D histogram, anomaly, deseasonalization, temporal and spatial averaging, side-by-side parameter comparison, and others that made the process of Quality Control far easier and faster. Over time increasingly higher order temporal and spatial resolution products are being made available to the public through the CERES OVT's web-pages. Moreover, ground site observed surface fluxes are being integrated into the OVT to facilitate the CERES project to QC the CERES computed surface fluxes. These features will give users the opportunity to perform their own comparisons of the CERES computed surface fluxes and observed ground site fluxes. An overview of the CERES OVT basic functions and its QC capabilities, new developments, as well as future steps in expanding its capabilities will be presented at the meeting.

  19. Scientific and Quality Control Web Tools for CERES Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrescu, C.; Doelling, D.; Chu, C.

    2013-12-01

    CERES project provides the scientific community a wide variety of satellite-derived data products. These include TOA broadband shortwave, longwave observed fluxes, computed TOA and surface fluxes, as well as cloud, aerosol, and atmospheric parameters. The datasets encompass a wide range of temporal resolutions, from instantaneous to monthly means, and spatial resolution, from 20-km footprint to global means. The 13-year record is used in climate modeling communities that focus on global mean energetics, meridianal heat transport, and climate trend studies. The data is also used in the remote sensing community for climatological process studies. The CERES products have even attracted a broader audience, such as the green energy, health and environmental research communities. The CERES project has implemented a well-established web-based Ordering and Visualization Tool (OVT), which is well into its fourth year of development. In order to help facilitate the quality control of CERES data products, the OVT Team began introducing a series of specialized functions. These include the 1- and 2-D histogram, anomaly, deseasonalization, temporal averaging, user selected spatial domain time series, side-by-side parameter comparison, and other specialized scientific application capabilities. Over time increasingly higher order temporal and spatial resolution products are being made available to the public through the CERES OVT. These high-resolution products required accessing the long-term archive, and the reading of very large HDF files quickly to provide near instantaneous visualization. The CERES OVT is also modularizing the software to ensure scalability with the ever-increasing demands of expanding the science and analytical capabilities, the incorporation of data products and growing user activity, while maintaining reliability. An overview of the CERES OVT, highlights of the QC and scientific functions, and technical challenges that were overcome, will be presented at

  20. Visualization and Quality Control Web Tools for CERES Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrescu, C.; Doelling, D.; Chu, C.; Mlynczak, P.

    2014-12-01

    The CERES project continues to provide the scientific community a wide variety of satellite-derived data products. The flagship products TOA broadband shortwave and longwave observed fluxes, computed TOA and Surface fluxes, as well as cloud, aerosol, and other atmospheric parameters. These datasets encompass a wide range of temporal and spatial resolutions, suited to specific applications. We thus offer time resolutions that range from instantaneous to monthly means, with spatial resolutions that range from 20-km footprint to global scales. The 14-year record is mostly used by climate modeling communities that focus on global mean energetics, meridianal heat transport, and climate trend studies. CERES products are also used by the remote sensing community for their climatological studies. In the last years however, our CERES products had been used by an even broader audience, like the green energy, health and environmental research communities, and others. Because of that, the CERES project has implemented a now well-established web-oriented Ordering and Visualization Tool (OVT), which is well into its fifth year of development. In order to help facilitate a comprehensive quality control of CERES products, the OVT Team began introducing a series of specialized functions. These include the 1- and 2-D histogram, anomaly, deseasonalization, temporal and spatial averaging, side-by-side parameter comparison, and other specialized scientific application capabilities. Over time increasingly higher order temporal and spatial resolution products are being made available to the public through the CERES OVT. These high-resolution products require accessing the existing long-term archive - thus the reading of many very large netCDF or HDF files that pose a real challenge to the task of near instantaneous visualization. An overview of the CERES OVT basic functions and QC capabilities as well as future steps in expanding its capabilities will be presented at the meeting.

  1. Innovative Tools for Water Quality/Quantity Management: New York City's Operations Support Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, L.; Schaake, J. C.; Day, G. N.; Porter, J.; Sheer, D. P.; Pyke, G.

    2011-12-01

    The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) manages New York City's water supply, which is comprised of over 20 reservoirs and supplies more than 1 billion gallons of water per day to over 9 million customers. Recently, DEP has initiated design of an Operations Support Tool (OST), a state-of-the-art decision support system to provide computational and predictive support for water supply operations and planning. This presentation describes the technical structure of OST, including the underlying water supply and water quality models, data sources and database management, reservoir inflow forecasts, and the functionalities required to meet the needs of a diverse group of end users. OST is a major upgrade of DEP's current water supply - water quality model, developed to evaluate alternatives for controlling turbidity in NYC's Catskill reservoirs. While the current model relies on historical hydrologic and meteorological data, OST can be driven by forecasted future conditions. It will receive a variety of near-real-time data from a number of sources. OST will support two major types of simulations: long-term, for evaluating policy or infrastructure changes over an extended period of time; and short-term "position analysis" (PA) simulations, consisting of multiple short simulations, all starting from the same initial conditions. Typically, the starting conditions for a PA run will represent those for the current day and traces of forecasted hydrology will drive the model for the duration of the simulation period. The result of these simulations will be a distribution of future system states based on system operating rules and the range of input ensemble streamflow predictions. DEP managers will analyze the output distributions and make operation decisions using risk-based metrics such as probability of refill. Currently, in the developmental stages of OST, forecasts are based on antecedent hydrologic conditions and are statistical in nature. The

  2. Improving agile requirements: the Quality User Story framework and tool

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lucassen, Garm; Dalpiaz, Fabiano|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/369508394; van der Werf, Jan Martijn E. M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/36950674X; Brinkkemper, Sjaak|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/07500707X

    2016-01-01

    User stories are a widely adopted requirements notation in agile development. Yet, user stories are too often poorly written in practice and exhibit inherent quality defects. Triggered by this observation, we propose the Quality User Story (QUS) framework, a set of 13 quality criteria that user

  3. A CIS (Clinical Information System) Quality Evaluation Tool for Nursing Care Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seon Ah

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop a tool to evaluate the quality of a clinical information system (CIS) conceived by nurses and conduct a pilot test with the developed tool as an initial assessment. CIS quality is required for successful implementation in information technology (IT) environments. The study started with the realization that…

  4. Towards sustainability in cold chains: Development of a quality, energy and environmental assessment tool (QEEAT)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gwanpua, S.G.; Verboven, P.; Brown, T.; Leducq, D.; Verlinden, B.E.; Evans, J.; Van Der Sluis, S.; Wissink, E.B.; Taoukis, P.; Gogou, E.; Stahl, V.; El Jabri, M.; Thuault, D.; Claussen, I.; Indergård, E.; M. Nicolai, B.; Alvarez, G.; Geeraerd, A.H.

    2014-01-01

    Quantification of the impact of refrigeration technologies in terms of the quality of refrigerated food, energy usage, and environmental impact is essential to assess cold chain sustainability. In this paper, we present a software tool QEEAT (Quality, Energy and Environmental Assessment Tool) for ev

  5. Towards sustainability in cold chains: Development of a quality, energy and environmental assessment tool (QEEAT)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gwanpua, S.G.; Verboven, P.; Brown, T.; Leducq, D.; Verlinden, B.E.; Evans, J.; Van Der Sluis, S.; Wissink, E.B.; Taoukis, P.; Gogou, E.; Stahl, V.; El Jabri, M.; Thuault, D.; Claussen, I.; Indergård, E.; M. Nicolai, B.; Alvarez, G.; Geeraerd, A.H.

    2014-01-01

    Quantification of the impact of refrigeration technologies in terms of the quality of refrigerated food, energy usage, and environmental impact is essential to assess cold chain sustainability. In this paper, we present a software tool QEEAT (Quality, Energy and Environmental Assessment Tool) for ev

  6. Tool for quality assurance of education for democratic citizenship in schools

    OpenAIRE

    Birzea, César; Cecchini, Michela; Harrison, Cameron; Krek, Janez; Spajić Vrkaš, Vedrana

    2005-01-01

    This Tool for Quality Assurance of Education for Democratic Citizenship (EDC) in Schools was prepared as a response to the compliance gap between policies and practices of EDC in various countries. While EDC policies are well developed, EDC practices in schools present significant weaknesses. The Tool was also prepared as part of the current interest and implementation of quality assurance in education.

  7. Review of quality assessment tools for family planning programmes in low- and middle-income countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprockett, Andrea

    2017-03-01

    Measuring and tracking the quality of healthcare is a critical part of improving service delivery, clinic efficiency and health outcomes. However, no standardized or widely accepted tool exists to assess the quality of clinic-based family planning services in low- and middle-income countries. The objective of this literature review was to identify widely used public domain quality assessment tools with existing or potential application in clinic-based family planning programmes. Using PubMed, PopLine, Google Scholar and Google, key terms such as ‘quality assessment tool’, ‘quality assessment method’, ‘quality measurement’, ‘LMIC’, ‘developing country’, ‘family planning’ and ‘reproductive health’ were searched for articles, identifying 20 relevant tools. Tools were assessed to determine the type of quality components assessed, divided into structure and process components, level of application (national or facility), health service domain that can be assessed by the tool, cost and current use of the tool. Tools were also assessed for shortcomings based on application in a low- and middle-income clinic-based family planning programme, including personnel required, re-assessment frequency, assessment of structure, process and outcome quality, comparability of data over time and across facilities and ability to benchmark clinic results to a national benchmark. No tools met all criteria, indicating a critical gap in quality assessment for low- and middle-income family planning programmes. To achieve Universal Health Coverage, agreed on in the Sustainable Development Goals and to improve system-wide healthcare quality, we must develop and widely adopt a standardized quality assessment tool.

  8. Method and tool for generating and managing image quality allocations through the design and development process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, Andrew W.; Olson, Craig; Theisen, Michael J.; Addiego, Chris J.; Hutchins, Tiffany G.; Goodman, Timothy D.

    2016-05-01

    Performance models for infrared imaging systems require image quality parameters; optical design engineers need image quality design goals; systems engineers develop image quality allocations to test imaging systems against. It is a challenge to maintain consistency and traceability amongst the various expressions of image quality. We present a method and parametric tool for generating and managing expressions of image quality during the system modeling, requirements specification, design, and testing phases of an imaging system design and development project.

  9. AN EMPIRICAL EXAMINATION OF QUALITY TOOLS IMPACT ON FINANCIAL PERFORMANCES: EVIDENCE FROM SERBIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vesna Spasojević Brkić

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the impact of quality tools on financial performances using a sample of 119Serbian industrial firms. Factor and reliability analysis are used to show that quality tools may beclassified into three primary categories: quality tools for reviewing current conditions (for decisionmaking, quality tools for analyzing current conditions (for problems solving and quality tools forproduction planning and control (for improvement. The relationships between these 3 groups ofquality tools and financial performances were tested using the stepwise regression analysis. It wasconcluded that the first group of quality tools (quality tools for reviewing current condition, e.g. fordecision making has significant impact on most of the dimensions of financial performances, whilefor the second and third group there is no statistical support. Influence of the first group of qualitytools on sales revenue is statistically significant at a p<0.01 significance level while it`s influence oncompany profit and total revenue per employee are statistically significant at p<0.05 significancelevel. The model ranged from 4% to 7%.

  10. Reference Guide. Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    US Environmental Protection Agency, 2009

    2009-01-01

    Understanding the importance of good indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools is the backbone of developing an effective Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) program. Poor IAQ can lead to a large variety of health problems and potentially affect comfort, concentration, and staff/student performance. In recognition of tight school budgets, this guidance is designed…

  11. Editorial and Technological Workflow Tools to Promote Website Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily G. Morton-Owens

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Library websites are an increasingly visible representation of the library as an institution, which makes website quality an important way to communicate competence and trustworthiness to users. A website editorial workflow is one way to enforce a process and ensure quality. In a workflow, users receive roles, like author or editor, and content travels through various stages in which grammar, spelling, tone, and format are checked. One library used a workflow system to involve librarians in the creation of content. This system, implemented in Drupal, an opensource content management system, solved problems of coordination, quality, and comprehensiveness that existed on the library’s earlier, static website.

  12. Fabrication and Application of High Quality Diamond-coated Tools

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Diamond-coated tools were fabricated using Co-cemented carbide inserts as substrates by the electronically aided hot filament chemical vapor deposition (EACVD). An amount of additive in an acid solution was used to promote the Co etching of the substrate surface. The surface of the WC-Co substrate was decarburized by microwave plasma with Ar-H 2 gas. Effect of the new substrate pretreatment on the adhesion of diamond films was investigated. A boron-doped solution was brushed on the tool surface to diffuse ...

  13. An integrated quality management tool based on GIS technology

    OpenAIRE

    ALEXANDRESCU, Maria Ilinca; ICHIM, Laurentiu; CHEVERESAN, Bogdan; MARINESCU, Maria; VASIU, Aurora; TUCHIU, Elena; SCHENK, Collin; SOUTTER, Marc; Drobot, Radu

    2008-01-01

    Abstract According to the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC, water bodies have to achieve the good status by 2015. In order to fulfill this objective the quality management must be improved. An integrated GIS application, called GESRO, was created. It is an extension to ArcGIS that uses its functionality to automatically classify the water quality into classes based on measured values. This classification is done for chemical and biological indicators, dangerous substances, drinking water,...

  14. New laboratory tools in the assessment of bone quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chappard, D; Baslé, M F; Legrand, E; Audran, M

    2011-08-01

    Bone quality is a complex set of intricated and interdependent factors that influence bone strength. A number of methods have emerged to measure bone quality, taking into account the organic or the mineral phase of the bone matrix, in the laboratory. Bone quality is a complex set of different factors that are interdependent. The bone matrix organization can be described at five different levels of anatomical organization: nature (organic and mineral), texture (woven or lamellar), structure (osteons in the cortices and arch-like packets in trabecular bone), microarchitecture, and macroarchitecture. Any change in one of these levels can alter bone quality. An altered bone remodeling can affect bone quality by influencing one or more of these factors. We have reviewed here the main methods that can be used in the laboratory to explore bone quality on bone samples. Bone remodeling can be evaluated by histomorphometry; microarchitecture is explored in 2D on histological sections and in 3D by microCT or synchrotron. Microradiography and scanning electron microscopy in the backscattered electron mode can measure the mineral distribution; Raman and Fourier-transformed infra-red spectroscopy and imaging can simultaneously explore the organic and mineral phase of the matrix on multispectral images; scanning acoustic microscopy and nanoindentation provide biomechanical information on individual trabeculae. Finally, some histological methods (polarization, surface staining, fluorescence, osteocyte staining) may also be of interest in the understanding of quality as a component of bone fragility. A growing number of laboratory techniques are now available. Some of them have been described many years ago and can find a new youth; others having benefited from improvements in physical and computer techniques are now available.

  15. Conceptual Model As The Tool For Managing Bank Services Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kornelija Severović

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Quality has become basic factor of economic efficiency and basic principle of business activities of successful organizations. Its consequence is revolution on the area of quality that has comprised all kinds of products and services and so the bank services as well. To understand the present and future needs of clients and to know how to fulfill and try to exceed their expectations is the task of each efficient economy. Therefore, the banks in the developed economies try to re-orientate organizationally, technologically and informatically their business activities placing the client in the core of this business activity. Significant indicators of quality services that banks offer is measured by the waiting time of clients for the offer of the desirable service and the number of clients who give up to enter the bank due to the long waiting queues. Dissatisfied client is the worst work result and business activity of banks. Following the stated, the great effort is made to improve service qualities, which means professionalism and communication of personnel with whom the clients come in contact, and giving punctual and clear information and short waiting period of standing in the lines. The aim of this work is to present and describe the functioning of bank system under the conditions of establishing quality in offering services to clients and to recognize basic guidelines for quality increase in the work of sub branches. Since the banking is very dynamic and complex system, the conceptual model is carried out for the purpose of optimization of the stated quality parameters for the bank business activity; this model, in further research, will serve for the development of simulation model.

  16. Mentoring. A quality assurance tool for dentists. Part 4: some tools for mentoring and coaching. The mentoring encounter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Vernon P; Ladwa, Russ

    2009-07-01

    This paper reviews a range of tools that a mentor may use to facilitate the mentoring process. In particular, six 'Master Tools' are highlighted and discussed. Some tools represent mentor qualities and attitudes whereas others represent particular strategies, especially asking questions, which may be employed to move the conversation in a helpful direction for a mentee. The use of 'scripts' is described as part of a mentor's preparation for dealing with difficult or unexpected situations or questions. Because it is important for mentors to be able to give feedback effectively, a section of the paper is devoted to this aspect in which some specific tools are described. A brief description of transactional analysis is given and a template for use of the GROW model is illustrated.

  17. QMeter Tools for Quality Measurement in Telecommunication Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akram Aburas

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Call Quality is prevalent and widely used by carriers that transport the calls of telecom operators. Butfrom end-users perspective call quality has been not taken very seriously until now and this is the reasonfor surge in GSM gateways which resulted in interconnect revenue loss and more importantly the callquality. This particular research developed as QMeter® is focussed to address and derive the callquality parameters from end-users perspective. The call parameters used in our research are SignalStrength, the successful call rate, normal drop call rate, handover drop rate. An attempt to visualizethose parameters for better understanding of where the quality is bad with respect to various parametersproposed and implemented. To address the issues of quality in subscriber segment and satisfy its demandfor quality of services, an alternative solution proposing the varying tariff based on call and bandwidthquality parameter is proposed. Call statistics for the bundles of ten calls and ten data sessions isproposed to better address the tariff redemption procedures. The proposed methods of qualitymeasurement has been compared and correlated with subjective scores for hundreds of calls and theresults show that our results are 85% on an average in correlation with subjective scores.

  18. Water quality management of aquifer recharge using advanced tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazarova, Valentina; Emsellem, Yves; Paille, Julie; Glucina, Karl; Gislette, Philippe

    2011-01-01

    Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) with recycled water or other alternative resources is one of the most rapidly growing techniques that is viewed as a necessity in water-short areas. In order to better control health and environmental effects of MAR, this paper presents two case studies demonstrating how to improve water quality, enable reliable tracing of injected water and better control and manage MAR operation in the case of indirect and direct aquifer recharge. Two water quality management strategies are illustrated on two full-scale case studies, including the results of the combination of non conventional and advanced technologies for water quality improvement, comprehensive sampling and monitoring programs including emerging pollutants, tracer studies using boron isotopes and integrative aquifer 3D GIS hydraulic and hydrodispersive modelling.

  19. Checking the Quality of Clinical Guidelines using Automated Reasoning Tools

    CERN Document Server

    Hommersom, Arjen; van Bommel, Patrick

    2008-01-01

    Requirements about the quality of clinical guidelines can be represented by schemata borrowed from the theory of abductive diagnosis, using temporal logic to model the time-oriented aspects expressed in a guideline. Previously, we have shown that these requirements can be verified using interactive theorem proving techniques. In this paper, we investigate how this approach can be mapped to the facilities of a resolution-based theorem prover, Otter, and a complementary program that searches for finite models of first-order statements, Mace. It is shown that the reasoning required for checking the quality of a guideline can be mapped to such fully automated theorem-proving facilities. The medical quality of an actual guideline concerning diabetes mellitus 2 is investigated in this way.

  20. Entwicklung und Nutzung eines Information-Quality-Rating-Tools am Beispiel von Content-Management-Systemen

    OpenAIRE

    Wiethaus, Jörg

    2001-01-01

    The thesis describes the software realisation of a framework for the evaluation of the Information Quality (IQ) from Information Systems and Information Resources. The framework was evolved at the University of Konstanz, Chair for Information Science. The developed Rating software supports evaluations on the basis of ratio measurement schemas, metrical scaling, free weighting factors for criteria and ranking functions. The tool manages quality dimensions, quality criteria, quality indices, ev...

  1. Data connectivity: A critical tool for external quality assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben Cheng

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Point-of-care (POC tests have been useful in increasing access to testing and treatment monitoring for HIV. Decentralising testing from laboratories to hundreds of sites around a country presents tremendous challenges in training and quality assurance. In order to address these concerns, companies are now either embedding connectivity in their new POC diagnostic instruments or providing some form of channel for electronic result exchange. These will allow automated key performance and operational metrics from devices in the field to a central database. Setting up connectivity between these POC devices and a central database at the Ministries of Health will allow automated data transmission, creating an opportunity for real- time information on diagnostic instrument performance as well as the competency of the operator through external quality assessment. A pilot programme in Zimbabwe shows that connectivity has significantly improve the turn-around time of external quality assessment result submissions and allow corrective actions to be provided in a timely manner. Furthermore, by linking the data to existing supply chain management software, stock-outs can be minimised. As countries are looking forward to achieving the 90-90-90 targets for HIV, such innovative technologies can automate disease surveillance, improve the quality of testing and strengthen the efficiency of health systems.

  2. Statistical tools to select for robustness and mil quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strandberg, E.; Felleki, M.; Fikse, W.F.; Franzen, P.F.J.; Mulder, H.A.; Ronnegard, L.; Urioste, J.I.; Windig, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    This work was part of the EU RobustMilk project. In this work package, we have focused on two aspects of robustness, micro- and macro-environmental sensitivity and applied these to somatic cell count (SCC), one aspect of milk quality. We showed that it is possible to combine both categorical and

  3. Dietary supplements quality analysis tools from the United States Pharmacopeia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giancaspro, Gabriel; Venema, Jaap

    2016-01-01

    The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the dietary supplement (DS) current good manufacturing practice (GMP) regulations in compliance with the mandate from the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA), with the intention of protecting public health by ensuring the quality of DS. The GMP regulations require manufacturers to establish their own quality specifications for identity, purity, strength, composition, and absence of contaminants. Numerous FDA‐conducted GMP inspections found that the private specifications set by these manufacturers are often insufficient to ensure adequate quality of dietary ingredients and DS. Wider use of the public standards developed by the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), in conjunction with GMP compliance, can help ensure quality and consistency of DS as they do for medicines. Public health protection could be enhanced by strengthening the GMP provisions to require conformance with relevant United States Pharmacopeia–National Formulary (USP–NF) standards, or in the absence of USP standards, other public compendial standards. Another serious concern is the presence of synthetic drugs and drug analogues in products marketed as DS. Use of the new USP General Chapter Adulteration of Dietary Supplements with Drugs and Drug Analogs may reduce the exposure of consumers to dangerous drugs disguised as DS. © 2016 The Authors. Drug Testing and Analysis published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. PMID:26857794

  4. Laboratory quality stepwise implementation tool: National reference TB laboratory of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Naghi Kebriaee

    2015-01-01

    Conclusions: As the internal score of NRL reaches 5, an international evaluation of accreditation scheme is sought. This is the first investigation that used the quality stepwise implementation tool in Iran.

  5. [Experience in working out of tools of quality management of maxillofacial prosthetics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arutiunov, A S; Kitsul, I S; Lebedenko, I Iu; Gazazian, V V

    2011-01-01

    Expericnce of working out of tools of quality management of maxillofacial prosthetics which can be applied in clinical practice of maxillofacial orthopedy is presented. The fragment of the algorithm of maxillofacial prosthetics developed by authors is presented.

  6. Road traffic pollution monitoring and modelling tools and the UK national air quality strategy.

    OpenAIRE

    Marsden, G.R.; Bell, M.C.

    2001-01-01

    This paper provides an assessment of the tools required to fulfil the air quality management role now expected of local authorities within the UK. The use of a range of pollution monitoring tools in assessing air quality is discussed and illustrated with evidence from a number of previous studies of urban background and roadside pollution monitoring in Leicester. A number of approaches to pollution modelling currently available for deployment are examined. Subsequently, the modelling and moni...

  7. Quality control tools applied to a PV microgrid in Ecuador

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Camino-Villacorta, M.; Egido-Aguilera, M.A. [Ciudad Univ., Madrid (Spain). Inst. de Energia Solar - UPM; Gamez, J.; Arranz-Piera, P. [Trama Tecnoambiental (TTA), Barcelona (Spain)

    2010-07-01

    The Instituto de Energia Solar has been dealing with quality control issues for rural electrification for many years. In the framework of project DOSBE (Development of Electricity Service Operators for Poverty Alleviation in Ecuador and Peru), a technical toolkit has been developed to implement adapted integral quality control procedures for photovoltaic systems (covering all components and equipment, installation and servicing), applicable at a local and regional scale, with the overall aim of increasing the confidence in photovoltaic systems. This toolkit was applied in the evaluation of an existing microgrid in Ecuador, which is described in this paper. The toolkit and the detailed results of its application are presented in a published document which is being widely distributed among the stakeholders of rural electrification in Ecuador and Peru. It can be downloaded from the web page of the DOSBE project: www.dosbe.org (orig.)

  8. Electronic noses: Powerful tools in meat quality assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wojnowski, Wojciech; Majchrzak, Tomasz; Dymerski, Tomasz; Gębicki, Jacek; Namieśnik, Jacek

    2017-09-01

    Main factors that are considered by consumers when choosing meat products are colour and aroma, of which the latter is a more reliable indicator of quality. However, a simple sensory evaluation of hedonistic qualities is often not sufficient to determine whether protein is past its shelf life, and consumption of spoiled meat can lead to serious health hazards. Some volatile compounds can be used as spoilage indicators, and so a device equipped with a sensor sensitive to particular odorants would prove useful. Unfortunately, no such single compound has yet been identified, as the changes taking place in a sample of meat during storage are contingent on numerous factors. On the other hand, a combination of volatile compounds may form a unique 'fingerprint' which can be analysed pattern recognition algorithms with an electronic nose. It can supplement established techniques of meat quality assessment by providing results that correlate well with hedonic perception in a short time and at a low cost. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. The leisure as a tool for work quality of life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandra Fernandes do Nascimento

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available This is a theoretical-empiric study that has as intention the analysis of the use of leisure technology capable of contributing for the improvement of the programs of quality of life at work, having as focus the leisure activities of teachers at CEFET/CE, and how the teachers evaluate them. The 63 teachers of the mentioned institution took part in this research. It is intended to point out some possible ways of analysis to think about contemporaries impasses about the scope of the leisure enterprise, it has the intention to provoke new reflections concerning the thematic. It is understood that leisure in the organizations is capable of contributing meaningfully in the quality of the individual's life at the work, besides benefiting the own organization. This approach given to leisure, as relevant aspect in the quality of life at work, passes through the administrative question of the organization, and how it makes use of it in its planning in moving its effective action of Corporate Social Responsibility.

  10. [Analysis and evaluation of the QUALIFY tool for assessing quality indicators with structured group interviews].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lüngen, Markus; Rath, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Quality indicators are used world-wide to monitor the quality of health care. For these indicators to be effective they also have to meet certain quality criteria. The QUALIFY tool is used for assessing the quality criteria themselves against a scientific background. The present paper evaluates the QUALIFY tool and provides an indication of its further development. The evaluation of the QUALIFY tool was carried out using structured group interviews. Participants of the first focus group were involved in both the development of the tool and in its implementation. The second focus group exclusively consisted of QUALIFY users. There was no essential difference in the rating between the two focus groups. Up till now, QUALIFY has been used for the designation of quality indicators for the German Quality Record for Hospitals, for a pre-selection of indicators for the National Disease Management Guidelines, and for a pharmaceutical drug safety project of the Coalition for Patient Safety. Its wider distribution is hampered by the fact that the actual QUALIFY tool is far too complex and requires a lot of resources. Nevertheless, its cost-effectiveness was rated 'adequate' because the application of inappropriate quality indicators can be very expensive. Our ambition should be to define QUALIFY subsystems of various complexity for different purposes and to enforce anchoring of the tool at an international level. QUALIFY, and thus the assessment of quality indicators, has entered virgin territory. Since quality assessment will be gaining relevance the further evaluation and development of these tools is warranted. In this context group interviews could provide an applicable approach to evaluating acceptance and implementation problems.

  11. A Quality Assessment Tool for Non-Specialist Users of Regression Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argyrous, George

    2015-01-01

    This paper illustrates the use of a quality assessment tool for regression analysis. It is designed for non-specialist "consumers" of evidence, such as policy makers. The tool provides a series of questions such consumers of evidence can ask to interrogate regression analysis, and is illustrated with reference to a recent study published…

  12. Recommendations for the Use of E-Tools for Improvements around Assignment Marking Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinrich, Eva; Milne, John; Ramsay, Annabel; Morrison, David

    2009-01-01

    This article reports on selected aspects of a larger study on the use of electronic tools in the context of the management and marking of assignments. The study comprised a literature review, interviews and a review of e-tools. The article briefly summarises the findings from the literature on what comprises quality in assignment marking. The…

  13. Enhancing the Quality of E-learning Systems via Multimedia Learning Tools

    OpenAIRE

    Haroon Tarawneh; Mohammad Tarawneh; Farid Alzboun

    2011-01-01

    This paper discusses how the multimedia learning tools can enhance the quality of e-learning systems. The construction and use of multimedia learning tools is a relatively new pedagogy, where multimedia learning tools are a learning style. Keefe defined learning style as being characteristic of the cognitive, affective, and physiological behaviors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment. Learning style also re...

  14. Essential documentation elements: quality tool for the emergency department nurse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Gayla; Peschel, Laura; Burgess, Ann

    2014-01-01

    The use of real-time feedback about documentation may improve compliance with best practice standards, provide immediate rewards for high-quality documentation, and present an opportunity to make instantaneous improvements to the documentation. This project was conducted in a large, urban emergency department (ED) to enhance patient safety, improve documentation quality, and increase timeliness of documentation. The PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) model was used to develop a valid and reliable process to enhance the clinical care process. Passive electronic visual cues with real-time feedback to the clinician were developed. Between March 2011 and 2012, a total of 89,521 ED records were reviewed for compliance with 16 documentation elements. Documentation improvements were achieved with seven elements. There was a slight decrease in compliance for four elements, and equivalent levels of compliance in five elements were noted. Staff reported that the program was helpful in providing reminders and that passive cues were more helpful than hard stops. Areas for software refinement were also identified. This process demonstrated that the data collection burden was reduced and sampling error was eliminated. Although additional study is needed, the electronic health record can provide passive visual cues to enhance nursing care, improve regulatory compliance and data collection, and provide immediate feedback to the clinician.

  15. Quality Appraisal of Single-Subject Experimental Designs: An Overview and Comparison of Different Appraisal Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendt, Oliver; Miller, Bridget

    2012-01-01

    Critical appraisal of the research literature is an essential step in informing and implementing evidence-based practice. Quality appraisal tools that assess the methodological quality of experimental studies provide a means to identify the most rigorous research suitable for evidence-based decision-making. In single-subject experimental research,…

  16. Toward the development of an image quality tool for active millimeter wave imaging systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Jeffrey; Weatherall, James C.; Greca, Joseph; Smith, Barry T.

    2015-05-01

    Preliminary design considerations for an image quality tool to complement millimeter wave imaging systems are presented. The tool is planned for use in confirming operating parameters; confirmation of continuity for imaging component design changes, and analysis of new components and detection algorithms. Potential embodiments of an image quality tool may contain materials that mimic human skin in order to provide a realistic signal return for testing, which may also help reduce or eliminate the need for mock passengers for developmental testing. Two candidate materials, a dielectric liquid and an iron-loaded epoxy, have been identified and reflection measurements have been performed using laboratory systems in the range 18 - 40 GHz. Results show good agreement with both laboratory and literature data on human skin, particularly in the range of operation of two commercially available millimeter wave imaging systems. Issues related to the practical use of liquids and magnetic materials for image quality tools are discussed.

  17. Forest fire forecasting tool for air quality modelling systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    San Jose, R.; Perez, J. L.; Perez, L.; Gonzalez, R. M.; Pecci, J.; Palacios, M.

    2015-07-01

    Adverse effects of smoke on air quality are of great concern; however, even today the estimates of atmospheric fire emissions are a key issue. It is necessary to implement systems for predicting smoke into an air quality modelling system, and in this work a first attempt towards creating a system of this type is presented. Wild land fire spread and behavior are complex phenomena due to both the number of involved physic-chemical factors, and the nonlinear relationship between variables. WRF-Fire was employed to simulate spread and behavior of some real fires occurred in South-East of Spain and North of Portugal. The use of fire behavior models requires the availability of high resolution environmental and fuel data. A new custom fuel moisture content model has been developed. The new module allows each time step to calculate the fuel moisture content of the dead fuels and live fuels. The results confirm that the use of accurate meteorological data and a custom fuel moisture content model is crucial to obtain precise simulations of fire behavior. To simulate air pollution over Europe, we use the regional meteorological-chemistry transport model WRF-Chem. In this contribution, we show the impact of using two different fire emissions inventories (FINN and IS4FIRES) and how the coupled WRF-Fire- Chem model improves the results of the forest fire emissions and smoke concentrations. The impact of the forest fire emissions on concentrations is evident, and it is quite clear from these simulations that the choice of emission inventory is very important. We conclude that using the WRF-fire behavior model produces better results than using forest fire emission inventories although the requested computational power is much higher. (Author)

  18. Forest fire forecasting tool for air quality modelling systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    San Jose, R.; Perez, J.L.; Perez, L.; Gonzalez, R.M.; Pecci, J.; Palacios, M.

    2015-07-01

    Adverse effects of smoke on air quality are of great concern; however, even today the estimates of atmospheric fire emissions are a key issue. It is necessary to implement systems for predicting smoke into an air quality modelling system, and in this work a first attempt towards creating a system of this type is presented. Wildland fire spread and behavior are complex Phenomena due to both the number of involved physic-chemical factors, and the nonlinear relationship between variables. WRF-Fire was employed to simulate spread and behavior of some real fires occurred in South-East of Spain and North of Portugal. The use of fire behavior models requires the availability of high resolution environmental and fuel data. A new custom fuel moisture content model has been developed. The new module allows each time step to calculate the fuel moisture content of the dead fuels and live fuels. The results confirm that the use of accurate meteorological data and a custom fuel moisture content model is crucial to obtain precise simulations of fire behavior. To simulate air pollution over Europe, we use the regional meteorological-chemistry transport model WRF-Chem. In this contribution, we show the impact of using two different fire emissions inventories (FINN and IS4FIRES) and how the coupled WRF-FireChem model improves the results of the forest fire emissions and smoke concentrations. The impact of the forest fire emissions on concentrations is evident, and it is quite clear from these simulations that the choice of emission inventory is very important. We conclude that using the WRF-fire behavior model produces better results than using forest fire emission inventories although the requested computational power is much higher. (Author)

  19. The endoscopy Global Rating Scale – Canada: Development and implementation of a quality improvement tool

    OpenAIRE

    Donald MacIntosh; Catherine Dubé; Roger Hollingworth; Sander Veldhuyzen van Zanten; Sandra Daniels; George Ghattas

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Increasing use of gastrointestinal endoscopy, particularly for colorectal cancer screening, and increasing emphasis on health care quality highlight the need for endoscopy facilities to review the quality of the service they offer.OBJECTIVE: To adapt the United Kingdom Global Rating Scale (UK-GRS) to develop a web-based and patient-centred tool to assess and improve the quality of endoscopy services provided.METHODS: Based on feedback from 22 sites across Canada that completed the...

  20. Mobile App Rating Scale: A New Tool for Assessing the Quality of Health Mobile Apps

    OpenAIRE

    Stoyanov, Stoyan R.; Hides, Leanne; Kavanagh, David John; Zelenko, Oksana; Tjondronegoro, Dian; Mani, Madhavan

    2015-01-01

    Background The use of mobile apps for health and well being promotion has grown exponentially in recent years. Yet, there is currently no app-quality assessment tool beyond “star”-ratings. Objective The objective of this study was to develop a reliable, multidimensional measure for trialling, classifying, and rating the quality of mobile health apps. Methods A literature search was conducted to identify articles containing explicit Web or app quality rating criteria published between January ...

  1. The Poka-Yoke method as an improving quality tool of operations in the process

    OpenAIRE

    M. Dudek-Burlikowska; D. Szewieczek

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: A new approach for the implementation of quality philosophy Zero Quality Defects with usage of the Poka-Yoke method in the polish organization has been presented.Design/methodology/approach: The possibility of usage of mistake proofing device is connected with monitoring and improvement of operations in the process.Findings: At the present time the organizations should implement quality tools, techniques, methods which support the prevention strategy and should pay attention to impro...

  2. AN ANALYSIS OF THE CAUSES OF PRODUCT DEFECTS USING QUALITY MANAGEMENT TOOLS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarzyna MIDOR

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available To stay or strengthen its position on the market, a modern business needs to follow the principles of quality control in its actions. Especially important is the Zero Defects concept developed by Philip Crosby, which means flawless production. The concept consists in preventing the occurrence of defects and flaws in all production stages. To achieve that, we must, among other things, make use of quality management tools. This article presents an analysis of the reasons for the return of damaged or faulty goods in the automotive industry by means of quality management tools such as the Ishikawa diagram and Pareto analysis, which allow us to identify the causes of product defectiveness. Based on the results, preventive measures have been proposed. The actions presented in this article and the results of the analysis prove the effectiveness of the aforementioned quality management tools.

  3. Measuring quality improvement in public health: the development and psychometric testing of a QI Maturity Tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joly, Brenda M; Booth, Maureen; Mittal, Prashant; Shaler, George

    2012-06-01

    There is growing interest and investment in improving the quality of public health services and outcomes. Following the lead of other sectors, efforts are underway to introduce systematic quality improvement (QI) tools and approaches to state and local public health agencies. Little is known, however, about how to describe and reliably measure the level of QI maturity within a public health agency. The authors describe the development of a QI Maturity Tool using research from the fields of organizational design, psychology, health care, and complexity theory. The 37-item assessment tool is based on four quality domains derived from the literature: (a) organizational culture, (b) capacity and competency, (c) practice, and (d) alignment and spread. The tool was designed to identify features of an organization that may be enhancing or impeding QI; monitor the impact of efforts to create a more favorable environment for QI; and define potential cohorts of public health agencies for evaluation purposes. The article presents initial steps in testing and validating the QI Maturity Tool including: (a) developing a theoretical framework, (b) assuring face and content validity, (c) determining the tool's reliability based on estimates of internal consistency, (d) assessing the dimensionality, and (f) determining the construct validity of the instrument. The authors conclude that there is preliminary evidence that the QI Maturity Tool is a promising instrument. Further work is underway to explore whether self-reported survey results align with an agency's actions and the products of their QI efforts.

  4. Mobile app rating scale: a new tool for assessing the quality of health mobile apps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoyanov, Stoyan R; Hides, Leanne; Kavanagh, David J; Zelenko, Oksana; Tjondronegoro, Dian; Mani, Madhavan

    2015-03-11

    The use of mobile apps for health and well being promotion has grown exponentially in recent years. Yet, there is currently no app-quality assessment tool beyond "star"-ratings. The objective of this study was to develop a reliable, multidimensional measure for trialling, classifying, and rating the quality of mobile health apps. A literature search was conducted to identify articles containing explicit Web or app quality rating criteria published between January 2000 and January 2013. Existing criteria for the assessment of app quality were categorized by an expert panel to develop the new Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS) subscales, items, descriptors, and anchors. There were sixty well being apps that were randomly selected using an iTunes search for MARS rating. There were ten that were used to pilot the rating procedure, and the remaining 50 provided data on interrater reliability. There were 372 explicit criteria for assessing Web or app quality that were extracted from 25 published papers, conference proceedings, and Internet resources. There were five broad categories of criteria that were identified including four objective quality scales: engagement, functionality, aesthetics, and information quality; and one subjective quality scale; which were refined into the 23-item MARS. The MARS demonstrated excellent internal consistency (alpha = .90) and interrater reliability intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC = .79). The MARS is a simple, objective, and reliable tool for classifying and assessing the quality of mobile health apps. It can also be used to provide a checklist for the design and development of new high quality health apps.

  5. Development of dietary pattern evaluation tool for adults and correlation with Dietary Quality Index

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Yeo Do; Kim, Kyung Won; Choi, Kyung-Suk; Kim, Misung; Cho, Yeo Jin; Sohn, Cheongmin

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES As the prevalence of chronic diseases has risen, the need for straightforward diagnostic tools for monitoring nutrition status to improve nutrition counseling and disease prevention has likewise increased. This study developed an easily usable dietary behavior pattern diagnosis checklist and investigated its correlation with dietary quality index. SUBJECTS/METHODS A draft dietary pattern evaluation tool was generated by analyzing previous studies. The draft questionnaire...

  6. Development of AMSTAR: a measurement tool to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamel Candyce

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Our objective was to develop an instrument to assess the methodological quality of systematic reviews, building upon previous tools, empirical evidence and expert consensus. Methods A 37-item assessment tool was formed by combining 1 the enhanced Overview Quality Assessment Questionnaire (OQAQ, 2 a checklist created by Sacks, and 3 three additional items recently judged to be of methodological importance. This tool was applied to 99 paper-based and 52 electronic systematic reviews. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify underlying components. The results were considered by methodological experts using a nominal group technique aimed at item reduction and design of an assessment tool with face and content validity. Results The factor analysis identified 11 components. From each component, one item was selected by the nominal group. The resulting instrument was judged to have face and content validity. Conclusion A measurement tool for the 'assessment of multiple systematic reviews' (AMSTAR was developed. The tool consists of 11 items and has good face and content validity for measuring the methodological quality of systematic reviews. Additional studies are needed with a focus on the reproducibility and construct validity of AMSTAR, before strong recommendations can be made on its use.

  7. NEAMS Nuclear Waste Management IPSC : evaluation and selection of tools for the quality environment.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bouchard, Julie F.; Stubblefield, William Anthony; Vigil, Dena M.; Edwards, Harold Carter (Org. 1444 : Multiphysics Simulation Technology)

    2011-05-01

    The objective of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation Nuclear Waste Management Integrated Performance and Safety Codes (NEAMS Nuclear Waste Management IPSC) is to provide an integrated suite of computational modeling and simulation (M&S) capabilities to quantitatively assess the long-term performance of waste forms in the engineered and geologic environments of a radioactive-waste storage facility or disposal repository. These M&S capabilities are to be managed, verified, and validated within the NEAMS Nuclear Waste Management IPSC quality environment. M&S capabilities and the supporting analysis workflow and simulation data management tools will be distributed to end-users from this same quality environment. The same analysis workflow and simulation data management tools that are to be distributed to end-users will be used for verification and validation (V&V) activities within the quality environment. This strategic decision reduces the number of tools to be supported, and increases the quality of tools distributed to end users due to rigorous use by V&V activities. This report documents an evaluation of the needs, options, and tools selected for the NEAMS Nuclear Waste Management IPSC quality environment. The objective of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation Nuclear Waste Management Integrated Performance and Safety Codes (NEAMS Nuclear Waste Management IPSC) program element is to provide an integrated suite of computational modeling and simulation (M&S) capabilities to assess quantitatively the long-term performance of waste forms in the engineered and geologic environments of a radioactive-waste storage facility or disposal repository. This objective will be fulfilled by acquiring and developing M&S capabilities, and establishing a defensible level of confidence in these M&S capabilities. The foundation for assessing the level of confidence is based upon

  8. Evaluation of a rapid field tool for assessing household diet quality in Mozambique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Donald; Meershoek, Stephan; Ismael, Carina; McEwan, Margaret

    2002-06-01

    The Nutrition Section of the Mozambican Ministry of Health recently implemented a low-cost, rapid field tool for assessing the quality of household diets. Such tools can play an important part in targeting development assistance in countries where resources are scarce. This paper evaluates how well the tool performs at describing household dietary intakes in northern Mozambique and explores ways to improve it. The food-group classification and scoring system that form the core of the tool were applied to household data (n = 1,140) collected in a previous quantitative diet study in Nampula and Cabo Delgado Provinces. Using mean intakes as a criterion, the diet assessment tool performed well on all nutrients studied, except vitamin A. Those classified by the tool into the top group of diet quality had the highest mean intakes of energy, protein, and iron as well as the highest mean scores on the Mozambican Diet Quality Index, whereas those classified in the bottom group had the lowest intakes. Sensitivity rates for the diet assessment tool could be substantially improved by raising the cutoff point for an acceptable diet from the current threshold of 20 points to 23 points. Regression analysis was used to suggest other possible improvements. Such improvements were only marginal and do not justify field implementation, given the added complexity in classifying and scoring. This paper provides evidence that, with some minor changes, the Ministry of Health diet assessment method can be a useful tool in describing the dietary situation of groups of Mozambican households. Since this tool is both inexpensive and simple to use, there may be interest in adapting it for use in other low-income countries. A series of steps for doing so is outlined at the end of this paper.

  9. Exploring the Potential of Quality Tools in Tire Retreading Industry: a Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bahmankhah Behnam

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The general objective of this paper is to describe the application of quality tools in an uncommon industrial environment - tire retreading. The specific goals are to better understand the root causes of the main quality problems that result from the production process, to rank those causes taking into account the importance oftheir occurrence, to identify the critical step of the production process in view of the main problem identified, and to explore the potential causes of problems in that step. The methodology used combined basic and new quality tools in order to identify, classify and analyse the main problems according to their priority (weight of importance. The tools used were Pareto Chart, Brainstorming,Fishbone Diagram and Matrix diagram. The company where the study was carried out was the Ken Tire Industrial Complex, which is one of the biggest Tire Retreading Companies in Middle East. The data was collected during all the year of 2009 from quality and production records. The main problems were classified according the cost of defects that happen during the production process and the use of appropriate improvement quality tools is proposed in order to minimize the impact of defect causes in final products and semi-products.

  10. Applying quality management tools to medical photography services: a pilot project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Peter

    2003-03-01

    The Medical Photography Department at Peterborough Hospitals NHS Trust set up a pilot project to reduce the turnaround time of fundus fluorescein angiograms to the Ophthalmology Department. Quality management tools were used to analyse current photographic practices and develop more efficient methods of service delivery. The improved service to the Ophthalmology Department demonstrates the value of quality management in developing medical photography services at Peterborough Hospitals.

  11. Tools to Monitor the Quality of the ALICE-TOF Detector Data

    CERN Document Server

    Akindinov, A; Antonioli, P; Arcelli, S; Basile, M; Cara Romeo, G; Cifarelli, L; Cindolo, F; De Caro, A; De Gruttola, D; De Pasquale, S; Fusco Girard, M; Guarnaccia, C; Hatzifotiadou, D; Jung, H T; Jung, W W; Kim, D S; Kim, D W; Kim, H N; Kim, J S; Kiselev, S; Laurenti, G; Lee, K; Lee, S C; Luvisetto, M L; Malkevich, D; Margotti, A; Nania, R; Nedosekin, A; Noferini, F; Pagano, P; Pesci, A; Preghenella, R; Russo, G; Ryabinin, M; Scapparone, E; Scioli, G; Silenzi, A; Sun, Y; Tchoumakov, M; Voloshin, K; Williams, M C S; Zagreev, B; Zampolli, C; Zichichi, A

    2008-01-01

    Since the beginning of commissioning of the ALICE-TOF detector, one of the most crucial aspects has been to check the quality of the data produced. Both during last November tests at the CERN PS and in the cosmic-ray test facility, running since more than one year, the data taking of assembled TOF "modules" has been continuously monitored in order to detect as quickly as possible faulty conditions or bad detector configurations. The tools developed for these purposes, which are currently also used for the commissioning of TOF "supermodules", and the new under-development automatic data quality monitor will ensure the highest possible TOF data quality during its operation.

  12. QualitySNPng: a user-friendly SNP detection and visualization tool

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijveen, H.; Kaauwen, van M.P.W.; Esselink, G.; Hoegen, B.; Vosman, B.

    2013-01-01

    QualitySNPng is a new software tool for the detection and interactive visualization of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). It uses a haplotype-based strategy to identify reliable SNPs; it is optimized for the analysis of current RNA-seq data; but it can also be used on genomic DNA sequences deri

  13. [Establishing IAQ Metrics and Baseline Measures.] "Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools" Update #20

    Science.gov (United States)

    US Environmental Protection Agency, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This issue of "Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools" Update ("IAQ TfS" Update) contains the following items: (1) News and Events; (2) IAQ Profile: Establishing Your Baseline for Long-Term Success (Feature Article); (3) Insight into Excellence: Belleville Township High School District #201, 2009 Leadership Award Winner; and (4) Have Your Questions…

  14. The Programmatic Approach; a Flexible and Complex Tool to Achieve Environmental Quality Standards

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.N. Boeve; G.M. van den Broek

    2012-01-01

    This contribution focuses on the integrated or programmatic approaches at both the European and national level, which are used as a tool to attain environmental quality standards. These approaches leave much room for flexibility with respect to the choice of measures to be adopted in order to achiev

  15. ATR-FTIR as a potential tool for controlling high quality vinegar categories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ríos-Reina, Rocío; Callejón, Raquel M.; Oliver-Pozo, Celia

    2017-01-01

    potential as a rapid, cost-effective and non-destructive tool for characterizing different categories of high-quality vinegars. Spectra from 67 wine vinegars belonging to the PDOs “Vinagre de Jerez” and “Vinagre Condado de Huelva”, including their different established categories, were analyzed in the 4000...

  16. Handling Qualities Evaluation of Pilot Tools for Spacecraft Docking in Earth Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilimoria, Karl D.; Mueller, Eric; Frost, Chad

    2009-01-01

    A new generation of spacecraft is now under development by NASA to replace the Space Shuttle and return astronauts to the Moon. These spacecraft will have a manual control capability for several mission tasks, and the ease and precision with which pilots can execute these tasks will have an important effect on mission risk and training costs. This paper focuses on the handling qualities of a spacecraft based on dynamics similar to that of the Crew Exploration Vehicle, during the last segment of the docking task with a space station in low Earth orbit. A previous study established that handling qualities for this task degrade significantly as the level of translation-into-rotation coupling increases. The goal of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of various pilot aids designed to mitigate the handling qualities degradation caused by this coupling. Four pilot tools were ev adluaetead:d-band box/indicator, flight-path marker, translation guidance cues, and feed-forward control. Each of these pilot tools improved handling qualities, generally with greater improvements resulting from using these tools in combination. A key result of this study is that feedforward control effectively counteracts coupling effects, providing solid Level 1 handling qualities for the spacecraft configuration evaluated.

  17. Analyst Tools and Quality Control Software for the ARM Data System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moore, Sean; Hughes, Gary

    2008-07-31

    Mission Research develops analyst tools and automated quality control software in order to assist the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Data Quality Office with their data inspection tasks. We have developed web-based data analysis and visualization tools such as the interactive plotting program NCVweb, various diagnostic plot browsers, and a datastream processing status application. These tools allow even novice ARM researchers to be productive with ARM data with only minimal effort. We also contribute to the ARM Data Quality Office by analyzing ARM data streams, developing new quality control metrics, new diagnostic plots, and integrating this information into DQ HandS - the Data Quality Health and Status web-based explorer. We have developed several ways to detect outliers in ARM data streams and have written software to run in an automated fashion to flag these outliers. We have also embarked on a system to comprehensively generate long time-series plots, frequency distributions, and other relevant statistics for scientific and engineering data in most high-level, publicly available ARM data streams. Furthermore, frequency distributions categorized by month or by season are made available to help define valid data ranges specific to those time domains. These statistics can be used to set limits that when checked, will improve upon the reporting of suspicious data and the early detection of instrument malfunction. The statistics and proposed limits are stored in a database for easy reporting, refining, and for use by other processes. Web-based applications to view the results are also available.

  18. A planning quality evaluation tool for prostate adaptive IMRT based on machine learning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhu Xiaofeng; Ge Yaorong; Li Taoran; Thongphiew, Danthai; Yin Fangfang; Wu, Q Jackie [Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27708 (United States); Department of Biomedical Engineering, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27106 (United States); Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27708 (United States); Department of Radiation Oncology, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina 27834 (United States); Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27708 (United States)

    2011-02-15

    Purpose: To ensure plan quality for adaptive IMRT of the prostate, we developed a quantitative evaluation tool using a machine learning approach. This tool generates dose volume histograms (DVHs) of organs-at-risk (OARs) based on prior plans as a reference, to be compared with the adaptive plan derived from fluence map deformation. Methods: Under the same configuration using seven-field 15 MV photon beams, DVHs of OARs (bladder and rectum) were estimated based on anatomical information of the patient and a model learned from a database of high quality prior plans. In this study, the anatomical information was characterized by the organ volumes and distance-to-target histogram (DTH). The database consists of 198 high quality prostate plans and was validated with 14 cases outside the training pool. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to DVHs and DTHs to quantify their salient features. Then, support vector regression (SVR) was implemented to establish the correlation between the features of the DVH and the anatomical information. Results: DVH/DTH curves could be characterized sufficiently just using only two or three truncated principal components, thus, patient anatomical information was quantified with reduced numbers of variables. The evaluation of the model using the test data set demonstrated its accuracy {approx}80% in prediction and effectiveness in improving ART planning quality. Conclusions: An adaptive IMRT plan quality evaluation tool based on machine learning has been developed, which estimates OAR sparing and provides reference in evaluating ART.

  19. Sequencing quality assessment tools to enable data-driven informatics for high throughput genomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Mark Leggett

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The processes of quality assessment and control are an active area of research at The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC. Unlike other sequencing centres that often concentrate on a certain species or technology, TGAC applies expertise in genomics and bioinformatics to a wide range of projects, often requiring bespoke wet lab and in silico workflows. TGAC is fortunate to have access to a diverse range of sequencing and analysis platforms, and we are at the forefront of investigations into library quality and sequence data assessment. We have developed and implemented a number of algorithms, tools, pipelines and packages to ascertain, store, and expose quality metrics across a number of next-generation sequencing platforms, allowing rapid and in-depth cross-platform QC bioinformatics. In this review, we describe these tools as a vehicle for data-driven informatics, offering the potential to provide richer context for downstream analysis and to inform experimental design.

  20. A semi-automated tool for treatment plan-quality evaluation and clinical trial quality assurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jiazhou; Chen, Wenzhou; Studenski, Matthew; Cui, Yunfeng; Lee, Andrew J; Xiao, Ying

    2013-07-07

    The goal of this work is to develop a plan-quality evaluation program for clinical routine and multi-institutional clinical trials so that the overall evaluation efficiency is improved. In multi-institutional clinical trials evaluating the plan quality is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. In this note, we present a semi-automated plan-quality evaluation program which combines MIMVista, Java/MATLAB, and extensible markup language (XML). More specifically, MIMVista is used for data visualization; Java and its powerful function library are implemented for calculating dosimetry parameters; and to improve the clarity of the index definitions, XML is applied. The accuracy and the efficiency of the program were evaluated by comparing the results of the program with the manually recorded results in two RTOG trials. A slight difference of about 0.2% in volume or 0.6 Gy in dose between the semi-automated program and manual recording was observed. According to the criteria of indices, there are minimal differences between the two methods. The evaluation time is reduced from 10-20 min to 2 min by applying the semi-automated plan-quality evaluation program.

  1. A mask quality control tool for the OSIRIS multi-object spectrograph

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Ruiz, J. C.; Vaz Cedillo, Jacinto Javier; Ederoclite, Alessandro; Bongiovanni, Ángel; González Escalera, Víctor

    2012-09-01

    OSIRIS multi object spectrograph uses a set of user-customised-masks, which are manufactured on-demand. The manufacturing process consists of drilling the specified slits on the mask with the required accuracy. Ensuring that slits are on the right place when observing is of vital importance. We present a tool for checking the quality of the process of manufacturing the masks which is based on analyzing the instrument images obtained with the manufactured masks on place. The tool extracts the slit information from these images, relates specifications with the extracted slit information, and finally communicates to the operator if the manufactured mask fulfills the expectations of the mask designer. The proposed tool has been built using scripting languages and using standard libraries such as opencv, pyraf and scipy. The software architecture, advantages and limits of this tool in the lifecycle of a multiobject acquisition are presented.

  2. Diabetes care may be improved with Steno Quality Assurance Tool--a self-assessment tool in diabetes management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjerre-Christensen, Ulla; Nielsen, Annemette Anker; Binder, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Assurance Tool (SQAT). Data was entered for an initial 3 months period. Subsequently data were analyzed by the users, who designed plans to improve indicator status and set goals for the upcoming period. A second data entry period followed after 7-9 months. RESULTS: QA data was analyzed from 4487 T2DM...... patients (baseline) and 4440 (follow-up). The average examination frequency per clinic of the following indicators increased significantly: lipid examination (72-87%) (p=0.007), foot examination (80-94%) (p=0.02), HbA1c investigation (59-77%) (p=0.006), and urine albumin excretion investigation (72-87%) (p.......002). CONCLUSION: Quality of diabetes care can be improved by applying SQAT, a QA self-surveillance software that enables documentation of changes in process and outcome indicators....

  3. Informing the judgments of fingerprint analysts using quality metric and statistical assessment tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langenburg, Glenn; Champod, Christophe; Genessay, Thibault

    2012-06-10

    The aim of this research was to evaluate how fingerprint analysts would incorporate information from newly developed tools into their decision making processes. Specifically, we assessed effects using the following: (1) a quality tool to aid in the assessment of the clarity of the friction ridge details, (2) a statistical tool to provide likelihood ratios representing the strength of the corresponding features between compared fingerprints, and (3) consensus information from a group of trained fingerprint experts. The measured variables for the effect on examiner performance were the accuracy and reproducibility of the conclusions against the ground truth (including the impact on error rates) and the analyst accuracy and variation for feature selection and comparison. The results showed that participants using the consensus information from other fingerprint experts demonstrated more consistency and accuracy in minutiae selection. They also demonstrated higher accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity in the decisions reported. The quality tool also affected minutiae selection (which, in turn, had limited influence on the reported decisions); the statistical tool did not appear to influence the reported decisions.

  4. Current Quality-of-Life Tools Available for Use in Contact Dermatitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swietlik, Jacquelyn; Reeder, Margo

    2016-01-01

    Contact dermatitis is a common dermatologic condition that can cause significant impairment in patients' overall quality of life (QoL). This impact is separate and potentially more clinically relevant than one's disease "severity" in contact dermatitis and should be consistently addressed by dermatologists. Despite this, QoL tools specific to contact dermatitis are lacking, and there is little consistency in the literature regarding the tool used to evaluate clinical response to therapies. Measurements currently available to evaluate disease-related QoL in contact dermatitis fit into 1 of the following 3 general types: generic health-related QoL measures, dermatology-related QoL measures, or specific dermatologic disease-related QoL measures. This article reviews the strengths and weaknesses of existing QoL tools used in contact dermatitis including: Short Form Survey 36, Dermatology Life Quality Index, Skindex-29, Skindex-16, Dermatology-Specific Quality of Life, and Fragrance Quality of Life Index.

  5. Innovative Stormwater Quality Tools by SARA for Holistic Watershed Master Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, S. M.; Su, Y. C.; Hummel, P. R.

