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. Process-Based Quality (PBQ) Tools Development; TOPICAL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cummins, J.L.

    2001-01-01

    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

  3. Quality management tool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Tae Hun

    2011-09-15

    This book introduces basic conception of quality with characteristic, price, cost, and function, basic conception on quality management, introduction and operation of quality management, quality guaranteed and claim like handling of claim of goods, standards, and quality guaranteed method, basic tools of quality management such as Pareto diagram, characteristic diagram, cause-and-effect, fish born diagram check sheet histogram scatter diagram graph and stratification new seven tools of QC, quality deployment function and measurement system.

  4. Quality management tool

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Tae Hun

    2011-09-01

    This book introduces basic conception of quality with characteristic, price, cost, and function, basic conception on quality management, introduction and operation of quality management, quality guaranteed and claim like handling of claim of goods, standards, and quality guaranteed method, basic tools of quality management such as Pareto diagram, characteristic diagram, cause-and-effect, fish born diagram check sheet histogram scatter diagram graph and stratification new seven tools of QC, quality deployment function and measurement system.

  5. 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.

  6. Quality improvement tools and processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Catherine Y

    2015-04-01

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

  7. Psychometric properties and structural validity of the short version of the personality beliefs questionnaire (PBQ-SF)

    OpenAIRE

    Manrique Hernández, Rubén Darío; Universidad San Buenaventura; Moratto Vasquez, Nadia Semenova; Universidad CES

    2015-01-01

    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 foll...

  8. 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.

  9. Quality Assurance Project Plan Development Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    This tool contains information designed to assist in developing a Quality Assurance (QA) Project Plan that meets EPA requirements for projects that involve surface or groundwater monitoring and/or the collection and analysis of water samples.

  10. History plotting tool for Data Quality Monitoring

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giordano, D.; Le Bihan, A.-C.; Pierro, A.; De Mattia, M.

    2010-01-01

    The size and complexity of the CMS detector makes the Data Quality Monitoring (DQM) system very challenging. Given the high granularity of the CMS sub-detectors, several approaches and tools have been developed to monitor the detector performance closely. We describe here the History DQM, a tool allowing the detector performance monitoring over time.

  11. Seven Basic Tools of Quality Control: An Appropriate Tools for Solving Quality Problems in the Organizations

    OpenAIRE

    Neyestani, Behnam

    2017-01-01

    Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa was first total quality management guru, who has been associated with the development and advocacy of using the seven quality control (QC) tools in the organizations for problem solving and process improvements. Seven old quality control tools are a set of the QC tools that can be used for improving the performance of the production processes, from the first step of producing a product or service to the last stage of production. So, the general purpose of this paper was to...

  12. Tools for quality control of fingerprint databases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swann, B. Scott; Libert, John M.; Lepley, Margaret A.

    2010-04-01

    Integrity of fingerprint data is essential to biometric and forensic applications. Accordingly, the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division has sponsored development of software tools to facilitate quality control functions relative to maintaining its fingerprint data assets inherent to the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and Next Generation Identification (NGI). This paper provides an introduction of two such tools. The first FBI-sponsored tool was developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and examines and detects the spectral signature of the ridge-flow structure characteristic of friction ridge skin. The Spectral Image Validation/Verification (SIVV) utility differentiates fingerprints from non-fingerprints, including blank frames or segmentation failures erroneously included in data; provides a "first look" at image quality; and can identify anomalies in sample rates of scanned images. The SIVV utility might detect errors in individual 10-print fingerprints inaccurately segmented from the flat, multi-finger image acquired by one of the automated collection systems increasing in availability and usage. In such cases, the lost fingerprint can be recovered by re-segmentation from the now compressed multi-finger image record. The second FBI-sponsored tool, CropCoeff was developed by MITRE and thoroughly tested via NIST. CropCoeff enables cropping of the replacement single print directly from the compressed data file, thus avoiding decompression and recompression of images that might degrade fingerprint features necessary for matching.

  13. QUAST: quality assessment tool for genome assemblies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurevich, Alexey; Saveliev, Vladislav; Vyahhi, Nikolay; Tesler, Glenn

    2013-04-15

    Limitations of genome sequencing techniques have led to dozens of assembly algorithms, none of which is perfect. A number of methods for comparing assemblers have been developed, but none is yet a recognized benchmark. Further, most existing methods for comparing assemblies are only applicable to new assemblies of finished genomes; the problem of evaluating assemblies of previously unsequenced species has not been adequately considered. Here, we present QUAST-a quality assessment tool for evaluating and comparing genome assemblies. This tool improves on leading assembly comparison software with new ideas and quality metrics. QUAST can evaluate assemblies both with a reference genome, as well as without a reference. QUAST produces many reports, summary tables and plots to help scientists in their research and in their publications. In this study, we used QUAST to compare several genome assemblers on three datasets. QUAST tables and plots for all of them are available in the Supplementary Material, and interactive versions of these reports are on the QUAST website. http://bioinf.spbau.ru/quast . Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  14. QUALITY FUNCTION DEPLOYMENT AS A STRATEGIC PLANNING TOOL

    OpenAIRE

    DEVRİM İÇTENBAŞ, Burcu; ERYILMAZ, Hande

    2011-01-01

    Quality Function Deployment (QFD) uses a house of quality to translate customer requirements into engineering specifications. QFD has been widely used as a tool to develop new products. It has been adopted in the fields of education quality, service quality, software development and marketing planning. The tool has recently been applied in strategic planning .In this study authors reviewed current research which uses QFD as a strategic planning tool and described how QFD methods can be ...

  15. Indoor Air Quality Problem Solving Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Use the IAQ Problem Solving Tool to learn about the connection between health complaints and common solutions in schools. This resource provides an easy, step-by-step process to start identifying and resolving IAQ problems found at your school.

  16. Indoor Air Quality Design Tools for Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    The information available here is presented as a tool to help school districts and facility planners design the next generation of learning environments so that the school facility will help, rather than hinder, schools in achieving their core mission

  17. Quack: A quality assurance tool for high throughput sequence data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrash, Adam; Arick, Mark; Peterson, Daniel G

    2018-05-01

    The quality of data generated by high-throughput DNA sequencing tools must be rapidly assessed in order to determine how useful the data may be in making biological discoveries; higher quality data leads to more confident results and conclusions. Due to the ever-increasing size of data sets and the importance of rapid quality assessment, tools that analyze sequencing data should quickly produce easily interpretable graphics. Quack addresses these issues by generating information-dense visualizations from FASTQ files at a speed far surpassing other publicly available quality assurance tools in a manner independent of sequencing technology. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Single-case synthesis tools I: Comparing tools to evaluate SCD quality and rigor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, Kathleen N; Ledford, Jennifer R; Severini, Katherine E; Pustejovsky, James E; Barton, Erin E; Lloyd, Blair P

    2018-03-03

    Tools for evaluating the quality and rigor of single case research designs (SCD) are often used when conducting SCD syntheses. Preferred components include evaluations of design features related to the internal validity of SCD to obtain quality and/or rigor ratings. Three tools for evaluating the quality and rigor of SCD (Council for Exceptional Children, What Works Clearinghouse, and Single-Case Analysis and Design Framework) were compared to determine if conclusions regarding the effectiveness of antecedent sensory-based interventions for young children changed based on choice of quality evaluation tool. Evaluation of SCD quality differed across tools, suggesting selection of quality evaluation tools impacts evaluation findings. Suggestions for selecting an appropriate quality and rigor assessment tool are provided and across-tool conclusions are drawn regarding the quality and rigor of studies. Finally, authors provide guidance for using quality evaluations in conjunction with outcome analyses when conducting syntheses of interventions evaluated in the context of SCD. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Mobile Water Quality Information Tool, Phase I

    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...

  2. 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.

  3. C++ software quality in the ATLAS experiment: tools and experience

    CERN Document Server

    AUTHOR|(INSPIRE)INSPIRE-00236968; The ATLAS collaboration; Kluth, Stefan; Seuster, Rolf; Snyder, Scott; Obreshkov, Emil; Roe, Shaun; Sherwood, Peter; Stewart, Graeme

    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.

  4. C++ software quality in the ATLAS experiment: tools and experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Haugh, S.; Kluth, S.; Seuster, R.; Snyder, S.; Obreshkov, E.; Roe, S.; Sherwood, P.; Stewart, G. A.

    2017-10-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Comparison of quality control software tools for diffusion tensor imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bilan; Zhu, Tong; Zhong, Jianhui

    2015-04-01

    Image quality of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is critical for image interpretation, diagnostic accuracy and efficiency. However, DTI is susceptible to numerous detrimental artifacts that may impair the reliability and validity of the obtained data. Although many quality control (QC) software tools are being developed and are widely used and each has its different tradeoffs, there is still no general agreement on an image quality control routine for DTIs, and the practical impact of these tradeoffs is not well studied. An objective comparison that identifies the pros and cons of each of the QC tools will be helpful for the users to make the best choice among tools for specific DTI applications. This study aims to quantitatively compare the effectiveness of three popular QC tools including DTI studio (Johns Hopkins University), DTIprep (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Iowa and University of Utah) and TORTOISE (National Institute of Health). Both synthetic and in vivo human brain data were used to quantify adverse effects of major DTI artifacts to tensor calculation as well as the effectiveness of different QC tools in identifying and correcting these artifacts. The technical basis of each tool was discussed, and the ways in which particular techniques affect the output of each of the tools were analyzed. The different functions and I/O formats that three QC tools provide for building a general DTI processing pipeline and integration with other popular image processing tools were also discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. 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…

  8. INDOOR AIR QUALITY AND INHALATION EXPOSURE - SIMULATION TOOL KIT

    Science.gov (United States)

    A Microsoft Windows-based indoor air quality (IAQ) simulation software package is presented. Named Simulation Tool Kit for Indoor Air Quality and Inhalation Exposure, or IAQX for short, this package complements and supplements existing IAQ simulation programs and is desi...

  9. The 7 basic tools of quality applied to radiological safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonzalez F, J.A.

    1991-01-01

    This work seeks to establish a series of correspondences among the search of the quality and the optimization of the doses received by the occupationally exposed personnel. There are treated about the seven basic statistic tools of the quality: the Pareto technique, Cause effect diagrams, Stratification, Verification sheet, Histograms, Dispersion diagrams and Graphics and control frames applied to the Radiological Safety

  10. Automated speech quality monitoring tool based on perceptual evaluation

    OpenAIRE

    Vozňák, Miroslav; Rozhon, Jan

    2010-01-01

    The paper deals with a speech quality monitoring tool which we have developed in accordance with PESQ (Perceptual Evaluation of Speech Quality) and is automatically running and calculating the MOS (Mean Opinion Score). Results are stored into database and used in a research project investigating how meteorological conditions influence the speech quality in a GSM network. The meteorological station, which is located in our university campus provides information about a temperature,...

  11. Automation support for mobile app quality assurance - a tool landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Braun, Susanne; Elberzhager, Frank; Holl, Konstantin

    2017-01-01

    Competitive pressure in app stores, as well as direct and transparent feedback of app store reviews have resulted in an increased demand for outstanding app quality and user experience. At the same time, reduced time-to-market, decreased budgets and time available for quality assurance, and careful user experience design have to be considered. In response, an enormous market for mobile app quality and user experience measurement tools has grown around the mobile app store ecosystems. Develope...

  12. Criteria and tools for scientific software quality measurements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tseng, M Y [Previse Inc., Willowdale ON (Canada)

    1995-12-01

    Not all software used in the nuclear industry needs the rigorous formal verification, reliability testing and quality assessment that are being applied to safety critical software. Recently, however, there is increasing recognition that systematic and objective quality assessment of the scientific software used in design and safety analyses of nuclear facilities is necessary to support safety and licensing decisions. Because of the complexity and large size of these programs and the resource constraints faced by the AECB reviewer, it is desirable that appropriate automated tools are used wherever practical. To objectively assess the quality of software, a set of attributes of a software product by which its quality is described and evaluated must be established. These attributes must be relevant to the application domain of software under evaluation. To effectively assess the quality of software, metrics defining quantitative scale and method appropriate to determine the value of attributes need to be applied. To cost-effectively perform the evaluation, use of suitable automated tools is desirable. In this project, criteria for evaluating the quality of scientific software are presented; metrics for which those criteria can be evaluated are identified; a survey of automated tools to measure those metrics was conducted and the most appropriate tool (QA Fortran) was acquired; and the tool usage was demonstrated on three sample programs. (author) 5 refs.

  13. Criteria and tools for scientific software quality measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tseng, M.Y.

    1995-12-01

    Not all software used in the nuclear industry needs the rigorous formal verification, reliability testing and quality assessment that are being applied to safety critical software. Recently, however, there is increasing recognition that systematic and objective quality assessment of the scientific software used in design and safety analyses of nuclear facilities is necessary to support safety and licensing decisions. Because of the complexity and large size of these programs and the resource constraints faced by the AECB reviewer, it is desirable that appropriate automated tools are used wherever practical. To objectively assess the quality of software, a set of attributes of a software product by which its quality is described and evaluated must be established. These attributes must be relevant to the application domain of software under evaluation. To effectively assess the quality of software, metrics defining quantitative scale and method appropriate to determine the value of attributes need to be applied. To cost-effectively perform the evaluation, use of suitable automated tools is desirable. In this project, criteria for evaluating the quality of scientific software are presented; metrics for which those criteria can be evaluated are identified; a survey of automated tools to measure those metrics was conducted and the most appropriate tool (QA Fortran) was acquired; and the tool usage was demonstrated on three sample programs. (author) 5 refs

  14. Making Quality Sense: A Guide to Quality, Tools and Techniques, Awards and the Thinking Behind Them.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, Jane

    This document is intended to guide further education colleges and work-based learning providers through some of the commonly used tools, techniques, and theories of quality management. The following are among the topics discussed: (1) various ways of defining quality; methods used by organizations to achieve quality (quality control, quality…

  15. Quality and Efficiency Improvement Tools for Every Radiologist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudla, Alexei U; Brook, Olga R

    2018-03-20

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

  16. Perceptual tools for quality-aware video networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovik, A. C.

    2014-01-01

    Monitoring and controlling the quality of the viewing experience of videos transmitted over increasingly congested networks (especially wireless networks) is a pressing problem owing to rapid advances in video-centric mobile communication and display devices that are straining the capacity of the network infrastructure. New developments in automatic perceptual video quality models offer tools that have the potential to be used to perceptually optimize wireless video, leading to more efficient video data delivery and better received quality. In this talk I will review key perceptual principles that are, or could be used to create effective video quality prediction models, and leading quality prediction models that utilize these principles. The goal is to be able to monitor and perceptually optimize video networks by making them "quality-aware."

  17. Quality assurance as a management tool in decommissioning activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arter, D.R.

    1982-01-01

    Quality assurance practices have been applied to the peaceful use of nuclear energy for many years. These practices are just as useful to the back end of the nuclear energy cycle as they are to the front end. The Department of Energy requires the application of quality assurance to all of its projects and programs. Quality assurance as a management tool consists of three fundamental elements: planning, execution and control. These elements should be applied to decommissioning activities by all parties, such that limited funds are wisely spent and the public is adequately protected

  18. 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.

  19. New evaluation tool now available to assess research quality | IDRC ...

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

    2016-04-25

    Apr 25, 2016 ... New evaluation tool now available to assess research quality ... Ratings on a scale defined by rubrics, to indicate the level at which a project ... Report: The value-for-money discourse: risks and opportunities for research for development ... Copyright · Open access policy · Privacy policy · Research ethics ...

  20. APPROACHES AND TOOLS FOR QUALITY EXAMINATION OF E-LEARNING TOOLS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Galina P. Lavrentieva

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The article highlights the scientific and methodological approaches to quality examination of e-learning tools for general education. There are considered terms of the research, described the essence of the main components and stages of the examination. A methodology for quality estimation tools elaboration is described that should be based on identifying criteria and parameters of evaluation. Complex of psycho-pedagogical and ergonomic requirements that should be used in organizing expertise is justified and the most expedient ways of their implementation are examined.

  1. Information systems as a quality management tool in clinical laboratories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Vanessa; Rosecler Bez el Boukhari, Marta

    2007-11-01

    This article describes information systems as a quality management tool in clinical laboratories. The quality of laboratory analyses is of fundamental importance for health professionals in aiding appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Information systems allow the automation of internal quality management processes, using standard sample tests, Levey-Jennings charts and Westgard multirule analysis. This simplifies evaluation and interpretation of quality tests and reduces the possibility of human error. This study proposes the development of an information system with appropriate functions and costs for the automation of internal quality control in small and medium-sized clinical laboratories. To this end, it evaluates the functions and usability of two commercial software products designed for this purpose, identifying the positive features of each, so that these can be taken into account during the development of the proposed system.

  2. Information systems as a quality management tool in clinical laboratories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmitz, Vanessa; Boukhari, Marta Rosecler Bez el

    2007-01-01

    This article describes information systems as a quality management tool in clinical laboratories. The quality of laboratory analyses is of fundamental importance for health professionals in aiding appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Information systems allow the automation of internal quality management processes, using standard sample tests, Levey-Jennings charts and Westgard multirule analysis. This simplifies evaluation and interpretation of quality tests and reduces the possibility of human error. This study proposes the development of an information system with appropriate functions and costs for the automation of internal quality control in small and medium-sized clinical laboratories. To this end, it evaluates the functions and usability of two commercial software products designed for this purpose, identifying the positive features of each, so that these can be taken into account during the development of the proposed system

  3. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hyldig, Grethe; Green-Petersen, Ditte

    2004-01-01

    Sensory evaluation is one of the most important methods for assessing freshness and quality in the fish sector and in fish-inspection services. Sensory methods performed in a proper way are a rapid and accurate tool providing unique information about food. Traditionally, sensory methods have been...... 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...... Method (QIM). It is foreseen that the QIM will be useful to give feedback to fishermen concerning the quality of their catch, which may in turn influence better handling on board. The QIM is a promising method for quick and reliable assessment of the freshness of fish. It is expected to become...

  5. [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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Sophie Yahui

    2012-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Bone quality: educational tools for patients, physicians, and educators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shams, Junaid; Spitzer, Allison B; Kennelly, Ann M; Tosi, Laura L

    2011-08-01

    Defining bone quality remains elusive. From a patient perspective bone quality can best be defined as an individual's likelihood of sustaining a fracture. Fracture risk indicators and performance measures can help clinicians better understand individual fracture risk. Educational resources such as the Web can help clinicians and patients better understand fracture risk, communicate effectively, and make decisions concerning diagnosis and treatment. We examined four questions: What tools can be used to identify individuals at high risk for fracture? What clinical performance measures are available? What strategies can help ensure that patients at risk for fracture are identified? What are some authoritative Web sites for educating providers and patients about bone quality? Using Google, PUBMED, and trademark names, we reviewed the literature using the terms "bone quality" and "osteoporosis education." Web site legitimacy was evaluated using specific criteria. Educational Web sites were limited to English-language sites sponsored by nonprofit organizations The Fracture Risk Assessment Tool® (FRAX®) and the Fracture Risk Calculator (FRC) are reliable means of assessing fracture risk. Performance measures relating to bone health were developed by the AMA convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement® and are included in the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative. In addition, quality measures have been developed by the Joint Commission. Strategies for identifying individuals at risk include designating responsibility for case finding and intervention, evaluating secondary causes of osteoporosis, educating patients and providers, performing cost-effectiveness evaluation, and using information technology. An abundance of authoritative educational Web sites exists for providers and patients. Effective clinical indicators, performance measures, and educational tools to better understand and identify fracture risk are now available. The next challenge is to

  9. Main aspects in licensing of a type B(U) package design for the transport of 12.95 PBq of cobalt 60

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopez Vietri, J.R.; Novo, R.G.; Bianchi, A.J.

    1995-01-01

    This paper points out the relevant technical issues related to the licensing process, of a type B(U) package design, with cylindrical form and 9.3 ton mass, approved by the Argentine Competent Authority for the transport of 12.95 PBq of cobalt 60 as special form radioactive material. It is briefly described the heat transfer analysis, the structural performance under impulsive loads and the shielding calculation under both normal and accidental conditions of transport, as well as the comparative analysis of the results obtained from design, pre-operational tests and independent evaluation performed by the Argentine Competent Authority to verify the compliance with the Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material of the International Atomic Energy Agency. (author). 14 refs., 1 fig., tabs

  10. 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.

  11. Improvement of Selected Logistics Processes Using Quality Engineering Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasadzień, Michał; Žarnovský, Jozef

    2018-03-01

    Increase in the number of orders, the increasing quality requirements and the speed of order preparation require implementation of new solutions and improvement of logistics processes. Any disruption that occurs during execution of an order often leads to customer dissatisfaction, as well as loss of his/her confidence. The article presents a case study of the use of quality engineering methods and tools to improve the e-commerce logistic process. This made it possible to identify and prioritize key issues, identify their causes, and formulate improvement and prevention measures.

  12. Training, Quality Assurance Factors, and Tools Investigation: a Work Report and Suggestions on Software Quality Assurance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Pen-Nan

    1991-01-01

    Previously, several research tasks have been conducted, some observations were obtained, and several possible suggestions have been contemplated involving software quality assurance engineering at NASA Johnson. These research tasks are briefly described. Also, a brief discussion is given on the role of software quality assurance in software engineering along with some observations and suggestions. A brief discussion on a training program for software quality assurance engineers is provided. A list of assurance factors as well as quality factors are also included. Finally, a process model which can be used for searching and collecting software quality assurance tools is presented.

  13. Azimuthally acoustic logging tool to evaluate cementing quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu, Junqiang; Ju, Xiaodong; Qiao, Wenxiao; Men, Baiyong; Wang, Ruijia; Wu, Jinping

    2014-01-01

    An azimuthally sensitive acoustic bond tool (AABT) uses a phased arc array transmitter that can provide directionally focused radiation. The acoustic sonde consists of a phased arc array transmitter and two monopole receivers, the spaces from the transmitter being 0.91 m and 1.52 m, respectively. The transmitter includes eight transducer sub-units. By controlling the high-voltage firing signal phase for each transmitter, the radiation energy of the phased arc array transducer can be focused in a single direction. Compared with conventional monopole and dipole transmitters, the new transmitter provides cement quality evaluation with azimuthal sensitivity, which is not possible with conventional cement bond log/variable density log tools. Laboratory measurements indicate that the directivity curves for the phased arc array and those computed theoretically are consistent and show good agreement. We acquire measurements from a laboratory cistern and from the field to validate the reliability and applicability of the AABT. Results indicate that the AABT accurately evaluates the azimuthal cement quality of case-cement interfaces by imaging the amplitude of the first-arrival wave. This tool visualizes the size, position and orientation of channeling and holes. In the case of good case-cement bonding, the AABT also evaluates the azimuthal cementing quality of the cement formation interface by imaging the amplitude of formation waves. (paper)

  14. E-nursing documentation as a tool for quality assurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajkovic, Vladislav; Sustersic, Olga; Rajkovic, Uros

    2006-01-01

    The article presents the results of a project with which we describe the reengineering of nursing documentation. Documentation in nursing is an efficient tool for ensuring quality health care and consequently quality patient treatment along the whole clinical path. We have taken into account the nursing process and patient treatment based on Henderson theoretical model of nursing that consists of 14 basic living activities. The model of new documentation enables tracing, transparency, selectivity, monitoring and analyses. All these factors lead to improvements of a health system as well as to improved safety of patients and members of nursing teams. Thus the documentation was developed for three health care segments: secondary and tertiary level, dispensaries and community health care. The new quality introduced to the documentation process by information and communication technology is presented by a database model and a software prototype for managing documentation.

  15. 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.

  16. Performance indicators: A tool for continuous quality improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nidhi M Bhatnagar

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Performance monitoring is an important tool which can be used for setting priorities for process improvement. At our centre, we have been monitoring every step in the processes, right from inventory of consumables (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. Materials and Methods: The present study was a retrospective study where the performance indicator (PI data of blood bank was analyzed for over four years. For certain parameters, benchmarks or thresholds were set that represented warning limits or action limits. The yearly data were collated from monthly data. "Shifts" or "Trends", if any, were identified and Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA taken accordingly. At the end, outcomes of the analysis were charted. Results: After the yearly data evaluation, outcomes obtained were used to plan, correct and amend processes and systems in the blood center. It was observed that the workload of the center showed an upward trend. This helped us to plan for the purchase of consumables and management of manpower. The monitoring of usage and discard of blood helped in the efficient management of blood stocks. The need for any new equipment could also be judged by the trends in workload. Conclusion: Performance indicators are indispensible tools which various stakeholders in the Blood Transfusion centres should implement to improve on quality performance.

  17. Performance indicators: A tool for continuous quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Performance monitoring is an important tool which can be used for setting priorities for process improvement. At our centre, we have been monitoring every step in the processes, right from inventory of consumables (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). The present study was a retrospective study where the performance indicator (PI) data of blood bank was analyzed for over four years. For certain parameters, benchmarks or thresholds were set that represented warning limits or action limits. The yearly data were collated from monthly data. Shifts or Trends, if any, were identified and Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA) taken accordingly. At the end, outcomes of the analysis were charted. After the yearly data evaluation, outcomes obtained were used to plan, correct and amend processes and systems in the blood center. It was observed that the workload of the center showed an upward trend. This helped us to plan for the purchase of consumables and management of manpower. The monitoring of usage and discard of blood helped in the efficient management of blood stocks. The need for any new equipment could also be judged by the trends in workload. Performance indicators are indispensible tools which various stakeholders in the Blood Transfusion centres should implement to improve on quality performance.

  18. Assessing organisational culture for quality and safety improvement: a national survey of tools and tool use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannion, R; Konteh, F H; Davies, H T O

    2009-04-01

    There is growing international interest in managing organisational culture as a lever for healthcare improvement. This has prompted a practical need to understand what instruments and tools exist for assessing cultures in healthcare contexts. The present study was undertaken to determine the culture assessment tools being used in the English NHS and assess their fitness for purpose. Postal questionnaire survey of clinical governance leads in 275 English NHS organisations, with a response rate of 77%. A third of the organisations were currently using a culture assessment instrument to support their clinical governance activity. Although we found a high degree of satisfaction with existing instruments, in terms of ease of use and relevance, there is an immediate practical need to develop new and better bespoke culture assessment tools to bridge the gap between the cultural domains covered by extant instruments and the broader range of concerns of clinical governance managers. There is growing interest in understanding and shaping local cultures in healthcare, which is not yet matched by widespread use of available instruments. Even though extant tools cover many of the most important cultural attributes identified by clinical governance managers, the over-riding focus of tools in use is on safety rather than a holistic assessment of the dimensions of healthcare quality and performance.

  19. The software improvement process - tools and rules to encourage quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sigerud, K.; Baggiolini, V.

    2012-01-01

    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 common standards and configurations, for example common code formatting and Javadoc documentation guidelines, and 2) how to encourage the developers to do QA. To address the second point, we have successfully implemented 'SIP days', i.e. one day dedicated to QA work to which the whole group of developers participates, and 'Top/Flop' lists, clearly indicating the best and worst products with regards to SIP guidelines and standards, for example test coverage. This paper presents the SIP initiative in more detail, summarizing our experience since two years and our future plans. (authors)

  20. Information security system quality assessment through the intelligent tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trapeznikov, E. V.

    2018-04-01

    The technology development has shown the automated system information security comprehensive analysis necessity. The subject area analysis indicates the study relevance. The research objective is to develop the information security system quality assessment methodology based on the intelligent tools. The basis of the methodology is the information security assessment model in the information system through the neural network. The paper presents the security assessment model, its algorithm. The methodology practical implementation results in the form of the software flow diagram are represented. The practical significance of the model being developed is noted in conclusions.

  1. Practical Applications of Quality Tools in Polish Manufacturing Companies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Starzyńska Beata

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Background and Purpose: Modern companies have found themselves in a situation where the ability for the dynamic adaptation to the changing market conditions is a key competitive advantage. Therefore they are continually searching for intensive ways of improvement of their processes and products. The basis for the implementation of such strategy is the efficient use of information resources. In quality management, appropriate tools and techniques equip decision-makers with information, necessary to take: correction, corrective, preventive, and finally – improvement actions.

  2. Tools for evaluating oral health and quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bettie, Nirmal F; Ramachandiran, Hari; Anand, Vijay; Sathiamurthy, Anusha; Sekaran, Preethi

    2015-08-01

    The seven dimensions of quality of life are required for a healthy living. Any impairment or disability affects any one or more of these dimensions resulting in functional impairment or handicap, which indicates the presence of disease. The success of any oral treatment depends on how far the individual is relieved of his disease process. Relief of symptoms provides patient comfort and enable functional activities. This well-being is considered as a measure of oral health and reflects patient satisfaction. This article presents various instruments or tools available in the form of a questionnaire that estimates patient satisfaction and thereby oral health.

  3. Data warehousing as a tool for quality management in oncology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hölzer, S; Tafazzoli, A G; Altmann, U; Wächter, W; Dudeck, J

    1999-01-01

    At present, physicians are constrained by their limited skills to integrate and understand the growing amount of electronic medical information. To handle, extract, integrate, analyse and take advantage of the gathered information regarding the quality of patient care, the concept of a data warehouse seems to be especially interesting in medicine. Medical data warehousing allows the physicians to take advantage of all the operational data they have been collecting over the years. Our purpose is to build a data warehouse in order to use all available information about cancer patients. We think that with the sensible use of this tool, there are economic benefits for the Society and an improvement of quality of medical care for patients.

  4. QUALITY MANAGEMENT TOOLS APPLYING IN THE STRATEGY OF LOGISTICS SERVICES QUALITY IMPROVEMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka Czajkowska

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Combination of factors such as: properly organized logistics process, lack of nonconformities, transport damages avoiding and transport in accordance Just In Time idea significantly reduces costs and streamlines the entire production process. This paper proposes the quality management tool for the logistics services assessment based on the results obtained in the selected company operating in Eastern Europe. Customers’ expectations and perceptions were compared using the SERVQUAL method that concerns the service quality assessment in five areas such as: materiality, reliability, promptness, competency and empathy. The research method SERVQUAL allows assessing the service quality level and identifying company areas that requires corrective actions within the improvement process.

  5. Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program: Benefits of Improving Air Quality in the School Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. Office of Radiation and Indoor Air.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (IAQ TfS) Program to help schools prevent, identify, and resolve their IAQ problems. This publication describes the program and its advantages, explaining that through simple, low-cost measures, schools can: reduce IAQ-related health risks and…

  6. Factors influencing the surface quality of polished tool steels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rebeggiani, S; Rosén, B-G

    2014-01-01

    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. (paper)

  7. MRI quality control tools for procedures and analyses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Di Nallo, A.M.; Ortenzia, O.; Benassi, M.; D'Arienzo, M.; Coniglio, D.

    2006-01-01

    Quality control in MRI includes acceptance tests on the installation of a new scanner and tests representative of the system's performance during clinical practice.The first tests are time consuming and carried out to evaluate the agreement of the system with the prescribed procurement specifications. The second tests identify the equipment malfunction requiring maintenance are not time consuming and are suited to a busy clinical scanner. The paper evaluates the feasibility of the AAPM protocols and proposes procedures and practical tools to achieve this purpose.The MRI images, captured from the scanner and transferred in DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) format by a local network, are analyzed by computerized worksheets and commercial software

  8. Software tools for electrical quality assurance in the LHC

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bednarek, M.; Ludwin, J.

    2012-01-01

    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 27 km 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. (authors)

  9. 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.

  10. Main aspects in licensing of a type B(U) package design for the transport of 12.95 PBq of cobalt 60; Aspectos relevantes del licenciamiento en Argentina de un modelo de bulto tipo B(U) para transporte de 12,95 PBq de cobalto 60

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lopez Vietri, J R; Novo, R G; Bianchi, A J

    1996-12-31

    This paper points out the relevant technical issues related to the licensing process, of a type B(U) package design, with cylindrical form and 9.3 ton mass, approved by the Argentine Competent Authority for the transport of 12.95 PBq of cobalt 60 as special form radioactive material. It is briefly described the heat transfer analysis, the structural performance under impulsive loads and the shielding calculation under both normal and accidental conditions of transport, as well as the comparative analysis of the results obtained from design, pre-operational tests and independent evaluation performed by the Argentine Competent Authority to verify the compliance with the Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material of the International Atomic Energy Agency. (author). 14 refs., 1 fig., tabs.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. Evaluation of air quality in a megacity using statistics tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventura, Luciana Maria Baptista; de Oliveira Pinto, Fellipe; Soares, Laiza Molezon; Luna, Aderval Severino; Gioda, Adriana

    2017-03-01

    Local physical characteristics (e.g., meteorology and topography) associate to particle concentrations are important to evaluate air quality in a region. Meteorology and topography affect air pollutant dispersions. This study used statistics tools (PCA, HCA, Kruskal-Wallis, Mann-Whitney's test and others) to a better understanding of the relationship between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels and seasons, meteorological conditions and air basins. To our knowledge, it is one of the few studies performed in Latin America involving all parameters together. PM2.5 samples were collected in six sampling sites with different emission sources (industrial, vehicular, soil dust) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The PM2.5 daily concentrations ranged from 1 to 61 µg m-3, with averages higher than the annual limit (15 µg m-3) for some of the sites. The results of the statistics evaluation showed that PM2.5 concentrations were not influenced by seasonality. Furthermore, air basins defined previously were not confirmed, because some sites presented similar emission sources. Therefore, new redefinitions of air basins need to be done, once they are important to air quality management.

  14. Evaluation of air quality in a megacity using statistics tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventura, Luciana Maria Baptista; de Oliveira Pinto, Fellipe; Soares, Laiza Molezon; Luna, Aderval Severino; Gioda, Adriana

    2018-06-01

    Local physical characteristics (e.g., meteorology and topography) associate to particle concentrations are important to evaluate air quality in a region. Meteorology and topography affect air pollutant dispersions. This study used statistics tools (PCA, HCA, Kruskal-Wallis, Mann-Whitney's test and others) to a better understanding of the relationship between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels and seasons, meteorological conditions and air basins. To our knowledge, it is one of the few studies performed in Latin America involving all parameters together. PM2.5 samples were collected in six sampling sites with different emission sources (industrial, vehicular, soil dust) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The PM2.5 daily concentrations ranged from 1 to 61 µg m-3, with averages higher than the annual limit (15 µg m-3) for some of the sites. The results of the statistics evaluation showed that PM2.5 concentrations were not influenced by seasonality. Furthermore, air basins defined previously were not confirmed, because some sites presented similar emission sources. Therefore, new redefinitions of air basins need to be done, once they are important to air quality management.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Comparing Diagnostic Tools in Personality Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emel AKGUN AKTAS

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Personality Disorder is defined as; continually self experience and behavioral pattern which has great variations of individual cultural normal expectations. Several diagnostic tools were developed for diagnosing personality disorders. In our study consistency of different diagnostic tools used for thhe diagnosis of personality disorders were evaluated. 39 inpatients diagnosed as personality disorder from Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Traning and Reseach Hospital were recruited into the study. Psychotic patients are excluded from the study. Sociodemographic Information Form, MMPI and PBQ scales were given all the patients. Both PBQ personality subscales and MMPI PD scales were compared with semi-structured SCID-II interview diagnoses. Findings suggest less correlation than expected. Relatively higher correlation was found between PBQ personality subscales and MMPI-PD. Most common psychiatric comorbid disorder was depression. These findings suggest that further studies are needed for the development of diagnostic tools which take the differences of self report scales and clinical evalution into consideration. Beside, the differences of the categorical and dimensional classification of personality disorders should be bear in mind in evaluation of this patient group. [JCBPR 2016; 5(1.000: 22-27

  18. Soft qualities in healthcare. Method and tools for soft qualities design in hospitals' built environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capolongo, S; Bellini, E; Nachiero, D; Rebecchi, A; Buffoli, M

    2014-01-01

    The design of hospital environments is determined by functional requirements and technical regulations, as well as numerous protocols, which define the structure and system characteristics that such environments need to achieve. In order to improve people's well-being and the quality of their experience within public hospitals, design elements (soft qualities) are added to those 'necessary' features. The aim of this research has been to experiment a new design process and also to create health care spaces with high environmental quality and capable to meet users' emotional and perceptual needs. Such needs were investigated with the help of qualitative research tools and the design criteria for one of these soft qualities - colour - were subsequently defined on the basis of the findings. The colour scheme design for the new San Paolo Hospital Emergency Department in Milan was used as case study. Focus groups were fundamental in defining the project's goals and criteria. The issues raised have led to believe that the proper procedure is not the mere consultation of the users in order to define the goals: users should rather be involved in the whole design process and become co-agents of the choices that determine the environment characteristics, so as to meet the quality requirements identified by the users themselves. The case study has shown the possibility of developing a designing methodology made by three steps (or operational tools) in which users' groups are involved in the choices, loading to plan the environments where compliance with expectations is already implied and verified by means of the process itself. Thus, the method leads to the creation of soft qualities in Healthcare.

  19. A Metric Tool for Predicting Source Code Quality from a PDL Design

    OpenAIRE

    Henry, Sallie M.; Selig, Calvin

    1987-01-01

    The software crisis has increased the demand for automated tools to assist software developers in the production of quality software. Quality metrics have given software developers a tool to measure software quality. These measurements, however, are available only after the software has been produced. Due to high cost, software managers are reluctant, to redesign and reimplement low quality software. Ideally, a life cycle which allows early measurement of software quality is a necessary ingre...

  20. Visualization and Quality Control Web Tools for CERES Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrescu, C.; Doelling, D. R.

    2017-12-01

    The NASA CERES project continues to provide the scientific communities 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. They encompass a wide range of temporal and spatial resolutions, suited to specific applications. CERES data is used mostly by climate modeling communities but also by a wide variety of educational institutions. To better serve our users, a web-based Ordering and Visualization Tool (OVT) was developed by using Opens Source Software such as Eclipse, java, javascript, OpenLayer, Flot, Google Maps, python, and others. Due to increased demand by our own scientists, we also implemented a series of specialized functions to be used in the process of CERES Data Quality Control (QC) such as 1- and 2-D histograms, anomalies and differences, temporal and spatial averaging, side-by-side parameter comparison, and others that made the process of QC far easier and faster, but more importantly far more portable. With the integration of ground site observed surface fluxes we further facilitate the CERES project to QC the CERES computed surface fluxes. An overview of the CERES OVT basic functions using Open Source Software, as well as future steps in expanding its capabilities will be presented at the meeting.

  1. 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.

  2. Improvement of Computer Software Quality through Software Automated Tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-08-30

    information that are returned from the tools to the human user, and the forms in which these outputs are presented. Page 2 of 4 STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT: What... AUTOMIATED SOFTWARE TOOL MONITORING SYSTEM APPENDIX 2 2-1 INTRODUCTION This document and Automated Software Tool Monitoring Program (Appendix 1) are...t Output Output features provide links from the tool to both the human user and the target machine (where applicable). They describe the types

  3. 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

  4. Tool for the verification of geometrical parameters and constancy of image quality in radiology equipment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

    2013-01-01

    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)

  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

  6. 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…

  7. Software Quality Assessment Tool Based on Meta-Models

    OpenAIRE

    Doneva Rositsa; Gaftandzhieva Silvia; Doneva Zhelyana; Staevsky Nevena

    2015-01-01

    In the software industry it is indisputably essential to control the quality of produced software systems in terms of capabilities for easy maintenance, reuse, portability and others in order to ensure reliability in the software development. But it is also clear that it is very difficult to achieve such a control through a ‘manual’ management of quality.There are a number of approaches for software quality assurance based typically on software quality models (e.g. ISO 9126, McCall’s, Boehm’s...

  8. Industrial Engineering Tool Use in Quality Improvement Projects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodin, Wayne [Pantex Plant (PTX), Amarillo, TX (United States); Beruvides, Mario [Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX (United States)

    2017-10-30

    This paper presents the results of an examination of industrial engineering tool use in Six Sigma projects for a contractor providing specialty manufacturing and service activities for a United States federal government agency.

  9. Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit

    Science.gov (United States)

    The IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit provides schools with information on how to carry out a practical plan to improve indoor air problems at little- or no-cost using straightforward activities and in-house staff.

  10. Resources for Indoor Air Quality Design Tools for Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    The information available here is presented as a tool to help school districts and facility planners design the next generation of learning environments so that the school facility will help schools in achieving their core mission of educating children.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. Lot quality assurance sampling to monitor supplemental immunization activity quality: an essential tool for improving performance in polio endemic countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Alexandra E; Okayasu, Hiromasa; Nzioki, Michael M; Wadood, Mufti Z; Chabot-Couture, Guillaume; Quddus, Arshad; Walker, George; Sutter, Roland W

    2014-11-01

    Monitoring the quality of supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) is a key tool for polio eradication. Regular monitoring data, however, are often unreliable, showing high coverage levels in virtually all areas, including those with ongoing virus circulation. To address this challenge, lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) was introduced in 2009 as an additional tool to monitor SIA quality. Now used in 8 countries, LQAS provides a number of programmatic benefits: identifying areas of weak coverage quality with statistical reliability, differentiating areas of varying coverage with greater precision, and allowing for trend analysis of campaign quality. LQAS also accommodates changes to survey format, interpretation thresholds, evaluations of sample size, and data collection through mobile phones to improve timeliness of reporting and allow for visualization of campaign quality. LQAS becomes increasingly important to address remaining gaps in SIA quality and help focus resources on high-risk areas to prevent the continued transmission of wild poliovirus. © Crown copyright 2014.

  14. Project officer's perspective: quality assurance as a management tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heiby, J

    1993-06-01

    Advances in the management of health programs in less developed countries (LDC) have not kept pace with the progress of the technology used. The US Agency for International Development mandated the Quality Assurance Project (QAP) to provide quality improvement technical assistance to primary health care systems in LDCs while developing appropriate quality assurance (QA) strategies. The quality of health care in recent years in the US and Europe focused on the introduction of management techniques developed for industry into health systems. The experience of the QAP and its predecessor, the PRICOR Project, shows that quality improvement techniques facilitate measurement of quality of care. A recently developed WHO model for the management of the sick child provides scientifically based standards for actual care. Since 1988, outside investigators measuring how LDC clinicians perform have revealed serious deficiencies in quality compared with the program's own standards. This prompted developed of new QA management initiatives: 1) communicating standards clearly to the program staff; 2) actively monitoring actual performance corresponds to these standards; and 3) taking action to improve performance. QA means that managers are expected to monitor service delivery, undertake problem solving, and set specific targets for quality improvement. Quality improvement methods strengthen supervision as supervisors can objectively assess health worker performance. QA strengthens the management functions that support service delivery, e.g., training, records management, finance, logistics, and supervision. Attention to quality can contribute to improved health worker motivation and effective incentive programs by recognition for a job well done and opportunities for learning new skills. These standards can also address patient satisfaction. QA challenges managers to aim for the optimal level of care attainable.