    2016-12-01

    Stormwater management strategies such as Best Management Practices (BMP) and Low-Impact Development (LID) have increasingly gained attention in urban runoff control, becoming vital to holistic watershed master plans. These strategies can help address existing water quality impairments and support regulatory compliance, as well as guide planning and management of future development when substantial population growth and urbanization is projected to occur. However, past efforts have been limited to qualitative planning due to the lack of suitable tools to conduct quantitative assessment. The San Antonio River Authority (SARA), with the assistance of Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN) and AQUA TERRA Consultants (a division of RESPEC), developed comprehensive hydrodynamic and water quality models using the Hydrological Simulation Program-FORTRAN (HSPF) for several urban watersheds in the San Antonio River Basin. These models enabled watershed management to look at water quality issues on a more refined temporal and spatial scale than the limited monitoring data. They also provided a means to locate and quantify potential water quality impairments and evaluate the effects of mitigation measures. To support the models, a suite of software tools were developed. including: 1) SARA Timeseries Utility Tool for managing and processing of large model timeseries files, 2) SARA Load Reduction Tool to determine load reductions needed to achieve screening levels for each modeled constituent on a sub-basin basis, and 3) SARA Enhanced BMP Tool to determine the optimal combination of BMP types and units needed to achieve the required load reductions. Using these SARA models and tools, water quality agencies and stormwater professionals can determine the optimal combinations of BMP/LID to accomplish their goals and save substantial stormwater infrastructure and management costs. The tools can also help regulators and permittees evaluate the feasibility of achieving compliance

  6. Quality Tools and TRIZ Based Quality Improvement Case Study at PT ‘X’ A Plastic Moulding Manufacturing Industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirawan, Christina; Chandra, Fory

    2016-02-01

    Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) is a creative encouraging problem solving method. TRIZ is prepared by Altshuller for product design. Altshuller prepared contradiction matrix and suggestion to solve contradictions usually occur in product design. This paper try to combine TRIZ with quality tools such as Pareto and Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) to solve contradiction in quality improvement problem, neither than product design problem. Pareto used to identify defect priority, FTA used to analysis and identify root cause of defect. When there is contradiction in solving defect causes, TRIZ used to find creative problem solving. As a case study, PT ’X’, a plastic molding manufacturing industry was taken. PT ‘X’ using traditional press machine to produce plastic thread cone. There are 5 defect types that might occur in plastic thread cone production, incomplete form, dirty, mottle, excessive form, rugged. Research about quality improvement effort using DMAIC at PT ‘X’ have been done by Fory Candra. From this research, defect types, priority, root cause from FTA, recommendation from FMEA. In this research, from FTA reviewed, contradictions found among causes troublesome quality improvement efforts. TRIZ used to solve the contradictions and quality improvement effort can be made effectively.

  7. The use of UV-visible reflectance spectroscopy as an objective tool to evaluate pearl quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agatonovic-Kustrin, Snezana; Morton, David W

    2012-07-01

    Assessing the quality of pearls involves the use of various tools and methods, which are mainly visual and often quite subjective. Pearls are normally classified by origin and are then graded by luster, nacre thickness, surface quality, size, color and shape. The aim of this study was to investigate the capacity of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) to classify and estimate the quality of 27 different pearls from their UV-Visible spectra. Due to the opaque nature of pearls, spectroscopy measurements were performed using the Diffuse Reflectance UV-Visible spectroscopy technique. The spectra were acquired at two different locations on each pearl sample in order to assess surface homogeneity. The spectral data (inputs) were smoothed to reduce the noise, fed into ANNs and correlated to the pearl's quality/grading criteria (outputs). The developed ANNs were successful in predicting pearl type, mollusk growing species, possible luster and color enhancing, donor condition/type, recipient/host color, donor color, pearl luster, pearl color, origin. The results of this study shows that the developed UV-Vis spectroscopy-ANN method could be used as a more objective method of assessing pearl quality (grading) and may become a valuable tool for the pearl grading industry.

  8. The Use of UV-Visible Reflectance Spectroscopy as an Objective Tool to Evaluate Pearl Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agatonovic-Kustrin, Snezana; Morton, David W.

    2012-01-01

    Assessing the quality of pearls involves the use of various tools and methods, which are mainly visual and often quite subjective. Pearls are normally classified by origin and are then graded by luster, nacre thickness, surface quality, size, color and shape. The aim of this study was to investigate the capacity of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) to classify and estimate the quality of 27 different pearls from their UV-Visible spectra. Due to the opaque nature of pearls, spectroscopy measurements were performed using the Diffuse Reflectance UV-Visible spectroscopy technique. The spectra were acquired at two different locations on each pearl sample in order to assess surface homogeneity. The spectral data (inputs) were smoothed to reduce the noise, fed into ANNs and correlated to the pearl’s quality/grading criteria (outputs). The developed ANNs were successful in predicting pearl type, mollusk growing species, possible luster and color enhancing, donor condition/type, recipient/host color, donor color, pearl luster, pearl color, origin. The results of this study shows that the developed UV-Vis spectroscopy-ANN method could be used as a more objective method of assessing pearl quality (grading) and may become a valuable tool for the pearl grading industry. PMID:22851919

  9. The Use of UV-Visible Reflectance Spectroscopy as an Objective Tool to Evaluate Pearl Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Snezana Agatonovic-Kustrin

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Assessing the quality of pearls involves the use of various tools and methods, which are mainly visual and often quite subjective. Pearls are normally classified by origin and are then graded by luster, nacre thickness, surface quality, size, color and shape. The aim of this study was to investigate the capacity of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs to classify and estimate the quality of 27 different pearls from their UV-Visible spectra. Due to the opaque nature of pearls, spectroscopy measurements were performed using the Diffuse Reflectance UV-Visible spectroscopy technique. The spectra were acquired at two different locations on each pearl sample in order to assess surface homogeneity. The spectral data (inputs were smoothed to reduce the noise, fed into ANNs and correlated to the pearl’s quality/grading criteria (outputs. The developed ANNs were successful in predicting pearl type, mollusk growing species, possible luster and color enhancing, donor condition/type, recipient/host color, donor color, pearl luster, pearl color, origin. The results of this study shows that the developed UV-Vis spectroscopy-ANN method could be used as a more objective method of assessing pearl quality (grading and may become a valuable tool for the pearl grading industry.

  10. Understanding Management Concepts through Development of their Tool Box: The case of total quality management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ćwiklicki Marek

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper offers an alternative approach to defining the management concept. The proposed methodology relies on the identification of tools supporting the given concept. The author assumed that the identification of tools’ evolution gives clearer insights into circumstances of constant development of—by its nature—a more general concept. The tools’ classification resembles a phylogenic tree and is based on the idea of an affinity diagram. To provide the proof for such reasoning, the total quality management (TQM concept was chosen. This proposition can be useful for better understanding origins and the development of management thought. It clarifies relationships among methods constituting frameworks of quality management.

  11. Electronic medical records as tools for quality improvement in ambulatory practice: theory and a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ornstein, S M; Jenkins, R G; MacFarlane, L; Glaser, A; Snyder, K; Gundrum, T

    1998-11-01

    Information management is critical in today's health care environment. Traditional paper-based medical records are inadequate information management tools. Electronic medical records (EMRs) overcome many problems with paper records and are ideally suited to help physicians increase productivity and improve the quality of care they provide. The Department of Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina uses the Practice Partner Patient Record EMR system. Department members have developed a quality improvement model based on this EMR system. The model has been used to improve care for acute bronchitis, diabetes mellitus, tobacco abuse, asthma, and postmenopausal osteoporosis.

  12. Topological clustering as a tool for planning water quality monitoring in water distribution networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirstein, Jonas Kjeld; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen; Rygaard, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Topological clustering was explored as a tool for water supply utilities in preparation of monitoring and contamination contingency plans. A complex water distribution network model of Copenhagen, Denmark, was simplified by topological clustering into recognizable water movement patterns to: (1......) identify steady clusters for a part of the network where an actual contamination has occurred; (2) analyze this event by the use of mesh diagrams; and (3) analyze the use of mesh diagrams as a decision support tool for planning water quality monitoring. Initially, the network model was divided...... into strongly and weakly connected clusters for selected time periods and mesh diagrams were used for analysing cluster connections in the Nørrebro district. Here, areas of particular interest for water quality monitoring were identified by including user-information about consumption rates and consumers...

  13. A software tool for quality assurance of computed/digital radiography (CR/DR) systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, Nikunj; Valentino, Daniel J.

    2011-03-01

    The recommended methods to test the performance of computed radiography (CR) systems have been established by The American Association of Physicists in Medicine, Report No. 93, "Acceptance Testing and Quality Control of Photostimulable Storage Phosphor Imaging Systems". The quality assurance tests are categorized by how frequently they need to be performed. Quality assurance of CR systems is the responsibility of the facility that performs the exam and is governed by the state in which the facility is located. For Example, the New York State Department of Health has established a guide which lists the tests that a CR facility must perform for quality assurance. This study aims at educating the reader about the new quality assurance requirements defined by the state. It further demonstrates an easy to use software tool, henceforth referred to as the Digital Physicist, developed to aid a radiologic facility in conforming with state guidelines and monitoring quality assurance of CR/DR imaging systems. The Digital Physicist provides a vendor independent procedure for quality assurance of CR/DR systems. Further it, generates a PDF report with a brief description of these tests and the obtained results.

  14. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an integrated toxicological tool to assess water quality and pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clavijo, Araceli; Kronberg, María Florencia; Rossen, Ariana; Moya, Aldana; Calvo, Daniel; Salatino, Santa Esmeralda; Pagano, Eduardo Antonio; Morábito, José Antonio; Munarriz, Eliana Rosa

    2016-11-01

    Determination of water quality status in rivers is critical to establish a sustainable water management policy. For this reason, over the last decades it has been recommended to perform integrated water assessments that include water quantities and physicochemical, ecological and toxicological tests. However, sometimes resources are limited and it is not possible to perform large-scale chemical determinations of pollutants or conduct numerous ecotoxicological tests. To overcome this problem we use and measure the growth, as a response parameter, of the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to assess water quality in rivers. The C. elegans is a ubiquitous organism that has emerged as an important model organism in aquatic and soil toxicology research. The Tunuyán River Basin (Province of Mendoza, Argentina) has been selected as a representative traditional water monitoring system to test the applicability of the C. elegans toxicological bioassay to generate an integrated water quality evaluation. Jointly with the C. elegans toxic assays, physicochemical and bacteriological parameters were determined for each monitoring site. C. elegans bioassays help to identify different water qualities in the river basin. Multivariate statistical analysis (PCA and linear regression models) has allowed us to confirm that traditional water quality studies do not predict potential toxic effects on living organisms. On the contrary, physicochemical and bacteriological analyzes explain water quality threats. Our results confirm that the C. elegans bioassay is a sensible and suitable tool to assess toxicity and should be implemented in routine water quality monitoring.

  15. Development of a tool for quality control audits in hospital enteral nutrition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilherme Duprat Ceniccola

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and aims: Malnutrition is very prevalent in hospitals, causing physical capacity deterioration, increasing complications and raising mortality. This scenario overloads public health costs enormously. Enteral nutrition (EN is the first option to fight against malnutrition. Nutrition support teams (NST work combating such conditions, promoting humanization, but also analyzing the cost benefit of EN therapy. Brazil is one of the first Latin American countries to develop EN laws. Quality control it is in the core of this legal instrument, playing an essential role in NSTv s task of providing care. Nowadays, tools to access quality control represent a gap in the area. The aim of this study was to develop a quality control tool, according to Brazilian law for EN Therapy regarding multidisciplinary approach, good practices, standard operating procedures, protocol implementation, proper registration and electronic health record. Methods: A content validation method was utilized in this four stages development process: bibliographic research, expert opinion (subjective, semantic evaluation and expert opinion (objective. In the latter stage ten specialists, expressed their opinion, evaluating the tools by four different attributes: utility, simplicity, objective and low cost on a 5-point Likert scale (1-5. Results: We elaborate three independent tools that together, represent the whole evaluation process, named: NST Activities, EN Preparation and EN Administration. Content Validation Index to the four different attributes ranged form 0,9 to 1. Conclusion: This tool had positive approval from experts and is of great value guiding hospital audits, or even serving as checklist to implement a plan on EN therapy.

  16. Sensory and rapid instrumental methods as a combined tool for quality control of cooked ham

    OpenAIRE

    Barbieri, Sara; Soglia, Francesca; Palagano, Rosa; Tesini, Federica; Bendini, Alessandra; Petracci, Massimiliano; Cavani, Claudio; Gallina Toschi, Tullia

    2016-01-01

    In this preliminary investigation, different commercial categories of Italian cooked pork hams have been characterized using an integrated approach based on both sensory and fast instrumental measurements. For these purposes, Italian products belonging to different categories (cooked ham, ?selected? cooked ham and ?high quality? cooked ham) were evaluated by sensory descriptive analysis and by the application of rapid tools such as image analysis by an ?electronic eye? and texture analyzer. T...

  17. Quality indicators as a tool in improving the introduction of new medicines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Stephen M; Godman, Brian; Diogene, Eduardo; Fürst, Jurij; Gustafsson, Lars L; MacBride-Stewart, Sean; Malmström, Rickard E; Pedersen, Hanne; Selke, Gisbert; Vlahović-Palčevski, Vera; van Woerkom, Menno; Wong-Rieger, Durhane; Wettermark, Björn

    2015-02-01

    Quality indicators are increasingly used as a tool to achieve safe and quality clinical care, cost-effective therapy, for professional learning, remuneration, accreditation and financial incentives. A substantial number focus on drug therapy but few address the introduction of new medicines even though this is a burning issue. The objective was to describe the issues and challenges in designing and implementing a transparent indicator framework and evaluation protocol for the introduction of new medicines and to provide guidance on how to apply quality indicators in the managed entry of new medicines. Quality indicators need to be developed early to assess whether new medicines are introduced appropriately. A number of key factors need to be addressed when developing, applying and evaluating indicators including dimensions of quality, suggested testing protocols, potential data sources, key implementation factors such as intended and unintended consequences, budget impact and cost-effectiveness, assuring the involvement of the medical professions, patients and the public, and reliable and easy-to-use computerized tools for data collection and management. Transparent approaches include the need for any quality indicators developed to handle conflict of interests to enhance their validity and acceptance. The suggested framework and indicator testing protocol may be useful in assessing the applicability of indicators for new medicines and may be adapted to healthcare settings worldwide. The suggestions build on existing literature to create a field testing methodology that can be used to produce country-specific quality indicators for new medicines as well as a cross international approach to facilitate access to new medicines.

  18. How to plan workflow changes: a practical quality improvement tool used in an outpatient hospital pharmacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Christine; Chau, Connie; Giridharan, Neha; Huh, Youchin; Cooley, Janet; Warholak, Terri L

    2013-06-01

    A quality improvement tool is provided to improve pharmacy workflow with the goal of minimizing errors caused by workflow issues. This study involved workflow evaluation and reorganization, and staff opinions of these proposed changes. The study pharmacy was an outpatient pharmacy in the Tucson area. However, the quality improvement tool may be applied in all pharmacy settings, including but not limited to community, hospital, and independent pharmacies. This tool can help the user to identify potential workflow problem spots, such as high-traffic areas through the creation of current and proposed workflow diagrams. Creating a visual representation can help the user to identify problem spots and to propose changes to optimize workflow. It may also be helpful to assess employees' opinions of these changes. The workflow improvement tool can be used to assess where improvements are needed in a pharmacy's floor plan and workflow. Suggestions for improvements in the study pharmacy included increasing the number of verification points and decreasing high traffic areas in the workflow. The employees of the study pharmacy felt that the proposed changes displayed greater continuity, sufficiency, accessibility, and space within the pharmacy.

  19. Adaptive tool servo diamond turning for enhancing machining efficiency and surface quality of freeform optics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Zhiwei; To, Suet

    2015-08-10

    Fast tool servo/ slow tool servo (FTS/STS) diamond turning is a very promising technique for the generation of freeform optics. However, the currently adopted constant scheme for azimuth sampling and side-feeding motion possesses no adaptation to surface shape variation, leading to the non-uniform surface quality and low machining efficiency. To overcome this defect, this paper reports on a novel adaptive tool servo (ATS) diamond turning technique which is essentially based on the novel two-degree-of-freedom (2-DOF) FTS/STS. In the ATS, the sampling interval and the side-feeding motion are actively controlled at any cutting point to adapt the machining process to shape variation of the desired surface, making both the sampling induced interpolation error and the side-feeding induced residual tool mark be within the desired tolerances. Characteristic of the required cutting motion suggests that besides the conventional z-axis servo motion, another servo motion along the x-axis synthesizing by the c-axis is mandatory for implementing the ATS. Comparative studies of surface generation of typical micro-structured surfaces in FTS/STS and ATS are thoroughly conducted both theoretically and experimentally. The result demonstrates that the ATS outperforms the FTS/STS with improved surface quality while simultaneously enhanced machining efficiency.

  20. Measuring the quality of Patients’ goals and action plans: development and validation of a novel tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teal Cayla R

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The purpose of this study is to develop and test reliability, validity, and utility of the Goal-Setting Evaluation Tool for Diabetes (GET-D. The effectiveness of diabetes self-management is predicated on goal-setting and action planning strategies. Evaluation of self-management interventions is hampered by the absence of tools to assess quality of goals and action plans. To address this gap, we developed the GET-D, a criteria-based, observer rating scale that measures the quality of patients’ diabetes goals and action plans. Methods We conducted 3-stage development of GET-D, including identification of criteria for observer ratings of goals and action plans, rater training and pilot testing; and then performed psychometric testing of the GET-D. Results Trained raters could effectively rate the quality of patient-generated goals and action plans using the GET-D. Ratings performed by trained evaluators demonstrated good raw agreement (94.4% and inter-rater reliability (Kappa = 0.66. Scores on the GET-D correlated well with measures theoretically associated with goal-setting, including patient activation (r=.252, P Conclusions The GET-D can reliably and validly rate the quality of goals and action plans. It holds promise as a measure of intervention fidelity for clinical interventions that promote diabetes self-management behaviors to improve clinical outcomes. Trial registration Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00481286

  1. Automated Tools for Clinical Research Data Quality Control using NCI Common Data Elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Cody L; Topaloglu, Umit; Bian, Jiang; Hogan, William; Kieber-Emmons, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Clinical research data generated by a federation of collection mechanisms and systems often produces highly dissimilar data with varying quality. Poor data quality can result in the inefficient use of research data or can even require the repetition of the performed studies, a costly process. This work presents two tools for improving data quality of clinical research data relying on the National Cancer Institute's Common Data Elements as a standard representation of possible questions and data elements to A: automatically suggest CDE annotations for already collected data based on semantic and syntactic analysis utilizing the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) Terminology Services' Metathesaurus and B: annotate and constrain new clinical research questions though a simple-to-use "CDE Browser." In this work, these tools are built and tested on the open-source LimeSurvey software and research data analyzed and identified to contain various data quality issues captured by the Comprehensive Research Informatics Suite (CRIS) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

  2. The Use of Automated Software Tools in Evaluating an e-Learning Platform Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Suciu

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available

    This paper proposes an expert system which can be used to evaluate the quality of an e-learning platform. The proposed expert system is using the modified version of the SEEQUEL Core Quality Framework and it was built using CLIPS expert system generator. The SEEQUEL Core Quality Framework originated from the collaboration between the e-learning Industry Group (eLIG with a number of European expert organizations and associations, coordinated by the MENON Network, is a framework used to build the quality tree by selecting the quality characteristics from a list of common characteristics applicable to the whole e-learning experience. CLIPS is a productive development and delivery expert system tool which provides a complete environment for the construction of rule based expert systems.

    In the first part of this paper the SEEQUEL Core Quality Framework and CLIPS expert system generator are presented showing the advantage of using an expert system for this task. In the second part, a case study of evaluating an e-learning platform is presented. The final conclusion of the experiment was that an expert system can successfully replace a human expert for the proposed task.

  3. The Use of Automated Software Tools in Evaluating an e-Learning Platform Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Traian Lucian Militaru

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes an expert system which can be used to evaluate the quality of an e-learning platform. The proposed expert system is using the modified version of the SEEQUEL Core Quality Framework and it was built using CLIPS expert system generator. The SEEQUEL Core Quality Framework originated from the collaboration between the e-learning Industry Group (eLIG with a number of European expert organizations and associations, coordinated by the MENON Network, is a framework used to build the quality tree by selecting the quality characteristics from a list of common characteristics applicable to the whole e-learning experience. CLIPS is a productive development and delivery expert system tool which provides a complete environment for the construction of rule based expert systems. In the first part of this paper the SEEQUEL Core Quality Framework and CLIPS expert system generator are presented showing the advantage of using an expert system for this task. In the second part, a case study of evaluating an e-learning platform is presented. The final conclusion of the experiment was that an expert system can successfully replace a human expert for the proposed task.

  4. The coronary artery disease quality dashboard: a chronic care disease management tool in an electronic health record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Eunice; Schnipper, Jeffrey L; Li, Qi; Linder, Jeffrey A; Rose, Alan F; Li, Ruzhuo; Eskin, Michael S; Housman, Dan; Middleton, Blackford; Einbinder, Jonathan S

    2007-10-11

    Quality reporting tools, integrated with ambulatory electronic health records (EHRs), may help clinicians understand performance, manage populations, and improve quality. The Coronary Artery Disease Quality Dash board (CAD QD) is a secure web report for performance measurement of a chronic care condition delivered through a central data warehouse and custom-built reporting tool. Pilot evaluation of the CAD Quality Dash board indicates that clinicians prefer a quality report that combines not only structured data from EHRs but one that facilitates actions to be taken on individual patients or on a population, i.e., for case management.

  5. Use of health-related quality of life tools in hepatobiliary surgery

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Muhammad Shaifque Sajid; Mawara Iftikhar; Jasmin Rimple; Mirza Khurrum Baig

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND:The objective of this article is to review the literature and discuss the various tools used in hepatobiliary surgery for the measurement of health related quality of life (HR-QOL) and highlight various outcome variables that affect the HR-QOL among patients with common hepatobiliary disorders. DATA SOURCES:We reviewed HR-QOL articles published in the last 20 years on different hepatobiliary curative or palliative procedures in all languages. RESULTS:HR-QOL is a questionnaire tool which is utilized to assess the changes in the health status of patients after a hepatobiliary intervention. These surveys are of increasingly importance, as health care providers are challenged to justify treatment approaches and rationale for any surgical intervention. These HR-QOL tools are very helpful for the evaluation of subjective outcome of common hepatobiliary procedures like gastrointestinal quality of life index (GIQLI) for cholecystectomy, functional assessment in cancer therapy (FACT) for liver resection, short form 36 (SF-36) for liver transplantation, and quality of life questionnaire for patients with pancreatic cancer (QLQ-PAN). CONCLUSIONS:Use of validated and reliable health instruments in hepatobiliary surgery is directed at measuring the impact in a reproducible and valid fashion. Curative or palliative procedures should be offered to the patients of hepatobiliary disorders after the assessment by HR-QOL tools. Because the impairments of function that may occur after different operations vary considerably, an operation-speciifc assessment of HR-QOL for each type of surgical procedure is becoming an essential principle to follow in a successful healthcare system.

  6. Adaptation and validation of the "tolerability and quality of life" (TOOL) questionnaire in Chinese bipolar patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Lin; Gao, Yulin; Zhang, Lili; Chen, Peiyun; Sun, Xiaojia; Tang, Siyuan

    2016-11-01

    It is well known that the antipsychotic drugs impact the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of the bipolar patients. The side effects had been assessed only from the doctors' perspective and neglected the patients' subjective feeling. The aim of the study is to validate the specific instrument "tolerability and quality of life" (TOOL) into Chinese to describe and grade the impact of antipsychotic drugs on HRQoL from patients' view. A psychometric study was conducted with euthymic bipolar disorder patients (N = 105) under antipsychotic treatment. The psychometric properties of the TOOL, including internal consistency, retest reliability, concurrent validity, content validity, discriminative validity, item analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and feasibility, were analyzed. The internal consistency and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) were adequate (Cronbach's alpha = 0.80 and ICC = 0.81). A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) validated the one-factor model. Significant Spearman's rank correlations between the TOOL and both Bref QoL.BD (Brief version of Quality of Life in Bipolar Disorder) (r = -0.33, P < 0.01) and UKU (Udvalg for Kliniske Undersogelser side effects scale) (r = 0.13, P < 0.05) were found. Small sample size and no specific self-report instrument in Chinese to evaluate the criterion validity. TOOL appears to be a reliable and valid measure to assess the impact of adverse events of antipsychotic drugs on HRQoL from the patients' perspective.

  7. Total quality management (TQM) and the future of the environmental industry: Integration of quality tools and techniques among competing interests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bicknell, B.A.; Bicknell, K.D. (Bicknell Consulting, Littleton, CO (United States))

    1993-01-01

    One of the most difficult problems facing industry, regulators, consultants and attorneys involved in the environmental arena is the lack of a functional method of prioritization of the seemingly unreconcilable interests of the varying entities involved in waste reduction, elimination and cleanup. This paper and presentation will address this problem by presenting methodology for problem solving that can be adopted by the competing interests to form a unified systems analysis that has enjoyed widespread use and success in both commercial business and industry, and other regulated government industries such as defense, aerospace and communication. The authors will employ specific examples of case studies with focus on hazardous waste reduction and how the quality tools and techniques commonly referred to as Total Quality Management (such as Quality Function Deployment, Experimental Design, Statistical Process Control and Functional Analysis) are and can be utilized in the process. The authors will illustrate the application of TQM techniques to areas such as process integration (e.g. implementation of the NEPA decision-making), as well as functional implementation in risk assessment, cost analysis and concurrent engineering (in the case of waste minimization technology development).

  8. BOMBER: A tool for estimating water quality and bottom properties from remote sensing images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giardino, Claudia; Candiani, Gabriele; Bresciani, Mariano; Lee, Zhongping; Gagliano, Stefano; Pepe, Monica

    2012-08-01

    BOMBER (Bio-Optical Model Based tool for Estimating water quality and bottom properties from Remote sensing images) is a software package for simultaneous retrieval of the optical properties of water column and bottom from remotely sensed imagery, which makes use of bio-optical models for optically deep and optically shallow waters. Several menus allow the user to choose the model type, to specify the input and output files, and to set all of the variables involved in the model parameterization and inversion. The optimization technique allows the user to retrieve the maps of chlorophyll concentration, suspended particulate matter concentration, coloured dissolved organic matter absorption and, in case of shallow waters, bottom depth and distributions of up to three different types of substrate, defined by the user according to their albedo. The software requires input image data that must be atmospherically corrected to remote sensing reflectance values. For both deep and shallow water models, a map of the relative error involved in the inversion procedure is also given. The tool was originally intended to estimate water quality in lakes; however thanks to its general design, it can be applied to any other aquatic environments (e.g., coastal zones, estuaries, lagoons) for which remote sensing reflectance values are known. BOMBER is fully programmed in IDL (Interactive Data Language) and uses IDL widgets as graphical user interface. It runs as an add-on tool for the ENVI+IDL image processing software and is available on request.

  9. Tools for proactive collection and use of quality metadata in GEOSS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastin, L.; Thum, S.; Maso, J.; Yang, K. X.; Nüst, D.; Van den Broek, M.; Lush, V.; Papeschi, F.; Riverola, A.

    2012-12-01

    The GEOSS Common Infrastructure allows interactive evaluation and selection of Earth Observation datasets by the scientific community and decision makers, but the data quality information needed to assess fitness for use is often patchy and hard to visualise when comparing candidate datasets. In a number of studies over the past decade, users repeatedly identified the same types of gaps in quality metadata, specifying the need for enhancements such as peer and expert review, better traceability and provenance information, information on citations and usage of a dataset, warning about problems identified with a dataset and potential workarounds, and 'soft knowledge' from data producers (e.g. recommendations for use which are not easily encoded using the existing standards). Despite clear identification of these issues in a number of recommendations, the gaps persist in practice and are highlighted once more in our own, more recent, surveys. This continuing deficit may well be the result of a historic paucity of tools to support the easy documentation and continual review of dataset quality. However, more recent developments in tools and standards, as well as more general technological advances, present the opportunity for a community of scientific users to adopt a more proactive attitude by commenting on their uses of data, and for that feedback to be federated with more traditional and static forms of metadata, allowing a user to more accurately assess the suitability of a dataset for their own specific context and reliability thresholds. The EU FP7 GeoViQua project aims to develop this opportunity by adding data quality representations to the existing search and visualisation functionalities of the Geo Portal. Subsequently we will help to close the gap by providing tools to easily create quality information, and to permit user-friendly exploration of that information as the ultimate incentive for improved data quality documentation. Quality information is derived

  10. Creation of a simple natural language processing tool to support an imaging utilization quality dashboard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swartz, Jordan; Koziatek, Christian; Theobald, Jason; Smith, Silas; Iturrate, Eduardo

    2017-05-01

    ://iturrate.com/simpleNLP. Results obtained using this tool can be applied to enhance quality by presenting information about utilization and yield to providers via an imaging dashboard. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. SU-E-T-27: A Tool for Routine Quality Assurance of Radiotherapy Dose Calculation Software

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Popple, R; Cardan, R; Duan, J; Wu, X; Shen, S; Brezovich, I [The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL (United States)

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: Dose calculation software is thoroughly evaluated when it is commissioned; however, evaluation of periodic software updates is typically limited in scope due to staffing constraints and the need to quickly return the treatment planning system to clinical service. We developed a tool for quickly and comprehensively testing and documenting dose calculation software against measured data. Methods: A tool was developed using MatLab (The MathWorks, Natick, MA) for evaluation of dose calculation algorithms against measured data. Inputs to the tool are measured data, reference DICOM RT PLAN files describing the measurements, and dose calculations in DICOM format. The tool consists of a collection of extensible modules that can perform analysis of point dose, depth dose curves, and profiles using dose difference, distance-to-agreement, and the gamma-index. Each module generates a report subsection that is incorporated into a master template, which is converted to final form in portable document format (PDF). Results: After each change to the treatment planning system, a report can be generated in approximately 90 minutes. The tool has been in use for more than 5 years, spanning 5 versions of the eMC and 4 versions of the AAA. We have detected changes to the algorithms that affected clinical practice once during this period. Conclusion: Our tool provides an efficient method for quality assurance of dose calculation software, providing a complete set of tests for an update. Future work includes the addition of plan level tests, allowing incorporation of, for example, the TG-119 test suite for IMRT, and integration with the treatment planning system via an application programming interface. Integration with the planning system will permit fully-automated testing and reporting at scheduled intervals.

  12. Qualitative: Python Tool for MT Quality Estimation Supporting Server Mode and Hybrid MT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avramidis Eleftherios

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available We are presenting the development contributions of the last two years to our Python opensource Quality Estimation tool, a tool that can function in both experiment-mode and online web-service mode. The latest version provides a new MT interface, which communicates with SMT and rule-based translation engines and supports on-the-fly sentence selection. Additionally, we present an improved Machine Learning interface allowing more efficient communication with several state-of-the-art toolkits. Additions also include a more informative training process, a Python re-implementation of QuEst baseline features, a new LM toolkit integration, an additional PCFG parser and alignments of syntactic nodes.

  13. Qualitative: Open Source Python Tool for Quality Estimation over Multiple Machine Translation Outputs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleftherios Avramidis

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available “Qualitative” is a python toolkit for ranking and selection of sentence-level output by different MT systems using Quality Estimation. The toolkit implements a basic pipeline for annotating the given sentences with black-box features. Consequently, it applies a machine learning mechanism in order to rank data based on models pre-trained on human preferences. The preprocessing pipeline includes support for language models, PCFG parsing, language checking tools and various other pre-processors and feature generators. The code follows the principles of object-oriented programming to allow modularity and extensibility. The tool can operate by processing both batch-files and single sentences. An XML-RPC interface is provided for hooking up with web-services and a graphical animated web-based interface demonstrates its potential on-line use.

  14. Identifying and classifying quality-of-life tools for assessing pressure ulcers after spinal cord injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitzig, Sander L.; Balioussis, Christina; Nussbaum, Ethne; McGillivray, Colleen F.; Catharine Craven, B.; Noreau, Luc

    2013-01-01

    Context Although pressure ulcers may negatively influence quality of life (QoL) post-spinal cord injury (SCI), our understanding of how to assess their impact is confounded by conceptual and measurement issues. To ensure that descriptions of pressure ulcer impact are appropriately characterized, measures should be selected according to the domains that they evaluate and the population and pathologies for which they are designed. Objective To conduct a systematic literature review to identify and classify outcome measures used to assess the impact of pressure ulcers on QoL after SCI. Methods Electronic databases (Medline/PubMed, CINAHL, and PsycInfo) were searched for studies published between 1975 and 2011. Identified outcome measures were classified as being either subjective or objective using a QoL model. Results Fourteen studies were identified. The majority of tools identified in these studies did not have psychometric evidence supporting their use in the SCI population with the exception of two objective measures, the Short-Form 36 and the Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique, and two subjective measures, the Life Situation Questionnaire-Revised and the Ferrans and Powers Quality of Life Index SCI-Version. Conclusion Many QoL outcome tools showed promise in being sensitive to the presence of pressure ulcers, but few of them have been validated for use with SCI. Prospective studies should employ more rigorous methods for collecting data on pressure ulcer severity and location to improve the quality of findings with regard to their impact on QoL. The Cardiff Wound Impact Schedule is a potential tool for assessing impact of pressure ulcers-post SCI. PMID:24090238

  15. Open and Innovative Tools and Services for Vocational Education and Training in Quality Assurance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liviu Moldovan

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the employment of the Student Response System at the “Petru Maior” University of Tîrgu Mureş, achievements of the project entitled “Disseminating Open and Innovative Tools and Services for Vocational Education and Training in Quality Assurance” (acronym Do-IT financed by European Commission. The recent developments and results obtained during pilot testing of new pedagogical models and services, in Do-IT project, targeting engaging engineering education in Romania are presented.

  16. Floristic Quality Index: An assessment tool for restoration projects and monitoring sites in coastal Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cretini, K.F.; Steyer, G.D.

    2011-01-01

    The Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) program was established to assess the effectiveness of individual coastal restoration projects and the cumulative effects of multiple projects at regional and coastwide scales. In order to make these assessments, analytical teams have been assembled for each of the primary data types sampled under the CRMS program, including vegetation, hydrology, landscape, and soils. These teams consist of scientists and support staff from the U.S. Geological Survey and other Federal agencies, the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, and university academics. Each team is responsible for developing or identifying parameters, indices, or tools that can be used to assess coastal wetlands at various scales. The CRMS Vegetation Analytical Team has developed a Floristic Quality Index for coastal Louisiana to determine the quality of a wetland based on its plant species composition and abundance.

  17. QUALITY IMPROVEMENT USING STATISTICAL PROCESS CONTROL TOOLS IN GLASS BOTTLES MANUFACTURING COMPANY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonatan Mengesha Awaj

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available In order to survive in a competitive market, improving quality and productivity of product or process is a must for any company. This study is about to apply the statistical process control (SPC tools in the production processing line and on final product in order to reduce defects by identifying where the highest waste is occur at and to give suggestion for improvement. The approach used in this study is direct observation, thorough examination of production process lines, brain storming session, fishbone diagram, and information has been collected from potential customers and company's workers through interview and questionnaire, Pareto chart/analysis and control chart (p-chart was constructed. It has been found that the company has many problems; specifically there is high rejection or waste in the production processing line. The highest waste occurs in melting process line which causes loss due to trickle and in the forming process line which causes loss due to defective product rejection. The vital few problems were identified, it was found that the blisters, double seam, stone, pressure failure and overweight are the vital few problems. The principal aim of the study is to create awareness to quality team how to use SPC tools in the problem analysis, especially to train quality team on how to held an effective brainstorming session, and exploit these data in cause-and-effect diagram construction, Pareto analysis and control chart construction. The major causes of non-conformities and root causes of the quality problems were specified, and possible remedies were proposed. Although the company has many constraints to implement all suggestion for improvement within short period of time, the company recognized that the suggestion will provide significant productivity improvement in the long run.

  18. Quality Metadata Management for Geospatial Scientific Workflows: from Retrieving to Assessing with Online Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leibovici, D. G.; Pourabdollah, A.; Jackson, M.

    2011-12-01

    Experts and decision-makers use or develop models to monitor global and local changes of the environment. Their activities require the combination of data and processing services in a flow of operations and spatial data computations: a geospatial scientific workflow. The seamless ability to generate, re-use and modify a geospatial scientific workflow is an important requirement but the quality of outcomes is equally much important [1]. Metadata information attached to the data and processes, and particularly their quality, is essential to assess the reliability of the scientific model that represents a workflow [2]. Managing tools, dealing with qualitative and quantitative metadata measures of the quality associated with a workflow, are, therefore, required for the modellers. To ensure interoperability, ISO and OGC standards [3] are to be adopted, allowing for example one to define metadata profiles and to retrieve them via web service interfaces. However these standards need a few extensions when looking at workflows, particularly in the context of geoprocesses metadata. We propose to fill this gap (i) at first through the provision of a metadata profile for the quality of processes, and (ii) through providing a framework, based on XPDL [4], to manage the quality information. Web Processing Services are used to implement a range of metadata analyses on the workflow in order to evaluate and present quality information at different levels of the workflow. This generates the metadata quality, stored in the XPDL file. The focus is (a) on the visual representations of the quality, summarizing the retrieved quality information either from the standardized metadata profiles of the components or from non-standard quality information e.g., Web 2.0 information, and (b) on the estimated qualities of the outputs derived from meta-propagation of uncertainties (a principle that we have introduced [5]). An a priori validation of the future decision-making supported by the

  19. Utah's Regional/Urban ANSS Seismic Network---Strategies and Tools for Quality Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burlacu, R.; Arabasz, W. J.; Pankow, K. L.; Pechmann, J. C.; Drobeck, D. L.; Moeinvaziri, A.; Roberson, P. M.; Rusho, J. A.

    2007-05-01

    The University of Utah's regional/urban seismic network (224 stations recorded: 39 broadband, 87 strong-motion, 98 short-period) has become a model for locally implementing the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) because of successes in integrating weak- and strong-motion recording and in developing an effective real-time earthquake information system. Early achievements included implementing ShakeMap, ShakeCast, point-to- multipoint digital telemetry, and an Earthworm Oracle database, as well as in-situ calibration of all broadband and strong-motion stations and submission of all data and metadata into the IRIS DMC. Regarding quality performance, our experience as a medium-size regional network affirms the fundamental importance of basics such as the following: for data acquisition, deliberate attention to high-quality field installations, signal quality, and computer operations; for operational efficiency, a consistent focus on professional project management and human resources; and for customer service, healthy partnerships---including constant interactions with emergency managers, engineers, public policy-makers, and other stakeholders as part of an effective state earthquake program. (Operational cost efficiencies almost invariably involve trade-offs between personnel costs and the quality of hardware and software.) Software tools that we currently rely on for quality performance include those developed by UUSS (e.g., SAC and shell scripts for estimating local magnitudes) and software developed by other organizations such as: USGS (Earthworm), University of Washington (interactive analysis software), ISTI (SeisNetWatch), and IRIS (PDCC, BUD tools). Although there are many pieces, there is little integration. One of the main challenges we face is the availability of a complete and coherent set of tools for automatic and post-processing to assist in achieving the goals/requirements set forth by ANSS. Taking our own network---and ANSS---to the next level

  20. Tools for developing a quality management program: proactive tools (process mapping, value stream mapping, fault tree analysis, and failure mode and effects analysis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rath, Frank

    2008-01-01

    This article examines the concepts of quality management (QM) and quality assurance (QA), as well as the current state of QM and QA practices in radiotherapy. A systematic approach incorporating a series of industrial engineering-based tools is proposed, which can be applied in health care organizations proactively to improve process outcomes, reduce risk and/or improve patient safety, improve through-put, and reduce cost. This tool set includes process mapping and process flowcharting, failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), value stream mapping, and fault tree analysis (FTA). Many health care organizations do not have experience in applying these tools and therefore do not understand how and when to use them. As a result there are many misconceptions about how to use these tools, and they are often incorrectly applied. This article describes these industrial engineering-based tools and also how to use them, when they should be used (and not used), and the intended purposes for their use. In addition the strengths and weaknesses of each of these tools are described, and examples are given to demonstrate the application of these tools in health care settings.

  1. An evaluation of quality of life of skin cancer patients after surgery using dermatology life quality index tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shailendra Kumar Jain

    2016-08-01

    Results: Out of total 56 study subjects, Basal cell carcinomas were found in 91.1% (n=51; squamous cell carcinomas were detected in 7.2% (n=4. Single location wise more lesions were located on the nose 22.1% (n=15 and forehead 17.6% (12. For most patients (75%, the lesion had not been previously treated. 58.9% subjects did not have any other associated co-morbid condition. Lower mean values were observed post-operative i.e. lower DLQI scores were recorded 4 months after surgery in our study which indicates that adverse effects were not very prominent thus preserving quality of life post operatively. Paired sample t-tests revealed a significant effect on DLQI item 1 (p=0.008, item 2 (p=0.043, and item 4 (p=0.003, with scores decreasing (improving QOL after treatment. The change in total DLQI score demonstrated a trend toward significance, with overall QOL improving after treatment (p=0.024. Conclusions: Previously commonly employed dermatological Quality of life tools demonstrated minimal handicap at initial diagnosis and little change after treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Development of disease-specific instrument is warranted to explore the disease process. [Int J Res Med Sci 2016; 4(8.000: 3235-3239

  2. PREDICTION OF SMARTPHONES’ PERCEIVED IMAGE QUALITY USING SOFTWARE EVALUATION TOOL VIQET

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    Pinchas ZOREA

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available A great deal of resources and efforts have been made in recent years to assess how the smartphones users perceived the image quality. Unfortunately, only limited success has been achieved and the image quality assessment still based on many physical human visual test. The paper describes the new model proposed for perceived quality based on human visual tests compared with image analysis by the software application tool. The values of parameters of perceived image quality (brightness, contrast, color saturation and sharpness were calibrated based on results from human visual experiments.PREDICŢIA CALITĂŢII PERCEPUTE A IMAGINILOR AFIȘATE DE SMARTPHONE-URI UTILIZÂND APLICAŢIA DE EVALUARE VIQETÎn ultimii ani au fost depuse eforturi semnificative pentru a evalua modul în care utilizatorii de smartphone  percep calitatea imaginilor. Din păcate, a fost atins doar un progres limitat, evaluarea calităţii imaginiilor bazându-se încă pe multiple teste vizuale umane. În lucrare este descris un nou model al calităţii percepute pe baza testelor vizuale umane, comparate cu analiza imaginii efectuate cu o aplicaţie software. Valorile parametrilor calităţii  percepute a imaginii (lu­minozitate, contrast, saturaţia culorilor şi claritatea au fost calibrate pe baza rezultatelor experimentelor vizuale umane.

  3. Sensory and rapid instrumental methods as a combined tool for quality control of cooked ham.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbieri, Sara; Soglia, Francesca; Palagano, Rosa; Tesini, Federica; Bendini, Alessandra; Petracci, Massimiliano; Cavani, Claudio; Gallina Toschi, Tullia

    2016-11-01

    In this preliminary investigation, different commercial categories of Italian cooked pork hams have been characterized using an integrated approach based on both sensory and fast instrumental measurements. For these purposes, Italian products belonging to different categories (cooked ham, "selected" cooked ham and "high quality" cooked ham) were evaluated by sensory descriptive analysis and by the application of rapid tools such as image analysis by an "electronic eye" and texture analyzer. The panel of trained assessors identified and evaluated 10 sensory descriptors able to define the quality of the products. Statistical analysis highlighted that sensory characteristics related to appearance and texture were the most significant in discriminating samples belonged to the highest (high quality cooked hams) and the lowest (cooked hams) quality of the product whereas the selected cooked hams, showed intermediate characteristics. In particular, high quality samples were characterized, above all, by the highest intensity of pink intensity, typical appearance and cohesiveness, and, at the same time, by the lowest intensity of juiciness; standard cooked ham samples showed the lowest intensity of all visual attributes and the highest value of juiciness, whereas the intermediate category (selected cooked ham) was not discriminated from the other. Also physical-rheological parameters measured by electronic eye and texture analyzer were effective in classifying samples. In particular, the PLS model built with data obtained from the electronic eye showed a satisfactory performance in terms of prediction of the pink intensity and presence of fat attributes evaluated during the sensory visual phase. This study can be considered a first application of this combined approach that could represent a suitable and fast method to verify if the meat product purchased by consumer match its description in terms of compliance with the claimed quality.

  4. A Method to Optimize Geometric Errors of Machine Tool based on SNR Quality Loss Function and Correlation Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cai Ligang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Instead improving the accuracy of machine tool by increasing the precision of key components level blindly in the production process, the method of combination of SNR quality loss function and machine tool geometric error correlation analysis to optimize five-axis machine tool geometric errors will be adopted. Firstly, the homogeneous transformation matrix method will be used to build five-axis machine tool geometric error modeling. Secondly, the SNR quality loss function will be used for cost modeling. And then, machine tool accuracy optimal objective function will be established based on the correlation analysis. Finally, ISIGHT combined with MATLAB will be applied to optimize each error. The results show that this method is reasonable and appropriate to relax the range of tolerance values, so as to reduce the manufacturing cost of machine tools.

  5. Quality Assessment of Research Articles in Nuclear Medicine Using STARD and QUADAS-2 Tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roysri, Krisana; Chotipanich, Chanisa; Laopaiboon, Vallop; Khiewyoo, Jiraporn

    2014-01-01

    Diagnostic nuclear medicine is being increasingly employed in clinical practice with the advent of new technologies and radiopharmaceuticals. The report of the prevalence of a certain disease is important for assessing the quality of that article. Therefore, this study was performed to evaluate the quality of published nuclear medicine articles and determine the frequency of reporting the prevalence of studied diseases. We used Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD) and Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2) checklists for evaluating the quality of articles published in five nuclear medicine journals with the highest impact factors in 2012. The articles were retrieved from Scopus database and were selected and assessed independently by two nuclear medicine physicians. Decision concerning equivocal data was made by consensus between the reviewers. The average STARD score was approximately 17 points, and the highest score was 17.19±2.38 obtained by the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine. QUADAS-2 tool showed that all journals had low bias regarding study population. The Journal of Nuclear Medicine had the highest score in terms of index test, reference standard, and time interval. Lack of clarity regarding the index test, reference standard, and time interval was frequently observed in all journals including Clinical Nuclear Medicine, in which 64% of the studies were unclear regarding the index test. Journal of Nuclear Cardiology had the highest number of articles with appropriate reference standard (83.3%), though it had the lowest frequency of reporting disease prevalence (zero reports). All five journals had the same STARD score, while index test, reference standard, and time interval were very unclear according to QUADAS-2 tool. Unfortunately, data were too limited to determine which journal had the lowest risk of bias. In fact, it is the author's responsibility to provide details of research methodology so that the reader

  6. The IEO Data Center Management System: Tools for quality control, analysis and access marine data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casas, Antonia; Garcia, Maria Jesus; Nikouline, Andrei

    2010-05-01

    Since 1994 the Data Centre of the Spanish Oceanographic Institute develops system for archiving and quality control of oceanographic data. The work started in the frame of the European Marine Science & Technology Programme (MAST) when a consortium of several Mediterranean Data Centres began to work on the MEDATLAS project. Along the years, old software modules for MS DOS were rewritten, improved and migrated to Windows environment. Oceanographic data quality control includes now not only vertical profiles (mainly CTD and bottles observations) but also time series of currents and sea level observations. New powerful routines for analysis and for graphic visualization were added. Data presented originally in ASCII format were organized recently in an open source MySQL database. Nowadays, the IEO, as part of SeaDataNet Infrastructure, has designed and developed a new information system, consistent with the ISO 19115 and SeaDataNet standards, in order to manage the large and diverse marine data and information originated in Spain by different sources, and to interoperate with SeaDataNet. The system works with data stored in ASCII files (MEDATLAS, ODV) as well as data stored within the relational database. The components of the system are: 1.MEDATLAS Format and Quality Control - QCDAMAR: Quality Control of Marine Data. Main set of tools for working with data presented as text files. Includes extended quality control (searching for duplicated cruises and profiles, checking date, position, ship velocity, constant profiles, spikes, density inversion, sounding, acceptable data, impossible regional values,...) and input/output filters. - QCMareas: A set of procedures for the quality control of tide gauge data according to standard international Sea Level Observing System. These procedures include checking for unexpected anomalies in the time series, interpolation, filtering, computation of basic statistics and residuals. 2. DAMAR: A relational data base (MySql) designed to

  7. Quality Assessment of Research Articles in Nuclear Medicine Using STARD and QUADAS-2 Tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krisana Roysri

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Objective(s: Diagnostic nuclear medicine is being increasingly employed in clinical practice with the advent of new technologies and radiopharmaceuticals. The report of the prevalence of a certain disease is important for assessing the quality of that article. Therefore, this study was performed to evaluate the quality of published nuclear medicine articles and determine the frequency of reporting the prevalence of studied diseases. Methods: We used Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD and Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2 checklists for evaluating the quality of articles published in five nuclear medicine journals with the highest impact factors in 2012. The articles were retrieved from Scopus database and were selected and assessed independently by two nuclear medicine physicians. Decision concerning equivocal data was made by consensus between the reviewers. Results: The average STARD score was approximately 17 points, and the highest score was 17.19±2.38 obtained by the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine. QUADAS-2 tool showed that all journals had low bias regarding study population. The Journal of Nuclear Medicine had the highest score in terms of index test, reference standard, and time interval. Lack of clarity regarding the index test, reference standard, and time interval was frequently observed in all journals including Clinical Nuclear Medicine, in which 64% of the studies were unclear regarding the index test. Journal of Nuclear Cardiology had the highest number of articles with appropriate reference standard (83.3%, though it had the lowest frequency of reporting disease prevalence (zero reports. All five journals had the same STARD score, while index test, reference standard, and time interval were very unclear according to QUADAS-2 tool. Unfortunately, data were too limited to determine which journal had the lowest risk of bias. In fact, it is the author’s responsibility to provide

  8. Modelling raw water quality: development of a drinking water management tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kübeck, Ch; van Berk, W; Bergmann, A

    2009-01-01

    Ensuring future drinking water supply requires a tough management of groundwater resources. However, recent practices of economic resource control often does not involve aspects of the hydrogeochemical and geohydraulical groundwater system. In respect of analysing the available quantity and quality of future raw water, an effective resource management requires a full understanding of the hydrogeochemical and geohydraulical processes within the aquifer. For example, the knowledge of raw water quality development within the time helps to work out strategies of water treatment as well as planning finance resources. On the other hand, the effectiveness of planed measurements reducing the infiltration of harmful substances such as nitrate can be checked and optimized by using hydrogeochemical modelling. Thus, within the framework of the InnoNet program funded by Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, a network of research institutes and water suppliers work in close cooperation developing a planning and management tool particularly oriented on water management problems. The tool involves an innovative material flux model that calculates the hydrogeochemical processes under consideration of the dynamics in agricultural land use. The program integrated graphical data evaluation is aligned on the needs of water suppliers.

  9. Prediction of quality attributes of continuously produced granules using complementary pat tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonteyne, Margot; Soares, Sandra; Vercruysse, Jurgen; Peeters, Elisabeth; Burggraeve, Anneleen; Vervaet, Chris; Remon, Jean Paul; Sandler, Niklas; De Beer, Thomas

    2012-10-01

    Manufacturers of pharmaceutical solid dosage forms aim for a reduced production time and a shorter "time-to-market." Therefore, continuous manufacturing gains increasing interest in the pharmaceutical industry. For continuous manufacturing, the quality of produced pharmaceuticals should be assessed in real-time (in-line, on-line, and at-line) and not via the traditional off-line, often destructive and time-consuming analysis methods that supply the desired information only hours after sampling. This research paper evaluates three Process Analytical Technology (PAT) tools for the real-time at-line analysis of granules, which were produced using a continuous wet twin-screw granulator being part of a from powder-to-tablet production line (ConsiGma™-25). A Raman and NIR spectrometer were used together with a photometric imaging technique in order to acquire solid-state information and granule size data. These multivariate data were then used to predict the granules' moisture content, tapped and bulk density, and flowability. The three PAT tools provided complementary information for predicting these quality attributes of the continuously produced granules. The residual moisture content was mostly correlated with the spectroscopic data, whereas the imaging data had the highest predictive capability for the flowability of the granules. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Evaluation of QUADAS, a tool for the quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bossuyt Patrick NM

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A quality assessment tool for diagnostic accuracy studies, named QUADAS, has recently been developed. Although QUADAS has been used in several systematic reviews, it has not been formally validated. The objective was to evaluate the validity and usefulness of QUADAS. Methods Three reviewers independently rated the quality of 30 studies using QUADAS. We assessed the proportion of agreements between each reviewer and the final consensus rating. This was done for all QUADAS items combined and for each individual item. Twenty reviewers who had used QUADAS in their reviews completed a short structured questionnaire on their experience of QUADAS. Results Over all items, the agreements between each reviewer and the final consensus rating were 91%, 90% and 85%. The results for individual QUADAS items varied between 50% and 100% with a median value of 90%. Items related to uninterpretable test results and withdrawals led to the most disagreements. The feedback on the content of the tool was generally positive with only small numbers of reviewers reporting problems with coverage, ease of use, clarity of instructions and validity. Conclusion Major modifications to the content of QUADAS itself are not necessary. The evaluation highlighted particular difficulties in scoring the items on uninterpretable results and withdrawals. Revised guidelines for scoring these items are proposed. It is essential that reviewers tailor guidelines for scoring items to their review, and ensure that all reviewers are clear on how to score studies. Reviewers should consider whether all QUADAS items are relevant to their review, and whether additional quality items should be assessed as part of their review.

  11. CAFTAN: a tool for fast mapping, and quality assessment of cDNAs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hotz-Wagenblatt Agnes

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The German cDNA Consortium has been cloning full length cDNAs and continued with their exploitation in protein localization experiments and cellular assays. However, the efficient use of large cDNA resources requires the development of strategies that are capable of a speedy selection of truly useful cDNAs from biological and experimental noise. To this end we have developed a new high-throughput analysis tool, CAFTAN, which simplifies these efforts and thus fills the gap between large-scale cDNA collections and their systematic annotation and application in functional genomics. Results CAFTAN is built around the mapping of cDNAs to the genome assembly, and the subsequent analysis of their genomic context. It uses sequence features like the presence and type of PolyA signals, inner and flanking repeats, the GC-content, splice site types, etc. All these features are evaluated in individual tests and classify cDNAs according to their sequence quality and likelihood to have been generated from fully processed mRNAs. Additionally, CAFTAN compares the coordinates of mapped cDNAs with the genomic coordinates of reference sets from public available resources (e.g., VEGA, ENSEMBL. This provides detailed information about overlapping exons and the structural classification of cDNAs with respect to the reference set of splice variants. The evaluation of CAFTAN showed that is able to correctly classify more than 85% of 5950 selected "known protein-coding" VEGA cDNAs as high quality multi- or single-exon. It identified as good 80.6 % of the single exon cDNAs and 85 % of the multiple exon cDNAs. The program is written in Perl and in a modular way, allowing the adoption of this strategy to other tasks like EST-annotation, or to extend it by adding new classification rules and new organism databases as they become available. We think that it is a very useful program for the annotation and research of unfinished genomes. Conclusion CAFTAN is

  12. Daily air quality forecast (gases and aerosols) over Switzerland. Modeling tool description and first results analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couach, O.; Kirchner, F.; Porchet, P.; Balin, I.; Parlange, M.; Balin, D.

    2009-04-01

    Map3D, the acronym for "Mesoscale Air Pollution 3D modelling", was developed at the EFLUM laboratory (EPFL) and received an INNOGRANTS awards in Summer 2007 in order to move from a research phase to a professional product giving daily air quality forecast. It is intended to give an objective base for political decisions addressing the improvement of regional air quality. This tool is a permanent modelling system which provides daily forecast of the local meteorology and the air pollutant (gases and particles) concentrations. Map3D has been successfully developed and calculates each day at the EPFL site a three days air quality forecast over Europe and the Alps with 50 km and 15 km resolution, respectively (see http://map3d.epfl.ch). The Map3D user interface is a web-based application with a PostgreSQL database. It is written in object-oriented PHP5 on a MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture. Our prediction system is operational since August 2008. A first validation of the calculations for Switzerland is performed for the period of August 2008 - January 2009 comparing the model results for O3, NO2 and particulates with the results of the Nabel measurements stations. The subject of air pollution regimes (NOX/VOC) and specific indicators application with the forecast will be also addressed.

  13. Temporal aspects of surface water quality variation using robust statistical tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mustapha, Adamu; Aris, Ahmad Zaharin; Ramli, Mohammad Firuz; Juahir, Hafizan

    2012-01-01

    Robust statistical tools were applied on the water quality datasets with the aim of determining the most significance parameters and their contribution towards temporal water quality variation. Surface water samples were collected from four different sampling points during dry and wet seasons and analyzed for their physicochemical constituents. Discriminant analysis (DA) provided better results with great discriminatory ability by using five parameters with (P < 0.05) for dry season affording more than 96% correct assignation and used five and six parameters for forward and backward stepwise in wet season data with P-value (P < 0.05) affording 68.20% and 82%, respectively. Partial correlation results revealed that there are strong (r(p) = 0.829) and moderate (r(p) = 0.614) relationships between five-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD(5)) and chemical oxygen demand (COD), total solids (TS) and dissolved solids (DS) controlling for the linear effect of nitrogen in the form of ammonia (NH(3)) and conductivity for dry and wet seasons, respectively. Multiple linear regression identified the contribution of each variable with significant values r = 0.988, R(2) = 0.976 and r = 0.970, R(2) = 0.942 (P < 0.05) for dry and wet seasons, respectively. Repeated measure t-test confirmed that the surface water quality varies significantly between the seasons with significant value P < 0.05.

  14. The Poka-Yoke method as an improving quality tool of operations in the process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Dudek-Burlikowska

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: A new approach for the implementation of quality philosophy Zero Quality Defects with usage of the Poka-Yoke method in the polish organization has been presented.Design/methodology/approach: The possibility of usage of mistake proofing device is connected with monitoring and improvement of operations in the process.Findings: At the present time the organizations should implement quality tools, techniques, methods which support the prevention strategy and should pay attention to improving each element and operations in the process.Research limitations/implications: Generally activity aim at prevent defects has been described. The Poka-Yoke method of preventing errors by putting limits on how operation can be performed in order to force the correct completion of the operation has been presented.Practical implications: The possibility of implementing of the Poka-Yoke method as a factor of improving operation in the process in the motorizations companies has been shown.Originality/value:value The aim of method Poka-Yoke in those practical examples is to eliminated or minimize human error in manufacturing process and management as a result of mental and physical human imperfections. The graphical proposal: connection the PDCA cycle with the Poka-Yoke has been created.

  15. New quality monitoring tools provided by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients: CUSUM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, J J; Salkowski, N; Zaun, D; Leppke, S N; Leighton, T; Israni, A K; Kasiske, B L

    2014-03-01

    The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) has been providing data on transplant program performance through semi-annual release of program-specific reports (PSRs). A consensus conference held in February 2012 recommended that SRTR also supply transplant programs with tools such as the cumulative sum (CUSUM) technique to facilitate quality assessment and performance improvement. SRTR developed the process, methodologies, programming code and web capabilities necessary to bring the CUSUM charts to the community, and began releasing them to all liver, kidney, heart and lung programs in July 2013. Observed-minus-expected CUSUM charts provide a general picture of a program's performance (all-cause graft failure and mortality within the first-year posttransplant) over a 3-year period; one-sided charts can determine when performance appears to be sufficiently worrisome to warrant action by the program. CUSUM charts are intended for internal quality improvement by allowing programs to better track performance in near-real time and day to day, and will not be used to indicate whether a program will be flagged for review. The CUSUM technique is better suited for real-time quality monitoring than the current PSRs in allowing monthly outcomes monitoring and presenting data recorded as recently as 2 months before the release of the CUSUM charts.

  16. Air quality survey carried out by schoolchildren: an innovative tool for urban planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nali, Cristina; Lorenzini, Giacomo

    2007-08-01

    An educational project on biological monitoring of air quality was launched in 2004 to involve about 650 young students (age 6 to 16) from 21 schools of nine municipalities in Tuscany (Central Italy) in active detection of the crucial pollutant ozone with indicator sensitive tobacco seedlings. Results implied the reading of 9,300 raw biological figures and were fortified by the data captured by six photometric analysers. Under the guidance of their teachers, the students had several opportunities to practice with many basic and applied study areas and were initiated into the scientific method in a simple and absorbing manner. Curiosity and involvement were widespread; a sort of emotional and responsible relationship was developed by several pupils. Though primarily an educational exercise, the survey introduced a research element and the regional picture of air pollution that emerged has increased our knowledge of the air quality situation in the area. Biological monitoring of air quality is a powerful tool to improve the awareness and involvement in key topics of environmental education. In addition, it represents a crucial element for improving the awareness of problems and implies the active participation of citizens in the assessment of several indicators of the state of the environment. Its potential as a robust implement in landscape and urban planning is noteworthy.