  15. Liquid microjet - a new tool for environmental water quality monitoring?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holstein, W.; Buntine, M.

    2001-01-01

    Our ability to provide real-time, cost-effective and efficient technologies for water quality monitoring remains a critical global environmental research issue. Each year, ground and surface waterways around the world, the global marine environment and the especially-fragile interzonal estuarine ecosystems are being placed under severe stress due to ever-increasing levels of pollutants entering the earth's aquasphere. An almost revolutionary breakthrough in water quality monitoring would be achieved with the development of a real-time, broad-spectrum chemical analysis technology. In this article, a real-time mass spectrometric based water quality monitoring centre around in vacuo liquid microjet injection methodologies is presented

  16. Improvement of Computer Software Quality through Software Automated Tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-08-31

    maintain an effective and economical monitoring program that includes both processes -* and products which makes data available to the Government...presented to help the AFPRO understand what a soft- wace tool is and how it works. There are many ways in which one can view the characteristics of soft

  17. 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.

  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. Certification. Tool for quality? Market and client for radiation experts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zwaard, W.

    1999-01-01

    The role and impact of certification in the advisory work of radiation experts is briefly outlined. Certification is a guarantee for quality of the advice or a product in case there is a client and a market. In cases where there is not a client or a market certification will lead to 'window-dressing and a bureaucratic system

  20. Wildland fire decision support system air quality tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sim Larkin; Tim Brown; Pete Lahm; Tom Zimmerman

    2010-01-01

    Smoke and air quality information have an important role in wildland fire decisionmaking that is reinforced in the 2009 "Guidance for Implementation of Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy." A key intent of the guidance is to allow consideration and use of the full range of strategic and tactical options that are available in the response to every wildland...

  1. Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit. Second Edition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.

    This kit contains materials to assist a school indoor air quality (IAQ) coordinator in conducting a school IAQ program. The kit contains the following: IAQ coordinator's guide; IAQ coordinator forms; IAQ backgrounder; teacher's classroom checklist; administrative staff checklist; health officer/school nurse checklist; ventilation checklist and…

  2. Tools for surveying and improving the quality of life: people with special needs in focus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoyningen-Süess, Ursula; Oberholzer, David; Stalder, René; Brügger, Urs

    2012-01-01

    This article seeks to describe online tools for surveying and improving quality of life for people with disabilities living in assisted living centers and special education service organizations. Ensuring a decent quality of life for disabled people is an important welfare state goal. Using well-accepted quality of life conceptions, online diagnostic and planning tools were developed during an Institute for Education, University of Zurich, research project. The diagnostic tools measure, evaluate and analyze disabled people's quality of life. The planning tools identify factors that can affect their quality of life and suggest improvements. Instrument validity and reliability are not tested according to the standard statistical procedures. This will be done at a more advanced stage of the project. Instead, the tool is developed, refined and adjusted in cooperation with practitioners who are constantly judging it according to best practice standards. The tools support staff in assisted living centers and special education service organizations. These tools offer comprehensive resources for surveying, quantifying, evaluating, describing and simulating quality of life elements.

  3. 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.)

  4. Tools for evaluating oral health and quality of life

    OpenAIRE

    Bettie, Nirmal F.; Ramachandiran, Hari; Anand, Vijay; Sathiamurthy, Anusha; Sekaran, Preethi

    2015-01-01

    The seven dimensions of quality of life are required for a healthy living. Any impairment or disability affects any one or more of these dimensions resulting in functional impairment or handicap, which indicates the presence of disease. The success of any oral treatment depends on how far the individual is relieved of his disease process. Relief of symptoms provides patient comfort and enable functional activities. This well-being is considered as a measure of oral health and reflects patient...

  5. Operational Risk Assesement Tools for Quality Management in Banking Services

    OpenAIRE

    Dima, Alina Mihaela

    2009-01-01

    Among all the different types of risks that can affect financial companies, the operational risk can be the most devastating and the most difficult to anticipate. The management of operational risk is a key component of financial and risk management discipline that drives net income results, 2capital management and customer satisfaction. The present paper contains a statistical analysis in order to determine the number of operational errors as quality based services determinants, depending on...

  6. Online self-assessment as a quality assurance tool in higher professional education

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prof. Rene Butter

    2014-01-01

    Theme: Quality Assurance in Higher Education An online tool was developed for (potential) students to assess the congruence between the characteristics of an educational program and student preferences (Butter & Van Raalten, 2010)

  7. Assessing the quality of websites providing information on multiple sclerosis: evaluating tools and comparing sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harland, Juliet; Bath, Peter

    2007-09-01

    The quality of health information available on the Internet has proved difficult to assess objectively. The Internet's growing popularity as a source of health information, accompanied by the lack of regulation of websites, has resulted in research that has developed and tested tools to evaluate health website quality. However, only a few studies have tested the validity and reliability of these tools. There is a lack of consensus about appropriate indicators with which to operationalize the concept of quality health information. This study aimed to contribute to this research by testing the validity and reliability of existing tools, through their application to websites that provided information about multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, a specific tool for evaluating multiple sclerosis information was developed, contributing to the debate about suitable criteria for measuring the ;quality' of health information on the web.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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.; Indergard , E.

    2014-01-01

    International audience; 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 evaluating refrigeration technologies. As a starting point, a reference product was chosen for the different main food categories in the European cold chain. Software code to ...

  9. 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…

  10. Development of a quality-assessment tool for experimental bruxism studies: reliability and validity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dawson, A.; Raphael, K.G.; Glaros, A.; Axelsson, S.; Arima, T.; Ernberg, M.; Farella, M.; Lobbezoo, F.; Manfredini, D.; Michelotti, A.; Svensson, P.; List, T.

    2013-01-01

    AIMS: To combine empirical evidence and expert opinion in a formal consensus method in order to develop a quality-assessment tool for experimental bruxism studies in systematic reviews. METHODS: Tool development comprised five steps: (1) preliminary decisions, (2) item generation, (3) face-validity

  11. The Ontario Psychosocial Oncology Framework: a quality improvement tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Madeline; Green, Esther

    2013-05-01

    To overview the newly developed Psychosocial Health Care for Cancer Patients and Their Families: A Framework to Guide Practice in Ontario and Guideline Recommendations in the context of Canadian psychosocial oncology care and propose strategies for guideline uptake and implementation. Recommendations from the 2008 Institute of Medicine standard Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs were adapted into the Ontario Psychosocial Oncology (PSO) Framework. Existing practice guidelines developed by the Canadian Partnership against Cancer and Cancer Care Ontario and standards developed by the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology are supporting resources for adopting a quality improvement (QI) approach to the implementation of the framework in Ontario. The developed PSO Framework, including 31 specific actionable recommendations, is intended to improve the quality of comprehensive cancer care at both the provider and system levels. Important QI change management processes are described as Educate - raising awareness among medical teams of the significance of psychosocial needs of patients, Evidence - developing a research evidence base for patient care benefits from psychosocial interventions, and Electronics - using technology to collect patient reported outcomes of both physical and emotional symptoms. The Ontario PSO Framework is unique and valuable in providing actionable recommendations that can be implemented through QI processes. Overall, the result will be improved psychosocial health care for the cancer population. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Soil bioassays as tools for sludge compost quality assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Domene, Xavier; Sola, Laura; Ramirez, Wilson; Alcaniz, Josep M.; Andres, Pilar

    2011-01-01

    Composting is a waste management technology that is becoming more widespread as a response to the increasing production of sewage sludge and the pressure for its reuse in soil. In this study, different bioassays (plant germination, earthworm survival, biomass and reproduction, and collembolan survival and reproduction) were assessed for their usefulness in the compost quality assessment. Compost samples, from two different composting plants, were taken along the composting process, which were characterized and submitted to bioassays (plant germination and collembolan and earthworm performance). Results from our study indicate that the noxious effects of some of the compost samples observed in bioassays are related to the low organic matter stability of composts and the enhanced release of decomposition endproducts, with the exception of earthworms, which are favored. Plant germination and collembolan reproduction inhibition was generally associated with uncomposted sludge, while earthworm total biomass and reproduction were enhanced by these materials. On the other hand, earthworm and collembolan survival were unaffected by the degree of composting of the wastes. However, this pattern was clear in one of the composting procedures assessed, but less in the other, where the release of decomposition endproducts was lower due to its higher stability, indicating the sensitivity and usefulness of bioassays for the quality assessment of composts.

  13. Forest fire forecasting tool for air quality modelling systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

    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)

  14. Evaluation tools of quality control for patients submitted to IMRT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lavor, Milton

    2011-01-01

    Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is currently been 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 routine practice. The aim of this work is to evaluate and propose a methodology for quality assurance in IMRT treatments. An ionization chamber and a two-dimensional array detector were performed to assess the absolute value of the total dose of all fields in one specific point. The relative total dose distribution of all fields was measured with a radiochromic film and a two-dimensional array at one depth 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 +-3 mm distance to agreement. As a result 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 can be concluded that for an accurate delivery of dose in 'sliding-window' IMRT with micro multileaf collimator, the absolute value of the total dose and the relative total dose distribution should be checked by absolute and relative dosimetry respectively. (author)

  15. 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)

  16. 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)

  17. Catch Index : Development of a tool for measurement the quality of the catch handling at sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schelvis-Smit, A.A.M.; Luten, J.B.

    2003-01-01

    Correct fish handling on board of vessels is essential for the quality of the fish throughout the complete fishery chain. Developments in the fishery sector with respect to quality control, traceability and remote trade demand a tool to access the performance of fish handling by fishermen. Therefore

  18. 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,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millar, Ross

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Models, methods and software tools to evaluate the quality of informational and educational resources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gavrilov, S.I.

    2011-01-01

    The paper studies the modern methods and tools to evaluate the quality of data systems, which allows determining the specificity of informational and educational resources (IER). The author has developed a model of IER quality management at all stages of the life cycle and an integrated multi-level hierarchical system of IER quality assessment, taking into account both information properties and targeted resource assignment. The author presents a mathematical and algorithmic justification of solving the problem of IER quality management, and offers data system to assess the IER quality [ru

  1. Sequence Quality Analysis Tool for HIV Type 1 Protease and Reverse Transcriptase

    OpenAIRE

    DeLong, Allison K.; Wu, Mingham; Bennett, Diane; Parkin, Neil; Wu, Zhijin; Hogan, Joseph W.; Kantor, Rami

    2012-01-01

    Access to antiretroviral therapy is increasing globally and drug resistance evolution is anticipated. Currently, protease (PR) and reverse transcriptase (RT) sequence generation is increasing, including the use of in-house sequencing assays, and quality assessment prior to sequence analysis is essential. We created a computational HIV PR/RT Sequence Quality Analysis Tool (SQUAT) that runs in the R statistical environment. Sequence quality thresholds are calculated from a large dataset (46,802...

  2. 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...

  3. Development of a Multi-Domain Assessment Tool for Quality Improvement Projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbluth, Glenn; Burman, Natalie J; Ranji, Sumant R; Boscardin, Christy K

    2017-08-01

    Improving the quality of health care and education has become a mandate at all levels within the medical profession. While several published quality improvement (QI) assessment tools exist, all have limitations in addressing the range of QI projects undertaken by learners in undergraduate medical education, graduate medical education, and continuing medical education. We developed and validated a tool to assess QI projects with learner engagement across the educational continuum. After reviewing existing tools, we interviewed local faculty who taught QI to understand how learners were engaged and what these faculty wanted in an ideal assessment tool. We then developed a list of competencies associated with QI, established items linked to these competencies, revised the items using an iterative process, and collected validity evidence for the tool. The resulting Multi-Domain Assessment of Quality Improvement Projects (MAQIP) rating tool contains 9 items, with criteria that may be completely fulfilled, partially fulfilled, or not fulfilled. Interrater reliability was 0.77. Untrained local faculty were able to use the tool with minimal guidance. The MAQIP is a 9-item, user-friendly tool that can be used to assess QI projects at various stages and to provide formative and summative feedback to learners at all levels.

  4. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moore, S.T.

    2004-12-14

    ATK 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 a web-based data analysis and visualization tool, called NCVweb, that allows for easy viewing of ARM NetCDF files. NCVweb, along with our library of sharable Interactive Data Language procedures and functions, allows 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.

  6. The role of quality tools in assessing reliability of the internet for health information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanif, Faisal; Read, Janet C; Goodacre, John A; Chaudhry, Afzal; Gibbs, Paul

    2009-12-01

    The Internet has made it possible for patients and their families to access vast quantities of information that previously would have been difficult for anyone but a physician or librarian to obtain. Health information websites, however, are recognised to differ widely in quality and reliability of their content. This has led to the development of various codes of conduct or quality rating tools to assess the quality of health websites. However, the validity and reliability of these quality tools and their applicability to different health websites also varies. In principle, rating tools should be available to consumers, require a limited number of elements to be assessed, be assessable in all elements, be readable and be able to gauge the readability and consistency of information provided from a patient's view point. This article reviews the literature on the trends of the Internet use for health and analyses various codes of conduct/ethics or 'quality tools' available to monitor the quality of health websites from a patient perspective.

  7. Tools for Developing a Quality Management Program: Human Factors and Systems Engineering Tools

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caldwell, Barrett S.

    2008-01-01

    During the past 10 years, there has been growing acceptance and encouragement of partnerships between medical teams and engineers. Using human factors and systems engineering descriptions of process flows and operational sequences, the author's research laboratory has helped highlight opportunities for reducing adverse events and improving performance in health care and other high-consequence environments. This research emphasized studying human behavior that enhances system performance and a range of factors affecting adverse events, rather than a sole emphasis on human error causation. Developing a balanced evaluation requires novel approaches to causal analyses of adverse events and, more importantly, methods of recovery from adverse conditions. Recent work by the author's laboratory in collaboration with the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering has started to address possible improvements in taxonomies describing health care tasks. One major finding includes enhanced understanding of events and how event dynamics influence provider tasks and constraints. Another element of this research examines team coordination tasks that strongly affect patient care and quality management, but may be undervalued as 'indirect patient care' activities

  8. [Quality of life and vertigo after bilateral cochlear implantation : Questionnaires as tools for quality assurance].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rader, T; Haerterich, M; Ernst, B P; Stöver, T; Strieth, S

    2018-03-01

    Persistent dizziness symptoms after cochlear implantation have an impact on quality of life. In this study, the effects of bilateral cochlear implants (CI) on quality of life as well as on subjective dizziness complaints are analyzed using questionnaires, some of which have never been applied before in these patient collectives. In this article, questionnaires for the assessment of dizziness symptoms and quality of life are introduced in order to realize quality assurance. A total of 32 patients with bilateral CI were questioned regarding dizziness symptoms and quality of life. The Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire (NCIQ) was used. In the case of reported regular dizziness, the Vertigo Handicap Questionnaire (VHQ) and the Vertigo Symptom Scale (VSS) were also assessed. Persistent dizziness symptoms were shown in 8 of 32 patients. Quality of life was measured with the NCIQ and was improved significantly (p < 0.001) by 23.7% after the second CI. The dizziness symptoms changed slightly (VHQ -11.2%; VSS +16.4%) after the second implantation. The results show that the questionnaires are valid instruments for documenting quality of life and dizziness symptoms for quality assurance. These questionnaires may be applied as a complement or an alternative to device-based measurements of peripheral vestibular dysfunction.

  9. 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...

  10. Development of a quality-assessment tool for experimental bruxism studies: reliability and validity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Andreas; Raphael, Karen G; Glaros, Alan; Axelsson, Susanna; Arima, Taro; Ernberg, Malin; Farella, Mauro; Lobbezoo, Frank; Manfredini, Daniele; Michelotti, Ambra; Svensson, Peter; List, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    To combine empirical evidence and expert opinion in a formal consensus method in order to develop a quality-assessment tool for experimental bruxism studies in systematic reviews. Tool development comprised five steps: (1) preliminary decisions, (2) item generation, (3) face-validity assessment, (4) reliability and discriminitive validity assessment, and (5) instrument refinement. The kappa value and phi-coefficient were calculated to assess inter-observer reliability and discriminative ability, respectively. Following preliminary decisions and a literature review, a list of 52 items to be considered for inclusion in the tool was compiled. Eleven experts were invited to join a Delphi panel and 10 accepted. Four Delphi rounds reduced the preliminary tool-Quality-Assessment Tool for Experimental Bruxism Studies (Qu-ATEBS)- to 8 items: study aim, study sample, control condition or group, study design, experimental bruxism task, statistics, interpretation of results, and conflict of interest statement. Consensus among the Delphi panelists yielded good face validity. Inter-observer reliability was acceptable (k = 0.77). Discriminative validity was excellent (phi coefficient 1.0; P reviews of experimental bruxism studies, exhibits face validity, excellent discriminative validity, and acceptable inter-observer reliability. Development of quality assessment tools for many other topics in the orofacial pain literature is needed and may follow the described procedure.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bouchard, Julie F.; Stubblefield, William Anthony; Vigil, Dena M.; Edwards, Harold Carter

    2011-01-01

    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 and 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 and S capabilities are to be managed, verified, and validated within the NEAMS Nuclear Waste Management IPSC quality environment. M and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and S capabilities, and establishing a defensible level of confidence in these M and S capabilities. The foundation for assessing the

  12. A tool to determine financial impact of adverse events in health care: healthcare quality calculator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarbrough, Wendell G; Sewell, Andrew; Tickle, Erin; Rhinehardt, Eric; Harkleroad, Rod; Bennett, Marc; Johnson, Deborah; Wen, Li; Pfeiffer, Matthew; Benegas, Manny; Morath, Julie

    2014-12-01

    Hospital leaders lack tools to determine the financial impact of poor patient outcomes and adverse events. To provide health-care leaders with decision support for investments to improve care, we created a tool, the Healthcare Quality Calculator (HQCal), which uses institution-specific financial data to calculate impact of poor patient outcomes or quality improvement on present and future margin. Excel and Web-based versions of the HQCal were based on a cohort study framework and created with modular components including major drivers of cost and reimbursement. The Healthcare Quality Calculator (HQCal) compares payment, cost, and profit/loss for patients with and without poor outcomes or quality issues. Cost and payment information for groups with and without quality issues are used by the HQCal to calculate profit or loss. Importantly, institution-specific payment and cost data are used to calculate financial impact and attributable cost associated with poor patient outcomes, adverse events, or quality issues. Because future cost and reimbursement changes can be forecast, the HQCal incorporates a forward-looking component. The flexibility of the HQCal was demonstrated using surgical site infections after abdominal surgery and postoperative surgical airway complications. The Healthcare Quality Calculator determines financial impact of poor patient outcomes and the benefit of initiatives to improve quality. The calculator can identify quality issues that would provide the largest financial benefit if improved; however, it cannot identify specific interventions. The calculator provides a tool to improve transparency regarding both short- and long-term financial consequences of funding, or failing to fund, initiatives to close gaps in quality or improve patient outcomes.

  13. A Delphi study assessing the utility of quality improvement tools and resources in Australian primary care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Upham, Susan J; Janamian, Tina; Crossland, Lisa; Jackson, Claire L

    2016-04-18

    To determine the relevance and utility of online tools and resources to support organisational performance development in primary care and to complement the Primary Care Practice Improvement Tool (PC-PIT). A purposively recruited Expert Advisory Panel of 12 end users used a modified Delphi technique to evaluate 53 tools and resources identified through a previously conducted systematic review. The panel comprised six practice managers and six general practitioners who had participated in the PC-PIT pilot study in 2013-2014. Tools and resources were reviewed in three rounds using a standard pre-tested assessment form. Recommendations, scores and reasons for recommending or rejecting each tool or resource were analysed to determine the final suite of tools and resources. The evaluation was conducted from November 2014 to August 2015. Recommended tools and resources scored highly (mean score, 16/20) in Rounds 1 and 2 of review (n = 25). These tools and resources were perceived to be easily used, useful to the practice and supportive of the PC-PIT. Rejected resources scored considerably lower (mean score, 5/20) and were noted to have limitations such as having no value to the practice and poor utility (n = 6). A final review (Round 3) of 28 resources resulted in a suite of 21 to support the elements of the PC-PIT. This suite of tools and resources offers one approach to supporting the quality improvement initiatives currently in development in primary care reform.

  14. Quality assurance tool for organ at risk delineation in radiation therapy using a parametric statistical approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Cheukkai B; Nourzadeh, Hamidreza; Watkins, William T; Trifiletti, Daniel M; Alonso, Clayton E; Dutta, Sunil W; Siebers, Jeffrey V

    2018-02-26

    To develop a quality assurance (QA) tool that identifies inaccurate organ at risk (OAR) delineations. The QA tool computed volumetric features from prior OAR delineation data from 73 thoracic patients to construct a reference database. All volumetric features of the OAR delineation are computed in three-dimensional space. Volumetric features of a new OAR are compared with respect to those in the reference database to discern delineation outliers. A multicriteria outlier detection system warns users of specific delineation outliers based on combinations of deviant features. Fifteen independent experimental sets including automatic, propagated, and clinically approved manual delineation sets were used for verification. The verification OARs included manipulations to mimic common errors. Three experts reviewed the experimental sets to identify and classify errors, first without; and then 1 week after with the QA tool. In the cohort of manual delineations with manual manipulations, the QA tool detected 94% of the mimicked errors. Overall, it detected 37% of the minor and 85% of the major errors. The QA tool improved reviewer error detection sensitivity from 61% to 68% for minor errors (P = 0.17), and from 78% to 87% for major errors (P = 0.02). The QA tool assists users to detect potential delineation errors. QA tool integration into clinical procedures may reduce the frequency of inaccurate OAR delineation, and potentially improve safety and quality of radiation treatment planning. © 2018 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

  15. Crop quality control system: a tool to control the visual quality of pot plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijkshoorn-Dekker, M.W.C.

    2002-01-01

    Key words: quality, growth, model, leaf unfolding rate, internode, plant height, plant width, leaf area, temperature, plant spacing, season, light, development, image processing, grading, neural network, pot plant, Ficus benjamina

  16. Image quality in conventional chest radiography. Evaluation using the postprocessing tool Diamond View

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niemann, Tilo; Reisinger, Clemens; Rau, Philipp; Schwarz, Jochen; Ruis-Lopez, Laura; Bongartz, Georg

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this work was to evaluate the influence of the postprocessing tool Diamond View (Siemens AG Medical Solutions, Germany) on image quality in conventional chest radiography. Evaluation of image quality remains a challenge in conventional radiography. Based on the European Commission quality criteria we evaluated the improvement of image quality when applying the new postprocessing tool Diamond View (Siemens AG Medical solutions, Germany) to conventional chest radiographs. Three different readers prospectively evaluated 102 digital image pairs of chest radiographs. Statistical analysis was performed with a p value <0.05 considered as significant. Images were evaluated on basis of the modified imaging Quality Criteria by the Commission of the European Communities. Each of the 11 image quality criteria was evaluated separately using a five point classification. Statistical analysis showed an overall tendency for improved image quality for Diamond View (DV) for all criteria. Significant differences could be found in most of the criteria. In conclusion DV improves image quality in conventional chest radiographs.

  17. Quality improvement strategies and tools: A comparative analysis between Italy and the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villa, Stefano; Restuccia, Joseph D; Anessi-Pessina, Eugenio; Rizzo, Marco Giovanni; Cohen, Alan B

    2018-01-01

    Italian and American hospitals, in two different periods, have been urged by external circumstances to extensively redesign their quality improvement strategies. This paper, through the use of a survey administered to chief quality officers in both countries, aims to identify commonalities and differences between the two systems and to understand which approaches are effective in improving quality of care. In both countries chief quality officers report quality improvement has become a strategic priority, clinical governance approaches, and tools-such as disease-specific quality improvement projects and clinical pathways-are commonly used, and there is widespread awareness that clinical decision making must be supported by protocols and guidelines. Furthermore, the study clearly outlines the critical importance of adopting a system-wide approach to quality improvement. To this extent Italy seems lagging behind compared to US in fact: (i) responsibilities for different dimensions of quality are spread across different organizational units; (ii) quality improvement strategies do not typically involve administrative staff; and (iii) quality performance measures are not disseminated widely within the organization but are reported primarily to top management. On the other hand, in Italy chief quality officers perceive that the typical hospital organizational structure, which is based on clinical directories, allows better coordination between clinical specialties than in the United States. In both countries, the results of the study show that it is not the single methodology/model that makes the difference but how the different quality improvement strategies and tools interact to each other and how they are coherently embedded with the overall organizational strategy.

  18. Psychometric Properties of Quality of Life Assessment Tools in Morbid Obesity: A Review of Literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Negar Yazdani

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Since studies have demonstrated that morbid obesity can exponentially impair quality of life, the measurement of quality of life is paramount to monitoring the effects of treatment and influences the development of clinical pathways, service provision, healthcare expenditures, and public health policy. Accordingly, clinicians, researchers, and policy makers must rely on valid instruments. Aim: This study aimed to review and critique the psychometric properties of some specific tools by COSMIN checklist and their application among morbidly obese individuals. Method: We searched PubMed, Web of Science, PsycINFO, Ovid, Elsevier, and ScienceDirect by using the keywords related to the Quality of Life Questionnaire, namely “morbid obesity”, “tool”, and “scale”, to retrieve articles published during 1989-2017. Then, the psychometric properties of the selected tools were assessed using the COSMIN checklist. Results: Most of the tools had not reported complete and desirable psychometrics properties. Demonstration of responsiveness from independent randomized controlled trials was not available in two of the eight questionnaires. These tools also did not report proper definition of interpretability. However, the data obtained by COSMIN checklist showed that Laval questionnaire is a proper scale for measuring quality of life in obese individuals, which can be recommended to researchers. Implications for Practice: Although Laval questionnaire was found a proper tool for measuring the quality of life among morbid obese patients, developing an instrument suitable for different societies with varied cultural and social characteristics is suggested because socio-cultural factors can influence the quality of life.

  19. Consequent use of IT tools as a driver for cost reduction and quality improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, Stefan; Rapp, Roberto; Feustel, Andreas

    2013-10-01

    The semiconductor industry drives a lot of efforts in the field of cost reductions and quality improvements. The consequent use of IT tools is one possibility to support these goals. With the extensions of its 150mm Fab to 200mm Robert Bosch increased the systematic use of data analysis and Advanced Process Control (APC).

  20. [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…

  1. [Reduce Energy Costs While Maintaining Healthy IAQ.] "Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools" Update #17

    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) Feature Article: Reduce Energy Costs while Maintaining Healthy IAQ; (3) Insight into Excellence: North East Independent School District ; (4) School Building Week 2009; and (5) Have Your Questions Answered!

  2. A comparison of the quality assurance of four dosimetric tools for intensity modulated radiation therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Son, Jaeman; Baek, Taesung; Lee, Boram; Shin, Dongho; Park, Sung Yong; Park, Jeonghoon; Lim, Young Kyung; Lee, Se Byeong; Kim, Jooyoung; Yoon, Myonggeun

    2015-01-01

    This study was designed to compare the quality assurance (QA) results of four dosimetric tools used for intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and to suggest universal criteria for the passing rate in QA, irrespective of the dosimetric tool used. Thirty fields of IMRT plans from five patients were selected, followed by irradiation onto radiochromic film, a diode array (Mapcheck), an ion chamber array (MatriXX) and an electronic portal imaging device (EPID) for patient-specific QA. The measured doses from the four dosimetric tools were compared with the dose calculated by the treatment planning system. The passing rates of the four dosimetric tools were calculated using the gamma index method, using as criteria a dose difference of 3% and a distance-to-agreement of 3 mm. The QA results based on Mapcheck, MatriXX and EPID showed good agreement, with average passing rates of 99.61%, 99.04% and 99.29%, respectively. However, the average passing rate based on film measurement was significantly lower, 95.88%. The average uncertainty (1 standard deviation) of passing rates for 6 intensity modulated fields was around 0.31 for film measurement, larger than those of the other three dosimetric tools. QA results and consistencies depend on the choice of dosimetric tool. Universal passing rates should depend on the normalization or inter-comparisons of dosimetric tools if more than one dosimetric tool is used for patient specific QA

  3. A comparison of the quality assurance of four dosimetric tools for intensity modulated radiation therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Son, Jaeman; Baek, Taesung; Lee, Boram; Shin, Dongho; Park, Sung Yong; Park, Jeonghoon; Lim, Young Kyung; Lee, Se Byeong; Kim, Jooyoung; Yoon, Myonggeun

    2015-09-01

    This study was designed to compare the quality assurance (QA) results of four dosimetric tools used for intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and to suggest universal criteria for the passing rate in QA, irrespective of the dosimetric tool used. Thirty fields of IMRT plans from five patients were selected, followed by irradiation onto radiochromic film, a diode array (Mapcheck), an ion chamber array (MatriXX) and an electronic portal imaging device (EPID) for patient-specific QA. The measured doses from the four dosimetric tools were compared with the dose calculated by the treatment planning system. The passing rates of the four dosimetric tools were calculated using the gamma index method, using as criteria a dose difference of 3% and a distance-to-agreement of 3 mm. The QA results based on Mapcheck, MatriXX and EPID showed good agreement, with average passing rates of 99.61%, 99.04% and 99.29%, respectively. However, the average passing rate based on film measurement was significantly lower, 95.88%. The average uncertainty (1 standard deviation) of passing rates for 6 intensity modulated fields was around 0.31 for film measurement, larger than those of the other three dosimetric tools. QA results and consistencies depend on the choice of dosimetric tool. Universal passing rates should depend on the normalization or inter-comparisons of dosimetric tools if more than one dosimetric tool is used for patient specific QA.

  4. Improving Escalation of Care: Development and Validation of the Quality of Information Transfer Tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Maximilian J; Arora, Sonal; Pucher, Philip H; Reissis, Yannis; Hull, Louise; Huddy, Jeremy R; King, Dominic; Darzi, Ara

    2016-03-01

    To develop and provide validity and feasibility evidence for the QUality of Information Transfer (QUIT) tool. Prompt escalation of care in the setting of patient deterioration can prevent further harm. Escalation and information transfer skills are not currently measured in surgery. This study comprised 3 phases: the development (phase 1), validation (phase 2), and feasibility analysis (phase 3) of the QUIT tool. Phase 1 involved identification of core skills needed for successful escalation of care through literature review and 33 semistructured interviews with stakeholders. Phase 2 involved the generation of validity evidence for the tool using a simulated setting. Thirty surgeons assessed a deteriorating postoperative patient in a simulated ward and escalated their care to a senior colleague. The face and content validity were assessed using a survey. Construct and concurrent validity of the tool were determined by comparing performance scores using the QUIT tool with those measured using the Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation (SBAR) tool. Phase 3 was conducted using direct observation of escalation scenarios on surgical wards in 2 hospitals. A 7-category assessment tool was developed from phase 1 consisting of 24 items. Twenty-one of 24 items had excellent content validity (content validity index >0.8). All 7 categories and 18 of 24 (P validity. The correlation between the QUIT and SBAR tools used was strong indicating concurrent validity (r = 0.694, P information transfer skills than nurses when faced with a deteriorating patient. A validated tool to assess information transfer for deteriorating surgical patients was developed and tested using simulation and real-time clinical scenarios. It may improve the quality and safety of patient care on the surgical ward.

  5. 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

    2013-07-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

    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. (note)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Xiaofeng; Ge Yaorong; Li Taoran; Thongphiew, Danthai; Yin Fangfang; Wu, Q Jackie

    2011-01-01

    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 ∼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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjerre-Christensen, Ulla; Nielsen, Annemette Anker; Binder, Christian; Hansen, Jes B; Eldrup, Ebbe

    2014-08-01

    To evaluate if improvements in the quality of diabetes care in Indian clinics can be obtained by simple self-surveillance PC-based software. Nineteen Indian diabetes clinics were introduced to the principles of quality assurance (QA), and to a software program, the Steno Quality 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. 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=0.006). Outcome parameters also improved significantly: mean (SD) fasting and post prandial BG reduced from 144(16) to 132(16)mg/dl (p=0.02) and 212(24)-195(29)mg/dl (p=0.03), respectively. Systolic BP reduced from 139(6) to 133(4) (p=0.0008)mmHg and diastolic BP from 83(3) to 81(3)mmHg (p=0.002). 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Tools for Quality and Productivity Improving: Six Sigma and ISO 14000: Quality Function Deployment (QFD)

    OpenAIRE

    Stefano, Nara Medianeira

    2014-01-01

    The demands of consumers and the growth of competitiveness factor stimulated organizations to improve their processes, product and services to meet the requirements of a dynamic market and increasingly demanding consumers. This differential, in the continuous search for greater market share, manifested it in the implementation of quality programs. This paper aimed to present a study of Six Sigma, ISO 14000, and QFD, performed by means of literature review of the respective concepts, consideri...

  12. Quality indicators in laboratory medicine: a fundamental tool for quality and patient safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plebani, Mario; Sciacovelli, Laura; Marinova, Mariela; Marcuccitti, Jessica; Chiozza, Maria Laura

    2013-09-01

    The identification of reliable quality indicators (QIs) is a crucial step in enabling users to quantify the quality of laboratory services. The current lack of attention to extra-laboratory factors is in stark contrast with the body of evidence pointing to the multitude of errors that continue to occur in the pre- and post-analytical phases. Different QIs and terminologies are currently used and, therefore, there is the need to harmonize proposed QIs. A model of quality indicators (MQI) has been consensually developed by a group of clinical laboratories according to a project launched by a working group of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC). The model includes 57 QIs related to key processes (35 pre-, 7 intra- and 15 post-analytical phases) and 3 to support processes. The developed MQI and the data collected provide evidence of the feasibility of the project to harmonize currently available QIs, but further efforts should be done to involve more clinical laboratories and to collect a more consistent amount of data. Copyright © 2012 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Impact of tool wear on cross wedge rolling process stability and on product quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, Catalina; Langlois, Laurent; Baudouin, Cyrille; Bigot, Régis; Fremeaux, Eric

    2017-10-01

    Cross wedge rolling (CWR) is a metal forming process used in the automotive industry. One of its applications is in the manufacturing process of connecting rods. CWR transforms a cylindrical billet into a complex axisymmetrical shape with an accurate distribution of material. This preform is forged into shape in a forging die. In order to improve CWR tool lifecycle and product quality it is essential to understand tool wear evolution and the physical phenomena that change on the CWR process due to the resulting geometry of the tool when undergoing tool wear. In order to understand CWR tool wear behavior, numerical simulations are necessary. Nevertheless, if the simulations are performed with the CAD geometry of the tool, results are limited. To solve this difficulty, two numerical simulations with FORGE® were performed using the real geometry of the tools (both up and lower roll) at two different states: (1) before starting lifecycle and (2) end of lifecycle. The tools were 3D measured with ATOS triple scan by GOM® using optical 3D measuring techniques. The result was a high-resolution point cloud of the entire geometry of the tool. Each 3D point cloud was digitalized and converted into a STL format. The geometry of the tools in a STL format was input for the 3D simulations. Both simulations were compared. Defects of products obtained in simulation were compared to main defects of products found industrially. Two main defects are: (a) surface defects on the preform that are not fixed in the die forging operation; and (b) Preform bent (no longer straight), with two possible impacts: on the one hand that the robot cannot grab it to take it to the forging stage; on the other hand, an unfilled section in the forging operation.

  14. Application of uncertainty and sensitivity analysis to the air quality SHERPA modelling tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisoni, E.; Albrecht, D.; Mara, T. A.; Rosati, R.; Tarantola, S.; Thunis, P.

    2018-06-01

    Air quality has significantly improved in Europe over the past few decades. Nonetheless we still find high concentrations in measurements mainly in specific regions or cities. This dimensional shift, from EU-wide to hot-spot exceedances, calls for a novel approach to regional air quality management (to complement EU-wide existing policies). The SHERPA (Screening for High Emission Reduction Potentials on Air quality) modelling tool was developed in this context. It provides an additional tool to be used in support to regional/local decision makers responsible for the design of air quality plans. It is therefore important to evaluate the quality of the SHERPA model, and its behavior in the face of various kinds of uncertainty. Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis techniques can be used for this purpose. They both reveal the links between assumptions and forecasts, help in-model simplification and may highlight unexpected relationships between inputs and outputs. Thus, a policy steered SHERPA module - predicting air quality improvement linked to emission reduction scenarios - was evaluated by means of (1) uncertainty analysis (UA) to quantify uncertainty in the model output, and (2) by sensitivity analysis (SA) to identify the most influential input sources of this uncertainty. The results of this study provide relevant information about the key variables driving the SHERPA output uncertainty, and advise policy-makers and modellers where to place their efforts for an improved decision-making process.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    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......*) was observed on the substrates. Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry was used as a reference method for the colorimetry measurements plotted against the number of printed layers. It was concluded that colorimetry could be used as a quality control tool for detection of different doses. However, optimization...

  19. Content, Quality, and Assessment Tools of Physician-Rating Websites in 12 Countries: Quantitative Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothenfluh, Fabia; Schulz, Peter J

    2018-06-14

    Websites on which users can rate their physician are becoming increasingly popular, but little is known about the website quality, the information content, and the tools they offer users to assess physicians. This study assesses these aspects on physician-rating websites in German- and English-speaking countries. The objective of this study was to collect information on websites with a physician rating or review tool in 12 countries in terms of metadata, website quality (transparency, privacy and freedom of speech of physicians and patients, check mechanisms for appropriateness and accuracy of reviews, and ease of page navigation), professional information about the physician, rating scales and tools, as well as traffic rank. A systematic Web search based on a set of predefined keywords was conducted on Google, Bing, and Yahoo in August 2016. A final sample of 143 physician-rating websites was analyzed and coded for metadata, quality, information content, and the physician-rating tools. The majority of websites were registered in the United States (40/143) or Germany (25/143). The vast majority were commercially owned (120/143, 83.9%), and 69.9% (100/143) displayed some form of physician advertisement. Overall, information content (mean 9.95/25) as well as quality were low (mean 18.67/47). Websites registered in the United Kingdom obtained the highest quality scores (mean 26.50/47), followed by Australian websites (mean 21.50/47). In terms of rating tools, physician-rating websites were most frequently asking users to score overall performance, punctuality, or wait time in practice. This study evidences that websites that provide physician rating should improve and communicate their quality standards, especially in terms of physician and user protection, as well as transparency. In addition, given that quality standards on physician-rating websites are low overall, the development of transparent guidelines is required. Furthermore, attention should be paid to the

  20. 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.

  1. DEVELOPMENT OF REMOTE TOOLS TO ASSESS THE EFFECTIVENESS AND QUALITY OF CAR SERVICE ENTERPRISES WORK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir Kozlovskiy

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper is updated development problem of remote tools to assess the effectiveness and work quality of the corporate car service enterprises. This paper presents the author’s methodology of activity estimation car service enterprises based on corporate information reflecting the report on the production activities of the service company. Specialized information system has been developed and implemented based on the proposed methodology. Specialized information system is the analytical tool for assessing the activities of enterprises the brand network of car service, for one of the largest national carmakers. The aim of research is development and realization of a monitoring system for certain areas of the car service work that significantly affect the quality process of the maintenance service. In addition, the paper is devoted to solving urgent issues of collection and processing of real data on warranty defects of cars.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gando, A; Gando, Y; 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, BD; 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, C; Vivier, M; Yala, P; Berger, BE; Kozlov, A; Banks, T; Dwyer, D; Fujikawa, BK; Han, K; Kolomensky, YG; Mei, Y; O' Donnell, T; Decowski, P; Markoff, DM; Yoshida, S; Kornoukhov, VN; Gelis, TVM; Tikhomirov, GV; Learned, JG; Maricic, J; Matsuno, S; Milincic, R; Karwowski, HJ; Efremenko, Y; Detwiler, A; Enomoto, S

    2017-05-12

    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 Δm$2\\atop{new}$ ≳ 0.1 eV2 and sin2(2θnew) > 0.05.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 UK endoscopy GRS, and integrating results of the Canadian consensus on safety and quality indicators in endoscopy and other Canadian consensus reports, a working group of endoscopists experienced with the GRS developed the GRS-Canada (GRS-C). RESULTS: The GRS-C mirrors the two dimensions (clinical quality and quality of the patient experience) and 12 patient-centred items of the UK-GRS, but was modified to apply to Canadian health care infrastructure, language and current practice. Each item is assessed by a yes/no response to eight to 12 statements that are divided into levels graded D (basic) through A (advanced). A core team consisting of a booking clerk, charge nurse and the physician responsible for the unit is recommended to complete the GRS-C twice yearly. CONCLUSION: The GRS-C is intended to improve endoscopic services in Canada by providing endoscopy units with a straightforward process to review the quality of the service they provide. PMID:23472242

  4. The endoscopy Global Rating Scale-Canada: development and implementation of a quality improvement tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

    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. 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. Based on feedback from 22 sites across Canada that completed the UK endoscopy GRS, and integrating results of the Canadian consensus on safety and quality indicators in endoscopy and other Canadian consensus reports, a working group of endoscopists experienced with the GRS developed the GRS-Canada (GRS-C). The GRS-C mirrors the two dimensions (clinical quality and quality of the patient experience) and 12 patient-centred items of the UK-GRS, but was modified to apply to Canadian health care infrastructure, language and current practice. Each item is assessed by a yes⁄no response to eight to 12 statements that are divided into levels graded D (basic) through A (advanced). A core team consisting of a booking clerk, charge nurse and the physician responsible for the unit is recommended to complete the GRS-C twice yearly. The GRS-C is intended to improve endoscopic services in Canada by providing endoscopy units with a straightforward process to review the quality of the service they provide.

  5. ELECTRONIC TEXTBOOK AS AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION

    OpenAIRE

    Yuliia M. Shepetko

    2011-01-01

    The urgency of the material stated in article, is caused by requirements for use of information and communication technologies for educational process, in particular the electronic textbook which can facilitate perception of the information, diversify work forms, interest by technical possibilities. The article aims to proof the necessity of  electronic textbooks use as effective tool for improving the quality of education. Use of the electronic textbook at training will effectively and posit...

  6. Evaluation of professional practices and quality management: use of some tools in nuclear medicine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Israel, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    The walk to continue quality improvement is an obligation in all French health structures and the departments of nuclear medicine have to take part in, particularly for the evaluation of professional practices (E.P.P.). This work meant to show how simple and classical tools (process analysis, scheme of Ishikawa, '5M' method, logo-grams, EFQM or Shortell methods) could be used to impulse an E.P.P. according to the rules proposed by the 'Haute Autorite de sante'. We try to show how these tools can be used to analyze and solve practical as managerial problems. For example, we set out a process analysis of nuclear medicine acts in several levels of discrimination. Lastly, we expose some classical problems in the application of the E.P.P.. The aim of this article is not to offer ready-made solutions, but only to show what is possible with these user-friendly tools. (author)

  7. 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.

  8. Easily configured real-time CPOE Pick Off Tool supporting focused clinical research and quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, Benjamin P; Silkin, Nikolay; Miller, Randolph A

    2014-01-01

    Real-time alerting systems typically warn providers about abnormal laboratory results or medication interactions. For more complex tasks, institutions create site-wide 'data warehouses' to support quality audits and longitudinal research. Sophisticated systems like i2b2 or Stanford's STRIDE utilize data warehouses to identify cohorts for research and quality monitoring. However, substantial resources are required to install and maintain such systems. For more modest goals, an organization desiring merely to identify patients with 'isolation' orders, or to determine patients' eligibility for clinical trials, may adopt a simpler, limited approach based on processing the output of one clinical system, and not a data warehouse. We describe a limited, order-entry-based, real-time 'pick off' tool, utilizing public domain software (PHP, MySQL). Through a web interface the tool assists users in constructing complex order-related queries and auto-generates corresponding database queries that can be executed at recurring intervals. We describe successful application of the tool for research and quality monitoring.

  9. QCScreen: a software tool for data quality control in LC-HRMS based metabolomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simader, Alexandra Maria; Kluger, Bernhard; Neumann, Nora Katharina Nicole; Bueschl, Christoph; Lemmens, Marc; Lirk, Gerald; Krska, Rudolf; Schuhmacher, Rainer

    2015-10-24

    Metabolomics experiments often comprise large numbers of biological samples resulting in huge amounts of data. This data needs to be inspected for plausibility before data evaluation to detect putative sources of error e.g. retention time or mass accuracy shifts. Especially in liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) based metabolomics research, proper quality control checks (e.g. for precision, signal drifts or offsets) are crucial prerequisites to achieve reliable and comparable results within and across experimental measurement sequences. Software tools can support this process. The software tool QCScreen was developed to offer a quick and easy data quality check of LC-HRMS derived data. It allows a flexible investigation and comparison of basic quality-related parameters within user-defined target features and the possibility to automatically evaluate multiple sample types within or across different measurement sequences in a short time. It offers a user-friendly interface that allows an easy selection of processing steps and parameter settings. The generated results include a coloured overview plot of data quality across all analysed samples and targets and, in addition, detailed illustrations of the stability and precision of the chromatographic separation, the mass accuracy and the detector sensitivity. The use of QCScreen is demonstrated with experimental data from metabolomics experiments using selected standard compounds in pure solvent. The application of the software identified problematic features, samples and analytical parameters and suggested which data files or compounds required closer manual inspection. QCScreen is an open source software tool which provides a useful basis for assessing the suitability of LC-HRMS data prior to time consuming, detailed data processing and subsequent statistical analysis. It accepts the generic mzXML format and thus can be used with many different LC-HRMS platforms to process both multiple

  10. Sequence quality analysis tool for HIV type 1 protease and reverse transcriptase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delong, Allison K; Wu, Mingham; Bennett, Diane; Parkin, Neil; Wu, Zhijin; Hogan, Joseph W; Kantor, Rami

    2012-08-01

    Access to antiretroviral therapy is increasing globally and drug resistance evolution is anticipated. Currently, protease (PR) and reverse transcriptase (RT) sequence generation is increasing, including the use of in-house sequencing assays, and quality assessment prior to sequence analysis is essential. We created a computational HIV PR/RT Sequence Quality Analysis Tool (SQUAT) that runs in the R statistical environment. Sequence quality thresholds are calculated from a large dataset (46,802 PR and 44,432 RT sequences) from the published literature ( http://hivdb.Stanford.edu ). Nucleic acid sequences are read into SQUAT, identified, aligned, and translated. Nucleic acid sequences are flagged if with >five 1-2-base insertions; >one 3-base insertion; >one deletion; >six PR or >18 RT ambiguous bases; >three consecutive PR or >four RT nucleic acid mutations; >zero stop codons; >three PR or >six RT ambiguous amino acids; >three consecutive PR or >four RT amino acid mutations; >zero unique amino acids; or 15% genetic distance from another submitted sequence. Thresholds are user modifiable. SQUAT output includes a summary report with detailed comments for troubleshooting of flagged sequences, histograms of pairwise genetic distances, neighbor joining phylogenetic trees, and aligned nucleic and amino acid sequences. SQUAT is a stand-alone, free, web-independent tool to ensure use of high-quality HIV PR/RT sequences in interpretation and reporting of drug resistance, while increasing awareness and expertise and facilitating troubleshooting of potentially problematic sequences.

  11. A new tool for quality of multimedia estimation based on network behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaroslav Frnda

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we present a software tool capable of predicting the final quality of triple play services by using the most common assessment metrics. The quality of speech and video in network environment is a growing concern of all the internet service providers to carry the multimedia traffic without the excessive delays and losses, which degrade the quality of multimedia as it is perceived by the end users. Prediction mathematical model is based on results obtained from many performed testing scenarios simulating real behavior in the network. Based on the proposed model, speech or video quality is calculated with regard to policies applied for packet processing by routers and to the level of total network utilization. The application cannot only predict QoS parameters but also generate the source code of particular QoS policy setting according to the user interaction and apply the policy to the routers in the network. Contribution of the work consists of a new software tool enables network administrators and designers to improve and optimize network traffic efficiently.

  12. 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

  13. Development of Tools for Ensuring the Quality of Labor Potential of Industrial Enterprises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruslan Skrynkovskyy

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of the article is to deepen theoretical and methodological provisions and to develop tools for ensuring the quality of labor potential of industrial enterprises. It was established that the basis of the development of tools for quality assurance of labor potential (within the framework of the development of industrial enterprises lies the system of goals of managerial diagnostics of an industrial enterprise, which includes such key diagnostic objectives as: 1 diagnostics of the effectiveness of controlling the internal business processes of the enterprise; 2 diagnostics of the effectiveness of the typical organizational structure of enterprise management; 3 diagnostics of the efficiency of standardization of the work of linear and functional managers and specialists at the enterprise; 4 diagnostics of the enterprise in the areas of vocational education, labor activity and motivation, innovation work and social development; 5 diagnostics of management policies in the areas of social responsibility, information security and labor protection; 6 diagnostics of the level of conflict in the team at the enterprise 7 diagnosis of the effectiveness of the use of information technology in the management of the enterprise. It was determined that effective management of the quality of labor potential of the personnel (on the basis of its objective assessment is one of the key conditions that determines the success of industrial enterprises. The prospect of further research in this direction is improving the system of diagnostics and planning of reserves for improving the quality of labor potential of an industrial enterprise in crisis conditions.

  14. 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

    ) 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...... particular sensitive towards water quality deterioration. The analysis revealed sampling locations within steady clusters, which increased samples' comparability over time. Furthermore, the method provided a simplified overview of water movement in complex distribution networks, and could assist...

  15. Using a complex audit tool to measure workload, staffing and quality in district nursing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirby, Esther; Hurst, Keith

    2014-05-01

    This major community, workload, staffing and quality study is thought to be the most comprehensive community staffing project in England. It involved over 400 staff from 46 teams in 6 localities and is unique because it ties community staffing activity to workload and quality. Scotland was used to benchmark since the same evidence-based Safer Nursing Care Tool methodology developed by the second-named author was used (apart from quality) and took into account population and geographical similarities. The data collection method tested quality standards, acuity, dependency and nursing interventions by looking at caseloads, staff activity and service quality and funded, actual, temporary and recommended staffing. Key findings showed that 4 out of 6 localities had a heavy workload index that stretched staffing numbers and time spent with patients. The acuity and dependency of patients leaned heavily towards the most dependent and acute categories requiring more face-to-face care. Some areas across the localities had high levels of temporary staff, which affected quality and increased cost. Skill and competency shortages meant that a small number of staff had to travel significantly across the county to deliver complex care to some patients.

  16. Technical tools and of information for the quality administration of the water resource

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Escobar Martinez, John Fernando; Sierra Ramirez, Carlos; Molina Perez, Francisco

    2000-01-01

    Given the complexity of an aquatic ecosystem and the impossibility of making experiments on a real scale, the water quality engineer represents the different reactions and interactions that happen in these ecosystems using mathematical models. This constitutes a powerful tool that allows prospective studies and helps in the decision-making. On the other hand, the huge volumes of information produced by the geographical space analysis and the large amount of variables involved, make the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) a powerful tool to develop analysis, modeling and simulation tasks on a defined area and the processes related to it. This article presents an integration proposal that permits to associate both, the spatial analysis and the visual representation capabilities of a GIS application with the water quality results obtained from a mathematical model, in such a way that, the interaction of the users of the information get increased, and the development of new tools helps in the decisions making and administrative process in the management of the water resources

  17. Toward an evidence-based system for innovation support for implementing innovations with quality: tools, training, technical assistance, and quality assurance/quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wandersman, Abraham; Chien, Victoria H; Katz, Jason

    2012-12-01

    An individual or organization that sets out to implement an innovation (e.g., a new technology, program, or policy) generally requires support. In the Interactive Systems Framework for Dissemination and Implementation, a Support System should work with Delivery Systems (national, state and/or local entities such as health and human service organizations, community-based organizations, schools) to enhance their capacity for quality implementation of innovations. The literature on the Support System [corrected] has been underresearched and under-developedThis article begins to conceptualize theory, research, and action for an evidence-based system for innovation support (EBSIS). EBSIS describes key priorities for strengthening the science and practice of support. The major goal of EBSIS is to enhance the research and practice of support in order to build capacity in the Delivery System for implementing innovations with quality, and thereby, help the Delivery System achieve outcomes. EBSIS is guided by a logic model that includes four key support components: tools, training, technical assistance, and quality assurance/quality improvement. EBSIS uses the Getting To Outcomes approach to accountability to aid the identification and synthesis of concepts, tools, and evidence for support. We conclude with some discussion of the current status of EBSIS and possible next steps, including the development of collaborative researcher-practitioner-funder-consumer partnerships to accelerate accumulation of knowledge on the Support System.

  18. Development and implementation of an audit tool for quality control of parenteral nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Rodicio, Sonsoles; Abajo, Celia; Godoy, Mercedes; Catalá, Miguel Angel

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this article is to describe the development of a quality control methodology applied to patients receiving parenteral nutrition (PN) and to present the results obtained over the past 10 years. Development of the audit tool: In 1995, a total of 13 PN quality criteria and their standards were defined based on literature and past experiences. They were applied during 5 different 6-month audits carried out in subsequent years. According to the results of each audit, the criteria with lower validity were eliminated, while others were optimized and new criteria were introduced to complete the monitoring of other areas not previously examined. Currently, the quality control process includes 22 quality criteria and their standards that examine the following 4 different areas: (1) indication and duration of PN; (2) nutrition assessment, adequacy of the nutrition support, and monitoring; (3) metabolic and infectious complications; and (4) global efficacy of the nutrition support regimen. The authors describe the current definition of each criterion and present the results obtained in the 5 audits performed. In the past year, 9 of the 22 criteria reached the predefined standards. The areas detected for further improvements were: indication for PN, nutrition assessment, and management of catheter infections. The definition of quality criteria and their standards is an efficient method of providing a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the clinical care of patients receiving PN. It detects areas for improvement and assists in developing a methodology to work efficiently.

  19. Strategic Evaluation Tool for Surface Water Quality Management Remedies in Drinking Water Catchments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huda Almaaofi

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Drinking water catchments (DWC are under pressure from point and nonpoint source pollution due to the growing human activities. This worldwide challenge is causing number of adverse effects, such as degradation in water quality, ecosystem health, and other economic and social pressures. Different evaluation tools have been developed to achieve sustainable and healthy drinking water catchments. However, a holistic and strategic framework is still required to adequately consider the uncertainty associated with feasible management remedies of surface water quality in drinking water catchments. A strategic framework was developed to adequately consider the uncertainty associated with management remedies for surface water quality in drinking water catchments. A Fuzzy Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis (FMCDA approach was embedded into a strategic decision support framework to evaluate and rank water quality remediation options within a typical fixed budget constraint faced by bulk water providers. The evaluation framework consists of four core aspects; namely, water quality, environmental, economic and social, and number of associated quantitative and qualitative criteria and sub-criteria. Final remediation strategy ranking was achieved through the application of the Euclidean Distance by the In-center of Centroids (EDIC.

  20. 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.

  1. Quality of clinical brain tumor MR spectra judged by humans and machine learning tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyathanahally, Sreenath P; Mocioiu, Victor; Pedrosa de Barros, Nuno; Slotboom, Johannes; Wright, Alan J; Julià-Sapé, Margarida; Arús, Carles; Kreis, Roland

    2018-05-01

    To investigate and compare human judgment and machine learning tools for quality assessment of clinical MR spectra of brain tumors. A very large set of 2574 single voxel spectra with short and long echo time from the eTUMOUR and INTERPRET databases were used for this analysis. Original human quality ratings from these studies as well as new human guidelines were used to train different machine learning algorithms for automatic quality control (AQC) based on various feature extraction methods and classification tools. The performance was compared with variance in human judgment. AQC built using the RUSBoost classifier that combats imbalanced training data performed best. When furnished with a large range of spectral and derived features where the most crucial ones had been selected by the TreeBagger algorithm it showed better specificity (98%) in judging spectra from an independent test-set than previously published methods. Optimal performance was reached with a virtual three-class ranking system. Our results suggest that feature space should be relatively large for the case of MR tumor spectra and that three-class labels may be beneficial for AQC. The best AQC algorithm showed a performance in rejecting spectra that was comparable to that of a panel of human expert spectroscopists. Magn Reson Med 79:2500-2510, 2018. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

  2. A flexible tool for hydraulic and water quality performance analysis of green infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massoudieh, A.; Alikhani, J.

    2017-12-01

    Models that allow for design considerations of green infrastructure (GI) practices to control stormwater runoff and associated contaminants have received considerable attention in recent years. To be used to evaluate the effect design configurations on the long-term performance of GIs, models should be able to consider processes within GIs with good fidelity. In this presentation, a sophisticated, yet flexible tool for hydraulic and water quality assessment of GIs will be introduced. The tool can be used by design engineers and researchers to capture and explore the effect of design factors and properties of the media employed in the performance of GI systems at a relatively small scale. We deemed it essential to have a flexible GI modeling tool that is capable of simulating GI system components and specific biogeochemical processes affecting contaminants such as evapotranspiration, plant uptake, reactions, and particle-associated transport accurately while maintaining a high degree of flexibility to account for the myriad of GI alternatives. The mathematical framework for a stand-alone GI performance assessment tool has been developed and will be demonstrated. The process-based model framework developed here can be used to model a diverse range of GI practices such as stormwater ponds, green roofs, retention ponds, bioretention systems, infiltration trench, permeable pavement and other custom-designed combinatory systems. An example of the application of the system to evaluate the performance of a rain-garden system will be demonstrated.

  3. Quality of family history collection with use of a patient facing family history assessment tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, R Ryanne; Himmel, Tiffany L; Buchanan, Adam H; Powell, Karen P; Hauser, Elizabeth R; Ginsburg, Geoffrey S; Henrich, Vincent C; Orlando, Lori A

    2014-02-13

    Studies have shown that the quality of family health history (FHH) collection in primary care is inadequate to assess disease risk. To use FHH for risk assessment, collected data must have adequate detail. To address this issue, we developed a patient facing FHH assessment tool, MeTree. In this paper we report the content and quality of the FHH collected using MeTree. A hybrid implementation-effectiveness study. Patients were recruited from 2009 to 2012. Two community primary care clinics in Greensboro, NC. All non-adopted adult English speaking patients with upcoming appointments were invited to participate. Education about and collection of FHH with entry into MeTree. We report the proportion of pedigrees that were high-quality. High-quality pedigrees are defined as having all the following criteria: (1) three generations of relatives, (2) relatives' lineage, (3) relatives' gender, (4) an up-to-date FHH, (5) pertinent negatives noted, (6) age of disease onset in affected relatives, and for deceased relatives, (7) the age and (8) cause of death (Prim Care31:479-495, 2004.). Enrollment: 1,184. Participant demographics: age range 18-92 (mean 58.8, SD 11.79), 56% male, and 75% white. The median pedigree size was 21 (range 8-71) and the FHH entered into MeTree resulted in a database of 27,406 individuals. FHHs collected by MeTree were found to be high quality in 99.8% (N = 1,182/1,184) as compared to quality of the FHH data that is collected and talking with relatives prior to the collection of FHH significantly improves the quantity and quality of the data provided. This allows more patients to be accurately risk stratified and offered appropriate preventive care guided by their risk level. NCT01372553.

  4. The Assessment, Development, Assurance Pharmacist's Tool (ADAPT) for ensuring quality implementation of health promotion programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truong, Hoai-An; Taylor, Catherine R; DiPietro, Natalie A

    2012-02-10

    To develop and validate the Assessment, Development, Assurance Pharmacist's Tool (ADAPT), an instrument for pharmacists and student pharmacists to use in developing and implementing health promotion programs. The 36-item ADAPT instrument was developed using the framework of public health's 3 core functions (assessment, policy development, and assurance) and 10 essential services. The tool's content and usage was assessed and conducted through peer-review and initial validity testing processes. Over 20 faculty members, preceptors, and student pharmacists at 5 institutions involved in planning and implementing health promotion initiatives reviewed the instrument and conducted validity testing. The instrument took approximately 15 minutes to complete and the findings resulted in changes and improvements to elements of the programs evaluated. The ADAPT instrument fills a need to more effectively plan, develop, implement, and evaluate pharmacist-directed public health programs that are evidence-based, high-quality, and compliant with laws and regulations and facilitates documentation of pharmacists' contributions to public health.

  5. 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.

  6. Development of the Quality Improvement Minimum Quality Criteria Set (QI-MQCS): a tool for critical appraisal of quality improvement intervention publications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hempel, Susanne; Shekelle, Paul G; Liu, Jodi L; Sherwood Danz, Margie; Foy, Robbie; Lim, Yee-Wei; Motala, Aneesa; Rubenstein, Lisa V

    2015-12-01

    Valid, reliable critical appraisal tools advance quality improvement (QI) intervention impacts by helping stakeholders identify higher quality studies. QI approaches are diverse and differ from clinical interventions. Widely used critical appraisal instruments do not take unique QI features into account and existing QI tools (eg, Standards for QI Reporting Excellence) are intended for publication guidance rather than critical appraisal. This study developed and psychometrically tested a critical appraisal instrument, the QI Minimum Quality Criteria Set (QI-MQCS) for assessing QI-specific features of QI publications. Approaches to developing the tool and ensuring validity included a literature review, in-person and online survey expert panel input, and application to empirical examples. We investigated psychometric properties in a set of diverse QI publications (N=54) by analysing reliability measures and item endorsement rates and explored sources of disagreement between reviewers. The QI-MQCS includes 16 content domains to evaluate QI intervention publications: Organisational Motivation, Intervention Rationale, Intervention Description, Organisational Characteristics, Implementation, Study Design, Comparator Description, Data Sources, Timing, Adherence/Fidelity, Health Outcomes, Organisational Readiness, Penetration/Reach, Sustainability, Spread and Limitations. Median inter-rater agreement for QI-MQCS items was κ 0.57 (83% agreement). Item statistics indicated sufficient ability to differentiate between publications (median quality criteria met 67%). Internal consistency measures indicated coherence without excessive conceptual overlap (absolute mean interitem correlation=0.19). The critical appraisal instrument is accompanied by a user manual detailing What to consider, Where to look and How to rate. We developed a ready-to-use, valid and reliable critical appraisal instrument applicable to healthcare QI intervention publications, but recognise scope for

  7. 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

  8. Development of a software tool for the management of quality control in a helical tomotherapy unit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

    2013-01-01

    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)

  9. Data Quality Monitoring : Automatic MOnitoRing Environment (AMORE ) Web Administration Tool in ALICE Experiment

    CERN Document Server

    Nagi, Imre

    2013-01-01

    ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) is the heavy-ion detector designed to study the physics of strongly interacting matter and the quark-gluon plasma at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The quality of the acquired data evolves over time depending on the status of the detectors, its components and the operating environment. To get an excellent performance of detector, all detector configurations have to be set perfectly so that the data-taking can be done in an optimal way. This report describes a new implementation of the administration tools of the ALICE’s DQM framework called AMORE (Automatic MonitoRing Environment) with web technologies.

  10. 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......–600 cm−1 infrared region. Changes associated to categories were observed in the region 1800–900 cm−1. These changes were assigned to certain compounds that increase during aging (e.g. acetic acids, alcohols, esters) or are characteristic of Pedro Ximenez category (e.g. sugars, furfural). Principal...

  11. The impact of PICO as a search strategy tool on literature search quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eriksen, Mette Brandt; Frandsen, Tove Faber

    2018-01-01

    Objective: This review aimed to determine, if the use of the PICO model (Patient Intervention Comparison Outcome) as a search strategy tool affects the quality of the literature search. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted in: PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, PsycInfo, Cochrane Library...... and three studies were included, data was extracted, risk of bias was assessed and a qualitative analysis was conducted. The included studies compared PICO to PIC or link to related articles in PubMed; PICOS and SPIDER. One study compared PICO to unguided searching. Due to differences in intervention...

  12. ELECTRONIC TEXTBOOK AS AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuliia M. Shepetko

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The urgency of the material stated in article, is caused by requirements for use of information and communication technologies for educational process, in particular the electronic textbook which can facilitate perception of the information, diversify work forms, interest by technical possibilities. The article aims to proof the necessity of  electronic textbooks use as effective tool for improving the quality of education. Use of the electronic textbook at training will effectively and positively affect process of preparation of students taking into account the means of organization of educational process, structure, methodological requirements. Application of the electronic textbook at training will promote the further development of informative motivation of students.

  13. Setting Up Decision-Making Tools toward a Quality-Oriented Participatory Maize Breeding Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Mara L.; Brites, Cláudia; Paulo, Manuel; Carbas, Bruna; Belo, Maria; Mendes-Moreira, Pedro M. R.; Brites, Carla; Bronze, Maria do Rosário; Gunjača, Jerko; Šatović, Zlatko; Vaz Patto, Maria C.

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have reported promising differences in the quality of kernels from farmers' maize populations collected in a Portuguese region known to produce maize-based bread. However, several limitations have been identified in the previous characterizations of those populations, such as a limited set of quality traits accessed and a missing accurate agronomic performance evaluation. The objectives of this study were to perform a more detailed quality characterization of Portuguese farmers' maize populations; to estimate their agronomic performance in a broader range of environments; and to integrate quality, agronomic, and molecular data in the setting up of decision-making tools for the establishment of a quality-oriented participatory maize breeding program. Sixteen farmers' maize populations, together with 10 other maize populations chosen for comparison purposes, were multiplied in a common-garden experiment for quality evaluation. Flour obtained from each population was used to study kernel composition (protein, fat, fiber), flour's pasting behavior, and bioactive compound levels (carotenoids, tocopherols, phenolic compounds). These maize populations were evaluated for grain yield and ear weight in nine locations across Portugal; the populations' adaptability and stability were evaluated using additive main effects and multiplication interaction (AMMI) model analysis. The phenotypic characterization of each population was complemented with a molecular characterization, in which 30 individuals per population were genotyped with 20 microsatellites. Almost all farmers' populations were clustered into the same quality-group characterized by high levels of protein and fiber, low levels of carotenoids, volatile aldehydes, α- and δ-tocopherols, and breakdown viscosity. Within this quality-group, variability on particular quality traits (color and some bioactive compounds) could still be found. Regarding the agronomic performance, farmers' maize populations

  14. Setting Up Decision-Making Tools toward a Quality-Oriented Participatory Maize Breeding Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mara L. Alves

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have reported promising differences in the quality of kernels from farmers' maize populations collected in a Portuguese region known to produce maize-based bread. However, several limitations have been identified in the previous characterizations of those populations, such as a limited set of quality traits accessed and a missing accurate agronomic performance evaluation. The objectives of this study were to perform a more detailed quality characterization of Portuguese farmers' maize populations; to estimate their agronomic performance in a broader range of environments; and to integrate quality, agronomic, and molecular data in the setting up of decision-making tools for the establishment of a quality-oriented participatory maize breeding program. Sixteen farmers' maize populations, together with 10 other maize populations chosen for comparison purposes, were multiplied in a common-garden experiment for quality evaluation. Flour obtained from each population was used to study kernel composition (protein, fat, fiber, flour's pasting behavior, and bioactive compound levels (carotenoids, tocopherols, phenolic compounds. These maize populations were evaluated for grain yield and ear weight in nine locations across Portugal; the populations' adaptability and stability were evaluated using additive main effects and multiplication interaction (AMMI model analysis. The phenotypic characterization of each population was complemented with a molecular characterization, in which 30 individuals per population were genotyped with 20 microsatellites. Almost all farmers' populations were clustered into the same quality-group characterized by high levels of protein and fiber, low levels of carotenoids, volatile aldehydes, α- and δ-tocopherols, and breakdown viscosity. Within this quality-group, variability on particular quality traits (color and some bioactive compounds could still be found. Regarding the agronomic performance, farmers

  15. Air quality management in Portugal: example of needs and available tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrego, C; Miranda, A I; Coutinho, M; Ferreira, J; Carvalho, A C

    2002-01-01

    The Framework Directive (FWD) and the proposed Daughter Directives are the newest legislative instruments concerning a new political strategy and air quality management approach for Europe. Additionally, the member countries of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe have included the concepts of critical load and level for planning air pollution abatement strategies and as a base of international agreements concerning limitation of the emissions of air pollutants. These concepts imply an accurate knowledge about pollutants deposition fluxes. The paper describes the main needs and the tools available to define a strategy of air quality management in Portugal. Two study cases are presented: (1) extensive monitoring plan to assess the impact of an urban incinerator plant; and (2) contribution to a methodology to estimate critical levels for a coastal region in Portugal. These different approaches allowed illustrating the complexity of the implementation of an air pollution management strategy.

  16. Quality tools and resources to support organisational improvement integral to high-quality primary care: a systematic review of published and grey literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janamian, Tina; Upham, Susan J; Crossland, Lisa; Jackson, Claire L

    2016-04-18

    To conduct a systematic review of the literature to identify existing online primary care quality improvement tools and resources to support organisational improvement related to the seven elements in the Primary Care Practice Improvement Tool (PC-PIT), with the identified tools and resources to progress to a Delphi study for further assessment of relevance and utility. Systematic review of the international published and grey literature. CINAHL, Embase and PubMed databases were searched in March 2014 for articles published between January 2004 and December 2013. GreyNet International and other relevant websites and repositories were also searched in March-April 2014 for documents dated between 1992 and 2012. All citations were imported into a bibliographic database. Published and unpublished tools and resources were included in the review if they were in English, related to primary care quality improvement and addressed any of the seven PC-PIT elements of a high-performing practice. Tools and resources that met the eligibility criteria were then evaluated for their accessibility, relevance, utility and comprehensiveness using a four-criteria appraisal framework. We used a data extraction template to systematically extract information from eligible tools and resources. A content analysis approach was used to explore the tools and resources and collate relevant information: name of the tool or resource, year and country of development, author, name of the organisation that provided access and its URL, accessibility information or problems, overview of each tool or resource and the quality improvement element(s) it addresses. If available, a copy of the tool or resource was downloaded into the bibliographic database, along with supporting evidence (published or unpublished) on its use in primary care. This systematic review identified 53 tools and resources that can potentially be provided as part of a suite of tools and resources to support primary care practices in

  17. Quality Control System using Simple Implementation of Seven Tools for Batik Textile Manufacturing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragil Suryoputro, Muhammad; Sugarindra, Muchamad; Erfaisalsyah, Hendy

    2017-06-01

    In order to produce better products and mitigate defect in products, every company must implement a quality control system. Company will find means to implement a quality control system that is capable and reliable. One of the methods is using the simple implementation of the seven tools in quality control defects. The case studied in this research was the level of disability xyz grey fabric on a shuttle loom 2 on the Batik manufacturing company. The seven tools that include: flowchart, check sheet, histogram, scatter diagram combined with control charts, Pareto diagrams and fishbone diagrams (causal diagram). Check sheet results obtained types of defects in the grey fabric was woven xyz is warp, double warp, the warp break, double warp, empty warp, warp tenuous, ugly edges, thick warp, and rust. Based on the analysis of control chart indicates that the process is out of control. This can be seen in the graph control where there is still a lot of outlier data. Based on a scatter diagram shows a positive correlation between the percentage of disability and the number of production. Based on Pareto diagram, repair needs priority is for the dominant type of defect is warp (44%) and based on double warp value histogram is also the highest with a value of 23635.11 m. In addition, based on the analysis of the factors causing defect by fishbone diagram double warp or other types of defects originating from the materials, methods, machines, measurements, man and environment. Thus the company can take to minimize the prevention and repair of defects and improve product quality.

  18. 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.

  19. VERIDOS: a new tool for quality assurance for intensity modulated radiotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiezorek, Tilo; Schwedas, Michael; Scheithauer, Marcel; Salz, Henning; Bellemann, Matthias; Wendt, Thomas G

    2002-12-01

    The use of intensity modulated radiation fields needs an extended quality assurance concept. This consists of a linac related part and a case related part. Case related means the verification of an individual treatment plan, optimized on a CT data set of an individual patient and prepared for the treatment of this patient. This part of the quality assurance work is usually time consuming, delivers only partially quantitative results and is uncomfortable without additional help. It will be shown in this paper how the software VERIDOS will improve the optimization of the case related part of the quality assurance work. The main function of the software is the quantitative comparison of the calculated dose distribution from the treatment planning software with the measured dose distribution of an irradiated phantom. Several additional functions will be explained. Two self-developed phantoms made of RW3 (solid water) and GAFCHROMIC films or Kodak EDR2 films for the measurement of the dose distributions were used. VERIDOS was tested with the treatment planning systems Helay-TMS and Brainscan. VERIDOS is a suitable tool for the import of calculated dose matrices from the treatment planning systems Helax-TMS and Brainscan and of measured dose matrices exported from the dosimetry software Mephysto (PTW). The import from other treatment planning systems and scanning software applications for film dosimetry is generally possible. In such case the import function has to be adapted to the special header of the import matrix. All other functions of this software tool like normalization (automatically, manually), working with corrections (ground substraction, factors), overlay/comparison of dose distributions, difference matrix, cutting function (profiles) and export functions work reliable. VERIDOS improves the optimization of the case related part of the quality assurance work for intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). The diverse functions of the software offer the

  20. Using implementation tools to design and conduct quality improvement projects for faster and more effective improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ovretveit, John; Mittman, Brian; Rubenstein, Lisa; Ganz, David A

    2017-10-09

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to enable improvers to use recent knowledge from implementation science to carry out improvement changes more effectively. It also highlights the importance of converting research findings into practical tools and guidance for improvers so as to make research easier to apply in practice. Design/methodology/approach This study provides an illustration of how a quality improvement (QI) team project can make use of recent findings from implementation research so as to make their improvement changes more effective and sustainable. The guidance is based on a review and synthesis of improvement and implementation methods. Findings The paper illustrates how research can help a quality project team in the phases of problem definition and preparation, in design and planning, in implementation, and in sustaining and spreading a QI. Examples of the use of different ideas and methods are cited where they exist. Research limitations/implications The example is illustrative and there is little limited experimental evidence of whether using all the steps and tools in the one approach proposed do enable a quality team to be more effective. Evidence supporting individual guidance proposals is cited where it exists. Practical implications If the steps proposed and illustrated in the paper were followed, it is possible that quality projects could avoid waste by ensuring the conditions they need for success are in place, and sustain and spread improvement changes more effectively. Social implications More patients could benefit more quickly from more effective implementation of proven interventions. Originality/value The paper is the first to describe how improvement and implementation science can be combined in a tangible way that practical improvers can use in their projects. It shows how QI project teams can take advantage of recent advances in improvement and implementation science to make their work more effective and sustainable.

  1. Tools for Developing a Quality Management Program: Proactive Tools (Process Mapping, Value Stream Mapping, Fault Tree Analysis, and Failure Mode and Effects Analysis)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  2. Use of a quality improvement tool, the prioritization matrix, to identify and prioritize triage software algorithm enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    North, Frederick; Varkey, Prathiba; Caraballo, Pedro; Vsetecka, Darlene; Bartel, Greg

    2007-10-11

    Complex decision support software can require significant effort in maintenance and enhancement. A quality improvement tool, the prioritization matrix, was successfully used to guide software enhancement of algorithms in a symptom assessment call center.

  3. High-volume image quality assessment systems: tuning performance with an interactive data visualization tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bresnahan, Patricia A.; Pukinskis, Madeleine; Wiggins, Michael

    1999-03-01

    Image quality assessment systems differ greatly with respect to the number and types of mags they need to evaluate, and their overall architectures. Managers of these systems, however, all need to be able to tune and evaluate system performance, requirements often overlooked or under-designed during project planning. Performance tuning tools allow users to define acceptable quality standards for image features and attributes by adjusting parameter settings. Performance analysis tools allow users to evaluate and/or predict how well a system performs in a given parameter state. While image assessment algorithms are becoming quite sophisticated, duplicating or surpassing the human decision making process in their speed and reliability, they often require a greater investment in 'training' or fine tuning of parameters in order to achieve optimum performance. This process may involve the analysis of hundreds or thousands of images, generating a large database of files and statistics that can be difficult to sort through and interpret. Compounding the difficulty is the fact that personnel charged with tuning and maintaining the production system may not have the statistical or analytical background required for the task. Meanwhile, hardware innovations have greatly increased the volume of images that can be handled in a given time frame, magnifying the consequences of running a production site with an inadequately tuned system. In this paper, some general requirements for a performance evaluation and tuning data visualization system are discussed. A custom engineered solution to the tuning and evaluation problem is then presented, developed within the context of a high volume image quality assessment, data entry, OCR, and image archival system. A key factor influencing the design of the system was the context-dependent definition of image quality, as perceived by a human interpreter. This led to the development of a five-level, hierarchical approach to image quality

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

    OpenAIRE

    Koppers, Lars; Wormer, Holger; Ickstadt, Katja

    2016-01-01

    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 ...

  5. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  7. 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

  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. Quality tools and techniques, EFQM experience and strategy formation. Is there any relationship? The particular case of Spanish service firms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenzo Revuelto-Taboada

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The study of the application of quality tools and techniques has been broadly covered by the specialist literature. To a lesser extent, the literature has analysed the strategic capability of the EFQM model, that is, its capacity to facilitate integrative (rational and emergent strategy formation processes. But, the study of how the application of this model may affect how firms apply quality tools and techniques remain unexplored. Taking this gap in the literature as a starting point, our research goal is threefold: first of all, we intend to study the relationship between the use of tools and techniques and the experience of a firm in the application of quality management and the EFQM Excellence Model; secondly, we have the intention of studying the extent to which quality tools and techniques may affect rationality and/or emergence in the strategy formation process; and thirdly, we try to analyse the effect of the experience in the use of the EFQM model on this relationship. We employed a quantitative research methodology to try to reach these goals. As a consequence, some interesting results have come up. As an example, the experience in the application of the EFQM model has a moderating effect on how companies use quality tools and techniques. Concretely, a great experience in the employment of this model make firms to apply quality tools and techniques in a more participative way combined with high levels of formalisation and planning. Also, some other conclusions and implications have been drawn up

  10. Communicative Access Measures for Stroke: Development and Evaluation of a Quality Improvement Tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagan, Aura; Simmons-Mackie, Nina; Victor, J Charles; Chan, Melodie T

    2017-11-01

    To (1) develop a systems-level quality improvement tool targeting communicative access to information and decision-making for stroke patients with language disorders; and (2) evaluate the resulting tool-the Communicative Access Measures for Stroke (CAMS). Survey development and evaluation was in line with accepted guidelines and included item generation and reduction, survey formatting and composition, pretesting, pilot testing, and reliability assessment. Development and evaluation were carried out in hospital and community agency settings. The project used a convenience sample of 31 participants for the survey development, and 63 participants for the CAMS reliability study (broken down into 6 administrators/managers, 32 frontline staff, 25 participants with aphasia). Eligible participants invited to the reliability study included individuals from 45 community-based organizations in Ontario as well as 4400 individuals from communities of practice. Not applicable. Data were analyzed using kappa statistics and intraclass correlations for each item score on all surveys. A tool, the CAMS, comprising 3 surveys, was developed for health facilities from the perspectives of (1) administrators/policymakers, (2) staff/frontline health care providers, and (3) patients with aphasia (using a communicatively accessible version). Reliability for items on the CAMS-Administrator and CAMS-Staff surveys was moderate to high (kappa/intraclass correlation coefficients [ICCs], .54-1.00). As expected, reliability was lower for the CAMS-Patient survey, with most items having ICCs between 0.4 and 0.6. These findings suggest that CAMS may provide useful quality improvement information for health care facilities with an interest in improving care for patients with stroke and aphasia. Copyright © 2017 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The concentration-discharge slope as a tool for water quality management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieroza, M Z; Heathwaite, A L; Bechmann, M; Kyllmar, K; Jordan, P

    2018-07-15

    Recent technological breakthroughs of optical sensors and analysers have enabled matching the water quality measurement interval to the time scales of stream flow changes and led to an improved understanding of spatially and temporally heterogeneous sources and delivery pathways for many solutes and particulates. This new ability to match the chemograph with the hydrograph has promoted renewed interest in the concentration-discharge (c-q) relationship and its value in characterizing catchment storage, time lags and legacy effects for both weathering products and anthropogenic pollutants. In this paper we evaluated the stream c-q relationships for a number of water quality determinands (phosphorus, suspended sediments, nitrogen) in intensively managed agricultural catchments based on both high-frequency (sub-hourly) and long-term low-frequency (fortnightly-monthly) routine monitoring data. We used resampled high-frequency data to test the uncertainty in water quality parameters (e.g. mean, 95th percentile and load) derived from low-frequency sub-datasets. We showed that the uncertainty in water quality parameters increases with reduced sampling frequency as a function of the c-q slope. We also showed that different sources and delivery pathways control c-q relationship for different solutes and particulates. Secondly, we evaluated the variation in c-q slopes derived from the long-term low-frequency data for different determinands and catchments and showed strong chemostatic behaviour for phosphorus and nitrogen due to saturation and agricultural legacy effects. The c-q slope analysis can provide an effective tool to evaluate the current monitoring networks and the effectiveness of water management interventions. This research highlights how improved understanding of solute and particulate dynamics obtained with optical sensors and analysers can be used to understand patterns in long-term water quality time series, reduce the uncertainty in the monitoring data and to

  12. Innovations in resource efficiency and quality management as a tool for balanced development of flour mills

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. V. Bogomolov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The article considers innovative tools used in flour mills and offers management solutions aimed at increasing the competitiveness of these enterprises. The relevance of the research topic is due to the need to expand the share of the industry market through the production of domestic products based on effective quality management. Studies have shown that most mills of modern foreign flour producers are equipped with the equipment necessary to enrich the product obtained. At present, enterprises of the Altai Territory, Kemerovo, Tomsk, Ryazan and Leningrad Regions, as well as Bashkiria and Tatarstan, are engaged in flour enrichment in Russia. Calculations confirm that flour fortification not only represents a number of advantages for human health, but also is economically beneficial for industry enterprises. The introduction of concentrates into flour may lead to a slight increase in cost, but should not cause significant changes in the selling price of the final product. These technological changes will allow the flour mill to use new competitive opportunities. Improving the quality of products due to the restoration of the level of vitamins and the increase of nutritional value will attract an additional consumer. The author developed an economic-mathematical model for optimizing the structure of production and sales of products using modern components based on the example of the flour-grinding enterprise of the Belgorod region. The calculations made allowed to ensure the maximum economic effect in the conditions of maintaining the existing system of distribution of products through the distribution channels, as well as maintaining the invariance of its value with the existing volumes of production. From this it follows that innovations in systems of resource efficiency and quality management are an effective tool for the balanced development of flour milling enterprises.

  13. A Tool for the Evaluation of Irrigation Water Quality in the Arid and Semi-Arid Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Bortolini

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available In the Mediterranean arid and semi-arid regions, large amounts of low quality waters could be used for crop irrigation, but the adoption of articulated classifications with too rigid quality limits can often reduce the recoverable quantities of water and make the monitoring of water quality too much expensive. Therefore, an evaluation of irrigation water quality based on only a few crucial parameters, which consider the crop species to be irrigated and the type of irrigation system and management adopted, can be an easy and flexible method for maximizing the reuse of wastewater and low-quality water for agricultural purposes. In this view, an irrigation water quality tool (IWQT was developed to support farmers of arid and semi-arid regions on evaluating the use of low quality water for crop irrigation. The most significant and cheapest parameters of irrigation water quality were identified and clustered in three quality classes according to their effects on crop yield and soil fertility (agronomic quality indicators, human health (hygiene and health quality indicators, and irrigation systems (management quality indicators. According to IWQT parameters, a tool reporting a series of recommendations, including water treatment types, was implemented to guide farmers on the use of low quality irrigation water.

  14. Implementation of surgical quality improvement: auditing tool for surgical site infection prevention practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hechenbleikner, Elizabeth M; Hobson, Deborah B; Bennett, Jennifer L; Wick, Elizabeth C

    2015-01-01

    infection auditing tool is a useful strategy for identifying defects and guiding quality improvement interventions. This is an iterative process requiring dedicated resources and continuous patient and frontline provider engagement.

  15. DNA methylation analysis as novel tool for quality control in regenerative medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapko, Stephen; Baron, Udo; Hoffmüller, Ulrich; Model, Fabian; Wolfe, Leslie; Olek, Sven

    2007-09-01

    Cell-based regenerative medicine, including tissue engineering, is a novel approach to reconstituting tissues that do not spontaneously heal, such as damaged cartilage, and to curing diseases caused by malfunctioning cells. Typically, manufacturing processes to generate cartilage for replacement therapies involve isolation and expansion of cells from cartilage biopsies. A challenge in the field is potential contamination by other cell types (e.g., fibroblast-like cells), which can overgrow the desired cells during culturing and may ultimately compromise clinical efficacy. No standard analytical system has been absolutely effective in ensuring the identity of these cell-based products. Therefore, we tested deoxyribonucleic acid methylation analysis as a quality assessment tool, applying it to Genzyme's Carticel product, a chondrocyte implant that the Food and Drug Administration has approved. We identified 7 potent discriminators by assaying candidate genomic regions derived from methylation discovery approaches and literature searches regarding a functional role of genes in chondrocyte biology. Using a support vector machine, we trained an optimal cell type classifier that was absolutely effective in discriminating chondrocytes from synovial membrane derived cells, the major potential contaminant of chondrocyte cultures. The abundant marker availability and high quality of this assay format also suggest it as a potential quality control test for other cell types grown or manipulated in vitro.