  17. Gazepath: An eye-tracking analysis tool that accounts for individual differences and data quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Renswoude, Daan R; Raijmakers, Maartje E J; Koornneef, Arnout; Johnson, Scott P; Hunnius, Sabine; Visser, Ingmar

    2017-06-07

    Eye-trackers are a popular tool for studying cognitive, emotional, and attentional processes in different populations (e.g., clinical and typically developing) and participants of all ages, ranging from infants to the elderly. This broad range of processes and populations implies that there are many inter- and intra-individual differences that need to be taken into account when analyzing eye-tracking data. Standard parsing algorithms supplied by the eye-tracker manufacturers are typically optimized for adults and do not account for these individual differences. This paper presents gazepath, an easy-to-use R-package that comes with a graphical user interface (GUI) implemented in Shiny (RStudio Inc 2015). The gazepath R-package combines solutions from the adult and infant literature to provide an eye-tracking parsing method that accounts for individual differences and differences in data quality. We illustrate the usefulness of gazepath with three examples of different data sets. The first example shows how gazepath performs on free-viewing data of infants and adults, compared to standard EyeLink parsing. We show that gazepath controls for spurious correlations between fixation durations and data quality in infant data. The second example shows that gazepath performs well in high-quality reading data of adults. The third and last example shows that gazepath can also be used on noisy infant data collected with a Tobii eye-tracker and low (60 Hz) sampling rate.

  18. Temporal Aspects of Surface Water Quality Variation Using Robust Statistical Tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adamu Mustapha

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Robust statistical tools were applied on the water quality datasets with the aim of determining the most significance parameters and their contribution towards temporal water quality variation. Surface water samples were collected from four different sampling points during dry and wet seasons and analyzed for their physicochemical constituents. Discriminant analysis (DA provided better results with great discriminatory ability by using five parameters with (P<0.05 for dry season affording more than 96% correct assignation and used five and six parameters for forward and backward stepwise in wet season data with P-value (P<0.05 affording 68.20% and 82%, respectively. Partial correlation results revealed that there are strong (rp=0.829 and moderate (rp=0.614 relationships between five-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5 and chemical oxygen demand (COD, total solids (TS and dissolved solids (DS controlling for the linear effect of nitrogen in the form of ammonia (NH3 and conductivity for dry and wet seasons, respectively. Multiple linear regression identified the contribution of each variable with significant values r = 0.988, R2 = 0.976 and r = 0.970, R2 = 0.942 (P<0.05 for dry and wet seasons, respectively. Repeated measure t-test confirmed that the surface water quality varies significantly between the seasons with significant value P<0.05.

  19. Application of ESE Data and Tools to Air Quality Management: Services for Helping the Air Quality Community use ESE Data (SHAirED)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falke, Stefan; Husar, Rudolf

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this REASoN applications and technology project is to deliver and use Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) data and tools in support of air quality management. Its scope falls within the domain of air quality management and aims to develop a federated air quality information sharing network that includes data from NASA, EPA, US States and others. Project goals were achieved through a access of satellite and ground observation data, web services information technology, interoperability standards, and air quality community collaboration. In contributing to a network of NASA ESE data in support of particulate air quality management, the project will develop access to distributed data, build Web infrastructure, and create tools for data processing and analysis. The key technologies used in the project include emerging web services for developing self describing and modular data access and processing tools, and service oriented architecture for chaining web services together to assemble customized air quality management applications. The technology and tools required for this project were developed within DataFed.net, a shared infrastructure that supports collaborative atmospheric data sharing and processing web services. Much of the collaboration was facilitated through community interactions through the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Air Quality Workgroup. The main activities during the project that successfully advanced DataFed, enabled air quality applications and established community-oriented infrastructures were: develop access to distributed data (surface and satellite), build Web infrastructure to support data access, processing and analysis create tools for data processing and analysis foster air quality community collaboration and interoperability.

  20. Quality characteristic association analysis of computer numerical control machine tool based on meta-action assembly unit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Ran

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available As everyone knows, assembly quality plays a very important role in final product quality. Since computer numerical control machine tool is a large system with complicated structure and function, and there are complex association relationships among quality characteristics in assembly process, then it is difficult and inaccurate to analyze the whole computer numerical control machine tool quality characteristic association at one time. In this article, meta-action assembly unit is proposed as the basic analysis unit, of which quality characteristic association is studied to guarantee the whole computer numerical control machine tool assembly quality. First, based on “Function-Motion-Action” decomposition structure, the definitions of meta-action and meta-action assembly unit are introduced. Second, manufacturing process association and meta-action assembly unit quality characteristic association are discussed. Third, after understanding the definitions of information entropy and relative entropy, the concrete meta-action assembly unit quality characteristic association analysis steps based on relative entropy are described in detail. And finally, the lifting piston translation assembly unit of automatic pallet changer is taken as an example, the association degree between internal leakage and the influence factors of part quality characteristics and mate-relationships among them are calculated to figure out the most influential factors, showing the correctness and feasibility of this method.

  1. Clinical audit system as a quality improvement tool in the management of breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayakumar, Chellappa; Maroju, Nanda Kishore; Srinivasan, Krishnamachari; Reddy, K Satyanarayana

    2016-11-01

    Quality improvement is recognized as a major factor that can transform healthcare management. This study is a clinical audit that aims at analysing treatment time as a quality indicator and explores the role of setting a target treatment time on reducing treatment delays. All newly diagnosed patients with breast cancer between September 2011 and August 2013 were included in the study. Clinical care pathway for breast cancer patients was standardized and the timeliness of care at each step of the pathway was calculated. Data collection was spread over three phases, baseline, audit cycle I, and audit cycle II. Each cycle was preceded by a quality improvement intervention, and followed by analysis. A total of 334 patients with breast cancer were included in the audit. The overall time from first visit to initiation of treatment was 66.3 days during the baseline period. This improved to 40.4 and 28.5 days at the end of Audit cycle I and II, respectively. The idealized target time of 28 days for initiating treatment was achieved in 5, 23.5, and 65.2% of patients in the baseline period, Audit cycle I, and Audit Cycle II, respectively. There was improvement noted across all steps of the clinical care pathway. This study confirms that audit is a powerful tool in quality improvement programs and helps achieve timely care. Gains achieved through an audit process may not be sustainable unless underlying patient factors and resource deficits are addressed. Copyright © 2016 IJS Publishing Group Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Solar shading for low energy use and daylight quality in offices: Simulations, measurements and design tools

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dubois, M.C.

    2001-11-01

    This thesis investigates the impact of solar shading devices on energy use and daylight quality in office rooms. The impact on energy use is analysed through computer simulations with the dynamic energy simulation program Derob-LTH while the impact on daylight quality is investigated through measurements in full-scale experimental office rooms and simulations with the program Radiance. This thesis also includes a literature review of research on solar shading as well as design tools to incorporate shading devices at an early stage in the design of buildings. This thesis indicates that, in cold countries, shading devices may provide more annual energy savings than any solar-protective (reflective, tinted) glazing and that the optimum glazing transmittance is orientation- and climate-dependent. For example, high annual energy savings are obtained on the south facade with higher transmittance glazings (compared with the east and west facade) because the potential for passive solar gain utilisation in the winter is high in comparison with the annual cooling demand. Exterior shading devices like awnings and overhangs may reduce the cooling demand dramatically but they are not suitable as daylight (glare) control devices. Devices like screens and venetian blinds are preferable because they cover the entire window area, which prevents sunlight patches in the room and the direct view of the bright sky. Screens and venetian blinds also reduce daylight in the room to levels that are suitable for computer work. However, it is essential that the screen is of a diffusing type since screens with a strong (specular) transmittance component result in poor daylight quality. The study on daylight quality also indicated that a screen transmittance of around 15 % may be optimum for a standard (3.5 by 6.0 m{sup 2}) south-oriented office room with a window covering around 25 % of the facade area (12 % of the floor area)

  3. Cloud infrastructure for providing tools as a service: quality attributes and potential solutions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chauhan, Muhammad Aufeef; Ali Babar, Muhammad

    2012-01-01

    projects. Through an extensive review of the relevant literature on GSD and Cloud Computing, we have identified a set of quality attributes and potential architectural solutions for a cloud-based infrastructure that can provide TaaS to GSD teams. This paper outlines the promised benefits of TaaS to GSD......Cloud computing is being increasingly adopted in various domains for providing on-demand infrastructure and Software as a service (SaaS) by leveraging the utility computing model and virtualization technologies. One of the domains, where cloud computing is expected to gain huge traction is Global...... Software Development (GSD) that has emerged as a popular software development model. Despite several promised benefits, GSD is characterized by not only technical issues but also the complexities associated with its processes. One of the key challenges of GSD is to provide appropriate tools more...

  4. The evolution of tooling, techniques, and quality control for accelerator dipole magnet cables

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scanlan, R.M.

    1992-08-01

    The present generation of particle accelerators are utilizing the flattened, compacted, single layer cable design introduced nearly 20 years ago at Rutherford Laboratory. However, the requirements for current density, filament size, dimensional control long lengths, and low current degradation are much more stringent for the present accelerators compared with the earlier Tevatron and HERA accelerators. Also, in order to achieve higher field strengths with efficient use of superconductor, the new designs require wider cables with more strands. These requirements have stimulated an active research effort which has led to significant improvements in critical current density and conductor manufacturing. In addition they have stimulated the development of new cabling techniques, improved tooling, and better measurement techniques. The need to produce over 20 million meters of cable has led to the development of high speed cabling machines and on-line quality assurance measurements. These new developments will be discussed, and areas still requiring improvement will be identified.

  5. Implementing the Mother-Baby Model of Nursing Care Using Models and Quality Improvement Tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brockman, Vicki

    As family-centered care has become the expected standard, many facilities follow the mother-baby model, in which care is provided to both a woman and her newborn in the same room by the same nurse. My facility employed a traditional model of nursing care, which was not evidence-based or financially sustainable. After implementing the mother-baby model, we experienced an increase in exclusive breastfeeding rates at hospital discharge, increased patient satisfaction, improved staff productivity and decreased salary costs, all while the number of births increased. Our change was successful because it was guided by the use of quality improvement tools, change theory and evidence-based practice models. © 2015 AWHONN.

  6. APPLICATION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND INTERACTIVE TOOLS FOR IMPROVING EDUCATIONAL QUALITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krasimira Georgieva

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The rapid development of science, technology, and information technologies in various sectors of the economy imposes increased requirements and expectations in the preparation of engineering professionals in higher education. In recent years, there have been some difficulties in engineering and technology training related to the assimilation of the methodology for constructive thinking, the development of clear and precise knowledge structuring, improvement of the ability of expressing thoughts, and graphical presentation of information.This article presents some applications and best practices in the use of e-learning systems, interactive boards, and accessories. The application of active teaching methods and use of information technologies with interactive tools, providing active involvement of the students in training, leads to considerable interest and improvement in the quality of teaching and learning.

  7. An open source automatic quality assurance (OSAQA) tool for the ACR MRI phantom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jidi; Barnes, Michael; Dowling, Jason; Menk, Fred; Stanwell, Peter; Greer, Peter B

    2015-03-01

    Routine quality assurance (QA) is necessary and essential to ensure MR scanner performance. This includes geometric distortion, slice positioning and thickness accuracy, high contrast spatial resolution, intensity uniformity, ghosting artefact and low contrast object detectability. However, this manual process can be very time consuming. This paper describes the development and validation of an open source tool to automate the MR QA process, which aims to increase physicist efficiency, and improve the consistency of QA results by reducing human error. The OSAQA software was developed in Matlab and the source code is available for download from http://jidisun.wix.com/osaqa-project/. During program execution QA results are logged for immediate review and are also exported to a spreadsheet for long-term machine performance reporting. For the automatic contrast QA test, a user specific contrast evaluation was designed to improve accuracy for individuals on different display monitors. American College of Radiology QA images were acquired over a period of 2 months to compare manual QA and the results from the proposed OSAQA software. OSAQA was found to significantly reduce the QA time from approximately 45 to 2 min. Both the manual and OSAQA results were found to agree with regard to the recommended criteria and the differences were insignificant compared to the criteria. The intensity homogeneity filter is necessary to obtain an image with acceptable quality and at the same time keeps the high contrast spatial resolution within the recommended criterion. The OSAQA tool has been validated on scanners with different field strengths and manufacturers. A number of suggestions have been made to improve both the phantom design and QA protocol in the future.

  8. ABISM: an interactive image quality assessment tool for adaptive optics instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girard, Julien H.; Tourneboeuf, Martin

    2016-07-01

    ABISM (Automatic Background Interactive Strehl Meter) is a interactive tool to evaluate the image quality of astronomical images. It works on seeing-limited point spread functions (PSF) but was developed in particular for diffraction-limited PSF produced by adaptive optics (AO) systems. In the VLT service mode (SM) operations framework, ABISM is designed to help support astronomers or telescope and instruments operators (TIOs) to quickly measure the Strehl ratio (SR) during or right after an observing block (OB) to evaluate whether it meets the requirements/predictions or whether is has to be repeated and will remain in the SM queue. It's a Python-based tool with a graphical user interface (GUI) that can be used with little AO knowledge. The night astronomer (NA) or Telescope and Instrument Operator (TIO) can launch ABISM in one click and the program is able to read keywords from the FITS header to avoid mistakes. A significant effort was also put to make ABISM as robust (and forgiven) with a high rate of repeatability. As a matter of fact, ABISM is able to automatically correct for bad pixels, eliminate stellar neighbours and estimate/fit properly the background, etc.

  9. A new tool for assessing sediment quality based on the Weight of Evidence approach and grey TOPSIS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yu-Xia; Liu, You-Sheng; Ying, Guang-Guo; Wang, Hong-Wei; Liang, Yan-Qiu; Chen, Xiao-Wen

    2015-12-15

    Sediment is an important part of an aquatic ecosystem, so it is essential to develop an effective sediment quality assessment tool. This study aims to develop a new sediment quality assessment tool using a Weight of Evidence approach in combination with the grey TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity, a mathematical calculation of multi-criteria decision analysis). This tool can analyze data from chemical analyses, laboratory toxicity tests and benthic community structure analyses to generate individual results from each line of evidence, and integrate data from these three lines of evidence to obtain an overall assessment through an Excel Visual Basic for Application program. The tool can compare the relative magnitude of risks among sites and rate each site with high, moderate, or low ecological risk, thus guiding us to take pertinent measures toward polluted sediment. A case study of the sediment of Dongjiang River basin, south China, demonstrated the successful application of this tool. It proved that this assessment tool can provide a comprehensive and accurate assessment of sediment quality and efficiently discriminate risks among different sites, suggesting it is a powerful tool for environment risk assessment.

  10. Clinical audit, a valuable tool to improve quality of care: General methodology and applications in nephrology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, Pasquale; Dal Canton, Antonio

    2014-11-06

    Evaluation and improvement of quality of care provided to the patients are of crucial importance in the daily clinical practice and in the health policy planning and financing. Different tools have been developed, including incident analysis, health technology assessment and clinical audit. The clinical audit consist of measuring a clinical outcome or a process, against well-defined standards set on the principles of evidence-based medicine in order to identify the changes needed to improve the quality of care. In particular, patients suffering from chronic renal diseases, present many problems that have been set as topics for clinical audit projects, such as hypertension, anaemia and mineral metabolism management. Although the results of these studies have been encouraging, demonstrating the effectiveness of audit, overall the present evidence is not clearly in favour of clinical audit. These findings call attention to the need to further studies to validate this methodology in different operating scenarios. This review examines the principle of clinical audit, focusing on experiences performed in nephrology settings.

  11. Indoor air quality : Tools for schools action kits for Canadian schools

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2003-03-01

    Few people realize that indoor air pollution can contribute to health effects like asthma. Several agencies, notably the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have indicated that levels of indoor pollutants can be significantly higher than those found outside. As such, poor indoor air quality (IAQ) could impact the health of students and staff, as well as the educational process and costs. Many factors can influence IAQ, including building materials, furnishings, cleaning agents, pesticides, printing and copying devices, and more. Reduction in IAQ can also result from tighter buildings and reduced ventilation. This kit was developed by Health Canada in collaboration with the Indoor Air Quality Working Group of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Environmental and Occupational Health (CEOH) to provide school officials with the tools to prevent, identify, assess, and address most indoor air problems while minimizing cost and involvement. It was suggested that trained professionals should perform the limited and well-defined set of operations and maintenance activities described in the kit.

  12. OCT as a convenient tool to assess the quality and application of organotypic retinal samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gater, Rachel; Khoshnaw, Nicholas; Nguyen, Dan; El Haj, Alicia J.; Yang, Ying

    2016-03-01

    Eye diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma have profound consequences on the quality of human life. Without treatment, these diseases can lead to loss of sight. To develop better treatments for retinal diseases, including cell therapies and drug intervention, establishment of an efficient and reproducible 3D native retinal tissue system, enabled over a prolonged culture duration, will be valuable. The retina is a complex tissue, consisting of ten layers with a different density and cellular composition to each. Uniquely, as a light transmitting tissue, retinal refraction of light differs among the layers, forming a good basis to use optical coherence tomography (OCT) in assessing the layered structure of the retina and its change during the culture and treatments. In this study, we develop a new methodology to generate retinal organotypic tissues and compare two substrates: filter paper and collagen hydrogel, to culture the organotypic tissue. Freshly slaughtered pig eyes have been obtained for use in this study. The layered morphology of intact organotypic retinal tissue cultured on two different substrates has been examined by spectral domain OCT. The viability of the tissues has been examined by live/dead fluorescence dye kit to cross validate the OCT images. For the first time, it is demonstrated that the use of a collagen hydrogel supports the viability of retinal organotypic tissue, capable of prolonged culture up to 2 weeks. OCT is a convenient tool for appraising the quality and application of organotypic retinal samples and is important in the development of current organotypic models.

  13. Intelligent sensing sensory quality of Chinese rice wine using near infrared spectroscopy and nonlinear tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Qin; Chen, Quansheng; Zhao, Jiewen

    2016-02-01

    The approach presented herein reports the application of near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, in contrast with human sensory panel, as a tool for estimating Chinese rice wine quality; concretely, to achieve the prediction of the overall sensory scores assigned by the trained sensory panel. Back propagation artificial neural network (BPANN) combined with adaptive boosting (AdaBoost) algorithm, namely BP-AdaBoost, as a novel nonlinear algorithm, was proposed in modeling. First, the optimal spectra intervals were selected by synergy interval partial least square (Si-PLS). Then, BP-AdaBoost model based on the optimal spectra intervals was established, called Si-BP-AdaBoost model. These models were optimized by cross validation, and the performance of each final model was evaluated according to correlation coefficient (Rp) and root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP) in prediction set. Si-BP-AdaBoost showed excellent performance in comparison with other models. The best Si-BP-AdaBoost model was achieved with Rp=0.9180 and RMSEP=2.23 in the prediction set. It was concluded that NIR spectroscopy combined with Si-BP-AdaBoost was an appropriate method for the prediction of the sensory quality in Chinese rice wine.

  14. Applying Total Quality Management Tools Using QFD at Higher Education Institutions in Gulf Area (Case Study: ALHOSN University

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adnan Al-Bashir

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Human power’s quality plays the key role in the growth and development of societies where the quality of human powers can be enriched with the high quality education provided by the higher education institutions. The higher education institutions are hereby an important sector of any society since it defines the overall quality of human lives. This research will investigate the application of Total Quality Management (TQM tools at the higher education institutions; specifically at ALHOSN University. In this study five tools were implemented at ALHOSN University’s engineering college including: Quality Function Deployment, Affinity Diagrams, Tree Diagrams, Pareto Charts, and Fishbone Diagrams. The research will reveal that the implementation of TQM tools has a great benefit for higher education institutions where they have uncovered many area of potential improvement as well as the main causes of some of the problems the Faculty of Engineering is facing. Also, it will show that the implementation of TQM tools on higher education institution systems will enhance the performance of such institutions.

  15. Simulating high frequency water quality monitoring data using a catchment runoff attenuation flux tool (CRAFT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Russell; Quinn, Paul F; Perks, Matthew; Barber, Nicholas J; Jonczyk, Jennine; Owen, Gareth J

    2016-12-01

    High resolution water quality data has recently become widely available from numerous catchment based monitoring schemes. However, the models that can reproduce time series of concentrations or fluxes have not kept pace with the advances in monitoring data. Model performance at predicting phosphorus (P) and sediment concentrations has frequently been poor with models not fit for purpose except for predicting annual losses. Here, the data from the Eden Demonstration Test Catchments (DTC) project have been used to calibrate the Catchment Runoff Attenuation Flux Tool (CRAFT), a new, parsimonious model developed with the aim of modelling both the generation and attenuation of nutrients and sediments in small to medium sized catchments. The CRAFT has the ability to run on an hourly timestep and can calculate the mass of sediments and nutrients transported by three flow pathways representing rapid surface runoff, fast subsurface drainage and slow groundwater flow (baseflow). The attenuation feature of the model is introduced here; this enables surface runoff and contaminants transported via this pathway to be delayed in reaching the catchment outlet. It was used to investigate some hypotheses of nutrient and sediment transport in the Newby Beck Catchment (NBC) Model performance was assessed using a suite of metrics including visual best fit and the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency. It was found that this approach for water quality models may be the best assessment method as opposed to using a single metric. Furthermore, it was found that, when the aim of the simulations was to reproduce the time series of total P (TP) or total reactive P (TRP) to get the best visual fit, that attenuation was required. The model will be used in the future to explore the impacts on water quality of different mitigation options in the catchment; these will include attenuation of surface runoff. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. A quality improvement tool - driver diagram: a model of driver diagram to reduce primary caesarean section rates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naima Fathima

    2016-05-01

    Results: Various quality improvement tools can be used in the clinical context. Among them, driver diagram is most widely used at the start of an improvement initiative. The driver diagram in this article shows its applicability in one of the clinical aspects of obstetrics, to reduce primary caesarean section rates. Conclusions: Driver diagram is an easy and a simple tool widely used in quality improvement activities. It is essential to use at the beginning of improvement initiatives. [Int J Res Med Sci 2016; 4(5.000: 1339-1342

  17. Web-based tools for quality assurance and radiation protection in diagnostic radiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moores, B M; Charnock, P; Ward, M

    2010-01-01

    Practical and philosophical aspects of radiation protection in diagnostic radiology have changed very little over the past 50 y even though patient doses have continued to rise significantly in this period. This rise has been driven by technological developments, such as multi-slice computed tomography, that have been able to improve diagnostic accuracy but not necessarily provide the same level of risk-benefit to all patients or groups of patients given the dose levels involved. Can practical radiation protection strategies hope to keep abreast of these ongoing developments? A project was started in 1992 in Liverpool that aimed to develop IT driven quality assurance (QA)/radiation protection software tools based upon a modular quality assurance dose data system. One of the modules involved the assessment of the patient entrance surface air kerma (ESAK) for an X-ray examination that was based upon the use of calibrated X-ray tube exposure factors to calculate ESAK as well as collecting appropriate patient details (age, sex, weight, thickness etc). The package also contained modules for logging all necessary equipment performance QA data. This paper will outline the experience gained with this system through its transition from a local application on a stand alone PC within the department to the current web-based approach. Advantages of a web-based approach to delivering such an application as well as centrally storing data originating on many hospital sites will be discussed together with the scientific support processes that can be developed with such a system. This will include local, national and international considerations. The advantages of importing radiographic examination details directly from other electronic storage systems such as a hospital's radiology information system will be presented together with practical outcomes already achieved. This will include the application of statistical techniques to the very large data sets generated. The development

  18. Stimulating a Culture of Improvement: Introducing 
an Integrated Quality Tool for Organizational Self-Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, Cathy

    2015-06-01

    As leaders and systems-level agents of change, oncology nurses are challenged by opportunities to guide organizational transformation from the front line to the board room. Across all care settings, reform and change initiatives are constants in the quest to optimize quality and healthcare outcomes for individuals, teams, populations, and organizations. This article describes a practical, evidence-based, integrated quality tool for initiating organizational self-assessment to prioritize issues and stimulate a culture of continuous improvement.

  19. Tools for assessing the quality and accessibility of online health information: initial testing among breast cancer websites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitten, Pamela; Nazione, Samantha; Lauckner, Carolyn

    2013-12-01

    Health websites are used frequently, but there are many concerns about their value as information sources. Additionally, there are numerous personal barriers that prevent individuals from wholly benefitting from them. In order to assess the quality of health websites and their accessibility to users, we created tools based on previous research that examine design aspects, information validity, motivational health content and literacy content. To test these tools, we examined 155 breast cancer websites and created scores for each assessment tool to describe the percent of constructs on the average website. Results demonstrated that websites performed best on the design tool followed by the information validity, motivational health content and literacy assessment tools. The average website contained the majority of the design and information validity constructs, but only about a third of the motivational health or literacy constructs. Multiple items from the motivational health content and literacy assessment tools were not found on any of the websites, and many were only represented on a handful of sites. Overall, the assessment tools were useful in evaluating the quality of websites, and could serve as valuable resources for health website developers in the future.

  20. Management tools and organization as key factors towards quality care: reflections from experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonneau, D

    1997-06-01

    Health care organization in French hospitals has become an increasingly important issue, as efforts to ensure better cost control have increased financial constraints, as patients have demanded ever better results and quality, and as nurses' expectations for better working conditions have grown. Organizing a health care unit requires an articulation between individual efforts--necessary both for gathering accurate information on each patient and for providing patients with personalized care--as well as an integrated system of various logistics, specialized services such as nursing care, custodial care, technical examinations, and administrative procedures. Coordination between these different components continues to be a significant challenge to hospitals, as each category has developed independently its own specialty and sense of autonomy, resulting in different professional rationalities, cultures, approaches, and sometimes conflicting behaviour. Pointing out these difficulties is not sufficient to solve the problem, however, and since the management tools currently in use (activity measurements, procedures used to develop choices and judgements) are often kept in place for external reasons, they may actually perpetuate these behaviours. This paper is a set of reflections derived from a long period of experience and research in the management of French hospitals and health management institutions. It reports that the financial reforms implemented in budgeting procedures for French hospitals, and the efforts to control costs better in the national health insurance system, have resulted in new types of behaviour in physicians, nurses and health care managers, as well as the need for information that deals not only with health care activities but also with quality.

  1. EPIQR - a decision making tool for apartment building refurbishment. [Energy Performance, Indoor Environmental Quality, Retrofit

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caccavelli, D. (Centre Scientifique et Technique du Batiment, Cedex (France)); Balaras, C. (National Observatory of Athens, Athens (Greece)); Bluyssen, P. (TNO Building and Construction Research, Delft (Netherlands)); Flourentzou, F. (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Lausanne (France)); Jaggs, M. (Building Research Establishment, Watford (United Kingdom)); Wetzel, C. (Fraunhofer-Institut

    1999-01-01

    In a large majority of European countries, the amount of the maintenance and refurbishment works represents nearly 50% of the total amount spent in the building sector. New requirements are being added to the necessity of maintaining or re-establishing the building stock's usage value. They are linked to the determination to reduce energy consumption, pollutant emissions, work site wastes, to improve the Indoor Environment Quality and all the modern conveniences inside apartment. Aware of this matter, the European Community has launched a two-year European research project, entitled EPIQR (Energy Performance, Indoor Environmental Quality, Retrofit) involving seven research institutions in the frame of the JOULE III programme. The purpose is to give architects and contracting authorities a multimedia tool to enable them to simultaneously grasp the whole process of apartment building refurbishment or retrofit. It has a number of functions: Assess the building's degradation state based on a technical diagnosis after a standardised and complete inspection of the building; Prepare work proposals. These take into account not only the renovation of the building but also the improvement of the energy performance and IEQ; Estimate the costs corresponding to these works. A data base, containing the costs of 800 refurbishment works, provides a fast estimate of the total amount of the works being considered; Estimate the evolution of the degradation of the components if none of the works were to be carried out, as well as the refurbishment costs which would result. This paper provides an overview of the EPIQR methodology and the final deliverables of the project. (au)

  2. The development of human resources with the use of quality management tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larysa Garmider

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available In the article relevance of the study of process of developing staff potential is defined. The main reason of economic and social problems in the enterprise is discovered, which is concluded in the use of traditional legacy learning system by them. The purpose of the article is in the forming of staff potential development model, based on the most effective tools of the system (TPS and providing the continuous process of developing staff potential. In the article a comparative characteristics of a traditional model of professional development and models of continuous professional development are presented. The disadvantages in the existing traditional model of professional development are revealed. The necessity for the application of innovative theories and knowledge technology in the process of developing staff potential in the modern enterprise is proved. In the article the model of staff potential continuous development is offered and based on the idea for non-stop improvement in accordance with TPS. A model of staff potential continuous development in the enterprises consists of six elements: personal and organizational vision and strategy, mission and objectives of the enterprise, training on the basis of Total Quality Management, competence management, Kolb's Learning Cycle, standardization development and learning. The purpose of such approach is to create a multi-dimensional educational environment, as well as the formation of multicomponent content of continuous professional development. A result of the introduction of the proposed model of continuous development is the establishment of self-learning enterprises and improvement of the quality in training for professionals

  3. Development of quality standards in inflammatory bowel disease management and design of an evaluation tool of nursing care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torrejón, Antonio; Oltra, Lorena; Hernández-Sampelayo, Paloma; Marín, Laura; García-Sánchez, Valle; Casellas, Francesc; Alfaro, Noelia; Lázaro, Pablo; Vera, María Isabel

    2013-01-01

    nursing management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is highly relevant for patient care and outcomes. However, there is evidence of substantial variability in clinical practices. The objectives of this study were to develop standards of healthcare quality for nursing management of IBD and elaborate the evaluation tool "Nursing Care Quality in IBD Assessment" (NCQ-IBD) based on these standards. a 178-item healthcare quality questionnaire was developed based on a systematic review of IBD nursing management literature. The questionnaire was used to perform two 2-round Delphi studies: Delphi A included 27 IBD healthcare professionals and Delphi B involved 12 patients. The NCQ-IBD was developed from the list of items resulting from both Delphi studies combined with the Scientific Committee´s expert opinion. the final NCQ-IBD consists of 90 items, organized in13 sections measuring the following aspects of nursing management of IBD: infrastructure, services, human resources, type of organization, nursing responsibilities, nurse-provided information to the patient, nurses training, annual audits of nursing activities, and nursing research in IBD. Using the NCQ-IBD to evaluate these components allows the rating of healthcare quality for nursing management of IBD into 4 categories: A (highest quality) through D (lowest quality). the use of the NCQ-IBD tool to evaluate nursing management quality of IBD identifies areas in need of improvement and thus contribute to an enhancement of care quality and reduction in clinical practice variations.

  4. Development of quality standards in inflammatory bowel disease management and design of an evaluation tool of nursing care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Torrejón

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Background and aims: nursing management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD is highly relevant for patient care and outcomes. However, there is evidence of substantial variability in clinical practices. The objectives of this study were to develop standards of healthcare quality for nursing management of IBD and elaborate the evaluation tool "Nursing Care Quality in IBD Assessment" (NCQ-IBD based on these standards. Methods: a 178-item healthcare quality questionnaire was developed based on a systematic review of IBD nursing management literature. The questionnaire was used to perform two 2-round Delphi studies: Delphi A included 27 IBD healthcare professionals and Delphi B involved 12 patients. The NCQ-IBD was developed from the list of items resulting from both Delphi studies combined with the Scientific Committee's expert opinion. Results: the final NCQ-IBD consists of 90 items, organized in 13 sections measuring the following aspects of nursing management of IBD: infrastructure, services, human resources, type of organization, nursing responsibilities, nurse-provided information to the patient, nurses training, annual audits of nursing activities, and nursing research in IBD. Using the NCQ-IBD to evaluate these components allows the rating of healthcare quality for nursing management of IBD into 4 categories: A (highest quality through D (lowest quality. Conclusions: the use of the NCQ-IBD tool to evaluate nursing management quality of IBD identifies areas in need of improvement and thus contribute to an enhancement of care quality and reduction in clinical practice variations.

  5. Assessing Lymphatic Filariasis Data Quality in Endemic Communities in Ghana, Using the Neglected Tropical Diseases Data Quality Assessment Tool for Preventive Chemotherapy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dziedzom K de Souza

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The activities of the Global Programme for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis have been in operation since the year 2000, with Mass Drug Administration (MDA undertaken yearly in disease endemic communities. Information collected during MDA-such as population demographics, age, sex, drugs used and remaining, and therapeutic and geographic coverage-can be used to assess the quality of the data reported. To assist country programmes in evaluating the information reported, the WHO, in collaboration with NTD partners, including ENVISION/RTI, developed an NTD Data Quality Assessment (DQA tool, for use by programmes. This study was undertaken to evaluate the tool and assess the quality of data reported in some endemic communities in Ghana.A cross sectional study, involving review of data registers and interview of drug distributors, disease control officers, and health information officers using the NTD DQA tool, was carried out in selected communities in three LF endemic Districts in Ghana. Data registers for service delivery points were obtained from District health office for assessment. The assessment verified reported results in comparison with recounted values for five indicators: number of tablets received, number of tablets used, number of tablets remaining, MDA coverage, and population treated. Furthermore, drug distributors, disease control officers, and health information officers (at the first data aggregation level, were interviewed, using the DQA tool, to determine the performance of the functional areas of the data management system.The results showed that over 60% of the data reported were inaccurate, and exposed the challenges and limitations of the data management system. The DQA tool is a very useful monitoring and evaluation (M&E tool that can be used to elucidate and address data quality issues in various NTD control programmes.

  6. Air Quality uFIND: User-oriented Tool Set for Air Quality Data Discovery and Access

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoijarvi, K.; Robinson, E. M.; Husar, R. B.; Falke, S. R.; Schultz, M. G.; Keating, T. J.

    2012-12-01

    Historically, there have been major impediments to seamless and effective data usage encountered by both data providers and users. Over the last five years, the international Air Quality (AQ) Community has worked through forums such as the Group on Earth Observations AQ Community of Practice, the ESIP AQ Working Group, and the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution to converge on data format standards (e.g., netCDF), data access standards (e.g., Open Geospatial Consortium Web Coverage Services), metadata standards (e.g., ISO 19115), as well as other conventions (e.g., CF Naming Convention) in order to build an Air Quality Data Network. The centerpiece of the AQ Data Network is the web service-based tool set: user-oriented Filtering and Identification of Networked Data. The purpose of uFIND is to provide rich and powerful facilities for the user to: a) discover and choose a desired dataset by navigation through the multi-dimensional metadata space using faceted search, b) seamlessly access and browse datasets, and c) use uFINDs facilities as a web service for mashups with other AQ applications and portals. In a user-centric information system such as uFIND, the user experience is improved by metadata that includes the general fields for discovery as well as community-specific metadata to narrow the search beyond space, time and generic keyword searches. However, even with the community-specific additions, the ISO 19115 records were formed in compliance with the standard, so that other standards-based search interface could leverage this additional information. To identify the fields necessary for metadata discovery we started with the ISO 19115 Core Metadata fields and fields that were needed for a Catalog Service for the Web (CSW) Record. This fulfilled two goals - one to create valid ISO 19115 records and the other to be able to retrieve the records through a Catalog Service for the Web query. Beyond the required set of fields, the AQ Community added

  7. Can social media be used as a hospital quality improvement tool?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagu, Tara; Goff, Sarah L; Craft, Ben; Calcasola, Stephanie; Benjamin, Evan M; Priya, Aruna; Lindenauer, Peter K

    2016-01-01

    Many hospitals wish to improve their patients' experience of care. To learn whether social media could be used as a tool to engage patients and to identify opportunities for hospital quality improvement (QI), we solicited patients' narrative feedback on the Baystate Medical Center Facebook page during a 3-week period in 2014. Two investigators used directed qualitative content analysis to code comments and descriptive statistics to assess the frequency of selected codes and themes. We identified common themes, including: (1) comments about staff (17/37 respondents, 45.9%); (2) comments about specific departments (22/37, 59.5%); (3) comments on technical aspects of care, including perceived errors and inattention to pain control (9/37, 24.3%); and (4) comments describing the hospital physical plant, parking, and amenities (9/37, 24.3%). A small number (n = 3) of patients repeatedly responded, accounting for 30% (45/148) of narratives. Although patient feedback on social media could help to drive hospital QI efforts, any potential benefits must be weighed against the reputational risks, the lack of representativeness among respondents, and the volume of responses needed to identify areas of improvement.

  8. Validation of a tool for assessing the quality of pharmaceutical services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cosendey Marly Aparecida E.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the validation process for a tool assessing basic pharmaceutical services through an analysis of the implementation of a Basic Pharmaceuticals Distribution Program by the Brazilian Federal government. The process began with the drafting of a theoretical model, based on a state-of-the-art review and allowing the selection of various conceptual dimensions and respective criteria that best represented the construct. The second step involved weighting indicators for the construction of quality scores. Three models were tested for ranking implementation levels, and seven simulations were conducted, determining the score most closely reflecting the selected indicators in two different matrices. The objective was to select the most coherent and consistent version between implementation levels and expected outcomes, while simultaneously enhancing validity of chosen criteria. Testing of the various models and the results obtained showed that augmenting the validity of the study was possible without altering data. This endeavor is justified in understanding the scope and limitations of these measurements and of the choices involved in issues concerning their weighting and interpretation.

  9. Analyzing the barriers affecting the effective utilization of quality tools and techniques using Integrated ISM approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivek Sharma

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to recognize and scrutinize the barriers affecting the utilization of quality tools and techniques (QT&T in manufacturing organizations. For this purpose, twelve barriers af-fecting the execution of QT&T in manufacturing organizations have been identified from literature analysis and experts’ opinion (academicians and industrial. Questionnaire-based survey has been utilized for the validation of identified barriers. Afterwards, an integrated model of QT&T has been developed by using interpretive structural Modelling (ISM and Matriced Impacts Croisés Multi-plication Appliquée á un Classement (MICMAC approach. This research gives an apparent depic-tion to identify and handle the barriers by computing the effectiveness of each barrier. Barriers like accessibility of time and space, inability to change organizational culture and inadequate coordina-tion and teamwork are found to be the key barriers for utilization of QT&T in manufacturing organ-ization. The developed model will help the manufacturing organizations effectively utilize QT&T.

  10. Tools used to estimate soil quality in coal combustion waste areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FLAVIO M.R. DA SILVA JÚNIOR

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Soil is a highly complex environmental compartment that has suffered with the contamination of substances of various origins. Among the main activities that affect soil quality are power generation activities that use fossil fuels, such as mineral coal. Environmental protection agencies encourage scientific investigations using tools described in legal devices or standard protocols to evaluate the potential of coal as a pollutant, especially in places that have large reserves of this mineral like the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The aim of this study was to characterize the leached extracts of different soils from an area influenced by coal waste, to classify them according to the guideline values for groundwater described in CONAMA's n. 420/2009, and to estimate the effects of the leachates ingestion in DNA mutation rates. The volume of soil needed to induce a 100% increase in the spontaneous mutation rate varied between 129.3 and 1544.1 mg of soil among the soils studied. Metals such as Mn, Pb, Cd and Ni surpassed the investigation limits for groundwater at least in one soil sample. The results showed that there can be transfer of soil contaminants to groundwater and soil intake in the area could contribute to the increased mutagenic risk.

  11. Analysis of Best Management Practices Implementation on Water Quality Using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Motsinger

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The formation of hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico can be traced to agricultural watersheds in the Midwestern United States that are artificially drained in order to make the land suitable for agriculture. A number of best management practices (BMPs have been introduced to improve the water quality in the region but their relative effectivenss of these BMPs in reducing nutrient load has not been properly quantified. In order to determine the BMPs useful for reducing nutrient discharge from a tile drained watershed, a Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT model was calibrated and validated for water flow and nitrate load using experimental data from the Little Vermillion River (LVR watershed in east-central Illinois. Then, the performance of four common BMPs (reduced tillage, cover crop, filter strip and wetlands were evaluated. For BMPs, the usage of rye as cover crop performed the best in reducing nitrate discharge from the watershed as a single BMP, with an average annual nitrate load reduction of 54.5%. Combining no tillage and rye cover crops had varying results over the period simulated, but the average nitrate reduction was better than using rye cover crops with conventional tillage, with the average annual nitrate discharge decreased by 60.5% (an improvement of 13% over rye only.

  12. Comparison of tools for assessing the methodological quality of primary and secondary studies in health technology assessment reports in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter, Ulla

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Health care policy background: Findings from scientific studies form the basis for evidence-based health policy decisions. Scientific background: Quality assessments to evaluate the credibility of study results are an essential part of health technology assessment reports and systematic reviews. Quality assessment tools (QAT for assessing the study quality examine to what extent study results are systematically distorted by confounding or bias (internal validity. The tools can be divided into checklists, scales and component ratings. Research questions: What QAT are available to assess the quality of interventional studies or studies in the field of health economics, how do they differ from each other and what conclusions can be drawn from these results for quality assessments? Methods: A systematic search of relevant databases from 1988 onwards is done, supplemented by screening of the references, of the HTA reports of the German Agency for Health Technology Assessment (DAHTA and an internet search. The selection of relevant literature, the data extraction and the quality assessment are carried out by two independent reviewers. The substantive elements of the QAT are extracted using a modified criteria list consisting of items and domains specific to randomized trials, observational studies, diagnostic studies, systematic reviews and health economic studies. Based on the number of covered items and domains, more and less comprehensive QAT are distinguished. In order to exchange experiences regarding problems in the practical application of tools, a workshop is hosted. Results: A total of eight systematic methodological reviews is identified as well as 147 QAT: 15 for systematic reviews, 80 for randomized trials, 30 for observational studies, 17 for diagnostic studies and 22 for health economic studies. The tools vary considerably with regard to the content, the performance and quality of operationalisation. Some tools do not only include the

  13. Experiences and Results of Applying Tools for Assessing the Quality of a mHealth App Named Heartkeeper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Pérez, Borja; de la Torre-Díez, Isabel; López-Coronado, Miguel

    2015-11-01

    Currently, many incomplete mobile apps can be found in the commercial stores, apps with bugs or low quality that needs to be seriously improved. The aim of this paper is to use two different tools for assessing the quality of a mHealth app for the self-management of heart diseases by the own patients named Heartkeeper. The first tool measures the compliance with the Android guidelines given by Google and the second measures the users' Quality of Experience (QoE). The results obtained indicated that Heartkeeper follows in many cases the Android guidelines, especially in the structure, and offers a satisfactory QoE for its users, with special mention to aspects such as the learning curve, the availability and the appearance. As a result, Heartkeeper has proved to be a satisfactory app from the point of view of Google and the users. The conclusions obtained are that the type of tools that measure the quality of an app can be very useful for developers in order to find aspects that need improvements before releasing their apps. By doing this, the number of low-quality applications released will decrease dramatically, so these techniques are strongly recommended for all the app developers.

  14. WATER QUALITY INDEX AS AN TOOL FOR RIVER ASSESSMENT IN AGRICULTURAL AREAS IN THE PAMPEAN PLAINS OF ARGENTINA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Moscuzza

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The contributions of nutrients and xenobiotics by anthropogenic activities developed in riverside deteriorate water quality. In this context, the impact of different agroindustry effluents on the water quality of Salado River in Buenos Aires Province (Argentina was analyzed applying water quality indexes (WQI. Water quality index is an efficient a simple monitoring tool to instrument corrective and remediation policies. Winter and summer samplings were performed. A minimal water quality index (WQImin was calculated using only two parameters which can be easy determined in situ. The use of WQImin may be a useful methodology for river management. Meat industry appears as the most pollutant source. Since it is considered as point pollution source, effluents should be treated previous to its disposal with the available technologies.

  15. Assessing quality. As pressure mounts for clinics to deliver quality, medical practice blueprints and genograms serve as useful tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodie, A R; Pol, L G; Crabtree, B F; McIlvain, H E

    1999-01-01

    Increasingly, medical practices feel pressure to provide and communicate high quality patient care. Offering their insight on how a medical practice can improve quality, the authors describe the process of delivering medical care during patient encounters. Specifically, they present two methods that can be used to understand, evaluate, and improve interactions between patients and providers: medical practice blue prints and medical practice genograms.

  16. Using agronomic tools to improve pineapple quality and its uniformity in Benin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fassinou Hotegni, V.N.

    2014-01-01

    Keywords: Ananas comosus; Benin; cultural practices; fruit quality; hapas; heterogeneity; planting material; slips; suckers; supply chain; variation in quality; variation within crop; vigour. Poor average quality and uniformity in quality have become major issues in agri-food chains

  17. Breadth of Coverage, Ease of Use, and Quality of Mobile Point-of-Care Tool Information Summaries: An Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Emily; Emani, Vamsi K; Ren, Jinma

    2016-10-12

    With advances in mobile technology, accessibility of clinical resources at the point of care has increased. The objective of this research was to identify if six selected mobile point-of-care tools meet the needs of clinicians in internal medicine. Point-of-care tools were evaluated for breadth of coverage, ease of use, and quality. Six point-of-care tools were evaluated utilizing four different devices (two smartphones and two tablets). Breadth of coverage was measured using select International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, codes if information on summary, etiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis was provided. Quality measures included treatment and diagnostic inline references and individual and application time stamping. Ease of use covered search within topic, table of contents, scrolling, affordance, connectivity, and personal accounts. Analysis of variance based on the rank of score was used. Breadth of coverage was similar among Medscape (mean 6.88), Uptodate (mean 6.51), DynaMedPlus (mean 6.46), and EvidencePlus (mean 6.41) (P>.05) with DynaMed (mean 5.53) and Epocrates (mean 6.12) scoring significantly lower (PUpToDate and DynaMedPlus allow for search within a topic. All point-of-care tools have remote access with the exception of UpToDate and Essential Evidence Plus. All tools except Medscape covered criteria for quality evaluation. Overall, there was no significant difference between the point-of-care tools with regard to coverage on common topics used by internal medicine clinicians. Selection of point-of-care tools is highly dependent on individual preference based on ease of use and cost of the application.

  18. Developing and testing a comprehensive tool to assess family meetings: Empirical distinctions between high- and low-quality meetings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Courtenay R; Newell, Alana D; Brewer, Jonathan H; Timme, Divina O; Cherry, Evan; Moore, Justine; Carrettin, Jennifer; Landeck, Emily; Axline, Rebecca; Millette, Allison; Taylor, Ruth; Downey, Andrea; Uddin, Faisal; Gotur, Deepa; Masud, Faisal; Zhukovsky, Donna S

    2017-07-28

    The heterogeneity with regard to findings on family meetings (or conferences) suggests a need to better understand factors that influence family meetings. While earlier studies have explored frequency or timing of family meetings, little is known about how factors (such as what is said during meetings, how it is said, and by whom) influence family meeting quality. (1) To develop an evaluation tool to assess family meetings (Phase 1); (2) to identify factors that influence meeting quality by evaluating 34 family meetings (Phase 2). For Phase 1, methods included developing a framework, cognitive testing, and finalizing the evaluation tool. The tool consisted of Facilitator Characteristics (i.e., gender, experience, and specialty of the person leading the meeting), and 22 items across 6 Meeting Elements (i.e., Introductions, Information Exchanges, Decisions, Closings, Communication Styles, and Emotional Support) and sub-elements. For Phase 2, methods included training evaluators, assessing family meetings, and analyzing data. We used Spearman's rank-order correlations to calculate meeting quality. Qualitative techniques were used to analyze free-text. No Facilitator Characteristic had a significant correlation with meeting quality. Sub-elements related to communication style and emotional support most strongly correlated with high-quality family meetings, as well as whether "next steps" were outlined (89.66%) and whether "family understanding" was elicited (86.21%). We also found a significant and strong positive association between overall proportion scores and evaluators' ratings (rs=0.731, p<0.001). We filled a gap by developing an evaluation tool to assess family meetings, and we identified how what is said during meetings impacts quality. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Using agronomic tools to improve pineapple quality and its uniformity in Benin

    OpenAIRE

    Fassinou Hotegni, V.N.

    2014-01-01

    Keywords: Ananas comosus; Benin; cultural practices; fruit quality; hapas; heterogeneity; planting material; slips; suckers; supply chain; variation in quality; variation within crop; vigour. Poor average quality and uniformity in quality have become major issues in agri-food chains. This is also the case in the pineapple sector in Benin where less than 2% of the fresh pineapple is exported to international markets. The average quality of pineapple delivered to other markets, local and region...

  20. Console Log Keeping Made Easier - Tools and Techniques for Improving Quality of Flight Controller Activity Logs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, David W.; Underwood, Debrah (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    At the Marshall Space Flight Center's (MSFC) Payload Operations Integration Center (POIC) for International Space Station (ISS), each flight controller maintains detailed logs of activities and communications at their console position. These logs are critical for accurately controlling flight in real-time as well as providing a historical record and troubleshooting tool. This paper describes logging methods and electronic formats used at the POIC and provides food for thought on their strengths and limitations, plus proposes some innovative extensions. It also describes an inexpensive PC-based scheme for capturing and/or transcribing audio clips from communications consoles. Flight control activity (e.g. interpreting computer displays, entering data/issuing electronic commands, and communicating with others) can become extremely intense. It's essential to document it well, but the effort to do so may conflict with actual activity. This can be more than just annoying, as what's in the logs (or just as importantly not in them) often feeds back directly into the quality of future operations, whether short-term or long-term. In earlier programs, such as Spacelab, log keeping was done on paper, often using position-specific shorthand, and the other reader was at the mercy of the writer's penmanship. Today, user-friendly software solves the legibility problem and can automate date/time entry, but some content may take longer to finish due to individual typing speed and less use of symbols. File layout can be used to great advantage in making types of information easy to find, and creating searchable master logs for a given position is very easy and a real lifesaver in reconstructing events or researching a given topic. We'll examine log formats from several console position, and the types of information that are included and (just as importantly) excluded. We'll also look at when a summary or synopsis is effective, and when extensive detail is needed.

  1. Red-luminescence band: A tool for the quality assessment of germanium and silicon nanocrystals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraj, I.; Favre, L.; David, T.; Abbarchi, M.; Liu, K.; Claude, J. B.; Ronda, A.; Naffouti, M.; Saidi, F.; Hassen, F.; Maaref, H.; Aqua, J. N.; Berbezier, I.

    2017-10-01

    We present the photoluminescence (PL) emission of Silicon and Germanium nanocrystals (NCs) of different sizes embedded in two different matrices. Formation of the NCs is achieved via solid-state dewetting during annealing in a molecular beam epitaxy ultra-high vacuum system of ultrathin amorphous Si and Ge layers deposited at room temperature on SiO2. During the dewetting process, the bi-dimensional amorphous layers transform into small pseudo-spherical islands whose mean size can be tuned directly with the deposited thickness. The nanocrystals are capped either ex situ by silicon dioxide or in situ by amorphous Silicon. The surface-state dependent emission (typically in the range 1.74 eV-1.79 eV) exhibited higher relative PL quantum yields compared to the emission originating from the band gap transition. This red-PL emission comes from the radiative transitions between a Si band and an interface level. It is mainly ascribed to the NCs and environment features deduced from morphological and structural analyses. Power dependent analysis of the photoluminescence intensity under continuous excitation reveals a conventional power law with an exponent close to 1, in agreement with the type II nature of the emission. We show that Ge-NCs exhibit much lower quantum efficiency than Si-NCs due to non-radiative interface states. Low quantum efficiency is also obtained when NCs have been exposed to air before capping, even if the exposure time is very short. Our results indicate that a reduction of the non-radiative surface states is a key strategy step in producing small NCs with increased PL emission for a variety of applications. The red-PL band is then an effective tool for the quality assessment of NCs based structures.

  2. Molecular Tools for the Selective Detection of Nine Diatom Species Biomarkers of Various Water Quality Levels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Cimarelli

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Our understanding of the composition of diatom communities and their response to environmental changes is currently limited by laborious taxonomic identification procedures. Advances in molecular technologies are expected to contribute more efficient, robust and sensitive tools for the detection of these ecologically relevant microorganisms. There is a need to explore and test phylogenetic markers as an alternative to the use of rRNA genes, whose limited sequence divergence does not allow the accurate discrimination of diatoms at the species level. In this work, nine diatom species belonging to eight genera, isolated from epylithic environmental samples collected in central Italy, were chosen to implement a panel of diatoms covering the full range of ecological status of freshwaters. The procedure described in this work relies on the PCR amplification of specific regions in two conserved diatom genes, elongation factor 1-a (eEF1-a and silicic acid transporter (SIT, as a first step to narrow down the complexity of the targets, followed by microarray hybridization experiments. Oligonucleotide probes with the potential to discriminate closely related species were designed taking into account the genetic polymorphisms found in target genes. These probes were tested, refined and validated on a small-scale prototype DNA chip. Overall, we obtained 17 highly specific probes targeting eEF1-a and SIT, along with 19 probes having lower discriminatory power recognizing at the same time two or three species. This basic array was validated in a laboratory setting and is ready for tests with crude environmental samples eventually to be scaled-up to include a larger panel of diatoms. Its possible use for the simultaneous detection of diatoms selected from the classes of water quality identified by the European Water Framework Directive is discussed.

  3. A tool to measure whether business management capacity in general practice impacts on the quality of chronic illness care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holton, Christine H; Proudfoot, Judith G; Jayasinghe, Upali W; Grimm, Jane; Bubner, Tanya K; Winstanley, Julie; Harris, Mark F; Beilby, Justin J

    2010-11-01

    Our aim was to develop a tool to identify specific features of the business and financial management of practices that facilitate better quality care for chronic illness in primary care. Domains of management were identified, resulting in the development of a structured interview tool that was administered in 97 primary care practices in Australia. Interview items were screened and subjected to factor analysis, subscales identified and the overall model fit determined. The instrument's validity was assessed against another measure of quality of care. Analysis provided a four-factor solution containing 21 items, which explained 42.5% of the variance in the total scores. The factors related to administrative processes, human resources, marketing analysis and business development. All scores increased significantly with practice size. The business development subscale and total score were higher for rural practices. There was a significant correlation between the business development subscale and quality of care. The indicators of business and financial management in the final tool appear to be useful predictors of the quality of care. The instrument may help inform policy regarding the structure of general practice and implementation of a systems approach to chronic illness care. It can provide information to practices about areas for further development.

  4. The Endoscopy Global Rating Scale – Canada: Development And Implementation of a Quality Improvement Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald MacIntosh

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Increasing use of gastrointestinal endoscopy, particularly for colorectal cancer screening, and increasing emphasis on health care quality highlight the need for endoscopy facilities to review the quality of the service they offer.

  5. A GIS tool to increase the visual quality of relief shading by automatically changing the light direction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veronesi, Fabio; Hurni, Lorenz

    2015-01-01

    Shaded relief representations were traditionally produced manually by specifically trained cartographers. This was however a labour-intensive and time-consuming task, which gave rise to numerous attempts of automation. Nowadays, many GIS applications implement hillshading using an oblique light source. This has standardised the method, providing a simple way to obtain reliable and consistent results. Its visual quality is however well below the standards of manual shading, where multiple light sources are employed to achieve a superior visual quality. In this work we present a GIS tool to enhance the visual quality of hillshading. We developed a technique to illuminate the landscape from two different angles and correct the tone according to either elevation or slope. With this method the quality of the shaded relief is superior to the standard method, but its level of automation and standardisation guarantees consistent and reproducible results. This method has been embedded into an ArcGIS toolbox.

  6. Quality of the tools used to assess aerobic capacity in persons with multiple sclerosis: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valet, Maxime; Lejeune, Thierry; Hakizimana, Jean C; Stoquart, Gaëtan

    2017-05-31

    Assessments of physical fitness, including exercise tolerance functions, are valuable in persons with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Many tools with widely varying advantages and disadvantages have been used to assess physical fitness in research and clinical practice. To date, there are no recommendations regarding the best tools to use for this purpose in persons with MS. This study aimed to systematically review the psychometric properties of the tools used to assess exercise tolerance functions in persons with MS and to propose recommendations regarding the best test to use. Systematic review. All settings. Persons with MS. The literature was searched (PubMed, SPORTdiscus, PEDro, MEDLINE, Embase (via Scopus), CINAHL and PsycInfo) to identify the tools most frequently used to assess exercise tolerance functions. These tools were systematically analysed. Forty-eight articles were selected. Six tools or categories of tools concerning exercise tolerance functions were identified. Whole-body exercise tests combined with gas exchange analysis had the best psychometric properties (e.g., validity, reliability) for assessing aerobic capacity in pwMS with mild to moderate disability (Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) ≤ 6.5). Although sometimes used for this purpose, walk tests seemed to assess walking performance rather than exercise tolerance functions. The psychometric properties of other tests had scarcely been studied. The tools vary widely in quality. Whole-body exercise testing combined with gas exchange analysis has the best psychometric properties of the reviewed tools. If gas exchange analysis is feasible, whole-body exercise tests combined with gas exchange analysis, with maximal exercise effort for pwMS with EDSS ≤ 4 and submaximal exercise effort for pwMS with EDSS ≥ 4.5, should be recommended to assess exercise tolerance, both in research and in clinical practice. A selection algorithm is proposed.

  7. Developing the School Physical Activity and Nutrition Environment Tool to Measure Qualities of the Obesogenic Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Deborah H.; Gunter, Katherine; Jackson, Jennifer A.; Manore, Melinda

    2016-01-01

    Background: Practical tools are needed that reliably measure the complex physical activity (PA) and nutrition environments of elementary schools that influence children's health and learning behaviors for obesity prevention. The School Physical Activity and Nutrition-Environment Tool (SPAN-ET) was developed and beta tested in 6 rural Oregon…

  8. Web 2.0 Tools and Processes in Higher Education: Quality Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collis, Betty; Moonen, Jef

    2008-01-01

    A major change has occurred in the way Web technology is being used in society. The change is grounded in user empowerment using Web 2.0 tools and processes. Students are already sophisticated users of these tools and processes, but outside of the mainstream instructional practices in higher education. In this reflection, the educational potential…

  9. Web 2.0 Tools and Processes in Higher Education: Quality Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collis, Betty; Moonen, Jef

    2008-01-01

    A major change has occurred in the way Web technology is being used in society. The change is grounded in user empowerment using Web 2.0 tools and processes. Students are already sophisticated users of these tools and processes, but outside of the mainstream instructional practices in higher education. In this reflection, the educational potential…

  10. QUADAS-2: a revised tool for the quality assessment of diagnostic accuracy studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiting, Penny F; Rutjes, Anne W S; Westwood, Marie E; Mallett, Susan; Deeks, Jonathan J; Reitsma, Johannes B; Leeflang, Mariska M G; Sterne, Jonathan A C; Bossuyt, Patrick M M

    2011-10-18

    In 2003, the QUADAS tool for systematic reviews of diagnostic accuracy studies was developed. Experience, anecdotal reports, and feedback suggested areas for improvement; therefore, QUADAS-2 was developed. This tool comprises 4 domains: patient selection, index test, reference standard, and flow and timing. Each domain is assessed in terms of risk of bias, and the first 3 domains are also assessed in terms of concerns regarding applicability. Signalling questions are included to help judge risk of bias. The QUADAS-2 tool is applied in 4 phases: summarize the review question, tailor the tool and produce review-specific guidance, construct a flow diagram for the primary study, and judge bias and applicability. This tool will allow for more transparent rating of bias and applicability of primary diagnostic accuracy studies.

  11. Web-based virtual microscopy for parasitology: a novel tool for education and quality assurance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewert Linder

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The basis for correctly assessing the burden of parasitic infections and the effects of interventions relies on a somewhat shaky foundation as long as we do not know how reliable the reported laboratory findings are. Thus virtual microscopy, successfully introduced as a histopathology tool, has been adapted for medical parasitology. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Specimens containing parasites in tissues, stools, and blood have been digitized and made accessible as a "webmicroscope for parasitology" (WMP on the Internet (http://www.webmicroscope.net/parasitology.These digitized specimens can be viewed ("navigated" both in the x-axis and the y-axis at the desired magnification by an unrestricted number of individuals simultaneously. For virtual microscopy of specimens containing stool parasites, it was necessary to develop the technique further in order to enable navigation in the z plane (i.e., "focusing". Specimens were therefore scanned and photographed in two or more focal planes. The resulting digitized specimens consist of stacks of laterally "stiched" individual images covering the entire area of the sample photographed at high magnification. The digitized image information (approximately 10 GB uncompressed data per specimen is accessible at data transfer speeds from 2 to 10 Mb/s via a network of five image servers located in different parts of Europe. Image streaming and rapid data transfer to an ordinary personal computer makes web-based virtual microscopy similar to conventional microscopy. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The potential of this novel technique in the field of medical parasitology to share identical parasitological specimens means that we can provide a "gold standard", which can overcome several problems encountered in quality control of diagnostic parasitology. Thus, the WMP may have an impact on the reliability of data, which constitute the basis for our understanding of the vast problem of neglected tropical

  12. Application of SIM-air modeling tools to assess air quality in Indian cities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guttikunda, Sarath K.; Jawahar, Puja

    2012-12-01

    A prerequisite to an air quality management plan for a city is some idea of the main sources of pollution and their contributions for a city. This paper presents the results of an application of the SIM-air modeling tool in six Indian cities - Pune, Chennai, Indore, Ahmedabad, Surat, and Rajkot. Using existing and publicly available data, we put together a baseline of multi-pollutant emissions for each of the cities and then calculate concentrations, health impacts, and model alternative scenarios for 2020. The measured annual PM10 (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 10 micron meter) concentrations in μg m-3 averaged 94.7 ± 45.4 in Pune, 73.1 ± 33.7 in Chennai, 118.8 ± 44.3 in Indore, 94.0 ± 20.4 in Ahmedabad, 89.4 ± 12.1 in Surat, and 105.0 ± 25.6 in Rajkot, all exceeding the annual standard of 60 μg m-3. The PM10 inventory in tons/year for the year 2010 of 38,400 in Pune, 50,200 in Chennai, 18,600 in Indore, 31,900 in Ahmedabad, 20,000 in Surat, and 14,000 in Rajkot, is further spatially segregated into 1 km grids and includes all known sources such as transport, road dust, residential, power plants, industries (including the brick kilns), waste burning, and diesel generator sets. We use the ATMoS chemical transport model to validate the emissions inventory and estimate an annual premature mortality due to particulate pollution of 15,200 for the year 2010 for the six cities. Of the estimated 21,400 premature deaths in the six cities in 2020, we estimate that implementation of the six interventions in the transport and brick kiln sectors, can potentially save 5870 lives (27%) annually and result in an annual reduction of 16.8 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the six cities.

  13. The air quality impact of the port of Amsterdam on its environment: Development of an air quality tool

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klok, L.; Breemen, T. van; Hulskotte, J.

    2011-01-01

    Due to the expansion of the Port of Amsterdam, Urban development and the construction of new highways, air pollution levels are about to exceed European guidelines in and around the port region of Amsterdam. To assess the air quality in this region and the impact of theport emissions on its

  14. The Pediatrix BabySteps Data Warehouse and the Pediatrix QualitySteps improvement project system--tools for "meaningful use" in continuous quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitzer, Alan R; Ellsbury, Dan L; Handler, Darren; Clark, Reese H

    2010-03-01

    The Pediatrix BabySteps Clinical Data Warehouse (CDW) is a rich and novel tool allowing unbiased extraction of information from an entire neonatal population care by physicians and advanced practice nurses in Pediatrix Medical Group. Because it represents the practice of newborn medicine ranging from small community intensive care units to some of the largest neonatal intensive care units in the United States, it is highly representative of scope of practice in this country. Its value in defining outcome measures, quality improvement projects, and research continues to grow annually. Now coupled with the BabySteps QualitySteps program for defined clinical quality improvement projects, it represents a robust methodology for meaningful use of an electronic health care record, as designated during this era of health care reform. Continued growth of the CDW should result in continued important observations and improvements in neonatal care.

  15. The development of a tool for assessing the quality of closed circuit camera footage for use in forensic gait analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birch, Ivan; Vernon, Wesley; Walker, Jeremy; Saxelby, Jai

    2013-10-01

    Gait analysis from closed circuit camera footage is now commonly used as evidence in criminal trials. The biomechanical analysis of human gait is a well established science in both clinical and laboratory settings. However, closed circuit camera footage is rarely of the quality of that taken in the more controlled clinical and laboratory environments. The less than ideal quality of much of this footage for use in gait analysis is associated with a range of issues, the combination of which can often render the footage unsuitable for use in gait analysis. The aim of this piece of work was to develop a tool for assessing the suitability of closed circuit camera footage for the purpose of forensic gait analysis. A Delphi technique was employed with a small sample of expert forensic gait analysis practitioners, to identify key quality elements of CCTV footage used in legal proceedings. Five elements of the footage were identified and then subdivided into 15 contributing sub-elements, each of which was scored using a 5-point Likert scale. A Microsoft Excel worksheet was developed to calculate automatically an overall score from the fifteen sub-element scores. Five expert witnesses experienced in using CCTV footage for gait analysis then trialled the prototype tool on current case footage. A repeatability study was also undertaken using standardized CCTV footage. The results showed the tool to be a simple and repeatable means of assessing the suitability of closed circuit camera footage for use in forensic gait analysis. The inappropriate use of poor quality footage could lead to challenges to the practice of forensic gait analysis. All parties involved in criminal proceedings must therefore understand the fitness for purpose of any footage used. The development of this tool could offer a method of achieving this goal, and help to assure the continued role of forensic gait analysis as an aid to the identification process.

  16. The power of data--from data mining to consumer pricing and quality-of-care tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malof, Leah C

    2013-01-01

    Transparency tools, whether offered by carriers or third-party administrators, rely on adequate experience, by market and by service, to provide information to consumers about health care costs and quality of care. The opportunities for savings to individual consumers and to employer-sponsored health plans are clearly significant and possible if people will use the tools and act. This article reviews two studies showing a shift in consumer claims experience to less costly services afte the implementation of a transparency tool and when combined with a consumer-driven health plan. It also outlines best practices employers can implement to carefully craft interventions to engage and create value in the minds of health care consumers.

  17. Inconsistency in the items included in tools used in general health research and physical therapy to evaluate the methodological quality of randomized controlled trials: a descriptive analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armijo-Olivo, Susan; Fuentes, Jorge; Ospina, Maria; Saltaji, Humam; Hartling, Lisa

    2013-09-17

    Assessing the risk of bias of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is crucial to understand how biases affect treatment effect estimates. A number of tools have been developed to evaluate risk of bias of RCTs; however, it is unknown how these tools compare to each other in the items included. The main objective of this study was to describe which individual items are included in RCT quality tools used in general health and physical therapy (PT) research, and how these items compare to those of the Cochrane Risk of Bias (RoB) tool. We used comprehensive literature searches and a systematic approach to identify tools that evaluated the methodological quality or risk of bias of RCTs in general health and PT research. We extracted individual items from all quality tools. We calculated the frequency of quality items used across tools and compared them to those in the RoB tool. Comparisons were made between general health and PT quality tools using Chi-squared tests. In addition to the RoB tool, 26 quality tools were identified, with 19 being used in general health and seven in PT research. The total number of quality items included in general health research tools was 130, compared with 48 items across PT tools and seven items in the RoB tool. The most frequently included items in general health research tools (14/19, 74%) were inclusion and exclusion criteria, and appropriate statistical analysis. In contrast, the most frequent items included in PT tools (86%, 6/7) were: baseline comparability, blinding of investigator/assessor, and use of intention-to-treat analysis. Key items of the RoB tool (sequence generation and allocation concealment) were included in 71% (5/7) of PT tools, and 63% (12/19) and 37% (7/19) of general health research tools, respectively. There is extensive item variation across tools that evaluate the risk of bias of RCTs in health research. Results call for an in-depth analysis of items that should be used to assess risk of bias of RCTs. Further

  18. Inconsistency in the items included in tools used in general health research and physical therapy to evaluate the methodological quality of randomized controlled trials: a descriptive analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Assessing the risk of bias of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is crucial to understand how biases affect treatment effect estimates. A number of tools have been developed to evaluate risk of bias of RCTs; however, it is unknown how these tools compare to each other in the items included. The main objective of this study was to describe which individual items are included in RCT quality tools used in general health and physical therapy (PT) research, and how these items compare to those of the Cochrane Risk of Bias (RoB) tool. Methods We used comprehensive literature searches and a systematic approach to identify tools that evaluated the methodological quality or risk of bias of RCTs in general health and PT research. We extracted individual items from all quality tools. We calculated the frequency of quality items used across tools and compared them to those in the RoB tool. Comparisons were made between general health and PT quality tools using Chi-squared tests. Results In addition to the RoB tool, 26 quality tools were identified, with 19 being used in general health and seven in PT research. The total number of quality items included in general health research tools was 130, compared with 48 items across PT tools and seven items in the RoB tool. The most frequently included items in general health research tools (14/19, 74%) were inclusion and exclusion criteria, and appropriate statistical analysis. In contrast, the most frequent items included in PT tools (86%, 6/7) were: baseline comparability, blinding of investigator/assessor, and use of intention-to-treat analysis. Key items of the RoB tool (sequence generation and allocation concealment) were included in 71% (5/7) of PT tools, and 63% (12/19) and 37% (7/19) of general health research tools, respectively. Conclusions There is extensive item variation across tools that evaluate the risk of bias of RCTs in health research. Results call for an in-depth analysis of items that should be used to

  19. Are Women of East Kazakhstan Satisfied with the Quality of Ma¬ternity Care? Implementing the WHO Tool to Assess the Quality of Hospital Services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marzhan DAULETYAROVA

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: To evaluate the satisfaction of mothers with the quality of care provided by maternity institutions in East Kazakhstan on the basis of the “Quality of hospital Care for mothers and newborn babies, assessment tool” (WHO, 2009.Methods: This cross-sectional study took place in 2013 and covered five maternity hospitals in East Kazakhstan (one referral, two urban and two rural. To obtain information, interviews with 872 patients were conducted. The standard tool covered 12 areas ranging from pregnancy to childcare. A score was assigned to each area of care (from 0 to 3. The assessment provided the semi-quantitative data on the quality of hospital care for women and newborns from the perception of mothers.Results: The average satisfaction score was 2.48 with a range from 2.2 to 2.7. The mean age of women was 27.4 yr. Forty-two percent were primiparas. Mean birth weight was 3455.4 g. All infants had ‘skin to skin’ contact with their mothers immediately after birth. Mean number of antenatal visits to family clinics was 8.6. Only 42.1% of the respondents used contraceptives while the rest were not aware of contraception, never applied it and could not distinguish between different methods and devices.Conclusions: The quality of care was substandard in all institutions. To improve the quality of care, WHO technologies in perinatal care could be applied. Keywords: Maternal health care, Quality of care, WHO assessment tool, Kazakhstan

  20. Sensory and instrumental profiling of apples: a new tool for quality assessment

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Food suppliers currently measure apple quality considering basic pomological descriptors. Sensory analysis is expensive, does not permit to analyse many samples, and cannot be implemented for measuring quality properties in real time. However, sensory analysis is the best way to precisely describe food eating quality, since it is able to define, measure, and explain what is really perceivable by human senses and using a language that closely reflects the consumers’ perception. On the basis of...

  1. An innovative tool for experiential learning of nursing quality and safety competencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Onge, Judith; Hodges, Tracey; McBride, Marilyn; Parnell, Robin

    2013-01-01

    There is a growing call to include quality and safety content into nursing curricula that are already overburdened with content. Yet evidence suggests that many nursing schools have not yet done so. The authors describe 1 innovative, experiential approach to teaching quality and safety in the clinical environment. This approach, called "hip-pocket training," was developed and implemented by clinical nursing faculty who found it convenient and effective in introducing core competencies related to quality and safety.

  2. The Histogram of requirements - quantification tool for tourism services. Study on quality catering services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona Cristina Martin

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Naturally, each company intends to increase its services quality, which is one of the most important ways to differentiate themselves from competitors.In services field, the definition of quality concept is a very difficult task, in comparison with the production of material goods because in the production of material goods we have rigorous available parameters, measurable, quantifiable, in order to express and evaluate the level of quality that can not be adapted to the measure quality services.Besides the price, the quality is the second element that provides competitive services. Service quality approach is relatively new (after 1990, but it led to profound changes in service delivery way and allowed overcoming traditional schemes used in this area. Quality has become in many cases a critical objective for organizations, which deal in terms of management. If the price of productivity, flexibility, quality were, once, opposed concepts, which are mutually exclusive, that could not be pursued simultaneously today, the way how addressed quality is, ensures also the achievement of other objectives.Although the service is a reality, when it is analyzed, it is used as an image that includes only certain discrete aspects, represented by its features.

  3. Methodological deficits in diagnostic research using '-omics' technologies: evaluation of the QUADOMICS tool and quality of recently published studies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucy A Parker

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: QUADOMICS is an adaptation of QUADAS (a quality assessment tool for use in systematic reviews of diagnostic accuracy studies, which takes into account the particular challenges presented by '-omics' based technologies. Our primary objective was to evaluate the applicability and consistency of QUADOMICS. Subsequently we evaluated and describe the methodological quality of a sample of recently published studies using the tool. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 45'-omics'-based diagnostic studies were identified by systematic search of Pubmed using suitable MeSH terms ("Genomics", "Sensitivity and specificity", "Diagnosis". Three investigators independently assessed the quality of the articles using QUADOMICS and met to compare observations and generate a consensus. Consistency and applicability was assessed by comparing each reviewer's original rating with the consensus. Methodological quality was described using the consensus rating. Agreement was above 80% for all three reviewers. Four items presented difficulties with application, mostly due to the lack of a clearly defined gold standard. Methodological quality of our sample was poor; studies met roughly half of the applied criteria (mean +/- sd, 54.7+/-18.4%. Few studies were carried out in a population that mirrored the clinical situation in which the test would be used in practice, (6, 13.3%; none described patient recruitment sufficiently; and less than half described clinical and physiological factors that might influence the biomarker profile (20, 44.4%. CONCLUSIONS: The QUADOMICS tool can consistently be applied to diagnostic '-omics' studies presently published in biomedical journals. A substantial proportion of reports in this research field fail to address design issues that are fundamental to make inferences relevant for patient care.

  4. A quality tool for health insurers. A new scale measures "quality orientation" from the customer's point of view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westbrook, K W; Pedrick, D; Bush, V

    1996-01-01

    This study defines a company's quality orientation as "all process-related activities that can be discerned by customers." This even includes certain processes internal to the company that can be seen and evaluated by customers. One significant contribution this study provides is scale development centered on customer rather than employee perceptions. To generate scale items, input was gathered from experts involved in the study, senior managers employed with the target company, focus groups of employees working on the front line with customers, and users of the services. Because the sale measures customer perceptions of quality in comparison with the firm's closest competitor, it provides managers with information for benchmarking performance relative to others in the marketplace.

  5. Demand management: another marketing tool or a way to quality care?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohler, M J; Harris, J M

    1998-05-01

    Demand management tools are population-based strategies used to control costs and improve utilization of services by assisting health consumers in maintaining their health and seeking appropriate health care. These tools are increasingly used by health care delivery systems and, in the US, by fiscal intermediaries, such as insurance companies. If these tools are not properly applied, there is a clear possibility that their use may lead a reduction of health care services with no improvement in clinical, humanistic, or economic outcomes. Demand management effectiveness has not been rigorously examined by the medical industry or academia. Before adopting or purchasing demand management technologies, health care systems should examine them carefully to determine how the tools were developed and who they were intended to serve. Once implemented, careful tracking of population outcomes is as necessary with these technologies as with any other technologies that can affect health care.

  6. Social media and rating sites as tools to understanding quality of care: a scoping review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhoef, L.M.; Belt, T.H. van de; Engelen, L.J.; Schoonhoven, L.; Kool, R.B.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Insight into the quality of health care is important for any stakeholder including patients, professionals, and governments. In light of a patient-centered approach, it is essential to assess the quality of health care from a patient's perspective, which is commonly done with surveys or

  7. Breeding as a tool for improving postharvest quality characters of lily and tulip flowers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meulen-Muisers, van der J.J.M.; Oeveren, van J.C.; Tuyl, van J.M.

    1997-01-01

    Segregation of postharvest quality characters was studied in lily and tulip. A large variation in longevity of both lily and tulip flowers was found within populations tested at individual plant level. Other postharvest quality characters like number of flowers per stem, male sterility (lily) and

  8. Broad target chemical screening approach used as tool for rapid assessment of groundwater quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ter Laak, T.L.; Puijker, L.M.; van Leerdam, J.A.; Raat, K.J.; Kolkman, A.; de Voogt, P.; van Wezel, A.P.

    2012-01-01

    The chemical water quality is often assessed by screening for a limited set of target chemicals. This ‘conventional’ target analysis approach inevitably misses chemicals present in the samples. In this study a ‘broad’ target screening approach for water quality assessment using high resolution and a

  9. Non-Conventional Tools to Preserve and Prolong the Quality of Minimally-Processed Fruits and Vegetables

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Rosaria Corbo

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The main topic of this paper is a focus on some non-conventional tools to preserve the microbiological and physico-chemical quality of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. The quality of fresh-cut foods is the result of a complex equilibrium involving surface microbiota, storage temperature, gas in the headspace and the use of antimicrobials. This paper proposes a short overview of some non-conventional approaches able to preserve the quality of this kind of product, with a special focus on some new ways, as follows: (1 use of edible or antimicrobial-containing coatings (e.g., chitosan-based coatings on fruits or vegetables; (2 alternative modified atmospheres (e.g., high O2-modified atmosphere packaging (MAP or the use of essential oils in the headspace; (3 conditioning solutions with antimicrobials or natural compounds for fruit salad; and (4 biopreservation and use of a probiotic coating.

  10. Electronic Health Record Tools to Care for At-Risk Older Drivers: A Quality Improvement Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, Colleen M; Salinas, Katherine; Eckstrom, Elizabeth

    2015-06-01

    Evaluating driving safety of older adults is an important health topic, but primary care providers (PCP) face multiple barriers in addressing this issue. The study's objectives were to develop an electronic health record (EHR)-based Driving Clinical Support Tool, train PCPs to perform driving assessments utilizing the tool, and systematize documentation of assessment and management of driving safety issues via the tool. The intervention included development of an evidence-based Driving Clinical Support Tool within the EHR, followed by training of internal medicine providers in the tool's content and use. Pre- and postintervention provider surveys and chart review of driving-related patient visits were conducted. Surveys included self-report of preparedness and knowledge to evaluate at-risk older drivers and were analyzed using paired t-test. A chart review of driving-related office visits compared documentation pre- and postintervention including: completeness of appropriate focused history and exam, identification of deficits, patient education, and reporting to appropriate authorities when indicated. Data from 86 providers were analyzed. Pre- and postintervention surveys showed significantly increased self-assessed preparedness (p < .001) and increased driving-related knowledge (p < .001). Postintervention charts showed improved documentation of correct cognitive testing, more referrals/consults, increased patient education about community resources, and appropriate regulatory reporting when deficits were identified. Focused training and an EHR-based clinical support tool improved provider self-reported preparedness and knowledge of how to evaluate at-risk older drivers. The tool improved documentation of driving-related issues and led to improved access to interdisciplinary care coordination. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Gerontological Society of America 2015.

  11. Are Women of East Kazakhstan Satisfied with the Quality of Maternity Care? Implementing the WHO Tool to Assess the Quality of Hospital Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    DAULETYAROVA, Marzhan; SEMENOVA, Yuliya; KAYLUBAEVA, Galiya; MANABAEVA, Gulshat; KHISMETOVA, Zayituna; AKILZHANOVA, Zhansulu; TUSSUPKALIEV, Akylbek; ORAZGALIYEVA, Zhazira

    2016-01-01

    Background: To evaluate the satisfaction of mothers with the quality of care provided by maternity institutions in East Kazakhstan on the basis of the “Quality of hospital Care for mothers and newborn babies, assessment tool” (WHO, 2009). Methods: This cross-sectional study took place in 2013 and covered five maternity hospitals in East Kazakhstan (one referral, two urban and two rural). To obtain information, interviews with 872 patients were conducted. The standard tool covered 12 areas ranging from pregnancy to childcare. A score was assigned to each area of care (from 0 to 3). The assessment provided the semi-quantitative data on the quality of hospital care for women and newborns from the perception of mothers. Results: The average satisfaction score was 2.48 with a range from 2.2 to 2.7. The mean age of women was 27.4 yr. Forty-two percent were primiparas. Mean birth weight was 3455.4 g. All infants had ‘skin to skin’ contact with their mothers immediately after birth. Mean number of antenatal visits to family clinics was 8.6. Only 42.1% of the respondents used contraceptives while the rest were not aware of contraception, never applied it and could not distinguish between different methods and devices. Conclusion: The quality of care was substandard in all institutions. To improve the quality of care, WHO technologies in perinatal care could be applied. PMID:27648415

  12. Analytical Quality by Design: A Tool for Regulatory Flexibility and Robust Analytics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramalingam Peraman

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Very recently, Food and Drug Administration (FDA has approved a few new drug applications (NDA with regulatory flexibility for quality by design (QbD based analytical approach. The concept of QbD applied to analytical method development is known now as AQbD (analytical quality by design. It allows the analytical method for movement within method operable design region (MODR. Unlike current methods, analytical method developed using analytical quality by design (AQbD approach reduces the number of out-of-trend (OOT results and out-of-specification (OOS results due to the robustness of the method within the region. It is a current trend among pharmaceutical industry to implement analytical quality by design (AQbD in method development process as a part of risk management, pharmaceutical development, and pharmaceutical quality system (ICH Q10. Owing to the lack explanatory reviews, this paper has been communicated to discuss different views of analytical scientists about implementation of AQbD in pharmaceutical quality system and also to correlate with product quality by design and pharmaceutical analytical technology (PAT.

  13. Analytical quality by design: a tool for regulatory flexibility and robust analytics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peraman, Ramalingam; Bhadraya, Kalva; Padmanabha Reddy, Yiragamreddy

    2015-01-01

    Very recently, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a few new drug applications (NDA) with regulatory flexibility for quality by design (QbD) based analytical approach. The concept of QbD applied to analytical method development is known now as AQbD (analytical quality by design). It allows the analytical method for movement within method operable design region (MODR). Unlike current methods, analytical method developed using analytical quality by design (AQbD) approach reduces the number of out-of-trend (OOT) results and out-of-specification (OOS) results due to the robustness of the method within the region. It is a current trend among pharmaceutical industry to implement analytical quality by design (AQbD) in method development process as a part of risk management, pharmaceutical development, and pharmaceutical quality system (ICH Q10). Owing to the lack explanatory reviews, this paper has been communicated to discuss different views of analytical scientists about implementation of AQbD in pharmaceutical quality system and also to correlate with product quality by design and pharmaceutical analytical technology (PAT).

  14. Future water quality monitoring - Adapting tools to deal with mixtures of pollutants in water resource management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Altenburger, R.; Ait-Aissa, S.; Antczak, P.; Backhaus, T.; Barcelo, D.; Seiler, T.; Brion, F.; Focks, A.

    2015-01-01

    Environmental quality monitoring of water resources is challenged with providing the basis for safeguarding the environment against adverse biological effects of anthropogenic chemical contamination from diffuse and point sources. While current regulatory efforts focus on monitoring and assessing a

  15. Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning Systems, Part of Indoor Air Quality Design Tools for Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    The main purposes of a Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning system are to help maintain good indoor air quality through adequate ventilation with filtration and provide thermal comfort. HVAC systems are among the largest energy consumers in schools.

  16. Estimating Storm Discharge and Water Quality Data Uncertainty: A Software Tool for Monitoring and Modeling Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uncertainty inherent in hydrologic and water quality data has numerous economic, societal, and environmental implications; therefore, scientists can no longer ignore measurement uncertainty when collecting and presenting these data. Reporting uncertainty estimates with measured hydrologic and water...

  17. Use of health related quality of life tools in upper gastrointestinal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    kemrilib

    related quality of life (HR-QOL) and highlights various outcome variables that affect the HR-QOL ... supports a relationship between patient-rated ... in the areas of anxiety and depression than in a .... patient satisfaction but partial fundoplication.

  18. Microbial Source Tracking: Current and Future Molecular Tools in Microbial Water Quality Forensics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Current regulations in the United States stipulate that the microbial quality of waters used for consumption and recreational activities should be determined regularly by measuring microbial indicators of fecal pollution. Hence, the microbial risk associated with these waters is...

  19. Sensory and rapid instrumental methods as a combined tool for quality control of cooked ham

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Barbieri

    2016-11-01

    This study can be considered a first application of this combined approach that could represent a suitable and fast method to verify if the meat product purchased by consumer match its description in terms of compliance with the claimed quality.

  20. Quality Control and Continuous Education: Providing Tools for Contractors to Make Ethical Decisions

    OpenAIRE

    McDonald, Julie E

    2010-01-01

    Quality Control is a developing field in the building construction industry and successful quality control management relies on the ethical decision-making abilities of the inspectors. Research has identified a connection between personality types and the rationale for decision-making based on their type. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a commonly used personality inventory, identifies personality preferences and how people relate to their environment and situations. In relation to construct...

  1. Framework for pharmacy services quality improvement--a bridge to cross the quality chasm. Part I. The opportunity and the tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtiss, Frederic R; Fry, Richard N; Avey, Steven G

    2004-01-01

    To review the literature on the subject of quality improvement principles and methods applied to pharmacy services and to describe a framework for current and future efforts in pharmacy services quality improvement and effective drug therapy management. The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy produced the Catalog of Pharmacy Quality Indicators in 1997, followed by the Summary of National Pharmacy Quality Measures in February 1999. In April 2002, AMCP introduced Pharmacy's Framework for Drug Therapy Management in the 21st Century. The Framework documents include a self-assessment tool that details more than 250 specific "components" that describe tasks, behaviors, skills, functions, duties, and responsibilities that contribute to meeting customer expectations for effective drug therapy management. There are many opportunities for quality improvement in clinical, service, and cost outcomes related to drug therapy management. These may include patient safety; incidence of medical errors; adverse drug events; patient adherence to therapy; attainment of target goals of blood pressure, glucose, and lipid levels; risk reduction for adverse cardiac events and osteoporotic-related fractures; patient satisfaction; risk of hospitalization or mortality; and cost of care. Health care practitioners can measure improvements in health care quality in several ways including (a) a better patient outcome at the same cost, (b) the same patient outcome at lower cost, (c) a better patient outcome at lower cost, or (d) a significantly better patient outcome at moderately higher cost. Measurement makes effective management possible. A framework of component factors (e.g., tasks) is necessary to facilitate changes in the key processes and critical factors that will help individual practitioners and health care systems meet customer expectations in regard to drug therapy, thus improving these outcomes. Quality improvement in health care services in the United States will be made in incremental

  2. Developing a Web Tool for Searching and Viewing Collections of High-Quality Cultural Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazarinis, Fotis

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: Searching for information and viewing visual representations of products in e-organisations is a common activity of the e-visitors to these organisations. For example, in e-museums, users are shown images or other visual information of the existing objects. The aim of this paper is to present a tool which supports the effective searching…

  3. An Alternative Grading Tool for Enhancing Assessment Practice and Quality Assurance in Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grainger, Peter; Weir, Katie

    2016-01-01

    Assessing student learning in university courses is commonly done using a rubric that arranges the assessment criteria and standards descriptors in a matrix style or grid format. This paper introduces an alternative style of grading tool known as the continua model of a guide to making judgements, which arranges assessment criteria based on a…

  4. An Alternative Grading Tool for Enhancing Assessment Practice and Quality Assurance in Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grainger, Peter; Weir, Katie

    2016-01-01

    Assessing student learning in university courses is commonly done using a rubric that arranges the assessment criteria and standards descriptors in a matrix style or grid format. This paper introduces an alternative style of grading tool known as the continua model of a guide to making judgements, which arranges assessment criteria based on a…

  5. Validating a set of tools designed to assess the perceived quality of training of pediatric residency programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Dalt, Liviana; Anselmi, Pasquale; Furlan, Sara; Carraro, Silvia; Baraldi, Eugenio; Robusto, Egidio; Perilongo, Giorgio

    2015-01-20

    The Paediatric Residency Program (PRP) of Padua, Italy, developed a set of questionnaires to assess the quality of the training provided by each faculty member, the quality of the professional experience the residents experienced during the various rotations and the functioning of the Resident Affair Committee (RAC), named respectively: "Tutor Assessment Questionnaire" (TAQ), "Rotation Assessment Questionnaire" (RAQ), and RAC Assessment Questionnaire". The process that brought to their validation are herein presented. Between July 2012 and July 2013, 51 residents evaluated 26 tutors through the TAQ, and 25 rotations through the RAQ. Forty-eight residents filled the RAC Assessment Questionnaire. The three questionnaires were validated through a many-facet Rasch measurement analysis. In their final form, the questionnaires produced measures that were valid, reliable, unidimensional, and free from gender biases. TAQ and RAQ distinguished tutors and rotations into 5-6 levels of different quality and effectiveness. The three questionnaires allowed the identification of strengths and weaknesses of tutors, rotations, and RAC. The agreement observed among judges was coherent to the predicted values, suggesting that no particular training is required for developing a shared interpretation of the items. The work herein presented serves to enrich the armamentarium of tools that resident medical programs can use to monitor their functioning. A larger application of these tools will serve to consolidate and refine further the results presented.

  6. Towards a Systematic Screening Tool for Quality Assurance and Semiautomatic Fraud Detection for Images in the Life Sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppers, Lars; Wormer, Holger; Ickstadt, Katja

    2017-08-01

    The quality and authenticity of images is essential for data presentation, especially in the life sciences. Questionable images may often be a first indicator for questionable results, too. Therefore, a tool that uses mathematical methods to detect suspicious images in large image archives can be a helpful instrument to improve quality assurance in publications. As a first step towards a systematic screening tool, especially for journal editors and other staff members who are responsible for quality assurance, such as laboratory supervisors, we propose a basic classification of image manipulation. Based on this classification, we developed and explored some simple algorithms to detect copied areas in images. Using an artificial image and two examples of previously published modified images, we apply quantitative methods such as pixel-wise comparison, a nearest neighbor and a variance algorithm to detect copied-and-pasted areas or duplicated images. We show that our algorithms are able to detect some simple types of image alteration, such as copying and pasting background areas. The variance algorithm detects not only identical, but also very similar areas that differ only by brightness. Further types could, in principle, be implemented in a standardized scanning routine. We detected the copied areas in a proven case of image manipulation in Germany and showed the similarity of two images in a retracted paper from the Kato labs, which has been widely discussed on sites such as pubpeer and retraction watch.

  7. Enlight: A Comprehensive Quality and Therapeutic Potential Evaluation Tool for Mobile and Web-Based eHealth Interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumel, Amit; Faber, Keren; Mathur, Nandita; Kane, John M; Muench, Fred

    2017-03-21

    Studies of criteria-based assessment tools have demonstrated the feasibility of objectively evaluating eHealth interventions independent of empirical testing. However, current tools have not included some quality constructs associated with intervention outcome, such as persuasive design, behavior change, or therapeutic alliance. In addition, the generalizability of such tools has not been explicitly examined. The aim is to introduce the development and further analysis of the Enlight suite of measures, developed to incorporate the aforementioned concepts and address generalizability aspects. As a first step, a comprehensive systematic review was performed to identify relevant quality rating criteria in line with the PRISMA statement. These criteria were then categorized to create Enlight. The second step involved testing Enlight on 42 mobile apps and 42 Web-based programs (delivery mediums) targeting modifiable behaviors related to medical illness or mental health (clinical aims). A total of 476 criteria from 99 identified sources were used to build Enlight. The rating measures were divided into two sections: quality assessments and checklists. Quality assessments included usability, visual design, user engagement, content, therapeutic persuasiveness, therapeutic alliance, and general subjective evaluation. The checklists included credibility, privacy explanation, basic security, and evidence-based program ranking. The quality constructs exhibited excellent interrater reliability (intraclass correlations=.77-.98, median .91) and internal consistency (Cronbach alphas=.83-.90, median .88), with similar results when separated into delivery mediums or clinical aims. Conditional probability analysis revealed that 100% of the programs that received a score of fair or above (≥3.0) in therapeutic persuasiveness or therapeutic alliance received the same range of scores in user engagement and content-a pattern that did not appear in the opposite direction. Preliminary

  8. Colorimetry as Quality Control Tool for Individual Inkjet-Printed Pediatric Formulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wickström, Henrika; Nyman, Johan O; Indola, Mathias

    2017-01-01

    Printing technologies were recently introduced to the pharmaceutical field for manufacturing of drug delivery systems. Printing allows on demand manufacturing of flexible pharmaceutical doses in a personalized manner, which is critical for a successful and safe treatment of patient populations...... with specific needs, such as children and the elderly, and patients facing multimorbidity. Printing of pharmaceuticals as technique generates new demands on the quality control procedures. For example, rapid quality control is needed as the printing can be done on demand and at the point of care. This study...... evaluated the potential use of a handheld colorimetry device for quality control of printed doses of vitamin Bs on edible rice and sugar substrates. The structural features of the substrates with and without ink were also compared. A multicomponent ink formulation with vitamin B1, B2, B3, and B6...

  9. Analysis of visual quality improvements provided by known tools for HDR content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jaehwan; Alshina, Elena; Lee, JongSeok; Park, Youngo; Choi, Kwang Pyo

    2016-09-01

    In this paper, the visual quality of different solutions for high dynamic range (HDR) compression using MPEG test contents is analyzed. We also simulate the method for an efficient HDR compression which is based on statistical property of the signal. The method is compliant with HEVC specification and also easily compatible with other alternative methods which might require HEVC specification changes. It was subjectively tested on commercial TVs and compared with alternative solutions for HDR coding. Subjective visual quality tests were performed using SUHD TVs model which is SAMSUNG JS9500 with maximum luminance up to 1000nit in test. The solution that is based on statistical property shows not only improvement of objective performance but improvement of visual quality compared to other HDR solutions, while it is compatible with HEVC specification.

  10. Impedance Flow Cytometry as a Tool to Analyze Microspore and Pollen Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidmann, Iris; Di Berardino, Marco

    2017-01-01

    Analyzing pollen quality in an efficient and reliable manner is of great importance to the industries involved in seed and fruit production, plant breeding, and plant research. Pollen quality parameters, viability and germination capacity, are analyzed by various staining methods or by in vitro germination assays, respectively. These methods are time-consuming, species-dependent, and require a lab environment. Furthermore, the obtained viability data are often poorly related to in vivo pollen germination and seed set. Here, we describe a quick, label-free method to analyze pollen using microfluidic chips inserted into an impedance flow cytometer (IFC). Using this approach, pollen quality parameters are determined by a single measurement in a species-independent manner. The advantage of this protocol is that pollen viability and germination can be analyzed quickly by a reliable and standardized method.

  11. Groundwater quality assessment using geospatial and statistical tools in Salem District, Tamil Nadu, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arulbalaji, P.; Gurugnanam, B.

    2016-11-01

    The water quality study of Salem district, Tamil Nadu has been carried out to assess the water quality for domestic and irrigation purposes. For this purpose, 59 groundwater samples were collected and analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), major anions (HCO3 -, CO3 -, F-, Cl-, NO2 - + NO3 -, and SO4 2-), major cations (Ca2+ Mg2+, Na+, and K+), alkalinity (ALK), and hardness (HAR). To assess the water quality, the following chemical parameters were calculated based on the analytical results, such as Piper plot, water quality index (WQI), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), magnesium hazard (MH), Kelly index (KI), and residual sodium carbonate (RSC). Wilcox diagram represents that 23% of the samples are excellent to good, 40% of the samples are good to permissible, 10% of the samples are permissible to doubtful, 24% of the samples are doubtful unsuitable, and only 3% of the samples are unsuitable for irrigation. SAR values shows that 52% of the samples indicate high-to-very high and low-to-medium alkali water. KI values indicate good quality (30%) and not suitable (70%) for irrigation purposes. RSC values indicate that 89% of samples are suitable for irrigation purposes. MH reveals that 17% suitable and 83% samples are not suitable for irrigation purposes and for domestic purposes the excellent (8%), good (48%), and poor (44%). The agricultural waste, fertilizer used, soil leaching, urban runoff, livestock waste, and sewages are the sources of poor water quality. Some samples are not suitable for irrigation purposes due to high salinity, hardness, and magnesium concentration. In general, the groundwater of the Salem district was polluted by agricultural activities, anthropogenic activities, ion exchange, and weathering.

  12. Multivariate data analysis as a tool in advanced quality monitoring in the food production chain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bro, R.; van den Berg, F.; Thybo, A.

    2002-01-01

    This paper summarizes some recent advances in mathematical modeling of relevance in advanced quality monitoring in the food production chain. Using chemometrics-multivariate data analysis - it is illustrated how to tackle problems in food science more efficiently and, moreover, solve problems...... that could not otherwise be handled before. The different mathematical models are all exemplified by food related subjects to underline the generic use of the models within the food chain. Applications will be given from meat, storage, vegetable characterization, fish quality monitoring and industrial food...

  13. Disease-specific quality-of-life measurement tools for haemophilia patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remor, E; Young, N L; Von Mackensen, S; Lopatina, E G

    2004-10-01

    The purpose of this paper is to summarize the state of the art in measuring quality of life in haemophila populations. The paper reviews the measures recently included in haemophila trials in the published literature. It also summarizes the development of four new disease-specific measures of health-related quality of life. Two of these were developed for children (the Haemo-QoL and the CHO-KLAT), and two for adults (the Hemofilia-QoL and the Hemolatin-QoL). These new measures show promise for use in clinical trials. Further research is in progress to complete the psychometric testing and cross-cultural validation.

  14. Tools and approaches to ensure quality of vaccines throughout the cold chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kartoglu, Umit; Milstien, Julie

    2014-07-01

    The Expanded Program on Immunization was designed 40 years ago for two types of vaccines: those that are heat stable but freeze sensitive and those that are stable to freezing but heat labile. A cold chain was developed for transport and storage of such vaccines and established in all countries, despite limited access to resources and electricity in the poorest areas. However, cold chain problems occur in all countries. Recent changes to vaccines and vaccine handling include development and introduction of new vaccines with a wide range of characteristics, improvement of heat stability of several basic vaccines, observation of vaccine freezing as a real threat, development of regulatory pathways for both vaccine development and the supply chain, and emergence of new temperature monitoring devices that can pinpoint and avoid problems. With such tools, public health groups have now encouraged development of vaccines labeled for use in flexible cold chains and these tools should be considered for future systems.

  15. Using the direct current voltage gradient technology as a quality control tool during construction of new pipelines

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Masilela, Z

    1998-06-01

    Full Text Available stream_source_info masilela_1998.pdf.txt stream_content_type text/plain stream_size 11826 Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 stream_name masilela_1998.pdf.txt Content-Type text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 En`ineerin` Failure... used on new pipelines as a good quality control tool[ The bene_ts of using the DCVG technique on new pipelines is clearly evident as more than 79) of coating defects were a direct result of mechanical damage during construction[ On such evidence...

  16. Application of Quality Management Tools for Evaluating the Failure Frequency of Cutter-Loader and Plough Mining Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biały, Witold

    2017-06-01

    Failure frequency in the mining process, with a focus on the mining machine, has been presented and illustrated by the example of two coal-mines. Two mining systems have been subjected to analysis: a cutter-loader and a plough system. In order to reduce costs generated by failures, maintenance teams should regularly make sure that the machines are used and operated in a rational and effective way. Such activities will allow downtimes to be reduced, and, in consequence, will increase the effectiveness of a mining plant. The evaluation of mining machines' failure frequency contained in this study has been based on one of the traditional quality management tools - the Pareto chart.

  17. CRITERIA AND DIAGNOSTIC TOOLS FOR MONITORING QUALITY ASSESSMENT OF PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS’ TRAINING FOR PRACTICE-ORIENTED RESEARCH ACTIVITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamara А. Strokova

    2016-01-01

    each of three levels of high school education – a bachelor degree, a magistracy and postgraduate study is defined. Practical significance. The proposed criteria and diagnostic tools can be used in work of higher education for monitor tracking the quality of learners training to research activity. 

  18. The Humanitarian Action Qualifications Framework : A Quality Assurance Tool for the Humanitarian Sector

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aardema, Bastiaan; Churruca Muguruza, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    The article presents the European Universities on Professionalisation on Humanitarian Action (EUPRHA) Project as an initiative that seeks to contribute to the professionalisation and quality assurance of the humanitarian sector. Its purpose is to explain the approach and the process leading to the d

  19. Tools for Schools: Filtration for Improved Air Quality. Technical Services Bulletin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001

    This product bulletin addresses air pollution control in educational facilities to enhance educational performance, provides air quality recommendations for schools, and examines the filtration needs of various school areas. The types of air particles typically present are highlighted, and the use of proper filtration to control gases and vapors…

  20. Yoga: A tool for improving the quality of life in chronic pancreatitis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Surinder Sareen; Vinita Kumari; Karaminder Singh Gajebasia; Nimanpreet Kaur Gajebasia

    2007-01-01

    AIM: To determine the effectiveness of yoga on improving the quality of life in patients of chronic pancreatitis.METHODS: The patients were randomized to two groups. The control group continued their usual care as directed by their physicians. Patients in the yoga group, in addition, received biweekly yoga sessions for 12 wk. The patients' demographic and health behaviour variables were assessed before and after the yoga programme using Medical Outcomes Short Form (SF-36) for quality of life, Profile of Mood States for assessing mood and Symptoms of Stress Inventory for measuring stress.RESULTS: A total of 60 patients were enrolled, with 8drop-outs.Thirty patients were randomized to the yoga group and 30 to the control group. Significant improvements were seen in overall quality of life, symptoms of stress, mood changes, alcohol dependence and appetite after the 12 wk period apart from the general feeling of well-being and desire to continue with the programme in future in the yoga group, while there was no difference in the control group.CONCLUSION: Yoga is effective on improving the quality of life in patients of chronic pancreatitis.

  1. Quality-driven multi-objective optimization of software architecture design : method, tool, and application

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Etemadi Idgahi (Etemaadi), Ramin

    2014-01-01

    Software architecting is a non-trivial and demanding task for software engineers to perform. The architecture is a key enabler for software systems. Besides being crucial for user functionality, the software architecture has deep impact on software qualities such as performance, safety, and cost.

  2. Quality-driven multi-objective optimization of software architecture design : method, tool, and application

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Etemadi Idgahi (Etemaadi), Ramin

    2014-01-01

    Software architecting is a non-trivial and demanding task for software engineers to perform. The architecture is a key enabler for software systems. Besides being crucial for user functionality, the software architecture has deep impact on software qualities such as performance, safety, and cost.

  3. SEVAQ: a unique multi-functional tool for assessing and improving the quality of e-courses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Schreurs

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available It is challenging to enhance quality of e-learning.We based the quality assessment on the EFQM and theKirkpatrick models. We built our own SEVAQ qualitymodel on which we based our multi-functional selfevaluationquestionnaire. We focused and limited ourselveson the valuable learners feedback. Our questionnaire isstructured around the 3 main criteria: the enablinglearning resources, learning processes and the learningresults. Questions are linked with their criteria andsubcriteria.The SEVAQ tool addresses the designer of the questionnaireas well as the learner, being the evaluator and so being theuser of the questionnaire. The designer selects on a flexibleway a set of relevant questions to be answered by thelearner. After finishing the questionnaire by the learner, thesystem analysis the results

  4. The antioxidant-activity-integrated fingerprint: an advantageous tool for the evaluation of quality of herbal medicines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Yan-Xu; Ding, Xiao-Ping; Qi, Jin; Cao, Jun; Kang, Li-Yuan; Zhu, Dan-Ni; Zhang, Bo-Li; Yu, Bo-Yang

    2008-10-24

    The activity-integrated fingerprints of Danshen injections have been established by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with chemiluminescence detection (HPLC-CL) according to their antioxidants activity scavenging hydrogen peroxide. The authentication and validation of the activity-integrated fingerprints were performed. Then, a data-level information fusion method was employed to capture the chemical and antioxidant information encoded in HPLC-CL fingerprints. Finally, based on the fusion results, the quality of different batches of Danshen injections samples were further evaluated by similarity measure. In comparison with conventional fingerprints, the activity-integrated fingerprints, which simultaneously contained the chemical characteristics and antioxidant activities of constitutions could comprehensively and properly reveal the quality characteristics of the Danshen injections. In conclusion, the antioxidant-activity-integrated fingerprints were suitable for quality control of Danshen injections. This study could clearly demonstrate that the activity-integrated fingerprint was a powerful and meaningful tool to comprehensively improve the quality control of complex herbal medicines.

  5. Application of Two Quality Indices as Monitoring and Management Tools of Rivers. Case Study: The Imera Meridionale River, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonanno, Giuseppe; Giudice, Rosa Lo

    2010-04-01

    On the basis of the European Water Framework Directive (2000/60), the water resources of the member states of the European Community should reach good quality standards by 2015. Although such regulations illustrate the basic points for a comprehensive and effective policy of water monitoring and management, no practical tools are provided to face and solve the issues concerning freshwater ecosystems such as rivers. The Italian government has developed a set of regulations as adoption of the European Directive but failed to indicate feasible procedures for river monitoring and management. On a local scale, Sicilian authorities have implemented monitoring networks of watersheds, aiming at describing the general conditions of rivers. However, such monitoring programs have provided a relatively fragmentary picture of the ecological conditions of the rivers. In this study, the integrated use of environmental quality indices is proposed as a methodology able to provide a practical approach to river monitoring and management. As a case study, the Imera Meridionale River, Sicily’s largest river, was chosen. The water quality index developed by the U.S. National Sanitation Foundation and the floristic quality index based on the Wilhelm method were applied. The former enabled us to describe the water quality according to a spatial-temporal gradient, whereas the latter focused on the ecological quality of riparian vegetation. This study proposes a holistic view of river ecosystems by considering biotic and abiotic factors in agreement with the current European regulations. How the combined use of such indices can guide sustainable management efforts is also discussed.

  6. Systematic evaluation of the teaching qualities of Obstetrics and Gynecology faculty: reliability and validity of the SETQ tools.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renée van der Leeuw

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The importance of effective clinical teaching for the quality of future patient care is globally understood. Due to recent changes in graduate medical education, new tools are needed to provide faculty with reliable and individualized feedback on their teaching qualities. This study validates two instruments underlying the System for Evaluation of Teaching Qualities (SETQ aimed at measuring and improving the teaching qualities of obstetrics and gynecology faculty. METHODS AND FINDINGS: This cross-sectional multi-center questionnaire study was set in seven general teaching hospitals and two academic medical centers in the Netherlands. Seventy-seven residents and 114 faculty were invited to complete the SETQ instruments in the duration of one month from September 2008 to September 2009. To assess reliability and validity of the instruments, we used exploratory factor analysis, inter-item correlation, reliability coefficient alpha and inter-scale correlations. We also compared composite scales from factor analysis to global ratings. Finally, the number of residents' evaluations needed per faculty for reliable assessments was calculated. A total of 613 evaluations were completed by 66 residents (85.7% response rate. 99 faculty (86.8% response rate participated in self-evaluation. Factor analysis yielded five scales with high reliability (Cronbach's alpha for residents' and faculty: learning climate (0.86 and 0.75, professional attitude (0.89 and 0.81, communication of learning goals (0.89 and 0.82, evaluation of residents (0.87 and 0.79 and feedback (0.87 and 0.86. Item-total, inter-scale and scale-global rating correlation coefficients were significant (P<0.01. Four to six residents' evaluations are needed per faculty (reliability coefficient 0.60-0.80. CONCLUSIONS: Both SETQ instruments were found reliable and valid for evaluating teaching qualities of obstetrics and gynecology faculty. Future research should examine improvement of

  7. A Web Tool for Generating High Quality Machine-readable Biological Pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez-Gaona, Miguel; Marcu, Ana; Pon, Allison; Grant, Jason; Wu, Anthony; Wishart, David S

    2017-02-08

    PathWhiz is a web server built to facilitate the creation of colorful, interactive, visually pleasing pathway diagrams that are rich in biological information. The pathways generated by this online application are machine-readable and fully compatible with essentially all web-browsers and computer operating systems. It uses a specially developed, web-enabled pathway drawing interface that permits the selection and placement of different combinations of pre-drawn biological or biochemical entities to depict reactions, interactions, transport processes and binding events. This palette of entities consists of chemical compounds, proteins, nucleic acids, cellular membranes, subcellular structures, tissues, and organs. All of the visual elements in it can be interactively adjusted and customized. Furthermore, because this tool is a web server, all pathways and pathway elements are publicly accessible. This kind of pathway "crowd sourcing" means that PathWhiz already contains a large and rapidly growing collection of previously drawn pathways and pathway elements. Here we describe a protocol for the quick and easy creation of new pathways and the alteration of existing pathways. To further facilitate pathway editing and creation, the tool contains replication and propagation functions. The replication function allows existing pathways to be used as templates to create or edit new pathways. The propagation function allows one to take an existing pathway and automatically propagate it across different species. Pathways created with this tool can be "re-styled" into different formats (KEGG-like or text-book like), colored with different backgrounds, exported to BioPAX, SBGN-ML, SBML, or PWML data exchange formats, and downloaded as PNG or SVG images. The pathways can easily be incorporated into online databases, integrated into presentations, posters or publications, or used exclusively for online visualization and exploration. This protocol has been successfully applied to

  8. Lean management: innovative tools for engaging teams in continuous quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perreault, Lucille; Vaillancourt, Lise; Filion, Catherine; Hadj, Camélia

    2014-01-01

    Lean management has proven to be a sustainable method to ensure a high level of patient care through innovation and teamwork. It involves a set of six tools that allow for visual management shared among team members. The team focuses their efforts on the improvement of organizational indicators in a standardized and engaging way, resulting in the sustainability of improvements. This article outlines the program's rollout at Montfort Hospital (l'Hôpital Montfort). In only a few months, two pilot units accomplished close to 50 improvements each. In addition, the organizational employee satisfaction questionnaire showed very positive results.

  9. Electronic Noses As Flexible Tools For Evaluating Food Quality And Safety: Can We Trust Them?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Concina, I.; Falasconi, M.; Sberveglieri, G.

    2011-09-01

    Since most food adulterations are reflected on volatile chemical profile, Electronic Noses (ENs) appear as excellent candidates for process monitoring, freshness evaluation, shelf-life investigation, sensory and authenticity assessment, microbial contamination diagnosis [1]. In this study three applications recently carried out in our laboratory are presented and discussed, with the aim to illustrate three paradigmatic and diverse issues related to food quality control in which EN can find application and discuss the reliability of sensor technology in food analysis.

  10. A Tool for Sheep Product Quality: Custom Microarrays from Public Databases

    OpenAIRE

    Lorraine Pariset; Alessio Valentini; Susana Bueno; Gianluca Prosperini; Silvia Bongiorni; Giovanni Chillemi

    2009-01-01

    Milk and dairy products are an essential food and an economic resource in many countries. Milk component synthesis and secretion by the mammary gland involve expression of a large number of genes whose nutritional regulation remains poorly defined. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the genomic influence on milk quality and synthesis by comparing two sheep breeds with different milking attitude (Sarda and Gentile di Puglia) using sheep-specific microarray technology. Fr...

  11. Recent developments in minimal processing: a tool to retain nutritional quality of food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasha, Imran; Saeed, Farhan; Sultan, M Tauseef; Khan, Moazzam Rafiq; Rohi, Madiha

    2014-01-01

    The modernization during the last century resulted in urbanization coupled with modifications in lifestyles and dietary habits. In the same era, industrial developments made it easier to meet the requirements for processed foods. However, consumers are now interested in minimally processed foods owing to increase in their awareness to have fruits and vegetables with superior quality, and natural integrity with fewer additives. The food products deteriorate as a consequence of physiological aging, biochemical changes, high respiration rat,e and high ethylene production. These factors contribute substantially to discoloration, loss of firmness, development of off-flavors, acidification, and microbial spoilage. Simultaneously, food processors are using emerging approaches to process perishable commodities, along with enhanced nutritional and sensorial quality. The present review article is an effort to utilize the modern approaches to minimize the processing and deterioration. The techniques discussed in this paper include chlorination, ozonation, irradiation, photosensitization, edible coating, natural preservative use, high-pressure processing, microwave heating, ohmic heating, and hurdle technology. The consequences of these techniques on shelf-life stability, microbial safety, preservation of organoleptic and nutritional quality, and residue avoidance are the limelight of the paper. Moreover, the discussion has been made on the feasibility and operability of these techniques in modern-day processing.

  12. [Observational Team work Assessment for Surgery as Quality and Safety improvement tool].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amato, S; Basilico, O; Bevilacqua, L; Burato, E; Levati, A; Molinelli, V; Picchetti, C; Suardi, R; Trucco, P; Lucchina, C

    2010-01-01

    As in high reliability systems , also in surgery the causes of adverse events are primarily correlated to deficiencies in Non Technical Skills (individual and social skills), that contribute with Technical Skills to a safe surgical procedure. Non Technical Skills are cognitive behavioural and interpersonal abilities, that are not specific to the expertise of one profession, but very important to guarantee the patient safety and to reduce risk of errors and adverse events. The Observational Teamwork Assessment for Surgery (OTAS) is an useful tool to assess teamwork of the whole surgical team (surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses) in real time and through the surgical procedure (pre-intra-postoperative phases). OTAS consists of the two following parts: a) teamwork-related task checklist to fill by a surgeon, b) teamwork-related behaviours rated by a psychologist/human factors expert. Back translation in Italian language of the eight task checklists and of the rating scales of the five behavioural areas was performed by two Italian surgeons with certified English language knowledge. The OTAS model in Italian language was applied in four surgical procedures : the test-retest reliability was found to be acceptable with K- Pearson index. The internal consistency of behavioural scales appeared sound using Cronbach ?. OTAS is an useful tool to assess the risk factors correlated to patient and team and to detect the vulnerability areas where changes to reduce errors and improve surgical outcomes might be introduced.

  13. NorthStar, a support tool for the design and evaluation of quality improvement interventions in healthcare

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francis Jill

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Research-Based Education and Quality Improvement (ReBEQI European partnership aims to establish a framework and provide practical tools for the selection, implementation, and evaluation of quality improvement (QI interventions. We describe the development and preliminary evaluation of the software tool NorthStar, a major product of the ReBEQI project. Methods We focused the content of NorthStar on the design and evaluation of QI interventions. A lead individual from the ReBEQI group drafted each section, and at least two other group members reviewed it. The content is based on published literature, as well as material developed by the ReBEQI group. We developed the software in both a Microsoft Windows HTML help system version and a web-based version. In a preliminary evaluation, we surveyed 33 potential users about the acceptability and perceived utility of NorthStar. Results NorthStar consists of 18 sections covering the design and evaluation of QI interventions. The major focus of the intervention design sections is on how to identify determinants of practice (factors affecting practice patterns, while the major focus of the intervention evaluation sections is on how to design a cluster randomised trial. The two versions of the software can be transferred by email or CD, and are available for download from the internet. The software offers easy navigation and various functions to access the content. Potential users (55% response rate reported above-moderate levels of confidence in carrying out QI research related tasks if using NorthStar, particularly when developing a protocol for a cluster randomised trial Conclusion NorthStar is an integrated, accessible, practical, and acceptable tool to assist developers and evaluators of QI interventions.

  14. Implementation Of 5S Quality Tool In Manufacturing Company A Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vibhor Kakkar

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 5S system is a technique which maintains the quality of working conditions in the organization. Amongst various available Lean resources 5S is a powerful technique that can bolster objectives of the organization to get continuous improvement in performance and productivity. This paper presents the implementation of 5S in a manufacturing company amp 5S rating system was used to audit all changes in the company which enhanced the efficiency of the workers amp ultimately the productivity of the company is enhanced to 91 .

  15. A Tool for Sheep Product Quality: Custom Microarrays from Public Databases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorraine Pariset

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Milk and dairy products are an essential food and an economic resource in many countries. Milk component synthesis and secretion by the mammary gland involve expression of a large number of genes whose nutritional regulation remains poorly defined. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the genomic influence on milk quality and synthesis by comparing two sheep breeds with different milking attitude (Sarda and Gentile di Puglia using sheep-specific microarray technology. From sheep ESTs deposited at NCBI, we have generated the first annotated microarray developed for sheep with a coverage of most of the genome.

  16. A tool for sheep product quality: custom microarrays from public databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bongiorni, Silvia; Chillemi, Giovanni; Prosperini, Gianluca; Bueno, Susana; Valentini, Alessio; Pariset, Lorraine

    2009-02-01

    Milk and dairy products are an essential food and an economic resource in many countries. Milk component synthesis and secretion by the mammary gland involve expression of a large number of genes whose nutritional regulation remains poorly defined. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the genomic influence on milk quality and synthesis by comparing two sheep breeds with different milking attitude (Sarda and Gentile di Puglia) using sheep-specific microarray technology. From sheep ESTs deposited at NCBI, we have generated the first annotated microarray developed for sheep with a coverage of most of the genome.

  17. Six sigma tools for a patient safety-oriented, quality-checklist driven radiation medicine department.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapur, Ajay; Potters, Louis

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this work was to develop and implement six sigma practices toward the enhancement of patient safety in an electronic, quality checklist-driven, multicenter, paperless radiation medicine department. A quality checklist process map (QPM), stratified into consultation through treatment-completion stages was incorporated into an oncology information systems platform. A cross-functional quality management team conducted quality-function-deployment and define-measure-analyze-improve-control (DMAIC) six sigma exercises with a focus on patient safety. QPM procedures were Pareto-sorted in order of decreasing patient safety risk with failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA). Quantitative metrics for a grouped set of highest risk procedures were established. These included procedural delays, associated standard deviations and six sigma Z scores. Baseline performance of the QPM was established over the previous year of usage. Data-driven analysis led to simplification, standardization, and refinement of the QPM with standard deviation, slip-day reduction, and Z-score enhancement goals. A no-fly policy (NFP) for patient safety was introduced at the improve-control DMAIC phase, with a process map interlock imposed on treatment initiation in the event of FMEA-identified high-risk tasks being delayed or not completed. The NFP was introduced in a pilot phase with specific stopping rules and the same metrics used for performance assessments. A custom root-cause analysis database was deployed to monitor patient safety events. Relative to the baseline period, average slip days and standard deviations for the risk-enhanced QPM procedures improved by over threefold factors in the NFP period. The Z scores improved by approximately 20%. A trend for proactive delays instead of reactive hard stops was observed with no adverse effects of the NFP. The number of computed potential no-fly delays per month dropped from 60 to 20 over a total of 520 cases. The fraction of computed

  18. Online Tools for Uncovering Data Quality (DQ) Issues in Satellite-Based Global Precipitation Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhong; Heo, Gil

    2015-01-01

    Data quality (DQ) has many attributes or facets (i.e., errors, biases, systematic differences, uncertainties, benchmark, false trends, false alarm ratio, etc.)Sources can be complicated (measurements, environmental conditions, surface types, algorithms, etc.) and difficult to be identified especially for multi-sensor and multi-satellite products with bias correction (TMPA, IMERG, etc.) How to obtain DQ info fast and easily, especially quantified info in ROI Existing parameters (random error), literature, DIY, etc.How to apply the knowledge in research and applications.Here, we focus on online systems for integration of products and parameters, visualization and analysis as well as investigation and extraction of DQ information.