  16. [Local groups as a tool for quality assurance of community health services].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mjell, J; Hjortdahl, P

    2001-05-30

    The aim of this study was to assess the use of local interprofessional or audit groups as a tool of quality enhancement. Fifty-six doctors, physiotherapists and nurses attended nine local interprofessional groups. The aim was to improve the quality of each professional's practice and to improve communication between the professions. The groups had a total of 62 meetings with each professional attending on average 5.7 meetings. All groups initiated quality enhancement projects. Initially the groups were very active and showed great initiative, but there were few final results. However, many groups reported improved communication and cooperation between the participating professionals. The experience from this project may be summarised as follows: The professionals within one and the same group should have more or less the same background and specialty. We recommend caution with organising interprofessional groups unless their participants work in the same practice. Interprofessional groups should spend adequate time for the members to get to know each other, and they should be guided by an experienced leader.

  17. Quality initiatives: department scorecard: a tool to help drive imaging care delivery performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Lane F; Gessner, Kevin E; Dickerson, Julie M; Koch, Bernadette L; Towbin, Alexander J; Lehkamp, Todd W; Moskovitz, Jay; Brody, Alan S; Dumoulin, Charles L; Jones, Blaise V

    2010-11-01

    The radiology department at a midwestern U.S. children's hospital has created a scorecard that is presented quarterly to the institutional leadership and is available to all radiology employees on the institutional intranet. The scorecard currently has 33 measures in six areas: clinical services (safety, quality, timeliness); education; research; professionalism, communication, and user satisfaction; finances and administration; and staffing. For each measure, the goal, current value of the measure, interval at which the measure is updated, date of last update, and previous value of the measure are listed. Each measure was reviewed over time to determine those measures for which target goals were met. Results indicate that a visible and transparent department scorecard is one of the more powerful tools available to the radiology leadership to call attention to and improve performance in specific areas. The use of such a scorecard can help develop a departmental culture of quality improvement, focus healthcare providers on specific quality improvement projects, and drive departmental performance. © RSNA, 2010.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

    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

  1. 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.

  2. Tool development for organ dose optimization taking into account the image quality in Computed Tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adrien-Decoene, Camille

    2015-01-01

    Due to the significant rise of computed tomography (CT) exams in the past few years and the increase of the collective dose due to medical exams, dose estimation in CT imaging has become a major public health issue. However dose optimization cannot be considered without taking into account the image quality which has to be good enough for radiologists. In clinical practice, optimization is obtained through empirical index and image quality using measurements performed on specific phantoms like the CATPHAN. Based on this kind of information, it is thus difficult to correctly optimize protocols regarding organ doses and radiologist criteria. Therefore our goal is to develop a tool allowing the optimization of the patient dose while preserving the image quality needed for diagnosis. The work is divided into two main parts: (i) the development of a Monte Carlo dose simulator based on the PENELOPE code, and (ii) the assessment of an objective image quality criterion. For that purpose, the GE Lightspeed VCT 64 CT tube was modelled with information provided by the manufacturer technical note and by adapting the method proposed by Turner et al (Med. Phys. 36: 2154-2164). The axial and helical movements of the X-ray tube were then implemented into the MC tool. To improve the efficiency of the simulation, two variance reduction techniques were used: a circular and a translational splitting. The splitting algorithms allow a uniform particle distribution along the gantry path to simulate the continuous gantry motion in a discrete way. Validations were performed in homogeneous conditions using a home-made phantom and the well-known CTDI phantoms. Then, dose values were measured in CIRS ATOM anthropomorphic phantom using both optically stimulated luminescence dosimeters for point doses and XR-QA Gafchromic films for relative dose maps. Comparisons between measured and simulated values enabled us to validate the MC tool used for dosimetric purposes. Finally, organ doses for

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickström, Henrika; Nyman, Johan O; Indola, Mathias; Sundelin, Heidi; Kronberg, Leif; Preis, Maren; Rantanen, Jukka; Sandler, Niklas

    2017-02-01

    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 B 1 , B 2 , B 3 , and B 6 was developed. Doses (4 cm 2 ) were prepared by applying 1-10 layers of yellow ink onto the white substrates using thermal inkjet technology. The colorimetric method was seen to be viable in detecting doses up to the 5th and 6th printed layers until color saturation of the yellow color parameter (b*) was observed on the substrates. Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry was used as a reference method for the colorimetry measurements plotted against the number of printed layers. It was concluded that colorimetry could be used as a quality control tool for detection of different doses. However, optimization of the color addition needs to be done to avoid color saturation within the planned dose interval.

  4. 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)

  5. VERIDOS: A new tool for quality assurance for intensity modulated radiotherapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiezorek, T.; Schwedas, M.; Scheithauer, M.; Salz, H.; Wendt, T.G.; Bellemann, M.

    2002-01-01

    Background: The use of intensity modulated radiation fields needs an extended quality assurance concept. This consists of a linac related part and a case related part. Case related means the verification of an individual treatment plan, optimized on a CT data set of an individual patient and prepared for the treatment of this patient. This part of the quality assurance work is usually time consuming, delivers only partially quantitative results and is uncomfortable without additional help. It will be shown in this paper how the software VERIDOS will improve the optimization of the case related part of the quality assurance work. Material and Methods: The main function of the software is the quantitative comparison of the calculated dose distribution from the treatment planning software with the measured dose distribution of an irradiated phantom. Several additional functions will be explained. Two self-developed phantoms made of RW3 (solid water) and GAFCHROMIC films or Kodak EDR2 films for the measurement of the dose distributions were used. VERIDOS was tested with the treatment planning systems Helax-TMS and Brainscan. Results: VERIDOS is a suitable tool for the import of calculated dose matrices from the treatment planning systems Helax-TMS and Brainscan and of measured dose matrices exported from the dosimetry software Mephysto (PTW). The import from other treatment planning systems and scanning software applications for film dosimetry is generally possible. In such case the import function has to be adapted to the special header of the import matrix. All other functions of this software tool like normalization (automatically, manually), working with corrections (ground substraction, factors), overlay/comparison of dose distributions, difference matrix, cutting function (profiles) and export functions work reliable. Conclusions: VERIDOS improves the optimization of the case related part of the quality assurance work for intensity modulated radiation therapy

  6. A framework for air quality monitoring based on free public data and open source tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolov, Hristo; Borisova, Denitsa

    2014-10-01

    In the recent years more and more widely accepted by the Space agencies (e.g. NASA, ESA) is the policy toward provision of Earth observation (EO) data and end products concerning air quality especially in large urban areas without cost to researchers and SMEs. Those EO data are complemented by increasing amount of in-situ data also provided at no cost either from national authorities or having crowdsourced origin. This accessibility together with the increased processing capabilities of the free and open source software is a prerequisite for creation of solid framework for air modeling in support of decision making at medium and large scale. Essential part of this framework is web-based GIS mapping tool responsible for dissemination of the output generated. In this research an attempt is made to establish a running framework based solely on openly accessible data on air quality and on set of freely available software tools for processing and modeling taking into account the present status quo in Bulgaria. Among the primary sources of data, especially for bigger urban areas, for different types of gases and dust particles, noted should be the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology of Bulgaria (NIMH) and National System for Environmental Monitoring managed by Bulgarian Executive Environmental Agency (ExEA). Both authorities provide data for concentration of several gases just to mention CO, CO2, NO2, SO2, and fine suspended dust (PM10, PM2.5) on monthly (for some data on daily) basis. In the framework proposed these data will complement the data from satellite-based sensors such as OMI instrument aboard EOS-Aura satellite and from TROPOMI instrument payload for future ESA Sentinel-5P mission. Integral part of the framework is the modern map for the land use/land cover which is provided from EEA by initiative GIO Land CORINE. This map is also a product from EO data distributed at European level. First and above all, our effort is focused on provision to the

  7. Quality of life in patients with coronary heart disease-I: Assessment tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Cheuk-Man

    2003-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Health-related quality of life (HRQL assessment is an important measure of the impact of the disease, effect of treatment and other variables affecting people's lives. The review focused on the assessment of HRQL in patient with coronary heart disease (CHD by appropriate tools. Although no consensus exists about the precise definition of HRQL, a plethora of instruments have been developed to assess it. Two broad types – generic and disease-specific – have been developed but there is some debate about their relative merits. There is a wide selection of instruments available but choice should be based on a careful consideration of an instrument's psychometric properties, the breadth and depth with which it addresses relevant health domains and the specific clinical or research purpose for which it is intended.

  8. 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

    AIM: To evaluate if improvements in the quality of diabetes care in Indian clinics can be obtained by simple self-surveillance PC-based software. METHOD: Nineteen Indian diabetes clinics were introduced to the principles of quality assurance (QA), and to a software program, the Steno Quality...... 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....

  9. 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.

  10. The DEDUCE Guided Query tool: providing simplified access to clinical data for research and quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvath, Monica M; Winfield, Stephanie; Evans, Steve; Slopek, Steve; Shang, Howard; Ferranti, Jeffrey

    2011-04-01

    In many healthcare organizations, comparative effectiveness research and quality improvement (QI) investigations are hampered by a lack of access to data created as a byproduct of patient care. Data collection often hinges upon either manual chart review or ad hoc requests to technical experts who support legacy clinical systems. In order to facilitate this needed capacity for data exploration at our institution (Duke University Health System), we have designed and deployed a robust Web application for cohort identification and data extraction--the Duke Enterprise Data Unified Content Explorer (DEDUCE). DEDUCE is envisioned as a simple, web-based environment that allows investigators access to administrative, financial, and clinical information generated during patient care. By using business intelligence tools to create a view into Duke Medicine's enterprise data warehouse, DEDUCE provides a Guided Query functionality using a wizard-like interface that lets users filter through millions of clinical records, explore aggregate reports, and, export extracts. Researchers and QI specialists can obtain detailed patient- and observation-level extracts without needing to understand structured query language or the underlying database model. Developers designing such tools must devote sufficient training and develop application safeguards to ensure that patient-centered clinical researchers understand when observation-level extracts should be used. This may mitigate the risk of data being misunderstood and consequently used in an improper fashion. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. Homogeneous Canine Chest Phantom Construction: A Tool for Image Quality Optimization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Luiza Menegatti Pavan

    Full Text Available Digital radiographic imaging is increasing in veterinary practice. The use of radiation demands responsibility to maintain high image quality. Low doses are necessary because workers are requested to restrain the animal. Optimizing digital systems is necessary to avoid unnecessary exposure, causing the phenomenon known as dose creep. Homogeneous phantoms are widely used to optimize image quality and dose. We developed an automatic computational methodology to classify and quantify tissues (i.e., lung tissue, adipose tissue, muscle tissue, and bone in canine chest computed tomography exams. The thickness of each tissue was converted to simulator materials (i.e., Lucite, aluminum, and air. Dogs were separated into groups of 20 animals each according to weight. Mean weights were 6.5 ± 2.0 kg, 15.0 ± 5.0 kg, 32.0 ± 5.5 kg, and 50.0 ± 12.0 kg, for the small, medium, large, and giant groups, respectively. The one-way analysis of variance revealed significant differences in all simulator material thicknesses (p < 0.05 quantified between groups. As a result, four phantoms were constructed for dorsoventral and lateral views. In conclusion, the present methodology allows the development of phantoms of the canine chest and possibly other body regions and/or animals. The proposed phantom is a practical tool that may be employed in future work to optimize veterinary X-ray procedures.

  13. Intercomparison programs - a tool for the implementation of a quality assurance program in bioassay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mesquita, Sueli A. de; Sousa, Wanderson O.; Juliao, Ligia M.Q.C.; Santos, Maristela S.; Fernandes, Paulo C.P.

    2009-01-01

    In vitro bioassay laboratories need to have means to demonstrate that they are technically competent, operate an effective quality system, and are able to generate technically valid calibration and test results. The reliability of the results of measurements has a high influence on the reliability of the dose assessment. Inter-laboratory tests are one of the tools for assessing the analytical consistency of in vitro bioassay laboratories. The intercomparison exercises provide an opportunity to compare radiochemistry techniques for in vitro analysis of biological samples. The in vitro Laboratory of the Instituto de Radioprotecao e Dosimetria has therefore participated in the intercomparison exercises sponsored by PROCORAD, ARCAL and IAEA since 1998. The intercomparison exercises comprise measurements of gamma and beta emitters in urine samples and alpha emitters in urine and faecal samples. This paper presents the performance of the IRD in vitro bioassay laboratory in the past intercomparisons. The results demonstrate that in vitro laboratory is able to generate technically valid results, which also guarantee the support for a quality assurance program and accreditation by competent organism in Brazil. (author)

  14. 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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25374819

  15. MODEL OF THE QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM OF A MACHINE TOOL COMPANY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Катерина Вікторівна КОЛЕСНІКОВА

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Development of models and methods such that would improve the competitive position of enterprises by improving management processes is an important task of project management. Lack of project management within the information technology and continuous improvement of methods for the management of the environment, interaction, community, value and trust, based on the strategic objectives of enterprises and based on models that take into account the relationship of the system, resulting in significant material and resource costs. In the current work the improvement of the quality management system machine-tool company HC MIKRON® and proved that the introduction of new processes critical analysis requirements for products, support processes of the products to consumers and enterprises in the formation of a system of responsibility, division of responsibilities and reporting (according to ISO 9001: 2009 is an important scientific and reasonable step to improve the level of technological maturity and structural modernization of enterprise management. For the improved structure of the analysis model and test the properties of ergodicity, as a condition of efficiency, a new quality management system.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. A New Tool for Nutrition App Quality Evaluation (AQEL): Development, Validation, and Reliability Testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiFilippo, Kristen Nicole; Huang, Wenhao; Chapman-Novakofski, Karen M

    2017-10-27

    The extensive availability and increasing use of mobile apps for nutrition-based health interventions makes evaluation of the quality of these apps crucial for integration of apps into nutritional counseling. The goal of this research was the development, validation, and reliability testing of the app quality evaluation (AQEL) tool, an instrument for evaluating apps' educational quality and technical functionality. Items for evaluating app quality were adapted from website evaluations, with additional items added to evaluate the specific characteristics of apps, resulting in 79 initial items. Expert panels of nutrition and technology professionals and app users reviewed items for face and content validation. After recommended revisions, nutrition experts completed a second AQEL review to ensure clarity. On the basis of 150 sets of responses using the revised AQEL, principal component analysis was completed, reducing AQEL into 5 factors that underwent reliability testing, including internal consistency, split-half reliability, test-retest reliability, and interrater reliability (IRR). Two additional modifiable constructs for evaluating apps based on the age and needs of the target audience as selected by the evaluator were also tested for construct reliability. IRR testing using intraclass correlations (ICC) with all 7 constructs was conducted, with 15 dietitians evaluating one app. Development and validation resulted in the 51-item AQEL. These were reduced to 25 items in 5 factors after principal component analysis, plus 9 modifiable items in two constructs that were not included in principal component analysis. Internal consistency and split-half reliability of the following constructs derived from principal components analysis was good (Cronbach alpha >.80, Spearman-Brown coefficient >.80): behavior change potential, support of knowledge acquisition, app function, and skill development. App purpose split half-reliability was .65. Test-retest reliability showed no

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. An atlas of artefacts: a teaching tool for scintillation camera quality control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Busemann Sokole, E.; Graham, L.S.; Todd-Pokropek, A.; Wegst, A.; Robilotta, C.C.

    2002-01-01

    . Because subtle loss of image quality is difficult to detect in SPECT images, simulations have been included that demonstrate effects of sub-optimal calibrations (e.g. centre-of-rotation offset, non-uniformity) or sub-optimal clinical situations. Conclusions: This artefact atlas covers many different situations and variants that may be encountered. It is intended as a teaching tool to help identify artefacts in quality control and clinical images. Regular updates are essential. The IAEA intends to produce a hardcopy of this artefact atlas, and eventually make it available on CD-ROM. The author and editor (EBS) is indebted to all those who submitted images and contributed to the review process

  4. Average of delta: a new quality control tool for clinical laboratories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Graham R D

    2016-01-01

    Average of normals is a tool used to control assay performance using the average of a series of results from patients' samples. Delta checking is a process of identifying errors in individual patient results by reviewing the difference from previous results of the same patient. This paper introduces a novel alternate approach, average of delta, which combines these concepts to use the average of a number of sequential delta values to identify changes in assay performance. Models for average of delta and average of normals were developed in a spreadsheet application. The model assessed the expected scatter of average of delta and average of normals functions and the effect of assay bias for different values of analytical imprecision and within- and between-subject biological variation and the number of samples included in the calculations. The final assessment was the number of patients' samples required to identify an added bias with 90% certainty. The model demonstrated that with larger numbers of delta values, the average of delta function was tighter (lower coefficient of variation). The optimal number of samples for bias detection with average of delta was likely to be between 5 and 20 for most settings and that average of delta outperformed average of normals when the within-subject biological variation was small relative to the between-subject variation. Average of delta provides a possible additional assay quality control tool which theoretical modelling predicts may be more valuable than average of normals for analytes where the group biological variation is wide compared with within-subject variation and where there is a high rate of repeat testing in the laboratory patient population. © The Author(s) 2015.

  5. Practical experience with software tools to assess and improve the quality of existing nuclear analysis and safety codes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, N.H.; Marwil, E.S.; Matthews, S.D.; Stacey, B.J.

    1990-01-01

    Within the constraints of schedule and budget, software tools and techniques were applied to existing FORTRAN codes determining software quality metrics and improving the code quality. Specifically discussed are INEL experiences in applying pretty printers, cross-reference analyzers, and computer aided software engineering (CASE) tools and techniques. These have provided management with measures of the risk potential for individual program modules so that rational decisions can be made on resource allocation. Selected program modules have been modified to reduce the complexity, achieve higher functional independence, and improve the code vectorization. (orig.)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  7. 'Screening audit' as a quality assurance tool in good clinical practice compliant research environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sinyoung; Nam, Chung Mo; Park, Sejung; Noh, Yang Hee; Ahn, Cho Rong; Yu, Wan Sun; Kim, Bo Kyung; Kim, Seung Min; Kim, Jin Seok; Rha, Sun Young

    2018-04-25

    With the growing amount of clinical research, regulations and research ethics are becoming more stringent. This trend introduces a need for quality assurance measures for ensuring adherence to research ethics and human research protection beyond Institutional Review Board approval. Audits, one of the most effective tools for assessing quality assurance, are measures used to evaluate Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and protocol compliance in clinical research. However, they are laborious, time consuming, and require expertise. Therefore, we developed a simple auditing process (a screening audit) and evaluated its feasibility and effectiveness. The screening audit was developed using a routine audit checklist based on the Severance Hospital's Human Research Protection Program policies and procedures. The measure includes 20 questions, and results are summarized in five categories of audit findings. We analyzed 462 studies that were reviewed by the Severance Hospital Human Research Protection Center between 2013 and 2017. We retrospectively analyzed research characteristics, reply rate, audit findings, associated factors and post-screening audit compliance, etc. RESULTS: Investigator reply rates gradually increased, except for the first year (73% → 26% → 53% → 49% → 55%). The studies were graded as "critical," "major," "minor," and "not a finding" (11.9, 39.0, 42.9, and 6.3%, respectively), based on findings and number of deficiencies. The auditors' decisions showed fair agreement with weighted kappa values of 0.316, 0.339, and 0.373. Low-risk level studies, single center studies, and non-phase clinical research showed more prevalent frequencies of being "major" or "critical" (p = 0.002, audit grade (p audit results of post-screening audit compliance checks in "non-responding" and "critical" studies upon applying the screening audit. Our screening audit is a simple and effective way to assess overall GCP compliance by institutions and to

  8. 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

  9. A Quality Model to Select Patients in Cupping Therapy Clinics: A New Tool for Ensuring Safety in Clinical Practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aboushanab, Tamer; AlSanad, Saud

    2018-06-08

    Cupping therapy is a popular treatment in various countries and regions, including Saudi Arabia. Cupping therapy is regulated in Saudi Arabia by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), Ministry of Health. The authors recommend that this quality model for selecting patients in cupping clinics - first version (QMSPCC-1) - be used routinely as part of clinical practice and quality management in cupping clinics. The aim of the quality model is to ensure the safety of patients and to introduce and facilitate quality and auditing processes in cupping therapy clinics. Clinical evaluation of this tool is recommended. Continued development, re-evaluation and reassessment of this tool are important. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Quality Improvement of Ground Works Process with the Use of Chosen Lean Management Tools - Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowotarski, Piotr; Paslawski, Jerzy; Wysocki, Bartosz

    2017-12-01

    Ground works are one of the first processes connected with erecting structures. Based on ground conditions like the type of soil or level of underground water different types and solutions for foundations are designed. Foundations are the base for the buildings, and their proper design and execution is the key for the long and faultless use of the whole construction and might influence on the future costs of the eventual repairs (especially when ground water level is high, and there is no proper water insulation made). Article presents the introduction of chosen Lean Management tools for quality improvement of the process of ground works based on the analysis made on the construction site of vehicle control station located in Poznan, Poland. Processes assessment is made from different perspectives taking into account that 3 main groups of workers were directly involved in the process: blue collar-workers, site manager and site engineers. What is more comparison is made on the 3 points of view to the problems that might occur during this type of works, with details analysis on the causes of such situation? Authors presents also the change of approach of workers directly involved in the mentioned processes regarding introduction of Lean Management methodology, which illustrates the problem of scepticism for new ideas of the people used to perform works and actions in traditional way. Using Lean Management philosophy in construction is a good idea to streamline processes in company, get rid of constantly recurring problems, and in this way improve the productivity and quality of executed activities. Performed analysis showed that different groups of people have very different idea and opinion on the problems connected with executing the same process - ground works and only having full picture of the situation (especially in construction processes) management can take proper problems-preventing actions that consequently can influence on the amount of waste generated on

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Statistical Process Control: A Quality Tool for a Venous Thromboembolic Disease Registry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posadas-Martinez, Maria Lourdes; Rojas, Liliana Paloma; Vazquez, Fernando Javier; De Quiros, Fernan Bernaldo; Waisman, Gabriel Dario; Giunta, Diego Hernan

    2016-01-01

    We aim to describe Statistical Control Process as a quality tool for the Institutional Registry of Venous Thromboembolic Disease (IRTD), a registry developed in a community-care tertiary hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The IRTD is a prospective cohort. The process of data acquisition began with the creation of a computerized alert generated whenever physicians requested imaging or laboratory study to diagnose venous thromboembolism, which defined eligible patients. The process then followed a structured methodology for patient's inclusion, evaluation, and posterior data entry. To control this process, process performance indicators were designed to be measured monthly. These included the number of eligible patients, the number of included patients, median time to patient's evaluation, and percentage of patients lost to evaluation. Control charts were graphed for each indicator. The registry was evaluated in 93 months, where 25,757 patients were reported and 6,798 patients met inclusion criteria. The median time to evaluation was 20 hours (SD, 12) and 7.7% of the total was lost to evaluation. Each indicator presented trends over time, caused by structural changes and improvement cycles, and therefore the central limit suffered inflexions. Statistical process control through process performance indicators allowed us to control the performance of the registry over time to detect systematic problems. We postulate that this approach could be reproduced for other clinical registries.

  14. A tool to include gamma analysis software into a quality assurance program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agnew, Christina E; McGarry, Conor K

    2016-03-01

    To provide a tool to enable gamma analysis software algorithms to be included in a quality assurance (QA) program. Four image sets were created comprising two geometric images to independently test the distance to agreement (DTA) and dose difference (DD) elements of the gamma algorithm, a clinical step and shoot IMRT field and a clinical VMAT arc. The images were analysed using global and local gamma analysis with 2 in-house and 8 commercially available software encompassing 15 software versions. The effect of image resolution on gamma pass rates was also investigated. All but one software accurately calculated the gamma passing rate for the geometric images. Variation in global gamma passing rates of 1% at 3%/3mm and over 2% at 1%/1mm was measured between software and software versions with analysis of appropriately sampled images. This study provides a suite of test images and the gamma pass rates achieved for a selection of commercially available software. This image suite will enable validation of gamma analysis software within a QA program and provide a frame of reference by which to compare results reported in the literature from various manufacturers and software versions. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  15. 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.

  16. A voltammetric electronic tongue as tool for water quality monitoring in wastewater treatment plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos, Inmaculada; Alcañiz, Miguel; Aguado, Daniel; Barat, Ramón; Ferrer, José; Gil, Luis; Marrakchi, Mouna; Martínez-Mañez, Ramón; Soto, Juan; Vivancos, José-Luis

    2012-05-15

    The use of a voltammetric electronic tongue as tool for the prediction of concentration levels of certain water quality parameters from influent and effluent wastewater from a Submerged Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor pilot plant applied to domestic wastewater treatment is proposed here. The electronic tongue consists of a set of noble (Au, Pt, Rh, Ir, and Ag) and non-noble (Ni, Co and Cu) electrodes that were housed inside a stainless steel cylinder which was used as the body of the electronic tongue system. As a previous step an electrochemical study of the response of the ions sulphate, orthophosphate, acetate, bicarbonate and ammonium was carried out in water using the electrodes contained in the electronic tongue. The second part of the work was devoted to the application of the electronic tongue to the characterization of the influent and effluent waters from the wastewater treatment plant. Partial Least Squares analysis was used to obtain a correlation between the data from the tongue and the pollution parameters measured in the laboratory such as soluble chemical oxygen demand (CODs), soluble biological oxygen demand (BODs), ammonia (NH(4)-N), orthophosphate (PO(4)-P), Sulphate (SO(4)-S), acetic acid (HAC) and alkalinity (Alk). A total of 28 and 11 samples were used in the training and the validation steps, respectively, for both influent and effluent water samples. The electronic tongue showed relatively good predictive power for the determination of BOD, COD, NH(4)-N, PO(4)-P, SO(4)-S, and Alk. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreier, Maren; Borutta, Birgit; Stahmeyer, Jona; Krauth, Christian; Walter, Ulla

    2010-06-14

    HEALTH CARE POLICY BACKGROUND: Findings from scientific studies form the basis for evidence-based health policy decisions. 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. 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? 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. 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 items of internal validity but also the items of quality of reporting and

  19. 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 pipelines. This technique is now increasingly gaining popularity as a good quality control tool when used on newly laid pipelines to detect coating damage, most of which could be attributed to construction work. On a recently built 50 km long gas pipeline...

  20. New tools for systematic evaluation of teaching qualities of medical faculty: results of an ongoing multi-center survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arah, Onyebuchi A.; Hoekstra, Joost B. L.; Bos, Albert P.; Lombarts, Kiki M. J. M. H.

    2011-01-01

    Tools for the evaluation, improvement and promotion of the teaching excellence of faculty remain elusive in residency settings. This study investigates (i) the reliability and validity of the data yielded by using two new instruments for evaluating the teaching qualities of medical faculty, (ii) the

  1. New Tools for Systematic Evaluation of Teaching Qualities of Medical Faculty: Results of an Ongoing Multi-Center Survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arah, O.A.; Hoekstra, J.B.L.; Bos, A.P.; Lombarts, K.M.J.M.H.

    2011-01-01

    Background: Tools for the evaluation, improvement and promotion of the teaching excellence of faculty remain elusive in residency settings. This study investigates (i) the reliability and validity of the data yielded by using two new instruments for evaluating the teaching qualities of medical

  2. Assessment of quality of prescribing in patients of hypertension at primary and secondary health care facilities using the Prescription Quality Index (PQI) tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suthar, Jalpa Vashishth; Patel, Varsha J

    2014-01-01

    To determine the quality of prescribing in hypertension in primary and secondary health care settings using the Prescription Quality Index (PQI) tool and to assess the reliability of this tool. An observational cross-sectional study was carried out for 6 months in order to assess quality of prescribing of antihypertensive drugs using Prescription Quality Index (PQI) at four primary (PHC) and two secondary (SHC) health care facilities. Patients attending these facilities for at least 3 months were included. Complete medical history and prescriptions received were noted. Total and criteria wise PQI scores were derived for each prescription. Prescriptions were categorized as poor (score of ≤31), medium (score 32-33) and high quality (score 34-43) based on PQI total score. Psychometric analysis using factor analysis was carried out to assess reliability and validity. Total 73 hypertensive patients were included. Mean age was 61.2 ± 11 years with 35 (48%) patients above 65 years of age. Total PQI score was 26 ± 11. There was a significant difference in PQI score between PHC and SHC (P hypertensive patients was poor, somewhat better in primary as compared to secondary health care facility. PQI is reliable for measuring prescribing quality in hypertension in Indian set up.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Measuring couple relationship quality in a rural African population: Validation of a Couple Functionality Assessment Tool in Malawi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison Ruark

    Full Text Available Available data suggest that individual and family well-being are linked to the quality of women's and men's couple relationships, but few tools exist to assess couple relationship functioning in low- and middle-income countries. In response to this gap, Catholic Relief Services has developed a Couple Functionality Assessment Tool (CFAT to capture valid and reliable data on various domains of relationship quality. This tool is designed to be used by interventions which aim to improve couple and family well-being as a means of measuring the effectiveness of these interventions, particularly related to couple relationship quality. We carried out a validation study of the CFAT among 401 married and cohabiting adults (203 women and 198 men in rural Chikhwawa District, Malawi. Using psychometric scales, the CFAT addressed six domains of couple relationship quality (intimacy, partner support, sexual satisfaction, gender roles, decision-making, and communication and conflict management, and included questions on intimate partner violence. We used exploratory factor analysis to assess scale performance of each domain and produce a shortened Relationship Quality Index (RQI composed of items from five relationship quality domains. This article reports the performance of the RQI. Internal reliability and validity of the RQI were found to be good. Regression analyses examined the relationship of the RQI to outcomes important to health and development: intra-household cooperation, positive health behaviors, intimate partner violence, and gender-equitable norms. We found many significant correlations between RQI scores and these couple- and family-level development issues. There is a need to further validate the tool with use in other populations as well as to continue to explore whether the observed linkages between couple functionality and development outcomes are causal relationships.

  6. Is Nottingham Health Profile a reliable tool to measure quality of life of Filipinos with chronic kidney diseases undergoing hemodialysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuku, Chika Lawson; Valdez, Josephine R; Ajonuma, Louis Chukwuemeka

    2010-12-01

    The quality of life (QOL) of hemodialysis patients is often compromised and many tools have been developed to assess the health-related QOL of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients undergoing hemodialysis. However, no such tool is currently in use in the Philippines. The objective of this study is to determine if Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) can be a useful tool in the Philippines. Eighty patients undergoing hemodialysis in the dialysis unit of our hospital were enrolled for this study. Sixty-nine patients completed the study. Comparative analysis revealed significant difference in social isolation with favorable result for the Filipino patients. Other measures correlate well although with differences that were not statistically significant. NHP can be successfully applied as a standard QOL tool in the Philippines. However, it should be translated into Filipino to avoid language difficulty. NHP may be recommended for QOL determination in other developing countries.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. CONDITIONS FOR STABLE CHIP BREAKING AND PROVISION OF MACHINED SURFACE QUALITY WHILE TURNING WITH ASYMMETRIC TOOL VIBRATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. K. Sheleh

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper considers a process of turning structural steel with asymmetric tool vibrations directed along feeding. Asymmetric vibrations characterized by asymmetry coefficient of vibration cycle, their frequency and amplitude are additionally transferred to the tool in the turning process with the purpose to crush chips. Conditions of stable chip breaking and obtaining optimum dimensions of chip elements have been determined in the paper. In order to reduce a negative impact of the vibration amplitude on a cutting process and quality of the machined surfaces machining must be carried out with its minimum value. In this case certain ratio of the tool vibration frequency to the work-piece rotation speed has been ensured in the paper. A formula has been obtained for calculation of this ratio with due account of the expected length of chip elements and coefficient of vibration cycle asymmetry.Influence of the asymmetric coefficient of the tool vibration cycle on roughness of the machined surfaces and cutting tool wear has been determined in the paper. According to the results pertaining to machining of work-pieces made of 45 and ШХ15 steel the paper presents mathematical relationships of machined surface roughness with cutting modes and asymmetry coefficient of tool vibration cycle. Tool feeding being one of the cutting modes exerts the most significant impact on the roughness value and increase of the tool feeding entails increase in roughness. Reduction in coefficient of vibration cycle asymmetry contributes to surface roughness reduction. However, the cutting tool wear occurs more intensive. Coefficient of the vibration cycle asymmetry must be increased in order to reduce wear rate. Therefore, the choice of the coefficient of the vibration cycle asymmetry is based on the parameters of surface roughness which must be obtained after machining and intensity of tool wear rate.The paper considers a process of turning structural steel with asymmetric

  10. Challenges for development and provision of metrological quality control tools in nuclear safeguards, nuclear forensics and nuclear security

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aregbe, Y.; Richter, S.; Jakopic, R.; Bauwens, J.; Truyens, J.; Sturm, M.; Bujak, R.; Eykens, R.; Kehoe, F.; Kuehn, H.; Hennessy, C.

    2013-01-01

    Joint advancements in quality control tools and measurement sciences of international reference and safeguards laboratories include: -) successful integration of the Modified Total Evaporation technique (MTE) as a new tool for routine thermal ionization mass spectrometry in nuclear safeguards and security, -) research and feasibility studies for the development of new materials standard, particularly for nuclear forensics (Certified Reference Materials - CRMs for age-dating), -) quality control tools to support the additional protocol and nuclear security (particle CRMs, NUSIMEP (inter-laboratory comparisons for U particle analysis), and -) scientific/technical advice, training and knowledge transfer. The European Safeguards Research and Development Association (ESARDA), the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM) and the CETAMA Commission from the French Commission of Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies (CEA/CETAMA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Technical Meetings are the platforms to exchange views on the needs and challenges for new Quality Control tools for nuclear safeguards and security. The paper is followed by the slides of the presentation

  11. Application of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) method and kano model to redesign fresh fruit bunches sorting tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anizar; Siregar, I.; Yahya, I.; Yesika, N.

    2018-02-01

    The activity of lowering fresh fruit bunches (FFB) from truck to sorting floor is performed manually by workers using a sorting tool. Previously, the sorting tool used is a pointed iron bar with a T-shaped handle. Changes made to the sorting tool causes several complaints on worker and affect the time to lower the fruit. The purpose of this article is to obtain the design of an FFB sorting tool that suits the needs of these workers by applying the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and Kano Model methods. Both of the two methods will be integrated to find the design that matches workers’ image and psychological feeling. The main parameters are to obtain the customer requirements of the palm fruit loading workers, to find the most important technical characteristics and critical part affecting the quality of the FFB sorting tool. The customer requirements of the palm loading workers are the following : the color of the coating paint is gray, the bar material is made of stainless pipe, the main grip coating material is made of grip, the tip material is made of the spring steel, the additional grip is made of rubber and the handle is of triangular shape.

  12. Decision Support Tool for Nighttime Construction and Air Quality - User’s Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-11-01

    The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Research Project 0-6864 Investigate the Air Quality Benefits of Nighttime Construction in Non-attainment Counties investigated the potential air quality benefits of shifting construction/maintenance acti...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Co-designing for quality: Creating a user-driven tool to improve quality in youth mental health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hackett, Christina L; Mulvale, Gillian; Miatello, Ashleigh

    2018-04-29

    Although high quality mental health care for children and youth is a goal of many health systems, little is known about the dimensions of quality mental health care from users' perspectives. We engaged young people, caregivers and service providers to share experiences, which shed light on quality dimensions for youth mental health care. Using experience-based co-design, we collected qualitative data from young people aged 16-24 with a mental disorder (n = 19), identified caregivers (n = 12) and service providers (n = 14) about their experiences with respect to youth mental health services. Experience data were collected using multiple approaches including interviews, a suite of online and smartphone applications (n = 22), and a co-design event (n = 16) and analysed to extract touch points. These touch points were used to prioritize and co-design a user-driven prototype of a questionnaire to provide feedback to service providers. Young people, caregiver and service provider reports of service experiences were used to identify aspects of care quality at eight mental health service contact points: Access to mental health care; Transfer to/from hospital; Intake into hospital; Services provided; Assessment and treatment; Treatment environment; and Caregiver involvement in care. In some cases, low quality care was harmful to users and their caregivers. Young people co-designed a prototype of a user-driven feedback questionnaire to improve quality of service experiences that was supported by service providers and caregivers at the co-design event. By using EBCD to capture in-depth data regarding experiences of young people, their caregivers and service providers, study participants have begun to establish a baseline for acceptable quality of mental health care for young people. © 2018 The Authors. Health Expectations published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Environmental quality evaluation. Indexing tools to evaluate environmental quality from biological data, floristic and vegetational data in Ponte Galeria (Rome, Italy)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mazzocchi, F.; Castorina, M.; De Mei, M.

    1998-01-01

    In the present work the study of indexing tools to evaluate environmental quality from biological data has been performed using a certain number of floristic and vegetational indices near Macchia Grande of Ponte Galeria (Rome, Italy). The indices have been applied on the basis of the data coming from a phyto sociological study of the area. Multivariate statistics methodologies have been utilized to obtain a synthetic evaluation of the indices [it

  17. 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…

  18. An Overview of Key Indicators and Evaluation Tools for Assessing Housing Quality: A Literature Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Rajan Chandra; Sarkar, Satyaki; Mandal, Nikhil Ranjan

    2017-09-01

    The issue of the housing quality has been addressed for various stakeholders at different levels. There exist varied opinion about its measurability and possible applications. Thus the study is carried out to have an insight into the concept of housing quality and its relevance in the changing demographics, technological, socio-economic and socio-cultural conditions. This study attempts to summarize the literature that addresses past research concerned with factors related to housing quality, its measurement methodology and critically examines the broad key indicators identified to have impact upon enhancing the housing quality. This work discusses the recent techniques which are extensively used for analysis of housing quality.

  19. MedAd-AppQ: A quality assessment tool for medication adherence apps on iOS and android platforms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Eskinder Eshetu; Teo, Amanda Kai Sin; Goh, Sherlyn Xue Lin; Chew, Lita; Yap, Kevin Yi-Lwern

    2018-02-02

    With the recent proliferation of smartphone medication adherence applications (apps), it is increasingly more difficult for patients and clinicians to identify the most useful app. To develop a quality assessment tool for medication adherence apps, and evaluate the quality of such apps from the major app stores. In this study, a Medication Adherence App Quality assessment tool (MedAd-AppQ) was developed and two evaluators independently assessed apps that fulfilled the following criteria: availability in English, had at least a medication reminder feature, non-specific to certain disease conditions (generic apps), free of technical malfunctions and availability on both the iPhone Operating System (iOS) and Android platforms. Descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney U test, Pearson product moment correlation and Spearman rank-order correlation were used for statistical analysis. MedAd-AppQ was designed to have 24 items (total 43 points) categorized under three sections: content reliability (11 points), feature usefulness (29 points) and feature convenience (3 points). The three sections of MedAd-AppQ were found to have inter-rater correlation coefficients of 0.801 (p-value apps (27 iOS and 25 Android), quality scores ranged between 7/43 (16.3%) and 28/43 (65.1%). There was no significant difference between the quality scores of the Android and iOS versions. None of the apps had features for self-management of side effects. Only two apps in each platform provided disease-related and/or medication information. MedAd-AppQ can be used to reliably assess the quality of adherence apps. Clinicians can use the tool in selecting apps for use by patients. Developers of adherence apps should consider features that provide therapy-related information and help patients in medications and side-effects management. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Estimating pediatric entrance skin dose from digital radiography examination using DICOM metadata: A quality assurance tool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brady, S. L., E-mail: samuel.brady@stjude.org; Kaufman, R. A., E-mail: robert.kaufman@stjude.org [Department of Diagnostic Imaging, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105 (United States)

    2015-05-15

    Purpose: To develop an automated methodology to estimate patient examination dose in digital radiography (DR) imaging using DICOM metadata as a quality assurance (QA) tool. Methods: Patient examination and demographical information were gathered from metadata analysis of DICOM header data. The x-ray system radiation output (i.e., air KERMA) was characterized for all filter combinations used for patient examinations. Average patient thicknesses were measured for head, chest, abdomen, knees, and hands using volumetric images from CT. Backscatter factors (BSFs) were calculated from examination kVp. Patient entrance skin air KERMA (ESAK) was calculated by (1) looking up examination technique factors taken from DICOM header metadata (i.e., kVp and mA s) to derive an air KERMA (k{sub air}) value based on an x-ray characteristic radiation output curve; (2) scaling k{sub air} with a BSF value; and (3) correcting k{sub air} for patient thickness. Finally, patient entrance skin dose (ESD) was calculated by multiplying a mass–energy attenuation coefficient ratio by ESAK. Patient ESD calculations were computed for common DR examinations at our institution: dual view chest, anteroposterior (AP) abdomen, lateral (LAT) skull, dual view knee, and bone age (left hand only) examinations. Results: ESD was calculated for a total of 3794 patients; mean age was 11 ± 8 yr (range: 2 months to 55 yr). The mean ESD range was 0.19–0.42 mGy for dual view chest, 0.28–1.2 mGy for AP abdomen, 0.18–0.65 mGy for LAT view skull, 0.15–0.63 mGy for dual view knee, and 0.10–0.12 mGy for bone age (left hand) examinations. Conclusions: A methodology combining DICOM header metadata and basic x-ray tube characterization curves was demonstrated. In a regulatory era where patient dose reporting has become increasingly in demand, this methodology will allow a knowledgeable user the means to establish an automatable dose reporting program for DR and perform patient dose related QA testing for

  1. BACHSCORE. A tool for evaluating efficiently and reliably the quality of large sets of protein structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarti, E.; Zamuner, S.; Cossio, P.; Laio, A.; Seno, F.; Trovato, A.