  19. Systematic Evaluation of the Teaching Qualities of Obstetrics and Gynecology Faculty: Reliability and Validity of the SETQ Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Leeuw, Renée; Lombarts, Kiki; Heineman, Maas Jan; Arah, Onyebuchi

    2011-01-01

    Background The importance of effective clinical teaching for the quality of future patient care is globally understood. Due to recent changes in graduate medical education, new tools are needed to provide faculty with reliable and individualized feedback on their teaching qualities. This study validates two instruments underlying the System for Evaluation of Teaching Qualities (SETQ) aimed at measuring and improving the teaching qualities of obstetrics and gynecology faculty. Methods and Findings This cross-sectional multi-center questionnaire study was set in seven general teaching hospitals and two academic medical centers in the Netherlands. Seventy-seven residents and 114 faculty were invited to complete the SETQ instruments in the duration of one month from September 2008 to September 2009. To assess reliability and validity of the instruments, we used exploratory factor analysis, inter-item correlation, reliability coefficient alpha and inter-scale correlations. We also compared composite scales from factor analysis to global ratings. Finally, the number of residents' evaluations needed per faculty for reliable assessments was calculated. A total of 613 evaluations were completed by 66 residents (85.7% response rate). 99 faculty (86.8% response rate) participated in self-evaluation. Factor analysis yielded five scales with high reliability (Cronbach's alpha for residents' and faculty): learning climate (0.86 and 0.75), professional attitude (0.89 and 0.81), communication of learning goals (0.89 and 0.82), evaluation of residents (0.87 and 0.79) and feedback (0.87 and 0.86). Item-total, inter-scale and scale-global rating correlation coefficients were significant (Pobstetrics and gynecology faculty. Future research should examine improvement of teaching qualities when using SETQ. PMID:21559275

  20. The Danish Ventral Hernia Database - a valuable tool for quality assessment and research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helgstrand, Frederik; Jorgensen, Lars Nannestad

    2016-01-01

    AIM: The Danish Ventral Hernia Database (DVHD) provides national surveillance of current surgical practice and clinical postoperative outcomes. The intention is to reduce postoperative morbidity and hernia recurrence, evaluate new treatment strategies, and facilitate nationwide implementation...... of evidence-based treatment strategies. This paper describes the design and purpose of DVHD. STUDY POPULATION: Adult (≥18 years) patients with a Danish Civil Registration Number and undergoing surgery under elective or emergency conditions for ventral hernia in a Danish surgical department from 2007...... of operations and is an excellent tool for observing changes over time, including adjustment of several confounders. This national database registry has impacted on clinical practice in Denmark and led to a high number of scientific publications in recent years....

  1. Innovative assessment tools to improve water quality and watershed management in farming areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merot, Philippe; Aurousseau, Pierre; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal; Durand, Patrick

    2009-01-01

    A lot of initiatives for improving water quality have been developed over the last 15 y in Brittany in response to degradation induced by intensive farming and under the pressure of European policy and environmental organizations. This has involved the partnerships of farmer organizations, organizations in charge of rural affairs, research and formation institutes, and environmental nongovernmental organizations. In this paper, we present 2 complementary aspects of an original, and possibly efficient, water policy within the framework of water management in a medium-sized watershed, including 1) development of new methods of diagnostic and decision support based on participative approaches and 2) development of new methods to assess the current status and effect of alternative scenarios, taking into account the complexity of a system with strong agricultural and hydrological variability and a relatively long response time. The 1st series of methods, which deals with the buffering capacity of landscape structures, is close to a social learning approach; the 2nd illustrates the importance, for policy makers, of a precisely defined protocol for data monitoring and analysis and of the use of spatially distributed and dynamic models when water policy is based on an obligation of results. In spite of the coexistence of all the necessary constituents of a coherent policy, it seems difficult to build. The state of current water quality illustrates the importance and limitations of incentive policy.

  2. Serum enzymes in rainbow trout as tools in the diagnosis of water quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wieser, W.; Hinterleitner, S.

    1980-08-01

    The activities of serum enzymes are likely to reflect the metabolic state of fish in much the same way as they do in mammals. Thus it can be expected that toxic agents or factors which lead to chronic impairment of the animals' metabolism will cause changes, usually increases, of the activities of some serum enzymes. Many studies have been conducted in which fish were experimentally stressed and the ensuing changes in serum enzyme activities recorded. Some of these responses are likely to be of a more general nature, i.e., indicating the organism's answer to a situation of stress brought about by a general deterioration of water quality. We have tested this idea further by measuring the activities of two transaminases, glutamic oxalacetate transaminase (GOT, E.C.2.6.1.1.) and glutamic pyruvate transaminase (GPT, E.C.2.6.1.8.) in the serum (S) of rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) caught at various distances from the outflow of a sewage plant into the river Inn near Innsbruck. The quality of the river water was also tested by measuring, at the points where the fish were caught, the concentration of NH/sub 3/, NO/sub 3/ and NO/sub 2/.

  3. The FRISBEE tool, a software for optimising the trade-off between food quality, energy use, and global warming impact of cold chains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gwanpua, S.G.; Verboven, P.; Leducq, D.; Brown, T.; Verlinden, B.E.; Bekele, E.; Aregawi, W. Evans, J.; Foster, A.; Duret, S.; Hoang, H.M.; Sluis, S. van der; Wissink, E.; Hendriksen, L.J.A.M.; Taoukis, P.; Gogou, E.; Stahl, V.; El Jabri, M.; Le Page, J.F.; Claussen, I.; Indergård, E.; Nicolai, B.M.; Alvarez, G.; Geeraerd, A.H.

    2015-01-01

    Food quality (including safety) along the cold chain, energy use and global warming impact of refrigeration systems are three key aspects in assessing cold chain sustainability. In this paper, we present the framework of a dedicated software, the FRISBEE tool, for optimising quality of refrigerated

  4. The FRISBEE tool, a software for optimising the trade-off between food quality, energy use, and global warming impact of cold chains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gwanpua, S.G.; Verboven, P.; Leducq, D.; Brown, T.; Verlinden, B.E.; Bekele, E.; Aregawi, W. Evans, J.; Foster, A.; Duret, S.; Hoang, H.M.; Sluis, S. van der; Wissink, E.; Hendriksen, L.J.A.M.; Taoukis, P.; Gogou, E.; Stahl, V.; El Jabri, M.; Le Page, J.F.; Claussen, I.; Indergård, E.; Nicolai, B.M.; Alvarez, G.; Geeraerd, A.H.

    2015-01-01

    Food quality (including safety) along the cold chain, energy use and global warming impact of refrigeration systems are three key aspects in assessing cold chain sustainability. In this paper, we present the framework of a dedicated software, the FRISBEE tool, for optimising quality of refrigerated

  5. SU-E-J-199: A Software Tool for Quality Assurance of Online Replanning with MR-Linac

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, G; Ahunbay, E; Li, X [Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI (United States)

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: To develop a quality assurance software tool, ArtQA, capable of automatically checking radiation treatment plan parameters, verifying plan data transfer from treatment planning system (TPS) to record and verify (R&V) system, performing a secondary MU calculation considering the effect of magnetic field from MR-Linac, and verifying the delivery and plan consistency, for online replanning. Methods: ArtQA was developed by creating interfaces to TPS (e.g., Monaco, Elekta), R&V system (Mosaiq, Elekta), and secondary MU calculation system. The tool obtains plan parameters from the TPS via direct file reading, and retrieves plan data both transferred from TPS and recorded during the actual delivery in the R&V system database via open database connectivity and structured query language. By comparing beam/plan datasets in different systems, ArtQA detects and outputs discrepancies between TPS, R&V system and secondary MU calculation system, and delivery. To consider the effect of 1.5T transverse magnetic field from MR-Linac in the secondary MU calculation, a method based on modified Clarkson integration algorithm was developed and tested for a series of clinical situations. Results: ArtQA is capable of automatically checking plan integrity and logic consistency, detecting plan data transfer errors, performing secondary MU calculations with or without a transverse magnetic field, and verifying treatment delivery. The tool is efficient and effective for pre- and post-treatment QA checks of all available treatment parameters that may be impractical with the commonly-used visual inspection. Conclusion: The software tool ArtQA can be used for quick and automatic pre- and post-treatment QA check, eliminating human error associated with visual inspection. While this tool is developed for online replanning to be used on MR-Linac, where the QA needs to be performed rapidly as the patient is lying on the table waiting for the treatment, ArtQA can be used as a general QA tool

  6. Q-SEA – a tool for quality assessment of ethics analyses conducted as part of health technology assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott, Anna Mae

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Assessment of ethics issues is an important part of health technology assessments (HTA. However, in terms of existence of quality assessment tools, ethics for HTA is methodologically underdeveloped in comparison to other areas of HTA, such as clinical or cost effectiveness. Objective: To methodologically advance ethics for HTA by: (1 proposing and elaborating Q-SEA, the first instrument for quality assessment of ethics analyses, and (2 applying Q-SEA to a sample systematic review of ethics for HTA, in order to illustrate and facilitate its use.Methods: To develop a list of items for the Q-SEA instrument, we systematically reviewed the literature on methodology in ethics for HTA, reviewed HTA organizations’ websites, and solicited views from 32 experts in the field of ethics for HTA at two 2-day workshops. We subsequently refined Q-SEA through its application to an ethics analysis conducted for HTA. Results: Q-SEA instrument consists of two domains – the process domain and the output domain. The process domain consists of 5 elements: research question, literature search, inclusion/exclusion criteria, perspective, and ethics framework. The output domain consists of completeness, bias, implications, conceptual clarification, and conflicting values. Conclusion: Q-SEA is the first instrument for quality assessment of ethics analyses in HTA. Further refinements to the instrument to enhance its usability continue.

  7. Number of genera as a potential screening tool for assessing quality of bryophyte communities in Ohio wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, William; Stapanian, Martin A.; Andreas, Barbara; Gara, Brian

    2016-01-01

    Bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, and hornworts) have numerous advantages as indicators of environmental quality. A quality assessment index for bryophyte species assemblages (BQAI) was developed for the State of Ohio, USA. Reliable identification of bryophytes to species often requires considerable training, practice, and time. In contrast, reliable identification to genera for most bryophytes in Ohio requires much less training. We identified 110 bryophyte species (14 liverworts and 96 mosses) belonging to 69 genera (13 liverwort and 56 moss) in 45 wetlands (27 emergent, 13 forested, and 5 shrub) in Ohio. As expected, there were more genera and higher BQAI scores in forested than in emergent wetlands. Number of genera was highly correlated (r ≥ 0.9) with BQAI in emergent and forested wetlands and for the combined set of wetlands. Number of genera and BQAI responded almost identically to an index of wetland disturbance. The results suggest that number of genera has potential as a screening tool for assessing bryophyte community quality in wetlands in some regions.

  8. Q-SEA – a tool for quality assessment of ethics analyses conducted as part of health technology assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Anna Mae; Hofmann, Björn; Gutiérrez-Ibarluzea, Iñaki; Bakke Lysdahl, Kristin; Sandman, Lars; Bombard, Yvonne

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Assessment of ethics issues is an important part of health technology assessments (HTA). However, in terms of existence of quality assessment tools, ethics for HTA is methodologically underdeveloped in comparison to other areas of HTA, such as clinical or cost effectiveness. Objective: To methodologically advance ethics for HTA by: (1) proposing and elaborating Q-SEA, the first instrument for quality assessment of ethics analyses, and (2) applying Q-SEA to a sample systematic review of ethics for HTA, in order to illustrate and facilitate its use. Methods: To develop a list of items for the Q-SEA instrument, we systematically reviewed the literature on methodology in ethics for HTA, reviewed HTA organizations’ websites, and solicited views from 32 experts in the field of ethics for HTA at two 2-day workshops. We subsequently refined Q-SEA through its application to an ethics analysis conducted for HTA. Results: Q-SEA instrument consists of two domains – the process domain and the output domain. The process domain consists of 5 elements: research question, literature search, inclusion/exclusion criteria, perspective, and ethics framework. The output domain consists of 5 elements: completeness, bias, implications, conceptual clarification, and conflicting values. Conclusion: Q-SEA is the first instrument for quality assessment of ethics analyses in HTA. Further refinements to the instrument to enhance its usability continue. PMID:28326147

  9. Tools for the development of a benthic quality index for Italian lakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelo SOLIMINI

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we propose a methodology to develop a benthic quality index useful for Italian lakes. The existing data about benthic macroinvertebrates of the Italian lakes were collected over a period of 50 years, but only a few lakes such as the Maggiore and the Mergozzo have been intensely studied. Some large lakes such as Lake Como are still almost uninvestigated. In total, 570 benthic macroinvertebrate taxa were identified; of which 373 belong to Chironomidae and 85 to Oligochaeta. With the aim of relating environmental variables with macrobenthos assemblages, we carried out a canonical correlation analysis (CANON using a database that included 1060 sampling points. Both environmental (13 variables describing morphometry and hydrochemistry and biological data (57 taxa were available, but only taxa present in at least 10 samples were selected for data analysis. Three canonical variates were ecologically significant. The first one was correlated with conductivity, pH and alkalinity and accounted for 20% of the total variation. The second one was positively correlated with total phosphorus and N-NH4, and inversely with dissolved oxygen, and accounted for 18% of the total variation. The third one showed a direct correlation with maximum lake depth and volume and an inverse correlation with water temperature, and accounted for 17% of the total variation. A Trophic Status Index (TSI, based on the table 11 of the Italian Law 152/99 (without including chlorophyll, was calculated by ranking percent oxygen saturation, transparency and total phosphorus. TSI was used to test a Benthic Quality Index for Italian Lakes (BQIL which is proposed in the present paper. The algorithm considered three steps. First, the means of three variables were calculated: percent oxygen saturation, transparency and total phosphorus weighted by the taxa abundances. These values are interpreted as optimum for each taxon and used to assign an indicator weight (BQIW. Second

  10. Activity cost analysis: a tool to cost medical services and improve quality of care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udpa, S

    2001-01-01

    This paper suggests an activity-based cost (ABC) system as the appropriate cost accounting system to measure and control costs under the microstatistical episode of care (EOC) paradigm suggested by D. W. Emery (1999). ABC systems work well in such an environment because they focus on activities performed to provide services in the delivery of care. Thus, under an ABC system it is not only possible to accurately cost episodes of care but also to more effectively monitor and improve the quality of care. Under the ABC system, costs are first traced to activities and then traced from the activities to units of episodic care using cost drivers based on the consumption of activity resources.

  11. Cholesterol concentration in seminal plasma as a predictive tool for quality semen evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beer-Ljubić, B; Aladrović, J; Marenjak, T S; Laskaj, R; Majić-Balić, I; Milinković-Tur, S

    2009-11-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between lipid composition of bovine serum and seminal plasma, seasonality, and semen quality. The experiment was carried out in two groups of Simmental breeding bulls: Group I (ages 2 to 4 yr) and Group II (ages 5 to 10 yr). Blood samples were collected from jugular vein, and bovine semen was sampled with an artificial vagina once per season. Serum concentrations of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triacylglycerols, nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs), and lipoprotein electrophoretic patterns were determined. Seminal plasma concentrations of total cholesterol, HDL-C, and LDL-C were assayed. Serum concentration of triacylglycerols in young bulls was significantly higher in winter compared with that in autumn, whereas serum NEFA concentration was significantly higher in autumn compared with that in other seasons. Serum concentration of total cholesterol, LDL-C, and LDL lipoproteins in older bulls was significantly higher in winter than in spring. Seminal plasma concentration of total cholesterol in young bulls was significantly higher in spring compared with that in summer, whereas in older bulls it was significantly higher in winter compared with that in autumn samples. Sperm volume of both groups was significantly higher in summer compared with that in autumn and winter. Sperm motility in young bulls was lowest in summer and differed significantly from the values recorded in other seasons. The changes observed in seminal plasma cholesterol concentration were associated with extracellular lipid use and appeared to be applicable as a biochemical marker of sperm quality.

  12. Design and Development of Clopidogrel Bisulfate Gastroretentive Osmotic Formulation Using Quality by Design Tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, Nilesh; Purohit, Ravindra

    2017-02-28

    Clopidogrel bisulfate (CBS) is antiplatelet drug and it is becoming a drug of choice in the treatment and management of prevention of heart attacks and strokes. CBS is stable and soluble in acidic pH; therefore, retention in stomach for prolonged period appears to be beneficial for controlling the bioavailability. The gastroretentive osmotic system (GROS) facilitates prolonged retention of drug in stomach and provides zero-order drug release. A complex formulation like GROS poses many challenges, and QbD tools can help in designing robust formulation which takes all aspects of product and process development in order to deliver a robust product. The GROS was formulated in three steps: core tablet, osmotic tablet, and gastroretentive osmotic tablet. The design of experiment was used for screening and optimization of formulation and process-related parameters. The dissolution study was carried out to analyze the release pattern of tablet. The optimized batch O-4 showed cumulative drug release of 19.43, 30.49, 64.41, and 85.11% at 2, 4, 8, and 12 h which is in the range of QTPP predictions. The novel technique of GROS was implemented successfully which demonstrates robust design giving consistent and desired results.

  13. Use of refractometry as a new management tool in AI boar centers for quality assurance of extender preparations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, M; Rüdiger, K; Jung, M; Grossfeld, R

    2015-01-01

    A study was performed to see if refractometry can be used as a new quality control tool for boar semen extenders. For this the refractive index and osmolality of BTS extender concentrations (EC) were recorded in 10%-steps from 50% to 150% and 200% of the correct amount. Twelve boar ejaculates were evaluated for semen quality. The refractive index for the correctly prepared extender was 4.6±0.0°Bx, corresponded to 316±16mOsmkg(-1), and correlated highly with osmolality (r=0.99; P<0.001). Total sperm motility with 100% EC differed significantly from ≤70% EC (P<0.001) and 200% EC (P<0.001) on day 1 (d1) and d4, respectively. The percentage of motile spermatozoa in a thermoresistance test on d2 showed a significant drop using ≤70% EC (P=0.047) and ≥140% EC (P=0.004). Secondary apical ridge defects were significantly higher using 50% EC (P<0.001) and ≥150% EC (P=0.032) compared to 100% EC, respectively. An increased number of coiled tails were observed using ≤60% EC (P<0.001). Percentages of spermatozoa with intact membranes on d2 resulted in a significant decrease using 50% EC (P<0.001) and ≥150% EC (P=0.005), respectively. The mean percentage of PI negative spermatozoa with active mitochondria on d2 showed a significant difference using ≤60% EC (P=0.016) and ≥140% EC (P<0.001) compared to 100% EC, respectively. Boar sperm quality is affected by inexact extender preparation. The refractive-index is an indicator of osmolality and may be used to verify semen extender preparation. The sensitivity is sufficient to detect deviations from correct extender preparation before negative effects on sperm quality occur. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. An Automated Treatment Plan Quality Control Tool for Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy Using a Voxel-Weighting Factor-Based Re-Optimization Algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Ting; Li, Nan; Zarepisheh, Masoud; Li, Yongbao; Gautier, Quentin; Zhou, Linghong; Mell, Loren; Jiang, Steve; Cerviño, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) currently plays an important role in radiotherapy, but its treatment plan quality can vary significantly among institutions and planners. Treatment plan quality control (QC) is a necessary component for individual clinics to ensure that patients receive treatments with high therapeutic gain ratios. The voxel-weighting factor-based plan re-optimization mechanism has been proved able to explore a larger Pareto surface (solution domain) and therefore increase the possibility of finding an optimal treatment plan. In this study, we incorporated additional modules into an in-house developed voxel weighting factor-based re-optimization algorithm, which was enhanced as a highly automated and accurate IMRT plan QC tool (TPS-QC tool). After importing an under-assessment plan, the TPS-QC tool was able to generate a QC report within 2 minutes. This QC report contains the plan quality determination as well as information supporting the determination. Finally, the IMRT plan quality can be controlled by approving quality-passed plans and replacing quality-failed plans using the TPS-QC tool. The feasibility and accuracy of the proposed TPS-QC tool were evaluated using 25 clinically approved cervical cancer patient IMRT plans and 5 manually created poor-quality IMRT plans. The results showed high consistency between the QC report quality determinations and the actual plan quality. In the 25 clinically approved cases that the TPS-QC tool identified as passed, a greater difference could be observed for dosimetric endpoints for organs at risk (OAR) than for planning target volume (PTV), implying that better dose sparing could be achieved in OAR than in PTV. In addition, the dose-volume histogram (DVH) curves of the TPS-QC tool re-optimized plans satisfied the dosimetric criteria more frequently than did the under-assessment plans. In addition, the criteria for unsatisfied dosimetric endpoints in the 5 poor-quality plans could typically be

  15. Assessing the quality of conformal treatment planning: a new tool for quantitative comparison

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Menhel, J; Levin, D; Alezra, D; Symon, Z; Pfeffer, R [Oncology Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, 52621 (Israel)

    2006-10-21

    We develop a novel radiotherapy plan comparison index, critical organ scoring index (COSI), which is a measure of both target coverage and critical organ overdose. COSI is defined as COSI = 1 - (V(OAR){sub >tol}/TC), where V(OAR){sub >tol} is the fraction of volume of organ at risk receiving more than tolerance dose, and TC is the target coverage, V{sub T,PI}/V{sub T}, where V{sub T,PI} is the target volume receiving at a least prescription dose and V{sub T} is the total target volume. COSI approaches unity when the critical structure is completely spared and the target coverage is unity. We propose a two-dimensional, graphical representation of COSI versus conformity index (CI), where CI is a measure of a normal tissue overdose. We show that this 2D representation is a reliable, visual quantitative tool for evaluating competing plans. We generate COSI-CI plots for three sites: head and neck, cavernous sinus, and pancreas, and evaluate competing non-coplanar 3D and IMRT treatment plans. For all three sites this novel 2D representation assisted the physician in choosing the optimal plan, both in terms of target coverage and in terms of critical organ sparing. We verified each choice by analysing individual DVHs and isodose lines. Comparing our results to the widely used conformation number, we found that in all cases where there were discrepancies in the choice of the best treatment plan, the COSI-CI choice was considered the correct one, in several cases indicating that a non-coplanar 3D plan was superior to the IMRT plans. The choice of plan was quick, simple and accurate using the new graphical representation.

  16. Assessing the quality of conformal treatment planning: a new tool for quantitative comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menhel, J; Levin, D; Alezra, D; Symon, Z; Pfeffer, R

    2006-10-21

    We develop a novel radiotherapy plan comparison index, critical organ scoring index (COSI), which is a measure of both target coverage and critical organ overdose. COSI is defined as COSI=1-(V(OAR)>tol/TC), where V(OAR)>tol is the fraction of volume of organ at risk receiving more than tolerance dose, and TC is the target coverage, VT,PI/VT, where VT,PI is the target volume receiving at a least prescription dose and VT is the total target volume. COSI approaches unity when the critical structure is completely spared and the target coverage is unity. We propose a two-dimensional, graphical representation of COSI versus conformity index (CI), where CI is a measure of a normal tissue overdose. We show that this 2D representation is a reliable, visual quantitative tool for evaluating competing plans. We generate COSI-CI plots for three sites: head and neck, cavernous sinus, and pancreas, and evaluate competing non-coplanar 3D and IMRT treatment plans. For all three sites this novel 2D representation assisted the physician in choosing the optimal plan, both in terms of target coverage and in terms of critical organ sparing. We verified each choice by analysing individual DVHs and isodose lines. Comparing our results to the widely used conformation number, we found that in all cases where there were discrepancies in the choice of the best treatment plan, the COSI-CI choice was considered the correct one, in several cases indicating that a non-coplanar 3D plan was superior to the IMRT plans. The choice of plan was quick, simple and accurate using the new graphical representation.

  17. A phytoplankton tool for water quality assessment in semi-enclosed coastal lagoons: Open vs closed regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira Coutinho, Maria Teresa; Brito, Ana C.; Pereira, Patrícia; Gonçalves, André S.; Moita, Maria Teresa

    2012-09-01

    was performed to validate the use of phytoplankton as an indicator of anthropogenic pressures. A tool for the classification, under the WFD, of the ecological quality of water bodies within these coastal lagoons is also described based on two different situations: open vs closed lagoon. A set of reference conditions and boundaries are also proposed. This tool was tested and validated against a scale of risk. In addition, the usefulness of specific species as ecological quality indicators is discussed, highlighting the occurrence of frequent Prorocentrum minimum blooms and its association with nutrient enrichment events worldwide.

  18. Entropy and coefficient of variation (CV as tools for assessing power quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. H. Estrada

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents several concepts and techniques for quantifying electric signal entropy and variability for assessing power quality, showing their irregularities, such as the electrical sine wave which delivers power to industry and homes. The paper will review these concepts and show some magnetic radiated waves measurements taken below 115 KV electricity line circuits in the city of Manizales (Colombia through non-invasive and indirect measurement of the complexity of the current transported by the supply. Entropy, as an accepted indicator of physical complexity, is proportional to the logarithm of the number of states in a thermodynamic system. Some writers have identified entropy as being system disorder, but this is not completely true. Entropy of information was first defined by Shannon in 1949 and it is applied to many physical events. Entropy has been used for describing the complexity of the magnetic wave radiated by the line in this paper. Furthermore, the magnetic waves’ spectral and amplitude coefficient of variation (CV were obtained using a multiresolution wavelet algorithm which measures data distribution dispersion. It is a dimensionless number allowing the variation of magnetic radiated data having significantly different mean values to be compared to a 60 Hz pure magnetic wave as reference.

  19. Operational data assimilation for improving hydrologic, hydrodynamic, and water quality forecasting using open tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weerts, Albrecht; Kockx, Arno; Sumihar, Julius; Verlaan, Martin; Hummel, Stef; Kramer, Werner; de Klaermaker, Simone

    2014-05-01

    Data assimilation holds considerable potential for improving water quantity (hydrologic/ hydraulic) and water quality predictions. However, advances in hydrologic DA research have not been adequately or timely implemented in operational forecast systems to improve the skill of forecasts for better informed real-world decision making. In contrast to most operational weather (related) forecast centers operational hydrologic forecast centers often are unable to support & maintain or lack the required computing support to implement such intensive DA calculations. Moreover, it remains difficult to achieve coupling of models, data, DA techniques and exploitation of high performance computing solutions in the operational forecasting process. Several potential components of a future solution have been or are being developed, one of those being the open source project OpenDA (www.openda.org). The objective of this poster is to highlight the development of OpenDA for operational forecasting and its integration with Delft-FEWS that is being used by more than 40 operational forecast centres around the world. Several applications of OpenDA using open source (and available) model codes from various fields will be highlighted.

  20. Permeation passive sampling as a tool for the evaluation of indoor air quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabiegała, B.; Górecki, T.; Przyk, E.; Namieśnik, J.

    Time-weighted average concentrations of selected volatile organic air pollutants were determined in eight apartments in the city of Gdańsk (Poland) using permeation passive sampling. The samplers were recalibrated prior to use by controlled exposure to standard gaseous mixtures of the analytes. Small but statistically significant differences were found between the calibration constants determined initially and after one year of field use of the samplers for some of the analytes. The results obtained by the passive sampling technique were compared to those obtained by dynamic sampling using active charcoal-filled tubes, and dynamic sampling using Tenax-TA tubes. Overall, the results obtained by the three techniques were similar. Maximum allowable concentrations of the analytes were not exceeded in any of the apartments examined. The results of total volatile organic compounds determination indicated that some VOCs were unaccounted for in the experiment. The effect of outside air infiltration on indoor air quality was evaluated by comparing analyte concentrations in indoor air and in outdoor air in the very vicinity of the apartment. This effect was found to be minimal.

  1. Tools for Quality Testing of Batches of Artifacts The Cryogenic Thermometers for the LHC

    CERN Document Server

    Balle, C; Ichim, D; Pavese, F

    2000-01-01

    In the processing of data series, such as in the case of the resistance R vs. temperature T calibrations of the thermometers (several thousands) necessary for the LHC new accelerator at CERN, it is necessary to use automatic methods for determining the quality of the acquired data and the degree of uniformity of the thermometer characteristics, that are of the semiconducting type. In addition, it must be determined if the calibration uncertainties comply with the specifications in the wide temperature range 1,6 - 300 K. Advantage has been taken of the fact that these thermometers represent a population with limited variability, to apply a Least Squares Method with Fixed Effect. This allows to fit the data of all the thermometers together, by taking into account the individuality of each thermometer in the model as a deviation from one of them taken as reference Ri = f(Ti) + bk0 + bk1 g(Tki) + bk1g(Tki)2 + ... where f(Ti) is the model valid for all i data and all k thermometers, while the subsequent part is th...

  2. Data Verification Tools for Minimizing Management Costs of Dense Air-Quality Monitoring Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miskell, Georgia; Salmond, Jennifer; Alavi-Shoshtari, Maryam; Bart, Mark; Ainslie, Bruce; Grange, Stuart; McKendry, Ian G; Henshaw, Geoff S; Williams, David E

    2016-01-19

    Aiming at minimizing the costs, both of capital expenditure and maintenance, of an extensive air-quality measurement network, we present simple statistical methods that do not require extensive training data sets for automated real-time verification of the reliability of data delivered by a spatially dense hybrid network of both low-cost and reference ozone measurement instruments. Ozone is a pollutant that has a relatively smooth spatial spread over a large scale although there can be significant small-scale variations. We take advantage of these characteristics and demonstrate detection of instrument calibration drift within a few days using a rolling 72 h comparison of hourly averaged data from the test instrument with that from suitably defined proxies. We define the required characteristics of the proxy measurements by working from a definition of the network purpose and specification, in this case reliable determination of the proportion of hourly averaged ozone measurements that are above a threshold in any given day, and detection of calibration drift of greater than ±30% in slope or ±5 parts-per-billion in offset. By analyzing results of a study of an extensive deployment of low-cost instruments in the Lower Fraser Valley, we demonstrate that proxies can be established using land-use criteria and that simple statistical comparisons can identify low-cost instruments that are not stable and therefore need replacing. We propose that a minimal set of compliant reference instruments can be used to verify the reliability of data from a much more extensive network of low-cost devices.

  3. Passive Lichenoindication as a Tool for Evaluation of Air Quality in the Environment of Fertilizer Plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miglė Jakučionytė

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Air pollution remains one of the most important environmental problems not only in urban but also in industrial areas. The aim of the study was to evaluate air quality in the area surrounding of the biggest fertilizers producer in the Baltic states by means of passive lichenoindication method. The abundance of epiphytic lichen species, factor characterizing the condition of lichen community (index of poleotolerance PI and nitrogen concentration in lichens were investigated at six study sites up to 30 km away from the pollution source. The highest lichen species diversity (n=5.1 was in the study sites at a distance of 11-17 km from the factory, while the lowest diversity was at the control site (n=3.6. The highest projection coverage was in the surroundings of “Achema” JSC (64 %, the lowest coverage was established in the zone of 23-30 km away from the factory (21 %. The highest PI (7.1 was determined in the pollution source zone and the lowest PI was in the control zone (5.8. The highest nitrogen concentration in Xanthoria parietina was in the premises of the factory (29.07 mg/g, whereas the lowest nitrogen concentration was found in the territory furthest from the factory (3.83 mg/g. According to poleotolerance index the cleanest environment was found in the control site and in the territory furthest (23–30 km from the factory – study site 5 (according to projection coverage and nitrogen concentration in lichens.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.erem.72.4.16402

  4. TU-E-213-03: Tools for Ensuring Quality and Safety

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Price, M. [Rhode Island Hospital / Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University (United States)

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: To develop the first 4D robust optimization (RO) method accounting for respiratory motion and evaluate its potential to improve plan robustness and optimality compared to 3D RO and PTV-based optimization. Methods: A set of 4D CT images are used to track respiratory motion and deformation of tumors and organs. For each of 10 respiration phases, dose distributions for nine different uncertainty scenarios including the nominal one, those incorporating ±5mm setup uncertainties long x, y and z directions and ±3.5% range uncertainties are calculated. All 90 dose distributions are simultaneously optimized to achieve full dose coverage of 10 CTVs and sparing of normal structures. ITV-based 3D RO and PTV-based optimization based on the average CT are also carried for the same patient using same dose volume constrains. After optimization, 4D robustness evaluation was performed for all resulting plans. The CTV coverage and the sparing of normal tissue in 10 phases are evaluated and compared among the three methods. The widths of DVH bands represent the robustness of dose distributions in the structures. Results: For one patient studied so far, the worst case CTV coverage by the prescription dose among all 90 scenarios is: 99% for 4D RO; 88.9% for 3D RO, and 85.2% for PTV based optimization. 4D RO also results in best robustness with the narrowest DVH’ bandwidths for the CTV. 4D and 3D RO have similar organ sparing while PTV based optimization results in worst organ sparing. Conclusion: 4D robust optimization which accounts for anatomy motion and deformation in the optimization process, significantly improves plan robustness and achieves higher quality treatment plans for lung cancer patients. The method is being evaluated for multiple patients with different tumor and motion characteristics.

  5. DEALING WITH KANO MODEL DYNAMICS: STRENGTHENING THE QUALITY FUNCTION DEPLOYMENT AS A DESIGN FOR SIX SIGMA TOOL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendry Raharjo

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Six Sigma has been known to be a breakthrough business strategy to achieve customer satisfaction through defect reduction and cost optimization. A flawless product or service would, however, be of little value if it does not sell. Thus, it is of considerable importance to begin with the customer. Quality Function Deployment (QFD, as a customer-driven tool in Design for Six Sigma (DFSS toolset, can be regarded as one of the most powerful tools to serve this purpose. The success of QFD use relies heavily on the accuracy of the primary input, that is, the Voice of the Customer (VOC. To better identify and obtain more accurate VOC, the use of Kano Model in QFD has been incorporated in the literature. Unfortunately, the dynamics of Kano Model, such as the fact that what now delights the customer will become an expected need in the future is often oversimplified and has not been adequately addressed. The aim of this paper is to shed some light to Kano Model dynamics modeling by providing a quantitative technique which is based on compositional data analysis. It is expected that a timely update of customer needs data may serve as a useful indicator to monitor the progress of how well a company satisfies its customer over time, and at the same time provide a ground for formulating the next strategies as to enable the company to respond differently and continuously over time of its operations. To give some practical insights, an illustrative example is provided.

  6. Assessing the Nutritional Quality of Diets of Canadian Adults Using the 2014 Health Canada Surveillance Tool Tier System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahsa Jessri

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The 2014 Health Canada Surveillance Tool (HCST was developed to assess adherence of dietary intakes with Canada’s Food Guide. HCST classifies foods into one of four Tiers based on thresholds for sodium, total fat, saturated fat and sugar, with Tier 1 representing the healthiest and Tier 4 foods being the unhealthiest. This study presents the first application of HCST to assess (a dietary patterns of Canadians; and (b applicability of this tool as a measure of diet quality among 19,912 adult participants of Canadian Community Health Survey 2.2. Findings indicated that even though most of processed meats and potatoes were Tier 4, the majority of reported foods in general were categorized as Tiers 2 and 3 due to the adjustable lenient criteria used in HCST. Moving from the 1st to the 4th quartile of Tier 4 and “other” foods/beverages, there was a significant trend towards increased calories (1876 kcal vs. 2290 kcal and “harmful” nutrients (e.g., sodium as well as decreased “beneficial” nutrients. Compliance with the HCST was not associated with lower body mass index. Future nutrient profiling systems need to incorporate both “positive” and “negative” nutrients, an overall score and a wider range of nutrient thresholds to better capture food product differences.

  7. Impact of the World Health Organization's Decision-Making Tool for Family Planning Clients and Providers on the quality of family planning services in Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrokh-Eslamlou, Hamidreza; Aghlmand, Siamak; Eslami, Mohammad; Homer, Caroline S E

    2014-04-01

    We investigated whether use of the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Decision-Making Tool (DMT) for Family Planning Clients and Providers would improve the process and outcome quality indicators of family planning (FP) services in Iran. The DMT was adapted for the Iranian setting. The study evaluated 24 FP quality key indicators grouped into two main areas, namely process and outcome. The tool was implemented in 52 urban and rural public health facilities in four selected and representative provinces of Iran. A pre-post methodology was undertaken to examine whether use of the tool improved the quality of FP services and client satisfaction with the services. Quantitative data were collected through observations of counselling and exit interviews with clients using structured questionnaires. Different numbers of FP clients were recruited during the baseline and the post-intervention rounds (n=448 vs 547, respectively). The DMT improved many client-provider interaction indicators, including verbal and non-verbal communication (p<0.05). The tool also impacted positively on the client's choice of contraceptive method, providers' technical competence, and quality of information provided to clients (p<0.05). Use of the tool improved the clients' satisfaction with FP services (from 72% to 99%; p<0.05). The adapted WHO's DMT has the potential to improve the quality of FP services.

  8. Self-Organized Crystallization Patterns from Evaporating Droplets of Common Wheat Grain Leakages as a Potential Tool for Quality Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Olga Kokornaczyk

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We studied the evaporation-induced pattern formation in droplets of common wheat kernel leakages prepared out of ancient and modern wheat cultivars as a possible tool for wheat quality analysis. The experiments showed that the substances which passed into the water during the soaking of the kernels created crystalline structures with different degrees of complexity while the droplets were evaporating. The forms ranged from spots and simple structures with single ramifications, through dendrites, up to highly organized hexagonal shapes and fractal-like structures. The patterns were observed and photographed using dark field microscopy in small magnifications. The evaluation of the patterns was performed both visually and by means of the fractal dimension analysis. From the results, it can be inferred that the wheat cultivars differed in their pattern-forming capacities. Two of the analyzed wheat cultivars showed poor pattern formation, whereas another two created well-formed and complex patterns. Additionally, the wheat cultivars were analyzed for their vigor by means of the germination test and measurement of the electrical conductivity of the grain leakages. The results showed that the more vigorous cultivars also created more complex patterns, whereas the weaker cultivars created predominantly poor forms. This observation suggests a correlation between the wheat seed quality and droplet evaporation patterns.

  9. Assembly of Designed Oligonucleotides: a useful tool in synthetic biology for creating high-quality combinatorial DNA libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acevedo-Rocha, Carlos G; Reetz, Manfred T

    2014-01-01

    The method dubbed Assembly of Designed Oligonucleotides (ADO) is a powerful tool in synthetic biology to create combinatorial DNA libraries for gene, protein, metabolic, and genome engineering. In directed evolution of proteins, ADO benefits from using reduced amino acid alphabets for saturation mutagenesis and/or DNA shuffling, but all 20 canonical amino acids can be also used as building blocks. ADO is performed in a two-step reaction. The first involves a primer-free, polymerase cycling assembly or overlap extension PCR step using carefully designed overlapping oligonucleotides. The second step is a PCR amplification using the outer primers, resulting in a high-quality and bias-free double-stranded DNA library that can be assembled with other gene fragments and/or cloned into a suitable plasmid subsequently. The protocol can be performed in a few hours. In theory, neither the length of the DNA library nor the number of DNA changes has any limits. Furthermore, with the costs of synthetic DNA dropping every year, after an initial investment is made in the oligonucleotides, these can be exchanged for alternative ones with different sequences at any point in the process, fully exploiting the potential of creating highly diverse combinatorial libraries. In the example chosen here, we show the construction of a high-quality combinatorial ADO library targeting sixteen different codons simultaneously with nonredundant degenerate codons encoding various reduced alphabets of four amino acids along the heme region of the monooxygenase P450-BM3.

  10. Development of a quality assessment tool for systematic reviews of observational studies (QATSO of HIV prevalence in men having sex with men and associated risk behaviours

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hart Graham J

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Systematic reviews based on the critical appraisal of observational and analytic studies on HIV prevalence and risk factors for HIV transmission among men having sex with men are very useful for health care decisions and planning. Such appraisal is particularly difficult, however, as the quality assessment tools available for use with observational and analytic studies are poorly established. Methods We reviewed the existing quality assessment tools for systematic reviews of observational studies and developed a concise quality assessment checklist to help standardise decisions regarding the quality of studies, with careful consideration of issues such as external and internal validity. Results A pilot version of the checklist was developed based on epidemiological principles, reviews of study designs, and existing checklists for the assessment of observational studies. The Quality Assessment Tool for Systematic Reviews of Observational Studies (QATSO Score consists of five items: External validity (1 item, reporting (2 items, bias (1 item and confounding factors (1 item. Expert opinions were sought and it was tested on manuscripts that fulfil the inclusion criteria of a systematic review. Like all assessment scales, QATSO may oversimplify and generalise information yet it is inclusive, simple and practical to use, and allows comparability between papers. Conclusion A specific tool that allows researchers to appraise and guide study quality of observational studies is developed and can be modified for similar studies in the future.

  11. Fluorescence spectroscopy as a tool for quality assessment of humic substances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boguta, Patrycja

    2016-04-01

    *The studies were partly carried out within the framework of a research project. The project was financed from funds of National Science Center on the base of decision number DEC-2013/11/D/NZ9/02545. Fluorescence spectroscopy belongs to modern, non-destructive, rapid and relatively cheap methods, as well as for many years it was successfully used in studies of organic compounds in the fields of medicine, biology and chemistry. On the other hand, soil organic matter is a group of compounds with a complex spatial structure showing a large number of groups with different kinds of fluorophores. This could suggest the possibility of application of fluorescence spectroscopy in assessing the quality of humic substances as well as in monitoring of their chemical transformations. The aim of study was chemical description of humic and fulvic acids based on fluorescence spectra, as well as an attempt of evaluation of changes occurring under the influence of different pH and during interactions with various concentrations of metal. The humic and fulvic acids were isolated from chemically different soils. The measurements were carried out on Hitachi fluorescence spectrometer in solutions with a concentration of humic acids 40mg dm-3, at pH from 3 to 7, and for the evaluation of the metal impact: with increasing Zn concentrations (0-50mg dm-3). The fluorescence spectra were recorded in the form of synchronous and emission-excitation matrices (EEM). Studies have shown the presence of different groups of fluorophores. Synchronous spectra were characterized by a well-separated bands showing fluorescence in the area of low, medium and high wavelengths, suggesting the presence of structures, both weakly and strongly humified. EEM spectra revealed map of fluorophores within wide ranges of emission and excitation. Fluorophores differed in both position and intensity. The highest intensity was observed for compounds with the lowest humification degree which might be due to high amount

  12. Implementation of a Point-of-Care Radiologist-Technologist Communication Tool in a Quality Assurance Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Leonard; Elnajjar, Pierre; Nyman, C Gregory; Mair, Thomas; Juluru, Krishna

    2017-07-01

    We implemented an Image Quality Reporting and Tracking Solution (IQuaRTS), directly linked from the PACS, to improve communication between radiologists and technologists. IQuaRTS launched in May 2015. We compared MRI issues filed in the period before IQuaRTS implementation (May-September 2014) using a manual system with MRI issues filed in the IQuaRTS period (May-September 2015). The unpaired t test was used for analysis. For assessment of overall results in the IQuaRTS period alone, all issues filed across all modalities were included. Summary statistics and charts were generated using Excel and Tableau. For MRI issues, the number of issues filed during the IQuaRTS period was 498 (2.5% of overall MRI examination volume) compared with 78 issues filed during the period before IQuaRTS implementation (0.4% of total examination volume) (p = 0.0001), representing a 625% relative increase. Tickets that documented excellent work were 8%. Other issues included images not pushed to PACS (20%), film library issues (19%), and documentation or labeling (8%). Of the issues filed, 55% were MRI-related and 25% were CT-related. The issues were stratified across six sites within our institution. Staff requiring additional training could be readily identified, and 80% of the issues were resolved within 72 hours. IQuaRTS is a cost-effective online issue reporting tool that enables robust data collection and analytics to be incorporated into quality improvement programs. One limitation of the system is that it must be implemented in an environment where staff are receptive to quality improvement.

  13. Can we import quality tools? a feasibility study of European practice assessment in a country with less organised general practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pestiaux Dominique

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Quality is on the agenda of European general practice (GP. European researchers have, in collaboration, developed tools to assess quality of GPs. In this feasibility study, we tested the European Practice Assessment (EPA in a one-off project in Belgium, where general practice has a low level of GP organisation. Methods A framework for feasibility analysis included describing the recruiting of participants, a brief telephone study survey among non-responders, organisational and logistic problems. Using field notes and focus groups, we studied the participants' opinions. Results In this study, only 36 of 1000 invited practices agreed to participate. Co-ordination, administrative work, practice visits and organisational problems required several days per practice. The researchers further encountered technical problems, for instance when entering the data and uploading to the web-based server. In subsequent qualitative analysis using two focus groups, most participant GPs expressed a positive feeling after the EPA procedure. In the short period of follow-up, only a few GPs reported improvements after the visit. The participant GPs suggested that follow-up and coaching would probably facilitate the implementation of changes. Conclusion This feasibility study shows that prior interest in EPA is low in the GP community. We encountered a number of logistic and organisational problems. It proved attractive to participants, but it can be augmented by coaching of participants in more than a one-off project to identify and achieve targets for quality improvement. In the absence of commitment of the government, a network of universities and one scientific organisation will offer EPA as a service to training practices.

  14. TU-C-BRE-02: A Novel, Highly Efficient and Automated Quality Assurance Tool for Modern Linear Accelerators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goddu, S; Sun, B; Yaddanapudi, S; Kamal, G; Mutic, S [Washington University, St. Louis, MO (United States); Baltes, C; Rose, S [Varian Medical Systems iLab GmbH, Baden, Dattwil (Switzerland); Stinson, K [Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA (United States)

    2014-06-15

    Purpose: Quality assurance (QA) of complex linear accelerators is critical and highly time consuming. Varian’s Machine Performance Check (MPC) uses IsoCal phantom to test geometric and dosimetric aspects of the TrueBeam systems in <5min. In this study we independently tested the accuracy and robustness of the MPC tools. Methods: MPC is automated for simultaneous image-acquisition, using kV-and-MV onboard-imagers (EPIDs), while delivering kV-and-MV beams in a set routine of varying gantry, collimator and couch angles. MPC software-tools analyze the images to test: i) beam-output and uniformity, ii) positional accuracy of isocenter, EPIDs, collimating jaws (CJs), MLC leaves and couch and iii) rotational accuracy of gantry, collimator and couch. 6MV-beam dose-output and uniformity were tested using ionization-chamber (IC) and ICarray. Winston-Lutz-Tests (WLT) were performed to measure isocenter-offsets caused by gantry, collimator and couch rotations. Positional accuracy of EPIDs was evaluated using radio-opaque markers of the IsoCal phantom. Furthermore, to test the robustness of the MPC tools we purposefully miscalibrated a non-clinical TrueBeam by introducing errors in beam-output, energy, symmetry, gantry angle, couch translations, CJs and MLC leaves positions. Results: 6MV-output and uniformity were within ±0.6% for most measurements with a maximum deviation of ±1.0%. Average isocenter-offset caused by gantry and collimator rotations was 0.316±0.011mm agreeing with IsoLock (0.274mm) and WLT (0.41mm). Average rotation-induced couch-shift from MPC was 0.378±0.032mm agreeing with WLT (0.35mm). MV-and-kV imager-offsets measured by MPC were within ±0.15mm. MPC predicted all machine miscalibrations within acceptable clinical tolerance. MPC detected the output miscalibrations within ±0.61% while the MLC and couch positions were within ±0.06mm and ±0.14mm, respectively. Gantry angle miscalibrations were detected within ±0.1°. Conclusions: MPC is a useful tool

  15. Optimization of a micro-scale, high throughput process development tool and the demonstration of comparable process performance and product quality with biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Steven T; Stewart, Kevin D; Afdahl, Chris; Patel, Rohan; Newell, Kelcy J

    2017-07-14

    In this paper, we discuss the optimization and implementation of a high throughput process development (HTPD) tool that utilizes commercially available micro-liter sized column technology for the purification of multiple clinically significant monoclonal antibodies. Chromatographic profiles generated using this optimized tool are shown to overlay with comparable profiles from the conventional bench-scale and clinical manufacturing scale. Further, all product quality attributes measured are comparable across scales for the mAb purifications. In addition to supporting chromatography process development efforts (e.g., optimization screening), comparable product quality results at all scales makes this tool is an appropriate scale model to enable purification and product quality comparisons of HTPD bioreactors conditions. The ability to perform up to 8 chromatography purifications in parallel with reduced material requirements per run creates opportunities for gathering more process knowledge in less time. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. [Quality of the anesthesiologist written record during the transfer of postoperative patients: Influence of implementing a structured communication tool].

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Sánchez, M J; Fernández-Guerrero, C; López-Toribio, P; Bueno-Cavanillas, A; Prieto-Cuéllar, M; Guzmán-Malpica, E M; Cuevas-Valenzuela, P; Moreno-Abril, E; Lara-Ramos, P

    2014-01-01

    The lack of communication is a major cause of health care errors, especially during patient transfer between practitioners and/or healthcare units, when standardization of communication is a recommended practice. In our study we wanted to assess whether the application of the structured communication SBAR tool could influence the quality of the information written on the progress sheet by the anesthesiologist involved in the transfer of the patient after surgery. This is an observational, retrospective, randomized, quality review of the written record made by the anesthesiologist during the transfer of patients from the surgical area to the postoperative recovery unit, by applying a validated list. We evaluated three observation periods: a control period of two months in 2011 (preSBAR) and a second period of two months in 2012 (postSBAR); in the latter two groups of patients were transferred (postSBAR +) or without SBAR (postSBAR-). The strength of agreement between raters obtained an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.8459 (p <0.001). There were significant differences in the study group, with highest average score in the group with SBAR (postSBAR + group: mean ± SD 7.56 ± 1.20 versus postSBAR-group: 5.41 ± 2.98, p <0.001) and depending on the anesthesiologist responsible for the intervention participated in the study (mean ± SD: 7.00 ± 1.99, compared to 4.81 ± 3.24 in the non-participants, p <0.001). There was an improvement in the quality of written records made in 2012 during the implementation of the SBAR, without the actual application of this instrument appearing to influence it. The anesthesiologists that were involved in new forms of patient safety were also those who made written records of highest quality. Copyright © 2013 Sociedad Española de Anestesiología, Reanimación y Terapéutica del Dolor. Published by Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  17. Turkish EFL Academicians' Problems Concerning Translation Activities and Practices, Attitudes towards the Use of Online and Printed Translation Tools, and Suggestions for Quality Translation Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zengin, Bugra; Kacar, Isil Gunseli

    2011-01-01

    This mixed method research study aimed to highlight the problems of EFL academicians concerning their current translation practices, their attitudes towards the use of various translation tools, and offer suggestions for more quality translation practices. Seventy-three EFL academicians from three Turkish universities participated in the study.…

  18. Application of the QFD as a design approach to ensure comfort in using hand tools : Can the design team complete the House of Quality appropriately?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuijt-Evers, L.F.M.; Morel, K.P.N.; Eikelenberg, N.L.W.; Vink, P.

    2009-01-01

    Quality Function Deployment is proposed as an effective design method to integrate ergonomics needs and comfort into hand tool design because it explicitly addresses the translation of customer needs into engineering characteristics. A crucial step during QFD concerns the linking of engineering

  19. Application of the QFD as a design approach to ensure comfort in using hand tools : Can the design team complete the House of Quality appropriately?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuijt-Evers, L.F.M.; Morel, K.P.N.; Eikelenberg, N.L.W.; Vink, P.

    2009-01-01

    Quality Function Deployment is proposed as an effective design method to integrate ergonomics needs and comfort into hand tool design because it explicitly addresses the translation of customer needs into engineering characteristics. A crucial step during QFD concerns the linking of engineering char

  20. Mille general practice governance (MilleGPG): an interactive tool to address an effective quality of care through the Italian general practice network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cricelli, Iacopo; Lapi, Francesco; Montalbano, Carmelo; Medea, Gerardo; Cricelli, Claudio

    2013-10-01

    The General Practitioner (GP) is the "gate-keeper" in patients' treatment and management. Herein, the use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) could represent an effective support for GPs. Software capable of managing EMRs are available and they can be functional in adopting treatment guidelines by means of computerized prompts and reminders systems. These tools can be also programmed to include clinical algorithms with which to measure the quality of care to make possible the identification of clinical issues, and to take actions for addressing them. Given that similar tools were not available in Italy, we developed MilleGPG, an interactive tool aimed to evaluate, and subsequently improve the quality of care among patients with comorbidities.

  1. Technical Note: Development and performance of a software tool for quality assurance of online replanning with a conventional Linac or MR-Linac.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Guang-Pei; Ahunbay, Ergun; Li, X Allen

    2016-04-01

    To develop an integrated quality assurance (QA) software tool for online replanning capable of efficiently and automatically checking radiation treatment (RT) planning parameters and gross plan quality, verifying treatment plan data transfer from treatment planning system (TPS) to record and verify (R&V) system, performing a secondary monitor unit (MU) calculation with or without a presence of a magnetic field from MR-Linac, and validating the delivery record consistency with the plan. The software tool, named ArtQA, was developed to obtain and compare plan and treatment parameters from both the TPS and the R&V system database. The TPS data are accessed via direct file reading and the R&V data are retrieved via open database connectivity and structured query language. Plan quality is evaluated with both the logical consistency of planning parameters and the achieved dose-volume histograms. Beams in between the TPS and R&V system are matched based on geometry configurations. To consider the effect of a 1.5 T transverse magnetic field from MR-Linac in the secondary MU calculation, a method based on modified Clarkson integration algorithm was developed and tested for a series of clinical situations. ArtQA has been used in their clinic and can quickly detect inconsistencies and deviations in the entire RT planning process. With the use of the ArtQA tool, the efficiency for plan check including plan quality, data transfer, and delivery check can be improved by at least 60%. The newly developed independent MU calculation tool for MR-Linac reduces the difference between the plan and calculated MUs by 10%. The software tool ArtQA can be used to perform a comprehensive QA check from planning to delivery with conventional Linac or MR-Linac and is an essential tool for online replanning where the QA check needs to be performed rapidly.

  2. [Self-evaluation of the quality of life of children aged 6 to 12 years old: analysis of the concept and development of a prototype tool].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gayral-Taminh, M; Bravi, C; Depond, M; Pourre, F; Maffre, T; Raynaud, J P; Grandjean, H

    2005-03-01

    The objective of this work was to assess the quality of life of children aged 6 to 12 years old. The authors present the different conceptual and operational steps which lead to the construction of a prototype tool. It was a generic tool composed of 63 items which covered the classically described areas of life. Its originality was due to the method of construction used which included children's involvement, to the pictorial representation of real-life situations for children, and to its adaptation for gender. The evaluation of this tool showed a good level of acceptability but statistical analysis revealed some metrological inadequacies leading to the reconsideration of the initial concepts and their methods of exploration. Therefore a new tool was constructed whose validation is presented in a second article in the next issue.

  3. Nitrogen Source Inventory and Loading Tool: An integrated approach toward restoration of water-quality impaired karst springs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eller, Kirstin T; Katz, Brian G

    2017-07-01

    Nitrogen (N) from anthropogenic sources has contaminated groundwater used as drinking water in addition to impairing water quality and ecosystem health of karst springs. The Nitrogen Source Inventory and Loading Tool (NSILT) was developed as an ArcGIS and spreadsheet-based approach that provides spatial estimates of current nitrogen (N) inputs to the land surface and loads to groundwater from nonpoint and point sources within the groundwater contributing area. The NSILT involves a three-step approach where local and regional land use practices and N sources are evaluated to: (1) estimate N input to the land surface, (2) quantify subsurface environmental attenuation, and (3) assess regional recharge to the aquifer. NSILT was used to assess nitrogen loading to groundwater in two karst spring areas in west-central Florida: Rainbow Springs (RS) and Kings Bay (KB). The karstic Upper Floridan aquifer (UFA) is the source of water discharging to the springs in both areas. In the KB study area (predominantly urban land use), septic systems and urban fertilizers contribute 48% and 22%, respectively, of the estimated total annual N load to groundwater 294,400 kg-N/yr. In contrast for the RS study area (predominantly agricultural land use), livestock operations and crop fertilizers contribute 50% and 13%, respectively, of the estimated N load to groundwater. Using overall groundwater N loading rates for the KB and RS study areas, 4.4 and 3.3 kg N/ha, respectively, and spatial recharge rates, the calculated groundwater nitrate-N concentration (2.1 mg/L) agreed closely with the median nitrate-N concentration (1.7 mg/L) from groundwater samples in agricultural land use areas in the RS study area for the period 2010-2014. NSILT results provide critical information for prioritizing and designing restoration efforts for water-quality impaired springs and spring runs affected by multiple sources of nitrogen loading to groundwater. The calculated groundwater N concentration for

  4. Evaluation of the sustainability of contrasted pig farming systems: development of a market conformity tool for pork products based on technological quality traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzàlez, J; Gispert, M; Gil, M; Hviid, M; Dourmad, J Y; de Greef, K H; Zimmer, C; Fàbrega, E

    2014-12-01

    A market conformity tool, based on technological meat quality parameters, was developed within the Q-PorkChains project, to be included in a global sustainability evaluation of pig farming systems. The specific objective of the market conformity tool was to define a scoring system based on the suitability of meat to elaborate the main pork products, according to their market shares based on industry requirements, in different pig farming systems. The tool was based on carcass and meat quality parameters that are commonly used for the assessment of technological quality, which provide representative and repeatable data and are easily measurable. They were the following: cold carcass weight; lean meat percentage; minimum subcutaneous back fat depth at m. gluteus medius level, 45 postmortem and ultimate pH (measured at 24-h postmortem) in m. longissimus lumborum and semimembranosus; meat colour; drip losses and intramuscular fat content in a m. longissimus sample. Five categories of pork products produced at large scale in Europe were considered in the study: fresh meat, cooked products, dry products, specialties and other meat products. For each of the studied farming systems, the technological meat quality requirements, as well as the market shares for each product category within farming system, were obtained from the literature and personal communications from experts. The tool resulted in an overall conformity score that enabled to discriminate among systems according to the degree of matching of the achieved carcass and meat quality with the requirements of the targeted market. In order to improve feasibility, the tool was simplified by selecting ultimate pH at m. longissimus or semimembranosus, minimum fat thickness measured at the left half carcass over m. gluteus medius and intramuscular fat content in a m. longissimus sample as iceberg indicators. The overall suitability scores calculated by using both the complete and the reduced tools presented good

  5. Assessing the Validity of the Qualistar Early Learning Quality Rating and Improvement System as a Tool for Improving Child-Care Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellman, Gail L.; Perlman, Michal; Le, Vi-Nhuan; Setodji, Claude Messan

    2008-01-01

    As a result of the generally low quality of child care in the United States and the increased emphasis on accountability in education policy, quality rating systems (QRSs) are proliferating in the child-care arena. QRSs assess child-care providers on multiple dimensions of quality and integrate these assessments into an easily understood summary…

  6. QTrim : a novel tool for the quality trimming of sequence reads generated using the Roche/454 sequencing platform

    OpenAIRE

    Shrestha, Ram; Lubinsky, Baruch; Bansode, Vijay B; Moinz, Mónica B. J.; McCormack, Grace P.; Travers, Simon A

    2014-01-01

    Background\\ud Many high throughput sequencing (HTS) approaches, such as the Roche/454 platform, produce sequences in which the quality of the sequence (as measured by a Phred-like quality scores) decreases linearly across a sequence read. Undertaking quality trimming of this data is essential to enable confidence in the results of subsequent downstream analysis. Here, we have developed a novel, highly sensitive and accurate approach (QTrim) for the quality trimming of sequence reads generated...

  7. CoC GIS Tools (GIS Tool)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Housing and Urban Development — This tool provides a no-cost downloadable software tool that allows users to interact with professional quality GIS maps. Users access pre-compiled projects through...