    2013-12-01

    In protein structure prediction it is of crucial importance, especially at the refinement stage, to score efficiently large sets of models by selecting the ones that are closest to the native state. We here present a new computational tool, BACHSCORE, that allows its users to rank different structural models of the same protein according to their quality, evaluated by using the BACH++ (Bayesian Analysis Conformation Hunt) scoring function. The original BACH statistical potential was already shown to discriminate with very good reliability the protein native state in large sets of misfolded models of the same protein. BACH++ features a novel upgrade in the solvation potential of the scoring function, now computed by adapting the LCPO (Linear Combination of Pairwise Orbitals) algorithm. This change further enhances the already good performance of the scoring function. BACHSCORE can be accessed directly through the web server: bachserver.pd.infn.it. Catalogue identifier: AEQD_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AEQD_v1_0.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen’s University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: GNU General Public License version 3 No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 130159 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 24 687 455 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: C++. Computer: Any computer capable of running an executable produced by a g++ compiler (4.6.3 version). Operating system: Linux, Unix OS-es. RAM: 1 073 741 824 bytes Classification: 3. Nature of problem: Evaluate the quality of a protein structural model, taking into account the possible “a priori” knowledge of a reference primary sequence that may be different from the amino-acid sequence of the model; the native protein structure should be recognized as the best model. Solution method: The contact potential scores the occurrence of any given type of residue pair in 5 possible

  2. Embedding systematic quality assessments in supportive supervision at primary healthcare level: application of an electronic Tool to Improve Quality of Healthcare in Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mboya, Dominick; Mshana, Christopher; Kessy, Flora; Alba, Sandra; Lengeler, Christian; Renggli, Sabine; Vander Plaetse, Bart; Mohamed, Mohamed A; Schulze, Alexander

    2016-10-13

    Assessing quality of health services, for example through supportive supervision, is essential for strengthening healthcare delivery. Most systematic health facility assessment mechanisms, however, are not suitable for routine supervision. The objective of this study is to describe a quality assessment methodology using an electronic format that can be embedded in supervision activities and conducted by council health staff. An electronic Tool to Improve Quality of Healthcare (e-TIQH) was developed to assess the quality of primary healthcare provision. The e-TIQH contains six sub-tools, each covering one quality dimension: infrastructure and equipment of the facility, its management and administration, job expectations, clinical skills of the staff, staff motivation and client satisfaction. As part of supportive supervision, council health staff conduct quality assessments in all primary healthcare facilities in a given council, including observation of clinical consultations and exit interviews with clients. Using a hand-held device, assessors enter data and view results in real time through automated data analysis, permitting immediate feedback to health workers. Based on the results, quality gaps and potential measures to address them are jointly discussed and actions plans developed. For illustrative purposes, preliminary findings from e-TIQH application are presented from eight councils of Tanzania for the period 2011-2013, with a quality score quality dimensions at baseline. Clinical practice was unsatisfactory in six councils, with more mixed results for availability of infrastructure and equipment, and for administration and management. In contrast, client satisfaction scored surprisingly high. Over time, each council showed a significant overall increase of 3-7 % in mean score, with the most pronounced improvements in staff motivation and job expectations. Given its comprehensiveness, convenient handling and automated statistical reports, e-TIQH enables

  3. Palmoplantar psoriasis: a phenotypical and clinical review with introduction of a new quality-of-life assessment tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farley, Elizabeth; Masrour, Shamin; McKey, Joanna; Menter, Alan

    2009-06-01

    Palmoplantar psoriasis is associated with significant quality-of-life issues. Its epidemiology and phenotypical expression remain ill defined. We reviewed the literature and our clinical experience and developed a new quality-of-life assessment tool. We conducted a retrospective review of 150 patients with palmoplantar psoriasis. In all, 78 (52%) patients displayed predominantly hyperkeratotic palmoplantar lesions, 24 (16%) pustular, 18 (12%) combination, and 30 (20%) had an indeterminate phenotype. In 27 (18%) patients, lesions were confined to the palms and soles. A new quality-of-life index was constructed to characterize disease severity. In all, 27 (18%) had mild, 72 (48%) moderate, and 51 (34%) severe disease involvement. Palmoplantar disease severity appeared independent from the degree of body surface area involvement. This was a retrospective review. The quality-of-life index remains to be statistically verified in prospective clinical studies. Defining morphologic subtypes together with the use of a specific quality-of-life assessment tool in patients with palmoplantar psoriasis will improve our understanding and treatment of this recalcitrant form of psoriasis.

  4. 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

  5. ['Clinical auditing', a novel tool for quality assessment in surgical oncology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Leersum, Nicoline J; Kolfschoten, Nikki E; Klinkenbijl, Jean H G; Tollenaar, Rob A E M; Wouters, Michel W J M

    2011-01-01

    To determine whether systematic audit and feedback of information about the process and outcomes improve the quality of surgical care. Systematic literature review. Embase, PubMed, and Web of Science databases were searched for publications on 'quality assessment' and 'surgery'. The references of the publications found were examined as well. Publications were included in the review if the effect of auditing on the quality of surgical care had been investigated. In the databases 2415 publications were found. After selection, 28 publications describing the effect of auditing, whether or not combined with a quality improvement project, on guideline adherence or indications of outcomes of care were included. In 21 studies, a statistically significant positive effect of auditing was reported. In 5 studies a positive effect was found, but this was either not significant or statistical significance was not determined. In 2 studies no effect was observed. 5 studies compared the combination of auditing with a quality improvement project with auditing alone; 4 of these reported an additional effect of the quality improvement project. Audit and feedback of quality information seem to have a positive effect on the quality of surgical care. The use of quality information from audits for the purpose of a quality improvement project can enhance the positive effect of the audit.

  6. 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.

  7. An online network tool for quality information to answer questions about occupational safety and health: usability and applicability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van Dijk Frank JH

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Common information facilities do not always provide the quality information needed to answer questions on health or health-related issues, such as Occupational Safety and Health (OSH matters. Barriers may be the accessibility, quantity and readability of information. Online Question & Answer (Q&A network tools, which link questioners directly to experts can overcome some of these barriers. When designing and testing online tools, assessing the usability and applicability is essential. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to assess the usability and applicability of a new online Q&A network tool for answers on OSH questions. Methods We applied a cross-sectional usability test design. Eight occupational health experts and twelve potential questioners from the working population (workers were purposively selected to include a variety of computer- and internet-experiences. During the test, participants were first observed while executing eight tasks that entailed important features of the tool. In addition, they were interviewed. Through task observations and interviews we assessed applicability, usability (effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction and facilitators and barriers in use. Results Most features were usable, though several could be improved. Most tasks were executed effectively. Some tasks, for example searching stored questions in categories, were not executed efficiently and participants were less satisfied with the corresponding features. Participants' recommendations led to improvements. The tool was found mostly applicable for additional information, to observe new OSH trends and to improve contact between OSH experts and workers. Hosting and support by a trustworthy professional organization, effective implementation campaigns, timely answering and anonymity were seen as important use requirements. Conclusions This network tool is a promising new strategy for offering company workers high quality information

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

    OpenAIRE

    Corollaro, M.L.

    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...

  9. Hospital discharge summary scorecard: a quality improvement tool used in a tertiary hospital general medicine service.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, G; Harvey, R; Dyne, A; Said, A; Scott, I

    2015-12-01

    We assessed the impact of completion and feedback of discharge summary scorecards on the quality of discharge summaries written by interns in a general medicine service of a tertiary hospital. The scorecards significantly improved summary quality in the first three rotations of the intern year and could be readily adopted by other units as a quality improvement intervention for optimizing clinical handover to primary care providers. © 2015 Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

  10. Comprehensive audits of radiotherapy practices: A tool for quality improvement: Quality Assurance Team for Radiation Oncology (QUATRO)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2007-10-01

    As part of a comprehensive approach to quality assurance (QA) in the treatment of cancer by radiation, an independent external audit (peer review) is important to ensure adequate quality of practice and delivery of treatment. Quality audits can be of various types and at various levels, either reviewing critical parts of the radiotherapy process (partial audits) or assessing the whole process (comprehensive audits). The IAEA has a long history of providing assistance for dosimetry (partial) audits in radiotherapy to its Member States. Together with the World Health Organization (WHO), it has operated postal audit programmes using thermoluminescence dosimetry (TLD) to verify the calibration of radiotherapy beams since 1969. Furthermore, it has developed a set of procedures for experts undertaking missions to radiotherapy hospitals in Member States for on-site review of dosimetry equipment, data and techniques, measurements and training of local staff. This methodology involves dosimetry and medical radiation physics aspects of the radiotherapy process without entering into clinical areas. The IAEA, through its technical cooperation programme, has received numerous requests from developing countries to perform comprehensive audits of radiotherapy programmes to assess the whole process. including aspects such as organization, infrastructure, and clinical and medical physics components. The objective of a comprehensive clinical audit is to review and evaluate thc quality of all of the components of the practice of radiotherapy at an institution, including its professional competence, with a view to quality improvement. A multidisciplinary team, comprising a radiation oncologist, a medical physicist and a radiotherapy technologist, carries out the audit. The present publication has been field tested by IAEA teams performing audits in radiotherapy programmes in hospitals in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Their comments, corrections and feedback have been taken

  11. Comprehensive audits of radiotherapy practices: A tool for quality improvement: Quality Assurance Team for Radiation Oncology (QUATRO)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2008-08-01

    As part of a comprehensive approach to quality assurance (QA) in the treatment of cancer by radiation, an independent external audit (peer review) is important to ensure adequate quality of practice and delivery of treatment. Quality audits can be of various types and at various levels, either reviewing critical parts of the radiotherapy process (partial audits) or assessing the whole process (comprehensive audits). The IAEA has a long history of providing assistance for dosimetry (partial) audits in radiotherapy to its Member States. Together with the World Health Organization (WHO), it has operated postal audit programmes using thermoluminescence dosimetry (TLD) to verify the calibration of radiotherapy beams since 1969. Furthermore, it has developed a set of procedures for experts undertaking missions to radiotherapy hospitals in Member States for on-site review of dosimetry equipment, data and techniques, measurements and training of local staff. This methodology involves dosimetry and medical radiation physics aspects of the radiotherapy process without entering into clinical areas. The IAEA, through its technical cooperation programme, has received numerous requests from developing countries to perform comprehensive audits of radiotherapy programmes to assess the whole process. including aspects such as organization, infrastructure, and clinical and medical physics components. The objective of a comprehensive clinical audit is to review and evaluate thc quality of all of the components of the practice of radiotherapy at an institution, including its professional competence, with a view to quality improvement. A multidisciplinary team, comprising a radiation oncologist, a medical physicist and a radiotherapy technologist, carries out the audit. The present publication has been field tested by IAEA teams performing audits in radiotherapy programmes in hospitals in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Their comments, corrections and feedback have been taken

  12. Putting strategy to work: Tools for cost and quality management in the 1990s

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-12-01

    Utilities face challenges in implementing cost and quality management approaches that will bring bottom-line results in all operational areas. This report identifies successful implementations of approaches that improve productivity and asset utilization and also achieve cost and quality management objectives. It provides insight and direction based on real-life management experience spanning the past decade. This document, Volume 3, Cost and Quality Guidebook, defines the 17 approaches most often used in cost and quality improvement efforts by the nation's leading companies. This volume includes survey results, case studies pertinent to each approach, a literature reference list, and a list of contacts

  13. Technical Optimization of Cross-Platform Software Development Process quality and Usability of 3rd-Party Tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yevgueny Kondratyev

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The article exposes developer's point of view on minimizing creation, upgrade, post-release problem solving time for applications and components, targeted to multiple operating systems, while keeping high end product quality and computational performance. Non-uniformity of analogous tools and components, available on different platforms, causes strong impact on developer's productivity. In part., differences in 3rd-party component interfaces, versions, quality of distinct functions, cause frequent switching developer's attention on issues not connected (in principle with the target project. While loss of development performance because of attention specifics is more subjective value, at least physical time spent on tools/components misbehavior compensation and normal tools configuring is measurable. So, the main thesis verified is whether it's possible to increase continuity of the development process by technical improvements only, and by which value. In addition, a novel experimental tool for interactive code execution is described, allowing for deep changes in the working program without its restart. Question under research: minimizing durations of programming-build-test-correct loop and small code parts runs, in part., improving the debugging workflow for the account of combining the interactive editor and the debugger.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    kemrilib

    African Journal of Health Sciences, Volume 15, Number 1, January- March 2008. 14 ... gastrointestinal disorders after the assessment by HR-QOL tools. As the ..... symptoms experince, and personality ... American Journal of Surgery.1995;.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    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...... efficiently and cost-effectively. Moreover, variations in tools available/used by different GSD team members can also pose challenges. We assert that providing Tools as a Service (TaaS) to GSD teams through a cloud-based infrastructure can be a promising solution to address the tools related challenges in GSD...

  17. 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.

  18. Company project: "Evaluation of the quality of medical records as a tool of clinical risk management"

    OpenAIRE

    Anna Santa Guzzo; Mario Tecca; Enrico Marinelli; Claudio Bontempi; Caterina Palazzo; Paolo Ursillo; Giuseppe Ferro; Anna Miani; Annunziata Salvati; Stefania Catanzaro; Massimiliano Chiarini; Domenica Vittoria Colamesta; Domenico Cacchio; Patrizia Sposato; Anna Maria Lombardi

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: The medical record was defined by the Italian Ministry of Health in 1992 as "the information tool designed to record all relevant demographic and clinical information on a patient during a single hospitalization episode". Retrospective analysis of medical records is a tool for selecting direct and indirect indicators of critical issues (organizational, management, technical and professional issues). The project’s purpose being the promotion of an evaluation and self-evaluation ...

  19. Bridging the Educational Research-Teaching Practice Gap: Tools for Evaluating the Quality of Assessment Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Trevor R.; Rogan, John M.

    2010-01-01

    Student assessment is central to the educational process and can be used for multiple purposes including, to promote student learning, to grade student performance and to evaluate the educational quality of qualifications. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that assessment instruments are of a high quality. In this article, we present various…

  20. An evaluation tool kit of air quality micro-sensing units

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fishbain, B.; Lerner, U.; Castell-Balaguer, N.; Cole-Hunter, T.; Popoola, O.; Broday, D. M.; Martinez Iniguez, T.; Nieuwenhuijsen, M.; Jovasevic-Stojanovic, M.; Topalovic, D.; Roderic, L.J.; Gaela, K.; Etzion, Y.; Kizel, F.; Golumbic, Y.N.; Baram-Tsabari, A.; Yacobi, T.; Drahler, D.; Robinson, J.A.; Kocman, D.; Horvát, M.; Švecová, Vlasta; Arpaci, A.; Bartoňová, A.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 575, jan (2017), s. 639-648 ISSN 0048-9697 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : air quality * environmental monitoring * micro sensing units Subject RIV: DN - Health Impact of the Environment Quality OBOR OECD: Public and environmental health Impact factor: 4.900, year: 2016

  1. 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

  2. Learning Outcomes--A Useful Tool in Quality Assurance? Views from Academic Staff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aamodt, Per Olaf; Frølich, Nicoline; Stensaker, Bjørn

    2018-01-01

    While the establishment of quality assurance has been seen for decades as the most significant instrument to secure and enhance the quality of teaching and learning in higher education, the concept of developing more specific learning outcomes has in recent years attracted much interest, not least due to the creation of national qualification…

  3. 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

  4. Information technology as a tool to improve the quality of American Indian health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sequist, Thomas D; Cullen, Theresa; Ayanian, John Z

    2005-12-01

    The American Indian/Alaska Native population experiences a disproportionate burden of disease across a spectrum of conditions. While the recent National Healthcare Disparities Report highlighted differences in quality of care among racial and ethnic groups, there was only very limited information available for American Indians. The Indian Health Service (IHS) is currently enhancing its information systems to improve the measurement of health care quality as well as to support quality improvement initiatives. We summarize current knowledge regarding health care quality for American Indians, highlighting the variation in reported measures in the existing literature. We then discuss how the IHS is using information systems to produce standardized performance measures and present future directions for improving American Indian health care quality.

  5. A new generation of tools for search, recovery and quality evaluation of World Wide Web medical resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguillo, I

    2000-01-01

    Although the Internet is already a valuable information resource in medicine, there are important challenges to be faced before physicians and general users will have extensive access to this information. As a result of a research effort to compile a health-related Internet directory, new tools and strategies have been developed to solve key problems derived from the explosive growth of medical information on the Net and the great concern over the quality of such critical information. The current Internet search engines lack some important capabilities. We suggest using second generation tools (client-side based) able to deal with large quantities of data and to increase the usability of the records recovered. We tested the capabilities of these programs to solve health-related information problems, recognising six groups according to the kind of topics addressed: Z39.50 clients, downloaders, multisearchers, tracing agents, indexers and mappers. The evaluation of the quality of health information available on the Internet could require a large amount of human effort. A possible solution may be to use quantitative indicators based on the hypertext visibility of the Web sites. The cybermetric measures are valid for quality evaluation if they are derived from indirect peer review by experts with Web pages citing the site. The hypertext links acting as citations need to be extracted from a controlled sample of quality super-sites.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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; Lo Giudice, Rosa

    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.

  9. 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).

  10. Improving the usefulness of a tool for appraising the quality of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies, the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Quan Nha; Gonzalez-Reyes, Araceli; Pluye, Pierre

    2018-06-01

    Systematic reviews combining qualitative, quantitative, and/or mixed methods studies are increasingly popular because of their potential for addressing complex interventions and phenomena, specifically for assessing and improving clinical practice. A major challenge encountered with this type of review is the appraisal of the quality of individual studies given the heterogeneity of the study designs. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) was developed to help overcome this challenge. The aim of this study was to explore the usefulness of the MMAT by seeking the views and experiences of researchers who have used it. We conducted a qualitative descriptive study using semistructured interviews with MMAT users. A purposeful sample was drawn from the researchers who had previously contacted the developer of the MMAT, and those who have published a systematic review for which they had used the MMAT. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed by 2 coders using thematic analysis. Twenty participants from 8 countries were interviewed. Thirteen themes were identified and grouped into the 2 dimensions of usefulness, ie, utility and usability. The themes related to utility concerned the coverage, completeness, flexibility, and other utilities of the tool. Those regarding usability were related to the learnability, efficiency, satisfaction, and errors that could be made due to difficulties understanding or selecting the items to appraise. On the basis of the results of this study, we make several recommendations for improving the MMAT. This will contribute to greater usefulness of the MMAT. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-06-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Donnelly, Lane F.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Lane F

    2017-06-01

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

  14. Leveraging quality improvement through use of the Systems Assessment Tool in Indigenous primary health care services: a mixed methods study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Frances C; Ferguson-Hill, Sue; Matthews, Veronica; Bailie, Ross

    2016-10-18

    Assessment of the quality of primary health care health delivery systems is a vital part of continuous quality improvement (CQI) processes. The Systems Assessment Tool (SAT) was designed to support Indigenous PHC services in assessing and improving their health care systems. It was based on the Assessment of Chronic Illness Care scale, and on practical experience with applying systems assessments in quality improvement in Indigenous primary health care. We describe the development and application of the SAT, report on a survey to assess the utility of the SAT and review the use of the SAT in other CQI research programs. The mixed methods approach involved a review of documents and internal reports relating to experience with use of the SAT since its development in 2002 and a survey of key informants on their experience with using the SAT. The paper drew from documents and internal reports to describe the SAT development and application in primary health care services from 2002 to 2014. Survey feedback highlighted the benefit to the whole primary health care team from participating in the SAT, bringing to light issues that might not emerge with separate individual tool completion. A majority of respondents reported changes in their health centres as a result of using the SAT. Good organisational and management support assisted with ensuring allocation of time and resources for SAT conduct. Respondents identified the importance of having a skilled, external facilitator. Originally designed as a measurement tool, the SAT rapidly evolved to become an important development tool, assisting teams in learning about primary health care system functioning, applying best practice and contributing to team strengthening. It is valued by primary health care centres as a lever in implementing improvements to strengthen centre delivery systems, and has potential for further adaptation and wider application in Australia and internationally.

  15. Urologists in cyberspace: A review of the quality of health information from American urologists' websites using three validated tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Lih-Ming; Yan, Hanmu; Margel, David; Fleshner, Neil E

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we evaluate a sample of urologists' web-sites, based in the United States, using three validated instruments: the Health on the Net Foundation code of conduct (HONcode), DISCERN and LIDA tools. We also discuss how medical websites can be improved. We used the 10 most populous cities in America, identified from the US Census Bureau, and searched using www.google. com to find the first 10 websites using the terms "urologist + city." Each website was scored using the HONcode, DISCERN and LIDA instruments. The median score for each tool was used to dichotomize the cohort and multivariable logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors of higher scores. Of the 100 websites found, 78 were analyzed. There were 18 academic institutions, 43 group and 17 solo practices. A medical website design service had been used by 18 websites. The HONcode badge was seen on 3 websites (4%). Social media was used by 16 websites. Multivariable logistic regression showed predictors of higher scores for each tool. For HONcode, academic centres (OR 6.8, CI 1.2-37.3, p = 0.028) and the use of a medical website design service (OR 17.2, CI 3.8-78.1, p = 0.001) predicted a higher score. With DISCERN, academic centres (OR 23.13, p = 0.002, CI 3.15-169.9 and group practices (OR 7.19, p = 0.022, CI 1.33-38.93) were predictors of higher scores. Finally, with the LIDA tool, there were no predictors of higher scores. Pearson correlation did not show any correlation between the three scores. Using 3 validated tools for appraising online health information, we found a wide variation in the quality of urologists' websites in the United States. Increased awareness of standards and available resources, coupled with guidance from health professional regulatory bodies, would improve the quality urological health information on medical websites.

  16. 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.

  17. Application of a simple, affordable quality metric tool to colorectal, upper gastrointestinal, hernia, and hepatobiliary surgery patients: the HARM score.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Justin T; Ko, Bona; Hohmann, Samuel F; Crawshaw, Benjamin P; Leinicke, Jennifer A; Steele, Scott R; Augestad, Knut M; Delaney, Conor P

    2018-06-01

    Quality is the major driver for both clinical and financial assessment. There remains a need for simple, affordable, quality metric tools to evaluate patient outcomes, which led us to develop the HospitAl length of stay, Readmission and Mortality (HARM) score. We hypothesized that the HARM score would be a reliable tool to assess patient outcomes across various surgical specialties. From 2011 to 2015, we identified colorectal, hepatobiliary, upper gastrointestinal, and hernia surgery admissions using the Vizient Clinical Database. Individual and hospital HARM scores were calculated from length of stay, 30-day readmission, and mortality rates. We evaluated the correlation of HARM scores with complication rates using the Clavien-Dindo classification. We identified 525,083 surgical patients: 206,981 colorectal, 164,691 hepatobiliary, 97,157 hernia, and 56,254 upper gastrointestinal. Overall, 53.8% of patients were admitted electively with a mean HARM score of 2.24; 46.2% were admitted emergently with a mean HARM score of 1.45 (p  4 (p  4, complication rates were 9.3, 23.2, 38.8, and 71.6%, respectively. There was a similar trend for increasing HARM score in emergent admissions as well. For all surgical procedure categories, increasing HARM score, with and without risk adjustment, correlated with increasing severity of complications by Clavien-Dindo classification. The HARM score is an easy-to-use quality metric that correlates with increasing complication rates and complication severity across multiple surgical disciplines when evaluated on a large administrative database. This inexpensive tool could be adopted across multiple institutions to compare the quality of surgical care.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhoef, Lise M; Van de Belt, Tom H; Engelen, Lucien J L P G; Schoonhoven, Lisette; Kool, Rudolf B

    2014-02-20

    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 focus groups. Unfortunately, these "traditional" methods have significant limitations that include social desirability bias, a time lag between experience and measurement, and difficulty reaching large groups of people. Information on social media could be of value to overcoming these limitations, since these new media are easy to use and are used by the majority of the population. Furthermore, an increasing number of people share health care experiences online or rate the quality of their health care provider on physician rating sites. The question is whether this information is relevant to determining or predicting the quality of health care. The goal of our research was to systematically analyze the relation between information shared on social media and quality of care. We performed a scoping review with the following goals: (1) to map the literature on the association between social media and quality of care, (2) to identify different mechanisms of this relationship, and (3) to determine a more detailed agenda for this relatively new research area. A recognized scoping review methodology was used. We developed a search strategy based on four themes: social media, patient experience, quality, and health care. Four online scientific databases were searched, articles were screened, and data extracted. Results related to the research question were described and categorized according to type of social media. Furthermore, national and international stakeholders were consulted throughout the study, to discuss and interpret results. Twenty-nine articles were included, of which 21 were concerned with health care rating sites. Several studies indicate a relationship between information

  19. A complex tool and three simple approaches to improving quality assurance and safety in external radiotherapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salinas, F; Sansogne, R; Arbiser, S; Suarez, V; Franco, M; Escobar, J

    2012-01-01

    Quality assurance and safety controls in radiation therapy delivery processes that involve the Physics Department of an institution are commonly time consuming tasks. Carrying out daily controls in very busy clinics without compromising patient schedule is challenging. This work describes the usage of Electronic Portal Imaging Devices in combination with some in-house software to simplify and systematize three different tasks of the Physics Department Quality Assurance Program, improving the easiness, reliability and velocity of daily tests (author)

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ali Naghi Kebriaee; Donya Malekshahian; Mojtaba Ahmadi; Parissa Farnia

    2015-01-01

    Background and objective: During recent years, the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed new software for improving the tuberculosis (TB) laboratory services. The protocol is known as “quality stepwise implementation tool” and is based on enforcement of quality assurance services through accreditation by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 15189. As a national reference TB laboratory (NRL) of Iran, the benefit and challenges of implementing this standard were analyzed....

  1. The Hand-Foot Skin Reaction and Quality of Life Questionnaire: An Assessment Tool for Oncology

    OpenAIRE

    Anderson, Roger T.; Keating, Karen N.; Doll, Helen A.; Camacho, Fabian

    2015-01-01

    This study describes the development and validation of a brief, patient self-reported questionnaire (the hand-foot skin reaction and quality of life questionnaire) supporting its suitability for use in clinical research to aid in early recognition of symptoms, to evaluate the effectiveness of agents for hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR) or hand-foot syndrome (HFS) treatment within clinical trials, and to evaluate the impact of these treatments on HFS/R-associated patients’ health-related quality...

  2. Machine vision system: a tool for quality inspection of food and agricultural products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Krishna Kumar; Kar, A; Jha, S N; Khan, M A

    2012-04-01

    Quality inspection of food and agricultural produce are difficult and labor intensive. Simultaneously, with increased expectations for food products of high quality and safety standards, the need for accurate, fast and objective quality determination of these characteristics in food products continues to grow. However, these operations generally in India are manual which is costly as well as unreliable because human decision in identifying quality factors such as appearance, flavor, nutrient, texture, etc., is inconsistent, subjective and slow. Machine vision provides one alternative for an automated, non-destructive and cost-effective technique to accomplish these requirements. This inspection approach based on image analysis and processing has found a variety of different applications in the food industry. Considerable research has highlighted its potential for the inspection and grading of fruits and vegetables, grain quality and characteristic examination and quality evaluation of other food products like bakery products, pizza, cheese, and noodles etc. The objective of this paper is to provide in depth introduction of machine vision system, its components and recent work reported on food and agricultural produce.

  3. QC-ART: A tool for real-time quality control assessment of mass spectrometry-based proteomics data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanfill, Bryan A; Nakayasu, Ernesto S; Bramer, Lisa M; Thompson, Allison M; Ansong, Charles K; Clauss, Therese; Gritsenko, Marina A; Monroe, Matthew E; Moore, Ronald J; Orton, Daniel J; Piehowski, Paul D; Schepmoes, Athena A; Smith, Richard D; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo; Metz, Thomas O; TEDDY Study Group, The Environmental Determinants Of Diabetes In The Young

    2018-04-17

    Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based proteomics studies of large sample cohorts can easily require from months to years to complete. Acquiring consistent, high-quality data in such large-scale studies is challenging because of normal variations in instrumentation performance over time, as well as artifacts introduced by the samples themselves, such as those due to collection, storage and processing. Existing quality control methods for proteomics data primarily focus on post-hoc analysis to remove low-quality data that would degrade downstream statistics; they are not designed to evaluate the data in near real-time, which would allow for interventions as soon as deviations in data quality are detected.  In addition to flagging analyses that demonstrate outlier behavior, evaluating how the data structure changes over time can aide in understanding typical instrument performance or identify issues such as a degradation in data quality due to the need for instrument cleaning and/or re-calibration.  To address this gap for proteomics, we developed Quality Control Analysis in Real-Time (QC-ART), a tool for evaluating data as they are acquired in order to dynamically flag potential issues with instrument performance or sample quality.  QC-ART has similar accuracy as standard post-hoc analysis methods with the additional benefit of real-time analysis.  We demonstrate the utility and performance of QC-ART in identifying deviations in data quality due to both instrument and sample issues in near real-time for LC-MS-based plasma proteomics analyses of a sample subset of The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young cohort. We also present a case where QC-ART facilitated the identification of oxidative modifications, which are often underappreciated in proteomic experiments. Published under license by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  4. A web-based screening tool for near-port air quality assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Community model for near-PORT applications (C-PORT) is a screening tool with an intended purpose of calculating differences in annual averaged concentration patterns and relative contributions of various source categories over the spatial domain within about 10 km of the port...

  5. 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…

  6. QFD not just a tool but a way of quality management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Govers, C.P.M.

    2001-01-01

    Implementing QFD needs understanding of the "philosophy" behind the tool. Discrepancies in points of view and culture lead to different approaches of the methodology. Most attention in literature relates to the benefits of QFD or to the more or less "technical" aspects of the method. Mostly comments

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The paper concludes that use of validated and reliable health instruments in upper gastrointestinal surgery is directed at measuring the impact in a reproducible and valid fashion. Curative or palliative procedures should be offered to the patients of upper gastrointestinal disorders after the assessment by HR-QOL tools.

  8. Assessing indoor air quality of school environments: transplanted lichen Pseudovernia furfuracea as a new tool for biomonitoring and bioaccumulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Protano, Carmela; Owczarek, Malgorzata; Antonucci, Arianna; Guidotti, Maurizio; Vitali, Matteo

    2017-07-01

    The aim of this research is to evaluate the ability of transplanted lichen Pseudovernia (P). furfuracea to biomonitor and bioaccumulate in urban indoor environments. The elements As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni and Pb and 12 selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were used to assess P. furfuracea as a biomonitoring tool for the indoor air quality of school environments. To achieve this purpose, lichen samples were exposed for 2 months in the outdoor and indoor environments of five school settings located in urban and rural areas. The results demonstrated that transplanted lichen P. furfuracea is a suitable biomonitoring tool for metals and PAHs in indoor settings and can discriminate between different levels of air pollution related to urbanisation and indoor conditions, such as those characterised by school environments. A transplanted lichen biomonitoring strategy is cost-effective, "green", educational for attending children and less "invasive" than traditional air sampling methods. The feasibility of indoor monitoring by P. furfuracea is a relevant finding and could be a key tool to improve air quality monitoring programmes in school scenarios and thus focus on health prevention interventions for children, who are one of the most susceptible groups in the population.

  9. Tool for assessing health and equity impacts of interventions modifying air quality in urban environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartier, Yuri; Benmarhnia, Tarik; Brousselle, Astrid

    2015-12-01

    Urban outdoor air pollution (AP) is a major public health concern but the mechanisms by which interventions impact health and social inequities are rarely assessed. Health and equity impacts of policies and interventions are questioned, but managers and policy agents in various institutional contexts have very few practical tools to help them better orient interventions in sectors other than the health sector. Our objective was to create such a tool to facilitate the assessment of health impacts of urban outdoor AP interventions by non-public health experts. An iterative process of reviewing the academic literature, brainstorming, and consultation with experts was used to identify the chain of effects of urban outdoor AP and the major modifying factors. To test its applicability, the tool was applied to two interventions, the London Low Emission Zone and the Montréal BIXI public bicycle-sharing program. We identify the chain of effects, six categories of modifying factors: those controlling the source of emissions, the quantity of emissions, concentrations of emitted pollutants, their spatial distribution, personal exposure, and individual vulnerability. Modifiable and non-modifiable factors are also identified. Results are presented in the text but also graphically, as we wanted it to be a practical tool, from pollution sources to emission, exposure, and finally, health effects. The tool represents a practical first step to assessing AP-related interventions for health and equity impacts. Understanding how different factors affect health and equity through air pollution can provide insight to city policymakers pursuing Health in All Policies. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. Development of a context specific accreditation assessment tool for affirming quality midwifery education in Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogren, Malin; Sathyanarayanan Doraiswamy; Erlandsson, Kerstin; Akhter, Halima; Akter, Dalia; Begum, Momtaz; Chowdhury, Merry; Das, Lucky; Akter, Rehana; Begum, Sufia; Akter, Renoara; Yesmin, Syeada; Khatun, Yamin Ara

    2018-06-01

    using the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Global Standards for Midwifery Education as a conceptual framework, the aim of this study was to explore and describe important 'must haves' for inclusion in a context-specific accreditation assessment tool in Bangladesh. A questionnaire study was conducted using a Likert rating scale and 111 closed-response single items on adherence to accreditation-related statements, ending with an open-ended question. The ICM Global Standards guided data collection, deductive content analysis and description of the quantitative results. twenty-five public institutes/colleges (out of 38 in Bangladesh), covering seven out of eight geographical divisions in the country. one hundred and twenty-three nursing educators teaching the 3-year diploma midwifery education programme. this study provides insight into the development of a context-specific accreditation assessment tool for Bangladesh. Important components to be included in this accreditation tool are presented under the following categories and domains: 'organization and administration', 'midwifery faculty', 'student body', 'curriculum content', 'resources, facilities and services' and 'assessment strategies'. The identified components were a prerequisite to ensure that midwifery students achieve the intended learning outcomes of the midwifery curriculum, and hence contribute to a strong midwifery workforce. The components further ensure well-prepared teachers and a standardized curriculum supported at policy level to enable effective deployment of professional midwives in the existing health system. as part of developing an accreditation assessment tool, it is imperative to build ownership and capacity when translating the ICM Global Standards for Midwifery Education into the national context. this initiative can be used as lessons learned from Bangladesh to develop a context-specific accreditation assessment tool in line with national priorities, supporting the

  11. Quality of care assessment in geriatric evaluation and management units: construction of a chart review tool for a tracer condition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Latour Judith

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The number of elderly people requiring hospital care is growing, so, quality and assessment of care for elders are emerging and complex areas of research. Very few validated and reliable instruments exist for the assessment of quality of acute care in this field. This study's objective was to create such a tool for Geriatric Evaluation and Management Units (GEMUs. Methods The methodology involved a reliability and feasibility study of a retrospective chart review on 934 older inpatients admitted in 49 GEMUs during the year 2002–2003 for fall-related trauma as a tracer condition. Pertinent indicators for a chart abstraction tool, the Geriatric Care Tool (GCT, were developed and validated according to five dimensions: access to care, comprehensiveness, continuity of care, patient-centred care and appropriateness. Consensus methods were used to develop the content. Participants were experts representing eight main health care professions involved in GEMUs from 19 different sites. Items associated with high quality of care at each step of the multidisciplinary management of patients admitted due to falls were identified. The GCT was tested for intra- and inter-rater reliability using 30 medical charts reviewed by each of three independent and blinded trained nurses. Kappa and agreement measures between pairs of chart reviewers were computed on an item-by-item basis. Results Three quarters of 169 items identifying the process of care, from the case history to discharge planning, demonstrated good agreement (kappa greater than 0.40 and agreement over 70%. Indicators for the appropriateness of care showed less reliability. Conclusion Content validity and reliability results, as well as the feasibility of the process, suggest that the chart abstraction tool can gather standardized and pertinent clinical information for further evaluating quality of care in GEMU using admission due to falls as a tracer condition. However, the GCT

  12. Sigma metrics as a tool for evaluating the performance of internal quality control in a clinical chemistry laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, B Vinodh; Mohan, Thuthi

    2018-01-01

    Six Sigma is one of the most popular quality management system tools employed for process improvement. The Six Sigma methods are usually applied when the outcome of the process can be measured. This study was done to assess the performance of individual biochemical parameters on a Sigma Scale by calculating the sigma metrics for individual parameters and to follow the Westgard guidelines for appropriate Westgard rules and levels of internal quality control (IQC) that needs to be processed to improve target analyte performance based on the sigma metrics. This is a retrospective study, and data required for the study were extracted between July 2015 and June 2016 from a Secondary Care Government Hospital, Chennai. The data obtained for the study are IQC - coefficient of variation percentage and External Quality Assurance Scheme (EQAS) - Bias% for 16 biochemical parameters. For the level 1 IQC, four analytes (alkaline phosphatase, magnesium, triglyceride, and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol) showed an ideal performance of ≥6 sigma level, five analytes (urea, total bilirubin, albumin, cholesterol, and potassium) showed an average performance of sigma level and for level 2 IQCs, same four analytes of level 1 showed a performance of ≥6 sigma level, and four analytes (urea, albumin, cholesterol, and potassium) showed an average performance of sigma level. For all analytes sigma level, the quality goal index (QGI) was 1.2 indicated inaccuracy. This study shows that sigma metrics is a good quality tool to assess the analytical performance of a clinical chemistry laboratory. Thus, sigma metric analysis provides a benchmark for the laboratory to design a protocol for IQC, address poor assay performance, and assess the efficiency of existing laboratory processes.

  13. A European Quality Control Programme as a cooperative tool between users and a diagnostic company.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costongs, G M; Janson, P C

    1993-12-01

    Achievement of appropriate precision is a major challenge for the clinical laboratory, particularly in specialized fields such as enzymology and immunochemistry. Especially in immunochemistry, where accuracy can only poorly be checked because of a lack of reference methods and a multitude of detectable epitopes, precision remains an important index of quality. In immunochemical methods there are three main sources of variation: differences in methodology, lot-to-lot variation and performance of the assay, the latter including the skill of the technicians and instrument performance. The results of a European Quality Control Programme for the users of one type of automated immunoassay analyser were compared with a similar Italian Quality Control Programme for users of different immunometric techniques. The precisions (%CV) of the two programmes were compared, as well as the number of values lying within one half of the biological variation of the analysed serum components. Feedback between users and manufacturers leads to a clear improvement in analysis performance, so that most of the considered values come to lie within the acceptable limits of 1/2 of the biological variation. It is concluded that both national and international quality control programmes are very useful for indicating the intrinsic quality of the quantities used in the clinical laboratory.

  14. Evaluating Urban Quality: Indicators and Assessment Tools for Smart Sustainable Cities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Garau

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of urban sustainability is key to urban planning, and its usefulness extends to smart cities. Analyses of urban quality typically focus on applying methodologies that evaluate quality objectives at environmental, urban, and building levels. Research has shown that a system of indicators can be useful for developing qualitative and quantitative descriptors of urban environments. The first step in this study was to formulate a methodology to measure the quality of urban life based on investigative checklists and objective and subjective indicators, aggregated to develop an index to evaluate a city’s level of smart urban quality. The second step was to apply this methodology to evaluate the city of Cagliari (Italy at the neighbourhood scale, which is considered by literature the most suitable as a self-sufficient spatial unit for showing redevelopment results. In addition to sharing its research findings, this study aims to verify whether the methodology can be applied to similar urban contexts. The main outcomes of this research pertain to opportunities to numerically measure both objective and subjective aspects that affect urban quality. In this way, the most critical areas to be requalified have been highlighted in order to prepare policies congruent with the local context.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Using geographical information systems and cartograms as a health service quality improvement tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovett, Derryn A; Poots, Alan J; Clements, Jake T C; Green, Stuart A; Samarasundera, Edgar; Bell, Derek

    2014-07-01

    Disease prevalence can be spatially analysed to provide support for service implementation and health care planning, these analyses often display geographic variation. A key challenge is to communicate these results to decision makers, with variable levels of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) knowledge, in a way that represents the data and allows for comprehension. The present research describes the combination of established GIS methods and software tools to produce a novel technique of visualising disease admissions and to help prevent misinterpretation of data and less optimal decision making. The aim of this paper is to provide a tool that supports the ability of decision makers and service teams within health care settings to develop services more efficiently and better cater to the population; this tool has the advantage of information on the position of populations, the size of populations and the severity of disease. A standard choropleth of the study region, London, is used to visualise total emergency admission values for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and bronchiectasis using ESRI's ArcGIS software. Population estimates of the Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) are then used with the ScapeToad cartogram software tool, with the aim of visualising geography at uniform population density. An interpolation surface, in this case ArcGIS' spline tool, allows the creation of a smooth surface over the LSOA centroids for admission values on both standard and cartogram geographies. The final product of this research is the novel Cartogram Interpolation Surface (CartIS). The method provides a series of outputs culminating in the CartIS, applying an interpolation surface to a uniform population density. The cartogram effectively equalises the population density to remove visual bias from areas with a smaller population, while maintaining contiguous borders. CartIS decreases the number of extreme positive values not present in the underlying data as can be

  18. Lean thinking in emergency departments: concepts and tools for quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, Frances

    2017-10-12

    The lean approach is a viable framework for reducing costs and enhancing the quality of patient care in emergency departments (EDs). Reports on lean-inspired quality improvement initiatives are rapidly growing but there is little emphasis on the philosophy behind the processes, which is the essential ingredient in sustaining transformation. This article describes lean philosophy, also referred to as lean, lean thinking and lean healthcare, and its main concepts, to enrich the knowledge and vocabulary of nurses involved or interested in quality improvement in EDs. The article includes examples of lean strategies to illustrate their practical application in EDs. ©2012 RCN Publishing Company Ltd. All rights reserved. Not to be copied, transmitted or recorded in any way, in whole or part, without prior permission of the publishers.

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arulbalaji, P.; Gurugnanam, B.

    2017-10-01

    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.

  1. Test Analysis Tools to Ensure Higher Quality of On-Board Real Time Software for Space Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boudillet, O.; Mescam, J.-C.; Dalemagne, D.

    2008-08-01

    EADS Astrium Space Transportation, in its Les Mureaux premises, is responsible for the French M51 nuclear deterrent missile onboard SW. There was also developed over 1 million of line of code, mostly in ADA, for the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) onboard SW and the flight control SW of the ARIANE5 launcher which has put it into orbit. As part of the ATV SW, ASTRIUM ST has developed the first Category A SW ever qualified for a European space application. To ensure that all these embedded SW have been developed with the highest quality and reliability level, specific development tools have been designed to cover the steps of source code verification, automated validation test or complete target instruction coverage verification. Three of such dedicated tools are presented here.

  2. Use of Proficiency Testing as a Tool to Improve Quality in Microbiology Laboratories

    OpenAIRE

    Stang, Heather L.; Anderson, Nancy L.

    2013-01-01

    Proficiency testing (PT) is a valuable tool for assessing laboratory performance and verifying the accuracy and reliability of test results. Participation is required by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 for each of the microbiology subspecialties (bacteriology, mycobacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and virology), and the regulations include specific PT requirements for each subspecialty. To determine the use and perceived value of PT beyond meeting CLIA requir...