  8. Tool for the verification of geometrical parameters and constancy of image quality in radiology equipment; Herramienta para la verificacion de parametros geometricos y constancia de calidad de imagen en equipos de radiodiagnostico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mayo, P.; Verdu Martin, G.; Rodenas Escriba, F.; Marin Peinado, B.; Camapyo Esteban Nogueira, J. M.; Diez Domingo, S.; Villaescusa Blanca, J. I.; Hernando Gonzalez, I.; Ruiz Manzano, P.; Rivas Ballarin, M. A.; Melcho Iniguez, M.; Asensio Martinez, M. I.

    2013-07-01

    This paper presents the application of an innovative tool developed for the detailed quality control of diagnostic equipment. We have tried to validate such a tool for verification of geometrical parameters and the evaluation of the constancy of the image quality in radiology equipment, evaluating their usefulness by various services of Radio physics and radiation protection of different hospitals. (Author)

  9. SU-E-T-110: Development of An Independent, Monte Carlo, Dose Calculation, Quality Assurance Tool for Clinical Trials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Faught, A [UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX (United States); University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX (United States); Davidson, S [University of Texas Medical Branch of Galveston, Galveston, TX (United States); Kry, S; Ibbott, G; Followill, D [UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX (United States); Fontenot, J [Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, Baton Rouge, LA (United States); Etzel, C [Consortium of Rheumatology Researchers of North America (CORRONA), Inc., Southborough, MA (United States)

    2014-06-01

    quality assurance tool for clinical trials.

  10. Analysis of an industrial production suspension of Bacillus lentus subtilisin crystals by powder diffraction: a powerful quality-control tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frankaer, Christian G; Moroz, Olga V; Turkenburg, Johan P; Aspmo, Stein I; Thymark, Majbritt; Friis, Esben P; Stahl, Kenny; Nielsen, Jens E; Wilson, Keith S; Harris, Pernille

    2014-04-01

    A microcrystalline suspension of Bacillus lentus subtilisin (Savinase) produced during industrial large-scale production was analysed by X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and X-ray single-crystal diffraction (MX). XRPD established that the bulk microcrystal sample representative of the entire production suspension corresponded to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 47.65, b = 62.43, c = 75.74 Å, equivalent to those for a known orthorhombic crystal form (PDB entry 1ndq). MX using synchrotron beamlines at the Diamond Light Source with beam dimensions of 20 × 20 µm was subsequently used to study the largest crystals present in the suspension, with diffraction data being collected from two single crystals (∼20 × 20 × 60 µm) to resolutions of 1.40 and 1.57 Å, respectively. Both structures also belonged to space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), but were quite distinct from the dominant form identified by XRPD, with unit-cell parameters a = 53.04, b = 57.55, c = 71.37 Å and a = 52.72, b = 57.13, c = 65.86 Å, respectively, and refined to R = 10.8% and Rfree = 15.5% and to R = 14.1% and Rfree = 18.0%, respectively. They are also different from any of the forms previously reported in the PDB. A controlled crystallization experiment with a highly purified Savinase sample allowed the growth of single crystals of the form identified by XRPD; their structure was solved and refined to a resolution of 1.17 Å with an R of 9.2% and an Rfree of 11.8%. Thus, there are at least three polymorphs present in the production suspension, albeit with the 1ndq-like microcrystals predominating. It is shown how the two techniques can provide invaluable and complementary information for such a production suspension and it is proposed that XRPD provides an excellent quality-control tool for such suspensions.

  11. Reporting quality in abstracts of meta-analyses of depression screening tool accuracy: a review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Danielle B; Kloda, Lorie A; Shrier, Ian; Thombs, Brett D

    2016-01-01

    Objective Concerns have been raised regarding the quality and completeness of abstract reporting in evidence reviews, but this had not been evaluated in meta-analyses of diagnostic accuracy. Our objective was to evaluate reporting quality and completeness in abstracts of systematic reviews with meta-analyses of depression screening tool accuracy, using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) for Abstracts tool. Design Cross-sectional study. Inclusion Criteria We searched MEDLINE and PsycINFO from 1 January 2005 through 13 March 2016 for recent systematic reviews with meta-analyses in any language that compared a depression screening tool to a diagnosis based on clinical or validated diagnostic interview. Data extraction Two reviewers independently assessed quality and completeness of abstract reporting using the PRISMA for Abstracts tool with appropriate adaptations made for studies of diagnostic test accuracy. Bivariate associations of number of PRISMA for Abstracts items complied with (1) journal abstract word limit and (2) A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) scores of meta-analyses were also assessed. Results We identified 21 eligible meta-analyses. Only two of 21 included meta-analyses complied with at least half of adapted PRISMA for Abstracts items. The majority met criteria for reporting an appropriate title (95%), result interpretation (95%) and synthesis of results (76%). Meta-analyses less consistently reported databases searched (43%), associated search dates (33%) and strengths and limitations of evidence (19%). Most meta-analyses did not adequately report a clinically meaningful description of outcomes (14%), risk of bias (14%), included study characteristics (10%), study eligibility criteria (5%), registration information (5%), clear objectives (0%), report eligibility criteria (0%) or funding (0%). Overall meta-analyses quality scores were significantly associated with the number of PRISMA

  12. Quality appraisal in systematic reviews of public health interventions: an empirical study on the impact of choice of tool on meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voss, Peer H; Rehfuess, Eva A

    2013-01-01

    Systematic reviews are a cornerstone of evidence-based public health. The method of appraising the quality of different intervention and observational study designs in such reviews remains an important challenge. This article examines the applicability of selected quality appraisal tools (QATs) and the impact of choice of tool on the meta-analysis of a published systematic review. The authors selected a systematic review on the effectiveness of hand washing with soap in preventing diarrhoea, covering a range of epidemiological study designs. 6 QATs were used to assess 13 studies meeting their inclusion criteria; component sections/questions were coded numerically to derive a summary score between -1 (low quality) and +1 (high quality) for each QAT and study. Heterogeneity in study quality was evaluated graphically using traffic light schemes and spider charts. Random effects meta-analysis was undertaken for all studies; sensitivity analyses for each QAT included only those studies with a score of 0 or above. The authors found substantial heterogeneity in summary scores for a given study. Their main meta-analysis yielded an OR of 0.60 (95% CI 0.47 to 0.77) with most sensitivity analyses giving similar pooled effect sizes with wider CIs. The six QATs differ greatly in applicability across study designs, approach to quality appraisal (ie, scale vs checklist, presence/absence of summary score), coverage of domains and quality of component questions and answers. Learning from advantages and disadvantages of each QAT, we recommend research into the development of a reliable QAT with a broad applicability across study designs.

  13. Voluntary peer review as innovative tool for quality improvement in the intensive care unit – a retrospective descriptive cohort study in German intensive care units

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumpf, Oliver

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available [english] Introduction: Quality improvement and safety in intensive care are rapidly evolving topics. However, there is no gold standard for assessing quality improvement in intensive care medicine yet. In 2007 a pilot project in German intensive care units (ICUs started using voluntary peer reviews as an innovative tool for quality assessment and improvement. We describe the method of voluntary peer review and assessed its feasibility by evaluating anonymized peer review reports and analysed the thematic clusters highlighted in these reports.Methods: Retrospective data analysis from 22 anonymous reports of peer reviews. All ICUs – representing over 300 patient beds – had undergone voluntary peer review. Data were retrieved from reports of peers of the review teams and representatives of visited ICUs. Data were analysed with regard to number of topics addressed and results of assessment questionnaires. Reports of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT reports of these ICUs are presented. Results: External assessment of structure, process and outcome indicators revealed high percentages of adherence to predefined quality goals. In the SWOT reports 11 main thematic clusters were identified representative for common ICUs. 58.1% of mentioned topics covered personnel issues, team and communication issues as well as organisation and treatment standards. The most mentioned weaknesses were observed in the issues documentation/reporting, hygiene and ethics. We identified several unique patterns regarding quality in the ICU of which long-term personnel problems und lack of good reporting methods were most interestingConclusion: Voluntary peer review could be established as a feasible and valuable tool for quality improvement. Peer reports addressed common areas of interest in intensive care medicine in more detail compared to other methods like measurement of quality indicators.

  14. Voluntary peer review as innovative tool for quality improvement in the intensive care unit – a retrospective descriptive cohort study in German intensive care units

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumpf, Oliver; Bloos, Frank; Bause, Hanswerner; Brinkmann, Alexander; Deja, Maria; Marx, Gernot; Kaltwasser, Arnold; Dubb, Rolf; Muhl, Elke; Greim, Clemens-A.; Weiler, Norbert; Chop, Ines; Jonitz, Günther; Schaefer, Henning; Felsenstein, Matthias; Liebeskind, Ursula; Leffmann, Carsten; Jungbluth, Annemarie; Waydhas, Christian; Pronovost, Peter; Spies, Claudia; Braun, Jan-Peter

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Quality improvement and safety in intensive care are rapidly evolving topics. However, there is no gold standard for assessing quality improvement in intensive care medicine yet. In 2007 a pilot project in German intensive care units (ICUs) started using voluntary peer reviews as an innovative tool for quality assessment and improvement. We describe the method of voluntary peer review and assessed its feasibility by evaluating anonymized peer review reports and analysed the thematic clusters highlighted in these reports. Methods: Retrospective data analysis from 22 anonymous reports of peer reviews. All ICUs – representing over 300 patient beds – had undergone voluntary peer review. Data were retrieved from reports of peers of the review teams and representatives of visited ICUs. Data were analysed with regard to number of topics addressed and results of assessment questionnaires. Reports of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT reports) of these ICUs are presented. Results: External assessment of structure, process and outcome indicators revealed high percentages of adherence to predefined quality goals. In the SWOT reports 11 main thematic clusters were identified representative for common ICUs. 58.1% of mentioned topics covered personnel issues, team and communication issues as well as organisation and treatment standards. The most mentioned weaknesses were observed in the issues documentation/reporting, hygiene and ethics. We identified several unique patterns regarding quality in the ICU of which long-term personnel problems und lack of good reporting methods were most interesting Conclusion: Voluntary peer review could be established as a feasible and valuable tool for quality improvement. Peer reports addressed common areas of interest in intensive care medicine in more detail compared to other methods like measurement of quality indicators. PMID:25587245

  15. POSSIBLE APPROACHES TO IMPROVEMENT OF INSTITUTIONAL TOOLS OF THE QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN THE SPHERE OF HOUSING AND COMMUNAL SERVICES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamara Nigmatovna Nerovnja

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the article is to study the main criteria and system of monitoring the quality of housing and communal services.In the course of the research the main factors forming the quality of providing housing and municipal services, such, as quality of housing and degree of its wear, quality of the materials used in the course of rendering repair housing and municipal services, qualification of the personnel are revealed. In the article, criteria of quality for housing and municipal services are systematized, and the analysis of possibility of application of the international quality management system at the enterprises of a housing and municipal complex is carried out.The possibility of applying the rating system in the practice of managing the system of housing and municipal services by the local authorities is considered.By the results of the research it is possible to draw the following conclusions: for scientists  there is a necessity of further development of economic mechanisms for the use of modern methods and instruments of quality management of utility services; for local authorities – to control and timely focus on the consumer (population  in terms  of the use and implementation of the principles of the international standard of quality in relation to housing and communal services, and the rating  in order to improve the quality of rendered services.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12731/2218-7405-2013-7-40

  16. A national analytical quality assurance program: Developing guidelines and analytical tools for the forest inventory and analysis program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phyllis C. Adams; Glenn A. Christensen

    2012-01-01

    A rigorous quality assurance (QA) process assures that the data and information provided by the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program meet the highest possible standards of precision, completeness, representativeness, comparability, and accuracy. FIA relies on its analysts to check the final data quality prior to release of a State’s data to the national FIA...

  17. Qualichem in vivo: A tool for assessing the quality of in vivo studies and its application for bisphenol A

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maxim, Laura; Van Der Sluijs, Jeroen P.

    2014-01-01

    In regulatory toxicology, quality assessment of in vivo studies is a critical step for assessing chemical risks. It is crucial for preserving public health studies that are considered suitable for regulating chemicals are robust. Current procedures for conducting quality assessments in safety agenci

  18. The implementation of an aquatic toxicity index as a water quality monitoring tool in the Olifants River (Kruger National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Wepener

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Large sets of water quality data can leave water quality managers and decision-makers totally overwhelmed. In order to convey the interpretation of the data in a simplified and understandable manner, the water quality results from bi-monthly surveys undertaken at seven different sampling sites in the Letaba, Olifants, and Selati rivers over a two year period (February 1990 to April 1992 were reduced to index values, using a water quality index. The water quality index (Aquatic Toxicity Index or ATI revealed spatial and temporal trends. The higher index values, recorded for the sampling sites towards the eastern part of the Kruger National Park (KNP, revealed that the water quality was better than the quality measured in the Olifants River on the western bound-ary. The lowest index values were calculated for the Selati River, with index values consistently below 50. Index values indicate that the water quality in the Selati River was unsuitable for supporting normal physiological processes in fish. The water quality of the Selati River had an immediate impact on the water quality of the Olifants River directly below the confluence. Lower index values recorded at sites further downstream was also attributed to the influence of the Selati River since there are no known point sources of contaminants within the boundaries of the KNP. The index scores also elucidated temporal trends with lower scores evident during winter months. This was due to reduced flow in the Olifants River and a greater contribution of contaminated water from the Selati River. Index values increased following the first seasonal rains due to a dilution effect. Very low index values were recorded at certain sites during flood periods due to increased turbidity, reduced oxygen, and increased metal concentrations.

  19. The Content Validity of the Behaviour Support Plan Quality Evaluation Tool (BSP-QEII) and its Potential Application in Accommodation and Day-Support Services for Adults with Intellectual Disability

    Science.gov (United States)

    McVilly, K.; Webber, L.; Sharp, G.; Paris, M.

    2013-01-01

    Background: The quality of support provided to people with disability who show challenging behaviour could be influenced by the quality of the behaviour support plans (BSPs) on which staff rely for direction. This study investigated the content validity of the Behaviour Support Plan Quality Evaluation tool (BSP-QEII), originally developed to guide…

  20. Final environmental assessment : Using livestock grazing as a management tool to provide quality wildlife habitat : Silver Dollar Habitat Unit

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This final environmental assessment is for the use of livestock grazing to improve the quality of wildlife habitats within the Silver Dollar Habitat Unit on Charles...

  1. Assessing the impact of dietary habits on health-related quality of life requires contextual measurement tools

    OpenAIRE

    Cristina eRuano; Lluis eSerra-Majem; Dominique eDubois

    2015-01-01

    The increase of non-communicable diseases at all ages has fostered the general concern for sustaining population health worldwide. Unhealthy lifestyles and dietary habits impacting physical and psycho-social health are well known risk factors for developing life threatening diseases. Identifying the determinants of quality of life is an important task from a Public Health perspective. Consumer-Reported Outcome measures of health-related quality of life are becoming increasingly necessary and ...

  2. Assessing the impact of dietary habits on health-related quality of life requires contextual measurement tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina eRuano

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The increase of non-communicable diseases at all ages has fostered the general concern for sustaining population health worldwide. Unhealthy lifestyles and dietary habits impacting physical and psycho-social health are well known risk factors for developing life threatening diseases. Identifying the determinants of quality of life is an important task from a Public Health perspective. Consumer-Reported Outcome measures of health-related quality of life are becoming increasingly necessary and relevant in the field of nutrition. However, quality of life questionnaires are seldom used in the nutrition field. We conducted a scientific literature search to find out the questionnaires used to determine the association between dietary habits and quality of life. A total of 13 studies were eligible for inclusion. Across these studies the Short Form–36, a generic (nondisease-specific health-related quality of life measurement instrument was the most widely used. However, generic measures may have limited content validity in the context of dietary habits interventions. We recommend additional contextual diet-specific health-related quality of life measures are also needed for evaluating the impact of diet habits on daily life functioning and well-being.

  3. ADSA Foundation Scholar Award: Trends in culture-independent methods for assessing dairy food quality and safety: emerging metagenomic tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeung, Marie

    2012-12-01

    Enhancing the quality and safety of dairy food is critical to maintaining the competitiveness of dairy products in the food and beverage market and in reinforcing consumer confidence in the dairy industry. Raw milk quality has a significant effect on finished product quality. Several microbial groups found in raw milk have been shown to adversely affect the shelf life of pasteurized milk. Current microbiological criteria used to define milk quality are based primarily on culture-dependent methods, some of which are perceived to lack the desired sensitivity and specificity. To supplement traditional methods, culture-independent methods are increasingly being used to identify specific species or microbial groups, and to detect indicator genes or proteins in raw milk or dairy products. Some molecular subtyping techniques have been developed to track the transmission of microbes in dairy environments. The burgeoning "-omics" technologies offer new and exciting opportunities to enhance our understanding of food quality and safety in relation to microbes. Metagenomics has the potential to characterize microbial diversity, detect nonculturable microbes, and identify unique sequences or other factors associated with dairy product quality and safety. In this review, fluid milk will be used as the primary example to examine the adequacy and validity of conventional methods, the current trend of culture-independent methods, and the potential applications of metagenomics in dairy food research.

  4. Assessment of the quality of existing patient educational tools focused on sudden cardiac arrest: a systematic evaluation by the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Thought Leadership Alliance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hazelton G

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Garrett Hazelton,1 Sana M Al-Khatib,2,3 Gregg C Fonarow,4 Kevin L Thomas,3 David Hayes,5 Gillian D Sanders,2,3 Susan M Campbell,6 Clyde Yancy,7 Eric D Peterson,2,3 Samuel Sears8 1Department of Psychiatric Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, 2Duke Clinical Research Institute, 3Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, 4Division of Cardiology, Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, 5Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 6WomenHeart, The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, Washington, DC, 7Division of Cardiology, Feinburg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, 8Departments of Psychology and Cardiology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA Background: Conveying contemporary treatment options for those at risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA is challenging. The purpose of the present research was to evaluate the quality and usability of available patient educational tools relevant to SCA and its treatment options, such as implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs. We hypothesized that this review would identify gaps in areas of information for the enhancement of patient education and decision-making materials. Methods: We used a formal instrument to assess specific domains of content, development, and effectiveness of 18 available SCA and ICD educational tools. The multidisciplinary review panel included two electrophysiologists, two general cardiologists, a cardiac psychologist, a health services researcher, and a patient advocate. Results: Of the 18 education tools, four were rated as “good, may need revisions, but sufficient for use”, 12 were rated as “marginal, needs revision prior to use”, and two were rated as “poor, inadequate for use”. None of the tools were rated as being of “very good” or “excellent” quality. Conclusion: There appear to be opportunities to improve the quality and completeness of existing educational tools for

  5. Application of the QFD as a design approach to ensure comfort in using hand tools: can the design team complete the House of Quality appropriately?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuijt-Evers, L F M; Morel, K P N; Eikelenberg, N L W; Vink, P

    2009-05-01

    Quality Function Deployment is proposed as an effective design method to integrate ergonomics needs and comfort into hand tool design because it explicitly addresses the translation of customer needs into engineering characteristics. A crucial step during QFD concerns the linking of engineering characteristics to customer needs in the House of Quality by the design team. It is generally assumed (looking at all the QFD success stories) that design teams can accurately predict the correlations between customer needs and engineering characteristics (also referred to as "Whats"/"Hows" correlations). This paper explicitly tests this assumption by comparing the "Whats"/"Hows" correlations estimated by a design team with those observed in a systematic user evaluation study, which has not been done before. Testing the assumption is important, because inaccurate estimates may lead to ergonomically ineffective (re)design of hand tools and a waste of company resources. Results revealed that the design team's correlation estimates were not as accurate as is generally assumed. Twenty-five percent of the estimates differed significantly with those observed in the user evaluation study. Thus, QFD is a useful method to assist design teams in designing ergonomically more comfortable hand tools, but only on the condition that the correlations between customer needs and engineering characteristics are validated, preferably by means of a systematic user evaluation study.

  6. Using the soil and water assessment tool to estimate achievable water quality targets through implementation of beneficial management practices in an agricultural watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qi; Benoy, Glenn A; Chow, Thien Lien; Daigle, Jean-Louis; Bourque, Charles P-A; Meng, Fan-Rui

    2012-01-01

    Runoff from crop production in agricultural watersheds can cause widespread soil loss and degradation of surface water quality. Beneficial management practices (BMPs) for soil conservation are often implemented as remedial measures because BMPs can reduce soil erosion and improve water quality. However, the efficacy of BMPs may be unknown because it can be affected by many factors, such as farming practices, land-use, soil type, topography, and climatic conditions. As such, it is difficult to estimate the impacts of BMPs on water quality through field experiments alone. In this research, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool was used to estimate achievable performance targets of water quality indicators (sediment and soluble P loadings) after implementation of combinations of selected BMPs in the Black Brook Watershed in northwestern New Brunswick, Canada. Four commonly used BMPs (flow diversion terraces [FDTs], fertilizer reductions, tillage methods, and crop rotations), were considered individually and in different combinations. At the watershed level, the best achievable sediment loading was 1.9 t ha(-1) yr(-1) (89% reduction compared with default scenario), with a BMP combination of crop rotation, FDT, and no-till. The best achievable soluble P loading was 0.5 kg ha(-1) yr(-1) (62% reduction), with a BMP combination of crop rotation and FDT and fertilizer reduction. Targets estimated through nonpoint source water quality modeling can be used to evaluate BMP implementation initiatives and provide milestones for the rehabilitation of streams and rivers in agricultural regions.

  7. Implementation of the trauma registry as a tool for quality improvement in trauma care in a brazilian hospital: the first 12 months.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parreira, José Gustavo; de Campos, Tércio; Perlingeiro, Jacqueline A Gianinni; Soldá, Silvia C; Assef, José Cesar; Gonçalves, Augusto Canton; Zuffo, Bruno Malteze; Floriano, Caio Gomes; de Oliveira, Erik Haruk; de Oliveira, Renato Vieira Rodrigues; Oliveira, Amanda Lima; de Melo, Caio Gullo; Below, Cristiano; Miranda, Dino R Pérez; Santos, Gabriella Colasuonno; de Almeida, Gabriele Madeira; Brianti, Isabela Campos; Votto, Karina Baruel de Camargo; Schues, Patrick Alexander Sauer; dos Santos, Rafael Gomes; de Figueredo, Sérgio Mazzola Poli; de Araujo, Tatiani Gonçalves; Santos, Bruna do Nascimento; Ferreira, Laura Cardoso Manduca; Tanaka, Giuliana Olivi; Matos, Thiara; da Sousa, Maria Daiana; Augusto, Samara de Souza

    2015-01-01

    to analyze the implementation of a trauma registry in a university teaching hospital delivering care under the unified health system (SUS), and its ability to identify points for improvement in the quality of care provided. the data collection group comprised students from medicine and nursing courses who were holders of FAPESP scholarships (technical training 1) or otherwise, overseen by the coordinators of the project. The itreg (ECO Sistemas-RJ/SBAIT) software was used as the database tool. Several quality "filters" were proposed to select those cases for review in the quality control process. data for 1344 trauma patients were input to the itreg database between March and November 2014. Around 87.0% of cases were blunt trauma patients, 59.6% had RTS>7.0 and 67% ISScontrol of overtriage of patients, the need to reduce the number of negative imaging exams, the development of protocols for achieving central venous access, and management of major TBI. the trauma registry provides a clear picture of the points to be improved in trauma patient care, however, there are specific peculiarities for implementing this tool in the Brazilian milieu.

  8. Preliminary development of a GIS-tool to assess threats to shallow groundwater quality from soil pollutants in Glasgow, UK (GRASP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dochartaigh, B. É. Ó.; Fordyce, F. M.; Ander, E. L.; Bonsor, H. C.

    2009-04-01

    The protection of groundwater and related surface water quality is a key aspect of the European Union Water Framework Directive and environmental legislation in many countries worldwide. Globally, the protection of urban groundwater resources and related ecosystem services is of growing concern as urbanisation increases. Although urban areas are often where groundwater resources are most in need of protection, there is frequently a lack of information about threats to groundwater quality. Most studies of soil and groundwater contamination, although detailed, are site-specific, and city-wide overviews are generally lacking. The British Geological Survey (BGS) is currently undertaking the Clyde Urban Super-Project (CUSP), delivering multi-disciplinary geoscience products for the Glasgow conurbation. Under this project, a GIS-based prioritisation tool known as GRASP (GRoundwater And Soil Pollutants) has been trialled to aid urban planning and sustainable development by providing a broad-scale assessment of threats to groundwater quality across the conurbation. GRASP identifies areas where shallow groundwater quality is at greatest threat from the leaching and downward movement of potentially harmful metals in the soil. Metal contamination is a known problem in many urban centres including Glasgow, which has a long industrial heritage and associated contamination legacy, notably with respect to Cr. GRASP is based primarily upon an existing British Standard - International Standards Organisation methodology to determine the leaching potential of metals from soils, which has been validated for 11 metals: Al, Fe, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Mn, Pb and Zn (BS-ISO 15175:2004). However, the GRASP tool is innovative as it combines assessments of soil leaching potential with soil metal content data to highlight threats to shallow groundwater quality. The input parameters required for GRASP (soil pH, clay, organic matter, sesquioxide and metal content) are based upon a systematic

  9. Mass spectrometry and partial least-squares regression: a tool for identification of wheat variety and end-use quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Helle Aagaard; Petersen, Marianne Kjerstine; Jacobsen, Susanne;

    2004-01-01

    Rapid methods for the identification of wheat varieties and their end-use quality have been developed. The methods combine the analysis of wheat protein extracts by mass spectrometry with partial least-squares regression in order to predict the variety or end-use quality of unknown wheat samples....... The whole process takes similar to30 min. Extracts of alcohol-soluble storage proteins (gliadins) from wheat were analysed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Partial least-squares regression was subsequently applied using these mass spectra for making models...... that could predict the wheat variety or end-use quality. Previously, an artificial neural network was used to identify wheat varieties based on their protein mass spectra profiles. The present study showed that partial least-squares regression is at least as useful as neural networks for this identification...

  10. FAILURE MODE EFFECTS AND CRITICALITY ANALYSIS (FMECA AS A QUALITY TOOL TO PLAN IMPROVEMENTS IN ULTRASONIC MOULD CLEANING SYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristiano Fragassa

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Inside the complex process used for tire production, ultrasonic cleaning treatment probably represents the best solution to preserve the functionality of tire moulds, by removing residuals from moulds and keeping an unaltered quality for their surfaces. Ultrasonic Mould Cleaning Systems (UMCS is, however, a complicated technology that combines ultrasonic waves, high temperature and a succession of acid and basic attacks. At the same time, an UMCS plant, as part of a long productive chain, has to guarantee the highest productivity reducing failures and maintenances. This article describes the use of Failure Mode Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA as a methodology for improving quality in cleaning process. In particular, FMECA was utilized to identify potential defects in the original plant design, to recognize the inner causes of some failures actually occurred during operations and, finally, to suggest definitive re-design actions. Changes were implemented and the new UMCS offers a better quality in term of higher availability and productivity.

  11. Information Communication Technologies (ICT as an Enhancing Tool in Quality Education for Transformation of Individual and the Nation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gloria Oyovwe-Tinuoye

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper discussed the essentials of ICT in enhancing quality education in Nigeria for transformation of individual that contribute to the development of the Nation value. It equally established the benefits of ICT in quality education. The paper further highlights the hindrances associated with the use of ICT in quality education such as Insufficient ICT facilities, unsophisticated accessories, epileptic electricity power supply, teachers’ lack of ICT knowledge/skills, difficult to integrate ICT to instruction, scheduling computer time, insufficient peripherals, not enough copies of software, insufficient teacher time, not enough simultaneous access, not enough supervision staff and lack of technical assistance. The paper then recommend that, the government of Nigeria should pass a bill at the National assembly on the use of sophisticated ICT facilities in the educational system by provision of adequate fund, securing of ICT experts in institutions and schools and ensuring that these facilities are monitored from time to time.

  12. A global conformance quality model. A new strategic tool for minimizing defects caused by variation, error, and complexity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hinckley, C. Martin [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)

    1994-01-01

    The performance of Japanese products in the marketplace points to the dominant role of quality in product competition. Our focus is motivated by the tremendous pressure to improve conformance quality by reducing defects to previously unimaginable limits in the range of 1 to 10 parts per million. Toward this end, we have developed a new model of conformance quality that addresses each of the three principle defect sources: (1) Variation, (2) Human Error, and (3) Complexity. Although the role of variation in conformance quality is well documented, errors occur so infrequently that their significance is not well known. We have shown that statistical methods are not useful in characterizing and controlling errors, the most common source of defects. Excessive complexity is also a root source of defects, since it increases errors and variation defects. A missing link in the defining a global model has been the lack of a sound correlation between complexity and defects. We have used Design for Assembly (DFA) methods to quantify assembly complexity and have shown that assembly times can be described in terms of the Pareto distribution in a clear exception to the Central Limit Theorem. Within individual companies we have found defects to be highly correlated with DFA measures of complexity in broad studies covering tens of millions of assembly operations. Applying the global concepts, we predicted that Motorola`s Six Sigma method would only reduce defects by roughly a factor of two rather than orders of magnitude, a prediction confirmed by Motorola`s data. We have also shown that the potential defects rates of product concepts can be compared in the earliest stages of development. The global Conformance Quality Model has demonstrated that the best strategy for improvement depends upon the quality control strengths and weaknesses.

  13. SU-F-P-35: A Multi-Institutional Plan Quality Checking Tool Built On Oncospace: A Shared Radiation Oncology Database System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bowers, M; Robertson, S; Moore, J; Wong, J [Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (United States); Phillips, M [University Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); Hendrickson, K; Evans, K [University of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); McNutt, T [Johns Hopkins University, Severna Park, MD (United States)

    2016-06-15

    Purpose: Late toxicity from radiation to critical structures limits the possible dose in Radiation Therapy. Perfectly conformal treatment of a target is not realizable, so the clinician must accept a certain level of collateral radiation to nearby OARs. But how much? General guidelines exist for healthy tissue sparing which guide RT treatment planning, but are these guidelines good enough to create the optimal plan given the individualized patient anatomy? We propose a means to evaluate the planned dose level to an OAR using a multi-institutional data-store of previously treated patients, so a clinician might reconsider planning objectives. Methods: The tool is built on Oncospace, a federated data-store system, which consists of planning data import, web based analysis tools, and a database containing:1) DVHs: dose by percent volume delivered to each ROI for each patient previously treated and included in the database.2) Overlap Volume Histograms (OVHs): Anatomical measure defined as the percent volume of an ROI within a given distance to target structures.Clinicians know what OARs are important to spare. For any ROI, Oncospace knows for which patients’ anatomy that ROI was harder to plan in the past (the OVH is less). The planned dose should be close to the least dose of previous patients. The tool displays the dose those OARs were subjected to, and the clinician can make a determination about the planning objectives used.Multiple institutions contribute to the Oncospace Consortium, and their DVH and OVH data are combined and color coded in the output. Results: The Oncospace website provides a plan quality display tool which identifies harder to treat patients, and graphically displays the dose delivered to them for comparison with the proposed plan. Conclusion: The Oncospace Consortium manages a data-store of previously treated patients which can be used for quality checking new plans. Grant funding by Elekta.

  14. The Synergy of the Surface Layer after Carburizing of Tool Steel as a Measure of Operational Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wencel, Z.

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available In the paper the results of the investigation on surface layer of carburized X150CrMoV12-1 tool steel are presented. Abrasive wearing of the surface was determined according the ASTM G77-98 method. The microstructure of the matrix and distribution of carbides were observed in a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM. A correlation between the investigated parameters (microstructure/carbides distribution was found.

  15. A proposed adaptation of the European Foundation for Quality Management Excellence Model to physical activity programmes for the elderly - development of a quality self-assessment tool using a modified Delphi process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marques Ana I

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There has been a growing concern in designing physical activity (PA programmes for elderly people, since evidence suggests that such health promotion interventions may reduce the deleterious effects of the ageing process. Complete programme evaluations are a necessary prerequisite to continuous quality improvements. Being able to refine, adapt and create tools that are suited to the realities and contexts of PA programmes for the elderly in order to support its continuous improvement is, therefore, crucial. Thus, the aim of this study was to develop a self-assessment tool for PA programmes for the elderly. Methods A 3-round Delphi process was conducted via the Internet with 43 national experts in PA for the elderly, management and delivery of PA programmes for the elderly, sports management, quality management and gerontology, asking experts to identify the propositions that they considered relevant for inclusion in the self-assessment tool. Experts reviewed a list of proposed statements, based on the criteria and sub-criteria from the European Foundation for Quality Management Excellence Model (EFQM and PA guidelines for older adults and rated each proposition from 1 to 8 (disagree to agree and modified and/or added propositions. Propositions receiving either bottom or top scores of greater than 70% were considered to have achieved consensus to drop or retain, respectively. Results In round 1, of the 196 originally-proposed statements (best practice principles, the experts modified 41, added 1 and achieved consensus on 93. In round 2, a total of 104 propositions were presented, of which experts modified 39 and achieved consensus on 53. In the last round, of 51 proposed statements, the experts achieved consensus on 19. After 3 rounds of rating, experts had not achieved consensus on 32 propositions. The resulting tool consisted of 165 statements that assess nine management areas involved in the development of PA programmes for

  16. Assessing the impact of dietary habits on health-related quality of life requires contextual measurement tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruano-Rodríguez, Cristina; Serra-Majem, Lluis; Dubois, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    The increase of non-communicable diseases at all ages has fostered the general concern for sustaining population health worldwide. Unhealthy lifestyles and dietary habits impacting physical and psycho-social health are well known risk factors for developing life threatening diseases. Identifying the determinants of quality of life is an important task from a Public Health perspective. Consumer-Reported Outcome measures of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) are becoming increasingly necessary and relevant in the field of nutrition. However, quality of life questionnaires are seldom used in the nutrition field. We conducted a scientific literature search to find out the questionnaires used to determine the association between dietary habits and quality of life. A total of 13 studies were eligible for inclusion. Across these studies the short form-36, a generic (non-disease specific) HRQoL measurement instrument was the most widely used. However, generic measures may have limited content validity in the context of dietary habits interventions. We recommend additional contextual diet-specific HRQoL measures are also needed for evaluating the impact of diet habits on daily life functioning and well-being.

  17. Overview on the analytical tools for quality control of natural product-based supplements: a case study of ginseng.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Kevin Yi-Lwern; Chan, Sui Yung; Weng Chan, Yew; Sing Lim, Chu

    2005-12-01

    The quality of pharmaceutical products like ginseng is important for ensuring consumer safety and efficacy. Many ginseng products sold today are in various formulations such as powder, capsules, tablets, soft-gels, liquid extracts, and tea. This renders ginseng less identifiable by smell, taste, or physical appearance. Furthermore, as ginseng is expensive, adulteration with other cheaper products occurs. Hence quality assurance of ginseng is needed. This paper reviews the major techniques for ascertaining the level of ginsenosides, the primary active ingredients for ginseng, and covers high-performance liquid, gas, and thin-layer chromatographies, infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopies, enzyme immunoassays, and other molecular methods. Supporting techniques such as ultraviolet, fluorescence, diode array and evaporative light scattering detections, and mass spectrometry will also be touched upon. This review also discusses the principles and applications of biosensors-in particular fiber optic-based sensors-and their feasibility in ginseng analysis based on preliminary studies. Despite their potential, there is currently no or limited commercial exploitation of fiber optic-based sensors to perform ginseng quality analysis. The opportunity for biosensors to be used for the rapid quality surveillance of ginseng is appealing, but several key issues still need to be addressed before they find widespread applications in the traditional Chinese medicine industry.

  18. Negotiating the COAPRT Learning Outcomes Transition Using Quality Management Tools: A Case Study of the COAPRT Beta Test Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Gary D.

    2014-01-01

    This paper is a case study. It tells the story of the process that the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions beta test site created its learning outcomes assessment program. A planning process was used that has evolved from quality management philosophy and practice: DMADV. Use of DMADV required precise…

  19. Forested floristic quality index: An assessment tool for forested wetland habitats using the quality and quantity of woody vegetation at Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) vegetation monitoring stations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, William B.; Shaffer, Gary P.; Visser, Jenneke M.; Krauss, Ken W.; Piazza, Sarai C.; Sharp, Leigh Anne; Cretini, Kari F.

    2017-02-08

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana and the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act, developed the Forested Floristic Quality Index (FFQI) for the Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS). The FFQI will help evaluate forested wetland sites on a continuum from severely degraded to healthy and will assist in defining areas where forested wetland restoration can be successful by projecting the trajectories of change. At each CRMS forested wetland site there are stations for quantifying the overstory, understory, and herbaceous vegetation layers. Rapidly responding overstory canopy cover and herbaceous layer composition are measured annually, while gradually changing overstory basal area and species composition are collected on a 3-year cycle.A CRMS analytical team has tailored these data into an index much like the Floristic Quality Index (FQI) currently used for herbaceous marsh and for the herbaceous layer of the swamp vegetation. The core of the FFQI uses basal area by species to assess the quality and quantity of the overstory at each of three stations within each CRMS forested wetland site. Trees that are considered by experts to be higher quality swamp species like Taxodium distichum (bald cypress) and Nyssa aquatica (water tupelo) are scored higher than tree species like Triadica sebifera (Chinese tallow) and Salix nigra (black willow) that are indicators of recent disturbance. This base FFQI is further enhanced by the percent canopy cover in the overstory and the presence of indicator species at the forest floor. This systemic approach attempts to differentiate between locations with similar basal areas that are on different ecosystem trajectories. Because of these varying states of habitat degradation, paired use of the FQI and the FFQI is useful to interpret the vegetative data in transitional locations. There is often an inverse relation between the health of the

  20. Quality engineering tools focused on high power LED driver design using boost power stages in switch mode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ileana, Ioan; Risteiu, Mircea; Marc, Gheorghe

    2016-12-01

    This paper is a part of our research dedicated to high power LED lamps designing. The boost-up selected technology wants to meet driver producers' tendency in the frame of efficiency and disturbances constrains. In our work we used modeling and simulation tools for implementing scenarios of the driver work when some controlling functions are executed (output voltage/ current versus input voltage and fixed switching frequency, input and output electric power transfer versus switching frequency, transient inductor voltage analysis, and transient out capacitor analysis). Some electrical and thermal stress conditions are also analyzed. Based on these aspects, a high reliable power LED driver has been designed.

  1. Quality management tools: facilitating clinical research data integrity by utilizing specialized reports with electronic case report forms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trocky, N M; Fontinha, M

    2005-01-01

    Data collected throughout the course of a clinical research trial must be reviewed for accuracy and completeness continually. The Oracle Clinical (OC) data management application utilized to capture clinical data facilitates data integrity through pre-programmed validations, edit and range checks, and discrepancy management modules. These functions were not enough. Coupled with the use of specially created reports in Oracle Discoverer and Integrated Review, both ad-hoc query and reporting tools, research staff have enhanced their ability to clean, analyze and report more accurate data captured within and among Case Report Forms (eCRFs) by individual study or across multiple studies.

  2. LacaScore: a novel plasma sample quality control tool based on ascorbic acid and lactic acid levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trezzi, Jean-Pierre; Bulla, Alexandre; Bellora, Camille; Rose, Michael; Lescuyer, Pierre; Kiehntopf, Michael; Hiller, Karsten; Betsou, Fay

    Metabolome analysis is complicated by the continuous dynamic changes of metabolites in vivo and ex vivo. One of the main challenges in metabolomics is the robustness and reproducibility of results, partially driven by pre-analytical variations. The objective of this study was to analyse the impact of pre-centrifugation time and temperature, and to determine a quality control marker in plasma samples. Plasma metabolites were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and analysed with the MetaboliteDetector software. The metabolites, which were the most labile to pre-analytical variations, were further measured by enzymatic assays. A score was calculated for their use as quality control markers. The pre-centrifugation temperature was shown to be critical in the stability of plasma samples and had a significant impact on metabolite concentration profiles. In contrast, pre-centrifugation delay had only a minor impact. Based on the results of this study, whole blood should be kept on wet ice and centrifuged within maximum 3 h as a prerequisite for preparing EDTA plasma samples fit for the purpose of metabolome analysis. We have established a novel blood sample quality control marker, the LacaScore, based on the ascorbic acid to lactic acid ratio in plasma, which can be used as an indicator of the blood pre-centrifugation conditions, and hence the suitability of the sample for metabolome analyses. This method can be applied in research institutes and biobanks, enabling assessment of the quality of their plasma sample collections.

  3. Multivariate Statistical Analysis: a tool for groundwater quality assessment in the hidrogeologic region of the Ring of Cenotes, Yucatan, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, M.; Pacheco Castro, R. B.; Pacheco Avila, J.; Cabrera Sansores, A.

    2014-12-01

    The karstic aquifer of Yucatan is a vulnerable and complex system. The first fifteen meters of this aquifer have been polluted, due to this the protection of this resource is important because is the only source of potable water of the entire State. Through the assessment of groundwater quality we can gain some knowledge about the main processes governing water chemistry as well as spatial patterns which are important to establish protection zones. In this work multivariate statistical techniques are used to assess the groundwater quality of the supply wells (30 to 40 meters deep) in the hidrogeologic region of the Ring of Cenotes, located in Yucatan, Mexico. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis are applied in groundwater chemistry data of the study area. Results of principal component analysis show that the main sources of variation in the data are due sea water intrusion and the interaction of the water with the carbonate rocks of the system and some pollution processes. The cluster analysis shows that the data can be divided in four clusters. The spatial distribution of the clusters seems to be random, but is consistent with sea water intrusion and pollution with nitrates. The overall results show that multivariate statistical analysis can be successfully applied in the groundwater quality assessment of this karstic aquifer.

  4. Application of ICH Q9 Quality Risk Management Tools for Advanced Development of Hot Melt Coated Multiparticulate Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stocker, Elena; Becker, Karin; Hate, Siddhi; Hohl, Roland; Schiemenz, Wolfgang; Sacher, Stephan; Zimmer, Andreas; Salar-Behzadi, Sharareh

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to apply quality risk management based on the The International Conference on Harmonisation guideline Q9 for the early development stage of hot melt coated multiparticulate systems for oral administration. N-acetylcysteine crystals were coated with a formulation composing tripalmitin and polysorbate 65. The critical quality attributes (CQAs) were initially prioritized using failure mode and effects analysis. The CQAs of the coated material were defined as particle size, taste-masking efficiency, and immediate release profile. The hot melt coated process was characterized via a flowchart, based on the identified potential critical process parameters (CPPs) and their impact on the CQAs. These CPPs were prioritized using a process failure mode, effects, and criticality analysis and their critical impact on the CQAs was experimentally confirmed using a statistical design of experiments. Spray rate, atomization air pressure, and air flow rate were identified as CPPs. Coating amount and content of polysorbate 65 in the coating formulation were identified as critical material attributes. A hazard and critical control points analysis was applied to define control strategies at the critical process points. A fault tree analysis evaluated causes for potential process failures. We successfully demonstrated that a standardized quality risk management approach optimizes the product development sustainability and supports the regulatory aspects.

  5. A Real Time Quality Monitoring System for the Lighting Industry: A Practical and Rapid Approach Using Computer Vision and Image Processing (CVIP Tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.K. Ng

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available In China, the manufacturing of lighting products is very labour intensive. The approach used to check quality and control production relies on operators who test using various types of fixtures. In order to increase the competitiveness of the manufacturer and the efficiency of production, the authors propose an integrated system. This system has two major elements: a computer vision system (CVS and a real‐time monitoring system (RTMS. This model focuses not only on the rapid and practical application of modern technology to a traditional industry, but also represents a process innovation in the lighting industry. This paper describes the design and development of the prototyped lighting inspection system based on a practical and fast approach using computer vision and imaging processing (CVIP tools. LabVIEW with IMAQ Vision Builder is the chosen tool for building the CVS. Experimental results show that this system produces a lower error rate than humans produce in the quality checking process. The whole integrated manufacturing strategy, aimed at achieving a better performance, is most suitable for a China and other labour intensive environments such as India.

  6. A simple quality assurance test tool for the visual verification of light and radiation field congruent using electronic portal images device and computed radiography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Njeh Christopher F

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The radiation field on most megavoltage radiation therapy units are shown by a light field projected through the collimator by a light source mounted inside the collimator. The light field is traditionally used for patient alignment. Hence it is imperative that the light field is congruent with the radiation field. Method A simple quality assurance tool has been designed for rapid and simple test of the light field and radiation field using electronic portal images device (EPID or computed radiography (CR. We tested this QA tool using Varian PortalVision and Elekta iViewGT EPID systems and Kodak CR system. Results Both the single and double exposure techniques were evaluated, with double exposure technique providing a better visualization of the light-radiation field markers. The light and radiation congruency could be detected within 1 mm. This will satisfy the American Association of Physicists in Medicine task group report number 142 recommendation of 2 mm tolerance. Conclusion The QA tool can be used with either an EPID or CR to provide a simple and rapid method to verify light and radiation field congruence.

  7. CONTROL DE CALIDAD DE HERRAMIENTAS DE CORTE CON REMOCIÓN MÍNIMA DE MATERIAL QUALITY CONTROL OF CUTTING TOOLS WITH MINIMUM MATERIAL REMOVAL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jandrey Maldaner

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Debido a la mejora de las tecnologías de mecanizado, es necesario que las herramientas satisfagan las demandas requeridas. Una condición especial, para poder describir con seguridad el corte con remoción mínima de material, es el conocimiento de los valores característicos de la superficie y de la geometría. Las herramientas poseen una influencia substancial en la calidad de las piezas producidas, así como en la estabilidad y en la seguridad del proceso de mecanizado. Aunque hay una gran cantidad de herramientas para el corte con remoción mínima de material, se presenta como ejemplo la investigación con medición óptica y la obtención de los valores característicos para dientes de sierras de cinta.Due to improved machine cutting technologies it is necessary that tools fulfil the required performance. A special condition, for minimal machine cutting removal, is the knowledge of surface and geometry characteristic values. These tools represent both a substantial influence on the quality of the manufactured pieces and on stability and working safety of the cutting process. Since there is a large number of tools for minimal removal of material, examples of optical measurement and examination of characteristic values by the belt saw teeth are presented.

  8. Implementing the WHO integrated tool to assess quality of care for mothers, newborns and children: results and lessons learnt from five districts in Malawi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Helen; Asfaw, Atnafu Getachew; Aung, Kyaw Myint; Chikoti, Lastone; Mgawadere, Florence; d'Aquino, Luigi; van den Broek, Nynke

    2017-08-25

    In 2014 the World Health Organization (WHO) developed a new tool to be used to assess the quality of care for mothers, newborns and children provided at healthcare facility level. This paper reports on the feasibility of using the tool, its limitations and strengths. Across 5 districts in Malawi, 35 healthcare facilities were assessed. The WHO tool includes checklists, interviews and observation of case management by which care is assessed against agreed standards using a Likert scale (1 lowest: not meeting standard, 5 highest: compliant with standard). Descriptive statistics were used to provide summary scores for each standard. A 'dashboard' system was developed to display the results. For maternal care three areas met standards; 1) supportive care for admitted patients (71% of healthcare facilities scored 4 or 5); 2) prevention and management of infections during pregnancy (71% scored 4 or 5); and 3) management of unsatisfactory progress of labour (84% scored 4 or 5). Availability of essential equipment and supplies was noted to be a critical barrier to achieving satisfactory standards of paediatric care (mean score; standard deviation: 2.9; SD 0.95) and child care (2.7; SD 1.1). Infection control is inadequate across all districts for maternal, newborn and paediatric care. Quality of care varies across districts with a mean (SD) score for all standards combined of 3 (SD 0.19) for the worst performing district and 4 (SD 0.27) for the best. The best performing district has an average score of 4 (SD 0.27). Hospitals had good scores for overall infrastructure, essential drugs, organisation of care and management of preterm labour. However, health centres were better at case management of HIV/AIDS patients and follow-up of sick children. There is a need to develop an expanded framework of standards which is inclusive of all areas of care. In addition, it is important to ensure structure, process and outcomes of health care are reflected.

  9. Soil quality index as a tool for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) monoculture conversion planning on afforested, reclaimed mine land

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Marcin Pietrzykowski

    2014-01-01

    In Central Europe, a large portion of post-mining sites were afforested with Scots pine, which is characterized by good adaptability and a tolerance for poor habitat at the beginning of forest ecosystem development. Conversion of monoculture on mine sites into more biodi-verse mixed hardwood forests, especially on more fertile deposits, can be an emerging need in this part of Europe in next decades. The ability to classify the forests at these post-mining sites will facilitate proper species selection as well as the management and formation of the developed ecosystem’s stability. This work describes the guidelines that can be followed to assess reclaimed mine soil (RMS) quality, using the mine soil quality index (MSQI) and a classification of developed forest sites as a basis of tree-stand species selection and conversion of pine monocul-tures. The research was conducted on four post-mining facilities (lignite, hard coal, sulphur, and sand pit mining areas) on different RMS sub-strates dominant in Central Europe. Soil quality assessment takes into account the following features of the soil: texture soil nutrients (Ca, Mg, K, Na, P); acidity (pH KCl); and Corg-to-Nt ratio in the initial organic horizon. An analysis was conducted of classification systems using the MSQI validation correlation (atp =0.05) with vegetation features af-fected by succession: aboveground biomass of forest floor and ecological indicators of vascular plants (calculated on the basis of Ellenberg’s (2009) system). Eventually, in the analysed data set, the MSQI ranged from 0.270 for soils on quaternary sands to 0.720 for a mix of quaternary loamy sands with neogene clays. Potential forest habitat types and the role of the pine in the next generation of tree stands on different RMS parent rock substrate were proposed.

  10. [Practical advices in choosing local anesthesia tools in dentistry. Management of carpule's quality in local anesthesia in dentistry].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzin, A V

    2014-01-01

    The equipment for local anesthesia is described in this article. Practical recommendations for the selection of the injection needle length, size, bevel type is given. Using dental needle for local anesthesia should be guided by the "one injection - one needle" rule, as a needle tends to deform by even the slightest contact with jawbone. Some of the shortcomings of carpule quality may be detected before use: signs of cup corrosion, the presence of sediment, air bubbles, rubber plunger disposition. In the case of such defects being identified all the package should not be used. The use of such carpule in clinical practice is unsafe.

  11. New tools for modelling water quality of hydrosystems: an application in the Seine River basin in the frame of the Water Framework Directive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Even, Stéphanie; Billen, Gilles; Bacq, Nicolas; Théry, Sylvain; Ruelland, Denis; Garnier, Josette; Cugier, Philippe; Poulin, Michel; Blanc, Stéphanie; Lamy, François; Paffoni, Catherine

    2007-04-01

    The implementation of the European Water Framework Directive requires new tools for predicting the effect of expected measures taken in the watershed on water quality at the scale of large regional river systems. In the Seine basin, four models, developed in a research context, have been chained to each other to simulate water quality and biogeochemical functioning of the hydrosystem from headwater streams to the coastal marine area. All four models are based on a similar deterministic approach and share a common description of the biogeochemical processes, allowing them to exchange information. Each model differently represents the hydro-sedimentological processes, and uses different time and space resolution, in order to tackle with the specific problematic of each sub-system. This cascade of models has been used for testing a prospective scenario of water resources management at the horizon of 2015, established by Water Authorities of the Seine-Normandy district. The simulation predicts a general improvement of water quality concerning those variables linked to point sources of pollution (ammonium, oxygen, phosphate), even if, locally, this improvement can be insufficient for meeting the expected quality standards. The predicted improvement of the quality of the Seine River downstream from Paris and its estuary is large. However, the predicted very significant drop of phosphate contamination, although beneficial for limiting the problems of coastal marine eutrophication, does not lead to a significant control of phytoplankton development in the rivers upstream from Paris. The simulation also predicts a general increase in nitrate contamination mainly linked to diffuse sources from agricultural areas.

  12. Water quality of urban streams: the Allium cepa seeds/seedlings test as a tool for surface water monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athanásio, Camila Gonçalves; Prá, Daniel; Rieger, Alexandre

    2014-01-01

    The present study investigates the genotoxic, mutagenic, and cytotoxic potential of surface waters in urban streams using Allium cepa and analyzes the applicability of this assay for environmental monitoring. Water samples were collected from three streams located in the urban area of a municipality in the south of Brazil. For each stream, two samples were collected, one upstream and one downstream of the pollution discharge site. Physicochemical evaluation indicated that all samples had various degrees of environmental impact, but substantial impact was seen for the downstream samples of the Preto and Pedras streams. All samples increased the frequency of chromosome aberrations (P Allium cepa seeds/seedlings were shown to be extremely sensitive in detecting the genotoxicity of environmental water samples and can be applied as the first tool for environmental health hazard identification and prediction.

  13. Web-based Quality Control Tool used to validate CERES products on a cluster of Linux servers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, C.; Sun-Mack, S.; Heckert, E.; Chen, Y.; Mlynczak, P.; Mitrescu, C.; Doelling, D.

    2014-12-01

    There have been a few popular desktop tools used in the Earth Science community to validate science data. Because of the limitation on the capacity of desktop hardware such as disk space and CPUs, those softwares are not able to display large amount of data from files.This poster will talk about an in-house developed web-based software built on a cluster of Linux servers. That allows users to take advantage of a few Linux servers working in parallel to generate hundreds images in a short period of time. The poster will demonstrate:(1) The hardware and software architecture is used to provide high throughput of images. (2) The software structure that can incorporate new products and new requirement quickly. (3) The user interface about how users can manipulate the data and users can control how the images are displayed.

  14. Validity and usefulness of members reports of implementation progress in a quality improvement initiative: findings from the Team Check-up Tool (TCT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marsteller Jill A

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Team-based interventions are effective for improving safety and quality of healthcare. However, contextual factors, such as team functioning, leadership, and organizational support, can vary significantly across teams and affect the level of implementation success. Yet, the science for measuring context is immature. The goal of this study is to validate measures from a short instrument tailored to track dynamic context and progress for a team-based quality improvement (QI intervention. Methods Design: Secondary cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of data from a clustered randomized controlled trial (RCT of a team-based quality improvement intervention to reduce central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI rates in intensive care units (ICUs. Setting: Forty-six ICUs located within 35 faith-based, not-for-profit community hospitals across 12 states in the U.S. Population: Team members participating in an ICU-based QI intervention. Measures: The primary measure is the Team Check-up Tool (TCT, an original instrument that assesses context and progress of a team-based QI intervention. The TCT is administered monthly. Validation measures include CLABSI rate, Team Functioning Survey (TFS and Practice Environment Scale (PES from the Nursing Work Index. Analysis: Temporal stability, responsiveness and validity of the TCT. Results We found evidence supporting the temporal stability, construct validity, and responsiveness of TCT measures of intervention activities, perceived group-level behaviors, and barriers to team progress. Conclusions The TCT demonstrates good measurement reliability, validity, and responsiveness. By having more validated measures on implementation context, researchers can more readily conduct rigorous studies to identify contextual variables linked to key intervention and patient outcomes and strengthen the evidence base on successful spread of efficacious team-based interventions. QI teams

  15. Biomagnetic monitoring as a validation tool for local air quality models: a case study for an urban street canyon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofman, Jelle; Samson, Roeland

    2014-09-01

    Biomagnetic monitoring of tree leaf deposited particles has proven to be a good indicator of the ambient particulate concentration. The objective of this study is to apply this method to validate a local-scale air quality model (ENVI-met), using 96 tree crown sampling locations in a typical urban street canyon. To the best of our knowledge, the application of biomagnetic monitoring for the validation of pollutant dispersion modeling is hereby presented for the first time. Quantitative ENVI-met validation showed significant correlations between modeled and measured results throughout the entire in-leaf period. ENVI-met performed much better at the first half of the street canyon close to the ring road (r=0.58-0.79, RMSE=44-49%), compared to second part (r=0.58-0.64, RMSE=74-102%). The spatial model behavior was evaluated by testing effects of height, azimuthal position, tree position and distance from the main pollution source on the obtained model results and magnetic measurements. Our results demonstrate that biomagnetic monitoring seems to be a valuable method to evaluate the performance of air quality models. Due to the high spatial and temporal resolution of this technique, biomagnetic monitoring can be applied anywhere in the city (where urban green is present) to evaluate model performance at different spatial scales.

  16. Quality control tool of electrode coating for lithium-ion batteries based on X-ray radiography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etiemble, A.; Besnard, N.; Adrien, J.; Tran-Van, P.; Gautier, L.; Lestriez, B.; Maire, E.

    2015-12-01

    A simple and efficient method, based on X-ray radiography, is developed to check the quality (homogeneity of the thickness, presence of defects) of NMC-, LFP- and NMC/LFP-based electrode coating for Li-ion batteries at the scale of several cm2 with a resolution of 20 μm. As a first step, the attenuation coefficient of NMC- and LFP-based coating is experimentally determined according to the Beer-Lambert law. Then, the attenuation coefficient of each active material is estimated from these experimental results and X-ray attenuation databases, which allows establishing an attenuation law for any coating composition. Finally, thanks to this relationship, the thickness can be evaluated in each spot of the film and the defects, such as pinholes or broad edges with gradual decrease of the thickness coating, can be detected. The analysis of NMC-, LFP- and NMC/LFP-based electrodes shows that the coating quality decreases as coating thickness increases and as the nanometric vs. micrometric material content increases in the coating composition. This reveals detrimental aspects of nanomaterials with respect to their use in composite electrode manufactured through conventional slot-die or casting process.

  17. Use of mechanistic simulations as a quantitative risk-ranking tool within the quality by design framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stocker, Elena; Toschkoff, Gregor; Sacher, Stephan; Khinast, Johannes G

    2014-11-20

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the use of computer simulations for generating quantitative knowledge as a basis for risk ranking and mechanistic process understanding, as required by ICH Q9 on quality risk management systems. In this specific publication, the main focus is the demonstration of a risk assessment workflow, including a computer simulation for the generation of mechanistic understanding of active tablet coating in a pan coater. Process parameter screening studies are statistically planned under consideration of impacts on a potentially critical quality attribute, i.e., coating mass uniformity. Based on computer simulation data the process failure mode and effects analysis of the risk factors is performed. This results in a quantitative criticality assessment of process parameters and the risk priority evaluation of failure modes. The factor for a quantitative reassessment of the criticality and risk priority is the coefficient of variation, which represents the coating mass uniformity. The major conclusion drawn from this work is a successful demonstration of the integration of computer simulation in the risk management workflow leading to an objective and quantitative risk assessment.

  18. Item Analysis an Effective Tool for Assessing Exam Quality, Designing Appropriate Exam and Determining Weakness in Teaching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghadam Ali Talebi

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Item analysis is an integrate component of course assessment which helps observe the item characteristics and improve the quality of the course exam. It also provides a guide for improving the teaching method to enhance the students’ learning outcomes. However, item analysis results may not be applied to adjust the way teachers teach and improve the items characteristics. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of item analysis in improving assessment and teaching quality. Methods: The Item characteristics of the final exam for kinesiology course for physiotherapy students in 2 semesters were studied. Improved and good multiple choice questions (MCQs were then conducted for another semester, followed by application of both good MCQs and improved teaching for the other semester. The item characteristics were compared to observe any effect of good MCQs and teaching on educational performance. Results: The good MCQs along with the improved teaching were associated with the greater mean score and the students who passed the exam rather than those with only good MCQs. The percentage of easy questions (42.5% in students who received good MCQs and improved teaching compared with those (15% who only received good MCQs indicated that the improved pool of questions were shifted from medium to easier questions. Conclusion: We concluded that the item analysis should be followed by revised and improved teaching method. It appears that improved item characteristics are associated with improved teaching method and possibly with an improvement in students’ learning.