  3. Monitoring Compliance to Promote Quality Assurance: Development of a Mental Health Clinical Chart Audit Tool in Belize, 2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winer, Rachel A; Bennett, Eleanor; Murillo, Illouise; Schuetz-Mueller, Jan; Katz, Craig L

    2015-09-01

    Belize trained psychiatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) in the early 1990s to provide mental health services throughout the country. Despite overwhelming success, the program is limited by lack of monitoring, evaluation, and surveillance. To promote quality assurance, we developed a chart audit tool to monitor mental healthcare delivery compliance for initial psychiatric assessment notes completed by PNPs. After reviewing the Belize Health Information System electronic medical record system, we developed a clinical audit tool to capture 20 essential components for initial assessment clinical notes. The audit tool was then piloted for initial assessment notes completed during July through September of 2013. One hundred and thirty-four initial psychiatric interviews were audited. The average chart score among all PNPs was 9.57, ranging from 3 to 15. Twenty-three charts-or 17.2%-had a score of 14 or higher and met a 70% compliance benchmark goal. Among indicators most frequently omitted included labs ordered and named (15.7%) and psychiatric diagnosis (21.6%). Explicit statement of medications initiated with dose and frequency occurred in 47.0% of charts. Our findings provide direction for training and improvement, such as emphasizing the importance of naming labs ordered, medications and doses prescribed, and psychiatric diagnoses in initial assessment clinical notes. We hope this initial assessment helps enhance mental health delivery compliance by prompting creation of BHIS templates, development of audits tools for revisit follow-up visits, and establishment of corrective actions for low-scoring practitioners. These efforts may serve as a model for implementing quality assurance programming in other low resource settings.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aardema, Bastiaan; Churruca Muguruza, Cristina

    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

  5. Local Audit of Diagnostic Surgical Pathology as a Tool for Quality ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Internal audit has been rarely done for quality assurance of histology laboratories in Nigeria. We reviewed the steps involved in the production of reports with a view to assessing the performance of the histopathology laboratory of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Methods: A randomly selected 2 per ...

  6. Analyst Performance Measures. Volume 3. Information Quality Tools for Persistent Surveillanec Data Sets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-01

    September 2012 as 88ABW-2012-5092.    Quality expectations of the viewer; for example, film screened in a cinema versus a short clip watched on a...dimension of lightness or luminescence (L) and two color components “a” and “b” is called a LAB. The French Commission Internationale de L’éclairage LAB

  7. A 3D digitizing tool to determine fruit quality distribution within the canopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dallabetta, N.; Costa, F.; Giordan, M.; Guerra, C.A.; Pasqualini, J.; Wehrens, R.; Costa, G.

    2017-01-01

    The "Slender Spindle", one of the most used training systems for apple, was compared with the "Bi-axis", an innovative training system, to determine their effect on fruit quality and fruit distribution within the canopy on 'Gala' cultivar. Two levels of crop loads were also introduced to observe

  8. 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...

  9. HVAC SYSTEMS AS A TOOL IN CONTROLLING INDOOR AIR QUALITY: A LITERATURE REVIEW

    Science.gov (United States)

    The report gives results of a review of literature on the use of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems to control indoor air quality (IAQ). Although significant progress has been made in reducing the energy consumption of HVAC systems, their effect on indoor a...

  10. Use of a customer satisfaction survey by health care regulators: a tool for total quality management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrzejewski, N; Lagua, R T

    1997-01-01

    To conduct a survey of health care providers to determine the quality of service provided by the staff of a regulatory agency; to collect information on provider needs and expectations; to identify perceived and potential problems that need improvement; and to make changes to improve regulatory services. The authors surveyed health care providers using a customer satisfaction questionnaire developed in collaboration with a group of providers and a research consultant. The questionnaire contained 20 declarative statements that fell into six quality domains: proficiency, judgment, responsiveness, communication, accommodation, and relevance. A 10% level of dissatisfaction was used as the acceptable performance standard. The survey was mailed to 324 hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, hospices, ambulatory care centers, and health maintenance organizations. Fifty-six percent of provider agencies responded; more than half had written comments. The three highest levels of customer satisfaction were in courtesy of regulatory staff (90%), efficient use of onsite time (84%), and respect for provider employees (83%). The three lowest levels of satisfaction were in the judgment domain; only 44% felt that there was consistency among regulatory staff in the interpretation of regulations, only 45% felt that interpretations of regulations were flexible and reasonable, and only 49% felt that regulations were applied objectively. Nine of 20 quality indicators had dissatisfaction ratings of more than 10%; these were considered priorities for improvement. Responses to the survey identified a number of specific areas of concern; these findings are being incorporated into the continuous quality improvement program of the office.

  11. 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…

  12. Efficient clinical evaluation of guideline quality: development and testing of a new tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Evaluating the methodological quality of clinical practice guidelines is essential before deciding which ones which could best inform policy or practice. One current method of evaluating clinical guideline quality is the research-focused AGREE II instrument. This uses 23 questions scored 1–7, arranged in six domains, which requires at least two independent testers, and uses a formulaic weighted domain scoring system. Following feedback from time-poor clinicians, policy-makers and managers that this instrument did not suit clinical need, we developed and tested a simpler, shorter, binary scored instrument (the iCAHE Guideline Quality Checklist) designed for single users. Methods Content and construct validity, inter-tester reliability and clinical utility were tested by comparing the new iCAHE Guideline Quality Checklist with the AGREE II instrument. Firstly the questions and domains in both instruments were compared. Six randomly-selected guidelines on a similar theme were then assessed by three independent testers with different experience in guideline quality assessment, using both instruments. Per guideline, weighted domain and total AGREE II scores were calculated, using the scoring rubric for three testers. Total iCAHE scores were calculated per guideline, per tester. The linear relationship between iCAHE and AGREE II scores was assessed using Pearson r correlation coefficients. Score differences between testers were assessed for the iCAHE Guideline Quality Checklist. Results There were congruent questions in each instrument in four domains (Scope & Purpose, Stakeholder involvement, Underlying evidence/Rigour, Clarity). The iCAHE and AGREE II scores were moderate to strongly correlated for the six guidelines. There was generally good agreement between testers for iCAHE scores, irrespective of their experience. The iCAHE instrument was preferred by all testers, and took significantly less time to administer than the AGREE II instrument. However

  13. 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.

  14. Analysis of an industrial production suspension of Bacillus lentus subtilisin crystals by powder diffraction: a powerful quality-control tool

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frankær, Christian Grundahl; Moroz, Olga V.; Turkenburg, Johan P.

    2014-01-01

    . 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....

  15. Medical information on the internet: a tool for measuring consumer perception of quality aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubowicz, Arthur; Schulz, Peter J

    2015-03-30

    Most of adult Internet users have searched for health information on the Internet. The Internet has become one of the most important sources for health information and treatment advice. In most cases, the information found is not verified with a medical doctor, but judged by the "online-diagnosers" independently. Facing this situation, public health authorities raise concern over the quality of medical information laypersons can find on the Internet. The objective of the study was aimed at developing a measure to evaluate the credibility of websites that offer medical advice and information. The measure was tested in a quasi-experimental study on two sleeping-disorder websites of different quality. There were 45 survey items for rating the credibility of websites that were tested in a quasi-experimental study with a random assignment of 454 participants to either a high- or a low-quality website exposure. Using principal component analysis, the original items were reduced to 13 and sorted into the factors: trustworthiness, textual deficits of the content, interferences (external links on the Web site), and advertisements. The first two factors focus more on the provided content itself, while the other two describe the embedding of the content into the website. The 45 survey items had been designed previously using exploratory observations and literature research. The final scale showed adequate power and reliability for all factors. The loadings of the principal component analysis ranged satisfactorily (.644 to .854). Significant differences at P<.001 were found between the low- and high-quality groups. Advertisements on the website were rated as disturbing in both experimental conditions, meaning that they do not differentiate between good and bad information. The scale reliably distinguished high- and low-quality of medical advice given on websites.

  16. Quality Control Quantification (QCQ): A Tool to Measure the Value of Quality Control Checks in Radiation Oncology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Eric C.; Terezakis, Stephanie; Souranis, Annette; Harris, Kendra; Gay, Hiram; Mutic, Sasa

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To quantify the error-detection effectiveness of commonly used quality control (QC) measures. Methods: We analyzed incidents from 2007-2010 logged into a voluntary in-house, electronic incident learning systems at 2 academic radiation oncology clinics. None of the incidents resulted in patient harm. Each incident was graded for potential severity using the French Nuclear Safety Authority scoring scale; high potential severity incidents (score >3) were considered, along with a subset of 30 randomly chosen low severity incidents. Each report was evaluated to identify which of 15 common QC checks could have detected it. The effectiveness was calculated, defined as the percentage of incidents that each QC measure could detect, both for individual QC checks and for combinations of checks. Results: In total, 4407 incidents were reported, 292 of which had high-potential severity. High- and low-severity incidents were detectable by 4.0 ± 2.3 (mean ± SD) and 2.6 ± 1.4 QC checks, respectively (P<.001). All individual checks were less than 50% sensitive with the exception of pretreatment plan review by a physicist (63%). An effectiveness of 97% was achieved with 7 checks used in combination and was not further improved with more checks. The combination of checks with the highest effectiveness includes physics plan review, physician plan review, Electronic Portal Imaging Device-based in vivo portal dosimetry, radiation therapist timeout, weekly physics chart check, the use of checklists, port films, and source-to-skin distance checks. Some commonly used QC checks such as pretreatment intensity modulated radiation therapy QA do not substantially add to the ability to detect errors in these data. Conclusions: The effectiveness of QC measures in radiation oncology depends sensitively on which checks are used and in which combinations. A small percentage of errors cannot be detected by any of the standard formal QC checks currently in broad use, suggesting that further

  17. Quality control quantification (QCQ): a tool to measure the value of quality control checks in radiation oncology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Eric C; Terezakis, Stephanie; Souranis, Annette; Harris, Kendra; Gay, Hiram; Mutic, Sasa

    2012-11-01

    To quantify the error-detection effectiveness of commonly used quality control (QC) measures. We analyzed incidents from 2007-2010 logged into a voluntary in-house, electronic incident learning systems at 2 academic radiation oncology clinics. None of the incidents resulted in patient harm. Each incident was graded for potential severity using the French Nuclear Safety Authority scoring scale; high potential severity incidents (score >3) were considered, along with a subset of 30 randomly chosen low severity incidents. Each report was evaluated to identify which of 15 common QC checks could have detected it. The effectiveness was calculated, defined as the percentage of incidents that each QC measure could detect, both for individual QC checks and for combinations of checks. In total, 4407 incidents were reported, 292 of which had high-potential severity. High- and low-severity incidents were detectable by 4.0 ± 2.3 (mean ± SD) and 2.6 ± 1.4 QC checks, respectively (P<.001). All individual checks were less than 50% sensitive with the exception of pretreatment plan review by a physicist (63%). An effectiveness of 97% was achieved with 7 checks used in combination and was not further improved with more checks. The combination of checks with the highest effectiveness includes physics plan review, physician plan review, Electronic Portal Imaging Device-based in vivo portal dosimetry, radiation therapist timeout, weekly physics chart check, the use of checklists, port films, and source-to-skin distance checks. Some commonly used QC checks such as pretreatment intensity modulated radiation therapy QA do not substantially add to the ability to detect errors in these data. The effectiveness of QC measures in radiation oncology depends sensitively on which checks are used and in which combinations. A small percentage of errors cannot be detected by any of the standard formal QC checks currently in broad use, suggesting that further improvements are needed. These data

  18. Quality Control Quantification (QCQ): A Tool to Measure the Value of Quality Control Checks in Radiation Oncology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ford, Eric C., E-mail: eford@uw.edu [Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland (United States); Terezakis, Stephanie; Souranis, Annette; Harris, Kendra [Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland (United States); Gay, Hiram; Mutic, Sasa [Department of Radiation Oncology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri (United States)

    2012-11-01

    Purpose: To quantify the error-detection effectiveness of commonly used quality control (QC) measures. Methods: We analyzed incidents from 2007-2010 logged into a voluntary in-house, electronic incident learning systems at 2 academic radiation oncology clinics. None of the incidents resulted in patient harm. Each incident was graded for potential severity using the French Nuclear Safety Authority scoring scale; high potential severity incidents (score >3) were considered, along with a subset of 30 randomly chosen low severity incidents. Each report was evaluated to identify which of 15 common QC checks could have detected it. The effectiveness was calculated, defined as the percentage of incidents that each QC measure could detect, both for individual QC checks and for combinations of checks. Results: In total, 4407 incidents were reported, 292 of which had high-potential severity. High- and low-severity incidents were detectable by 4.0 {+-} 2.3 (mean {+-} SD) and 2.6 {+-} 1.4 QC checks, respectively (P<.001). All individual checks were less than 50% sensitive with the exception of pretreatment plan review by a physicist (63%). An effectiveness of 97% was achieved with 7 checks used in combination and was not further improved with more checks. The combination of checks with the highest effectiveness includes physics plan review, physician plan review, Electronic Portal Imaging Device-based in vivo portal dosimetry, radiation therapist timeout, weekly physics chart check, the use of checklists, port films, and source-to-skin distance checks. Some commonly used QC checks such as pretreatment intensity modulated radiation therapy QA do not substantially add to the ability to detect errors in these data. Conclusions: The effectiveness of QC measures in radiation oncology depends sensitively on which checks are used and in which combinations. A small percentage of errors cannot be detected by any of the standard formal QC checks currently in broad use, suggesting that

  19. 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

  20. 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. Copyright © 2014 Longwoods Publishing.

  1. House of Quality (HoQ) as a tool for improvement customer satisfaction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fazila Said; Noriah Mod Ali; Siti Mariam Ibrahim

    2010-01-01

    Full-text: Improvements to the customer satisfaction level is an important agenda today for the preservation of a quality certification. This study shows where the critical attributes or Voice of Customers, VOC-interest analysis of the results of Importance Performance Analysis (IPA). Questionnaires from our four customer service centers at Malaysian Nuclear Agency has been used in developing the House of Quality (HoQ). The innovation of HoQ is one of the simple and attractive services that display comprehensive information covering the needs of customers (VOC), the technical response, the correlation of technical, communication matrix, technical and planning division. Therefore, the information obtained from HoQ can be used in assisting the top management planning in accordance with the priority improvement activities to improve customer satisfaction levels in the near future. (author)

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    2011-05-03

    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. 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 (Pteaching qualities of obstetrics and gynecology faculty. Future research should examine improvement of teaching qualities when using SETQ.

  4. 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

  5. Qualichem in vivo: a tool for assessing the quality of in vivo studies and its application for bisphenol A.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Maxim

    Full Text Available 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 agencies are not structured, clear or consistent. This leaves room for criticism about lack of transparency, subjective influence and the potential for insufficient protection provided by resulting safety standards. We propose a tool called "Qualichem in vivo" that is designed to systematically and transparently assess the quality of in vivo studies used in chemical health risk assessment. We demonstrate its use here with 12 experts, using two controversial studies on Bisphenol A (BPA that played an important role in BPA regulation in Europe. The results obtained with Qualichem contradict the quality assessments conducted by expert committees in safety agencies for both of these studies. Furthermore, they show that reliance on standardized guidelines to ensure scientific quality is only partially justified. Qualichem allows experts with different disciplinary backgrounds and professional experiences to express their individual and sometimes divergent views-an improvement over the current way of dealing with minority opinions. It provides a transparent framework for expressing an aggregated, multi-expert level of confidence in a study, and allows a simple graphical representation of how well the study integrates the best available scientific knowledge. Qualichem can be used to compare assessments of the same study by different health agencies, increasing transparency and trust in the work of expert committees. In addition, it may be used in systematic evaluation of in vivo studies submitted by industry in the dossiers that are required for compliance with the REACH Regulation. Qualichem provides a balanced, common framework for assessing the quality of

  6. [Improving the teaching quality by multiple tools and technology in oral histopathology experimental course].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Zhen; Wang, Li-Zhen; Hu, Yu-Hua; Zhang, Chun-Ye; Li, Jiang

    2017-04-01

    Oral histopathology is a course which needs to be combined with theory and practice closely. Experimental course plays an important role in teaching oral histopathology. Here, we aim to explore a series of effective measures to improve the teaching quality of experimental course and tried to train observation, thinking, analysis and problem solving skills of dental students. We re-edited and updated the experimental textbook "guidelines of experimental course of oral histopathology", and published the reference book for experimental course--"color pocket atlas of oral histopathology: experiment and diadactic teaching". The number of clinicopathological cases for presentation and class discussion was increased, and high-quality teaching slides were added and replaced the poor-quality or worn out slides. We established a variety of teaching methods based on the internet, which provided an environment of self-directed learning for dental students. Instead of simple slice-reading examination, a new evaluation system based on computer was established. The questionnaire survey showed that the students spoke positively on the teaching reform for experimental course. They thought that the reform played a significant role in enriching the teaching content, motivating learning interest and promoting self-study. Compared with traditional examination, computer-based examination showed a great advantage on mastering professional knowledge systematically and comprehensively. The measures adopted in our teaching reform not only effectively improve the teaching quality of experimental course of oral histopathology, but also help the students to have a clear, logical thinking when facing complicated diseases and have the ability to apply theoretical knowledge into clinical practice.

  7. Computer vision system: a tool for evaluating the quality of wheat in a grain tank

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minkin, Uryi Igorevish; Panchenko, Aleksei Vladimirovich; Shkanaev, Aleksandr Yurievich; Konovalenko, Ivan Andreevich; Putintsev, Dmitry Nikolaevich; Sadekov, Rinat Nailevish

    2018-04-01

    The paper describes a technology that allows for automatizing the process of evaluating the grain quality in a grain tank of a combine harvester. Special recognition algorithm analyzes photographic images taken by the camera, and that provides automatic estimates of the total mass fraction of broken grains and the presence of non-grains. The paper also presents the operating details of the tank prototype as well as it defines the accuracy of the algorithms designed.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Jason Motsinger; Prasanta Kalita; Rabin Bhattarai

    2016-01-01

    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 ...

  9. Low-Cost Air Quality Monitoring Tools: From Research to Practice (A Workshop Summary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea L. Clements

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available In May 2017, a two-day workshop was held in Los Angeles (California, U.S.A. to gather practitioners who work with low-cost sensors used to make air quality measurements. The community of practice included individuals from academia, industry, non-profit groups, community-based organizations, and regulatory agencies. The group gathered to share knowledge developed from a variety of pilot projects in hopes of advancing the collective knowledge about how best to use low-cost air quality sensors. Panel discussion topics included: (1 best practices for deployment and calibration of low-cost sensor systems, (2 data standardization efforts and database design, (3 advances in sensor calibration, data management, and data analysis and visualization, and (4 lessons learned from research/community partnerships to encourage purposeful use of sensors and create change/action. Panel discussions summarized knowledge advances and project successes while also highlighting the questions, unresolved issues, and technological limitations that still remain within the low-cost air quality sensor arena.

  10. A tool for assessing the quality of nursing handovers: a validation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrara, Paolo; Terzoni, Stefano; Davì, Salvatore; Bisesti, Alberto; Destrebecq, Anne

    2017-08-10

    Handover, in particular between two shifts, is a crucial aspect of nursing for patient safety, aimed at ensuring continuity of care. During this process, several factors can affect quality of care and cause errors. This study aimed to assess quality of handovers, by validating the Handoff CEX-Italian scale. The scale was translated from English into Italian and the content validity index was calculated and internal consistency assessed. The scale was used in several units of the San Paolo Teaching Hospital in Milan, Italy. A total of 48 reports were assessed (192 evaluations). The median score was 6, interquartile range (IQR) [5;7] and was not influenced by specific (p=0.21) or overall working experience (p=0.13). The domains showing the lowest median values (median=6, IQR [4;8]) were context, communication, and organisation. Night to morning handovers obtained the lowest scores. CVI-S was 0.96, Cronbach's alpha was 0.79. The Handoff CEX-Italian scale is valid and reliable and it can be used to assess the quality of nurse handovers.

  11. PRISMA as a quality tool for promoting customer satisfaction in the telecommunications industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dye, J.; Schaaf, T. van der

    2002-01-01

    Near-miss event reporting systems have a successful history in managing risk in industries such as medicine, aviation, nuclear power, and the petrochemical industry. By treating events of customer dissatisfaction as accidents, near-miss event reporting systems designed to reduce risks to safety in hazardous environments may be borrowed by the telecommunications industry. The system chosen for this study was the Prevention and Recovery Information System for Monitoring and Analysis (PRISMA), developed by the Eindhoven University of Technology (EUT). The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of applying PRISMA as a tool to reduce risks to customer dissatisfaction. Participants in the project included the EUT Safety Management Group, a consultant, and six Network Service Managers from a telecommunications company whose duties included responding to customer complaints. Twenty-three incidents were investigated with an average of 5.9 root causes arising from 2.9 process owners per event. Causal trees were generated for each incident and root causes were classified according to the Eindhoven Classification Model (ECM). The distribution of 135 root causes was 50% organizational, 32% human, 16% technical and 2% unclassifiable. The participants were successful in executing the functional steps of PRISMA in response to incidents of customer dissatisfaction. This study established the suitability of PRISMA as a tool for managing risks to customer satisfaction within the telecommunications domain

  12. PRISMA as a quality tool for promoting customer satisfaction in the telecommunications industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dye, J.; Schaaf, T. van der

    2002-03-01

    Near-miss event reporting systems have a successful history in managing risk in industries such as medicine, aviation, nuclear power, and the petrochemical industry. By treating events of customer dissatisfaction as accidents, near-miss event reporting systems designed to reduce risks to safety in hazardous environments may be borrowed by the telecommunications industry. The system chosen for this study was the Prevention and Recovery Information System for Monitoring and Analysis (PRISMA), developed by the Eindhoven University of Technology (EUT). The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of applying PRISMA as a tool to reduce risks to customer dissatisfaction. Participants in the project included the EUT Safety Management Group, a consultant, and six Network Service Managers from a telecommunications company whose duties included responding to customer complaints. Twenty-three incidents were investigated with an average of 5.9 root causes arising from 2.9 process owners per event. Causal trees were generated for each incident and root causes were classified according to the Eindhoven Classification Model (ECM). The distribution of 135 root causes was 50% organizational, 32% human, 16% technical and 2% unclassifiable. The participants were successful in executing the functional steps of PRISMA in response to incidents of customer dissatisfaction. This study established the suitability of PRISMA as a tool for managing risks to customer satisfaction within the telecommunications domain.

  13. Validation of the ICU-DaMa tool for automatically extracting variables for minimum dataset and quality indicators: The importance of data quality assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirgo, Gonzalo; Esteban, Federico; Gómez, Josep; Moreno, Gerard; Rodríguez, Alejandro; Blanch, Lluis; Guardiola, Juan José; Gracia, Rafael; De Haro, Lluis; Bodí, María

    2018-04-01

    Big data analytics promise insights into healthcare processes and management, improving outcomes while reducing costs. However, data quality is a major challenge for reliable results. Business process discovery techniques and an associated data model were used to develop data management tool, ICU-DaMa, for extracting variables essential for overseeing the quality of care in the intensive care unit (ICU). To determine the feasibility of using ICU-DaMa to automatically extract variables for the minimum dataset and ICU quality indicators from the clinical information system (CIS). The Wilcoxon signed-rank test and Fisher's exact test were used to compare the values extracted from the CIS with ICU-DaMa for 25 variables from all patients attended in a polyvalent ICU during a two-month period against the gold standard of values manually extracted by two trained physicians. Discrepancies with the gold standard were classified into plausibility, conformance, and completeness errors. Data from 149 patients were included. Although there were no significant differences between the automatic method and the manual method, we detected differences in values for five variables, including one plausibility error and two conformance and completeness errors. Plausibility: 1) Sex, ICU-DaMa incorrectly classified one male patient as female (error generated by the Hospital's Admissions Department). Conformance: 2) Reason for isolation, ICU-DaMa failed to detect a human error in which a professional misclassified a patient's isolation. 3) Brain death, ICU-DaMa failed to detect another human error in which a professional likely entered two mutually exclusive values related to the death of the patient (brain death and controlled donation after circulatory death). Completeness: 4) Destination at ICU discharge, ICU-DaMa incorrectly classified two patients due to a professional failing to fill out the patient discharge form when thepatients died. 5) Length of continuous renal replacement

  14. [Audit as a tool to assess and promote the quality of medical records and hospital appropriateness: metodology and preliminary results].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poscia, Andrea; Cambieri, Andrea; Tucceri, Chiara; Ricciardi, Walter; Volpe, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    In the actual economic context, with increasing health needs, efficiency and efficacy represents fundamental keyword to ensure a successful use of the resources and the best health outcomes. Together, the medical record, completely and correctly compiled, is an essential tool in the patient diagnostic and therapeutic path, but it's becoming more and more essential for the administrative reporting and legal claims. Nevertheless, even if the improvement of medical records quality and of hospital stay appropriateness represent priorities for every health organization, they could be difficult to realize. This study aims to present the methodology and the preliminary results of a training and improvement process: it was carried out from the Hospital Management of a third level Italian teaching hospital through audit cycles to actively involve their health professionals. A self assessment process of medical records quality and hospital stay appropriateness (inpatients admission and Day Hospital) was conducted through a retrospective evaluation of medical records. It started in 2012 and a random sample of 2295 medical records was examined: the quality assessment was performed using a 48-item evaluation grid modified from the Lombardy Region manual of the medical record, while the appropriateness of each days was assessed using the Italian version of Appropriateness Evaluation Protocol (AEP) - 2002ed. The overall assessment was presented through departmental audit: the audit were designed according to the indication given by the Italian and English Ministry of Health to share the methodology and the results with all the involved professionals (doctors and nurses) and to implement improvement strategies that are synthesized in this paper. Results from quality and appropriateness assessment show several deficiencies, due to 40% of minimum level of acceptability not completely satisfied and to 30% of inappropriateness between days of hospitalization. Furthermore, there are

  15. Leveraging Big Data Tools and Technologies: Addressing the Challenges of the Water Quality Sector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Manuel Ponce Romero

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The water utility sector is subject to stringent legislation, seeking to address both the evolution of practices within the chemical/pharmaceutical industry, and the safeguarding of environmental protection, and which is informed by stakeholder views. Growing public environmental awareness is balanced by fair apportionment of liability within-sector. This highly complex and dynamic context poses challenges for water utilities seeking to manage the diverse chemicals arising from disparate sources reaching Wastewater Treatment Plants, including residential, commercial, and industrial points of origin, and diffuse sources including agricultural and hard surface water run-off. Effluents contain broad ranges of organic and inorganic compounds, herbicides, pesticides, phosphorus, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals of emerging concern. These potential pollutants can be in dissolved form, or arise in association with organic matter, the associated risks posing significant environmental challenges. This paper examines how the adoption of new Big Data tools and computational technologies can offer great advantage to the water utility sector in addressing this challenge. Big Data approaches facilitate improved understanding and insight of these challenges, by industry, regulator, and public alike. We discuss how Big Data approaches can be used to improve the outputs of tools currently in use by the water industry, such as SAGIS (Source Apportionment GIS system, helping to reveal new relationships between chemicals, the environment, and human health, and in turn provide better understanding of contaminants in wastewater (origin, pathways, and persistence. We highlight how the sector can draw upon Big Data tools to add value to legacy datasets, such as the Chemicals Investigation Programme in the UK, combined with contemporary data sources, extending the lifespan of data, focusing monitoring strategies, and helping users adapt and plan more efficiently. Despite

  16. A Comparative Case Study Analysis of Administrators Perceptions on the Adaptation of Quality and Continuous Improvement Tools to Community Colleges in the State of Michigan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattis, Ted B.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether community college administrators in the state of Michigan believe that commonly known quality and continuous improvement tools, prevalent in a manufacturing environment, can be adapted to a community college model. The tools, specifically Six Sigma, benchmarking and process mapping have played a…

  17. Health risks maps. Modelling of air quality as a tool to map health risks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Doorn, R.; Hegger, C.

    2000-01-01

    Environmental departments consider geographical maps with information on air quality as the final product of a complicated process of measuring, modelling and presentation. Municipal health departments consider such maps a useful starting point to solve the problem whether air pollution causes health risks for citizens. The answer to this question cannot be reduced to checking if threshold limit values are exceeded. Based on the results of measurements and modelling of concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in air, the health significance of air pollution caused by nitrogen dioxide is illuminated. A proposal is presented to map health risks of air pollution by using the results of measurements and modelling of air pollution. 7 refs

  18. Application of Strategic Management Principles as Tool to Improve Quality of Construction Technological Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kluchnikova, O.; Pobegaylov, O.

    2017-11-01

    The article focuses on the basic theory and practical aspects of the strategic management improving in terms of enhancing the quality of a technological process: these aspects have been proven experimentally by their introduction in company operations. The authors have worked out some proposals aimed at the selection of an optimal supplier for building companies as well as the algorithm for the analysis and optimization of a construction company basing on scientific and practical research as well as on the experimental data obtained in the experiment.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The medical autopsy as quality assurance tool in clinical medicine: dreams and realities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Tweel, Jan G; Wittekind, Christian

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of medical autopsy has changed to issues of quality assurance today. In addition, autopsies are considered valuable in medical education, e.g., delivering cases for problem-based learning for students. Many studies underscore the need for autopsies also in the era of technical progress emphasizing the continuing discrepancies between antemortem and post mortem diagnoses. Despite these important tasks, we face a decline of autopsy for several reasons with complex interactions. The role of all persons involved in this decline is evaluated and suggestions for changes are proposed. Last but not least, the future of the autopsy is in the hands of pathology itself.

  2. The Hand-Foot Skin Reaction and Quality of Life Questionnaire: An Assessment Tool for Oncology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Roger T; Keating, Karen N; Doll, Helen A; Camacho, Fabian

    2015-07-01

    Skin toxicity (hand-foot syndrome/hand-foot skin reaction, HFS/R) related to antineoplastic therapy is a significant issue in oncology practice, with potentially large impacts on health-related quality of life (HRQL). A patient-reported questionnaire, the hand-foot skin reaction and quality of life (HF-QoL) questionnaire was developed to measure the HFS/R symptoms associated with cancer therapeutic agents and their effect on daily activities. The validity and reliability of the HF-QoL questionnaire was tested in a randomized trial of capecitabine with sorafenib/placebo in 223 patients with locally advanced/metastatic breast cancer. Other measures completed included patient ratings of condition severity, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast cancer (FACT-B), and the clinician-rated National Cancer Institute-Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (NCI-CTCAE), version 3.0, hand-foot skin reaction grade. The psychometric properties of the HF-QoL tested included structural validity, internal consistency, construct validity, discriminant validity, and responsiveness. Finally, the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) was estimated. The HF-QoL instrument comprises a 20-item symptom scale and an 18-item daily activity scale. Each scale demonstrated excellent measurement properties and discriminated between NCI-CTCAE grade and patient-rated condition severity with large effect sizes. The daily activity scale had excellent internal consistency and correlated with the FACT-B and HF-QoL symptom scores. Both HF-QoL scale scores increased linearly with increasing patient-rated condition severity. The MCIDs were estimated as 5 units for daily activities and 8 units for symptoms mean scores. The HF-QoL was sensitive to symptoms and HRQL issues associated with HFS/R among participants treated with capecitabine with and without sorafenib. The HF-QoL appears suitable for assessing the HRQL impairment associated with HFS/R to cancer therapies. Skin

  3. Integrated Management System in construction company-effective tool of quality, environment and safety level improving

    OpenAIRE

    Gašparík, Jozef

    2009-01-01

    Contribution Presents the struCture of integrated M anageMent systeM ( iMs) according to international standards ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and STN OHSAS 18001:2009, which consists of 3 management systems focused to quality, environment and safety of building processes. The purpose of paper is to describe basic steps concerning the development of IMS. Paper analises basic processes of IMS like company vision, IMS planning, implementing, monitoring, revive and improving. The paper presents ...

  4. Nucleonic gauging: a tool for process and quality control at Tata Steel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pandey, J.C.; Manish Raj; Panda, B.N.

    1998-01-01

    In recent years, there has been much progress in utilizing nuclear sources for process and quality control in Integrated Steel Plants. Tata Steel has also taken interest in implementing these gauging techniques and at present 92 such gauges are in use for measuring level, thickness, density, moisture and ash content at various locations of Tata Steel. These gauges function on line and non contact with the material to be inspected and are designed to withstand the hostile Steel Plant Environment. The paper highlights use of different gauges at Tata Steel. (author)

  5. 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 .

  6. Penetrating radiation as a tool for quality evaluation of nuclear fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghosh, J.K.; Panakkal, J.P.; Chandrasekharan, K.N.; Subramanian, A.; Roy, P.R.

    1983-01-01

    Radiography is a universally accepted non-destructive evaluation technique for checking internal details of sealed components. Imaging nuclear fuels pose problems because of the high radiation attenuation of fuel materials. Radiography of nuclear fuels by penetrating radiations viz. X-rays, gamma rays and neutron is employed in the quality control of such fuels. This paper records the experience gathered during the inspection of nuclear fuel elements of different types fabricated at Radiometallurgy Division, B.A.R.C. and presents a comparative study of these three techniques in revealing inner details of nuclear fuels. (author)

  7. Self-reflection as a Tool to Increase Hospitalist Participation in Readmission Quality Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rana, Vipulkumar; Thapa, Bipin; Saini, Sumanta Chaudhuri; Nagpal, Pooja; Segon, Ankur; Fletcher, Kathlyn; Lamb, Geoffrey

    Reducing 30-day readmissions is a national priority. Although multipronged programs have been shown to reduce readmissions, the role of the individual hospitalist physician in reducing readmissions is not clear. We evaluated the effect of physicians' self-review of their own readmission cases on the 30-day readmission rate. Over a 1-year period, hospitalists were sent their individual readmission rates and cases on a weekly basis. They reviewed their cases and completed a data abstraction tool. In addition, a facilitator led small group discussion about common causes of readmission and ways to prevent such readmissions. Our preintervention readmission rate was 16.16% and postintervention was 14.99% (P = .76). Among hospitalists on duty, nearly all participated in scheduled facilitated discussions. Self-review was completed in 67% of the cases. A facilitated reflective practice intervention increased hospitalist participation and awareness in the mission to reduce readmissions and this intervention resulted in a nonsignificant trend in readmission reduction.

  8. Use of Proficiency Testing as a Tool to Improve Quality in Microbiology Laboratories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stang, Heather L; Anderson, Nancy L

    2013-09-15

    Proficiency testing (PT) is a valuable tool for assessing laboratory performance and verifying the accuracy and reliability of test results. Participation is required by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 for each of the microbiology subspecialties (bacteriology, mycobacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and virology), and the regulations include specific PT requirements for each subspecialty. To determine the use and perceived value of PT beyond meeting CLIA requirements, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded a cooperative agreement with the Association of Public Health Laboratories to convene a series of focus groups to query laboratory professionals responsible for PT. The seven focus groups were comprised of 60 laboratory professionals representing large and small clinical laboratories, microbiology subspecialties, and public health. While participants acknowledged the need to perform PT to meet regulatory requirements, many also cited benefits and challenges beyond regulatory compliance.

  9. Local audit of diagnostic surgical pathology as a tool for quality assurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malami, Sani Abubakar; Iliyasu, Yawale

    2008-01-01

    Internal audit has been rarely done for quality assurance of histology laboratories in Nigeria. We reviewed the steps involved in the production of reports with a view to assessing the performance of the histopathology laboratory of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. A randomly selected 2 per cent sample of the total histology workload of the center for the year ending December 2005 amounting to 2877 cases was systematically reviewed. Analysis of the accumulated data showed a concordance rate of 94.8% between the original and review histological diagnoses, comparable to other published studies. Significant defects were observed to be due to missing demographic information on request forms (22.8%), poor technical quality of slide sections (18.4%) and typographical errors by typists (12.3%) In a minority of cases microscopic description was inadequate or inappropriate (7.0%) and some were inaccurate (2.7%). The turnaround time ranged from 2 to 16 days (mean 6.2 days) with results of 75.8 per cent of the specimens completed within 7 days. From the study we have shown that local audit is feasible in Nigerian laboratories and is an excellent method for detecting errors and improving performance in Surgical Pathology to optimize the scarce resources available to patient care in our country.

  10. Homogeneous Canine Chest Phantom Construction: A Tool for Image Quality Optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavan, Ana Luiza Menegatti; Rosa, Maria Eugênia Dela; Giacomini, Guilherme; Bacchim Neto, Fernando Antonio; Yamashita, Seizo; Vulcano, Luiz Carlos; Duarte, Sergio Barbosa; Miranda, José Ricardo de Arruda; de Pina, Diana Rodrigues

    2016-01-01

    Digital radiographic imaging is increasing in veterinary practice. The use of radiation demands responsibility to maintain high image quality. Low doses are necessary because workers are requested to restrain the animal. Optimizing digital systems is necessary to avoid unnecessary exposure, causing the phenomenon known as dose creep. Homogeneous phantoms are widely used to optimize image quality and dose. We developed an automatic computational methodology to classify and quantify tissues (i.e., lung tissue, adipose tissue, muscle tissue, and bone) in canine chest computed tomography exams. The thickness of each tissue was converted to simulator materials (i.e., Lucite, aluminum, and air). Dogs were separated into groups of 20 animals each according to weight. Mean weights were 6.5 ± 2.0 kg, 15.0 ± 5.0 kg, 32.0 ± 5.5 kg, and 50.0 ± 12.0 kg, for the small, medium, large, and giant groups, respectively. The one-way analysis of variance revealed significant differences in all simulator material thicknesses (p optimize veterinary X-ray procedures.

  11. New tools for systematic evaluation of teaching qualities of medical faculty: results of an ongoing multi-center survey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Onyebuchi A Arah

    Full Text Available Tools for the evaluation, improvement and promotion of the teaching excellence of faculty remain elusive in residency settings. This study investigates (i the reliability and validity of the data yielded by using two new instruments for evaluating the teaching qualities of medical faculty, (ii the instruments' potential for differentiating between faculty, and (iii the number of residents' evaluations needed per faculty to reliably use the instruments.Multicenter cross-sectional survey among 546 residents and 629 medical faculty representing 29 medical (non-surgical specialty training programs in The Netherlands. Two instruments--one completed by residents and one by faculty--for measuring teaching qualities of faculty were developed. Statistical analyses included factor analysis, reliability and validity exploration using standard psychometric methods, calculation of the numbers of residents' evaluations needed per faculty to achieve reliable assessments and variance components and threshold analyses.A total of 403 (73.8% residents completed 3575 evaluations of 570 medical faculty while 494 (78.5% faculty self-evaluated. In both instruments five composite-scales of faculty teaching qualities were detected with high internal consistency and reliability: learning climate (Cronbach's alpha of 0.85 for residents' instrument, 0.71 for self-evaluation instrument, professional attitude and behavior (0.84/0.75, communication of goals (0.90/0.84, evaluation of residents (0.91/0.81, and feedback (0.91/0.85. Faculty tended to evaluate themselves higher than did the residents. Up to a third of the total variance in various teaching qualities can be attributed to between-faculty differences. Some seven residents' evaluations per faculty are needed for assessments to attain a reliability level of 0.90.The instruments for evaluating teaching qualities of medical faculty appear to yield reliable and valid data. They are feasible for use in medical residencies

  12. New tools for systematic evaluation of teaching qualities of medical faculty: results of an ongoing multi-center survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arah, Onyebuchi A; Hoekstra, Joost B L; Bos, Albert P; Lombarts, Kiki M J M H

    2011-01-01

    Tools for the evaluation, improvement and promotion of the teaching excellence of faculty remain elusive in residency settings. This study investigates (i) the reliability and validity of the data yielded by using two new instruments for evaluating the teaching qualities of medical faculty, (ii) the instruments' potential for differentiating between faculty, and (iii) the number of residents' evaluations needed per faculty to reliably use the instruments. Multicenter cross-sectional survey among 546 residents and 629 medical faculty representing 29 medical (non-surgical) specialty training programs in The Netherlands. Two instruments--one completed by residents and one by faculty--for measuring teaching qualities of faculty were developed. Statistical analyses included factor analysis, reliability and validity exploration using standard psychometric methods, calculation of the numbers of residents' evaluations needed per faculty to achieve reliable assessments and variance components and threshold analyses. A total of 403 (73.8%) residents completed 3575 evaluations of 570 medical faculty while 494 (78.5%) faculty self-evaluated. In both instruments five composite-scales of faculty teaching qualities were detected with high internal consistency and reliability: learning climate (Cronbach's alpha of 0.85 for residents' instrument, 0.71 for self-evaluation instrument, professional attitude and behavior (0.84/0.75), communication of goals (0.90/0.84), evaluation of residents (0.91/0.81), and feedback (0.91/0.85). Faculty tended to evaluate themselves higher than did the residents. Up to a third of the total variance in various teaching qualities can be attributed to between-faculty differences. Some seven residents' evaluations per faculty are needed for assessments to attain a reliability level of 0.90. The instruments for evaluating teaching qualities of medical faculty appear to yield reliable and valid data. They are feasible for use in medical residencies, can

  13. Designing and Assessing the Validity and Reliability of the Hospital Readiness Assessment Tools to Conducting Quality Improvement Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamal Gholipoor

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Background and objectives : Identifying the readiness of hospital and its strengths and weaknesses can be useful in developing appropriate planning and situation analyses and management to getting effective in clinical audit programs. The aim of this study was to design and assess the validity of the Hospital Readiness Assessment Tools to conduct quality improvement and clinical audit programs. Material and Methods: In this study, based on the results of a systematic review of literature, an initial questionnaire with 77 items was designed. Questionnaire content validity was reviewed by experts in the field of hospital management and quality improvement in Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. For this purpose, 20 questionnaires were sent to experts. Finally, 15 participants returned completed questionnaire. Questionnaire validity was reviewed and confirmed based on Content Validity Index and Content Validity Ratio. Questionnaire reliability was confirmed based on Cronbach's alpha index (α = 0.96 in a pilot study by participation of 30 hospital managers. Results: The results showed that the final questionnaire contains 54 questions as nine category as: data and information (9 items, teamwork (12 questions, resources (5 questions, patient and education (5, intervention design and implementation (5 questions, clinical audit management (4 questions, human resources (6 questions, evidence and standard (4 items and evaluation and feedback (4 items. The final questionnaire content validity index was 0.91 and final questionnaire Cronbach's alpha coefficient was 0.96. Conclusion: Considering the relative good validity and reliability of the designed tool in this study, it appears that the questionnaire can be used to identify and assess the readiness of hospitals for quality improvement and clinical audit program implementation

  14. 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

  15. The Hand-Foot Skin Reaction and Quality of Life Questionnaire: An Assessment Tool for Oncology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keating, Karen N.; Doll, Helen A.; Camacho, Fabian

    2015-01-01

    Background. Skin toxicity (hand-foot syndrome/hand-foot skin reaction, HFS/R) related to antineoplastic therapy is a significant issue in oncology practice, with potentially large impacts on health-related quality of life (HRQL). Materials and Methods. A patient-reported questionnaire, the hand-foot skin reaction and quality of life (HF-QoL) questionnaire was developed to measure the HFS/R symptoms associated with cancer therapeutic agents and their effect on daily activities. The validity and reliability of the HF-QoL questionnaire was tested in a randomized trial of capecitabine with sorafenib/placebo in 223 patients with locally advanced/metastatic breast cancer. Other measures completed included patient ratings of condition severity, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast cancer (FACT-B), and the clinician-rated National Cancer Institute-Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (NCI-CTCAE), version 3.0, hand-foot skin reaction grade. The psychometric properties of the HF-QoL tested included structural validity, internal consistency, construct validity, discriminant validity, and responsiveness. Finally, the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) was estimated. Results. The HF-QoL instrument comprises a 20-item symptom scale and an 18-item daily activity scale. Each scale demonstrated excellent measurement properties and discriminated between NCI-CTCAE grade and patient-rated condition severity with large effect sizes. The daily activity scale had excellent internal consistency and correlated with the FACT-B and HF-QoL symptom scores. Both HF-QoL scale scores increased linearly with increasing patient-rated condition severity. The MCIDs were estimated as 5 units for daily activities and 8 units for symptoms mean scores. Conclusion. The HF-QoL was sensitive to symptoms and HRQL issues associated with HFS/R among participants treated with capecitabine with and without sorafenib. The HF-QoL appears suitable for assessing the HRQL

  16. Analytical tools for assessing land degradation and its impact on soil quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindraban, P. S.; Mantel, S.; Bai, Z.; de Jong, R.