  19. Quality control of cultured tissues requires tools for quantitative analyses of heterogeneous features developed in manufacturing process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kino-Oka, Masahiro; Takezawa, Yasunori; Taya, Masahito

    2009-02-01

    Tissue engineering and related technology have attracted a great deal of medical attention as promising fields for curing defective tissues in vivo. Nowadays, many companies have been established for supplying the reconstructed grafts of cultured tissues for transplantation. The manufacturing processes generally deals with the handlings of starter cells offered by patients (or donors) as raw materials to cultured tissues as products, requiring the construction of novel ex vivo methodologies based on principles different from conventional processes for chemical and pharmaceutical productions. In addition, the raw materials have heterogeneity depending on the state of patients and location of cell harvests, and the products possess spatial cell distribution in the three dimensional structure. These features request a unique strategy in manufacturing process accompanied with the quality control for raw materials and products. This review article describes the contribution of tissue bankers and biochemical engineers to the quality control of cultured tissues during manufacturing, introducing the advances in methodologies to evaluate spatial heterogeneity of cells (or aggregates) and matrices in cultured tissues.

  20. The GENOTEND chip: a new tool to analyse gene expression in muscles of beef cattle for beef quality prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hocquette Jean-Francois

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous research programmes have described muscle biochemical traits and gene expression levels associated with beef tenderness. One of our results concerning the DNAJA1 gene (an Hsp40 was patented. This study aims to confirm the relationships previously identified between two gene families (heat shock proteins and energy metabolism and beef quality. Results We developed an Agilent chip with specific probes for bovine muscular genes. More than 3000 genes involved in muscle biology or meat quality were selected from genetic, proteomic or transcriptomic studies, or from scientific publications. As far as possible, several probes were used for each gene (e.g. 17 probes for DNAJA1. RNA from Longissimus thoracis muscle samples was hybridised on the chips. Muscles samples were from four groups of Charolais cattle: two groups of young bulls and two groups of steers slaughtered in two different years. Principal component analysis, simple correlation of gene expression levels with tenderness scores, and then multiple regression analysis provided the means to detect the genes within two families (heat shock proteins and energy metabolism which were the most associated with beef tenderness. For the 25 Charolais young bulls slaughtered in year 1, expression levels of DNAJA1 and other genes of the HSP family were related to the initial or overall beef tenderness. Similarly, expression levels of genes involved in fat or energy metabolism were related with the initial or overall beef tenderness but in the year 1 and year 2 groups of young bulls only. Generally, the genes individually correlated with tenderness are not consistent across genders and years indicating the strong influence of rearing conditions on muscle characteristics related to beef quality. However, a group of HSP genes, which explained about 40% of the variability in tenderness in the group of 25 young bulls slaughtered in year 1 (considered as the reference group, was

  1. SU-E-T-442: Sensitivity of Quality Assurance Tools to Delivery Errors On a Magnetic Resonance-Imaging Guided Radiation Therapy (MR-IGRT) System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodriguez, V; Li, H; Yang, D; Kashani, R; Wooten, H; Mutic, S; Green, O [Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO (United States); Dempsey, J [ViewRay Incorporated, Oakwood Village, OH (United States)

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: To test the sensitivity of the quality assurance (QA) tools actively used on a clinical MR-IGRT system for potential delivery errors. Methods: Patient-specific QA procedures have been implemented for a commercially available Cobalt-60 MR-IGRT system. The QA tools utilized were a MR-compatible cylindrical diode-array detector (ArcCHECK) with a custom insert which positions an ionization chamber (Exradin A18) in the middle of the device, as well as an in-house treatment delivery verification program. These tools were tested to investigate their sensitivity to delivery errors. For the ArcCHECK and ion chamber, a baseline was established with a static field irradiation to a known dose. Variations of the baseline were investigated which included rotated gantry, altered field size, directional shifts, and different delivery time. In addition, similar variations were tested with the automated delivery verification program that compared the treatment parameters in the machine delivery logs to the ones in the plan. To test the software, a 3-field conformal plan was generated as the baseline. Results: ArcCHECK noted at least a 13% decrease in passing rate from baseline in the following scenarios: gantry rotation of 1 degree from plan, 5mm change in field size, 2mm lateral shift, and delivery time decrease. Ion chamber measurements remained consistent for these variations except for the 5 second decrease in delivery time scenario which resulted in an 8% difference from baseline. The delivery verification software was able to detect and report the simulated errors such as when the gantry was rotated by 0.6 degrees, the beam weighting was changed by a percent, a single multileaf collimator was moved by 1cm, and the dose was changed from 2 to 1.8Gy. Conclusion: The results show that the current tools used for patient specific QA are capable of detecting small errors in RT delivery with presence of magnetic field.

  2. Bioassay battery interlaboratory investigation of emerging contaminants in spiked water extracts - Towards the implementation of bioanalytical monitoring tools in water quality assessment and monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Paolo, Carolina; Ottermanns, Richard; Keiter, Steffen; Ait-Aissa, Selim; Bluhm, Kerstin; Brack, Werner; Breitholtz, Magnus; Buchinger, Sebastian; Carere, Mario; Chalon, Carole; Cousin, Xavier; Dulio, Valeria; Escher, Beate I; Hamers, Timo; Hilscherová, Klára; Jarque, Sergio; Jonas, Adam; Maillot-Marechal, Emmanuelle; Marneffe, Yves; Nguyen, Mai Thao; Pandard, Pascal; Schifferli, Andrea; Schulze, Tobias; Seidensticker, Sven; Seiler, Thomas-Benjamin; Tang, Janet; van der Oost, Ron; Vermeirssen, Etienne; Zounková, Radka; Zwart, Nick; Hollert, Henner

    2016-11-01

    Bioassays are particularly useful tools to link the chemical and ecological assessments in water quality monitoring. Different methods cover a broad range of toxicity mechanisms in diverse organisms, and account for risks posed by non-target compounds and mixtures. Many tests are already applied in chemical and waste assessments, and stakeholders from the science-police interface have recommended their integration in regulatory water quality monitoring. Still, there is a need to address bioassay suitability to evaluate water samples containing emerging pollutants, which are a current priority in water quality monitoring. The presented interlaboratory study (ILS) verified whether a battery of miniaturized bioassays, conducted in 11 different laboratories following their own protocols, would produce comparable results when applied to evaluate blinded samples consisting of a pristine water extract spiked with four emerging pollutants as single chemicals or mixtures, i.e. triclosan, acridine, 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) and 3-nitrobenzanthrone (3-NBA). Assays evaluated effects on aquatic organisms from three different trophic levels (algae, daphnids, zebrafish embryos) and mechanism-specific effects using in vitro estrogenicity (ER-Luc, YES) and mutagenicity (Ames fluctuation) assays. The test battery presented complementary sensitivity and specificity to evaluate the different blinded water extract spikes. Aquatic organisms differed in terms of sensitivity to triclosan (algae > daphnids > fish) and acridine (fish > daphnids > algae) spikes, confirming the complementary role of the three taxa for water quality assessment. Estrogenicity and mutagenicity assays identified with high precision the respective mechanism-specific effects of spikes even when non-specific toxicity occurred in mixture. For estrogenicity, although differences were observed between assays and models, EE2 spike relative induction EC50 values were comparable to the literature, and E2/EE2

  3. Air quality modelling as a tool used in selecting technological alternatives for developing a new abrasive facility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radu Mihăiescu

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Production of abrasive compounds employs the use of various organic materials as adhesivesor as conditioners. During the baking process, a significant amount of air pollutant substances, includingvarious forms of organic compounds are emitted in the atmosphere. Selecting the most suitabletechnological process is a procedure that involves a cost benefit analysis as well as procedures forcomplying with BAT requirements (best available techniques. Assessing the resulting environmentquality in the vicinity of a new facility is also important, IPPC Directive clearly specifies that a new facilitymust not induce changes of the quality of the environment. This is highly dependent on localmeteorological and topographical conditions. The ISCST3 model was applied to assess the atmosphericdispersions associated with several potential technological designs, and compare their impacts on theenvironment.

  4. Developing an ANSI standard for image quality tools for the testing of active millimeter wave imaging systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Jeffrey; Greca, Joseph; Yam, Kevin; Weatherall, James C.; Smith, Peter R.; Smith, Barry T.

    2017-05-01

    In 2016, the millimeter wave (MMW) imaging community initiated the formation of a standard for millimeter wave image quality metrics. This new standard, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) N42.59, will apply to active MMW systems for security screening of humans. The Electromagnetic Signatures of Explosives Laboratory at the Transportation Security Laboratory is supporting the ANSI standards process via the creation of initial prototypes for round-robin testing with MMW imaging system manufacturers and experts. Results obtained for these prototypes will be used to inform the community and lead to consensus objective standards amongst stakeholders. Images collected with laboratory systems are presented along with results of preliminary image analysis. Future directions for object design, data collection and image processing are discussed.

  5. An air quality management system as a tool for establishing a SO(2)- and NO(x)-policy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bovenkerk, M.; Builtjes, P.J.H.; Zwerver, S.

    1982-01-01

    The development and use of an Air Quality Management System (AQMS) directed to the support of policy decisions made with respect to the conservation and improvement of clean air in the Netherlands is described. The AQMS consists of three distinguished modules oriented to economy, transmission and impact assessment. Application of the AQMS to SO(2) has led to the construction of an environmental decision scheme, in which maximum acceptable emission levels are given as a function of the primary and secondary SO(2)-air quality standard, the sulfur import-export balance and acidification. Together with information on the socio-economic impacts and the energy options this formed the basis for the political decision to limit future SO(2)-emissions in the Netherlands to a value not higher than 500 million kg per year, in fact to establish a ceiling value for the emissions of SO(2). For NO(x) the AQMS is still under development, so at the moment it is not possible to formulate a complete NO(x)-environmental decision scheme. Up till now the emphasis has been on the development of the transmission module of the AQMS for NO(x) i.e. the impact of domestic and foreign emissions. The results of this module are presented. The, partly preliminary, results of the AQMS-calculations point out the importance of long-range transport of NO(x) and photochemical precursors and products for the countrywide NO(2)-pattern. The results emphasize the need for the abatement of NO(x), and especially hydrocarbons, on a European scale. Also abatement of automobile exhaust is needed in order to prevent violation of the NO(2)-standard at sites with high circulation of traffic.

  6. An air quality management system as a tool for establishing a SO 2- and NOx-policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovenkerk, M.; Builtjes, P. J. H.; Zwerver, S.

    A description is given of the development and use of an Air Quality Management System (AQMS) directed to the support of policy decisions made with respect to the conservation and improvement of clean air in the Netherlands. The AQMS consists of three separate modules oriented to economy, transmission and impact assessment. Application of the AQMS to SO 2 has led to the construction of an environmental decision scheme, in which maximum acceptable emission levels are given as a function of the primary and secondary SO 2-air quality standard, the S import-export balance and acidification. Together with information on the socio-economic impacts and the energy options this formed the basis for the political decision to limit future SO 2-emissions in the Netherlands to a value not higher than 500 × 10 6 kg y -1, in fact to establish a ceiling value for the emissions of SO 2. For NOx the AQMS is still under development, so at the moment it is not possible to formulate a complete NOx-environmental decision scheme. Up till now the emphasis has been on the development of the transmission module of the AQMS for NOx, i.e. the impact of domestic and foreign emissions. The results of this module are presented in the paper. The (partly preliminary) results of the AQMS-calculations point out the importance of long-range transport of NOx and photochemical precursors and products for the countrywide NO 2-pattern. The results emphasize the need for the abatement of NOx [and especially hydrocarbons (HC)] on a European scale. Also abatement of automobile exhaust is needed in order to prevent violation of the NO 2-standard at sites with high circulation of traffic.

  7. Community-Based Soil Quality Assessment As a Tool for Designing an Urban Green Infrastructure Network to Manage Runoff.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klimas, C.; Montgomery, J.

    2014-12-01

    Green infrastructure (GI) may be the most practical approach for reducing contaminated runoff, providing ecosystem services, mitigating food deserts and creating community open spaces in urban areas. This project was funded by the USEPA's People-Prosperity-Planet (P3) program and was a partnership between a team of DePaul University undergraduates (the P3 team) and high school interns (Green Teens) and staff from the Gary Comer Youth Center (GCYC). GCYC is located in a low-income African-American community on Chicago's south side characterized by high crime, abandoned buildings, lack of green space and a food desert. The overaching project goal was to develop a network of Green Teens qualified to conduct soil quality assessment using USDA-NRCS protocols in order to let them develop GI plans to minimize storm water runoff and contaminant loadings, improve community and environmental health, and provide more equitable access to green space. Working with a USDA-ARS soil scientist from Washington State University, the P3 team conducted soil quality assessment on 116 soil samples collected among four abandoned residential lots owned by GCYC. Analytes included infiltration, bulk density, texture, pH, conductivity, aggregate stability, available nutrients, and total and bioavailable (PBET) lead. Soil pH on all lots is greater than 8.0, are low in organic matter, have little microbial respiration activity, are enriched in available phosphorus, and have average total lead values ranging from 24-2,700 mg/kg. PBET lead was less than 40% on most lots. Regardless, these soils will need to be remediated by adding carbon-rich materials such as biosolids prior to GI installation. Students enrolled in a landscape design course at DePaul developed 3-D models representing potential GI designs for one of the vacant lots that include strategies for immobilizing heavy metals, reducing runoff, and which are tied into an educational module for neighborhood school children.

  8. Quality assurance procedures during commissioning of a treatment planning system as a tool to establish new standards before migration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Błasiak

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Treatment planning system commissioning is one of the most important parts of the quality assurance system in a working brachytherapy department. Migration to a more sophisticated system is always a step forward for the planning team but careful verification of the workflow and obtained results is mandatory. The question is not only whether the quality and safety of the previous standards can be preserved, but also about the possibility of reaching a higher level. The general objective of this study was to compare and verify calculation algorithms implemented in thetreatment planning systems Plato Brachytherapy v.14.3.7 and Oncentra Masterplan (Brachy V.3.1 SP 3.Material and methods: In order to revise the optimization algorithms implemented in the compared treatment systems, a series of 20 interstitial breast cancer applications were used. Treatment plans were optimized using geometric optimization with distance option. The parameters V, D90, D100, V100, V150, V200 and DNR were gained for target volume. On the basis of the value of Student’s t-test parameters (α = 0.05 plans prepared using optimization algorithmsimplemented in the two treatment planning systems were compared.Results: For the treatment plans prepared using Oncentra Masterplan a lower value of DNR (p = 0.018 was obtained.Uniformity of the dose distribution does not collide with comparable D90 values for both treatment planning systems (p = 0.109. Dose throughout the target volume (D100 was also proved to be higher in plans prepared using Oncentra Masterplan (p = 0.012.Conclusions: For interstitial applications Oncentra Masterplan planning system enables one to prepare a more homogeneous dose distribution but also a higher dose in the whole treated volume, while the volume covered with the therapeutic dose does not statistically differ.

  9. Quality assurance procedures during commissioning of a treatment planning system as a tool to establish new standards before migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bielęda, Grzegorz; Zwierzchowski, Grzegorz; Błasiak, Barbara; Skowronek, Janusz

    2010-06-01

    Treatment planning system commissioning is one of the most important parts of the quality assurance system in a working brachytherapy department. Migration to a more sophisticated system is always a step forward for the planning team but careful verification of the workflow and obtained results is mandatory. The question is not only whether the quality and safety of the previous standards can be preserved, but also about the possibility of reaching a higher level. The general objective of this study was to compare and verify calculation algorithms implemented in the treatment planning systems Plato Brachytherapy v.14.3.7 and Oncentra Masterplan (Brachy) V.3.1 SP 3. In order to revise the optimization algorithms implemented in the compared treatment systems, a series of 20 interstitial breast cancer applications were used. Treatment plans were optimized using geometric optimization with distance option. The parameters V, D90, D100, V100, V150, V200 and DNR were gained for target volume. On the basis of the value of Student's t-test parameters (α = 0.05) plans prepared using optimization algorithms implemented in the two treatment planning systems were compared. For the treatment plans prepared using Oncentra Masterplan a lower value of DNR (p = 0.018) was obtained. Uniformity of the dose distribution does not collide with comparable D90 values for both treatment planning systems (p = 0.109). Dose throughout the target volume (D100) was also proved to be higher in plans prepared using Oncentra Masterplan (p = 0.012). For interstitial applications Oncentra Masterplan planning system enables one to prepare a more homogeneous dose distribution but also a higher dose in the whole treated volume, while the volume covered with the therapeutic dose does not statistically differ.

  10. Radiation processing: An effective quality control tool for hygienization and extending shelf life of a herbal formulation, Amritamehari churnam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suchandra Chatterjee

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Amritamehari churnam (AC is an antidiabetic polyherbal formulation constituting of four herbal medicinal plants namely Phyllanthus emblica, Salacia reticulata, Tinospora cordifolia and Curcuma longa. The feasibility of using gamma irradiation at doses between 2.5 and 10 kGy to reduce microbial load and enhance shelf life of this formulation was investigated. The irradiated and non-irradiated products were stored at room temperature (25–32 °C and 50–85% R.H., 1.5 years. Acceptability of the irradiated product was assessed based on sensory, microbial, physical and chemical attributes as well as their antioxidant status. A dose 7.5 kGy was sufficient to maintain microbial quality within acceptable limit up to 18 months of storage. No significant differences in sensory properties were observed between the non-irradiated and irradiated sample. The applied dose did not cause any significant qualitative and quantitative changes in the chemical constituents, antioxidant activities as well as physical properties when measured by EPR spectroscopy.

  11. Using Supplementary Video in Multimedia Instruction as a Teaching Tool to Increase Efficiency of Learning and Quality of Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milos Ljubojevic

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of this research is to investigate efficiency of use of supplementary video content in multimedia teaching. Integrating video clips in multimedia lecture presentations may increase students’ perception of important information and motivation for learning. Because of that, students can better understand and remember key points of a lecture. Those improvements represent some important learning outcomes. This research showed that segmentation of teaching materials with supplementary video clips may improve lecture organization and presentation in order to achieve effective teaching and learning. The context of the video content and the position of supplementary video clips in teaching material are important influences on factors for motivation and efficiency of learning. This research presents the effects of the use of supplementary videos with different context of content (entertainment and educational as well as the effects of their position within the teaching material. The experimental results showed that the most efficient method of use of supplementary video is integration with educational video content in the middle of a lecture. This position of video insertion provides the best results. The context of video content influences efficiency of learning also. Entertainment video was not as efficient as educational, but it can be used to engage and motivate students for learning. The given results have been confirmed with a subjective assessment of students’ quality of experience with different methods of embedding video clips.

  12. Computeer-based decision support tools for evaluation of actions affecting flow and water quality in the San Joaquin Basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quinn, N.W.T.

    1993-01-01

    This document is a preliminary effort to draw together some of the important simulation models that are available to Reclamation or that have been developed by Reclamation since 1987. This document has also attempted to lay out a framework by which these models might be used both for the purposes for which they were originally intended and to support the analysis of other issues that relate to the hydrology and to salt and water quality management within the San Joaquin Valley. To be successful as components of a larger Decision Support System the models should to be linked together using custom designed interfaces that permit data sharing between models and that are easy to use. Several initiatives are currently underway within Reclamation to develop GIS - based and graphics - based decision support systems to improve the general level of understanding of the models currently in use, to standardize the methodology used in making planning and operations studies and to permit improved data analysis, interpretation and display. The decision support systems should allow greater participation in the planning process, allow the analysis of innovative actions that are currently difficult to study with present models and should lead to better integrated and more comprehensive plans and policy decisions in future years.

  13. Biplot Analysis of Genotype by Environment for Cooking Quality in Hybrid Rice:A Tool for Line × Tester Data

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mohammad H. FOTOKIAN; Kayvan AGAHI

    2014-01-01

    A study of combining ability for improving rice cooking quality was carried out via genotype plus genotype × environment (GGE) biplot. Four restorer lines and three male sterile lines were used to obtain F1 in a line × tester trial at the Rice Research Institute, Amol, Iran in 2009. GGE biplot analysis showed that Neda and IR56 were the best general combiners for amylose content (AC), whereas Nemat and IR28 had the highest general combining ability (GCA) effects for gelatinization temperature (GT), and IR58 and IR59 showed the highest GCA effects in terms of gel consistency (GC). Meanwhile, IR58 and IR59 showed large specific combining ability (SCA) effects for AC, while Neda and SA13 had high SCA effects for GT. Nemat and IR28 had large SCA effects for GC. Because intermediate levels of AC, GT and GC are ideal, Nemat × IR59 was considered as the best possible cross. Based on these results, the GGE biplot showed good potential for identifying suitable parents, heterotic crosses and the best hybrids in line × tester data.

  14. Comparisons of activity measurements with radionuclide calibrators-A tool for quality assessment and improvement in nuclear medicine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oropesa, P. [Centro de Isotopos (CENTIS), P.O. Box 3415, San Jose de las Lajas, Havana (Cuba)]. E-mail: poropesa@centis.edu.cu; Hernandez, A.T. [Centro de Isotopos (CENTIS), P.O. Box 3415, San Jose de las Lajas, Havana (Cuba); Serra, R. [Centro de Isotopos (CENTIS), P.O. Box 3415, San Jose de las Lajas, Havana (Cuba); Varela, C. [Centro de Control Estatal de Equipos Medicos (CCEEM), Calle 4, No 455 (altos), Vedado CP 10400, Havana (Cuba)

    2005-10-01

    A national program of ongoing comparisons for assaying gamma-emitting radiopharmaceuticals for amount of radioactivity using radionuclide calibrators was begun in 2000. Nuclides of the most wide-spread use in Cuban nuclear medicine, {sup 131}I, {sup 201}Tl and {sup 99m}Tc, as well as two measurement geometries, glass vials and plastic syringes, were employed. In this paper, the participants' performance is assessed by mean of a statistical analysis of the reported data. Performance tables have been obtained and a {chi}{sup 2} statistic is calculated from observed and expected frequencies, with the aim of testing the hypothesis about the independence of some characteristics of the comparison results, at a significance level {alpha}=0.05. The proportion of satisfactory results in the years 2002-2004 were found to be at the same level, but higher than in 2000. It reveals an improvement of the measurement quality since 2002. The causes of improvement were investigated using the statistical treatment of several data available as supplementary information.

  15. Tolerance and biomarkers as useful tools for assessing environmental quality in the Oued Souss estuary (Bay of Agadir, Morocco).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ait Alla, A; Mouneyrac, C; Durou, C; Moukrim, A; Pellerin, J

    2006-05-01

    The aim of this study was to assess aquatic environmental quality of Oued Souss (Agadir, Morocco). This estuary has been subjected for a long time to large amounts of sewage discharges and industrial effluents. Since November 2002, no waste outlets have been discharged in this site due to their connection to a wastewater purification plant. Firstly, we have compared metal tolerance of the annelid polychaete (Nereis diversicolor) originating from Oued Souss and a relatively clean site (Oualidia, Morocco). Secondly, we have evaluated with a multi-marker approach (acetylcholinesterase [AChE], glutathione-S-transferases [GSTs], catalase, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances [TBARs]) responses of worms to the pollution gradient. Results have shown that worms from Oued Souss have acquired tolerance to copper and zinc due to a long-term sub-lethal metal exposure and this metal tolerance was maintained in spite of the end of wastewater discharges in this site. Higher catalase, GSTs and TBARs values have been observed in worms from Oued Souss sampled before implantation of wastewater treatment. The multi-marker approach confirms that these worms have been submitted to various contaminants. In contrast, high inhibition in AChE activities measured in worms from Oued Souss could be explained by the continuous agricultural influence of nearest areas. The level of contamination was probably maintained since biomarker values were generally higher in worms from Oued Souss when compared to Oualidia.

  16. AssesSeg—A Command Line Tool to Quantify Image Segmentation Quality: A Test Carried Out in Southern Spain from Satellite Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Novelli

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This letter presents the capabilities of a command line tool created to assess the quality of segmented digital images. The executable source code, called AssesSeg, was written in Python 2.7 using open source libraries. AssesSeg (University of Almeria, Almeria, Spain; Politecnico di Bari, Bari, Italy implements a modified version of the supervised discrepancy measure named Euclidean Distance 2 (ED2 and was tested on different satellite images (Sentinel-2, Landsat 8, and WorldView-2. The segmentation was applied to plastic covered greenhouse detection in the south of Spain (Almería. AssesSeg outputs were utilized to find the best band combinations for the performed segmentations of the images and showed a clear positive correlation between segmentation accuracy and the quantity of available reference data. This demonstrates the importance of a high number of reference data in supervised segmentation accuracy assessment problems.

  17. DRACO-STEM: An Automatic Tool to Generate High-Quality 3D Meshes of Shoot Apical Meristem Tissue at Cell Resolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerutti, Guillaume; Ali, Olivier; Godin, Christophe

    2017-01-01

    Context: The shoot apical meristem (SAM), origin of all aerial organs of the plant, is a restricted niche of stem cells whose growth is regulated by a complex network of genetic, hormonal and mechanical interactions. Studying the development of this area at cell level using 3D microscopy time-lapse imaging is a newly emerging key to understand the processes controlling plant morphogenesis. Computational models have been proposed to simulate those mechanisms, however their validation on real-life data is an essential step that requires an adequate representation of the growing tissue to be carried out. Achievements: The tool we introduce is a two-stage computational pipeline that generates a complete 3D triangular mesh of the tissue volume based on a segmented tissue image stack. DRACO (Dual Reconstruction by Adjacency Complex Optimization) is designed to retrieve the underlying 3D topological structure of the tissue and compute its dual geometry, while STEM (SAM Tissue Enhanced Mesh) returns a faithful triangular mesh optimized along several quality criteria (intrinsic quality, tissue reconstruction, visual adequacy). Quantitative evaluation tools measuring the performance of the method along those different dimensions are also provided. The resulting meshes can be used as input and validation for biomechanical simulations. Availability: DRACO-STEM is supplied as a package of the open-source multi-platform plant modeling library OpenAlea (http://openalea.github.io/) implemented in Python, and is freely distributed on GitHub (https://github.com/VirtualPlants/draco-stem) along with guidelines for installation and use.

  18. Assessing the Hydrologic Performance of the EPA's Nonpoint Source Water Quality Assessment Decision Support Tool Using North American Land Data Assimilation System (Products)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, S.; Ni-Meister, W.; Toll, D.; Nigro, J.; Guiterrez-Magness, A.; Engman, T.

    2010-01-01

    The accuracy of streamflow predictions in the EPA's BASINS (Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources) decision support tool is affected by the sparse meteorological data contained in BASINS. The North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) data with high spatial and temporal resolutions provide an alternative to the NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)'s station data. This study assessed the improvement of streamflow prediction of the Hydrological Simulation Program-FORTRAN (HSPF) model contained within BASINS using the NLDAS 118 degree hourly precipitation and evapotranspiration estimates in seven watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay region. Our results demonstrated consistent improvements of daily streamflow predictions in five of the seven watersheds when NLDAS precipitation and evapotranspiration data was incorporated into BASINS. The improvement of using the NLDAS data is significant when watershed's meteorological station is either far away or not in a similar climatic region. When the station is nearby, using the NLDAS data produces similar results. The correlation coefficients of the analyses using the NLDAS data were greater than 0.8, the Nash-Sutcliffe (NS) model fit efficiency greater than 0.6, and the error in the water balance was less than 5%. Our analyses also showed that the streamflow improvements were mainly contributed by the NLDAS's precipitation data and that the improvement from using NLDAS's evapotranspiration data was not significant; partially due to the constraints of current BASINS-HSPF settings. However, NLDAS's evapotranspiration data did improve the baseflow prediction. This study demonstrates the NLDAS data has the potential to improve stream flow predictions, thus aid the water quality assessment in the EPA nonpoint water quality assessment decision tool.

  19. Development of a flattening filter free multiple source model for use as an independent, Monte Carlo, dose calculation, quality assurance tool for clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faught, Austin M; Davidson, Scott E; Popple, Richard; Kry, Stephen F; Etzel, Carol; Ibbott, Geoffrey S; Followill, David S

    2017-09-01

    The Imaging and Radiation Oncology Core-Houston (IROC-H) Quality Assurance Center (formerly the Radiological Physics Center) has reported varying levels of compliance from their anthropomorphic phantom auditing program. IROC-H studies have suggested that one source of disagreement between institution submitted calculated doses and measurement is the accuracy of the institution's treatment planning system dose calculations and heterogeneity corrections used. In order to audit this step of the radiation therapy treatment process, an independent dose calculation tool is needed. Monte Carlo multiple source models for Varian flattening filter free (FFF) 6 MV and FFF 10 MV therapeutic x-ray beams were commissioned based on central axis depth dose data from a 10 × 10 cm(2) field size and dose profiles for a 40 × 40 cm(2) field size. The models were validated against open-field measurements in a water tank for field sizes ranging from 3 × 3 cm(2) to 40 × 40 cm(2) . The models were then benchmarked against IROC-H's anthropomorphic head and neck phantom and lung phantom measurements. Validation results, assessed with a ±2%/2 mm gamma criterion, showed average agreement of 99.9% and 99.0% for central axis depth dose data for FFF 6 MV and FFF 10 MV models, respectively. Dose profile agreement using the same evaluation technique averaged 97.8% and 97.9% for the respective models. Phantom benchmarking comparisons were evaluated with a ±3%/2 mm gamma criterion, and agreement averaged 90.1% and 90.8% for the respective models. Multiple source models for Varian FFF 6 MV and FFF 10 MV beams have been developed, validated, and benchmarked for inclusion in an independent dose calculation quality assurance tool for use in clinical trial audits. © 2017 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

  20. How we used a patient visit tracker tool to advance experiential learning in systems-based practice and quality improvement in a medical student clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chen Amy; Park, Ryan J; Hegde, John V; Jun, Tomi; Christman, Mitalee P; Yoo, Sun M; Yamasaki, Alisa; Berhanu, Aaron; Vohra-Khullar, Pamela; Remus, Kristin; Schwartzstein, Richard M; Weinstein, Amy R

    2016-01-01

    Poorly designed healthcare systems increase costs and preventable medical errors. To address these issues, systems-based practice (SBP) education provides future physicians with the tools to identify systemic errors and implement quality improvement (QI) initiatives to enhance the delivery of cost-effective, safe and multi-disciplinary care. Although SBP education is being implemented in residency programs and is mandated by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) as one of its core competencies, it has largely not been integrated into undergraduate medical education. We propose that Medical Student-Faculty Collaborative Clinics (MSFCCs) may be the ideal environment in which to train medical students in SBPs and QI initiatives, as they allow students to play pivotal roles in project development, administration, and management. Here we describe a process of experiential learning that was developed within a newly established MSFCC, which challenged students to identify inefficiencies, implement interventions, and track the results. After identifying bottlenecks in clinic operations, our students designed a patient visit tracker tool to monitor clinic flow and implemented solutions to decrease patient visit times. Our model allowed students to drive their own active learning in a practical clinical setting, providing early and unique training in crucial QI skills.

  1. FT-IR spectroscopy as a tool for the study of the quality of processed meat products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murcia, M. Antonia

    1994-10-01

    Full Text Available Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy has been used to characterize processed meat products. Proteins were estimated through the amide I band centered at 1650 cm-1 and lipids through the carbonyl stretching band at 1735 cm-1.
    Estimations of protein/lipid ratios were obtained by dividing the area under the 1650 cm-1 band by the area under the 1735 cm-1 band. These protein/lipid ratios correlated well with those obtained for the same samples using conventional chemical analysis. Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy is therefore a quick and analytical technique with the advantage over other procedures of being non destructive and which can be used to assess the quality of processed meat products.

    Se ha utilizado la espectroscopia de infrarrojo de transformada de Fourier por reflectancia total atenuada para caracterizar productos cárnicos procesados. Las proteínas se valoraron a través de la banda amida I centrada a 1650 cm-1 y los lípidos por la banda de tensión del carbonilo a 1735 cm-1.
    Los valores de los cocientes proteína/lípido fueron calculados dividiendo el área bajo la banda a 1650 cm-1 por el área bajo la banda a 1735 cm-1. Los cocientes proteína/lípido se correlacionan bien con aquellos obtenidos para las mismas muestras usando análisis químicos convencionales. La espectroscopia de infrarrojo de transformada de Fourier por reflectancia total atenuada es una técnica analítica rápida y con la ventaja sobre otros métodos de ser no destructiva, que puede ser usada para determinar la calidad de productos cárnicos procesados.

  2. Validation of the Brazilian Portuguese version of the Premenstrual Symptoms Screening Tool (PSST and association of PSST scores with health-related quality of life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel de A. Câmara

    Full Text Available Objective: To develop and validate a Brazilian Portuguese version of the Premenstrual Symptoms Screening Tool (PSST, a questionnaire used for the screening of premenstrual syndrome (PMS and of the most severe form of PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD. The PSST also rates the impact of premenstrual symptoms on daily activities. Methods: A consecutive sample of 801 women aged ≥ 18 years completed the study protocol. The internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and content validity of the Brazilian PSST were determined. The independent association of a positive screen for PMS or PMDD and quality of life determined by the World Health Organization Quality of Life instrument-Abbreviated version (WHOQOL-Bref was also assessed. Results: Of 801 participants, 132 (16.5% had a positive screening for PMDD. The Brazilian PSST had adequate internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.91 and test-retest reliability. The PSST also had adequate convergent/discriminant validity, without redundancy. Content validity ratio and content validity index were 0.61 and 0.94 respectively. Finally, a positive screen for PMS/PMDD was associated with worse WHOQOL-Bref scores. Conclusions: These findings suggest that PSST is a reliable and valid instrument to screen for PMS/PMDD in Brazilian women.

  3. The nematode assemblage as a tool for the assessment of marine ecological quality status: a case-study in the Central Adriatic Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. SEMPRUCCI

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Free-living nematodes are efficiently used as bio-indicators of anthropogenic disturbance in marine ecosystems. Among various criteria, functional traits may represent useful tools for monitoring environmental impact in coastal areas. A study of nematode assemblages was carried out in three locations of the Central Adriatic Sea (Italy, one at the mouth of the Foglia River (Baia Flaminia and two enclosed in the Monte San Bartolo Natural Park (Monte Brisighella and Fiorenzuola di Focara. Taxonomic composition and the functional traits of the nematode assemblage revealed a possible influence of the organic load of the Foglia River. Biotic data, as well as environmental parameters, suggested a particularly negative impact of the river on the assemblage at Baia Flaminia. Here, the increasing impact of the river led to a rise in the relative abundance of r-strategist genera like Chromadora, Sabatieria and Viscosia. Poor ecological conditions were also present at Brisighella, where the river might exert its influence due to the presence of long shore currents. In contrast, the results revealed that the best ecological quality was at Fiorenzuola di Focara, where the impact of anthropogenic activities was generally irrelevant. This study documents how nematodes can be used as an early warning indicator with which to monitor the health quality of vulnerable littoral areas.

  4. The quality and effectiveness of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA as a decision-aiding tool for national park expansion—the greater Addo Elephant National Park case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Retief

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Internationally South Africa is regarded as a leading developing country in the application of SEA. Research also indicates that the conservation sector within South Africa has been particularly prominent in exploring its application. However, very little empirical research has been conducted to learn from practice and to establish the added value of SEA to strategic decision making. To address this gap in knowledge the paper explores the input quality and output effectiveness of the greater Addo Elephant National Park SEA. The results show that the SEA achieved average to good input quality and output effectiveness performance, respectively. A number of lessons were learned for the application of SEA to future park expansion initiatives. These relate to the timing of the SEA, addressing social impacts, setting of boundaries as well as dealing with scale. The research results concluded that SEA made valuable contributions to decision making and could be considered an important decision-aiding tool for the conservation sector. To take the debate forward and to benchmark best practice it is proposed that further comparative performance evaluation research of multiple SEA case studies within the conservation sector be conducted.

  5. Histopathological alterations observed in the liver of Poecilia vivipara (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae as a tool for the environmental quality assessment of the Cachoeira River, BA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DV Paulo

    Full Text Available Histopathological alterations in liver have been widely used as a tool in studies for monitoring environmental quality. To evaluate the environmental quality in the Cachoeira river, five spots were monitored between the municipal districts of Itapé and Ilhéus, using liver histological analysis. The species chosen for analysis was Poecilia vivipara due to the fact that it is one of the most abundant in the sampling. The routine technique of inclusion and impregnation in paraffin was used, and the cuts were stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin (H & E. Histopathological alterations in the liver were evaluated semi-quantitatively and based on the severity of the lesions. The results of the histopathological alteration frequency together with the average taken from the Histopathological Alteration Index from points 1 (Vila de Itapé and 2 (Fazenda Santa Amélia showed that in this area the environment is more threatened because of some stressor agent, possibly contaminants that seem to be acting in the environment and endangering the health of fish. The statistic results demonstrated that there were no significant differences among points 1, 2 and 4, which means they are very similar to one another, and are ecologically endangered.

  6. Evidence-based decision-making in infectious diseases epidemiology, prevention and control: matching research questions to study designs and quality appraisal tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harder, Thomas; Takla, Anja; Rehfuess, Eva; Sánchez-Vivar, Alex; Matysiak-Klose, Dorothea; Eckmanns, Tim; Krause, Gérard; de Carvalho Gomes, Helena; Jansen, Andreas; Ellis, Simon; Forland, Frode; James, Roberta; Meerpohl, Joerg J; Morgan, Antony; Schünemann, Holger; Zuiderent-Jerak, Teun; Wichmann, Ole

    2014-05-21

    The Project on a Framework for Rating Evidence in Public Health (PRECEPT) was initiated and is being funded by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to define a methodology for evaluating and grading evidence and strength of recommendations in the field of public health, with emphasis on infectious disease epidemiology, prevention and control. One of the first steps was to review existing quality appraisal tools (QATs) for individual research studies of various designs relevant to this area, using a question-based approach. Through team discussions and expert consultations, we identified 20 relevant types of public health questions, which were grouped into six domains, i.e. characteristics of the pathogen, burden of disease, diagnosis, risk factors, intervention, and implementation of intervention. Previously published systematic reviews were used and supplemented by expert consultation to identify suitable QATs. Finally, a matrix was constructed for matching questions to study designs suitable to address them and respective QATs. Key features of each of the included QATs were then analyzed, in particular in respect to its intended use, types of questions and answers, presence/absence of a quality score, and if a validation was performed. In total we identified 21 QATs and 26 study designs, and matched them. Four QATs were suitable for experimental quantitative study designs, eleven for observational quantitative studies, two for qualitative studies, three for economic studies, one for diagnostic test accuracy studies, and one for animal studies. Included QATs consisted of six to 28 items. Six of the QATs had a summary quality score. Fourteen QATs had undergone at least one validation procedure. The results of this methodological study can be used as an inventory of potentially relevant questions, appropriate study designs and QATs for researchers and authorities engaged with evidence-based decision-making in infectious disease epidemiology

  7. Chemical-instrumental-sensory parameters and chemometrics as tools to discriminate among the quality categories of dry-cured Iberian shoulder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ventanas, J.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available A combination of physico-chemical and sensory measurements along with chemometric tools was used to authenticate the quality category of dry-cured Iberian shoulder. Depending on the confinement regime and feeding background, dry-cured Iberian shoulders from three classes were analyzed: i pigs reared in confinement regime and fed with commercial feeds (CON class, ii pigs reared in extensive regime and fed with commercial feeds (EXT class and iii pigs reared in extensive regime and fed with natural sources (grass and acorns, called Montanera regime (MON class. The principal component analysis (PCA results discriminated among the three types of dry-cured shoulders according to their quality. The soft independent modelling of class analogy (SIMCA, which is a classification model, enabled the characterization of the quality class of unknown dry-cured shoulder samples. Finally the Cooman´s plot and Si vs. Hi plot provide a classification for the unknown quality of dry-cured shoulders.La combinación de determinaciones físico-químicas y sensoriales con herramientas quimiométricas han sido utilizadas para identificar la calidad de paletas Ibéricas curadas. Dependiendo del grado de confinamiento y la alimentación, tres clases de paletas Ibéricas curadas fueron analizadas: i a partir de cerdos criados en régimen intensividad y alimentados con piensos comerciales (clase CON, ii a partir de cerdos criados en régimen de extensividad y alimentados con piensos comerciales (clase EXT y iii a partir de cerdos criados en régimen de extensividad y alimentados con recursos naturales (hierba y bellota (clase MON, montanera. El análisis de componentes principales (PCA permitió diferenciar entre tres tipos de paletas Ibéricas curadas de acuerdo con su calidad. El modelo multivariante clasificatorio, Suave Modelado Independiente de Clases Analógicas (SIMCA, permitió caracterizar la calidad de paletas curadas cuya clase se desconoce. Finalmente, las

  8. A web-based spatial decision supporting system (S-DSS) for grapevine quality: the viticultural tool of the SOILCONS-WEB Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manna, Piero; Bonfante, Antonello; Basile, Angelo; Langella, Giuliano; Agrillo, Antonietta; De Mascellis, Roberto; Florindo Mileti, Antonio; Minieri, Luciana; Orefice, Nadia; Terribile, Fabio

    2014-05-01

    The SOILCONSWEB Project aims to create a decision support system operating at the landscape scale (Spatial-DSS) for the protection and the management of soils in both agricultural and environmental issues; it is a cyber-infrastructure built on remote servers operating through the web at www.landconsultingweb.eu. It includes - among others - a series of tools specifically designed to a Viticulture aiming at high quality wines production. The system is realized thanks to a collaboration between the University of Naples Federico II, CNR ISAFoM, Ariespace srl and SeSIRCA-Campania Region within a 5-years LIFE+ project funded by European Community. The system includes tools based on modelling procedures at different level of complexity some of which specifically designed for viticulture issues. One of the implemented models arise from the original desktop based SWAP model (Kroes et al, 2008). It can be run "on the fly" through a very user friendly web-interface. The specific tool, thanks to the model based on the Richard's equation can produce data on vineyard water stress, simulating the soil water balances of the different soil types within an area of interest. Thanks to a specific program developed within the project activities, the Spatial-DSS every day acquires punctual weather data and automatically spatialize them with geostatistical approaches in order to use the data as input for the SPA (Soil Plant Atmosphere ) model running. In particular for defining the upper boundary condition (rainfall and temperatures to estimate ET0 by the Hargraves model). Soil hydraulic properties (47 soil profiles within the study area), also essential for modelling simulation, were measured in laboratory using the Wind's approach or estimated through HYPRES PTF. Water retention and hydraulic conductivity relationships were parameterized according to the van Genuchten-Mualem model; Decision makers (individuals, groups of interests and public bodies) through the DSS can have real

  9. A Cartographic Tool for Managing African Swine Fever in Eurasia: Mapping Wild Boar Distribution Based on the Quality of Available Habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, J; Iglesias, I; Muñoz, M J; de la Torre, A

    2016-09-05

    The current African swine fever (ASF) epidemic in Eurasia represents a risk for the swine industry with devastating socio-economic and political consequences. Wild boar appears to be a key factor in maintaining the disease in endemic areas (mainly the Russian Federation) and spreading the disease across borders, including within the European Union. To help predict and interpret the dynamics of ASF infection, we developed a standardized distribution map based on global land cover vegetation (GLOBCOVER) that quantifies the quality of available habitats (QAH) for wild boar across Eurasia as an indirect index for quantifying numbers of wild boar. QAHs were estimated using a seven-level scale based on expert opinion and found to correlate closely with georeferenced presence of wild boar (n = 22 362): the highest wild boar densities (74.47%) were found in areas at the two highest QAH levels, while the lowest densities (5.66%) were found in areas at the lowest QAH levels. Mapping notifications from 2007 to 2016 onto the QAH map showed that in endemic areas, 60% of ASF notifications occurred in domestic pigs, mostly in agricultural landscapes (QAHs 1.75 and 1) containing low-biosecurity domestic pig farms. In the EU, in contrast, 95% of ASF notifications occurred in wild boar, within natural landscapes (QAH 2). These results suggest that the QAH map can be a useful epi-tool for defining risk scenarios and identifying potential travel corridors for ASF. This tool will help inform resource allocation decisions and improve prevention, control and surveillance of ASF and potentially of other diseases affecting swine and wild boar in Eurasia.

  10. A spatio-temporal screening tool for outlier detection in long term / large scale air quality observation time series and monitoring networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kracht, Oliver; Reuter, Hannes I.; Gerboles, Michel

    2013-04-01

    We present a consolidated screening tool for the detection of outliers in air quality monitoring data, which considers both attribute values and spatio-temporal relationships. Furthermore, an application example of warnings on abnormal values in time series of PM10 datasets in AirBase is presented. Spatial or temporal outliers in air quality datasets represent stations or individual measurements which differ significantly from other recordings within their spatio-temporal neighbourhood. Such abnormal values can be identified as being extreme compared to their neighbours, even though they do not necessarily require to differ significantly from the statistical distribution of the entire population. The identification of such outliers can be of interest as the basis of data quality control systems when several contributors report their measurements to the collection of larger datasets. Beyond this, it can also provide a simple solution to investigate the accuracy of station classifications. Seen from another viewpoint, it can be used as a tool to detect irregular air pollution emission events (e.g. the influence of fires, wind erosion events, or other accidental situations). The presented procedure for outlier detection was designed based on already existing literature. Specifically, we adapted the "Smooth Spatial Attribute Method" that was first developed for the identification of outlier values in networks of traffic sensors [1]. Since a free and extensible simulation platform was considered important, all codes were prototyped in the R environment which is available under the GNU General Public License [2]. Our algorithms are based on the definition of a neighbourhood for each air quality measurement, corresponding to a spatio-temporal domain limited by time (e.g., +/- 2 days) and distance (e.g., +/- 1 spherical degrees) around the location of ambient air monitoring stations. The objective of the method is that within such a given spatio-temporal domain, in which

  11. SU-D-213-03: Towards An Optimized 3D Scintillation Dosimetry Tool for Quality Assurance of Dynamic Radiotherapy Techniques

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rilling, M [Département de physique, de génie physique et d’optique, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC (Canada); Centre de Recherche sur le Cancer, Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, Quebec City, QC (Canada); Département de radio-oncologie, CHU de Québec, Quebec City, QC (Canada); Center for Optics, Photonics and Lasers, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC, CA (Canada); Goulet, M [Département de radio-oncologie, CHU de Québec, Quebec City, QC (Canada); Thibault, S [Département de physique, de génie physique et d’optique, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC (Canada); Center for Optics, Photonics and Lasers, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC, CA (Canada); Archambault, L [Département de physique, de génie physique et d’optique, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC (Canada); Centre de Recherche sur le Cancer, Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, Quebec City, QC (Canada); Département de radio-oncologie, CHU de Québec, Quebec City, QC (Canada)

    2015-06-15

    specifications. This work leads the way to improving the 3D dosimeter’s achievable resolution, efficiency and build for providing a quality assurance tool fully meeting clinical needs. M.R. is financially supported by a Master’s Canada Graduate Scholarship from the NSERC. This research is also supported by the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Optical Design.

  12. MRPrimerW: a tool for rapid design of valid high-quality primers for multiple target qPCR experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyerin; Kang, NaNa; An, KyuHyeon; Koo, JaeHyung; Kim, Min-Soo

    2016-07-08

    Design of high-quality primers for multiple target sequences is essential for qPCR experiments, but is challenging due to the need to consider both homology tests on off-target sequences and the same stringent filtering constraints on the primers. Existing web servers for primer design have major drawbacks, including requiring the use of BLAST-like tools for homology tests, lack of support for ranking of primers, TaqMan probes and simultaneous design of primers against multiple targets. Due to the large-scale computational overhead, the few web servers supporting homology tests use heuristic approaches or perform homology tests within a limited scope. Here, we describe the MRPrimerW, which performs complete homology testing, supports batch design of primers for multi-target qPCR experiments, supports design of TaqMan probes and ranks the resulting primers to return the top-1 best primers to the user. To ensure high accuracy, we adopted the core algorithm of a previously reported MapReduce-based method, MRPrimer, but completely redesigned it to allow users to receive query results quickly in a web interface, without requiring a MapReduce cluster or a long computation. MRPrimerW provides primer design services and a complete set of 341 963 135 in silico validated primers covering 99% of human and mouse genes. Free access: http://MRPrimerW.com. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  13. 质量工具在威金斯气柜运行管理与维修中的应用%Application of Quality Tools in Wiggins Gas Holder Operation Management and Maintenance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郭亮; 宋育山; 滕云涛; 张刚

    2012-01-01

    介绍了质量工具在威金斯气柜运行管理中的应用,针对密封系统和调平系统中的重大隐患及关键工艺参数进行收集整理,用质量工具分析方法从中积累了若干经验,用以指导威金斯气柜的运行及检修,在威金斯气柜的隐患控制及运行管理中取得了较好的效果。%This article introduces the application of quality tools in the Wiggins gas holder operation management. The major hidden troubles and the main technical data for the sealing and leveling system are collected and analyzed with the quality tools. The experience gained from the application of quality tools is used to direct the operation and maintenance of Wiggins gas holder. The quality tools have got good effects in the hidden trouble control and the operation management of Wiggins gas holder.

  14. The Investigation of Coated Tools Tribological Characteristics Influence on the Cutting Process and the Quality Parameters of the Parts Surface Layer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V.F. Bezjazychnyj

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The influence of cutting tools nanostructured coatings on the parameters of machined parts surface layer has been researched. The interaction between friction characteristics of coated tools and shear plane angle during machining has been determined. The results of different materials cutting with coated carbide-tipped tools have been shown.

  15. German-translated Norfolk quality of life (QOL-DN) identifies the same factors as the English version of the tool and discriminates different levels of neuropathy severity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinik, Etta J; Paulson, James F; Ford-Molvik, Stephanie L; Vinik, Aaron I

    2008-11-01

    The development and validation of Norfolk QOL-DN, a fiber-specific, quality-of-life tool for diabetic neuropathy, was published previously (Part 1). This study (Part 2) defines the psychometric properties of the German-translated Norfolk QOL-DN in a large multicenter (96 sites) population with neuropathy ranging from minimal to severe, comparing them with those in the original English/American version in a 30-center European/North American population with mild neuropathy; determines the power of the German-translated version in a five-staged diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) German population to discriminate different levels of neuropathy severity; and establishes factors having the greatest impact on QOL. One hundred eighty-six German patients were assessed: asymptomatic of DPN (n = 40), symptomatic (n = 46), DN with foot-ulcer history (n = 32), DN with amputations (n = 22), and DN amputation history (n = 46). German-translated Norfolk QOL-DN was administered to 177 patients with staged DN complications. German-translated Norfolk QOL-DN data were compared with QOL-DN data from the European/American study of 379 mild neuropathy patients. Exploratory factor analysis assessed factor structure consistency in the translated instrument. Ordinal regression analysis (polytomous universal model) was used to evaluate the association between factor scores and complication stages. The German translation identified the same five factors in more advanced neuropathy as in the English mild neuropathy population. Total QOL scores differed among each of the five neuropathy severity groups [analysis of variance p DN discriminates levels of neuropathy within and between populations. Physical functioning and ADL are the most important determinants of QOL. Early occurrence of orthostasis suggests a redefinition of autonomic neuropathy to be more symptom inclusive.

  16. Genetics Health Professionals' Views on Quality of Genetic Counseling Service Provision for Presymptomatic Testing in Late-Onset Neurological Diseases in Portugal: Core Components, Specific Challenges and the Need for Assessment Tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paneque, M; Mendes, Á; Guimarães, L; Sequeiros, J; Skirton, H

    2015-08-01

    Quality assessment of genetic counseling practice for improving healthcare is a challenge for genetic services worldwide; however, there is scarce literature regarding quality issues in genetic counseling in the context of presymptomatic testing for late-onset neurological diseases (Paneque et al. 2012) The aims of this qualitative study were to: (1) explore the views of professionals' who provide genetic counseling services for presymptomatic testing for late-onset neurological diseases regarding relevant quality indicators for counseling practice; and (2) examine current assessment of such counseling practice for Portuguese genetic services. Quality indicators are a means of measuring either the process or outcomes of patient services, with the aim of evaluating and improving quality of care (Mainz 2003). In this study, we defined quality indicators as measurable outcomes of the counseling process that may reflect good professional practice and desirable end-term effects. We undertook interviews with 18 genetic health professionals (85 % of all genetic counseling professionals involved) from the major genetic services in Portugal. Results indicate that professionals valued some core components of genetic counseling, including providing information and decision-making support, informing the consultand about the genetic counseling protocol, as well as exploring motivations, expectations for test results, consequent anticipated life changes, psychosocial adjustment, and personal and familial experience with the disease. Professionals were not, however, able to clearly elucidate quality indicators for effective practice and some reported they had not reflected on that topic before. Professionals also reported specific challenges in their practice, such as ambiguity of the health/illness status and affirming consultands' autonomy. Results of the study have revealed a lack of knowledge about quality indicators and tools to assess counseling practice. A credible set of

  17. [CME activities of medical journals: quality of multiple-choice questions as evaluation tool. Using the example of the German medical journals Deutsches Arzteblatt, Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift, and Der Internist].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kühne-Eversmann, Lisa; Nussbaum, Claudia; Reincke, Martin; Fischer, Martin R

    2007-12-15

    The participation of doctors in Continuing Medical Education (CME) activities provided by medical journals increases. Therefore, their quality and efficacy need to be evaluated. This study evaluated the quality of the multiple-choice questions (MCQs) as evaluation tool of CME activities in three German medical journals (Der Internist, Deutsches Arzteblatt, Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift). In total, 390 MCQs were reviewed using evidence-based principles of effective item writing. The content quality of the MCQs was not evaluated in this study. 264 (67.7%) of 390 MCQs contained flaws with 449 flaws in total. The proportion of flawed items was 60.8% in Deutsches Arzteblatt, 63.3% in Der Internist, and 77.9% in Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift. The most frequent flaws were clues (33.8%, Deutsches Arzteblatt), negatively worded stems (29.8%, Der Internist), and unfocused stems (24.7%, Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift). SCHLUSSFOLGERUNG: The problem of formal flaws in MCQs has an extensive relevance, as seen by the large number of studies related to this topic. The frequency of flaws (67.7%) was similar to recent studies. The distribution of the flaws suggests that with minor editing the quality of the MCQs could be substantially improved. The use of high-quality evaluation tools is essential to invalidate the accusation of the trivialization of CME activities, irrespective of their social context.

  18. The Self-Perception and Relationships Tool (S-PRT: A novel approach to the measurement of subjective health-related quality of life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wishart Paul M

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Self-Perception and Relationships Tool (S-PRT is intended to be a clinically responsive and holistic assessment of patients' experience of illness and subjective Health Related Quality of Life (HRQL. Methods A diversity of patients were involved in two phases of this study. Patient samples included individuals involved with renal, cardiology, psychiatric, cancer, chronic pelvic pain, and sleep services. In Phase I, five patient focus groups generated 128 perceptual rating scales. These scales described important characteristics of illness-related experience within six life domains (i.e., Physical, Mental-Emotional, Interpersonal Receptiveness, Interpersonal Contribution, Transpersonal Receptiveness and Transpersonal Orientation. Item reduction was accomplished using Importance Q-sort and Importance Checklist methodologies with 150 patients across the participating services. In Phase II, a refined item pool (88 items was administered along with measures of health status (SF-36 and spiritual beliefs (Spiritual Involvements and Beliefs Scale – SIBS to 160 patients, of these 136 patients returned complete response sets. Results Factor analysis of S-PRT results produced a surprisingly clean five-factor solution (Eigen values> 2.0 explaining 73.5% of the pooled variance. Items with weaker or split loadings were removed leaving 36 items to form the final S-PRT rating scales; Intrapersonal Well-being (physical, mental & emotional items, Interpersonal Receptivity, Interpersonal Contribution, Transpersonal Receptivity and Transpersonal Orientation (Eigen values> 5.4 explaining 83.5% of the pooled variance. The internal consistency (Cronbach's Alpha of these scales was very high (0.82–0.97. Good convergent correlations (0.40 to 0.67 were observed between the S-PRT scales and the Mental Health scales of the SF-36. Correlations between the S-PRT Intrapersonal Well-being scale and three of SF-36 Physical Health scales were moderate

  19. The IRIS DMC: Perspectives on Real-Time Data Management and Open Access From a Large Seismological Archive: Challenges, Tools, and Quality Assurance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, R. B.

    2007-05-01

    The IRIS Data Management Center, located in Seattle, WA, is the largest openly accessible geophysical archive in the world, and has a unique perspective on data management and operational practices that gets the most out of your network. Networks scale broad domains in time and space, from finite needs to monitor bridges and dams to national and international networks like the GSN and the FDSN that establish a baseline for global monitoring and research, the requirements that go into creating a well-tuned DMC archive treat these the same, building a collaborative network of networks that generations of users rely on and adds value to the data. Funded by the National Science Foundation through the Division of Earth Sciences, IRIS is operated through member universities and in cooperation with the USGS, and the DMS facility is a bridge between a globally distributed collaboration of seismic networks and an equally distributed network of users that demand a high standard for data quality, completeness, and ease of access. I will describe the role that a perpetual archive has in the life cycle of data, and how hosting real-time data performs a dual role of being a hub for continuous data from approximately 59 real-time networks, and distributing these (along with other data from the 40-year library of available time-series data) to researchers, while simultaneously providing shared data back to networks in real- time that benefits monitoring activities. I will describe aspects of our quality-assurance framework that are both passively and actively performed on 1100 seismic stations, generating over 6,000 channels of regularly sampled data arriving daily, that data providers can use as aids in operating their network, and users can likewise use when requesting suitable data for research purposes. The goal of the DMC is to eliminate bottlenecks in data discovery and shortening the steps leading to analysis. This includes many challenges, including keeping metadata

  20. Preliminary Study of Potential Application of Quality Risk Management Tools in Pharmaceutical Production%初探质量风险管理工具在药品生产中的潜在运用

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郑志满

    2012-01-01

    质量风险管理的推广是基于对质量风险管理的正确理解,并将其理念应用于实际过程控制中,判定风险是否处于可接受的低风险水平,否则应及时进行风险预警处理并制定相应的风险控制措施将质量隐患扼杀于萌芽状态,通过质量风险管理工具对可能影响质量的因素进行系统分析,避免质量损失及浪费。%The promotion of quality risk management was based on a correct understanding of the quality of risk man- agement, and applied the concepts of quality of risk management in practical process control, to determine whether the risk in acceptable, otherwise, handled of early warning promptly and established the corresponding risk control measures to eliminate the potential quality problems. By the quality of risk management tools, the factors may affect the quality of systematically were analyzed to avoid loss and waste of the quality.

  1. Analysis of Three European Assessment Tools for Measuring MOOCs’ Quality in Higher Education and its Implications%欧洲MOOC教育质量评价方法及启示

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘路; 刘志民; 罗英姿

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, Massive Open Online Courses ( MOOCs) have been developed rapidly around the world. MOOCs provide students with open access to higher education and are designed to offer students good quality learning experiences. However, considering the high drop-out rates and low completion rate of MOOC, it is still hard to claim that higher education institutions are delivering a quality education to these students. For this reason, developing an effective assessment tool to measure the quality of MOOCs has drawn a widespread attention. Some scholars concern whether the quality of MOOCs can be assessed in the same way as any defined university with traditional quality asses-sing processes. Others argue that since the aims and intentions of both students and institutions differ in the context of MOOC compared to formal education, the conventional quality assessment and quality enhancement methods do not fit in the quality measurement of MOOCs. In this paper, we believe that the convectional quality assessment tool are inap-propriate for assessing MOOCs and it is necessary to have a capable assessment tool. In order to develop an effective assessment tool for Chinese higher education, this paper conducted a comparison analysis of three assessment tools recently proposed by European scholars for measuring the quality of MOOCs. The first assessment tool is the EADTUˊs OpenupEd quality label, which refers to evaluating the MOOCs’ quality from in-stitutional level and course level. The second one was a comprehensive evaluation index system of MOOCs, which is based on the ADECUR assessment tool and Standard UNE 66181:2012. It evaluates four aspects of MOOCs’ quali-ty:learning methods, levels of accessibility, virtual classroom environment/climate and recognition of training for em-ployability. The last one is the Criteria to Assure Design Quality of MOOCs, which evaluates the designing quality of MOOCs. All three assessment tools refer to assessing the MOOCs

  2. Evaluation as a Tool for Developing the Quality of Academic Libraries. Case Study at a Large and Traditional Research Oriented Scandinavian University

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaisa Sinikara

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available The leaders of our universities will ask today if we offer those services that a top university requires and whether the proposed resources for the libraries are worth investing. Establishing the European Higher Education Area (EHEA requires the establishing of quality systems. Quality assurance systems will be introduced throughout the entire European academic sector and will certainly have significant impact on the development of academic organizations. The collaborative effort to evaluate European universities is coordinated by ENQA, the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher education (Standards, 2005. Most European countries have developed a national quality assurance system. The solutions of different countries can be divided into three different classes: 1 Auditing countries[1] (institutional audit, quality audit, evaluation of quality assurance systems, enhancement-led institutional review: England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Finland, 2 Accreditation[2]: Holland, Germany and 3 Combination or another system: Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden (Audits, 2006.