    2010-05-01

    Maintaining and enhancing the quality of land is of major importance to sustain future production capacity for food and other agriculture based products like fibers and wood, and for maintaining ecosystems services, including below and above ground biodiversity, provision of soil water and sequestration of carbon. Deterioration of this production base will be detrimental to the provision of the foreseen dramatic increase in human needs for goods and services. For this reason, land degradation, defined as a long-term loss in ecosystem function and productivity, has to be understood properly. Climate, soils, topography and socioeconomic activities are primary factors that can cause, by themselves or in combination, a number of temporary or permanent changes in the landscape, leading to degradation of vegetation and soils. For identifying intervention measures to prevent and revert trends of land deterioration, it is fundamental to know the extent of land degradation and to understand its impact on functional properties of land. To assess the global extent, (Bai et al. 2008) apply a remotely sensed vegetation index that describes the greenness of the vegetation cover as a proxy for biomass. Biomass production has been identified as a strong indicator for soil quality as it is an integral measure for soil, crop and environmental characteristics (Bindraban et al., 2000). Bai and colleagues observed that 24% of the global land has been degrading over the past 26 years - often in very productive areas. The relation with functional properties of land can be made through ecosystem models. Mantel et al. (1999; 2000) applied dynamic crop-soil models to calculate crop productivity at the national level. A baseline scenario that represents the current conditions and a scenario for 20 years of prolonged sheet erosion were modeled to calculate the productivity impact of topsoil erosion for wheat in Uruguay and for maize in Kenya. They concluded that topsoil erosion primarily

  17. GLIMPSE: A decision support tool for simultaneously achieving our air quality management and climate change mitigation goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinder, R. W.; Akhtar, F.; Loughlin, D. H.; Henze, D. K.; Bowman, K. W.

    2012-12-01

    Poor air quality, ecosystem damages, and climate change all are caused by the combustion of fossil fuels, yet environmental management often addresses each of these challenges separately. This can lead to sub-optimal strategies and unintended consequences. Here we present GLIMPSE -- a decision support tool for simultaneously achieving our air quality and climate change mitigation goals. GLIMPSE comprises of two types of models, (i) the adjoint of the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model, to calculate the relationship between emissions and impacts at high spatial resolution, and (ii) the MARKAL energy system model, to calculate the relationship between energy technologies and emissions. This presentation will demonstrate how GLIMPSE can be used to explore energy scenarios to better achieve both improved air quality and mitigate climate change. Second, this presentation will discuss how space-based observations can be incorporated into GLIMPSE to improve decision-making. NASA satellite products, namely ozone radiative forcing from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES), are used to extend GLIMPSE to include the impact of emissions on ozone radiative forcing. This provides a much needed observational constraint on ozone radiative forcing.

  18. Demerit control chart as a decision support tool in quality control of ductile cast-iron casting process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sika Robert

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In many industrial areas the product quality can be unequivocally assigned to classes such as: “good”, “bad” or “to repair”. In case of casting processes, the product is approved to sales considering customer’s requirements. Except for common characteristics, such as structure, compactness and mechanical properties, physical state of the product is also important. This state is assessed by checking occurrence of specific kind of defects. They are often conditionally accepted by a customer if they do not have any influence on functionality of the product (e.g. negative adhesive and cohesive phenomena, fatigue strength, thermal shocks. Authors’ experience shows that current registering of the most frequently occurring defects and comparing them to customers’ requirements can be very useful and help a quality engineer to control the casting process. They suggest using the Demerit Control Chart (DCC, according to authors’ own methodology, in aspect of information about the castings accepted conditionally by a customer (DCC-recognition. DCC-recognition can be used to assess this quality by monitoring the value of just one aggregated measure for all kinds of defects instead of using a single attribute control chart for each of them. The test version of this tool considering severity of defects proved to be useful in one of the European foundries.

  19. Fricke dosimetry as a tool to quality control of photodynamic therapy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santos, Suzana O.; Souza, Vivianne L.B., E-mail: vlsouza@cnen.gov.br, E-mail: suzirecifeusa@hotmail.com [Centro Regional de Ciências Nucleares do Nordeste (CRNE-NE/CNEN-PE), Recife, PE (Brazil)

    2017-07-01

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) consists of the association of a photosensitizing agent with a light source in order to cause cellular necrosis. Methylene blue, toluidine blue and malachite green are photosensitizers derived from dyes that are widely accepted in medicine, as they have low toxicity and are low cost. PDT is an alternative treatment for cancer, with significant advantages over procedures such as surgery/chemotherapy. Our laboratory has studied the Fricke solution doped with photosensitizers in an approach to obtain a quality control for PDT. The Fricke solution was prepared with ammoniacal ferrous sulfate, sodium chloride and sulfuric acid in water. The solutions modified with photosensitizers were prepared by adding 0.1 g/100 mL of the dyes. A volume of 2.6 ml of the Fricke solution modified with photosensitizers were transferred to test tubes and irradiated. The irradiated solutions had their optical densities measured in a spectrophotometer. The samples were irradiated with LED (Light Emitting Diodes) in acrylic phantoms. The FATA samples irradiated with LED showed the sensitivity of the dosimeters to red, blue, green and yellow light. A calibration curve with correlation coefficient of 0.9884 for the red light was obtained; 0.9752 for blue light; 0.9644 for the green light and 0.9768 for the yellow light. The fact that a sensitivity of the dosimeters to the LED has been occurred indicates that the PDT could be realized with LED, with lower costs than with laser. This work suggested that FATA dosimeters can be used for quality control of PDT. (author)

  20. Fricke dosimetry as a tool to quality control of photodynamic therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, Suzana O.; Souza, Vivianne L.B.

    2017-01-01

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) consists of the association of a photosensitizing agent with a light source in order to cause cellular necrosis. Methylene blue, toluidine blue and malachite green are photosensitizers derived from dyes that are widely accepted in medicine, as they have low toxicity and are low cost. PDT is an alternative treatment for cancer, with significant advantages over procedures such as surgery/chemotherapy. Our laboratory has studied the Fricke solution doped with photosensitizers in an approach to obtain a quality control for PDT. The Fricke solution was prepared with ammoniacal ferrous sulfate, sodium chloride and sulfuric acid in water. The solutions modified with photosensitizers were prepared by adding 0.1 g/100 mL of the dyes. A volume of 2.6 ml of the Fricke solution modified with photosensitizers were transferred to test tubes and irradiated. The irradiated solutions had their optical densities measured in a spectrophotometer. The samples were irradiated with LED (Light Emitting Diodes) in acrylic phantoms. The FATA samples irradiated with LED showed the sensitivity of the dosimeters to red, blue, green and yellow light. A calibration curve with correlation coefficient of 0.9884 for the red light was obtained; 0.9752 for blue light; 0.9644 for the green light and 0.9768 for the yellow light. The fact that a sensitivity of the dosimeters to the LED has been occurred indicates that the PDT could be realized with LED, with lower costs than with laser. This work suggested that FATA dosimeters can be used for quality control of PDT. (author)

  1. 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

  2. A study with ESI PAM-STAMP® on the influence of tool deformation on final part quality during a forming process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrolijk, Mark; Ogawa, Takayuki; Camanho, Arthur; Biasutti, Manfredi; Lorenz, David

    2018-05-01

    As a result from the ever increasing demand to produce lighter vehicles, more and more advanced high-strength materials are used in automotive industry. Focusing on sheet metal cold forming processes, these materials require high pressing forces and exhibit large springback after forming. Due to the high pressing forces deformations occur in the tooling geometry, introducing dimensional inaccuracies in the blank and potentially impact the final springback behavior. As a result the tool deformations can have an impact on the final assembly or introduce cosmetic defects. Often several iterations are required in try-out to obtain the required tolerances, with costs going up to as much as 30% of the entire product development cost. To investigate the sheet metal part feasibility and quality, in automotive industry CAE tools are widely used. However, in current practice the influence of the tool deformations on the final part quality is generally neglected and simulations are carried out with rigid tools to avoid drastically increased calculation times. If the tool deformation is analyzed through simulation it is normally done at the end of the drawing prosses, when contact conditions are mapped on the die structure and a static analysis is performed to check the deflections of the tool. But this method does not predict the influence of these deflections on the final quality of the part. In order to take tool deformations into account during drawing simulations, ESI has developed the ability to couple solvers efficiently in a way the tool deformations can be real-time included in the drawing simulation without high increase in simulation time compared to simulations with rigid tools. In this paper a study will be presented which demonstrates the effect of tool deformations on the final part quality.

  3. NORDCAN--a Nordic tool for cancer information, planning, quality control and research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engholm, Gerda; Ferlay, Jacques; Christensen, Niels; Bray, Freddie; Gjerstorff, Marianne L; Klint, Asa; Køtlum, Jóanis E; Olafsdóttir, Elínborg; Pukkala, Eero; Storm, Hans H

    2010-06-01

    The NORDCAN database and program ( www.ancr.nu ) include detailed information and results on cancer incidence, mortality and prevalence in each of the Nordic countries over five decades and has lately been supplemented with predictions of cancer incidence and mortality; future extensions include the incorporation of cancer survival estimates. The data originates from the national cancer registries and causes of death registries in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Faroe Islands and is regularly updated. Presently 41 cancer entities are included in the common dataset, and conversions of the original national data according to international rules ensure comparability. With 25 million inhabitants in the Nordic countries, 130 000 incident cancers are reported yearly, alongside nearly 60 000 cancer deaths, with almost a million persons living with a cancer diagnosis. This web-based application is available in English and in each of the five Nordic national languages. It includes comprehensive and easy-to-use descriptive epidemiology tools that provide tabulations and graphs, with further user-specified options available. The NORDCAN database aims to provide comparable and timely data to serve the varying needs of policy makers, cancer societies, the public, and journalists, as well as the clinical and research community.

  4. γTools: A modular multifunction phantom for quality assurance in GammaKnife treatments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calusi, Silvia; Noferini, Linhsia; Marrazzo, Livia; Casati, Marta; Arilli, Chiara; Compagnucci, Antonella; Talamonti, Cinzia; Scoccianti, Silvia; Greto, Daniela; Bordi, Lorenzo; Livi, Lorenzo; Pallotta, Stefania

    2017-11-01

    We present the γTools, a new phantom designed to assess geometric and dosimetric accuracy in Gamma Knife treatments, together with first tests and results of applications. The phantom is composed of two modules: the imaging module, a regular grid of 1660 control points to evaluate image distortions and image registration result and the dosimetry module for delivered dose distribution measurements. The phantom is accompanied by a MatLab routine for image distortions quantification. Dose measurement are performed with Gafchromic films fixed between two inserts and placed in various positions and orientations inside the dosimetry module thus covering a volume comparable to the full volume of a head. Tests performed to assess the accuracy and precision of the imaging module demonstrated sub-millimetric values. As an example of possible applications, the phantom was employed to measure image distortions of two MRI scanners and to perform dosimetric studies of single shots delivered to homogeneous and heterogeneous materials. Due to the phantom material, the measured absolute dose do not correspond to the planned dose; doses comparisons are thus carried out between normalized dose distributions. Finally, an end-to-end test was carried out in the treatment of a neuroma-like target which resulted in a 100% gamma passing rate (2% local, 2 mm) and a distance between the real target perimeter and the prescription isodose centroids of about 1 mm. The tests demonstrate that the proposed phantom is suitable to assess both the geometrical and relative dosimetric accuracy of Gamma Knife radiosurgery treatments. Copyright © 2017 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Reduction of radiation exposure and image quality using dose reduction tool on computed tomography fluoroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakabe, Daisuke; Tochihara, Syuichi; Ono, Michiaki; Tokuda, Masaki; Kai, Noriyuki; Nakato, Kengo; Hashida, Masahiro; Funama, Yoshinori; Murazaki, Hiroo

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of our study was to measure the reduction rate of radiation dose and variability of image noise using the angular beam modulation (ABM) on computed tomography (CT) fluoroscopy. The Alderson-Rando phantom and the homemade phantom were used in our study. These phantoms were scanned at on-center and off-center positions at -12 cm along y-axis with and without ABM technique. Regarding the technique, the x-ray tube is turned off in a 100-degree angle sector at the center of 12 o'clock, 10 o'clock, and 2 o'clock positions during CT fluoroscopy. CT fluoroscopic images were obtained with tube voltages, 120 kV; tube current-time product per reconstructed image, 30 mAs; rotation time, 0.5 s/rot; slice thickness, 4.8 mm; and reconstruction kernel B30s in each scanning. After CT scanning, radiation exposure and image noise were measured and the image artifacts were evaluated with and without the technique. The reduction rate for radiation exposure was 75-80% with and without the technique at on-center position regardless of each angle position. In the case of the off-center position at -12 cm, the reduction rate was 50% with and without the technique. In contrast, image noise remained constant with and without the technique. Visual inspection for image artifacts almost have the same scores with and without the technique and no statistical significance was found in both techniques (p>0.05). ABM is an appropriate tool for reducing radiation exposure and maintaining image-noise and artifacts during CT fluoroscopy. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

    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, V T,PI /V T , where V T,PI is the target volume receiving at a least prescription dose and V 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

  7. Applying Ancestry and Sex Computation as a Quality Control Tool in Targeted Next-Generation Sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathias, Patrick C; Turner, Emily H; Scroggins, Sheena M; Salipante, Stephen J; Hoffman, Noah G; Pritchard, Colin C; Shirts, Brian H

    2016-03-01

    To apply techniques for ancestry and sex computation from next-generation sequencing (NGS) data as an approach to confirm sample identity and detect sample processing errors. We combined a principal component analysis method with k-nearest neighbors classification to compute the ancestry of patients undergoing NGS testing. By combining this calculation with X chromosome copy number data, we determined the sex and ancestry of patients for comparison with self-report. We also modeled the sensitivity of this technique in detecting sample processing errors. We applied this technique to 859 patient samples with reliable self-report data. Our k-nearest neighbors ancestry screen had an accuracy of 98.7% for patients reporting a single ancestry. Visual inspection of principal component plots was consistent with self-report in 99.6% of single-ancestry and mixed-ancestry patients. Our model demonstrates that approximately two-thirds of potential sample swaps could be detected in our patient population using this technique. Patient ancestry can be estimated from NGS data incidentally sequenced in targeted panels, enabling an inexpensive quality control method when coupled with patient self-report. © American Society for Clinical Pathology, 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. The Humanitarian Action Qualifications Framework: a quality assurance tool for the Humanitarian Sector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bastiaan L. Aardema

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available 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 development of the Humanitarian Action Qualifications Framework as an example of good practice for other sectors aiming at improving the recognition of qualifications as a precondition of academic and professional mobility. With this aim, it introduces the educational and humanitarian trends that led to this project: the move from transnational qualifications frameworks of which the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (EQF is the best example to sectoral qualifications frameworks and the increasing demand from the sector seeking to determine the competencies and required skills of a professional humanitarian aid worker. Based on the EQF and the Tuning methodology the framework will act as a translating device to make national and sectoral qualifications more readable and promote humanitarian workers’ and learners’ mobility between countries and organisations. It will facilitate inter-system transparency and recognition of (non-formal and informal learning by linking occupations, skills, competences, and qualifications, thus benefiting the Humanitarian Sector as a whole.

  9. Clinical audit as a tool of continuous improvement of quality in radiology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horvathova, M.; Nikodemova, D.; Prikazska, M.

    2008-01-01

    Medical diagnosis and treatment including X -rays, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy , are the largest man-made sources of radiation exposure. The medical use of ionising radiation continues to expand, and is moving towards more complex procedures entailing higher exposures. Directive 97/43/EURATOM, on health protection of individuals against the dangers of ionizing radiation in relation to medical exposures acknowledged that medical practices using ionizing radiation are developing rapidly and that they are from a radiation protection point of view of regulatory concern. Our contribution summarizes the main recommendations of the Guidelines and the major problems of implementation of Clinical audits in Slovakia, which are: Incomplete national legislation for clinical audit; Methods of financing; Lack of formal framework of auditing; Poor understanding of the purpose and contents of clinical audits; Lack of criteria for the standards of good practices; Difficulty to employ sufficient number of auditors; Insufficient time available for auditors; Lack of specific training of auditors; Need of technological modernization of radiology equipment to meet quality standards. The need for harmonization of clinical audits has been recognized by all countries which replied to the questionnaire, including Slovakia and therefore it should be implemented in radiation protection regulations of Health ministry. (authors)

  10. Sample survey methods as a quality assurance tool in a general practice immunisation audit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullen, R

    1994-04-27

    In a multidoctor family practice there are often just too many sets of patients records to make it practical to repeat an audit by census of even an age band of the practice on a regular basis. This paper attempts to demonstrate how sample survey methodology can be incorporated into the quality assurance cycle. A simple random sample (with replacement) of 120 from 580 children with permanent records who were aged between 6 weeks and 2 years old from an Auckland general practice was performed, with sample size selected to give a predetermined precision. The survey was then repeated after 4 weeks. Both surveys were able to be completed within the course of a normal working day. An unexpectedly low level of under 2 years olds that were recorded as not overdue for any immunisations was found (22.5%) with only a modest improvement after a standard telephone/letter catch up campaign. Seventy-two percent of the sample held a group one community services card. The advantages of properly conducted sample surveys in producing useful estimates of known precision without disrupting office routines excessively were demonstrated. Through some attention to methodology, the trauma of a practice census can be avoided.

  11. Clinical audit as a tool of continuous improvement of quality in radiology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horvathova, M.; Nikodemova, D.; Prikazska, M.

    2009-01-01

    Medical diagnosis and treatment including X -rays, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy , are the largest man-made sources of radiation exposure. The medical use of ionising radiation continues to expand, and is moving towards more complex procedures entailing higher exposures. Directive 97/43/EURATOM, on health protection of individuals against the dangers of ionizing radiation in relation to medical exposures acknowledged that medical practices using ionizing radiation are developing rapidly and that they are from a radiation protection point of view of regulatory concern. Our contribution summarizes the main recommendations of the Guidelines and the major problems of implementation of Clinical audits in Slovakia, which are: Incomplete national legislation for clinical audit; Methods of financing; Lack of formal framework of auditing; Poor understanding of the purpose and contents of clinical audits; Lack of criteria for the standards of good practices; Difficulty to employ sufficient number of auditors; Insufficient time available for auditors; Lack of specific training of auditors; Need of technological modernization of radiology equipment to meet quality standards. The need for harmonization of clinical audits has been recognized by all countries which replied to the questionnaire, including Slovakia and therefore it should be implemented in radiation protection regulations of Health ministry. (authors)

  12. 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.

  13. Moving standard deviation and moving sum of outliers as quality tools for monitoring analytical precision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jiakai; Tan, Chin Hon; Badrick, Tony; Loh, Tze Ping

    2018-02-01

    An increase in analytical imprecision (expressed as CV a ) can introduce additional variability (i.e. noise) to the patient results, which poses a challenge to the optimal management of patients. Relatively little work has been done to address the need for continuous monitoring of analytical imprecision. Through numerical simulations, we describe the use of moving standard deviation (movSD) and a recently described moving sum of outlier (movSO) patient results as means for detecting increased analytical imprecision, and compare their performances against internal quality control (QC) and the average of normal (AoN) approaches. The power of detecting an increase in CV a is suboptimal under routine internal QC procedures. The AoN technique almost always had the highest average number of patient results affected before error detection (ANPed), indicating that it had generally the worst capability for detecting an increased CV a . On the other hand, the movSD and movSO approaches were able to detect an increased CV a at significantly lower ANPed, particularly for measurands that displayed a relatively small ratio of biological variation to CV a. CONCLUSION: The movSD and movSO approaches are effective in detecting an increase in CV a for high-risk measurands with small biological variation. Their performance is relatively poor when the biological variation is large. However, the clinical risks of an increase in analytical imprecision is attenuated for these measurands as an increased analytical imprecision will only add marginally to the total variation and less likely to impact on the clinical care. Copyright © 2017 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. [The National Database of the Regional Collaborative Rheumatic Centers as a tool for clinical epidemiology and quality assessment in rheumatology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zink, Angela; Huscher, Dörte; Listing, Joachim

    2003-01-01

    The national database of the German Collaborative Arthritis Centres is a well-established tool for the observation and assessment of health care delivery to patients with rheumatic diseases in Germany. The discussion of variations in treatment practices contributes to the internal quality assessment in the participating arthritis centres. This documentation has shown deficits in primary health care including late referral to a rheumatologist, undertreatment with disease-modifying drugs and complementary therapies. In rheumatology, there is a trend towards early, intensive medical treatment including combination therapy. The frequency and length of inpatient hospital and rehabilitation treatments is decreasing, while active physiotherapy in outpatient care has been increased. Specific deficits have been identified concerning the provision of occupational therapy services and patient education.

  16. Patient- and Caregiver-Reported Assessment Tools for Palliative Care: Summary of the 2017 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Technical Brief.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aslakson, Rebecca A; Dy, Sydney M; Wilson, Renee F; Waldfogel, Julie; Zhang, Allen; Isenberg, Sarina R; Blair, Alex; Sixon, Joshua; Lorenz, Karl A; Robinson, Karen A

    2017-12-01

    Assessment tools are data collection instruments that are completed by or with patients or caregivers and which collect data at the individual patient or caregiver level. The objectives of this study are to 1) summarize palliative care assessment tools completed by or with patients or caregivers and 2) identify needs for future tool development and evaluation. We completed 1) a systematic review of systematic reviews; 2) a supplemental search of previous reviews and Web sites, and/or 3) a targeted search for primary articles when no tools existed in a domain. Paired investigators screened search results, assessed risk of bias, and abstracted data. We organized tools by domains from the National Consensus Project Clinical Practice Guidelines for Palliative Care and selected the most relevant, recent, and highest quality systematic review for each domain. We included 10 systematic reviews and identified 152 tools (97 from systematic reviews and 55 from supplemental sources). Key gaps included no systematic review for pain and few tools assessing structural, cultural, spiritual, or ethical/legal domains, or patient-reported experience with end-of-life care. Psychometric information was available for many tools, but few studies evaluated responsiveness (sensitivity to change) and no studies compared tools. Few to no tools address the spiritual, ethical, or cultural domains or patient-reported experience with end-of-life care. While some data exist on psychometric properties of tools, the responsiveness of different tools to change and/or comparisons between tools have not been evaluated. Future research should focus on developing or testing tools that address domains for which few tools exist, evaluating responsiveness, and comparing tools. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Health-related quality of life of chemical warfare victims: an assessment with the use of a specific tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biat Saeed, Khaled; Parandeh, Akram; Alhani, Fatemeh; Salaree, Mohammad Mehdi

    2014-02-01

    Exposure to chemical warfare gases significantly changes the quality of life (QoL) of victims and has significant chronic adverse effects. This study sought to assess the health-related QoL (HRQoL) of chemical victims by means of a tool specifically designed for this purpose. The correlation of their QoL with several demographic factors was evaluated as well. In this descriptive cross-sectional study, 120 chemical warfare victims were selected from subjects presenting to selected medical centers in Tehran in 2012 using convenience sampling. Two questionnaires of demographic information and HRQoL of chemical warfare victims (specific tool) were used for data collection. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20 software (IBM, Armonk, NY, USA). The mean and standard deviation (mean ± SD) of scores obtained by chemical warfare victims in physical, psychosocial and spiritual domains was 39.6 ± 16.5, 42.1 ± 15.2 and 82.4 ± 15.4, respectively. Different age groups showed a significant difference in the psychosocial domain score (P chemical warfare victims, it can be used as strategically for these patients to help them cope with their injury and improve their physical and psychosocial health and QoL.

  20. 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

  1. Technological support of tool wear resistant qualities and cost saving of process of planetary grinding of flat parts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanova, T. N.; Lyupa, D. C.; Revenko, N. F.; Berkutova, T. A.; Silivanova, O. A.

    2018-03-01

    A lot of factors varied in time lead to instability of the grinding process. Besides, the method of grinding influences significantly the productivity and quality of processing. In this regard a creation of processes of intensive defect-free grinding on the basis of new constructive and technology solutions represents the scientific problem which is of great importance. One of such solutions is application of planetary face grinding which allows simultaneously changing the kinematics of movement, implementing discontinuous grinding. The distinctive features of such grinding are decreasing the heat release rate in a contact zone; ensuring intermittence of the process with a solid grinding wheel; reverse grinding; cutting by different edges of an abrasive grain; stabilization of working parameters of a grinding wheel; ensuring work of a grinding wheel in a self-sharpening mode. The design of the planetary grinding tool was developed for plane surface processing for implementation of the specified distinctive features of planetary grinding. The kinematics of shaping a surface by flat face diamond grinding has been investigated; manufacturing capabilities of planetary face grinding have been revealed, and ways of improvement of quality and productivity have been offered. The algorithm and the program to define the motion path of a grain depending on the given set of grinding factors were received. Optimization of the process of face diamond grinding using the planetary grinding device has been confirmed with the developed program and techniques to choose cutting conditions of planetary grinding and characteristics of grinding wheels for processing different materials. While studying the process of planetary grinding, special attention was paid to the research how processing conditions influence microgeometry of the processed surface made of steel 4X5M (Russian State Standard (GOST)). As a result of the executed research, it was established that surface roughness

  2. 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.

  3. Friction and lubrication modelling in sheet metal forming: Influence of lubrication amount, tool roughness and sheet coating on product quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hol, J.; Wiebenga, J. H.; Carleer, B.

    2017-09-01

    In the stamping of automotive parts, friction and lubrication play a key role in achieving high quality products. In the development process of new automotive parts, it is therefore crucial to accurately account for these effects in sheet metal forming simulations. This paper presents a selection of results considering friction and lubrication modelling in sheet metal forming simulations of a front fender product. For varying lubrication conditions, the front fender can either show wrinkling or fractures. The front fender is modelled using different lubrication amounts, tool roughness’s and sheet coatings to show the strong influence of friction on both part quality and the overall production stability. For this purpose, the TriboForm software is used in combination with the AutoForm software. The results demonstrate that the TriboForm software enables the simulation of friction behaviour for varying lubrication conditions, i.e. resulting in a generally applicable approach for friction characterization under industrial sheet metal forming process conditions.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A probabilistic-based approach to monitoring tool wear state and assessing its effect on workpiece quality in nickel-based alloys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akhavan Niaki, Farbod

    The objective of this research is first to investigate the applicability and advantage of statistical state estimation methods for predicting tool wear in machining nickel-based superalloys over deterministic methods, and second to study the effects of cutting tool wear on the quality of the part. Nickel-based superalloys are among those classes of materials that are known as hard-to-machine alloys. These materials exhibit a unique combination of maintaining their strength at high temperature and have high resistance to corrosion and creep. These unique characteristics make them an ideal candidate for harsh environments like combustion chambers of gas turbines. However, the same characteristics that make nickel-based alloys suitable for aggressive conditions introduce difficulties when machining them. High strength and low thermal conductivity accelerate the cutting tool wear and increase the possibility of the in-process tool breakage. A blunt tool nominally deteriorates the surface integrity and damages quality of the machined part by inducing high tensile residual stresses, generating micro-cracks, altering the microstructure or leaving a poor roughness profile behind. As a consequence in this case, the expensive superalloy would have to be scrapped. The current dominant solution for industry is to sacrifice the productivity rate by replacing the tool in the early stages of its life or to choose conservative cutting conditions in order to lower the wear rate and preserve workpiece quality. Thus, monitoring the state of the cutting tool and estimating its effects on part quality is a critical task for increasing productivity and profitability in machining superalloys. This work aims to first introduce a probabilistic-based framework for estimating tool wear in milling and turning of superalloys and second to study the detrimental effects of functional state of the cutting tool in terms of wear and wear rate on part quality. In the milling operation, the

  9. Development of Stand Alone Application Tool for Processing and Quality Measurement of Weld Imperfection Image Captured by μ-Focused Digital Radiography Using MATLAB- Based Graphical User Interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PZ Nadila

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Digital radiography incresingly is being applied in the fabrication industry. Compared to film- based radiography, digitally radiographed images can be acquired with less time and fewer exposures. However, noises can simply occur on the digital image resulting in a low-quality result. Due to this and the system’s complexity, parameters’ sensitivity, and environmental effects, the results can be difficult to interpret, even for a radiographer. Therefore, the need of an application tool to improve and evaluate the image is becoming urgent. In this research, a user-friendly tool for image processing and image quality measurement was developed. The resulting tool contains important components needed by radiograph inspectors in analyzing defects and recording the results. This tool was written by using image processing and the graphical user interface development environment and compiler (GUIDE toolbox available in Matrix Laboratory (MATLAB R2008a. In image processing methods, contrast adjustment, and noise removal, edge detection was applied. In image quality measurement methods, mean square error (MSE, peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR, modulation transfer function (MTF, normalized signal-to-noise ratio (SNRnorm, sensitivity and unsharpness were used to measure the image quality. The graphical user interface (GUI wass then compiled to build a Windows, stand-alone application that enables this tool to be executed independently without the installation of MATLAB.

  10. Development of a survey tool to assess and monitor the influence of food budget restraint on healthy eating, food related climate impact and quality of life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Annemette Ljungdalh; Holm, Lotte; Lund, Thomas Bøker

    This documentation describes the development of a survey tool designed to: 1) measure how different levels of constraints on food budgets are associated to outcomes of healthy eating, environmental sustainability and life quality for individuals in Denmark, and 2) explore how these different...... outcomes are related to strategies people employ to cope with restricted food budgets. The resulting survey consists of a total of 63 question items. The paper lays out the various steps involved in the process of developing the survey tool, presents the final survey items included in the tool...

  11. SU-E-T-191: PITSTOP: Process Improvement Techniques, Software Tools, and Operating Principles for a Quality Initiative Discovery Framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siochi, R

    2012-06-01

    To develop a quality initiative discovery framework using process improvement techniques, software tools and operating principles. Process deviations are entered into a radiotherapy incident reporting database. Supervisors use an in-house Event Analysis System (EASy) to discuss incidents with staff. Major incidents are analyzed with an in-house Fault Tree Analysis (FTA). A meta-Analysis is performed using association, text mining, key word clustering, and differential frequency analysis. A key operating principle encourages the creation of forcing functions via rapid application development. 504 events have been logged this past year. The results for the key word analysis indicate that the root cause for the top ranked key words was miscommunication. This was also the root cause found from association analysis, where 24% of the time that an event involved a physician it also involved a nurse. Differential frequency analysis revealed that sharp peaks at week 27 were followed by 3 major incidents, two of which were dose related. The peak was largely due to the front desk which caused distractions in other areas. The analysis led to many PI projects but there is still a major systematic issue with the use of forms. The solution we identified is to implement Smart Forms to perform error checking and interlocking. Our first initiative replaced our daily QA checklist with a form that uses custom validation routines, preventing therapists from proceeding with treatments until out of tolerance conditions are corrected. PITSTOP has increased the number of quality initiatives in our department, and we have discovered or confirmed common underlying causes of a variety of seemingly unrelated errors. It has motivated the replacement of all forms with smart forms. © 2012 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

  12. Exploration and classification of chromatographic fingerprints as additional tool for identification and quality control of several Artemisia species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaerts, Goedele; Pieters, Sigrid; Logie, Hans; Van Erps, Jürgen; Merino-Arévalo, Maria; Dejaegher, Bieke; Smeyers-Verbeke, Johanna; Vander Heyden, Yvan

    2014-07-01

    The World Health Organization accepts chromatographic fingerprints as a tool for identification and quality control of herbal medicines. This is the first study in which the distinction, identification and quality control of four different Artemisia species, i.e. Artemisia vulgaris, A. absinthium, A. annua and A. capillaris samples, is performed based on the evaluation of entire chromatographic fingerprint profiles developed with identical experimental conditions. High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) with Diode Array Detection (DAD) was used to develop the fingerprints. Application of factorial designs leads to methanol/water (80:20 (v/v)) as the best extraction solvent for the pulverised plant material and to a shaking bath for 30 min as extraction method. Further, so-called screening, optimisation and fine-tuning phases were performed during fingerprint development. Most information about the different Artemisia species, i.e. the highest number of separated peaks in the fingerprint, was acquired on four coupled Chromolith columns (100 mm × 4.6 mm I.D.). Trifluoroacetic acid 0.05% (v/v) was used as mobile-phase additive in a stepwise linear methanol/water gradient, i.e. 5, 34, 41, 72 and 95% (v/v) methanol at 0, 9, 30, 44 and 51 min, where the last mobile phase composition was kept isocratic till 60 min. One detection wavelength was selected to perform data analysis. The lowest similarity between the fingerprints of the four species was present at 214 nm. The HPLC/DAD method was applied on 199 herbal samples of the four Artemisia species, resulting in 357 fingerprints. The within- and between-day variation of the entire method, as well as the quality control fingerprints obtained during routine analysis, were found acceptable. The distinction of these Artemisia species was evaluated based on the entire chromatographic profiles, developed by a shared method, and visualised in score plots by means of the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) exploratory data

  13. Bioassay battery interlaboratory investigation of emerging contaminants in spiked water extracts e Towards the implementation of bioanalytical monitoring tools in water quality assessment and monitoring

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Di Paolo, C.; Ottermanns, R.; Keiter, S.; Ait-Aissa, S.; Bluhm, K.; Brack, W.; Breitholz, M.; Buchinger, S.; Carere, M.; Chalon, C.; Cousin, X.; Dulio, V.; Escher, B.I.; Hamers, T.; Jarque, S.; Jonas, A.; Maillot-Marechal, E.; Marneffe, Y.; Nguyen, M.T.; Pandard, P.; Schifferli, A.; Schulze, T.; Seidensticker, S.; Seiler, T.B.; Tang, J.; van der Oost, R.; Vermeirssen, E.; Zounková, R.; Zwart, N.; Hollert, H.

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. 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.…

  15. The World Health Organization Performance Assessment Tool for Quality Improvement in Hospitals (PATH): an analysis of the pilot implementation in 37 hospitals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groene, Oliver; Klazinga, Niek; Kazandjian, Vahé; Lombrail, Pierre; Bartels, Paul

    2008-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the pilot implementation of the World Health Organization Performance Assessment Tool for Quality Improvement in hospitals (PATH). DESIGN: Semi-structured interviews with regional/country coordinators and Internet-based survey distributed to hospital coordinators. SETTING: A

  16. 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

  17. Initial experience with a novel pre-sign-out quality assurance tool for review of random surgical pathology diagnoses in a subspecialty-based university practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owens, Scott R; Wiehagen, Luke T; Kelly, Susan M; Piccoli, Anthony L; Lassige, Karen; Yousem, Samuel A; Dhir, Rajiv; Parwani, Anil V

    2010-09-01

    We recently implemented a novel pre-sign-out quality assurance tool in our subspecialty-based surgical pathology practice at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. It randomly selects an adjustable percentage of cases for review by a second pathologist at the time the originating pathologist's electronic signature is entered and requires that the review be completed within 24 hours, before release of the final report. The tool replaced a retrospective audit system and it has been in successful use since January 2009. We report our initial experience for the first 14 months of its service. During this time, the disagreement numbers and levels were similar to those identified using the retrospective system, case turnaround time was not significantly affected, and the number of case amendments generated decreased. The tool is a useful quality assurance instrument and its prospective nature allows for the potential prevention of some serious errors.

  18. Technical Note: Development and performance of a software tool for quality assurance of online replanning with a conventional Linac or MR-Linac

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Guang-Pei, E-mail: gpchen@mcw.edu; Ahunbay, Ergun; Li, X. Allen [Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226 (United States)

    2016-04-15

    Purpose: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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%. Conclusions: 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Embedding systematic quality assessments in supportive supervision at primary healthcare level: application of an electronic Tool to Improve Quality of Healthcare in Tanzania

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mboya, Dominick; Mshana, Christopher; Kessy, Flora; Alba, Sandra; Lengeler, Christian; Renggli, Sabine; Vander Plaetse, Bart; Mohamed, Mohamed A.; Schulze, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Assessing quality of health services, for example through supportive supervision, is essential for strengthening healthcare delivery. Most systematic health facility assessment mechanisms, however, are not suitable for routine supervision. The objective of this study is to describe a quality

  2. Developing Process Maps as a Tool for a Surgical Infection Prevention Quality Improvement Initiative in Resource-Constrained Settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrester, Jared A; Koritsanszky, Luca A; Amenu, Demisew; Haynes, Alex B; Berry, William R; Alemu, Seifu; Jiru, Fekadu; Weiser, Thomas G

    2018-06-01

    Surgical infections cause substantial morbidity and mortality in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). To improve adherence to critical perioperative infection prevention standards, we developed Clean Cut, a checklist-based quality improvement program to improve compliance with best practices. We hypothesized that process mapping infection prevention activities can help clinicians identify strategies for improving surgical safety. We introduced Clean Cut at a tertiary hospital in Ethiopia. Infection prevention standards included skin antisepsis, ensuring a sterile field, instrument decontamination/sterilization, prophylactic antibiotic administration, routine swab/gauze counting, and use of a surgical safety checklist. Processes were mapped by a visiting surgical fellow and local operating theater staff to facilitate the development of contextually relevant solutions; processes were reassessed for improvements. Process mapping helped identify barriers to using alcohol-based hand solution due to skin irritation, inconsistent administration of prophylactic antibiotics due to variable delivery outside of the operating theater, inefficiencies in assuring sterility of surgical instruments through lack of confirmatory measures, and occurrences of retained surgical items through inappropriate guidelines, staffing, and training in proper routine gauze counting. Compliance with most processes improved significantly following organizational changes to align tasks with specific process goals. Enumerating the steps involved in surgical infection prevention using a process mapping technique helped identify opportunities for improving adherence and plotting contextually relevant solutions, resulting in superior compliance with antiseptic standards. Simplifying these process maps into an adaptable tool could be a powerful strategy for improving safe surgery delivery in LMICs. Copyright © 2018 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Maintenance Tools applied to Electric Generators to Improve Energy Efficiency and Power Quality of Thermoelectric Power Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milton Fonseca Junior

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a specific method to improve the reliability of the equipment and the quality of power supplied to the electrical systems with the frequency and voltage control of a thermoelectric plant, to guarantee a more stable system. The method has the novelty of combining Total Productive Maintenance (TPM using only four pillars, with Electrical Predictive Maintenance based in failure analysis and diagnostic. It prevents voltage drops caused by excessive reactive consumption, thus guaranteeing the company a perfect functioning of its equipment and providing a longer life of them. The Maintenance Management Program (MMP seeks to prevent failures from causing the equipment to be shut down from the electrical system, which means large financial losses, either by reducing billing or by paying fines to the regulatory agency, in addition to prejudice the reliability of the system. Using management tools, but applying only four TPM pillars, it was possible to achieve innovation in power plants with internal combustion engines. This study aims to provide maintenance with a more reliable process, through the implantation of measurement, control and diagnostic devices, thus allowing the management to reduce breakdown of plant equipment. Some results have been achieved after the implementation, such as reduction of annual maintenance cost, reduction of corrective maintenance, increase of MTBF (Mean Time between Failures and reduction of MTTR (Mean Time to Repair in all areas. Probabilistic models able to describe real processes in a more realistic way, and facilitate the optimization at maximum reliability or minimum costs are presented. Such results are reflected in more reliable and continual power generation.

  4. Modeling Miscanthus in the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) to simulate its water quality effects as a bioenergy crop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Tze Ling; Eheart, J Wayland; Cai, Ximing; Miguez, Fernando

    2010-09-15

    There is increasing interest in perennial grasses as a renewable source of bioenergy and feedstock for second-generation cellulosic biofuels. The primary objective of this study is to estimate the potential effects on riverine nitrate load of cultivating Miscanthus x giganteus in place of conventional crops. In this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is used to model miscanthus growth and streamwater quality in the Salt Creek watershed in Illinois. SWAT has a built-in crop growth component, but, as miscanthus is relatively new as a potentially commercial crop, data on the SWAT crop growth parameters for the crop are lacking. This leads to the second objective of this study, which is to estimate those parameters to facilitate the modeling of miscanthus in SWAT. Results show a decrease in nitrate load that depends on the percent land use change to miscanthus and the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied to the miscanthus. Specifically, assuming a nitrogen fertilization rate for miscanthus of 90 kg-N/ha, a 10%, 25%, and 50% land use change to miscanthus will lead to decreases in nitrate load of about 6.4%, 16.5%, and 29.6% at the watershed outlet, respectively. Likewise, nitrate load may be reduced by lowering the fertilizer application rate, but not proportionately. When fertilization drops from 90 to 30 kg-N/ha the difference in nitrate load decrease is less than 1% when 10% of the watershed is miscanthus and less than 6% when 50% of the watershed is miscanthus. It is also found that the nitrate load decrease from converting less than half the watershed to miscanthus from corn and soybean in 1:1 rotation surpasses that from converting the whole watershed to just soybean.

  5. COPD assessment test (CAT): simple tool for evaluating quality of life of chemical warfare patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lari, Shahrzad M; Ghobadi, Hassan; Attaran, Davood; Mahmoodpour, Afsoun; Shadkam, Omid; Rostami, Maryam

    2014-01-01

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the serious late pulmonary complications caused by sulphur mustard exposure. Health status evaluations of chemical warfare patients with COPD are important to the management of these patients. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of the COPD assessment test (CAT) in evaluating the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of chemical warfare patients with COPD. Eighty-two consecutive patients with stable COPD were enrolled in this study. All subjects were visited by one physician, and the HRQOL was evaluated by the CAT and St. George Respiratory Questionnaires (SGRQs). In addition, a standard spirometry test, 6-min walk distance test and pulse oxymetry were conducted. The severity of the COPD was determined using Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) staging and the body mass index, obstruction, dyspnoea and exercise (BODE) index. The mean age of the patients was 47.30 ± 7.08 years. The mean CAT score was 26.03 ± 8.28. Thirty-five (43%) patients were in CAT stage 3. There were statistically significant correlations between the CAT and the SGRQ (r = 0.70, P = 0.001) and the BODE index (r = 0.70, P = 0.001). A statistically significant inverse correlation was found between the CAT score and the forced expiratory volume in 1 s (r = -0.30, P = 0.03). Our results demonstrated that the CAT is a simple and valid tool for assessment of HRQOL in chemical warfare patients with COPD and can be used in clinical practice. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Assessing the nutritional quality of diets of Canadian children and adolescents using the 2014 Health Canada Surveillance Tool Tier System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahsa Jessri

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Health Canada’s Surveillance Tool (HCST Tier System was developed in 2014 with the aim of assessing the adherence of dietary intakes with Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide (EWCFG. HCST uses a Tier system to categorize all foods into one of four Tiers based on thresholds for total fat, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar, with Tier 4 reflecting the unhealthiest and Tier 1 the healthiest foods. This study presents the first application of the HCST to examine (i the dietary patterns of Canadian children, and (ii the applicability and relevance of HCST as a measure of diet quality. Methods Data were from the nationally-representative, cross-sectional Canadian Community Health Survey 2.2. A total of 13,749 participants aged 2–18 years who had complete lifestyle and 24-hour dietary recall data were examined. Results Dietary patterns of Canadian children and adolescents demonstrated a high prevalence of Tier 4 foods within the sub-groups of processed meats and potatoes. On average, 23–31 % of daily calories were derived from “other” foods and beverages not recommended in EWCFG. However, the majority of food choices fell within the Tier 2 and 3 classifications due to lenient criteria used by the HCST for classifying foods. Adherence to the recommendations presented in the HCST was associated with closer compliance to meeting nutrient Dietary Reference Intake recommendations, however it did not relate to reduced obesity as assessed by body mass index (p > 0.05. Conclusions EWCFG recommendations are currently not being met by most children and adolescents. Future nutrient profiling systems need to incorporate both positive and negative nutrients and an overall score. In addition, a wider range of nutrient thresholds should be considered for HCST to better capture product differences, prevent categorization of most foods as Tiers 2–3 and provide incentives for product reformulation.

  7. Assessing the nutritional quality of diets of Canadian children and adolescents using the 2014 Health Canada Surveillance Tool Tier System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessri, Mahsa; Nishi, Stephanie K; L'Abbe, Mary R

    2016-05-10

    Health Canada's Surveillance Tool (HCST) Tier System was developed in 2014 with the aim of assessing the adherence of dietary intakes with Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide (EWCFG). HCST uses a Tier system to categorize all foods into one of four Tiers based on thresholds for total fat, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar, with Tier 4 reflecting the unhealthiest and Tier 1 the healthiest foods. This study presents the first application of the HCST to examine (i) the dietary patterns of Canadian children, and (ii) the applicability and relevance of HCST as a measure of diet quality. Data were from the nationally-representative, cross-sectional Canadian Community Health Survey 2.2. A total of 13,749 participants aged 2-18 years who had complete lifestyle and 24-hour dietary recall data were examined. Dietary patterns of Canadian children and adolescents demonstrated a high prevalence of Tier 4 foods within the sub-groups of processed meats and potatoes. On average, 23-31 % of daily calories were derived from "other" foods and beverages not recommended in EWCFG. However, the majority of food choices fell within the Tier 2 and 3 classifications due to lenient criteria used by the HCST for classifying foods. Adherence to the recommendations presented in the HCST was associated with closer compliance to meeting nutrient Dietary Reference Intake recommendations, however it did not relate to reduced obesity as assessed by body mass index (p > 0.05). EWCFG recommendations are currently not being met by most children and adolescents. Future nutrient profiling systems need to incorporate both positive and negative nutrients and an overall score. In addition, a wider range of nutrient thresholds should be considered for HCST to better capture product differences, prevent categorization of most foods as Tiers 2-3 and provide incentives for product reformulation.

  8. Standardization of tests of quality control with the aid of quality tools used in management systems of processes at the Sector of Nuclear Medicine of the University Hospital of Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Da Cas, E.V.; Weis, G.L.; Bahunhardt, T.; Shuch, L.A.; Lopes, L.F.D.

    2009-01-01

    This work tries to standardize the tests of quality control at the Sector of Nuclear Medicine at the University Hospital of Santa Maria, using tools of the quality used in systems of management of processes such as, PDCA, brainstorming, diagram of cause and effect (Ishikawa), 5W2H, verifying list and fluxogram. The tests of quality control refer to the scintillation camera (center of rotation, intrinsic uniformity, intrinsic spatial resolution and linearity, energy resolution for each radionuclide), to the dose calibrator (accuracy, reproducibility and linearity), to the Geiger-Mueller detector (reproducibility of the detector). (author)

  9. Quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burnett, N.; Jeffries, J.; Mach, J.; Robson, M.; Pajot, D.; Harrigan, J.; Lebsack, T.; Mullen, D.; Rat, F.; Theys, P.

    1993-01-01

    What is quality? How do you achieve it? How do you keep it once you have got it. The answer for industry at large is the three-step hierarchy of quality control, quality assurance and Total quality Management. An overview is given of the history of quality movement, illustrated with examples from Schlumberger operations, as well as the oil industry's approach to quality. An introduction of the Schlumberger's quality-associated ClientLink program is presented. 15 figs., 4 ills., 16 refs

  10. The STARTEC Decision Support Tool for Better Tradeoffs between Food Safety, Quality, Nutrition, and Costs in Production of Advanced Ready-to-Eat Foods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skjerdal, Taran; Gefferth, Andras; Spajic, Miroslav; Estanga, Edurne Gaston; de Cecare, Alessandra; Vitali, Silvia; Pasquali, Frederique; Bovo, Federica; Manfreda, Gerardo; Mancusi, Rocco; Trevisiani, Marcello; Tessema, Girum Tadesse; Fagereng, Tone; Moen, Lena Haugland; Lyshaug, Lars; Koidis, Anastasios; Delgado-Pando, Gonzalo; Stratakos, Alexandros Ch; Boeri, Marco; From, Cecilie; Syed, Hyat; Muccioli, Mirko; Mulazzani, Roberto; Halbert, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    A prototype decision support IT-tool for the food industry was developed in the STARTEC project. Typical processes and decision steps were mapped using real life production scenarios of participating food companies manufacturing complex ready-to-eat foods. Companies looked for a more integrated approach when making food safety decisions that would align with existing HACCP systems. The tool was designed with shelf life assessments and data on safety, quality, and costs, using a pasta salad meal as a case product. The process flow chart was used as starting point, with simulation options at each process step. Key parameters like pH, water activity, costs of ingredients and salaries, and default models for calculations of Listeria monocytogenes , quality scores, and vitamin C, were placed in an interactive database. Customization of the models and settings was possible on the user-interface. The simulation module outputs were provided as detailed curves or categorized as "good"; "sufficient"; or "corrective action needed" based on threshold limit values set by the user. Possible corrective actions were suggested by the system. The tool was tested and approved by end-users based on selected ready-to-eat food products. Compared to other decision support tools, the STARTEC-tool is product-specific and multidisciplinary and includes interpretation and targeted recommendations for end-users.

  11. The STARTEC Decision Support Tool for Better Tradeoffs between Food Safety, Quality, Nutrition, and Costs in Production of Advanced Ready-to-Eat Foods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gefferth, Andras; Spajic, Miroslav; Estanga, Edurne Gaston; Vitali, Silvia; Pasquali, Frederique; Bovo, Federica; Manfreda, Gerardo; Mancusi, Rocco; Tessema, Girum Tadesse; Fagereng, Tone; Moen, Lena Haugland; Lyshaug, Lars; Koidis, Anastasios; Delgado-Pando, Gonzalo; Stratakos, Alexandros Ch.; Boeri, Marco; From, Cecilie; Syed, Hyat; Muccioli, Mirko; Mulazzani, Roberto; Halbert, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    A prototype decision support IT-tool for the food industry was developed in the STARTEC project. Typical processes and decision steps were mapped using real life production scenarios of participating food companies manufacturing complex ready-to-eat foods. Companies looked for a more integrated approach when making food safety decisions that would align with existing HACCP systems. The tool was designed with shelf life assessments and data on safety, quality, and costs, using a pasta salad meal as a case product. The process flow chart was used as starting point, with simulation options at each process step. Key parameters like pH, water activity, costs of ingredients and salaries, and default models for calculations of Listeria monocytogenes, quality scores, and vitamin C, were placed in an interactive database. Customization of the models and settings was possible on the user-interface. The simulation module outputs were provided as detailed curves or categorized as “good”; “sufficient”; or “corrective action needed” based on threshold limit values set by the user. Possible corrective actions were suggested by the system. The tool was tested and approved by end-users based on selected ready-to-eat food products. Compared to other decision support tools, the STARTEC-tool is product-specific and multidisciplinary and includes interpretation and targeted recommendations for end-users. PMID:29457031

  12. The STARTEC Decision Support Tool for Better Tradeoffs between Food Safety, Quality, Nutrition, and Costs in Production of Advanced Ready-to-Eat Foods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taran Skjerdal

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available A prototype decision support IT-tool for the food industry was developed in the STARTEC project. Typical processes and decision steps were mapped using real life production scenarios of participating food companies manufacturing complex ready-to-eat foods. Companies looked for a more integrated approach when making food safety decisions that would align with existing HACCP systems. The tool was designed with shelf life assessments and data on safety, quality, and costs, using a pasta salad meal as a case product. The process flow chart was used as starting point, with simulation options at each process step. Key parameters like pH, water activity, costs of ingredients and salaries, and default models for calculations of Listeria monocytogenes, quality scores, and vitamin C, were placed in an interactive database. Customization of the models and settings was possible on the user-interface. The simulation module outputs were provided as detailed curves or categorized as “good”; “sufficient”; or “corrective action needed” based on threshold limit values set by the user. Possible corrective actions were suggested by the system. The tool was tested and approved by end-users based on selected ready-to-eat food products. Compared to other decision support tools, the STARTEC-tool is product-specific and multidisciplinary and includes interpretation and targeted recommendations for end-users.

  13. DIDACTIC PRINCIPLES AND PSYCHOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS IN DEFINITION OF QUALITY OF SOFTWARE TOOLS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE IN THE GENERAL EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT OF UKRAINE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryna V. Pirko

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The fundamental feature of economy of postindustrial society is the knowledge that represents the basic source of competitive advantage. In the article the circle of didactic, psychological indicators in researches of problems of achievement of a high degree of quality of education and educational services is considered and described. The attention is paid to pedagogical requirements of the given period which are a standard substantiation in orientations for quality estimation of software tools for educational purpose of the general educational environment in Ukraine. The scheme of internal model of maintenance of quality of software tools for educational purpose is considered, the aspects integrated by internal model of quality of software for educational purpose are listed. The article describes the directions of researches in the conditions of formation of the global international educational environment and uniform information space of  education system taking into account the growth of availability of educational services. It is specified the main principles in the organization of pedagogical software tools.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Development of a national audit tool for juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a BSPAR project funded by the Health Care Quality Improvement Partnership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McErlane, Flora; Foster, Helen E; Armitt, Gillian; Bailey, Kathryn; Cobb, Joanna; Davidson, Joyce E; Douglas, Sharon; Fell, Andrew; Friswell, Mark; Pilkington, Clarissa; Strike, Helen; Smith, Nicola; Thomson, Wendy; Cleary, Gavin

    2018-01-01

    Timely access to holistic multidisciplinary care is the core principle underpinning management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Data collected in national clinical audit programmes fundamentally aim to improve health outcomes of disease, ensuring clinical care is equitable, safe and patient-centred. The aim of this study was to develop a tool for national audit of JIA in the UK. A staged and consultative methodology was used across a broad group of relevant stakeholders to develop a national audit tool, with reference to pre-existing standards of care for JIA. The tool comprises key service delivery quality measures assessed against two aspects of impact, namely disease-related outcome measures and patient/carer reported outcome and experience measures. Eleven service-related quality measures were identified, including those that map to current standards for commissioning of JIA clinical services in the UK. The three-variable Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score and presence/absence of sacro-iliitis in patients with enthesitis-related arthritis were identified as the primary disease-related outcome measures, with presence/absence of uveitis a secondary outcome. Novel patient/carer reported outcomes and patient/carer reported experience measures were developed and face validity confirmed by relevant patient/carer groups. A tool for national audit of JIA has been developed with the aim of benchmarking current clinical practice and setting future standards and targets for improvement. Staged implementation of this national audit tool should facilitate investigation of variability in levels of care and drive quality improvement. This will require engagement from patients and carers, clinical teams and commissioners of JIA services. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology.

  18. Development of a national audit tool for juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a BSPAR project funded by the Health Care Quality Improvement Partnership

    Science.gov (United States)

    McErlane, Flora; Foster, Helen E; Armitt, Gillian; Bailey, Kathryn; Cobb, Joanna; Davidson, Joyce E; Douglas, Sharon; Fell, Andrew; Friswell, Mark; Pilkington, Clarissa; Strike, Helen; Smith, Nicola; Thomson, Wendy; Cleary, Gavin

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Objective Timely access to holistic multidisciplinary care is the core principle underpinning management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Data collected in national clinical audit programmes fundamentally aim to improve health outcomes of disease, ensuring clinical care is equitable, safe and patient-centred. The aim of this study was to develop a tool for national audit of JIA in the UK. Methods A staged and consultative methodology was used across a broad group of relevant stakeholders to develop a national audit tool, with reference to pre-existing standards of care for JIA. The tool comprises key service delivery quality measures assessed against two aspects of impact, namely disease-related outcome measures and patient/carer reported outcome and experience measures. Results Eleven service-related quality measures were identified, including those that map to current standards for commissioning of JIA clinical services in the UK. The three-variable Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score and presence/absence of sacro-iliitis in patients with enthesitis-related arthritis were identified as the primary disease-related outcome measures, with presence/absence of uveitis a secondary outcome. Novel patient/carer reported outcomes and patient/carer reported experience measures were developed and face validity confirmed by relevant patient/carer groups. Conclusion A tool for national audit of JIA has been developed with the aim of benchmarking current clinical practice and setting future standards and targets for improvement. Staged implementation of this national audit tool should facilitate investigation of variability in levels of care and drive quality improvement. This will require engagement from patients and carers, clinical teams and commissioners of JIA services. PMID:29069424

  19. Nutrient Tracking Tool - A user-friendly tool for evaluating the water and air quality and quantity as affected by various agricultural management practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleh, A.; Niraula, R.; Gallego, O.; Osei, E.; Kannan, N.

    2017-12-01

    The Nutrient Tracking Tool (NTT) is a user-friendly web-based computer program that estimate nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) and sediment losses from fields managed under a variety of cropping patterns and management practices. The NTT includes a user-friendly web-based interface and is linked to the Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender (APEX) model. It also accesses USDA-NRCS's Web Soil Survey to obtain field, weather, and soil information. NTT provides producers, government officials, and other users with a fast and efficient method of estimating the nutrient, sediment, and atmosphoric gases (N2o, Co2, and NH4) losses, and crop production under different conservation practices regims at the farm-level. The information obtained from NTT can help producers to determine the most cost-effective conservation practice(s) to reduce the nutrient and sediment losses while optimizing the crop production. Also, the recent version of NTT (NTTg3) has been developed for those coutries without access to national databasis, such as soils and wether. The NTTg3 also has been designed as easy to use APEX interface. NTT is currently being evaluated for trading and other programs at Cheaseapea Bay regions and numerous states in US. During this presentation the new capabilities of NTTg3 will be described and demonstrated.

  20. WE-DE-201-02: A Statistical Analysis Tool for Plan Quality Verification in HDR Brachytherapy Forward Planning for Cervix Cancer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ma, R; Zhu, X; Li, S; Zheng, D; Lei, Y; Wang, S; Verma, V; Bennion, N; Wahl, A; Zhou, S [University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE (United States)

    2016-06-15

    Purpose: High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy forward planning is principally an iterative process; hence, plan quality is affected by planners’ experiences and limited planning time. Thus, this may lead to sporadic errors and inconsistencies in planning. A statistical tool based on previous approved clinical treatment plans would help to maintain the consistency of planning quality and improve the efficiency of second checking. Methods: An independent dose calculation tool was developed from commercial software. Thirty-three previously approved cervical HDR plans with the same prescription dose (550cGy), applicator type, and treatment protocol were examined, and ICRU defined reference point doses (bladder, vaginal mucosa, rectum, and points A/B) along with dwell times were collected. Dose calculation tool then calculated appropriate range with a 95% confidence interval for each parameter obtained, which would be used as the benchmark for evaluation of those parameters in future HDR treatment plans. Model quality was verified using five randomly selected approved plans from the same dataset. Results: Dose variations appears to be larger at the reference point of bladder and mucosa as compared with rectum. Most reference point doses from verification plans fell between the predicted range, except the doses of two points of rectum and two points of reference position A (owing to rectal anatomical variations & clinical adjustment in prescription points, respectively). Similar results were obtained for tandem and ring dwell times despite relatively larger uncertainties. Conclusion: This statistical tool provides an insight into clinically acceptable range of cervical HDR plans, which could be useful in plan checking and identifying potential planning errors, thus improving the consistency of plan quality.

  1. La evaluación local de la calidad mediante instrumentos de medida genéricos Local evaluation of quality using generic measurement tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vahé A. Kazandjian

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available La medición de calidad y la responsabilidad son dos de los conceptos más utilizados en los sistemas sanitarios, aunque los instrumentos para poner en práctica estos conceptos varían. El objetivo de este artículo es analizar las herramientas (p. ej., los indicadores y las expectativas de los usuarios de estas herramientas (p. ej., la calidad frente al rendimiento al desempeñar el imperativo de responsabilidad en el sistema sanitario. Concretamente, presentamos la evolución del Sistema Sanitario Español en esta materia para analizar cómo se han ido constituyendo paso a paso los principios del modelo nacional de responsabilidad. Por último, se presenta un sistema internacional, el Maryland Quality Indicator Project®, como marco de referencia para la evaluación del rendimiento.Performance measurement and accountability are the most frequently encountered concepts across healthcare systems, although the tools used to put these concepts into practice vary. The aim of the present article was to discuss the tools (e.g., indicators and user expectations (e.g., quality versus performance of these tools in fulfilling healthcare's accountability mandate. In particular, the developments within the Spanish health system are discussed to illustrate how Spain has addressed, in a stepwise manner, the determinants of a national accountability model. Finally, a multinational project, The Maryland Quality Indicator Project®, is presented as a popular framework for measuring performance.

  2. 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

    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. 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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Methodological quality of meta-analyses on treatments for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a cross-sectional study using the AMSTAR (Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews) tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Robin S T; Wu, Xinyin; Yuan, Jinqiu; Liu, Siya; Lai, Xin; Wong, Samuel Y S; Chung, Vincent C H

    2015-01-08

    Meta-analysis (MA) of randomised trials is considered to be one of the best approaches for summarising high-quality evidence on the efficacy and safety of treatments. However, methodological flaws in MAs can reduce the validity of conclusions, subsequently impairing the quality of decision making. To assess the methodological quality of MAs on COPD treatments. A cross-sectional study on MAs of COPD trials. MAs published during 2000-2013 were sampled from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effect. Methodological quality was assessed using the validated AMSTAR (Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews) tool. Seventy-nine MAs were sampled. Only 18% considered the scientific quality of primary studies when formulating conclusions and 49% used appropriate meta-analytic methods to combine findings. The problems were particularly acute among MAs on pharmacological treatments. In 48% of MAs the authors did not report conflict of interest. Fifty-eight percent reported harmful effects of treatment. Publication bias was not assessed in 65% of MAs, and only 10% had searched non-English databases. The methodological quality of the included MAs was disappointing. Consideration of scientific quality when formulating conclusions should be made explicit. Future MAs should improve on reporting conflict of interest and harm, assessment of publication bias, prevention of language bias and use of appropriate meta-analytic methods.

  5. Conditions for Stable Chip Breaking and Provision of Machined Surface Quality While Turning with Asymmetric Tool Vibrations

    OpenAIRE

    Шелег, В. К.; Молочко, В. И.; Данильчик, С. С.

    2015-01-01

    The paper considers a process of turning structural steel with asymmetric tool vibrations directed along feeding. Asymmetric vibrations characterized by asymmetry coefficient of vibration cycle, their frequency and amplitude are additionally transferred to the tool in the turning process with the purpose to crush chips. Conditions of stable chip breaking and obtaining optimum dimensions of chip elements have been determined in the paper. In order to reduce a negative impact of the vibration a...

  6. FQC Dashboard: integrates FastQC results into a web-based, interactive, and extensible FASTQ quality control tool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Joseph; Pirrung, Meg; McCue, Lee Ann

    2017-06-09

    FQC is software that facilitates large-scale quality control of FASTQ files by carrying out a QC protocol, parsing results, and aggregating quality metrics within and across experiments into an interactive dashboard. The dashboard utilizes human-readable configuration files to manipulate the pages and tabs, and is extensible with CSV data.

  7. Implementation of the trauma registry as a tool for quality improvement in trauma care in a brazilian hospital: the first 12 months

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JOSÉ GUSTAVO PARREIRA

    Full Text Available ABSTRACTObjective: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.Methods: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.Results: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% ISS<9. Full records were available for 292 cases, which were selected for review in the quality program. The auditing filters most frequently registered were laparotomy four hours after admission and drainage of acute subdural hematomas four hours after admission. Several points for improvement were flagged, such as control 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.Conclusion: 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. Data quality control and tools in passive seismic experiments exemplified on the Czech broadband seismic pool MOBNET in the AlpArray collaborative project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vecsey, Luděk; Plomerová, Jaroslava; Jedlička, Petr; Munzarová, Helena; Babuška, Vladislav; AlpArray Working Group

    2017-12-01

    This paper focuses on major issues related to the data reliability and network performance of 20 broadband (BB) stations of the Czech (CZ) MOBNET (MOBile NETwork) seismic pool within the AlpArray seismic experiments. Currently used high-resolution seismological applications require high-quality data recorded for a sufficiently long time interval at seismological observatories and during the entire time of operation of the temporary stations. In this paper we present new hardware and software tools we have been developing during the last two decades while analysing data from several international passive experiments. The new tools help to assure the high-quality standard of broadband seismic data and eliminate potential errors before supplying data to seismological centres. Special attention is paid to crucial issues like the detection of sensor misorientation, timing problems, interchange of record components and/or their polarity reversal, sensor mass centring, or anomalous channel amplitudes due to, for example, imperfect gain. Thorough data quality control should represent an integral constituent of seismic data recording, preprocessing, and archiving, especially for data from temporary stations in passive seismic experiments. Large international seismic experiments require enormous efforts from scientists from different countries and institutions to gather hundreds of stations to be deployed in the field during a limited time period. In this paper, we demonstrate the beneficial effects of the procedures we have developed for acquiring a reliable large set of high-quality data from each group participating in field experiments. The presented tools can be applied manually or automatically on data from any seismic network.

  9. One complex tool and three simple approaches to the improvement of quality assurance and safety in external beam radiotherapy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salinas, F.; Sansogne, R.; Arbiser, S.; Suarez, V., E-mail: flavio.salinas@rtp.com.ar [Vidt Centro Medico (Argentina); Franco, M., E-mail: mauricio.franco@rtp.com.ar [Centro de Radioterapia San Juan (Argentina); Escobar, J., E-mail: jorge.escobar@iprc.com.ar [Instituto Privado de Radioterapia Cuyo, Buenos Aires (Argentina)

    2013-10-01

    Quality assurance and safety controls in radiation therapy delivery processes that involve the Physics Department of an institution are commonly time consuming tasks. Carrying out daily controls in very busy clinics without compromising patient schedule is challenging. This work describes the usage of Electronic Portal Imaging Devices in combination with some in-house software to simplify and systematize three different tasks of the Physics Department Quality Assurance Program, improving the easiness, reliability and velocity of daily tests. (author)

  10. One complex tool and three simple approaches to the improvement of quality assurance and safety in external beam radiotherapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salinas, F.; Sansogne, R.; Arbiser, S.; Suarez, V.; Franco, M.; Escobar, J.

    2013-01-01

    Quality assurance and safety controls in radiation therapy delivery processes that involve the Physics Department of an institution are commonly time consuming tasks. Carrying out daily controls in very busy clinics without compromising patient schedule is challenging. This work describes the usage of Electronic Portal Imaging Devices in combination with some in-house software to simplify and systematize three different tasks of the Physics Department Quality Assurance Program, improving the easiness, reliability and velocity of daily tests. (author)

  11. 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.

  12. 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. Copyright © 2012 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Implementation of an Evidence-Based and Content Validated Standardized Ostomy Algorithm Tool in Home Care: A Quality Improvement Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bare, Kimberly; Drain, Jerri; Timko-Progar, Monica; Stallings, Bobbie; Smith, Kimberly; Ward, Naomi; Wright, Sandra

    Many nurses have limited experience with ostomy management. We sought to provide a standardized approach to ostomy education and management to support nurses in early identification of stomal and peristomal complications, pouching problems, and provide standardized solutions for managing ostomy care in general while improving utilization of formulary products. This article describes development and testing of an ostomy algorithm tool.

  14. 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.

  15. 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% ISSquality program. The auditing filters most frequently registered were laparotomy four hours after admission and drainage of acute subdural hematomas four hours after admission. Several points for improvement were flagged, such as control 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. FQC Dashboard: integrates FastQC results into a web-based, interactive, and extensible FASTQ quality control tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Joseph; Pirrung, Meg; McCue, Lee Ann

    2017-06-09

    FQC is software that facilitates quality control of FASTQ files by carrying out a QC protocol using FastQC, parsing results, and aggregating quality metrics into an interactive dashboard designed to richly summarize individual sequencing runs. The dashboard groups samples in dropdowns for navigation among the data sets, utilizes human-readable configuration files to manipulate the pages and tabs, and is extensible with CSV data. FQC is implemented in Python 3 and Javascript, and is maintained under an MIT license. Documentation and source code is available at: https://github.com/pnnl/fqc . joseph.brown@pnnl.gov. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  19. Comprehensive Clinical Audits of Diagnostic Radiology Practices: A Tool for Quality Improvement. Quality Assurance Audit for Diagnostic Radiology Improvement and Learning (QUAADRIL)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2011-01-01

    Interest in quality assurance processes and quality improvement in diagnostic radiology is being driven by a number of factors. These include the high cost and complexity of radiological equipment, acknowledgement of the possibility of increasing doses to patients, and the importance of radiological diagnosis to patient management within the health care environment. To acknowledge these interests, clinical audits have been introduced and, in Europe, mandated under a European Directive (Council Directive 97/47/EURATOM). Comprehensive clinical audits focus on clinical management and infrastructure, patient related and technical procedures, and education and research. This publication includes a structured set of standards appropriate for diagnostic radiology, an audit guide to their clinical review, and data collection sheets for the rapid production of reports in audit situations. It will be a useful guide for diagnostic radiology facilities wishing to improve their service to patients through timely diagnosis with minimal radiation dose.

  20. Comprehensive Clinical Audits of Diagnostic Radiology Practices: A Tool for Quality Improvement. Quality Assurance Audit for Diagnostic Radiology Improvement and Learning (QUAADRIL)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    Interest in quality assurance processes and quality improvement in diagnostic radiology is being driven by a number of factors. These include the high cost and complexity of radiological equipment, acknowledgement of the possibility of increasing doses to patients, and the importance of radiological diagnosis to patient management within the health care environment. To acknowledge these interests, clinical audits have been introduced and, in Europe, mandated under a European Directive (Council Directive 97/47/EURATOM). Comprehensive clinical audits focus on clinical management and infrastructure, patient related and technical procedures, and education and research. This publication includes a structured set of standards appropriate for diagnostic radiology, an audit guide to their clinical review, and data collection sheets for the rapid production of reports in audit situations. It will be a useful guide for diagnostic radiology facilities wishing to improve their service to patients through timely diagnosis with minimal radiation dose.

  1. SACA: Software Assisted Call Analysis--an interactive tool supporting content exploration, online guidance and quality improvement of counseling dialogues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinkaus, Hans L; Gaisser, Andrea E

    2010-09-01

    Nearly 30,000 individual inquiries are answered annually by the telephone cancer information service (CIS, KID) of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). The aim was to develop a tool for evaluating these calls, and to support the complete counseling process interactively. A novel software tool is introduced, based on a structure similar to a music score. Treating the interaction as a "duet", guided by the CIS counselor, the essential contents of the dialogue are extracted automatically. For this, "trained speech recognition" is applied to the (known) counselor's part, and "keyword spotting" is used on the (unknown) client's part to pick out specific items from the "word streams". The outcomes fill an abstract score representing the dialogue. Pilot tests performed on a prototype of SACA (Software Assisted Call Analysis) resulted in a basic proof of concept: Demographic data as well as information regarding the situation of the caller could be identified. The study encourages following up on the vision of an integrated SACA tool for supporting calls online and performing statistics on its knowledge database offline. Further research perspectives are to check SACA's potential in comparison with established interaction analysis systems like RIAS. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Application of a New Integrated Decision Support Tool (i-DST) for Urban Water Infrastructure: Analyzing Water Quality Compliance Pathways for Three Los Angeles Watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo, E. M.; Hogue, T. S.; Bell, C. D.; Spahr, K.; McCray, J. E.

    2017-12-01

    The water quality of receiving streams and waterbodies in urban watersheds are increasingly polluted from stormwater runoff. The implementation of Green Infrastructure (GI), which includes Low Impact Developments (LIDs) and Best Management Practices (BMPs), within a watershed aim to mitigate the effects of urbanization by reducing pollutant loads, runoff volume, and storm peak flow. Stormwater modeling is generally used to assess the impact of GIs implemented within a watershed. These modeling tools are useful for determining the optimal suite of GIs to maximize pollutant load reduction and minimize cost. However, stormwater management for most resource managers and communities also includes the implementation of grey and hybrid stormwater infrastructure. An integrated decision support tool, called i-DST, that allows for the optimization and comprehensive life-cycle cost assessment of grey, green, and hybrid stormwater infrastructure, is currently being developed. The i-DST tool will evaluate optimal stormwater runoff management by taking into account the diverse economic, environmental, and societal needs associated with watersheds across the United States. Three watersheds from southern California will act as a test site and assist in the development and initial application of the i-DST tool. The Ballona Creek, Dominguez Channel, and Los Angeles River Watersheds are located in highly urbanized Los Angeles County. The water quality of the river channels flowing through each are impaired by heavy metals, including copper, lead, and zinc. However, despite being adjacent to one another within the same county, modeling results, using EPA System for Urban Stormwater Treatment and Analysis INtegration (SUSTAIN), found that the optimal path to compliance in each watershed differs significantly. The differences include varied costs, suites of BMPs, and ancillary benefits. This research analyzes how the economic, physical, and hydrological differences between the three

  3. Mixed methods evaluation of a quality improvement and audit tool for nurse-to-nurse bedside clinical handover in ward settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redley, Bernice; Waugh, Rachael

    2018-04-01

    Nurse bedside handover quality is influenced by complex interactions related to the content, processes used and the work environment. Audit tools are seldom tested in 'real' settings. Examine the reliability, validity and usability of a quality improvement tool for audit of nurse bedside handover. Naturalistic, descriptive, mixed-methods. Six inpatient wards at a single large not-for-profit private health service in Victoria, Australia. Five nurse experts and 104 nurses involved in 199 change-of-shift bedside handovers. A focus group with experts and pilot test were used to examine content and face validity, and usability of the handover audit tool. The tool was examined for inter-rater reliability and usability using observation audits of handovers across six wards. Data were collected in 2013-2014. Two independent observers for 72 audits demonstrated acceptable inter-observer agreement for 27 (77%) items. Reliability was weak for items examining the handover environment. Seventeen items were not observed reflecting gaps in practices. Across 199 observation audits, gaps in nurse bedside handover practice most often related to process and environment, rather than content items. Usability was impacted by high observer burden, familiarity and non-specific illustrative behaviours. The reliability and validity of most items to audit handover content was acceptable. Gaps in practices for process and environment items were identified. Context specific exemplars and reducing the items used at each handover audit can enhance usability. Further research is needed to develop context specific exemplars and undertake additional reliability testing using a wide range of handover settings. CONTRIBUTION OF THE PAPER. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. SU-F-P-35: A Multi-Institutional Plan Quality Checking Tool Built On Oncospace: A Shared Radiation Oncology Database System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bowers, M; Robertson, S; Moore, J; Wong, J; Phillips, M; Hendrickson, K; Evans, K; McNutt, T

    2016-01-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. An online network tool for quality information to answer questions about occupational safety and health: usability and applicability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rhebergen, Martijn D. F.; Hulshof, Carel T. J.; Lenderink, Annet F.; van Dijk, Frank J. H.

    2010-01-01

    Common information facilities do not always provide the quality information needed to answer questions on health or health-related issues, such as Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) matters. Barriers may be the accessibility, quantity and readability of information. Online Question & Answer (Q&A)

  7. An Online Network Tool for Quality Information to Answer Questions about Occupational Safety and Health: Usability and Applicability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rhebergen, M.D.F.; Hulshof, C.T.J.; Lenderink, A.F.; van Dijk, F.J.H.

    2010-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Common information facilities do not always provide the quality information needed to answer questions on health or health-related issues, such as Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) matters. Barriers may be the accessibility, quantity and readability of information. Online

  8. Carcass and meat quality determination as a tool to promote local meat consumption in outermost regions of Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hernandez Castellano, Lorenzo E; Morales-delaNuez, Antonio; Moreno-Indias, Isabel

    2013-01-01

    of this study, therefore, was to evaluate local and imported carcasses and meat quality in order to promote the consumption of local breeds, using the Canary Islands (Spain) as a model for other subtropical outermost regions. For this study 20 half-carcasses from Palmera breed and 20 imported half...

  9. 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…

  10. Web-based Air Quality Screening Tool for Near-port Assessments: Example of Application in Porto, Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    The HARMO conference presents an opportunity to extend and further develop ORD’s collaboration with our European colleagues. This paper describes the C-PORT application in Porto, Portugal as a part of the EU project AIRSHIP designed to evaluate the air quality impacts of m...

  11. Comment on “Modeling Miscanthus in the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to Simulate Its Water Quality Effects As a Bioenergy Crop”

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Xuesong; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Arnold, J. G.; Sammons, N. B.; Manowitz, David H.; Thomson, Allison M.; Williams, J.R.

    2011-07-01

    In this paper, the authors comment on several mistakes made in a journal paper "Modeling Miscanthus in the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to Simulate Its Water Quality Effects As a Bioenergy Crop" published on Environmental Scienece & Technology, based on field measurements from Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Carbon Sequestration in Terrestrial Ecosystems, and published literature. Our comment has led to the development of another version of SWAT to include better process based description of radiation use efficiency and root-shoot growth.

  12. Measurement tools of resource use and quality of life in clinical trials for dementia or cognitive impairment interventions: protocol for a scoping review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Fan; Dawes, Piers; Leroi, Iracema; Gannon, Brenda

    2017-01-26

    Dementia and cognitive impairment could severely impact patients' life and bring heavy burden to patients, caregivers and societies. Some interventions are suggested for the older patients with these conditions to help them live well, but economic evaluation is needed to assess the cost-effectiveness of these interventions. Trial-based economic evaluation is an ideal method; however, little is known about the tools used to collect data of resource use and quality of life alongside the trials. Therefore, the aim of this review is to identify and describe the resource use and quality of life instruments in clinical trials of interventions for older patients with dementia or cognitive impairment. We will perform a search in main electronic databases (Ovid MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Databases of Systematic Reviews, Web of Science and Scopus) using the key terms or their synonyms: older, dementia, cognitive impairment, cost, quality of life, intervention and tools. After removing duplicates, two independent reviewers will screen each entry for eligibility, initially by title and abstract, then by full-text. A hand search of the references of included articles and general search, e.g. Google Scholar, will also be conducted to identify potential relevant studies. All disagreements will be resolved by discussion or consultation with a third reviewer if necessary. Data analysis will be completed and reported in a narrative review. This review will identify the instruments used in clinical trials to collect resource use and quality of life data for dementia or cognitive impairment interventions. This will help to guide the study design of future trial-based economic evaluation of these interventions. PROSPERO CRD42016038495.

  13. Analysis of "green economy" phenomenon and tools of environment quality management: a case study for the Republic of Belarus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rybak V. A.

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available the article carries out an analytical review of different approaches to defining the “green economy” phenomenon. The main fields and ways of using this term are described. The existing environmental management tools (environmental impact assessment, certification, auditing and the best available techniques do not allow to evaluate environmental compatibility of projects and technologies, and are not able to specify the ways of their optimization. The authors suggest estimates of non-wastes, specific consumption, ecological and economical effectiveness, land capacity. The efficiency of reducing their values to a single integral component was proved in the article.

  14. Assessing the nutritional quality of diets of Canadian children and adolescents using the 2014 Health Canada Surveillance Tool Tier System

    OpenAIRE

    Jessri, Mahsa; Nishi, Stephanie K.; L?Abbe, Mary R.

    2016-01-01

    Background Health Canada?s Surveillance Tool (HCST) Tier System was developed in 2014 with the aim of assessing the adherence of dietary intakes with Eating Well with Canada?s Food Guide (EWCFG). HCST uses a Tier system to categorize all foods into one of four Tiers based on thresholds for total fat, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar, with Tier 4 reflecting the unhealthiest and Tier 1 the healthiest foods. This study presents the first application of the HCST to examine (i) the dietary pattern...

  15. Is the soil quality monitoring an effective tool in consumers' protection of agricultural crops from cadmium soil contamination?-a case of the Silesia region (Poland).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piekut, Agata; Baranowska, Renata; Marchwińska-Wyrwał, Ewa; Ćwieląg-Drabek, Małgorzata; Hajok, Ilona; Dziubanek, Grzegorz; Grochowska-Niedworok, Elżbieta

    2017-12-16

    The monitoring of soil quality should be a control tool used to reduce the adverse health effects arising from exposure to toxic chemicals in soil through cultivated crop absorption. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the monitoring and control system of soil quality in Poland, in terms of consumer safety, for agricultural plants cultivated in areas with known serious cadmium contamination, such as Silesia Province. To achieve the objective, the contents of cadmium in soils and vegetables in the Silesia administrative area were examined. The obtained results were compared with the results of soil contamination from the quality monitoring of arable soil in Poland. The studies show a significant exceedance of the permissible values of cadmium in soil samples and the vegetables cultivated on that soil. The threat to consumer health is a valid concern, although this threat was not indicated by the results of the national monitoring of soil quality. The results indicated an unequal distribution of risk to consumers resulting from contaminated soil. Moreover, the monitoring systems should be designed at the local or regional scale to guarantee the safety of consumers of edible plants cultivated in the areas contaminated with cadmium.

  16. Multidisciplinary Prerounding Meeting as a Continuous Quality Improvement Tool: Leveraging to Reduce Continuous Benzodiazepine Use at an Academic Medical Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flannery, Alexander H; Thompson Bastin, Melissa L; Montgomery-Yates, Ashley; Hook, Corrine; Cassity, Evan; Eaton, Phillip M; Morris, Peter E

    2018-01-01

    Evidence-based medicine often has many barriers to overcome prior to implementation in practice, hence the importance of continuous quality improvement. We report on a brief (≤10 minutes) multidisciplinary meeting prior to rounds to establish a dashboard for continuous quality improvement and studied the success of this meeting on a particular area of focus: continuous infusion benzodiazepine minimization. This was a prospective observational study of patients admitted to the medical intensive care unit (MICU) of a large academic medical center over a 4-month period. A morning multidisciplinary prerounding meeting was implemented to report on metrics required to establish a dashboard for MICU care for the previous 24 hours. Fellows and nurse practitioners on respective teams reported on key quality metrics and other important data related to patient census. Continuous benzodiazepines were tracked daily as the number of patients per team who had orders for a continuous benzodiazepine infusion. The aim of this report is to describe the development of the morning multidisciplinary prerounding meeting and its impact on continuous benzodiazepine use, along with associated clinical outcomes. The median number of patients prescribed a continuous benzodiazepine daily decreased over this time period and demonstrated a sustained reduction at 1 year. Furthermore, sedation scores improved, corresponding to a reduction in median duration of mechanical ventilation. The effectiveness of this intervention was mapped post hoc to conceptual models used in implementation science. A brief multidisciplinary meeting to review select data points prior to morning rounds establishes mechanisms for continuous quality improvement and may serve as a mediating factor for successful implementation when initiating and monitoring practice change in the ICU.

  17. Sensory quality evaluation for appearance of needle-shaped green tea based on computer vision and nonlinear tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chun-Wang; Zhu, Hong-Kai; Zhao, Jie-Wen; Jiang, Yong-Wen; Yuan, Hai-Bo; Chen, Quan-Sheng

    2017-06-01

    Tea is one of the three greatest beverages in the world. In China, green tea has the largest consumption, and needle-shaped green tea, such as Maofeng tea and Sparrow Tongue tea, accounts for more than 40% of green tea (Zhu et al., 2017). The appearance of green tea is one of the important indexes during the evaluation of green tea quality. Especially in market transactions, the price of tea is usually determined by its appearance (Zhou et al., 2012). Human sensory evaluation is usually conducted by experts, and is also easily affected by various factors such as light, experience, psychological and visual factors. In the meantime, people may distinguish the slight differences between similar colors or textures, but the specific levels of the tea are hard to determine (Chen et al., 2008). As human description of color and texture is qualitative, it is hard to evaluate the sensory quality accurately, in a standard manner, and objectively. Color is an important visual property of a computer image (Xie et al., 2014; Khulal et al., 2016); texture is a visual performance