  3. Reliability and Utility of the Behaviour Support Plan Quality Evaluation Tool (BSP-QEII) for Auditing and Quality Development in Services for Adults with Intellectual Disability and Challenging Behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    McVilly, K.; Webber, L.; Paris, M.; Sharp, G.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Having an objective means of evaluating the quality of behaviour support plans (BSPs) could assist service providers and statutory authorities to monitor and improve the quality of support provided to people with intellectual disability (ID) who exhibit challenging behaviour. The Behaviour Support Plan Quality Evaluation Guide II…

  4. Reliability and Utility of the Behaviour Support Plan Quality Evaluation Tool (BSP-QEII) for Auditing and Quality Development in Services for Adults with Intellectual Disability and Challenging Behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    McVilly, K.; Webber, L.; Paris, M.; Sharp, G.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Having an objective means of evaluating the quality of behaviour support plans (BSPs) could assist service providers and statutory authorities to monitor and improve the quality of support provided to people with intellectual disability (ID) who exhibit challenging behaviour. The Behaviour Support Plan Quality Evaluation Guide II…

  5. Psychometric properties of the Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire and correlates of mother-infant bonding impairment in Italian new mothers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busonera, Alessandra; Cataudella, Stefania; Lampis, Jessica; Tommasi, Marco; Zavattini, Giulio Cesare

    2017-09-01

    impaired maternal bonding is a risk factor for problems with infant well-being and development. The investigation of perinatal variables related to disorders of the mother-infant relationship as well as the administration of reliable and valid screening tools to new mothers in the postpartum can help identify early signs of a disturbed mother-child relationship. The Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire (PBQ) has been shown to be a valid screening instrument, but its dimensional structure is still controversial. An analysis of the literature demonstrated the need for research into the perinatal correlates of the quality of mother-newborn bonding as measured by the PBQ, and for information about the reliability and validity of the Italian version of the questionnaire. to (a) carry out preliminary analysis of the psychometric properties of an Italian version of the PBQ and (b) explore how mother-infant disturbances are related to relevant perinatal psychological variables. the research design consisted of a prenatal and a postnatal phase. prenatal education classes delivered in public and private institutions. 123 pregnant Italian women were recruited from prenatal education classes. in the prenatal period participants completed a questionnaire measuring maternal-fetal attachment; at the postnatal assessment (3 months postpartum) participants completed the Italian PBQ together with measures of mother-infant attachment, the couple's adjustment and maternal psychological well-being. Exploratory factor analysis was used to investigate the factor structure of the PBQ. Internal consistencies were evaluated using Cronbach's alpha. Nomological validity was assessed via Pearson correlations. a three-factor model provided the most meaningful representation of the PBQ data, with one factor reflecting annoyance and anger towards the infant, another reflecting detachment and rejection and the third reflecting anxiety about infant care. Internal consistencies were good. Impaired

  6. Higher-Order Factor Analysis as a Score Validity Evaluation Tool: An Example with a Measure of Perceptions of Library Service Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Colleen; Thompson, Bruce

    The SERVQUAL measure was developed by A. Parasuraman, L. Berry, and V. Zeithaml (1988) to measure perceptions of service quality, originally in the retailing sector. However, libraries and other educational institutions are also service providers. Librarians in particular have increasingly become interested in measuring quality of service as the…

  7. The development of an aquatic toxicity index as a tool in the operational management of water quality in the Olifants River (Knsger National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Wepener

    1992-09-01

    Full Text Available The development of an aquatic toxicity index and its application is described. In this index the protection of aquatic life is always referred to in terms of toxic effects of different water quality variables to fish, as health indicators of the aquatic ecosystem. The final index score is produced by means of standard additive techniques as well as by using the water quality variable giving the lowest index score (minimum operator. The minimum operator is employed in order not to conceal important water quality information. The aquatic toxicity index development has been linked to toxicological data, international water quality standards and South African guidelines. The index provides valuable information concerning toxic effects of a specific variable on fish should the threshold level for normal maintanence of aquatic life be exceeded. This index is intended as an aid in the interpretation of water quality information in order to facilitate management decisions.

  8. Tools for Outcome-informed management of mental illness : Psychometric properties of instruments of the Swedish clinical multicenter Quality Star cohort

    OpenAIRE

    Ivarsson, Bo

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the psychometric properties of three global user subjective measures of the ”The Quality Star” clinical review model: Consumer Satisfaction Scale, Global Quality of Life scale, and Perceived Global Distress scale. The mental health implementation context of this review model emphasizes the client as an agent of change, taking part in shared decision making in an empowered role as collaborative partner to the professional clinicians. In Paper I stu...

  9. The development of an aquatic toxicity index as a tool in the operational management of water quality in the Olifants River (Knsger National Park)

    OpenAIRE

    Wepener, V.; Euler, N.; J.H.J. van Vuren; H.H. du Preez; Astri Kohler

    1992-01-01

    The development of an aquatic toxicity index and its application is described. In this index the protection of aquatic life is always referred to in terms of toxic effects of different water quality variables to fish, as health indicators of the aquatic ecosystem. The final index score is produced by means of standard additive techniques as well as by using the water quality variable giving the lowest index score (minimum operator). The minimum operator is employed in order not to conceal imp...

  10. OPV for mobile applications. An evaluation of roll-to-roll processed indium and silver free polymer solar cells through analysis of life cycle, cost and layer quality using inline optical and functional inspection tools

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Espinos, N.; Angmo, D.; Hoesel, M.; Soendergaard, R.R.; Joergensen, M.; Krebs, F.C. [Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Lenzmann, F.O. [ECN Solar Energy, P.O. Box 1, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands); Ryley, S. [UK Materials Technology Research Institute, Nottingham Road, Melton Mowbray (United Kingdom); Huss, D.; Dafinger, S.; Gritsch, S. [Dr. Schenk GmbH Industriemesstechnik, Einsteinstrasse 37, D-82152 Planegg (Germany); Kroon, J.M. [ECN Solar Energy, High Tech Campus 5 P-61, 5656 AE Eindhoven (Netherlands)

    2013-05-08

    Organic photovoltaic modules have been evaluated for their integration in mobile electronic applications such as a laser pointer. An evaluation of roll-to-roll processed indium and silver free polymer solar cells has been carried out from different perspectives: life cycle assessment, cost analysis and layer quality evaluation using inline optical and functional inspection tools. The polymer solar cells were fabricated in credit card sized modules by three routes, and several encapsulation alternatives have been explored, with the aim to provide the simplest but functional protection against moisture and oxygen, which could deteriorate the performance of the cells. The analysis shows that ITO- and silver-free options are clearly advantageous in terms of energy embedded over the traditional modules, and that encapsulation must balance satisfying the protection requirements while having at the same time a low carbon footprint. From the economic perspective there is a huge reduction in the cost of the ITO- and silver-free options, reaching as low as 0.25 euro for the OPV module. We used inspection tools such as a roll-to-roll inspection system to evaluate all processing steps during the fabrication and analyse the layers' quality and forecast whether a module will work or not and establish any misalignment of the printed pattern or defects in the layers that can affect the performance of the devices. This has been found to be a good tool to control the process and to increase the yield.

  11. 质量管理工具在术后镇痛效果改进中的应用分析%Analysis on the application of quality management tools in the continuous improvement of postoperative analgesic effect

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    赵大仁; 刘志会; 郝康琳; 谢秋杰; 何思长; 张瑞华

    2016-01-01

    ObjectiveThe hospital rank appraisal is taken as an opportunity to continuously improve the management over postoperative analgesia of patients with quality management tools.MethodBy building QCC quality management group, adopting such quality management tools as PDCA cycle, Gantt chart, ifshbone diagram, and trend chart, and combining them with medical statistics, the authors analyzed the causes of problems existing in the postoperative analgesia after anesthesia in the hospital and formulated the measures for continuous improvement.ResultAfter the quality management tools are used, the analgesic effect is continuously improved, with the proportions of mild pain and no pain unceasingly rising and those of moderate and severe pains continuously dropping.ConclusionApplied in the management over postoperative analgesia, the quality management tools are able to effectively discover and solve problems and improve the postoperative analgesic effect.%目的:以医院等级评审为契机,运用质量管理工具对患者术后镇痛效果进行持续改进。方法通过组建品管圈质量管理小组,采用PDCA循环、甘特图、鱼骨图、趋势图等质量管理工具,结合医学统计学方法,对我院麻醉术后镇痛存在的问题进行原因分析,并制定持续改进措施。结果运用质量管理工具后,镇痛效果不断改善,轻度疼痛及无痛的比例不断上升,中重度疼痛的比例不断下降。结论质量管理工具应用到术后镇痛管理中,能及时有效发现并解决问题,提高病人术后镇痛效果。

  12. Web-based tools for data analysis and quality assurance on a life-history trait database of plants of Northwest Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stadler, Michael; Ahlers, Dirk; Bekker, Rene M.; Finke, Jens; Kunzmann, Dierk; Sonnenschein, Michael

    2006-01-01

    Most data mining techniques have rarely been used in ecology. To address the specific needs of scientists analysing data from a plant trait database developed during the LEDA project, a web-based data mining tool has been developed. This paper presents the DIONE data miner and the project it has bee

  13. A novel reconstruction tool (syngo DynaCT Head Clear) in the post-processing of DynaCT images to reduce artefacts and improve image quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lescher, Stephanie; Reh, Christina; Hoelter, Maya Christina; Czeppan, Katja; Porto, Luciana; Blasel, Stella; Berkefeld, Joachim; Wagner, Marlies

    2016-01-19

    Latest generations of flat detector (FD) neuroangiography systems are able to obtain CT-like images of the brain parenchyma. Owing to the geometry of the C-arm system, cone beam artifacts are common and reduce image quality, especially at the periphery of the field of view. An advanced reconstruction algorithm (syngo DynaCT Head Clear) tackles these artifacts by using a modified interpolation-based 3D correction algorithm to improve image quality. Eleven volumetric datasets from FD-CT scans were reconstructed with the standard algorithm as well as with the advanced algorithm. In a two-step data analysis process, two reviewers compared dedicated regions of the skull and brain in both reconstruction modes using a 5-point scale (1, much better; 5, much worse; advanced vs standard algorithm). Both reviewers were blinded to the reconstruction mode. In a second step, two additional observers independently evaluated image quality of the 3D data (non-comparative evaluation) in dedicated regions also using a 5-point scale (1, not diagnostically evaluable; 5, good quality, perfectly usable for diagnosis) for both reconstruction algorithms. Both in the comparative evaluation of dedicated brain regions and in the independent analysis of the FD-CT datasets the observers rated a better image quality if the advanced algorithm was used. The improvement in image quality was statistically significant at both the supraganglionic (p=0.018) and the infratentorial (p=0.002) levels. The advanced reconstruction algorithm reduces typical artifacts in FD-CT images and improves image quality at the periphery of the field of view. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  14. Simulation tools

    CERN Document Server

    Jenni, F

    2006-01-01

    In the last two decades, simulation tools made a significant contribution to the great progress in development of power electronics. Time to market was shortened and development costs were reduced drastically. Falling costs, as well as improved speed and precision, opened new fields of application. Today, continuous and switched circuits can be mixed. A comfortable number of powerful simulation tools is available. The users have to choose the best suitable for their application. Here a simple rule applies: The best available simulation tool is the tool the user is already used to (provided, it can solve the task). Abilities, speed, user friendliness and other features are continuously being improved—even though they are already powerful and comfortable. This paper aims at giving the reader an insight into the simulation of power electronics. Starting with a short description of the fundamentals of a simulation tool as well as properties of tools, several tools are presented. Starting with simplified models ...

  15. SveDem, the Swedish Dementia Registry - a tool for improving the quality of diagnostics, treatment and care of dementia patients in clinical practice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorota Religa

    Full Text Available The Swedish Dementia Registry (SveDem was developed with the aim to improve the quality of diagnostic work-up, treatment and care of patients with dementia disorders in Sweden.SveDem is an internet based quality registry where several indicators can be followed over time. It includes information about the diagnostic work-up, medical treatment and community support (www.svedem.se. The patients are diagnosed and followed-up yearly in specialist units, primary care centres or in nursing homes.The database was initiated in May 2007 and covers almost all of Sweden. There were 28 722 patients registered with a mean age of 79.3 years during 2007-2012. Each participating unit obtains continuous online statistics from its own registrations and they can be compared with regional and national data. A report from SveDem is published yearly to inform medical and care professionals as well as political and administrative decision-makers about the current quality of diagnostics, treatment and care of patients with dementia disorders in Sweden.SveDem provides knowledge about current dementia care in Sweden and serves as a framework for ensuring the quality of diagnostics, treatment and care across the country. It also reflects changes in quality dementia care over time. Data from SveDem can be used to further develop the national guidelines for dementia and to generate new research hypotheses.

  16. SveDem, the Swedish Dementia Registry – A Tool for Improving the Quality of Diagnostics, Treatment and Care of Dementia Patients in Clinical Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Religa, Dorota; Fereshtehnejad, Seyed-Mohammad; Cermakova, Pavla; Edlund, Ann-Katrin; Garcia-Ptacek, Sara; Granqvist, Nicklas; Hallbäck, Anne; Kåwe, Kerstin; Farahmand, Bahman; Kilander, Lena; Mattsson, Ulla-Britt; Nägga, Katarina; Nordström, Peter; Wijk, Helle; Wimo, Anders; Winblad, Bengt; Eriksdotter, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Background The Swedish Dementia Registry (SveDem) was developed with the aim to improve the quality of diagnostic work-up, treatment and care of patients with dementia disorders in Sweden. Methods SveDem is an internet based quality registry where several indicators can be followed over time. It includes information about the diagnostic work-up, medical treatment and community support (www.svedem.se). The patients are diagnosed and followed-up yearly in specialist units, primary care centres or in nursing homes. Results The database was initiated in May 2007 and covers almost all of Sweden. There were 28 722 patients registered with a mean age of 79.3 years during 2007–2012. Each participating unit obtains continuous online statistics from its own registrations and they can be compared with regional and national data. A report from SveDem is published yearly to inform medical and care professionals as well as political and administrative decision-makers about the current quality of diagnostics, treatment and care of patients with dementia disorders in Sweden. Conclusion SveDem provides knowledge about current dementia care in Sweden and serves as a framework for ensuring the quality of diagnostics, treatment and care across the country. It also reflects changes in quality dementia care over time. Data from SveDem can be used to further develop the national guidelines for dementia and to generate new research hypotheses. PMID:25695768

  17. Nitrogen Trading Tool (NTT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently developed a prototype web-based nitrogen trading tool to facilitate water quality credit trading. The development team has worked closely with the Agriculture Research Service Soil Plant Nutrient Research Unit (ARS-SPNR) and the Environmenta...

  18. 质量管理工具在我院药房调剂差错中的应用%Application of quality management tools used in the dispensing errors in our hospital

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄娟; 王平; 曾明辉; 汪渝婷; 王虹霞; 何琴

    2016-01-01

    目的:探讨质量管理工具在我院门诊药房调剂差错中的应用价值。方法应用PDCA循环及质量管理工具如调查表、甘特图、鱼骨图等,分析我院2015年上半年(1~6月)药房调剂差错事件原因,探索对策、予以实施并进行持续改进。比较方案实施前后药房调剂差错事件变化。结果与方案实施前相比,2015年下半年(7~12月)药房调剂差错事件由35件/月下降到活动后的17件/月,不仅处方调剂差错数量减少,药学人员的团队合作精神以及应用质量管理工具的能力也有较大提升。结论运用PDCA循环和质量管理工具,能够不断发现和解决问题,明显减少我院药房调剂差错事件,使药房调剂工作得以持续改进。%Objective To explore the applying value of the quality management tools in dispensing error in our hospital. Methods By means of PDCA cycle and the quality management tools,including investigative form,gantt diagram,fishbone diagram, etc.to analyze the conditions of dispensing error of our hospital in the first half of 2015,and to look for the reasons for dispensing error, explore countermeasures,implement and continuous improvement.Results According to the continuous improvement,compared with Jan.to Jun.2015 35 times/month,the dispensing error was dropped to 17 times/month,reducing the number of prescription dispensing errors,and increasing teamwork and the application of quality management tools.Conclusion Application of PDCA cycle and quality management tools could significantly reduce the dispensing errors,discover and solve problems,make the pharmacy dispenging work continuously improved.

  19. OPV for mobile applications: an evaluation of roll-to-roll processed indium and silver free polymer solar cells through analysis of life cycle, cost and layer quality using inline optical and functional inspection tools

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Espinosa Martinez, Nieves; Lenzmann, Frank O.; Ryley, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Organic photovoltaic modules have been evaluated for their integration in mobile electronic applications such as a laser pointer. An evaluation of roll-to-roll processed indium and silver free polymer solar cells has been carried out from different perspectives: life cycle assessment, cost analysis...... and layer quality evaluation using inline optical and functional inspection tools. The polymer solar cells were fabricated in credit card sized modules by three routes, and several encapsulation alternatives have been explored, with the aim to provide the simplest but functional protection against moisture...

  20. Development of a software tool for the management of quality control in a helical tomotherapy unit; Desarrollo de una herramienta de software para la gestion integral del control de calidad en una unidad de tomoterapia helicoidal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia Repiso, S.; Hernandez Rodriguez, J.; Martin Rincon, C.; Ramos Pacho, J. A.; Verde Velasco, J. M.; Delgado Aparacio, J. M.; Perez Alvarez, M. e.; Gomez Gonzalez, N.; Cons Perez, V.; Saez Beltran, M.

    2013-07-01

    The large amount of data and information that is managed in units of external radiotherapy quality control tests makes necessary the use of tools that facilitate, on the one hand, the management of measures and results in real time, and on other tasks of management, file, query and reporting of stored data. This paper presents an application of software of own development which is used for the integral management of the helical TomoTherapy unit in the aspects related to the roles and responsibilities of the hospital Radiophysics. (Author)

  1. Low level technology tool (LLTT) in screening for blindness: test qualities in the outpatients department of a tertiary eye unit using the Snellen chart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masanganise, R; Rusakaniko, S; Manjonjori, N

    2010-01-01

    To validate the use of finger counting (low level technology tool) in screening for blindness in the outpatients department of a tertiary eye unit with the view of employing the test for screening illiterate people in hard to reach parts of the country where the conventional visual acuity charts are not available. Aperformance evaluation of counting fingers (LLTT) in screening for blindness against the standard test (Snellen chart). Sekuru Kaguvi Eye Unit, Parirenyatwa Hospital, Zimbabwe. Patients presenting to the Eye Outpatient Department at Sekuru Kaguvi Eye Unit with various eye problems. Sensitivity of low level technology tool (LLTT) in identifying blind people. Sensitivity and specificity of LLTT in detecting blindness in all age groups combined was 100% and 88.5% respectively. Although sensitivity was not affected by patient age, specificity decreased with increasing age. The overall positive predictive value for the test was 53.3% and the prevalence of blindness among outpatient attendees was 11.6%. Finger counting is an effective tool that can be employed in screening for blindness in communities which are hard to reach, have low literacy rate and when conventional methods of testing visual acuity are not available.

  2. Identifying Pollutants in the Siret River Basin by Applying New Assessment Tools on Monitoring Data: the Correlation of Land Use and Physicochemical Parameter of Water Quality Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mănescu Andreea

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The Siret River are used as raw water source for different municipal water supply systems, yet the Siret River are used as receiving bodies by some inhabitants and industry. In the study the quality of the Siret River water was determinate using a Water Quality Index (WQI. Results are presented from a field study performed on the Bistrita, Moldova, Suceava, Siret, Şomuzu Mare, Trotuş and Tributary River in the study area Siret Basin Romania. The main objective of this study was to determine is to find correlations land use to indicators physical-chemical of water quality, to investigate pollution source is more responsible for river water quality. This is of interest not only research context, but also for supporting and facilitating the application analysis postullend in the Water Framework Directive (WFD (2000/60/CE for the establishment of programmers of measures. For this purpose a slightly impact pollution source municipal wastewater treatment, land uses, urban, forest, agriculture and mining was selected and intensively monitored during six years January 2006 - December 2011, sampling was determined to meet the WFD standards for confidence in twenty two different control section of the Siret Basin. The main measures to reduce emissions to the Siret River were calcium, ammonium, sulfate, residue fixed (RF, sodium, chloride, free detergent and municipal wastewater treatment, concentrated on point emission. The main contributor to diffuse this parameters increased when more percentage of land was dedicated to industry and urban and less to forest and mining.

  3. Research progress on assessment tools of quality of life of hemodialysis patients and its influencing factors%血液透析病人生活质量测评工具及影响因素研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李娟; 蔡益民

    2012-01-01

    介绍了血液透析病人生活质量现状、测评工具及人口学因素、躯体疾病相关因素、心理因素、生理因素、治疗因素、社会因素、个体自身因素、医务人员因素对血液透析病人生活质量的影响.%It introduced the status quo of quality of life of hemodialysis patients,assessment tools and influence of demographic factors, somatic disease related factors, psychological factors, physiological factors, treatment factors,social factors and individual factors and medical personnel factors on the quality of life of hemodialysis patients.

  4. Integrating Hydrologic and Water Quality Models as a Decision Support Tool for Implementation of Low Impact Development in a Coastal Urban Watershed under Climate Variability and Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, N. B.

    2016-12-01

    Many countries concern about development and redevelopment efforts in urban regions to reduce the flood risk by considering hazards such as high-tide events, storm surge, flash floods, stormwater runoff, and impacts of sea level rise. Combining these present and future hazards with vulnerable characteristics found throughout coastal communities such as majority low-lying areas and increasing urban development, create scenarios for increasing exposure of flood hazard. As such, the most vulnerable areas require adaptation strategies and mitigation actions for flood hazard management. In addition, in the U.S., Numeric Nutrient Criteria (NNC) are a critical tool for protecting and restoring the designated uses of a waterbody with regard to nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. Strategies such as low impact development (LID) have been promoted in recent years as an alternative to traditional stormwater management and drainage to control both flooding and water quality impact. LID utilizes decentralized multifunctional site designs and incorporates on-site storm water management practices rather than conventional storm water management approaches that divert flow toward centralized facilities. How to integrate hydrologic and water quality models to achieve the decision support becomes a challenge. The Cross Bayou Watershed of Pinellas County in Tampa Bay, a highly urbanized coastal watershed, is utilized as a case study due to its sensitivity to flood hazards and water quality management within the watershed. This study will aid the County, as a decision maker, to implement its stormwater management policy and honor recent NNC state policy via demonstration of an integrated hydrologic and water quality model, including the Interconnected Channel and Pond Routing Model v.4 (ICPR4) and the BMPTRAIN model as a decision support tool. The ICPR4 can be further coupled with the ADCIRC/SWAN model to reflect the storm surge and seal level rise in coastal regions.

  5. 基于SPC的树脂磨具加工过程质量控制研究%Research on quality control during manufacturing process of resin-bonded abrasive tools based on SPC

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    翁楠; 武照云; 刘楠嶓

    2012-01-01

    针对我国大多数树脂磨具生产企业存在的问题,提出将统计工序控制(SPC)方法应用到树脂磨具的质量控制领域,研究基于SPC的树脂磨具加工过程质量控制方法.分析了SPC的实施流程,将粒度、均匀度、废品数和外形尺寸作为控制对象,分别从质量信息采集、数据处理、数据分析和工序能力分析四个方面论述了SPC的原理与操作方法.结果表明:将SPC方法应用到树脂磨具加工过程的质量控制,能够有效的减少废品率,节约成本,提高产品质量和市场竞争力.%The quality control during manufacturing process of resin-bonded abrasive tools based on statistical process control(SPC) was researched. Taking the grain size, evenness, rejects number and shape dimension as control objects, the principle and operating method of SPC were discussed from four aspects: quality information collection, data processing, data analysis and process capability analysis. The results show that applying SPC to the quality control of manufacturing process of resin-bonded abrasive tools can effectively reduce reject rate, save cost, improve product quality and enhance market competitiveness.

  6. The association between health-related quality of life and Ramadan fasting in diabetic patients: a survey using a structured D-39 assessment tool. A Sudanese cohort

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Osman Mahgoub

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Most cases of chronic diseases result in physical, psychological, financial, and social burdens on the patients and the economy. The overall health-related quality of life of patients can be positively influenced by several variables including glycemic control, economic status, comorbidities, presence of complications, and the quality of medical, psychological, and social support. Studies examining the effects of fasting on diabetes during Ramadan fasting underline the biochemical changes without considering the psychosocial and financial implications. This study aimed to illuminate some of the challenges faced by both fasting and non-fasting diabetic patients during Ramadan.Further, we evaluated the quality of life of diabetes patients, explored the socio-demographic and disease-related variables, and estimated the percentage of diabetic patients who fasted during Ramadan. Methods: This was a community-based cross-sectional study conducted from August 2015 to October 2015. Diabetes 39 instrument was administered to 112 patients with diabetes in Khartoum to evaluate their health-related quality of life during Ramadan. Results: Fifty-four percent of study participants were female and 64.3% of them were aged between 40-60 years old. Sixty-two participants were able to fast (55.4% and fasted for more than 15 days. Half of the participants had, at least, one comorbidity, among which hypertension was the most common. Approximately 59% of fasting patients had mild impairment in their health-related quality of life, whereas 60% of non-fasting participants had moderate impairment. Limited stamina, and fear of hypoglycemia were the items with the highest mean scores in both groups. The fasting group had a lower average score (2.88 compared to the non-fasting group (3.66. This difference was statistically significant (p=0.033. Conclusion: Over 53% of study patients fasted for at least 1 day during Ramadan. Interestingly, Patients who fasted

  7. The Communication AssessmenT Checklist in Health (CATCH): a tool for assessing the quality of printed educational materials for clinicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genova, Juliana; Nahon-Serfaty, Isaac; Dansokho, Selma Chipenda; Gagnon, Marie-Pierre; Renaud, Jean-Sébastien; Giguère, Anik M C

    2014-01-01

    There is little guidance available on strategies to improve the communication quality of printed educational materials (PEMs) for clinicians. The purposes of this study were to conceptualize PEM communication quality, develop a checklist based on this conceptualization, and validate the checklist with a selection of PEMs. From a literature review of the strategies influencing communication quality, we generated a conceptual map and developed the Communication AssessmenT Checklist in Health (CATCH) consisting of 55 items nested in 12 concepts. Two raters independently applied CATCH to 45 PEMs evaluated in the studies included in a Cochrane systematic review. From these results, we conducted an item analysis and assessed content validity of CATCH using a hierarchical cluster analysis to explore the extent to which our CATCH operationalization truly represented the communication quality concepts. Some concepts were better covered in the studied PEMs, whereas others were not covered consistently. We observed 3 contrasting PEM clusters. A first cluster (n = 22) was characterized by longer PEMs and comprised mostly high-impact peer-reviewed scientific articles or clinical practice guidelines. A second cluster (n = 22) consisted of PEMs shorter than 4 pages that used special fonts, color, pictures, and graphics. A third cluster consisted of a single brief PEM. With CATCH it is possible to categorize and understand the mechanisms that can trigger a change in behavior in health care providers. Additional research is needed to validate CATCH before it can be recommended for use. © 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.

  8. Chatter and machine tools

    CERN Document Server

    Stone, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Focussing on occurrences of unstable vibrations, or Chatter, in machine tools, this book gives important insights into how to eliminate chatter with associated improvements in product quality, surface finish and tool wear. Covering a wide range of machining processes, including turning, drilling, milling and grinding, the author uses his research expertise and practical knowledge of vibration problems to provide solutions supported by experimental evidence of their effectiveness. In addition, this book contains links to supplementary animation programs that help readers to visualise the ideas detailed in the text. Advancing knowledge in chatter avoidance and suggesting areas for new innovations, Chatter and Machine Tools serves as a handbook for those desiring to achieve significant reductions in noise, longer tool and grinding wheel life and improved product finish.

  9. The 'PUCE CAFE' Project: the First 15K Coffee Microarray, a New Tool for Discovering Candidate Genes correlated to Agronomic and Quality Traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leroy Thierry

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the genetic elements that contribute to key aspects of coffee biology will have an impact on future agronomical improvements for this economically important tree. During the past years, EST collections were generated in Coffee, opening the possibility to create new tools for functional genomics. Results The "PUCE CAFE" Project, organized by the scientific consortium NESTLE/IRD/CIRAD, has developed an oligo-based microarray using 15,721 unigenes derived from published coffee EST sequences mostly obtained from different stages of fruit development and leaves in Coffea Canephora (Robusta. Hybridizations for two independent experiments served to compare global gene expression profiles in three types of tissue matter (mature beans, leaves and flowers in C. canephora as well as in the leaves of three different coffee species (C. canephora, C. eugenoides and C. arabica. Microarray construction, statistical analyses and validation by Q-PCR analysis are presented in this study. Conclusion We have generated the first 15 K coffee array during this PUCE CAFE project, granted by Génoplante (the French consortium for plant genomics. This new tool will help study functional genomics in a wide range of experiments on various plant tissues, such as analyzing bean maturation or resistance to pathogens or drought. Furthermore, the use of this array has proven to be valid in different coffee species (diploid or tetraploid, drastically enlarging its impact for high-throughput gene expression in the community of coffee research.

  10. The 'PUCE CAFE' Project: the first 15K coffee microarray, a new tool for discovering candidate genes correlated to agronomic and quality traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Privat, Isabelle; Bardil, Amélie; Gomez, Aureliano Bombarely; Severac, Dany; Dantec, Christelle; Fuentes, Ivanna; Mueller, Lukas; Joët, Thierry; Pot, David; Foucrier, Séverine; Dussert, Stéphane; Leroy, Thierry; Journot, Laurent; de Kochko, Alexandre; Campa, Claudine; Combes, Marie-Christine; Lashermes, Philippe; Bertrand, Benoit

    2011-01-05

    Understanding the genetic elements that contribute to key aspects of coffee biology will have an impact on future agronomical improvements for this economically important tree. During the past years, EST collections were generated in Coffee, opening the possibility to create new tools for functional genomics. The "PUCE CAFE" Project, organized by the scientific consortium NESTLE/IRD/CIRAD, has developed an oligo-based microarray using 15,721 unigenes derived from published coffee EST sequences mostly obtained from different stages of fruit development and leaves in Coffea Canephora (Robusta). Hybridizations for two independent experiments served to compare global gene expression profiles in three types of tissue matter (mature beans, leaves and flowers) in C. canephora as well as in the leaves of three different coffee species (C. canephora, C. eugenoides and C. arabica). Microarray construction, statistical analyses and validation by Q-PCR analysis are presented in this study. We have generated the first 15 K coffee array during this PUCE CAFE project, granted by Génoplante (the French consortium for plant genomics). This new tool will help study functional genomics in a wide range of experiments on various plant tissues, such as analyzing bean maturation or resistance to pathogens or drought. Furthermore, the use of this array has proven to be valid in different coffee species (diploid or tetraploid), drastically enlarging its impact for high-throughput gene expression in the community of coffee research.

  11. Application of an integrated WRF/CALPUFF modeling tool for source apportionment of atmospheric pollutants for air quality management: a case study in the urban area of Benxi, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Hao; Zhang, Yan; Yu, Qi; Ma, Weichun

    2017-10-11

    framework has credibility for effectively improving urban air quality, based on the source apportionment of atmospheric pollutants. Implication statement We endeavored to build up an effective framework based on the integrated WRF/CALPUFF to improve the air quality in many cities on meso-micro scales in China. Via this framework, the integrated modeling tool is accurately used to study the characteristics of meteorological fields, concentration fields and source apportionments of pollutants in target area. The impacts of classified sources on air quality together with the industrial characteristics can provide more effective control measures for improving air quality. Through the case study, the technical framework developed in this study, particularly the source apportionment, could provide important data and technical support for policy makers to assess air pollution on the scale of a city in China or even the word.

  12. Influence of Metallurgical Quality of Molten Iron on Quality of Machine Tools Castings%铁液冶金质量对机床铸件质量的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    罗诗华

    2012-01-01

    The influence of metallurgical quality of the molten irpn on the quality of gray iron castings was described briefly. In order to solve the quality problems of the castings produced with former melting equipment and process, it was decided to use more large capacity cupola to replace the former small capacity cupola and to use high quality cold squeezed-formed coke to replace the formerly used local coke with the purpose to increase the carburizing rate and thereby to improve the metallurgical quality of the molten iron. As the result, the carbon equivalent was increased under the condition of ensuring required mechanical properties and therefore the cast-ability of the molten iron was improved and thereby the casting defects were eliminated and the rejection rate was decreased.%简述了铁液冶金质量对灰铁铸件质量的影响情况.为解决原用熔化设备和工艺生产的铸件所存在的质量问题,改用较大的冲天炉取代小型冲天炉,并采用优质冷压成型焦取代土焦,提高渗碳率,从而提高了铁液的冶金质量,在保证力学性能的前提下提高了碳当量,改善了铁液的铸造性能,从而消除了铸造缺陷,降低了废品率.

  13. Evaluation of quality control tools for patients submitted to IMRT; Avaliacao das ferramentas de controle da qualidade para pacientes submetidos ao IMRT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lavor, Milton; Rodrigues, Laura N.; Silva, Marco A., E-mail: miltonlavor@gmail.com [Universidade de Sao Paulo (HCFMRP/USP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Hospital das Clinicas. Servico de Radioterapia

    2013-04-15

    Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is currently being implemented in a rapidly growing number of centers in Brazil. As consequence many institutions are now facing the problem of performing a comprehensive quality control program before and during the implementation of IMRT in the clinical practice. This paper proposes a methodology for quality control and presents the results and evaluations of the data obtained from the proposed methodology. Ionization chamber and two-dimensional array detector were performed in IMRT treatment planning in order to assess the absolute value of the total dose of all fields. The relative total dose distribution of all fields was measured with a radiochromic film and a two-dimensional array in a phantom. A comparison between measured and calculated dose distributions was performed using the gamma-index method, assessing the percentage of points that meet the criteria of ±3% dose difference and ±3mm distance to agreement. As a result and review of 113 tested IMRT beams using ionization chamber and 81 using two-dimensional array, the proposal was to take an action level of about ±5% compared to the treatment planning systems and measurements, for the verification of the dose in a single point at the low gradient dose region. Analysis of the two-dimensional array measurements showed that the gamma value was <1 for 97.7% of the data and for the film the gamma value was <1 for 96.6% of the data. This work can establish action levels required for quality control program proposed and implemented in the Department of Radiotherapy - Hospital das Clinicas in Sao Paulo that allows an accurate delivery of dose in 'sliding-window' IMRT with micro multi leaf collimator. (author)

  14. Hand-held lactate analyzer as a tool for the real-time measurement of physical fatigue before slaughter and pork quality prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, L M; Dionne, A; Saucier, L; Nannoni, E; Faucitano, L

    2015-04-01

    The objectives of this study were to assess the relationship between blood lactate variation measured at the plant, and pork quality variation on a large sample size and under commercial preslaughter handling conditions. A total of 600 pigs were randomly chosen on arrival at a commercial slaughter plant and blood samples taken from the ear vein at unloading (UN), after lairage (LA), in the restrainer (RE; before stunning) and at exsanguination (EX) were analysed for lactate content using a Lactate Scout Analyzer (LSA). In order to have a large range of measures, pigs were distributed into two groups; one kept in lairage overnight (G1) and the other for 2 to 3 h (G2) before slaughter. Meat quality was assessed in the Longissimus thoracis (LT), Semimembranosus (SM) and Adductor (AD) muscles by measuring the pH 30 min postmortem (pH1) and at 24 h postmortem (pHu), the colour and the drip loss. Blood lactate levels did not differ between G1 and G2 (P>0.05). A reduced muscle lactate and glucose contents (P=0.02 and P=0.004, respectively) resulting in a lower (Pmuscle of G1 pigs when compared with G2 loins. In the LT muscle of G1 pigs, the lower GP resulted in an increased pHu (r=-0.67; Pmuscles (r=-0.73; Pmuscles (r=0.46 and r=0.44, respectively; Pmuscles). The second greatest correlation was found between blood lactate levels at EX and pH1 value in the SM muscle in both groups (r=-0.37 and r=-0.41, respectively; Pexplain the variation in pork quality.

  15. Capillary electrophoresis, gas-phase electrophoretic mobility molecular analysis, and electron microscopy: effective tools for quality assessment and basic rhinovirus research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Victor U; Subirats, Xavier; Kumar, Mohit; Harutyunyan, Shushan; Gösler, Irene; Kowalski, Heinrich; Blaas, Dieter

    2015-01-01

    We describe standard methods for propagation, purification, quality control, and physicochemical characterization of human rhinoviruses, using HRV-A2 as an example. Virus is propagated in HeLa-OHIO cells grown in suspension culture and purified via sucrose density gradient centrifugation. Purity and homogeneity of the preparations are assessed with SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), capillary electrophoresis (CE), gas-phase electrophoretic mobility molecular analysis (GEMMA), and electron microscopy (EM). We also briefly describe usage of these methods for the characterization of subviral particles as well as for the analysis of their complexes with antibodies and soluble recombinant receptor mimics.

  16. Patient pools and the use of "patient means" are valuable tools in quality control illustrated by a bone-specific alkaline phosphatase assay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hinge, Maja; Lund, Erik D.; Brandslund, Ivan;

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Quality control (QC) is an essential part of clinical biochemistry to ensure that laboratory test results are reliable and correct. Those tests without a defined reference method constitute a special challenge, as is the case with bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP). METHODS...... AND RESULTS: The present study reports an example where a shift in a BAP assay was detected by use of a patient pool and supported by a retrospective calculation of "patient mean", while the external QC and specific assay control material were unaffected by the shift. CONCLUSIONS: Patient pools and the use...

  17. Regression Modeling Of Cutting Parameters' Effect To Cutting Forces And Hole Surface Qualities In Drilling Of Dievar Hot Work Tool Steel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    İskender Özkul

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, cutting moments, surface roughness, dimensional accuracy and circularity deviation values were investigated during drilling on Dievar degree of hot work tool steels with various drill bits. The experiments, was completed with Ø16 mm diameter uncoated carbide drill bits and TiAlN coated self-reamed carbide drill bits using coolant fluid on vertical machining center. In experiments, feed rate 0,16 mm/rev and the cutting speed 36, 40, 44, 48 m/min rates were used. The results were modeled by the method of linear regression and polynomial regression curve. Then they were compared with values equal significance. At the same time by analysis of variance, the cutting speed and drill type were investigated on the results of axial feed force, cutting torque, surface roughness, dimensional accuracy and circularity the deviation.

  18. 质量管理工具与旅行社出境游危机预警能力的提高%Quality Management Tools and Ascending Travel Outbound Crisis Warning Abilities

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄怡

    2012-01-01

    当今社会,旅游已成为人们提高生活质量的重要选择.而出境游也日益受到游客的喜爱.由于受到多种不确定因素的影响,出境游的安全问题也越来越受到关注和重视.为此,旅行社亟需根据相关规定,建立健全出境游危机预警机制和加强执行力以保证游客安全.针对出境游存在的风险,结合质量管理工具的特点,运用案例分析和模拟分析方法,探讨了质量管理工具在旅行社经营出境游中提升危机预警能力的应用.%Nowadays, tourism has become an important activity to improve quality of life. Outbound tourism becomes more and more popular. Due to many uncertain factors, the security of outbound tourism is concerned. So, according to the related regulations, the travel agency has to establish and improve the crisis early warning mechanism and strengthen its executive ability to ensure the safety of tourists. This paper, considering the risks of outbound tourism and the characteristics of quality management tools, using the method of case analysis and simulation analysis, probes into that using quality management tools promotes the capabilities of outbound tourism crisis early warning as a reference for travel agency.

  19. THE IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF NEIGHBORHOOD AS A TOOL FOR DEVELOPMENT OF QUALITY OF URBAN LIFE = O ESTUDO DE IMPACTO DE VIZINHANÇA COMO INSTRUMENTO PARA O DESENVOLVIMENTO DA QUALIDADE DE VIDA URBANA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Diego D’ Ovídio Silva

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The urbanization process has brought to cities are two serious problems: social exclusion and land speculation. To reverse the degradation of the urban environment, the City Statute - Federal Law 10.257, promulgated on July 10, 2001, creates the necessary tools to plan the city in order to promote quality of life of citizens. Among the various instruments established by law, there is the Impact of Neighborhood, an institute essential to avoid the deployment of developments or activities that have the potential to degrade the immediate neighborhood, the urban environment and quality of urban life. Thus, this article discusses the role of Impact of Neighborhood as a tool for enhancing the quality of life in cities, as this institute is increasingly being used by municipalities in urban planning process. = O processo de urbanização trouxe para as cidades dois problemas graves: a exclusão social e a especulação imobiliária. No sentido de reverter a degradação do meio ambiente urbano, o Estatuto da Cidade - Lei Federal 10.257, promulgada em 10 de julho de 2001, cria os instrumentos necessários para planejar a cidade, de modo a promover a qualidade de vida dos cidadãos. Dentre os vários instrumentos estabelecidos na lei, surge o Estudo de Impacto de Vizinhança – EIV, um instituto fundamental para se evitar a implantação de empreendimentos ou atividades potencialmente causadoras de degradação à vizinhança imediata, ao meio ambiente urbano e à qualidade de vida urbana. Dessa maneira, o presente artigo discute o papel do EIV como ferramenta para a promoção da qualidade de vida nas cidades, uma vez que tal instituto está cada vez mais sendo utilizado pelos municípios no processo de ordenamento urbano.

  20. Validation of LC for the determination of alpha-mangostin in mangosteen peel extract: a tool for quality assessment of Garcinia mangostana L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yodhnu, Sukit; Sirikatitham, Anusak; Wattanapiromsakul, Chatchai

    2009-03-01

    Mangosteen, Garcinia mangostana L., is known as the "Queen of fruits" and can be cultivated in the tropical rainforest such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. Compounds isolated from the fruit peel of mangosteen contain abundant xanthones (especially alpha-mangostin). It has been used as traditional medicine such as anti-inflammatory and antibacterial and is popularly applied to cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. However, there is little information for quality and quantity determination of alpha-mangostin in mangosteen. Thus, the aim of this study was to set up a validated and stability-indicated isocratic reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method for quality control and quantity determination of a-mangostin from mangosteen peel extract. The assay was fully validated and shown to be linear (r(2) > 0.999), sensitive (LOD = 0.02 microg/mL and LOQ = 0.08 microg/mL), accurate (intra-day was between 98.1-100.8%, inter-day was between 90.0-101.3%), precise (intra-day variation mangosteen peel extract and products of mangosteen.

  1. Equivalent filter - a new tool for the management of the injection water quality; Filtro equivalente - uma nova ferramenta para o gerenciamento da qualidade da agua de injecao

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Milanez, Paulo V.A.; Daher, Jose Sergio [PETROBRAS, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2000-07-01

    The management of the injection water quality to be used in water flood or just for disposal purposes, has the main target the maintenance of the volumes of water previously established. The water treatment is done on surface conditions and all the water quality parameters are controlled on surface, mainly the filtration process used to prevent the reservoir rock of receiving the fine particles that could preclude the pore throat. Permeability pore throat control can be obtained from capillary pressure tests on laboratory from reservoir rock samples. So, integrating the data from particle size analysis, reservoir water injectivity deployment and permeability pore throat control one can determine what we call here the Equivalent Filter or the Equivalent Particle Diameter. Such parameter can be very helpful in determining the effect of some other phenomena related to loss of injectivity, even those due to fine particle incorporated to the water after passing through the filters. This work shows how it can be used in laboratory flow tests and in water injection management in field condition. (author)

  2. Introducing economic evaluation as a policy tool in Korea: will decision makers get quality information? : a critical review of published Korean economic evaluations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kun-Sei; Brouwer, Werner B F; Lee, Sang-Il; Koo, Hye-Won

    2005-01-01

    Interest in the use of economic evaluations in Korea as an aid for healthcare decision makers has been growing rapidly since the financial crisis of the Korean National Health Insurance fund and the separation in 2000 of the roles of prescribing and dispensing drugs. The Korean Health Insurance Review Agency (HIRA) is considering making it mandatory for pharmaceutical companies to submit the results of an economic evaluation when demanding reimbursement of new pharmaceuticals. The usefulness of the results of economic evaluations depends highly on the quality of the studies. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to provide a critical review of economic evaluations of healthcare technologies published in the Korean context. Our results show that many studies did not meet international standards. Study designs were suboptimal, study perspectives and types were often stated incompletely, time periods were often too short, and outcome measures were often less than ideal. In addition, some articles did not distinguish between measurement and valuation of resource use. Capital, overhead and productivity costs were often omitted. Only half of the studies performed sensitivity analyses. In order to further rationalise resource allocation in the Korean healthcare sector, the quality of the information provided through economic evaluations needs to improve. Developing clear guidelines and educating and training researchers in performing economic evaluations is necessary.

  3. 综合评价卡:审核评估的新探索%Comprehensive Progress Report Card as a New Tool for Institutional Quality Audit in Jiangsu

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    袁益民

    2015-01-01

    Jiangsu Agency for Educational Evaluation adopts a comprehensive progress report card as an assessment tool in its recent institutional quality audit of two institutions of the Province. The report card consists of 10 dimen⁃sions of internal quality assurance plus 5 levels of attainment for each dimension. The status of the internal quality assurance of an audited institution is interpreted by a certain attainment level of each dimension, and it can also be expressed by a coordinates curve. In the two cases of institutional quality audit, the comprehensive progress report card has served as a useful tool for helping the auditors to make their judgments about the status of the internal quality assurance system of an audited institution. It can also be used as a framework for guiding institutions in data mining and conducting follow⁃up activities of continuous improvement.%根据国家评估改革方案,地方院校的审核评估下放至省级组织实施。某省在审核评估中试用了综合评价卡,作为写实性评估结论意见的一种标识和呈现方式。通过对院校内部质量保障状态的十个维度和各维度的五个达标程度的定性描述,并以坐标和曲线的形式直观表达院校所处的位置。这一创新实践既避免了以往教学水平评估的“优良中差”分等评估的弊端,也规避了新一轮教学工作审核评估结论出现过于大而化之、无法全面客观反映院校的整体实情的风险,受到专家的普遍肯定。未来拟帮助院校更加深入地理解和使用好综合评价卡,为其强化内部质量保障机制打造一个切实可行的专业工具。

  4. Tool steels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Højerslev, C.

    2001-01-01

    On designing a tool steel, its composition and heat treatment parameters are chosen to provide a hardened and tempered martensitic matrix in which carbides are evenly distributed. In this condition the matrix has an optimum combination of hardness andtoughness, the primary carbides provide...... resistance against abrasive wear and secondary carbides (if any) increase the resistance against plastic deformation. Tool steels are alloyed with carbide forming elements (Typically: vanadium, tungsten, molybdenumand chromium) furthermore some steel types contains cobalt. Addition of alloying elements...

  5. Quality Management and Information Brokerage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Halm, Johan

    1995-01-01

    To compete effectively, information brokers need to adopt management and marketing tools; Total Quality Management can upgrade an organization's performance by using customer feedback of its services. SERVQUAL identifies gaps in service by assessing quality expectations versus quality experiences. (AEF)

  6. Open Health Tools: Tooling for Interoperable Healthcare

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Skip McGaughey

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available The Open Health Tools initiative is creating an ecosystem focused on the production of software tooling that promotes the exchange of medical information across political, geographic, cultural, product, and technology lines. At its core, OHT believes that the availability of high-quality tooling that interoperates will propel the industry forward, enabling organizations and vendors to build products and systems that effectively work together. This will ?raise the interoperability bar? as a result of having tools that just work. To achieve these lofty goals, careful consideration must be made to the constituencies that will be most affected by an OHT-influenced world. This document outlines a vision of OHT?s impact to these stakeholders. It does not explain the OHT process itself or how the OHT community operates. Instead, we place emphasis on the impact of that process within the health industry. The catchphrase ?code is king? underpins this document, meaning that the manifestation of any open source community lies in the products and technology it produces.

  7. 基于软件开发过程数据的可视化产品质量监控工具%VISUALISED PRODUCT QUALITY MONITORING TOOL BASED ON SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS DATA

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    潘森; 林云; 彭鑫; 赵文耘

    2015-01-01

    软件产品的不断演化常常导致其质量的退化,从而增加后续维护和测试的难度。软件开发过程中实时的数据(比如,代码度量值以及bug数量等)反映了软件产品的状态变化趋势,通过这些数据可以了解软件质量的变化。然而,这些数据本身太过细节(比如,每个文件的某个代码度量值),仅仅反映这些细节数据并不能满足项目管理人员把握产品宏观变化趋势的要求。因此,提出一个基于软件开发过程数据的可视化质量监控工具,该工具不但能够基于版本库和bug库来计算每个版本的度量值以反映一个产品质量的实时变化趋势,同时,还建立缺陷预测模型,并提供数据间多维度的整合、关联、对比,来方便项目管理人员宏观地认识软件变化的各个方面。通过对一个大型开源项目的案例研究,验证了工具的有效性。结果表明,可视化产品质量监控工具能够有效地帮助项目管理人员及时发现潜在的隐患并定位问题原因。%On-going evolution of a software product usually leads to its degeneration,so that increases the difficulty of maintenance and testing tasks.The real-time datum in software development process (e.g.,the code metrics and bug numbers)usually reflects software products’change trend in their status,which could help project managers understand the changes of software quality.However,the raw data itself gets too detailed (e.g.,the code metric for each file),which might not meet project managers’need to understand the changes of software quality in a macro way.Therefore,we propose a visualised quality monitoring tool which is based on software development process datum.The tool can not only calculate the code metrics for each software (re)version based on version repository and bug repository to reflect the real-time changes trend of the quality of a software product,in addition,it also builds bug

  8. Applying Infrared Thermography as a Quality-Control Tool for the Rapid Detection of Proton-Electrolyte-Membrane-Fuel-Cell Catalyst-Layer-Thickness Variations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aieta, N. V.; Das, P. K.; Perdue, A.; Bender, G.; Herring, A. M.; Weber, A. Z.; Ulsh, M. J.

    2012-08-01

    As fuel cells become more prominent, new manufacturing and production methods are needed to enable increased volumes with high quality. One necessary component of this industrial growth will be the accurate measurement of the variability of a wide range of material properties during the manufacturing process. In this study, a method to detect defects in fuel cell catalyst layers is investigated through experiment and mathematical simulation. The method uses infrared thermography and direct-current electronic-excitation methods to detect variations in platinum-containing catalyst-layer thickness with high spatial and temporal resolution. Data analysis, operating-condition impacts, and detection limits are explored, showing the measurement of defects on the millimeter length scale. Overall, the experimental and modeling results demonstrate great potential of this technique as a nondestructive method to measure defects that is amenable to use on roll-to-roll manufacturing lines.

  9. Clustered lot quality assurance sampling: a tool to monitor immunization coverage rapidly during a national yellow fever and polio vaccination campaign in Cameroon, May 2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezzoli, L; Tchio, R; Dzossa, A D; Ndjomo, S; Takeu, A; Anya, B; Ticha, J; Ronveaux, O; Lewis, R F

    2012-01-01

    We used the clustered lot quality assurance sampling (clustered-LQAS) technique to identify districts with low immunization coverage and guide mop-up actions during the last 4 days of a combined oral polio vaccine (OPV) and yellow fever (YF) vaccination campaign conducted in Cameroon in May 2009. We monitored 17 pre-selected districts at risk for low coverage. We designed LQAS plans to reject districts with YF vaccination coverage <90% and with OPV coverage <95%. In each lot the sample size was 50 (five clusters of 10) with decision values of 3 for assessing OPV and 7 for YF coverage. We 'rejected' 10 districts for low YF coverage and 14 for low OPV coverage. Hence we recommended a 2-day extension of the campaign. Clustered-LQAS proved to be useful in guiding the campaign vaccination strategy before the completion of the operations.

  10. Quality control considerations for size exclusion chromatography with online ICP-MS: a powerful tool for evaluating the size dependence of metal-organic matter complexation

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenzie, Erica R.; Young, Thomas M.

    2013-01-01

    Size exclusion chromatography (SEC), which separates molecules based on molecular volume, can be coupled with online inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to explore size-dependent metal-natural organic matter (NOM) complexation. To make effective use of this analytical dual detector system, the operator should be mindful of quality control measures. Al, Cr, Fe, Se, and Sn all exhibited columnless attenuation, which indicated unintended interactions with system components. Based on signal-to-noise ratio and peak reproducibility between duplicate analyses of environmental samples, consistent peak time and height were observed for Mg, Cl, Mn, Cu, Br, and Pb. Al, V, Fe, Co, Ni, Zn, Se, Cd, Sn, and Sb were less consistent overall, but produced consistent measurements in select samples. Ultrafiltering and centrifuging produced similar peak distributions, but glass fiber filtration produced more high molecular weight peaks. Storage in glass also produced more high molecular weight peaks than did plastic bottles. PMID:23416600

  11. Air quality management system as a tool for establishing a SO/sub 2/ and NO/SUB/x policy. [Netherlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bovenkerk, M.; Builtjes, P.J.H.; Zwerver, S.

    1982-01-01

    The development and use of an Air Quality Management System (AQMS) directed to the support of policy decisions made with respect to the conservation and improvement of clean air in the Netherlands is described. The AQMS consists of three modules oriented to economy, transmission and impact assessment. Application of the AQMS to SO/SUB/2 has led to the construction of an environmental decision scheme, in which maximum acceptable emission levels are given as a function of the primary and secondary SO/SUB/2 - air quality standard, the sulfur import-export balance and acidification. Together with information on the socio-economic impacts and the energy options this formed the basis for the political decision to limit future SO/SUB/2 emissions in the Netherlands to a value not higher than 500 million kg per year, in fact to establish a ceiling value for the emissions of SO/SUB/2. For NO/SUB/x the AQMS is still under development, so at the moment it is not possible to formulate a complete NO/SUB/x - environmental decision scheme. Up till now the emphasis has been on the development of the transmission module of the AQMS for NO/SUB/x i.e. the impact of domestic and foreign emissions. The results of this module are presented. The, partly preliminary, results of the AQMS - calculations point out the importance of long-range transport of NO/SUB/x and photochemical precursors and products for the countrywide NO/SUB/2 pattern. The results emphasize the need for the abatement of NO/SUB/x, and especially hydrocarbons, on a European scale. Also abatement of automobile exhaust is needed in order to preventive violation of the NO/SUB/x - standard at sites with high circulation of traffic.

  12. Development and Field-Testing of a Study Protocol, including a Web-Based Occupant Survey Tool, for Use in Intervention Studies of Indoor Environmental Quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mendell, Mark; Eliseeva, Ekaterina; Spears, Michael; Fisk, William J.

    2009-06-01

    We developed and pilot-tested an overall protocol for intervention studies to evaluate the effects of indoor environmental changes in office buildings on the health symptoms and comfort of occupants. The protocol includes a web-based survey to assess the occupant's responses, as well as specific features of study design and analysis. The pilot study, carried out on two similar floors in a single building, compared two types of ventilation system filter media. With support from the building's Facilities staff, the implementation of the filter change intervention went well. While the web-based survey tool worked well also, low overall response rates (21-34percent among the three work groups included) limited our ability to evaluate the filter intervention., The total number of questionnaires returned was low even though we extended the study from eight to ten weeks. Because another simultaneous study we conducted elsewhere using the same survey had a high response rate (>70percent), we conclude that the low response here resulted from issues specific to this pilot, including unexpected restrictions by some employing agencies on communication with occupants.

  13. Development and Field-Testing of a Study Protocol, including a Web-Based Occupant Survey Tool, for Use in Intervention Studies of Indoor Environmental Quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mendell, Mark; Eliseeva, Ekaterina; Spears, Michael; Fisk, William J.

    2009-06-01

    We developed and pilot-tested an overall protocol for intervention studies to evaluate the effects of indoor environmental changes in office buildings on the health symptoms and comfort of occupants. The protocol includes a web-based survey to assess the occupant's responses, as well as specific features of study design and analysis. The pilot study, carried out on two similar floors in a single building, compared two types of ventilation system filter media. With support from the building's Facilities staff, the implementation of the filter change intervention went well. While the web-based survey tool worked well also, low overall response rates (21-34percent among the three work groups included) limited our ability to evaluate the filter intervention., The total number of questionnaires returned was low even though we extended the study from eight to ten weeks. Because another simultaneous study we conducted elsewhere using the same survey had a high response rate (>70percent), we conclude that the low response here resulted from issues specific to this pilot, including unexpected restrictions by some employing agencies on communication with occupants.

  14. Preselection Of Diamond Single-Point Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decker, D. L.; Hurt, H. H.; Dancy, J. H.; Fountain, C. W.

    1984-12-01

    Diamond single-point tools of the very highest quality are required for precision machining of optical surfaces. However, a great variation in edge quality and tool life is observed in practice. The differences between poor and excellent tools are subtle and not easily detectable without verification by actual machining. A companion paper concerning the tribologic aspects of tool-edge quality and life discusses the possible mechanisms of tool degradation. This paper provides a discussion of practical methods for preselecting tools for high performance without resorting to machining use. Edge quality as observed by optical microscopy is not sufficient. Scanning electron microscopy and a recently developed two-stage replication process for the cutting edge and subsequent examination in transmission electron microscopy can yield the necessary resolution (<< 100 Å). In addition to characterization by high resolution microscopy, tool crystallographic orientation and perfection are also crucial. X-ray diffraction characterization is described in detail.

  15. Predictors of health-related quality of life and fatigue in systemic sclerosis: evaluation of the EuroQol-5D and FACIT-F assessment tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, Gemma; Pauling, John; Cavill, Charlotte; McHugh, Neil

    2012-08-01

    This study evaluates predictors of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and fatigue in systemic sclerosis (SSc) using two novel self-report indices. A cross-sectional study of patients with SSc was undertaken using a postal questionnaire including the EuroQol-5Domain health questionnaire (EQ-5D™), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue scale (FACIT-F) and the Scleroderma Health Assessment Questionnaire (SHAQ). The EQ-5D assesses five domains of health quality and is quantified as a time trade-off (TTO) value and patient global assessment (0-100 visual analogue scale [VAS]). The FACIT-F is a 13-item questionnaire (0-52 scale). Higher scores for both the EQ-5D and FACIT-F indicate better health. Case notes were scrutinised for patient demographics, disease duration, serology and clinical phenotype. Sixty-eight patients (60 females, mean age 62.6 years) completed the questionnaires. Fatigue correlated closely with HRQoL (r (s) = 0.78 and 0.77 for FACIT-F vs. EQ-5D VAS and TTO respectively, p < 0.01) and disability (r (s) = -0.74 for FACIT-F vs. HAQ-DI, p < 0.01). Pain was the most frequently reported health problem (80 %) in the EQ-5D. HRQoL also correlated closely with disability (r (s) = 0.83 for EQ-5D vs. HAQ-DI, p < 0.01). SHAQ-VAS scores correlated well with the FACIT-F, EQ-5D and HAQ-DI scores (p < 0.05 for all comparisons). Of the patient demogr